Oxford Union under fire for male-dominated term card

first_imgThe Oxford Union today faces mounting criticism over the gender imbalance of the speakers in its Michaelmas term card.Of the overall 61 speakers confirmed last week, just twelve are women – arguably a markedly low figure for a university which has a 46% female student body. It’s also a noticeably worse percentage than that of the Cambridge Union’s term card, where eleven of the 28 speakers are women.The over 80% male term card has been criticised by the Oxford SU VP for Women, Katy Haigh, who said in a statement to Cherwell: “While I greatly appreciate the efforts the Union has made recently to engage with topics of equality and diversity, we need to see more from the Oxford Union.“An establishment as old and prestigious as the Oxford Union should surely have adequate power and resources to engage a more diverse range of speakers.”Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, activist and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and actor Anna Faris are a few of the women speaking this term.Meanwhile, people of colour fare even worse, with only seven non-white speakers on the term card, including British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful and actor Terrence Howard .The gender and racial imbalance has sparked a backlash from women’s and diversity officers across the University, who told Cherwell the Union needed to improve its representation of women and minorities.The St Hilda’s Women’s Rep expressed her frustration with the term card that contains only two women of colour, compared with 44 white men. She said: “The Oxford Union’s term card proves that success and intelligence at Oxford are continuously and persistently equated with whiteness and masculinity.”Rachell Collett, the Women’s Officer for both Class Act and Oxford University Labour Club, said she was not surprised by the gender disparity in an institution which she claimed is “dominated by private school boys”.“I think a failing like this pretty much sums the Union up and shows just how much needs to change in a uni where debating and politics are still the preserve of men,” she said.Chris Zabilowicz, the Union President, admitted that he was “disappointed” with the gender imbalance, but insisted that it did not reflect a bias held by the Union, just that more men accepted invitations.“Anyone who knows me will support me when I say I very much care about diversity, as the first openly gay President of the Oxford Union and an access member myself, and that I strived to put together a term card that reflects this.”last_img read more

