With walk-off homer, Giants’ Mike Yastrzemski joins his grandfather in exclusive club

first_img … Mike Yastrzemski not only boosted the Giants on Sunday with a walk-off home run — his first as a major leaguer — but he may have inspired a Final Jeopardy! clue.Q: On July 21, 2019, Mike Yastrzemski hit a walk-off home run to lift the Giants over the Mets. Carl Yastrzemski, Mike’s grandfather, hit four walk-offs in his Hall of Fame career. Are these the only grandfather and grandson to both hit major league walk-offs?Player 1: “Yes.”Alex: “That is incorrect, and you lose everything.”last_img read more

When Is Design Just Natural?

first_img1.  Moscou and Bogdanove, “A Simple Cipher Governs DNA Recognition by TAL Effectors,” Science, 11 December 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5959, p. 1501, DOI: 10.1126/science.1178817.How does one distinguish intentional design from accidental or natural design?  Your answer probably depends on your worldview.  The above examples find patterns in everything from molecules to galaxies.  An animist or ancient Roman might explain them with references to spirits or the gods.  A materialist will only find intentional design in the Parthenon, the Mona Lisa, and other artificial creations, and ascribe everything else to chance and natural law.  But we are often confronted with puzzles.  Is this rock an arrowhead or an accident of nature?  Is that odd-shaped cloud skywriting?  Non-atheists have additional questions about which phenomena involve God’s intervention.  The fever that afflicted Peter’s mother might have worn off over time; we would consider that a natural healing process.  But when Jesus healed her instantly, that’s a miracle.  Atheists, of course, have no patience with any of this.  Yet their explanations based on chance border on the miraculous sometimes (see article on ICR).  They can go so far as to give a rational person cause to accuse them of holding to their world view in spite of the evidence (12/13/2009).    Intelligent design theory seeks to elucidate the scientific basis for inferring intelligent causes.  It recognizes that many complex patterns can arise in nature without intentionality.  Probably no one except devotees of late-night talk shows about alien conspiracies believes the Saturn hexagon was intelligently designed, even though scientists cannot explain it yet.  Most trust that science will explain it in due time.  But why do they trust science in that case, and not in the case of Parthenon?  Is it only a question of whether humans are involved?  And what is human design, anyway, if humans alone are capable of intelligent design, but arose from non-intelligent causes of chance and natural law?  What do we mean by “natural”?    The core of the intelligent design approach is to look for complex specified information, using the explanatory filter described by Dembski in his books (for synopsis, see article at the IDEA Center).  Only when chance and natural law have been excluded via a rational criterion of plausibility is intelligent design considered.  This presumes, of course, that we can agree on the meanings of chance and natural law.  Sometimes a “natural law” is floated around too loosely.  Is it fair to apply a term like “constructal law” to the ubiquity of the Golden Ratio in nature, or is that a post-hoc fallacy?  That might be like watching a chess game and ascribing the movements of the chess pieces to a natural law we might arbitrarily name the “Checkmate Law” which states that chess pieces converge toward the elimination of the King from the board.  Inventing a law after the fact and calling it “natural” explains nothing.  It’s an anti-explanation.  In the case of the chess game, it ignores the primary cause of the phenomenon – intelligence.  Laws like “natural selection” can be similarly critiqued.  Subjective verbal phrases like “survival of the fittest” lack the mathematical precision of laws in physics.    How, then, do we explain non-artificial patterns like the histone code, and perfectly-aligned crystals in an urchin tooth, and the Golden Ratio spiral in a conch shell?  Each of the words in the phrase complex specified information is significant.  It has to be complex enough to exceed the threshold of chance.  It has to be specified to match an independent pattern.  And it has to be information – perhaps the trickiest word.  Information in one context can be gibberish in another.  Even apparent randomness can be intentional – as in a white-noise generator or some abstract art.  Do we call the DNA code information in the same sense as text in a novel?  Do we call the choreography of the chromosomes information in the same sense as ballet?  Are these just figures of speech?  When are the differences more significant than the similarities?  What is being communicated – and to whom or what?  The Saturn hexagon has no semantics, for instance; it conveys no message, performs no function.  Forces in the atmosphere – perhaps resonances or standing waves – will undoubtedly be found sufficient to explain the pattern once all the factors are known.  The hexagons in a beehive, though, perform a function – they create breeding cells with the maximum volume per packing space, using minimum materials.  Thus we see that information can be semantic or functional.  