One question for every Warrior at the start of the 2018-2019 season

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One question for every Warrior at the start of the 2018-2019 season

first_imgTo many, the Warriors winning a third-straight title and joining the pantheon of great sports dynasties is inevitable.But that ignores two big truths: nothing is inevitable in sports and you never see the end of a dynasty coming.It’ll take months for the story of the Warriors’ 2018-19 season to be written, but as we enter the first of 82 regular-season games, I have some questions for the team’s 15-man roster.And the answers to these questions will likely dictate how this whole crazy thing …last_img read more

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Warriors HQ: Second unit struggles in first playoff series

first_imgWarriors beat writers Dieter Kurtenbach and Mark Medina break down the “scheming” plays the Los Angeles Clippers performed to expose concerning weaknesses in Golden State’s second unit. From the unconventional decision to make Patrick Beverley guard Kevin Durant to DeMarcus Cousins being consistently frustrated by the Clippers’ pick and roll plays, the pair also review some changes coach Steve Kerr may consider making going into game two.5:00: Do second unit struggles warrant more Andrew …last_img read more

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Questioning the Sanity of Big Science and Big Media

first_imgScientists arrogate to themselves the authority to diagnose insanity, but they and their friends in the mainstream media believe some pretty nutty things.Observers of Big Science (the institutions and journals) and Big Media (their lapdog publicists) learn two things real fast: (1) They hate Donald Trump, who is real, and (2) They love space aliens, who are not. Go figure.In Thursday’s presidential press conference (Feb 16), Trump told reporters that he knew they were going to twist everything he said. Sure enough, they did. From his point of view, it’s not surprising he went from calling CNN “fake news” to “very fake news.” From the reporters’ point of view, Trump is an enemy to be destroyed. Guess whose side Big Science is on? Some headlines today leave no doubt.Big Science: Trump, the Evil WackoEnsuring scientific integrity in the Age of Trump (Science Magazine). If you expect this post by seven members of the “Union of Concerned Scientists” will be fair and balanced, you don’t know Big Science. “Early indications that the Administration plans to distort or disregard science and evidence, coupled with the chaos and confusion occurring within federal agencies, now imperil the effectiveness of our government.” That’s just the second sentence. It goes downhill from there. Now guess who the good leader is, in their opinion. “Both the John McCain and Obama campaigns in 2008 committed in writing to restore scientific integrity to federal policy-making.” (Note to readers: McCain lost, Trump won, but McCain has been a constant critic of Trump. Another note: “scientific integrity” is Big Science code for giving Big Science everything it wants, paid for by taxpayers. Anything else is called “anti-science.”)The America I believe in (Hilal A. Lashuel in Science Magazine). This is a crybaby piece by a Yemenese-born Swiss Muslim, who is also a US citizen. He was inconvenienced by Trump’s temporary hold on immigrant travel to the United States from seven terror-prone countries, including Yemen. Actually, Lashuel made the decision not to try to travel to a conference, but he plays up the “ban” word for best effect to make Trump look anti-Muslim. Like most leftists, he fails to mention that the majority of Muslim nations were unaffected, and that the seven countries restricted by Trump’s executive order had previously been fingered by the Obama administration as failed states supporting terrorism, whose citizens should be restricted from immigrating to the US. But that point wouldn’t fit the leftist/globalist/open-borders narrative now, would it? Readers will look in vain for any scientist glad that Trump was taking action to protect US citizens.European science bodies ‘concerned’ about Trump (Phys.org). Why are 46 European science societies concerned about Trump? They think his views are not based on scientific facts. “The authors cited the new US president’s attempts to ban travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries and threats to stop government scientists from talking to the press or publishing findings without permission.” Actually, those claims were answered by Trump’s team: it wasn’t a ‘ban’ on Muslim countries (most Muslim countries were still allowed), but only on seven failed states that could not guarantee their people were not involved in terrorism. That’s a position both Obama and Clinton stated previously. Secondly, there was no order “to stop government scientists from talking to the press or publishing findings without permission.” That is certifiable fake news. The temporary order only applied to the EPA (which