Giants hand Dodgers another one-run defeat

first_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season “Great team,” Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw said of the six-week stretch between consecutive losses. “We’re a great team. We know that. A little bump in the road here.”It was a pretty big bump actually.With the count 0-and-2 and the game scoreless, Brandon Belt lofted a pop-up down the left-field line in the bottom of the sixth inning. Left fielder Chris Taylor gave chase and might have had a chance to make a play in foul territory – until he tripped over the Giants’ bullpen mound and went sprawling.“Yeah, I would have caught it,” Taylor said. “Trying to watch the ball and be aware of it (the bullpen mound) with your peripherals is easier said than done, I guess.“I don’t know if maybe the better approach is to look down and take your eye off the ball. I was trying to kind of high-step, but it’s a pretty steep back edge so you don’t really know when it’s coming full speed.” How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire PreviousSan Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, second from right, congratulates his players on their 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to the plate during the first inning of Friday’s game against the Giants in San Francisco. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz delivers against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw delivers to a San Francisco Giants batter during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, right, reacts to a hit by Max Muncy during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger leaps to catch a fly ball by San Francisco Giants’ Aramis Garcia during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a single against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)San Francisco Giants’ Kevin Pillar hits an RBI single off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor trips over the bullpen pitcher’s mound while chasing a foul ball by San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. Belt eventually walked and scored. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor chases down an RBI single by San Francisco Giants’ Kevin Pillar during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw heads to the dugout after striking out during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)San Francisco Giants pitcher Reyes Moronta delivers against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger (35) reacts after being called out on strikes to end the top of the sixth inning of the team’s baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)San Francisco Giants center fielder Steven Duggar runs down a deep fly ball by Los Angeles Dodgers pinch-hitter Kyle Garrick during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 2-1. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Dylan Floro delivers against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 2-1. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)San Francisco Giants pitcher Will Smith delivers to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. Smith picked up the save as the Giants defeated the Dodgers 2-1. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (3) gets a congratulatory handshake from teammate Max Muncy after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 2-1. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by Max Muncy #13 after hitting a home run against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers dives for but is unable to field a ground ball hit for a single by Brandon Crawford (not pictured) of the San Francisco Giants during the fifth inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Kevin Pillar #1 of the San Francisco Giants hits an RBI single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants slides into home plate to score a run against the Los Angeles Dodgersduring the sixth inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes (15) dives too late to tag out San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt, who scored from second on a single by Kevin Pillar during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants slides past a tag from Austin Barnes #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to score a run during the sixth inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Max Muncy (13) throws over San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Crawford to complete a double play during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. Aramis Garcia was out at first base. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Evan Longoria #10 of the San Francisco Giants slides under a tag from Austin Barnes #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to score a run during the sixth inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Tony Watson #56 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the eighth inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)San Francisco Giants pitcher Will Smith (13) reacts to getting the final out against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 2-1. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Kevin Pillar #1 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates with Will Smith #13 after the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, second from right, congratulates his players on their 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to the plate during the first inning of Friday’s game against the Giants in San Francisco. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)NextShow Caption1 of 29Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to the plate during the first inning of Friday’s game against the Giants in San Francisco. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)ExpandSAN FRANCISCO — Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.Even as the San Francisco Giants have slid to the bottom of the National League West and the Dodgers continued collecting division titles, the two ancient rivals have remained very close. Fifty of the 83 matchups between the Dodgers and Giants since the start of the 2015 season have been decided by two runs or fewer.Friday night’s tussle was the 35th of those decided by just one run as the Giants handed the Dodgers a 2-1 defeat. Four of the seven meetings this season have been one-run decisions – three in the favor of the Giants who are an MLB-best 14-5 in such games despite having a better record than only one National League team (the hapless Miami Marlins).Meanwhile, the NL leaders in runs scored have done that just three times in their past 20 innings. As a result, the Dodgers lost back-to-back games for the first time since April 23-24 in Chicago. Between the two “losing streaks,” they went 29-8. The Dodgers did the least they could after loading the bases with one out in the first inning against Giants starter Drew Pomeranz. The left-hander struck out David Freese and Corey Seager and retired 14 of the next 15 Dodgers batters, striking out seven in five innings.“I just thought his stuff was pretty good,” Taylor said. “He had kind of a sneaky fastball and that big breaker and he had both of those pitches working tonight.”The Dodgers didn’t get on the board until a solo home run by Taylor off Giants reliever Tony Watson in the eighth inning ended a 15-inning scoreless streak for the Dodgers. But Giants closer – and attractive trade chip – Will Smith retired the Dodgers in order in the ninth.While one streak started, another ended. The loss was the first for the Dodgers in a regular-season game started by Clayton Kershaw since last Aug. 13, also against the Giants, ending a streak of 17 consecutive wins. Kershaw hadn’t been charged with a loss since last July 21.“Yeah, I was (aware of the streak),” Kershaw acknowledged. “Just another sign of a great team. For a streak like that to happen, you’ve got to be on great teams because there are going to be days when you pitch bad and get a win or a no-decision. Sometimes nights like these happen. It’s just part of being on a great team.” Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco center_img Oracle Park is one of the few major-league ballparks that have the old-style bullpens in foul territory rather than beyond the outfield walls.“I’m glad CT’s okay,” Kershaw said before taking a playoff jab at the Giants’ first-year president of baseball operations. “Let’s go, Farhan (Zaidi), clean it up over here. It’s a relatively new ballpark. So they should have thought about it. But I’m sure Farhan will make a change here soon.“He (Taylor) was right there. CT is a great runner, good instincts and got there quickly. Nothing else to say. Both teams have to deal with it. It just sucks.”Given new life, Belt worked a leadoff walk – Kershaw’s only walk of the night. Two singles later, Belt scored from second base, beating Taylor’s wide throw home.“It absolutely changes that inning (if Taylor gets to Belt’s pop-up),” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.A wild pitch moved the runners up and brought the infield in. Brandon Crawford hit a ground ball right at second baseman Max Muncy (who made two outstanding defensive plays earlier in the game). But Muncy’s throw home was late and Evan Longoria scored the second run of the inning.“I think Longoria had a really good jump on that ball,” Roberts said. “It was one of those things where it was hit good but a little bit off the end of the bat so it seemed like it was going to come harder than it did. It wasn’t the cleanest of exchanges but the credit goes to Longo there and Max did the best he could.”Related Articles Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Senad Lulic leaving Lazio in January

first_imgNational team player of B&H, Senad Lulic, recently refused to extend the contract with Lazio.One of the key reasons why Lulic made this decision was a misunderstanding with Federicio Marchetti.According to claims of media in Italy, Lulic, whose contract expires in 2017, will almost certainly leave Rome and start playing for some other club in The January transitional period.Senad Lulic is one of the favorite footballers of Lazio for fans of this club. He acquired sympathies of fans mostly because of the goal he scored to AC Roma in the final of the Coppa Italia. He came to Lazio four years ago, from Young Boys. He is currently one of the captains of this club from Rome.(Source: klix.ba/ Photo: klix.ba)last_img read more

