Another $150,000 for Passivhaus

first_imgCabinets are expected to cost an additional $22,000, to go along with $10,000 to make it universally accessible, and almost $16,000 to change the site to behind the current fire hall. Senior management also made the decision to build it to certify with German Passivhaus Standards, which brings a $44,000 price tag, plus the additional cost of specific “certified” building material. “We could have built it without the certification, but built it Passivhaus-like, but really because it’s a demonstration project, we really lose a lot of status that comes with it if you don’t go for the full certification to prove that you can do it in Fort St. John,” argues Hunter. In addition to all that, some of the costs like excavation and crane fees that were already approved were higher than expected, to the tune of over $22,000. All together, based on the original scope of the project, it is approximately $40,000 over budget, and the completed project cost with the extra work is expected to be $490,000. Despite that, it’s believed the house will still achieve council’s goal of having it cost no more per square foot than a standard house in Fort St. John. Advertisement “When you build this house this far north, there’s lessons that you learn,” admits Ackerman. “We believe that we have built a good example of how it will work.” Once finished, the Passivhaus would be the most northern in Canada, matched worldwide only by one in Finland. $300,000 was originally included in the 2013 Capital Budget, and the additional $150,000 will come from the Fair Share Reserve. Council only decided in late April that the house will be used as a temporary living area and recruitment incentive for new employees for the first year, and be turned into a single family home. “In order for us to encourage others who are building homes and developers to take this route, to get the real return on the investment, to see what that’s going to be, you need to have a family living in there,” maintains Mayor Lori Ackerman. – Advertisement -However, City Manager Dianne Hunter explains that meant the addition of work like cabinets, appliances, and furniture to the original plan. “Once council made the decision that we would like to put a family in there, and monitor its energy consumption,” she says, “then of course we realized we needed to put a kitchen in there, and then finish it and bring it up to occupancy permit stage.” Advertisementlast_img read more

White Blood Cells Walk to Infection on Tiny Legs

first_img51; How do white blood cells know where to go when infection strikes?  The cells have tiny little feet and crawl like millipedes, against the blood stream, if necessary, following signals from the infection site.  When they arrive, more signals tell them where to slip through the cells of the blood vessel to get to the job.  This amazing story was reported by Science Daily based on a press release from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel (see Wiezmann Wonder Wander).  Here’s how they described this phenomenon:How do white blood cells – immune system ‘soldiers’ – get to the site of infection or injury?  To do so, they must crawl swiftly along the lining of the blood vessel – gripping it tightly to avoid being swept away in the blood flow – all the while searching for temporary ‘road signs’ made of special adhesion molecules that let them know where to cross the blood vessel barrier so they can get to the damaged tissue.    In research recently published in the journal Immunity, Prof. Ronen Alon and his research student Ziv Shulman of the Weizmann Institute’s Immunology Department show how white blood cells advance along the length of the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels.  Current opinion maintains that immune cells advance like inchworms, but Alon’s new findings show that the rapid movement of the white blood cells is more like that of millipedes.  Rather than sticking front and back, folding and extending to push itself forward, the cell creates numerous tiny ‘legs’ no more than a micron in length – adhesion points, rich in adhesion molecules (named LFA-1) that bind to partner adhesion molecules present on the surface of the blood vessels.  Tens of these legs attach and detach in sequence within seconds – allowing them to move rapidly while keeping a good grip on the vessels’ sides.The press release went on to say that these legs don’t just walk.  They act as probes as they press into the epithelial tissue lining the vessels.  The force of blood actually forces them to embed their little legs into the tissue as a way to sense the location of the damaged tissue and make their way to it.  “The scientists believe that the tiny legs are trifunctional:,” the article said: “Used for gripping, moving and sensing distress signals from the damaged tissue.”A reader found an animation of this at Harvard BioVisions.  Click on the media file labeled “Extravasation” and it will show you some of the parts and processes involved.    It’s uncanny how the actions of these cells lacking a brain, muscles or central nervous system can act so precisely and effectively, they can be compared to multicellular organisms with all those systems.  You can almost visualize these cells like ambulance crew members or soldiers in specially designed vehicles able to cling to attachment points against the flow of traffic.  They seem so well trained and effective, it looks like they do what they do on purpose.  What a concept.(Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Glenn Harsh, Oct. 29

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Harvest is progressing well. We are within a day of being done with soybeans. Unfortunately that is in about five or six little fields.We started on corn, but we have a ways to go. So far yields are very good. I had a couple of poorer fields that got planted later and they were right around 50 bushels. The rest of my fields have been in the 60s with some fields going 68 or 69 bushels so the yields were very good for the vast majority of the soybeans. We have only done a couple of corn fields. One was the north side of 200 and the other one we really pushed this year and it was over 250. I am interested to see what our more average fields are doing, but we haven’t made it that far yet.We got .9-inch of rain at the home farm over the weekend. I’m not sure other farms got quite that much. With being on tracks, we are going to a farm with a gravel entrance we can park the trucks on that we are going to try later this afternoon.The first field of beans I took off had some stink bug damage. We got out of that until some of the later fields where we found some more stink bug damage. These fields were scouted and they must have come in really late in the season. It was a little disheartening when you try to scout through the season and then you see something still come in and do damage to your crop. For us it was not a major issue, though. We may have had a couple of loads that could have had some issues if we were hauling them in, but we are not in too bad of shape. I have heard about some loads getting rejected and we haven’t had anything to that magnitude.We had to haul some landlord crop in last week and we were limited on which elevators we went to. They got us through fairly quickly. We did have to wait maybe an hour or an hour and a half on some loads. We have enough bins that we can hold almost everything and we don’t have to mess with it a whole lot.We are getting the cover crops seeded with a hi-boy in the corn. I can see each of the species growing out there in the six-way mix and that is looking good. Behind the soybeans we use a Turbo-Seeder behind soybeans and the first cover crop that we put in is coming up there also.last_img read more