works for the President) after a sub-agency “retweeted a pair of posts to its 315,000 followers that seemed to be a swipe at Trump on his initial day in office” (Breitbart News). And it was temporary: “We’re just trying to get a handle on everything and make sure what goes out reflects the priorities of the new administration.” One would think scientists would know how to evaluate evidence before jumping to conclusions. This article provided no balance or fact-checking.Should Psychiatrists’ Weigh in on Trump’s Mental Health? (Catherine Caruso at Live Science). So deep runs the hatred of Trump among scientific institutions, they are not beyond calling him crazy. Despite the American Psychiatric Association’s “self-imposed ethics rule forbidding psychiatrists from offering professional opinions about public figures they have not personally evaluated,” Caruso writes, a group of 35 New York psychiatrists and social workers “believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president.” So by their own guidelines, they admit they have no evidence. Fortunately, Caruso mentions some others who don’t agree with this tactic. But is this response better? “Psychiatric name-calling is a misguided way of countering Mr. Trump’s attack on democracy.” Attack on democracy? [See ‘Begging the Question’ in the Baloney Detector.]Update 2/19/17: Dr. Allen Frances comes to Trump’s aid in New Scientist, saying that trying to impeach the president on medical grounds is a “terrible idea.” He strongly opposes the 24,000 psych’s who have signed a letter calling him mentally ill and unfit for office, because “armchair diagnosis cheapens its currency.” Already, “psychiatric diagnosis is already done far too casually and inaccurately in medical and mental health practice,” he says, so opponents need to use political tools, “not misapplied psychological ones.” It’s not clear if Trump, his cabinet or his supporters will fully appreciate his defense, though. Dr. Frances calls Trump “flawed” and a “world class narcissist” who represents a “present threat to peace, the global climate, rational thought and science” – and not just Trump. “Those next in line,” referring to Mike Pence, “support the same dangerous, science-denying irrationality.” One wonders who is living in the glass house here.Big Science: Space Aliens, Our Invisible FriendsAn old preacher, to illustrate the point that the problem might be one’s own fault, told a funny story about a practical joker who smeared Limburger cheese in the beard of a sleeping bum. When the bum got up and started walking around, he saw a pretty lady and said to himself, “She smells bad.” He sniffed a rose and thought it smelled terrible. After a few minutes, he exclaimed, “What’s going on? The whole world smells awful!” We have just seen institutional scientists calling Donald Trump crazy. Let’s consider the sanity of the accusers, who seem to have an insatiable fascination with invisible beings for which there is absolutely no evidence at all.For starters, we consider a report by planetary scientists who reported finding a smattering of organic compounds on the dwarf planet Ceres. What does it mean? The authors on Science Magazine say, “The combined presence on Ceres of ammonia-bearing hydrated minerals, water ice, carbonates, salts, and organic material indicates a very complex chemical environment, suggesting favorable environments to prebiotic chemistry.” No life was found, in other words; just some unidentified carbon compounds like methane, ethylene, epsom salt and other poisons – not particularly surprising, since these are often found in meteorites, too. Here’s how the suggestion of “prebiotic” chemistry echoed in Big Science Media:Life’s Building Blocks Found on Dwarf Planet Ceres (Mike Wall on Space.com). “The dwarf planet Ceres keeps looking better and better as a possible home for alien life.”Dawn spacecraft data suggest organic materials are native to the dwarf planet (Southwest Research Institute). “This discovery of a locally high concentration of organics is intriguing, with broad implications for the astrobiology community,” says one SwRI researcher. “….With this new finding Dawn has shown that Ceres contains key ingredients for life.”Dwarf planet Ceres hosts home-grown organic material (Chelsea Whyte on New Scientist). Whyte is mildly cautious, but ends with this quote by a hopeful astrobiologist from the European Space Agency: “A couple of decades ago, when talking about life in the solar system, we were focused on Mars. And now, we are more and more looking at other locations, like Saturn’s moon Titan and the subsurfaces of places like [Jupiter’s moon] Europa,” Küppers says. “And now also Ceres in the asteroid belt.” Note: over the decades, there has been no evidence of life on Mars, Titan, or Europa.Dwarf planet Ceres and the ingredients of life (Michael Küppers in Science Magazine). That same ESA astrobiologist was given an open mike in America’s leading science journal to state that salt, carbon and ammonia on this little world “opens the possibility that primitive life could have developed on Ceres itself.”Organic molecules found on giant asteroid Ceres – why that’s a such a huge deal (Monica Grady at The Conversation). Are you getting the picture that Big Science and Big Media have a nutty fascination with alien life? Grady, a professor of planetary sciences at The Open University, is no exception. With such a paucity of evidence— nowhere near the requirements for life (e.g., outside the Habitable Zone, no liquid water, insufficient heat, no genetic information, etc.)