In either case, it requires foresight and intent to bring component parts together.    We know that intelligence acts with a goal in mind, and organizes parts to fit the goal.  Evolution and “blind nature” lack the ability to foresee ends, or to organize parts toward a goal.  Can we say this consistently?  Does gas and dust conspire to build a star?  Does water and rock and heat conspire to build Old Faithful geyser, in the same sense that calcium carbonate crystals and bridges conspire to build an urchin tooth?  Stars and geysers are improbable natural phenomena, too.  But in those cases, we see a clear continuum of simpler phenomena.  With stars, we see dust clouds of various levels of density, Herbig-Haro objects, and bodies of every size from brown dwarfs to supergiants.  With geysers, we find fumaroles, mudpots, and active hot springs of all sizes up to the great regular spouters.  Each of these falls within the range of chance and known physical laws of thermodynamics.  They also don’t “say” anything; there is no communication between parts, no information shared, no long-range goal that pulls together disparate parts to share a message.  They are like clouds, not skywriting; like ripples, not hieroglyphics.  Even the most elegant natural phenomena, like snowflakes, display the repetitive outcomes of natural laws applied to matter without conveying any meaning.  In a living cell, though, we find aperiodic coded information that is stored and retrieved, and then translated into a separate molecular coding convention (proteins), all with clear observable function as a result.  The coded information has no necessary connection to its medium.  The same information could conceivably be stored in other molecules – in the same sense that a human message could be sent via paper or email (computer geeks will appreciate George Gilder’s explanation of this point on ID the Future).  This means that information is not material.  It is independent from the medium that conveys it.  Moreover, the DNA translation system includes numerous component parts that must all work, or else function stops.  Even though the parts themselves are not intelligent, they show the hallmark of intelligent design – just like we might watch a robot made of metal and plastic using electricity on a factory assembly line and rightly infer it was intelligently designed for the purpose of assembling automobiles.    In Signature in the Cell (06/27/2009 Resource of the Week), Stephen Meyer delved deeply into the problem of how complex specified information – functional information – could have arisen in the molecules of life.  Only after the most rigorous elimination of all possible non-intelligent causes did intelligent design emerge as the best explanation.  But once chance and natural law (or combinations of the two) have been eliminated, and intelligent design accepted as the best (or only) explanation, new questions emerge.  If the apparent intention, foresight and purpose in life points to intelligent design, should we not look at the rest of nature with new eyes?  Why is the Golden Ratio so ubiquitous in nature?  Why do the constants of physics conspire to work together, out of a seemingly infinite range of contingent possibilities, to allow stars, planets, and life to exist?  Why is the Earth so well suited for life?  The Creator that Darwin, Huxley, Tyndall, Haeckel and all the others sought to exclude from scientific explanation has been there all the time.  Secular scientists only chose to look the other way.Exercise:  Look for complex specified information in the 6 examples above.  If intelligent design was involved, when and where was it involved?  Which of these operate robotically without God’s intervention?  Which emerged according to natural laws – and what are the laws?  Which might have started out by intelligent design but become modified naturally over time?  Which imply intelligently-designed initial conditions only?  Try your reasoning on these other patterns in nature: sand dunes, flying seeds (12/03/2009, 10/21/2009), iron filings on a paper over a magnet, a virus packing motor (10/18/2001), planetary rings, binary stars, toxins, river meanders, cilia in the windpipe, wind waves on a field of grass, honeycomb, parallel rock strata (are they fractal? 03/05/2004), meteor showers, the solar cycle, glaciers, volcanoes, dust devils on Mars, Cepheid variables, barred spiral galaxies, a perfect solar eclipse, stalactites, streaks in a cloud chamber, crater chains, ant mounds, woodpecker holes, a packrat midden, an Indian midden, a Venus flytrap, a beaver trap, the musical pattern in wind chimes, bird song, phyllotaxis.  Think of more on your own.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Some recent stories provide exercises in differentiating intelligently-caused designs from complex patterns that can arise from natural law.  Here are some examples of designs in science reports; the commentary will discuss criteria for deciding which arise spontaneously without purpose and intent.Saturn hexagon:  The north pole of Saturn shows an odd hexagon-shaped pattern in the clouds that has persisted since at least the Voyager flybys.  Jet Propulsion Lab issued a press release with a new picture of it emerging from the winter darkness.  It was posted as the Dec. 14 Astronomy Picture of the Day.  There’s no good explanation for it yet.  “Scientists are still trying to figure out what causes the hexagon, where it gets and expels its energy and how it has stayed so organized for so long.”Cell cybernetics:  Science reported on Dec. 11 that “A Simple Cipher Governs DNA Recognition by TAL Effectors.”  We normally think of ciphers as a human-based technology.  Moscou and Bogdanove wrote, “Our finding represents a previously unknown mechanism for protein-DNA recognition that explains TAL effector specificity, enables target site prediction, and opens prospects for use of TAL effectors in research and biotechnology.”Genes in 3-D:  Science Daily reported that a “3-D View of Genes-at-Work Is Paradigm Shift in Genetics.”  Scientists from the Babraham Institute are getting glimpses of the 3-D organization of chromosomes in the nucleus.  It’s causing a “paradigm shift in our understanding of how the genome is spatially organised in relation to gene expression.”  There were 14 references to “transcription factories” in the short article.  For example:Highly coordinated chromosomal choreography leads genes and the sequences controlling them, which are often positioned huge distances apart on chromosomes, to these ‘hot spots’.  Once close together within the same transcription factory, genes get switched on (a process called transcription) at an appropriate level at the right time in a specific cell type.  This is the first demonstration that genes encoding proteins with related physiological role visit the same factory.In fact, the article continued, DNA itself is proving to be the most mobile thing in the nucleus, moving the genes to the hot spots where transcription occurs.  The genes almost seem to do a purpose-driven dance: “Having a common goal, such as producing all the components needed to make haemoglobin, could be a factor behind genes gravitating to a particular factory.”Golden Ratio:  The irrational number 1.61803… seems to pop up everywhere in nature: in animal proportions, the pyramids, artichoke heads, conch shells, spiral galaxies, the Mona Lisa and the Parthenon, to name a few.  Science Daily claimed that Adrian Bejan of Duke University knows why.  The ratio “describes a rectangle with a length roughly one and a half times its width.”  Bejan in his “constructal law” claims that “the eyes scan an image the fastest when it is shaped as a golden-ratio rectangle.”    The article continued: “For Bejan, vision and cognition evolved together and are one and the same design as locomotion.  The increased efficiency of information flowing from the world through the eyes to the brain corresponds with the transmission of this information through the branching architecture of nerves and the brain.”  Bejan, who believes that “vision and cognition evolved together and are one and the same design as locomotion,” said something that almost sounds new-age:It is the oneness of vision, cognition and locomotion as the design of the movement of all animals on earth…. The phenomenon of the golden ratio contributes to this understanding the idea that pattern and diversity coexist as integral and necessary features of the evolutionary design of nature.This explanation seems to beg the question of why galaxies and conch shells, which lack vision and cognition, follow this ratio, or why cognitive beings would have converged on the Golden Ratio, and what makes it golden, or satisfying, to the human spirit.  It also fails to explain from a naturalistic or evolutionary perspective what initial conditions in a big-bang explosion would have led to the ubiquity of the Golden Ratio.Update 01/07/2010: Does the Golden Ratio extend to the quantum scale?  PhysOrg reported that resonant modes of scattering neutrons display the same Golden Ratio “famous from art and architecture.”  The article added, “Such discoveries are leading physicists to speculate that the quantum, atomic scale world may have its own underlying order.”Histone code:  “Scientists Take a Step Towards Uncovering the Histone Code,” reported Science Daily.  This refers to protein tags on DNA that affect transcription and are apparently heritable and provide instructions apart from genes.  “Many biologists believe the modifications on histones are a code, analogous to the genetic code,” the article said (see also 07/26/2006, 02/17/2004).Urchin crystal power:  Sea urchins have a remarkable ability to build crystal teeth with perfectly aligned crystals.  PhysOrg explored this tantalizing phenomenon, opening with the teaser, “It’s as if grains of salt were spilled on a rug, yet instead of landing randomly, all wound up with exactly the same angle and rotation.”  The sea urchin begins with an amorphous mass of calcium carbonate like a ball of mud, and ends up with a perfect structure that is the envy of nanotechnologists.  This is achieved through crosslinks that Pupa Gilbert (U of Wisconsin-Madison) said “look exactly like Roman bridges, with long decks, and arched piers.”    What caused this remarkable order?  The article offered its explanation: “Evolution has crafted a clever means of forming hard, complicated crystals, yet the control mechanism remains to be explored.” Gilbert “still expresses wonderment at the biological solution she has observed,” the article noted.  She said, “Maybe one day we will have solar panels inspired by the lowly sea urchin.”last_img read more

