H-DNL football: State and section stat leaders, plus a look at division rankings

first_imgMore than a few athletes — and teams — across the Humboldt-Del Norte League have filled the stat-sheet up through four games this football season.The numbers posted by the North Coast’s finest in 2019 have been downright prolific — and puts the athletes and teams who hold them among the elite in the North Coast Section, and state.St. Bernard’sSt. Bernard’s has one of the most dynamic offenses in the nation — that’s no opinion, just look at the numbers.Through four games St. Bernard’s (4-0) …last_img read more

Reading the box while eating my Cheerios

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I enjoyed a bowl of Cheerios one recent morning as I scanned the marketing content on the box. From experience, I’ve learned you should take what you see on a cereal box with a grain of salt. Pretty much like reading a newspaper or watching the evening news.I trace this skepticism back to my boyhood, when a cereal box in our pantry caught my eye with the promise of a free B-52 bomber model inside. The picture had me hook, line and sinker. Though my mother had already opened another box of cereal, I couldn’t resist. I opened the new box when she wasn’t looking. I had to have that B-52 right then. Naturally, the plane was buried at the bottom of the box. So, being an enterprising child, I dumped all the cereal out.And what a disappointment! The bomber had a pitiful two-inch wingspan. Definitely not what I envisioned — and not worth the fast talking I had to reel off to avoid a spanking.As a boy, I was a fan of “The Breakfast of Champions.” I looked forward to seeing who would be the next athlete featured on the front of the Wheaties box. I probably defeated the wholesomeness of the cereal when I spooned a huge dollop of brown sugar on top but not stirred in. Over it, I poured enough milk to require a bowl with sideboards. I was fussy like James Bond requesting a martini — dry with a twist of lemon, shaken but not stirred. Regardless of my morning ritual, those were the days of true champions — individuals who accomplished impressive feats. Not like today when every child gets a trophy, win or lose.But I digress, as you know only I can.Back to those little Os of oats that I now enjoy for breakfast, without added sugar. Prominently featured on the front of the box, like that B-52, is a heart with the message “Can help lower cholesterol.” (Looking back, I wonder what the Breakfast of Champions did for my heart health).I’ve read research that Cheerios can help lower your blood cholesterol. But before I switched breakfast cereals I had to weigh the fact that cholesterol is the basic material from which hormonal estrogens and testosterone compounds are synthesized. So, did I want to lower cholesterol at the possible risk of compromising my testosterone?Here’s some other information I’ve gleaned from the Cheerios box and the Cheerios website — with a well-rounded spoonful of commentary added:“First ingredient whole grain oats,” and followed by …“Simply made gluten free.” Now, wait a minute! Since when did oats ever contain gluten protein? Never. However, the Cheerios website includes a page about when Cheerios were recalled in 2016 due to “an incident that occurred at our production facility in Lodi, California, that allowed wheat flour to enter our gluten-free oat-based system.”“We have committed to sustainably source 100% of our cereal boxes by 2020.” What does “sustainably sourced” cereal boxes mean? Will General Mills own a tree farm and plant their quota of new trees every year? Or will they convert sawdust from a furniture factory to boxes? Or could they develop a box you can eat after the cereal’s gone? The General Mills website reports, “General Mills is among the largest users of post-consumer recycled paper packaging in the United States, and continues to implement innovative packaging solutions to help reduce its overall environmental footprint.”No added colors. (I guess that eliminates competition with Froot Loops.) By the way, have you ever eaten Froot Loops by sorting out the different colors to determine the difference in taste between colors? I will save you the effort, there isn’t!Contains no genetically modified grain. Of course, like gluten-containing oats, genetically modified oats don’t exist. And as the Cheerios website states: “We don’t use genetically modified ingredients in original Cheerios. Our principal ingredient has always been whole grain oats – and there are no GMO oats. We use a small amount of corn starch in cooking, and just one gram of sugar per serving for taste. But our corn starch comes from non-GMO corn, and we use only non-GMO pure cane sugar.”Most of the oats used in cereal are grown in Canada. Oats are ideal for the short growing season of northern climates. In an online General Mills interview, Canadian farmers say they consider producing oats as part of their patriotic duty. Indeed, I am impressed by their commitment. The one thing that I can assure you about breakfast: It’s the most important meal of the day. Because, if you aren’t home in time for breakfast, you’re in trouble!last_img read more

Why Don’t More HVAC Contractors Own Duct Leakage Testers?