—she speculates recklessly like the other reporters above. But then, she goes beyond the others into spiritual revelry. Overcome with euphoria, she enters a trance with an extinct goddess:The combination of hot water and organic material is extremely exciting. Once you have an environment conducive to the production of organic materials – especially one that also contains the nitrogen-bearing clay minerals which are known to catalyse other reactions – it may not be a step too far to posit that Ceres had (and maybe still has) all the ingredients essential for formation of the chemicals that, on Earth, eventually led to the origin of life.Ernutet is the Egyptian goddess of fertility or nourishment. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if finding organic molecules in a crater named after her was the first indication of a non-terrestrial cradle of life?This is certifiably unscientific, if not downright insane. There is no evidence for any life beyond Earth, after searching for over half a century. But even if no life is ever found on Ceres, that wouldn’t stop Big Science’s obsessive-compulsive, manic-depressive, paranoid delusion that life must be everywhere. In their dreams, our invisible friends beckon us to join them in a galactic utopia.Prebiotic evolution: Hairpins help each other out (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich). “Life is thought to have emerged from a process of chemical evolution in which nucleic acid sequences could be selectively replicated.” Is thought? By whom? Dear reader, did you think that? Are these scientists suffering from psychological projection, attributing their own psychosis onto ordinary people? We know better. We watched Illustra’s film Origin.This Is Why Sending Messages to Aliens Might Be a Good Idea (Nancy Atkinson at Space.com). Nancy gives SETI advocate a soapbox for his idea of METI – messaging extra-terrestrial intelligence. Vakoch figures that since the space aliens already know we’re here from our inadvertent TV and radio leakage, we might as well try to be friendly. Maybe our invisible friends will be nice to us. This isn’t crazy; it’s scientific, he reasons, because we can sanctify the decision to communicate through that tried-and-true process, peer review (see 2/13/17).Does Dark Matter Harbor Life? (Nautilus). As an illustration of the extremes to which true believers in space aliens will go, look at Lisa Randall arguing that “dark life could in principle be present—even right under our noses.” Note to readers: dark matter has never been detected (e.g., Nature), and no astronomer even knows what it is.Universes that spawn ‘cosmic brains’ should go on the scrapheap (Anil Ananthaswamy at New Scientist). A logical outcome of multiverse theory (increasingly popular among secular cosmologists as a way out of the fine-tuning in our universe that suggests intelligent design) is that we are not people at all. We are actually naked brains floating in space. That’s because it’s easier for chance to spawn brains complete with false perceptions and memories (called Boltzmann brains) than real people that have to arrive through a long process of evolution. If that sounds nutty, it is – so nutty, in fact, that secular cosmologists who are aware of the problem, like Sean Carroll of Caltech, are trying to squirm out of it with highly speculative concepts like ‘cognitive instability.’ His critics think that such fancy notions are unnecessary.While tossing out unnecessary things, let’s put these on the list: dark matter, multiverses, space aliens and media bias.Does anyone think these guys are not totally wacko? What is mental illness if not being out of touch with reality? These echo-chamber troglodytes really need to get out more. Maybe take up coal mining in West Virginia, or work as a cowboy on a ranch, like Teddy Roosevelt did to clear his head after a series of personal crises. Watching people with this level of credulity call conservatives mentally ill or evil should encourage those of us with our common sense intact. The credibility of an accusation is not higher than its source. If people this nutty label you ‘anti-science,’ you have nothing to fear.Recommended resource: Spike Psarris’s 3rd DVD on “What You Are Not Being Told About Astronomy: Our Created Universe” has a clear explanation and cogent refutation of multiverse theory and Boltzmann brains. (Visited 71 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Port Elizabeth school a champion in recycling