Kootenay Lake Fishing Report

first_img Tight lines………………..Kerry Reed Reel Adventures 250-505-4963www.reeladventuresfishing.com Everything seems perfect for fall/winter fishing now. Our water temperatures are just right. Our weather has been good. And our fish are starting to cooperate. We have had a lot of days with 10 – 15 fish coming to the boat.  Lots of action for our groups.  Still a lot of smaller fish, but the odd big one gets hooked each day to help keep the excitement up. Rainbows up to 19 pounds and Dollies up to 12 pounds have been caught lately. One of my funnest days in the past couple weeks saw us hook into 17 fish up to 16 pounds.  That was a busy day.  Hope to see more of that action as the season progresses. My favorite time of year now.  As it should make for some exciting surface action. Looking forward to some high flying, line screaming, Rainbow trout action for the next couple months….What are they biting on??? Most of our Rainbows are being caught on the surface now.  Although we have been catching a few on the downriggers still also.  And the dollies have been mostly on the deep lines, but starting to get the odd one on the surface. So, it’s been best to cover both angles.   Our bucktail flies have been working well lately.  My best colors have been:  Black/white, grey/white, purple/white, and some brown/orange.  Or lucky numbers:  203, 210, 213, 214, 215, and 224. Lyman plugs have been catching their share of the action also.  Favorite numbers have been #14, 16, 55, 69, and 100.  Try trolling these on the surface or down to about 100 ft is working as well. And the good old flasher/hoochie combo has been picking up it’s fair share of Dollies.  Green seems to be the hot color.  Fishing anywhere from 50 – 120ft. Definitely my favorite time of year.So, let’s get out there. …….. Fishing Derby With the first two fall fishing derbies down, there is still one remaining before the new year. By Kerry Reed, Reel Adventures Charterscenter_img Kaslo Rainbow Derby, November 8-10.          last_img read more

Paul Blackburn reflects on rough 2018, plan to get back in A’s rotation

first_imgMESA, Arizona — Paul Blackburn entered A’s spring training camp in a similar spot as last year. But this time the momentum feels different.Blackburn, 25, is feeling strong a year after an elbow injury undermined his sophomore season with the A’s. It has fueled optimism that the right-handed pitcher can compete for a roster spot among perhaps four others.“He’s definitely in the mix with all the other guys we talk about,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “When he’s been healthy he’s performed well …last_img read more

Feather Technology Resurrected in Printer After 40 Million Years

first_imgA fossil bird feather from Germany still shows that melanosomes – the cell organelles that produce iridescent colors in feathers – are still visible after an alleged 40 million years.  The structures were long thought to be remnants of bacteria that fed on the organic matter, but now are seen to consist of original feather material.  Derek Briggs of Yale said, “The discovery of ultra-structural detail in feather fossils opens up remarkable possibilities for the investigation of other features in soft-bodied fossils, like fur and even internal organs.”    Meanwhile, engineers are starting to invent things based on the light-scattering properties of these structures that produce such bright colors on the feathers of birds and the wings of butterflies.  New Scientist reported on the invention of “magic ink” by South Korean scientists.  The ink works by the “interaction of light with finely-patterned surface textures, rather than relying on pigments.”  Using nanoparticles, magnetic fields, resin and a fixer, they produce “structural colors” whose brilliance relies on the interference patterns produced by reflection off repetitive shapes.  This is the same principle that produces the flashy colors on birds, insects, and sometimes even fossil feathers.If you believe those fossil melanosomes have sat undisturbed for 40 million years, you probably also could believe that magic ink is really magical.  Once irrationality is chosen, it knows no limits.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Dishonesty Undermines Trust in Big Science