first_imgCan you spare $1,124?I’m not an HVAC contractor, but if I were, I’d definitely own a duct leakage tester. They’re not really that expensive, as the prices have come down significantly in recent months. TruTech Tools is selling them for a little over a thousand dollars. Just 3 years ago, I bought one for nearly two grand.Some people call me a purist because of my stands on issues like this. I guess I am, in a way. I also believe in following Steve Martin’s advice: “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”In this changing environment for HVAC and homebuilding, you’ve got to be good. Ducts must be tested at the end of the jobHere’s another compelling reason for contractors to own duct testers: The Energy Star new homes program now requires the duct leakage test to be done at the final inspection, not rough-in. With Revision 06, footnote 17 in theHVAC System Quality Installation Rater Checklist says:“Duct leakage shall be determined and documented by a Rater using a RESNET-approved testing protocol only after all components of the system have been installed including the air handler, the ductwork, the duct boots, and the register grilles atop the finished surface (e.g., drywall, carpeting, flooring).” If you own your own testing equipment, you’ll be ready for inspectionBack to the original question now: why don’t more HVAC contractors own duct leakage testers? If they’re installing ducts, they really should ensure that the ducts have been installed and sealed properly. If a third party is going to come in when the house is complete and test for duct leakage, it only makes sense for the contractor to test at rough-in so they know they’ll pass at final.I realize that there’s a lot of pressure on HVAC contractors working in new construction to keep their prices rock-bottom. Now, with building codes raising the standards, they’re being pulled in the other direction, too. It’s almost like homebuilders and code officials are doing an experiment to determine the tensile strength of HVAC contractors. And just in case that isn’t clear enough, they wrote this in the Revision 06 Highlights:“To clarify, duct leakage testing must occur when the duct system is in its final state, which is to say after all components of the system have been installed including the air handler, the ductwork, the duct boots, and the register grilles atop the finished surface (e.g., drywall, carpeting, flooring). A leakage test at “rough-in” does not meet this intent, though may be helpful for identifying leaks that need sealing.” [Emphasis added.]I think this is a great change in the program because I’ve always had a problem with using a rough-in duct leakage test as the final result, which many HERS raters have done. Testing at rough-in is a great idea because you can catch problems before they become much more difficult and expensive to fix. Once the drywall goes up, access becomes a big issue. But as Energy Star now realizes, a rough-in test is not good enough to use in a home energy rating. RELATED ARTICLES center_img Duct Leakage TestingSealing Ducts: What’s Better, Tape or Mastic?Pinpointing Leaks With a Fog MachineHow to Track Down Leaks in Forced-Air DuctworkKeeping Ducts IndoorsThou Shalt Commission Thy Ducts! HVAC contractors own a lot of equipment. Of course, they have pressure gauges to test refrigerant charge in air conditioners and heat pumps, and many more pieces of technical equipment. One piece that few contractors own, however, is a duct leakage tester.With more and more state energy codes requiring duct leakage tests, doesn’t it seem obvious that HVAC contractors need to be like plumbers and test their own work before passing it off? Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a RESNET-accredited energy consultant, trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard blog.last_img read more