first_imgIt takes a community when it comes to recycling and green initiatives, says Kabega Primary School, winners of the Plastics|SA 2016 Clean Up & Recycle competition.Learners at Kabega Primary School in Port Elizabeth celebrate Earth Day. The school won the Plastics|SA 2016 Clean Up & Recycle competition. (Image supplied)Melissa JavanA grandmother who brought in newspapers that she had collected at her old her age home is one of the contributors to the recycling project at Kabega Primary School in Port Elizabeth. The school recently won the Plastics|SA 2016 Cleanup & Recycle Competition.Educating peopleJacques Lightfoot, the sustainability manager at Plastics|SA, said that the initiative was founded in 2005 as The Fantastic Plastics SA school competition. In 2016, a total of 2,500 learners participated. The competition began in July and ran until October 2016, with final judging in November.“The purpose of the competition was to encourage schools, businesses and community members to get involved with Clean-up Month in September,” explained Lightfoot. “Only the projects get evaluated and we do not conduct any monitoring of the schools, as we let their projects show their success.”Participating schools had to write a short report about their initiatives and submit photographs. Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part initiative is a partner in Cleanup & Recycle, which last year had the theme “Play Your Part … Let’s Clean-Up South Africa!”One of Kabega Primary School’s initiatives is cleaning up the river and the beach. Gideon Labuschagne and Bianca Deysel are part of the initiative to collect water for farmers in the Free State, during drought. (Image supplied)The winnersThe top three schools were Kabega Primary in Port Elizabeth, Vaalpark Primary in Vaalpark, and Kragbron Primary in Witbank, Mpumalanga.Winning organisations were Clean-up & Recycle Klerksdorp in North West, Fichardt Park Neighbourhood Association in Free State, and Greater Tygerberg Partnership in Bellville, Western Cape.Lightfoot said in a press release that entries were judged based on how many participants were involved in the respective projects. “[We judged] whether they managed to involve their community.”Kabega Primary School principal Andrew Jonas (left) with Grade 1 learners Natalie de Jager, Cloe Jantjies, Gareth van Heerden and Tanya de Kock, as well as deputy principal Corrie van Eck; the school received a bench from Plastics|SA as winners of the Plastics|SA 2016 Cleanup & Recycle Competition. (Image supplied)Lightfoot added: “Kabega Primary was a clear winner and stood out for us because of the amount of recycling and other environmental and sustainability work it does … It is an amazing school that is clearly dedicated to making a difference in its environment as it organised clean-ups in Baakens River Valley, Willows and Seaview.”It’s not about the competitionAdele Botha, co-ordinator of the green projects at Kabega Primary School, said they had been undertaking green initiatives for the past four years. The school, for example, used a solar geyser.It had an enviro-committee consisting of teachers who organised the projects and wrote regular reports on the initiatives. “The whole school takes part in our green initiatives,” said Botha.Learners collected things such as bottles, lids and plastic bags, which they brought to school. “We have a group of Grade 6 learners who are in charge of making sure the recycling station stays clean,” she added.Recycling should be a lifestyle, which was why the school got the parents and the community involved. “The older generation are being taught by the children to do the right thing. This is really life-changing. We are not doing this to be in a competition.”Botha said the surrounding community got involved in their initiatives, even the police. They were trying to get better at cleaning up their environment every year. “We also do regular beach and river clean-ups.”AchievementsThey had been working with The Waste Trade Company in Port Elizabeth for four years, Botha said. “They have 230 schools that do recycling. For the four quarters of 2015 and 2016 we were the winning school. For the last quarter of 2016, we recycled material of 12,990kg.”In November 2016, they won the Eastern Cape’s Top Green Award for small business. “For the past three years we have represented the Eastern Cape in the Sasol Enviro Quiz in Gariep.”Kabega Primary has also undertaken a project with the Sweethearts Foundation. For this, the learners and community collect plastic bread clips. For every 50,000 of these bread clips, one wheelchair is donated to a child in need.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