Press release: Memories of the Struggle: Australians Against Apartheid an exhibition by ASAA

first_imgA multimedia exhibition that launches this week is to showcase a photographic timeline of events that weaves together a narrative of Australia’s involvement in the fight against apartheid.Premier of Gauteng Province, Mr David Makhura, is one of the people to officially open the multimedia exhibition. (Image: GCIS)Johannesburg, Monday 30 October 2017 – The Australasian South African Alliance (ASAA), in partnership with the Australian High Commission in South Africa, Brand South Africa and Constitution Hill, will launch an exhibition titled – Memories of the Struggle: Australians Against Apartheid, in Johannesburg on Thursday, 02 November 2017 at Constitution Hill at 18h30.This multimedia exhibition, to be officially opened by the Premier of Gauteng Province, Mr David Makhura and the Australian High Commissioner to South Africa, His Excellency, Mr Adam McCarthy, is a photographic timeline of events that weaves together a narrative of Australia’s involvement in the fight against apartheid.It will share insights into the Australian contribution to the collapse of apartheid, such as the ‘Stop the Tours’ movement which served to sever cricket and rugby relations with Apartheid South Africa. Such activism did not occur without political controversy or conflicts as related throughout the various sections of the exhibition.Several former activists such as• Anthony Abrahams, one of the Wallabies who campaigned against the 1971 rugby tour• Meredith Burgmann and Verity Burgmann who famously stopped the game in Sydney (where Meredith was given a two-month jail sentence)• Ken Davis and Frances Letters, who were both arrested during sporting tour protests• Jane Singleton, former Chair of the Australian National ANC Support Committee will be present at the launch and will be joined by a number of South African expats – Natalie Hendricks, Sybil Wakefield, Ish Larney, Pat Wagner – active then under the umbrella of the AAAM as well as currently under that of ASAA. Fellow compatriot, Angus Leendertz, an UCT alumnus, now resident in Sydney, is the curator of this innovative ‘step back into history and personal memories’.“Brand South Africa is honoured to be partnering with the ASAA in the execution of the exhibition, especially at such a historical place such as Constitution Hill, which symbolises South Africa’s journey to democracy”, said Brand South Africa’s CEO Dr Kingsley Makhubela.“We are indeed proud to be welcoming the exhibition within the Constitution Hill precinct which indeed serves as an effective custodian and proponent of Constitutionalism, Human Rights and Democracy in South Africa. It is a living museum where the past, present and future collide in a unique paradox that celebrates the victory of our present day democracy. A visit here leaves you forever changed with the unrelenting resolve ‘never again must one human being treat another human being in this manner, said ConHill CEO Ms Dawn Robertson.The exhibition, though focused on Australia, surfaces a largely unknown ‘history’ and narrative among the local general public of the significant roles played by social justice activists around the globe in support of the anti-apartheid struggle whether through blockades of armaments factories by workers in the UK; the vigorous divestment campaigns on campuses throughout the USA; the ‘End Bank Loans’ and ‘Boycott Outspan Oranges’ campaigns across most of Western Europe, the UK and Japan!“This celebration of activism fits so well with the current (social justice) campaigns that prove you CAN make a difference. Principled and gutsy Australians helped make a difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of South Africans”, said former Chair of the Australian National ANC Support Committee, Ms Jane Singleton.“I hope that visitors to the exhibition leave with the knowledge that Australia was, and remains today, a friend and supporter of a free and democratic South Africa”, said Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr Adam McCarthy.Media is invited as follows:High-res pictures are available on request.Date: Thursday, 02 November 2017Time: 17:00 for pre-interviews18:30 Official OpeningVenue: The Constitution Hill,11 Kotze Road, JohannesburgRSVP and for more information or to set up interviews, please see contacts below:RSVPS/Enquiries: Ntombi NtanziTel: +27 11 712 5061Mobile: +27 (0) 81 704 1488Email: ntombin@brandsouthafrica.comNotes to the EditorAbout the ExhibitionMemories of the Struggle – Australians Against ApartheidAbout Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.Join the conversation at:Follow Brand South AfricaOn Twitter: @Brand_SAOn the Official Brand South Africa Facebook account.Tell us how you Play Your Part:On Twitter: @PlayYourPartSA or via the website.last_img read more