Going High-Tech With an Induction Cooktop

first_imgDrawbacks of induction cooktopsFerrous metal cooking vessels required. Aluminum, copper, and some stainless steel cookware won’t work, so buyers of induction cooktops may have to invest in new pots and pans. Use a magnet; if it sticks to the bottom of the pot, it will work on an induction cooktop. Fortunately, there are lots of options, including plenty that are reasonably affordable.High cost. While the cost of induction cooktops has dropped in the last few years, they are still pricey. We spent $1,400 on our 30-inch KitchenAid Architect Series II induction cooktop, and the list price of that model is $1,849. A comparable KitchenAid standard electric cooktop (non-induction) lists for $1,299. The high cost of induction today is partly because of the induction technology, and partly because induction is only available in the high-end product lines from appliance manufacturers. I think the cost will come down and induction gains popularity and spreads into lower-priced product lines.Health concerns? There is some concern that the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) created by induction cooktops could be hazardous. I understand that the field drops off (attenuates) very quickly with distance from the cooktop, though I haven’t borrowed a gauss meter to actually measure EMFs from our cooktop. I haven’t read credible reports of health problems from induction cooking, but discovering a problem can’t be ruled out. What is induction?Without getting into too much physics, induction (electromagnetic induction), which was discovered in the early 1800s by Michael Faraday, is the process in which a circuit with alternating current (AC) flowing through it induces current in a material placed nearby. It is key to the functioning of induction (asynchronous) motors and most electric generators.In the case of induction cooking, there’s an electric coil under the glass surface of the cooktop through which AC electricity flows. This current, in turn, generates current in a ferrous metal (iron or steel) pan that’s very close to it (separated by the glass cooktop). Electromagnetic current flows through the bottom of the pan, but because iron and steel aren’t very good electrical conductors, that electric current is converted into heat. In physics lingo, that’s electric resistance heat (since the material resists the flow of electric current).The result is that the pan or skillet heats up and transfers that heat to whatever is being cooked. So, in effect, the pan becomes the heat source.If you have a rice cooker, you’re probably already using induction cooking, since that’s how most rice cookers work. So, for our new house we bought a KitchenAid induction cooktop for our kitchen island. I had wanted to go with the technology leader, Miele, but at about $2,500 for Miele’s 30-inch model, the cost was just too high for our budget. Even the much less expensive KitchenAid version stretched our budget considerably. Deciding on inductionWe were surprised back in the late ’80s how quickly we adjusted to an electric cooktop. It’s not as controllable as gas, but we made do just fine for 25 years. Nonetheless, friends always complained about electric cooktops being too slow or not controllable enough, so we wanted to try out the electric option that top chefs are increasingly turning to: induction. RELATED ARTICLES An Induction Cooktop for Our KitchenAll About Microwave OvensSaving Energy In the KitchenChoosing an Energy-Efficient RefrigeratorMakeup Air for Range HoodsEMFs and Human Health Advantages of induction cookingSpeed and controllability. Because the pan generates the heat directly, induction cooking is very fast — heating up immediately when turned on and cooling down immediately when the current is reduced or turned off. Heat output can be adjusted even more quickly than with gas burners.Energy efficiency. Induction cooktops are the most efficient of any option. According to a study done by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy, gas cooktops are about 40% efficient, electric-coil and standard smooth-top electric cooktops are 74% efficient, and induction cooktops are 84% efficient (see Table 1.7, page 1-22). Before you get all excited, though, be aware that cooking accounts for less than 3% of average household energy consumption — so don’t expect an attractive payback for the extra cost of an induction cooktop!Less waste heat. Another aspect of that energy efficiency is greater summertime comfort. We’ve only been in our house for a couple months so haven’t used it in hot weather (that’s for sure!), but a friend who has an induction cooktop raves about the summertime benefit of not heating up his kitchen as much as he used to with a gas cooktop.Safety. Induction cooktops, like other electric cooking elements, avoid combustion and gas lines, so are inherently safer than gas burners. But induction cooktops go further, dropping a piece of paper on a cooktop that’s on can’t cause a fire. In fact, as shown in the photo, you can cook with a piece of paper between the cooktop and the pot (though doing so probably isn’t a good idea). The electromagnetic induction happens through the paper.center_img 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. The bottom lineI like our induction cooktop a lot. I’ve only had one frustrating experience: the time last month when I set out to make a big batch of chili for an office gathering and discovered that the largest of the skillets in our cookware set doesn’t work with induction elements, even though all the others do. I’m assuming that because the diameter of that pan is so large, the manufacturer used a disk of aluminum or copper, rather than steel, to conduct the heat to the edges more evenly.Overall, my wife and I are very pleased with induction, though it does take some getting used to. We got a rimless model, and the black ceramic-glass surface blends in quite well with the black Richlite countertop material. One of our early decisions in the planning for our farmhouse renovation/re-build was to avoid any fossil fuels. If the State of Vermont can have a goal to shift 90% of our energy consumption to renewable sources by 2050, we should be able to demonstrate 100% renewables for our house today.That decision meant using electricity, rather than propane, for cooking. Electric cooking was actually a very easy decision for us. Roughly 25 years ago, when our daughters were very young, my wife and I replaced our gas range with a smooth-top electric range. I had read too many articles about health risks of open combustion in houses; I didn’t want to expose our children to those combustion products.And I knew that even the best outside-venting range hoods don’t remove all of the combustion products generated when cooking with gas.last_img read more