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Providing Fresh Air in Our Home

first_imgOne of the features in our new house that I’m most excited about barely raises an eyebrow with some of our visitors: the ventilation system. I believe we have the highest-efficiency heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) on the market — or at least it’s right up there near the top.I’ll describe this Zehnder HRV and its impressive specifications and features — but not until next week. This week I’ll provide a little background on ventilation. Ventilation optionsVentilation can take many different forms. Very generally, systems can be categorized into about a half-dozen generic types:No ventilation. This is almost certainly the most common option in American homes. There is no mechanical system to remove stale indoor air (and moisture) or bring in fresh outside air. In the distant past, when buildings weren’t insulated, this strategy worked reasonably well — relying on the natural leakiness of the house.It’s worth noting, though, that even a leaky house doesn’t ensure good ventilation. For this strategy to work there has to be either a breeze outside or a significant difference in temperature between outdoor and indoors. Either of these conditions creates a pressure difference between indoors and out, driving that ventilation. On calm days in the spring and summer, there might be very little air exchange even in a really leaky house.Natural ventilation. In this rather uncommon strategy, specific design features are incorporated to bring in fresh air and get rid of stale air. One approach is to create a solar chimney in which air is heated by the sun, becomes more buoyant, and rises up and out through vents near the top of the building; this lowers the pressure in the house, which draws fresh air in through specially placed inlet ports. The rest of this blog will focus on mechanical ventilation.Exhaust-only mechanical ventilation. This is a relatively common strategy in which small exhaust fans, usually in bathrooms, operate either continuously or intermittently to exhaust stale air and moisture generated in those rooms. This strategy creates a modest negative pressure in the house, and that pulls in fresh air either through cracks and other air-leakage sites or through strategically placed intentional make-up air inlets. An advantage of this strategy is simplicity and low cost. A disadvantage is that the negative pressure can pull in radon and other soil gases that we don’t want in houses.Supply-only ventilation. As the name implies, a fan brings in fresh air, and stale air escapes through cracks and air-leakage sites in the house. The air supply may be delivered to one location, dispersed through ducts, or supplied to the ducted distribution system of a forced-air heating system for dispersal. A supply-only ventilation system pressurizes a house, which can be a good thing in keeping radon and other contaminants from entering the house, but it risks forcing moisture-laden air into wall and ceiling cavities where condensation and moisture problems can occur.Balanced ventilation. Much better ventilation is provided through a balanced system in which separate fans drive both inlet and exhaust airflow. This allows us to control where the fresh air comes from, where that fresh air is delivered, and from where exhaust air is drawn. Balanced ventilation systems can be either point-source or ducted. With ducted systems, it makes sense to deliver fresh air to spaces that are most lived in (living room, bedrooms, etc.) and exhaust indoor air from places where moisture or pollutants are generated (bathrooms, kitchen, hobby room).Balanced ventilation with heat recovery. If there are separate fans to introduce fresh air and exhaust indoor air, it makes a lot of sense to locate these fans together and include an air-to-air heat exchanger so that the outgoing house air will precondition the incoming outdoor air. This air-to-air heat exchanger — more commonly referred to today as a heat-recovery ventilator or HRV — is the way to go in colder climates. A slightly different version, known as an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV), is similar but transfers moisture as well as heat from one airstream to the other, keeping more of the desirable humidity in the house in the winter and reducing the amount of humidity introduced from outdoors in the summer. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. In 2012 he founded the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. RELATED ARTICLES Designing a Good Ventilation System GBA Encyclopedia: Ventilation ChoicesAre HRVs Cost-Effective?HRV or ERV?A New Way to Duct HRVsVentilation Rates and Human HealthHow Much Fresh Air Does Your Home Need? Joseph Lstiburek: Just Right and Airtightcenter_img Tight homes need mechanical ventilationI’ll focus more on HRVs in next week’s blog, especially our new high-efficiency Zehnder system. Following that I’ll address why commissioning an HRV is so important and how that’s done — or at least how it was done with our system.I’m a firm believer that all homes should have mechanical ventilation. With better-insulated, tighter homes, that ventilation is all the more important. But even in a very leaky house, one can’t count on bringing in much fresh air or calm days in the spring and fall when there isn’t a pressure differential across the building envelope.If budgets allow, going with balanced ventilation is strongly recommended, and if you’re doing that in a relatively cold climate, like ours, then providing heat recovery is a no-brainer. Mechanical ventilation always takes energy; with heat recovery the energy penalty of fresh air is minimized. Why ventilate?For centuries homes weren’t ventilated, and they did all right, didn’t they? Why do we need to go to all this effort (and often considerable expense) to ventilate houses today?There are several reasons that ventilation is more important today than it was long ago. Most importantly, houses 100 years ago were really leaky. Usually they didn’t have insulation in the walls, so fresh air could pretty easily enter through all the gaps, cracks, and holes in the building envelope.Also, the building materials used 100 years ago were mostly natural products that didn’t result in significant offgassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, flame retardants, and other chemicals that are so prevalent in today’s building materials, furnishings, and belongings.last_img read more