Highlights from the North American Passive House Conference

first_imgDynamic modelingDr. Achilles Karagiozis of Owens Corning gave the closing keynote address and did so with his usual smart and funny flair. The first part of his talk was a response to Dr. Lstiburek’s keynote in Denver two years ago, where Lstiburek said that the first passive houses were igloos and that you’re probably doing something wrong if you need to use WUFI.Karagiozis, one of the developers of the WUFI software tool, responded by posing a scenario in which Lstiburek was stranded in Alaska after a helicopter crash and all he had to survive with was his laptop and WUFI. Karagiozis’s hilarious models killed Joe off two or three times before finally getting to an igloo design that worked.The real meat of Karagiozis’s talk came after the funny opening segment, when he began discussing the power of dynamic modeling compared to the static modeling usually done.When you use a tool like REM/Rate (the main home energy rating software) or PHPP (the spreadsheet modeling tool created by the German Passive House Institute), you get results for one particular set of conditions. You enter things like heating degree days and outdoor design temperatures and get numbers for how well the house performs… at those particular conditions. As the temperature and rainfall and cloudiness vary, however, from hour to hour and day to day, your model doesn’t tell you what’s happening unless you change the numbers and run it again.The German Passivhaus program relies on the static modeling of PHPP. PHIUS is still certifying projects using PHPP, but passive house consultants certified through PHIUS can choose to use WUFI Passive as an alternate modeling tool.OK, this is going deeper than I planned but you have to know something about modeling landscape to understand Karagiozis’s point. So, last year I took the WUFI 1-D class and learned a little about one-dimensional hygrothermal modeling. Briefly, it’s a way of modeling the heat and moisture flows through a building assembly. You put in the assembly details and the indoor and outdoor conditions, and then run it for whatever period of time you choose.WUFI Passive does the modeling for a whole building enclosure, assembly by assembly. It also incorporates the requirements of the Passivhaus standard so you know if the modeled home meets the requirements for certification. It’s a nice tool, and Karagiozis has great confidence in it. “I have not seen a more accurate simulation of indoor conditions than using WUFI Passive,” he said during his keynote. RELATED ARTICLES A Passivhaus Conference in Germany Joseph Lstiburek Surprises Passive House Conference AttendeesNew Passive Building Standards for North America New climate-specific standardsGraham Wright, PHIUS senior scientist, revealed the latest evolution of PHIUS’s new climate-specific standards in his talk on the first morning of the main conference. The first room he was scheduled in was way too small because this was where everyone wanted to be, so we moved back to the room where Bill Rose had recently finished giving the opening keynote presentation.Wright’s presentation (pdf) was composed of 80 slides that averaged probably more than 100 words per slide. As you might suspect, it was not a presentation to be digested and understood by the end of his 80 minutes unless, say, you’re on the PHIUS technical committee and helped do a lot of the background work. I’ve got a copy of the presentation and am slowly working my way towards a bit of a grasp of the ideas. Never having gone through the passive house training makes it more difficult. (Katrin Klingenberg gave an introduction to the standards changes a few months ago here on Green Building Advisor.)Let me try to give you a quick summary of some of the main points Wright made.Motivation: “We’re proceeding the way we are because, as experience has accumulated in different climate zones, the facts obliged us to.”Certification: Still performance based, still pass/fail.The three pillars. PHIUS is going to stick with the three main components of PH certification: airtightness, source energy, space conditioning.Airtightness: Changing from air changes per hour at 50 Pascals to cfm50/square foot of building enclosure area. The threshold will be ~0.05 cfm50/sf. (I love this change volume is the wrong metric to use here.)ERV/HRV rating protocol. Changing the “12% deduction” to other adjustments. (I have little knowledge of this one, so I can’t really say anything about it.)Source energy. Making some changes to how the calculations are done here. For more details, see the report when it’s released.Lighting and plug loads. Adjusting upward because PHPP model was too low. “Intolerable, must fix,” according to Wright’s slide.Economics. This was one of the main issues. 4.75 kBtu/sf/yr is supposed to be the economic optimum, but actual cost-effectiveness results were one of “the facts [that] obliged [PHIUS] to” look for alternatives. The variation of degree days and design temperatures through different climate zones is part of the problem here. Failure of “tunneling through the cost barrier” was another.That last point launched the tech committee’s efforts to find out what might be the best way to do this. Building Science Corporation, with funding from the DOE’s Building America program, has been helping with this work as they’ve looked at BEopt models of passive buildings in different climates.The goal of that work is to find the real optimum in cost-effectiveness. And then go beyond it. Wright’s reason for going beyond the optimum was, “Because that’s our schtick.” I’m not sure how much sense it makes to find the minimum and then go beyond it, but hey, that’s what the upcoming member comment period is for, I guess. As he pointed out in his summary, though, the goal here is “to avoid pushing people way out into diminishing