Reality vs. Cinematic Reality

first_imgAt the exact opposite end of the “attempted reality” spectrum: the hacking sequences of Skyfall. Even when working in cinematic reality, you can go too far. That’s precisely what happens when a computer virus plays out in front of the audience as a bizarre animated sequence.Image: Skyfall via Sony PicturesThese over-the-top scenes actually take the audience out of the film. Even a person with limited computing knowledge knows a program like that doesn’t exist. It’s best to take a more subtle approach with operating systems.A fictional OS can certainly and simply look cool, but it still needs to come across as practical and interactive. This is where Marvel tends to excel. Not only do the basic operating systems in the Marvel Cinematic Universe seem functional, even the more outlandish displays (like Iron Man’s HUD) still work in their cinematic reality.Left image via Shutterstock. Right image: Iron Man 2 via Marvel EntertainmentAll that said, sometimes going too far can be fun. Need proof? Just ENHANCE the video below.The final takeaway: you don’t need to make your film too realistic. This rule doesn’t only apply to sets. Stunt coordinators often talk about getting the best-looking fight for the camera. Even a period piece will stretch the truth. Does it really matter that your film set in 1971 uses a song from 1973? No! The audience was still emerged in the time, and that’s all that matters.What are your favorite examples of a fleshed-out cinematic realities? Share them in the comments below! Cinematic reality describes a world that is grounded in reality, but exaggerates details to make for a more exciting movie. To learn more, ENHANCE this article by 150%.As a filmmaker, you need to push the limits of reality because, let’s face it, reality can be pretty boring. If reality was constantly exciting and engaging, then we’d never go to the movies in the first place.Part of the cinematic experience is being taken away to imaginative lands or seeing something exciting happen in a mundane setting. That is why so many films use a cinematic reality — a world that is grounded in actual reality but best serves the overall aesthetic of a film.A perfect explanation comes from director Christopher Nolan, who, after discussing the “real world” setting of his Dark Knight trilogy, had this to say:But it’s about what I suppose you might term a cinematic reality. It’s about giving the world of the films and the characters as much weight and validity as they would if your source material were not a comic book — if he was a character in another genre of film you were having to introduce to the audience for the first time and get them to believe it. That’s really what my use of the word reality is about. It’s not about a literal reality.Part of the appeal of the world of Gotham is that it is not real life. It is removed from real life. So you can address dramatic elements that would be extremely uncomfortable in a realistic film — in a way that lets the audience enjoy the experience and entertainment. — USA TodayCinematic OfficesIn films, you’ll often find that characters work in some pretty amazing offices. Outside of the intentionally mundane cubicles of Office Space, most corporate and government offices are very sleek and modern. Take a minute to think about that. When was the last time you went to a government building like the DMV or Post Office and went “WOW?”This is always apparent in blockbuster action films. Police stations always have the latest computers and brand new cars. My personal favorite are the glass offices that usually house the FBI or CIA. Have you ever seen an FBI office? It’s more boring than you can imagine. Here is a side-by-side comparison of an actual FBI office and the office of the Diplomatic Security Service in Furious 7.Left image via FBI. Right image: Furious 7 via Universal PicturesCan you imagine trying to film in that actual FBI office? It would look terrible on screen. The light’s color temperature is all over the place. The room is crowded, small, and visually unsettling. Compare that to the clean look of the DSS office. The entire office is lit with a nice cool blue, and there are accents of orange and green. Is it unbelievable as a real office? Yes, but that doesn’t really matter. The goal is to keep the audience invested in the film. If it suits the rest of the story to have a cool flashy office — go for it!While on the topic of offices, don’t forget about the oversized and clean air vents that allow our protagonist to stealthily move through the building. Not only are these HVAC units tiny and full of screws holding it in place, they are gross. Without having a unit properly maintained, expect the vents to look more like a horror set.Just take a look at this photo from an HVAC cleaning company. Compare that to the large clean vent John McClane crawls through in Die Hard. This is easily one of the most iconic images from the film. Is it remotely possible? Not at all. Even if the vent was large enough for someone to crawl through, good luck keeping quiet in a thin metal enclosure.Left image via Mr Cleanz. Right image: Die Hard via 20th Century FoxCinematic Computers/Hollywood HackingEven films that try to stay grounded in reality still push for a more visually stimulating environment. Take this example from The Martian. Director Ridley Scott wanted his NASA control room based on reality. This not only meant the design of the room, but of the graphics as well. To best achieve the proper look, Scott actually worked with NASA to imagine their futuristic office.Images via GizmodoFor months, the production crew of The Martian worked with NASA’s Program Executive for Solar System Exploration, Dave Lavery. The goal was to make the NASA systems look as realistic as possible. That said, even though grounded in scientific reality, the mission control room still went for a more cinematic appeal. Just compare the walls in the photos above. The drab neutral NASA wall has been replaced with sci-fi panels. The film’s mission control room is evenly lit, and you won’t see stray coffee mugs or water bottles. (You can read more about The Martian/NASA collaboration on Gizmodo.)last_img read more

Salas family reach funding target for private search

first_imgEmiliano Sala’s family have reached their €300,000 crowdfunding target as they hope to continue the search for the missing striker, according to AS.On Thursday, Guernsey Police stopped the search for the Cardiff City striker, who was on board a Piper Malibu aircraft with pilot David Ibbotson when the plane went missing on his way to the United Kingdom from Nantes on Monday.Sala completed a transfer to the Bluebirds last weekend and travelled back to France to bid farewell to his former colleagues at Nantes.Search and rescue efforts lasted three days without a trace of the plane before the authorities made a decision to end their scanning of the area.Revealed: Florentino Perez’s plan to sign Kylian Mbappe Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 12, 2019 According to a report from ‘El Chiringuito’, Florentino Perez revealed his plans to sign Kylian Mbappe from PSG next season.We all knew this was…The GoFundMe page created with the sole purpose of finding Sala and Ibbotson, surpassed the €300,000 mark on Sunday, with a donation of €30,010 from Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé taking it past the target. As of today, 321,434 euros have been donated.Mbappé is not the only footballer to contribute a substantial amount of money, as his club team-mate Adrien Rabiot donated €25,000 on Saturday, while Marseille captain Dimitri Payet also contributed €10,000 later the same day.last_img read more