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Lawyers protest arrest of Nagpur advocate Surendra Gadling

first_imgLawyers from the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers have expressed their concern over the arrest of advocate Surendra Gadling from his house in Nagpur, alleging an attack on lawyers who are fighting cases of marginalised people.Mr. Gadling has been arrested in relation with the violence at Bhima Koregaon near Pune when Dalits congregated to celebrate the British victory over Peshwas with the help of Mahar soldiers.Addressing the media here on Thursday, IAPL vice-president Sudha Bharadwaj said that the sudden arrest was part of a pattern where “people’s lawyers” are being targeted, in violation of the widely-held norm that “being a lawyer of a political prisoner is not a crime”.A release by the IAPL said that this is part of a larger pattern: advocates Upendra Nayak of Odisha, Murugan of Tamil Nadu and Satyendra Chaubey of Chhattisgarh “have all been implicated in the cases of their own clients, which is absolutely unacceptable as per United Nations principles on the role of lawyers”.“In the morning of June 6, 2018, the Pune Police arrested senior advocate Surendra Gadling from his house in Nagpur at 6 a.m. The arrest has been made in connection with an FIR registered on January 8, 2018 at Vishrambaug PS in Pune. The FIR originally alleged inciting communal harmony at the Elgar Parishad program organised on December 31, 2018 to commemorate 200 years of the victory of Mahar soldiers over the Peshwa in the Bhima Koregaon battle,” the release said. “In March 2018, the case was converted into a criminal conspiracy. On April 17, 2018, though the FIR did not originally name advocate Gadling, the police raided his house and office and confiscated all possible CDs, hard disks, computer systems – including the family’s devices. Yesterday he and other intellectuals and activists were arrested in the same case, by adding several sections of the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), which ensures long detention and difficulty in obtaining bail.”Apart from Mr. Gadling, head of the English department at Nagpur University Shoma Sen, Marathi poet Sudhir Dhavale, Rona Wilson of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners and anti-displacement activist Mahesh Raut have also been arrested.“The bias of the state is all the more obvious when the leaders of Hindutva organisations named in many complaints and FIRs as instigators of the Bhima Koregaon violence – Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide – whose anticipatory bail applications have been refused by even the Supreme Court, still roam free,” the release said.last_img read more

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