returns.” Perhaps they’re following the 12-step program guideline here: Progress, not perfection.From my layperson’s vantage point, the direction they’re going with this is a good one. Martin Holladay, the Energy Nerd here at GBA, brilliantly exposed the problem with diminishing returns of Passivhaus levels of insulation with a little drawing he did a few years ago.The seven 2-inch thick sheets of under-slab insulation shown in Image #4 below will save a lot more energy when spread across seven houses than when put in one thick pile below one house. It’s not a perfect takedown, however, because those other six houses probably aren’t going to get that insulation anyway. If they do, the contrast is different.According to an update on Twitter by my friend Peter Troast, Dr. Wolfgang Feist responded to the idea of climate-specific passive house standards by saying that the physics is the same everywhere so having a single, uniform standard is fine. It’s certainly true that physics doesn’t change, but conditions change, needs change, and cost-effectiveness changes. If it were really so simple, why would ASHRAE and building codes put so much effort into developing climate zones? (Jim Meyers in Colorado made that point on Twitter yesterday, too.) Great peopleBefore I start telling you why the conference was so great, though, let me remind you that I’m on the board of directors for PHIUS. But don’t think that means I’m saying all this is great because I’m on the board. It’s actually the other way around. The 9th annual North American Passive House Conference happened two weeks ago in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. The Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) has been holding this conference every year since 2006, and it just keeps getting better.I’ve been to the last three now, and it’s one of my favorite events of the year, right up there with Building Science Summer Camp (Dr. Joe Lstiburek’s conference) and Possum Drop (the New Year’s Eve party I go to each year in Georgia). This year’s conference seemed especially good because of the direction PHIUS is taking the passive house movement in North America.center_img During the preconference sessions, I got to spend some time with my friend Jeff Reilich from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (I don’t know if I mentioned it here before, but he’s the one who once worked on a house with an 8,000 cfm range hood!) We even took off for a while one day and drove over to the ocean and the next day went up to San Rafael to see John Proctor. Not part of the NAPHC, I know, but still a nice part of the overall experience. Plus, Proctor even invited us up into his attic to see his secret lab (photo below). Every secret lab needs a nice oriental rug, you know!I think it was Jeff who said the folks at the NAPHC are the smartest and most dedicated building science folks he spends time with. During one of the sessions at last year’s conference, Joe Lstiburek leaned over to me and said, “I really like this club.”I’ve felt the same thing, and so did many others who attended this year or years past. The folks involved with this movement are doing amazing work. Great timesSo another edition of the North American Passive House Conference has come and gone. (Another conference this year, unfortunately, adopted the same name PHIUS has been using for nine years. I’m sure Martin Holladay will be writing about that one soon, since he was there.) A lot of the great building science minds were at the conference in California, and I got to go, too. It was nice catching up with old friends like Dan Perunko, Gavin Healy, and J. West (who gave a great Judas Priest karaoke performance!) and meeting a lot of new folks. It was also nice to see Bronwyn Barry of the North American Passive House Network there and meet her in real life for the first time.The venue was great! We were right across the water from the San Francisco airport, and I watched with amazement as planes took off and landed without hitting the seawall and skidding across the runway. I did see one Korean Air jet get to within 100 meters or so of the ground and then pull up and abort that attempt. Not sure what happened but they landed safely about 10 minutes later.There was much more to the conference than I’ve covered here, of course. Kat Klingenberg gave a broader overview in her blog recently. One thing she covered that I didn’t was Bill Rose’s opening keynote. He gave a sweeping review of how we got here and discussed activism, the Vietnam War, and even managed to work in a bit about abortion, making the point that we need to be able to discuss rationally things that aren’t easy to talk about. He also touched on one of my favorite topics, peak oil, and reminded me that I need to bring that back into my presentations.The PHIUS staff deserves a lot of praise for pulling this off because organizing and running a conference this big takes a lot of work. I appreciate the long hours, late nights, and early mornings they put in.I’d especially like to thank Kat Klingenberg. Without her, there might be a little bit of passive house activity in North America, but I doubt it would be anything like what we have. Now we’ve got two organizations, two conferences, a lot of activity, and some serious innovation happening. I don’t know all the details about what happened leading up to the split with PHI, but I do know that I’ve been thoroughly impressed with Kat. She understands the issues. She works hard. And she’s willing to admit when she’s made a mistake.The passive house movement is probably the most exciting area to work in the field of building science. When you push out to the edge to see just how far you can go — or should go — it’s possible to make progress that could hardly be imagined before.See you in Chicago next year! 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