Wolfram Alpha’s $50 iPhone App: Too Expensive or Worth the Extra Money for the Premium Experience?

first_imgfrederic lardinois When Wolfram Research released its iPhone app for Wolfram Alpha earlier this week, most of the attention quickly shifted away from the features of the app itself and towards the high price of the app. At $49.99, Wolfram Alpha is far more expensive than most apps in the App Store today, where only a small number of highly specialized apps sell for more than $9.99. Today, we got a chance to discuss Wolfram’s pricing strategy with Schoeller Porter, the product manager for Wolfram Alpha’s iPhone app.Early ReactionsOnTwitter and in the tech blogosphere, the reactions to the app’s price were anything but subtle. We called it “too expensive” ourselves, though others had strongerwords for it. MIT’s Technology Review called it a “a pricey online calculator for geeks” – a product that’s more like the expensive but immensely powerful Mathematica than Stephen Wolfram’s original idea for Alpha (“Wolfram|Alpha aims to bring expert-level knowledge and capabilities to the broadest possible range of people”). It is worth noting that the Wolfram Alpha app quickly appeared in the list of top 100 grossing apps in the iTunes App Store (iTunes link) and has been hovering at the lower end of the top 50 ever since. That doesn’t make it a breakout hit, but some people are clearly buying the app, even though only a small number of users have left reviews. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#mobile#Product Reviews#Trends#web Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement A Premium Price for a Premium ExperienceThere can be little doubt that the Wolfram Alpha team was expecting some backlash. As Porter told us today, the Wolfram Alpha team decided to price the app with the cost of a hardware graphing calculator in mind. At $50, the app costs roughly half of what a hardware calculator would cost. As Porter also stressed, the app offers a far superior range of features thanks to its connection to Wolfram’s server farm. The company thinks this price is justified because of the superior experience of using the app over the mobile website. After using the app for a few days, we definitely have to agree there. The dual-keyboard solution makes entering queries in the app much easier than using the mobile site and accessing Wolfram Alpha from the app is also much faster then using the mobile site. Porter noted that Wolfram is trying to set itself off from the mass of $0.99 apps that only get used once and are quickly forgotten. Instead, the company hopes that the app will become a regular companion for its users, whether they are using it for help with their homework in school or college, or in their professional life.At the end of the day, this is an app for specialists. While Schoeller Porter worded this more carefully in our interview today, the basic fact is that Wolfram is charging a premium price for a premium experience. Users who don’t need the app can continue to use the website, while those who are willing and able to spend $50 on the app will get a superior experience. For the time being, Wolfram doesn’t expect to bring the price of the app down and so far, according to Porter, the team has been happy and excited about how the app has been performing in the marketplace.The Price of iPhone AppsThis also leads into a broader discussion about the current pricing in the iPhone App Store, where even the most complex apps and games have to sell for under $10 to reach a wide audience. At the end of our discussion, Porter noted that the Wolfram app may lead to some changes here, though we have to wonder if anything is likely to change the current drift towards lower prices in the App Store. It is also worth pointing out, though, that a lower price point opens up the market for an app to a far wider audience – often to the point where the lower price brings in exponentially more users and more than offsets any potential losses from the lower price. What Do You Think?Is Wolfram’s price point for the iPhone app a bold move? Hubris? Or would you be happy to pay $50 for the superior experience and ergonomics of the app? What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

3 Rules for Shooting Action Sequences

first_imgShooting action sequences takes a special set of technical and creative skills. Here’s how to get it right every time.Most genres have distinct looks to them — whether it’s the bright skin tones of comedy films, back-lit silhouettes in horror, or pale green color palettes often associated with sci-fi. But perhaps the most distinct looking genre of them all is action.There are exceptions to every rule, and you should never shoot a certain way just because that’s what other filmmakers do. Though as a starting point, it’s helpful to learn the fundamentals of constructing a scene in any given genre (in this case action) so you can eventually put your own spin on it.So before you go out and shoot your next action piece, be sure to consider these key points to make sure you’re getting the best result:Contrast is KingAn action film without contrast would be like a comedy with no jokes. Action movies need to look intense and edgy, and one of the best ways to achieve this feel is by creating a lot of visual contrast in your scenes.Always be on the lookout for ways to add contrast while shooting. Frame your shots to capture higher dynamic range scenes. Light those same shots to get your shadows darker and highlights brighter. And in post, color grade accordingly to maximize the work you’ve done on set.Change your Shutter SpeedMost of us have had it drilled into our heads that we should always shoot with a 180 degree shutter. For those of you that shoot on DSLRs, that effectively means you want your shutter speed to be double that of your frame rate. So at 24p, you’d set your shutter to 1/48 (or 1/50).That said, many action sequences call for you to bend the rules and crank up your shutter speed. Rather than shooting at 1/48, try shooting at 1/125 and see what happens. Every movement will become more pronounced and even subtle camera moves will be intensified.Here’s a helpful video from Smiv that touches on the ins and outs of shutter speed. Keep Your Shots TightIn many cases, tighter shots make for more intense visuals – so whenever possible, frame for closeups. The longer the lens, the more intense a moment will feel as your characters fill up more of the frame and their actions appear subsequently larger and more powerful.You’ll still want to get your usual wide shot coverage, just like with any other production. But when shooting an action film, always try to get an abundance of closeups and extreme closeups so you have an easier time in the editing room.Want to learn more about cinematography? Check out these articles from PremiumBeat:7 Iconic Hollywood Cinematography TechniquesCinematography Tips: Light Your Scene With A Single Light5 Ways to Improve Your Cinematography Right Now!Got any other action techniques you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more