Want Microsoft Office For Christmas? Sorry, Only Developers Likely To Get It

first_imgRelated Posts Microsoft said Thursday that its latest Office suite has been released to manufacturing, although consumers won’t find it under their Christmas tree.In fact, the timing of the Office release will be spread out over at least two months, which Microsoft said was necessary to allow various market segments to enjoy the best experience.Specifically, customers who purchase a Windows RT tablet Oct. 26 will receive a free preview version of Office, with only the core apps — Word, PowerPoint, Excel and the oft-overlooked OneNote.In mid-November, volume-licensing customers with Software Assurance will be able to download the Office 2013 applications as well as Office products including SharePoint 2013, Lync 2013 and Exchange 2013.That’s also when IT professionals and developers will be able to download the final version via TechNet or MSDN subscriptions, and when the new features will be available Office 365 subscribers.But consumers? Microsoft isn’t saying with any precision. A standalone download of Office will have to wait until the first quarter of 2013.Microsoft indicated the staggered rollout is deliberate.“Microsoft’s bringing their technologies to market through a wide variety of channels for organizations, IT pros, developers, and consumers and as on-premises products as well as cloud services available in retail, online and from partners,” a company representative said in an emailed statement. “The company is taking time to make sure that the experience customers get through each of these channels is excellent.”Still, the company has traditionally released its software early to developers via MSDN and TechNet; Microsoft released Windows 8 via MSDN and TechNet Aug. 15 — 69 days before the scheduled launch Oct. 25. Adding 69 days to Oct. 25 would put the Office launch on or about Jan. 2, just in time for the Consumer Electronics Show — except that Microsoft has said it won’t participate in CSE anymore.“This is the most ambitious release of Office we’ve ever done,” wrote Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of the Office division, in a blog post. “It spans the full family of Office applications, servers and cloud services. The new Office has a fresh, touch friendly design that works beautifully on Windows 8 and unlocks modern scenarios in social, reading, note-taking, meetings and communications. We are proud to achieve this milestone and are eager to deliver this exciting release to our customers.”The Office VersionsMicrosoft will sell three versions of the traditional Office suite: Home & Student ($139.99), Home & Business ($219.99), and Professional ($399.99). The first two versions will be licensed forever for either one Mac or PC, except for the Professional version, which is PC-only.Office 365 will be sold in two versions: Home Premium ($99.99 per household per year) and Small Business Premium ($149.99 per person per year). Each household that buys Office 365 Home Premium can install it on some combination of five Macs and PCs. Small businesses pay by employee – that’s just under $300 per year for two, and up from there. (Check out our earlier post on exactly what each Office version offers for what price, as well as our advice on what version to buy.)Koenigsbauer said there are more launch details to come. In the meantime, consumers can continue to try out the consumer preview before the launch, whenever it is. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Tags:#biz#Microsoft A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… markhachmanlast_img read more

Gutter Editing and the Uninflected Shot

first_imgHere’s how to use the juxtaposition of uninflected shots and the gutter between them to make a compelling edit that keeps your viewers actively engaged in the storytelling process.Top Image: L’argent via France 3 CinémaWhat is ‘The Uninflected Shot’?In his famous 1988 book, On Directing Film, David Mamet points to the uninflected shot as the crucial building block of cinematic storytelling. An uninflected shot is the opposite of a tableau shot, and contains a minimum of visual information. A shot of a hand, a spoon, a key, and a face can all be classified as uninflected.The Usual Suspects via MGMWhen an uninflected image is paired with another uninflected image, the association elicits meaning in the mind of the viewer. Mamet considers this type of editing to be more effective than turning to a Steadicam shot or single take that merely follows characters and waits for something interesting to happen. Using the juxtaposition of uninflected shots is editing 101, but is so inextricably linked to the medium of film and video that it often gets taken for granted, and remembered only for its flashiest moments.2001: A Space Odyssey via MGMThis famous graphic match in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is a juxtaposition of uninflected shots. But the bone isn’t simply a bone. It’s just become an important tool, something we wouldn’t know without the shots and ideas that preceded it.Intellectual MontageModern Times via United ArtistsAny shot of a single thing can qualify as uninflected. However, the problem with uninflected shots is that they easily slip into inflection, which is to say that they carry more meaning than the most simplified and stripped down classification.Battleship Potemkin via MosfilmThis leads us to Sergei Eisenstein’s concept of intellectual montage, which works when the latent meaning in a shot is awakened through the collision with another shot. This shot collision is a conversation between images that gives rise to new meaning in the mind of the viewer.Intellectual montage can get pretty intense, especially when text gets thrown into the mix, as evidenced in the overwhelming assassin training video in the Parallax View (1974):Parallax View via ParamountThe Kuleshov EffectLev Kuleshov, Eisenstein’s teacher for a short period of time, was another early Russian filmmaker, theorist, and a crucial experimenter with the idea of uninflected shots. He conducted a well-known experiment known as the Kuleshov effect wherein he paired three sets of static, uninflected images. Each set included the face of a man, Ivan Mosjoukine, with a separate uninflected shot.Kuleshov Effect via Paul Van BuurenThe first pairing suggests hunger. The second suggests sadness. The third suggests lust. The decoding process and resulting association of the images is left to the viewer, who actively fills in “the gutter,” or space between the images, with meaning.Comic BooksScott McCloud explores this idea of “the gutter” in his book, Understanding Comics. While the book is primarily about comic and graphic art, there are many filmmaking correlations. McCloud discusses the use of “the gutter” as a way to actively involve the reader, and in the case of movies, the viewer.from Understanding Comics via Scott McCloudWhile the image of one man swinging an axe at another man is not the most uninflected image, it does function through an important omission. The juxtaposition with a second image containing a skyline and shriek compels an association on the part of the reader, who completes the act of killing merely suggested by the two images. The famous shower sequence from Psycho (1960) works by way of a similar principle.Psycho via ParamountUsing the gutter is about leaving out information and entrusting your audience to fill in the gap. It’s about visual restraint and building narratives through simplicity. After all, the narrative power of any material is only as good as its ability to elicit involvement on the part of your viewer.L’argent via France 3 CinémaConclusionBrevity and precision in shot selection and juxtaposition is like iceberg storytelling. Hemingway’s six-word story (even if it may be an urban legend) is an example of the literary power of the uninflected shot: “For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Worn.” It’s deceptively simple and yet suggests something quite powerful by forcing the reader to fill in the gutter.As you plan out your next film or video, consider your own use of the uninflected shot. As you write your shot list and make your storyboards, consider if your shots can be simplified to elicit greater audience involvement through the power of intellectual montage.Can you be making better use of “the gutter” between shots to actively involve your audience? With single takes and “oners” on the rise, it’s easy to forget the effectiveness, and affectiveness, of a good old-fashioned cut. It doesn’t take a lot of time. It does take some planning, imagination, and a little bit of trust in your viewers.Psycho via ParamountWhat are your favorite examples of uninflected shots in film? Please share them in the comments below!last_img read more

Saradha case: CBI summons police officers

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation has summoned West Bengal Police officers Arnab Ghosh and Dilip Hazra for questioning on Wednesday in connection with the Saradha chit fund case. Both the officers have been asked to appear before the probe team at its Kolkata office. They were part of the Special Investigation Team of the State police that initially pursued the Saradha case. The CBI had also summoned senior IPS officer and former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. However, on Monday, he sent a letter to the agency seeking extra time.The agency is yet to take a call on summoning Mr. Kumar again for questioning. The Supreme Court had earlier this month withdrawn the protection granted to him against any coercive action by the CBI, which has accused him of tampering with evidence.last_img read more

Vanguardia hopes Phelp’s return helps them get over playoff hump

first_imgRather than be down, the soft-spoken mentor has every reason to feel optimistic as he expects Eugene Phelps to return for another tour of duty for the Fuel Masters in the upcoming 2017 Governors’ Cup.“Hopefully, with Eugene Phelps helping us next conference, he can help us get that first playoff win which is very elusive,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutPhoenix has made it to three straight playoffs after missing the boat in its first conference when it entered the league last season. Unfortunately, it met famed foes in all of those tries and quickly bid its title hopes goodbye.That fact isn’t lost on the mentor. Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Pumaren, Cone surprised to get techs for trying to pacify Tenorio, Romeo View comments LATEST STORIES Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia quickly shrugged off his disappointment after the Fuel Masters suffered another quarterfinal exit, this time at the hands of San Miguel, 115-96, in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.ADVERTISEMENT But this time, the man Vanguardia fondly calls “El Destructor” will once again be in the country for the long haul.“He’s lock and loaded,” he said. “He has already signed with us and is committed with us.”Phelps saw action for only a game this past conference, recording 53 points, 21 rebounds, and five blocks in Phoenix’s conference-opening 118-116 double-overtime victory over Blackwater.With Phelps in tow, Vanguardia believes that the high-scoring import is the cure to the Fuel Masters’ succession of futility.“We’re staying positive. We got to get over that hump and hopefully by next conference we get that first playoff win for Phoenix,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession cloudscenter_img Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Gameslast_img read more

Robinson’s crusade: Coach Topex says journey to PBA sometimes take long route

first_imgRobinson had the opportunity to mentor some of this year’s PBA hopefuls and took the time to share his story.“I was telling them that whatever the result of this draft is, it should not be the end of your story as a basketball player,” he told the Inquirer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief“It’s gonna be hard, realistically it’s hard,” he told the applicants. “But the question is yours to answer: How much do you want this dream to become a reality? It’s all gonna depend on you.”Robinson should know what he speaks of. He was part of the 2001 PBA draft that featured the likes of Mark Caguioa, Willie Miller and Roger Yap. Playing out of San Sebastian, he was picked in the fifth round. Generika-Ayala caps return to spotlight with third-place finish Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games openingcenter_img SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTopex Robinson had a little message for PBA Draft applicants during the draft combine on Thursday.Don’t lose faith. Sometimes, the road to one’s dreams is longer than expected.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting “I was drafted 44th (overall), I was not even signed,” he said.  “I went on to float for two years before I was given a chance.”Robinson eventually made the pros, making stops at Red Bull, Purefoods, and Alaska—he won two titles and earned an inclusion to the All-Defensive team along the way.Robinson currently is the head coach of Lyceum in the NCAA.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

MERCHANDISE SALE NOW ON

first_imgNational 18’s Championships. Stock is limited in both colour and size, so make sure you get in quick. Just go to www.myclubtouch.com.au and then click on ‘Shop’ to browse through what’s available. It’s already selling fast, so get in quick. Purchase can be made online or by emailing what you want, your credit card and postage details to ata@austouch.com.aulast_img