first_img(Visited 368 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Before they can tell the public what is true about the world, scientists had better get a handle on honesty.You can trust a scientist – to be fallible. Science is not entirely ‘out there’ in the world. Its findings are always mediated through fallible humans. And lately, there has been a flurry of concerns about their trustworthiness.Bringing a ‘trust but verify’ model to journal peer review (Phys.org). As we have reported before, peer review is under fire (e.g., 7/09/16). This seeming gold standard of scientific superiority that sets it above all other forms of inquiry (according to proponents of the triumphal march of scientific progress) is itself in need of review. “Science would be better off if journals allowed for and participated in the empirical study and quality assurance of their peer review processes,” a philosopher and a practicing scientist said in Science Magazine.Ethics: More research won’t crack misconduct (Nature). Two scientists from Columbia University wrote Nature, complaining that we don’t need more do-nothing studies. “US National Academy of Sciences has issued 5 reports in the past 28 years on research misconduct and detrimental research practices,” they say. “Each concluded with a strikingly similar set of recommendations.” Yet nothing ever gets done. And yet these academics’ own ideas seem unlikely to change matters, either. Their five recommendations all use the “should” word – a word reliant on ethical behavior.Our obsession with eminence warps research (Nature). In a Worldview opinion piece, Simine Vazire complains that scientific establishments play favorites to the detriment of science. Should the Olympics give Usain Bolt a head-start in a race? Then neither should journals favor ’eminent’ researchers. So much for the objectivity on which Big Science prides itself:Scientists are human, and thus susceptible to biases. One of the most powerful is status bias. Here, recognition is awarded partly on the basis of past recognition (so a scientist is more likely to get a publication accepted if he or she has a track record of good publications)….When eminence begets eminence, noise in the system gets amplified. There’s an element of luck to who ends up having the most success, and that luck will build on itself.Scopes Trial illustrated what science can’t do (WND). Bill Federer looks back at warnings about science made by William Jennings Bryan in 1925 in his summary of the trial: “Science is a magnificent force, but it is not a teacher of morals,” Bryan said. “It can perfect machinery, but it adds no moral restraints to protect society from the misuse of the machine.” In the hands of evil men, science can become an “evil genius,’ making war more hellish than ever. Federer also quotes Winston Churchill who warned of the dangers of “perverted science.”Science is nothing more than the current consensus about how to do research in disparate fields, with methods for storing that information in external memories that others can use. In that sense, it is not different from any other kind of scholarly research except for its subject matter. And like any other kind of human-conducted research, science can never rise above the character of its practitioners. Undermine the justification for honesty, as Darwinian evolution does, and don’t be surprised when science turns fraudulent, corrupt, and evil.Recommended Resources: Two books investigate the views of C. S. Lewis on science. The Magician’s Twin (ed. John West) contains information about Lewis’s fears of scientism run amok, and also explicates his views on the argument from reason for the existence of God. Jerry Bergman’s book C. S. Lewis: Anti-Darwinist puts to rest the notion that Lewis was a theistic evolutionist. Bergman shows the progression of Lewis’s thought from the early days after his conversion to Christianity, when he was less informed about evolution, to his later writings that were strongly opposed to Darwinian philosophy. He, too, documents Lewis’s passionate warnings about science turned toward evil ends.last_img read more

Green buildings sprouting in South Africa

first_imgBlock E, Upper Grayston, is the first commercial building in South Africa to receive five green stars.Bruce Kerswill of the Green Building Council of South Africa says that green is catching on in the country.(Images: Janine Erasmus)MEDIA CONTACTS • Beverley Bradley  McCann Public Relations  +27 72 272 5166 • Martin Evans  Director, Bryprop  +27 11 463 5455 or +27 82 451 2291RELATED ARTICLES • Green buildings now the law in SA • Bank’s green building looks ahead • Top green rating for SA building • No 1 Silo gets green rating • Africa’s greenest hotel for Cape TownJanine ErasmusSouth Africa’s first commercial green star-rated building has been unveiled. The cutting-edge building – the E block in Upper Grayston, a small multi-purpose development in the business district of Sandton – is the first small office building to receive five green stars from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).“We want to get the message out to other developers,” says Martin Evans of Upper Grayston’s developer Bryprop, “that South Africa can produce green buildings economically.”Green buildings are attractive to the property market, he says, and they offer a good return on investment.“Green buildings command a higher rental price and capital value, they have lower running costs, they let better, and they retain tenants better,” says the GBCSA’s executive chairman Bruce Kerswill. This green mindset is catching on in South Africa, he says. Five stars are not enough for Bryprop, though, and the firm is aiming for the coveted six-star rating with its newest building Upper Grayston F, which is under construction right next to the celebrated E Block. This will make it the only six star-rated commercial building in the country. Rental space should be available around the end of June 2013, according to Bryprop.Green buildings mitigate climate changeSouth Africa is following a new trend noted in a report titled Rethinking Consumption: Consumers and the Future of Sustainability, which has found that people in developing nations have a keener sense of responsibility towards the earth than those in developed nations. “Two-thirds of consumers globally say they ‘feel a sense of responsibility to society’ (65%), including 81% in emerging markets and 50% in developed markets”, notes the report. “Buildings can be a big part of the solution to mitigating the effects of climate change,” says Kerswill. “Good planning can reduce their use of power and water by up to 70%, and together with waste reduction this can have a significant impact.” Office buildings especially contribute heavily to global warming and pollution, and consume large amounts of energy and water. “But buildings are the cheapest way to make savings on carbon emissions,” says Warren Gray of Solid Green Consulting. “Overseas they use around 30% of the world’s energy. In South Africa the situation is a little different because our economy has been geared towards mining and we are still constructing the buildings that other countries already have.”Savings realised in a green building will come mainly from running costs and electricity. Although the largest part of a company’s expenses goes towards salaries, says Gray, people who work in green buildings perform better, they get discharged from hospital sooner, and they give the employer more value for the salary.“A 10% increase in productivity outperforms a 5% saving on electricity.”Bringing in the tenantsBryprop says that its tenants are becoming more and more interested in green features.In the new building, lessons learned from Upper Grayston E will be applied, with some extra features that the developers are confident will earn the six green stars.All timber used in the project comes from a sustainable forest and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Most of the building’s water will be reclaimed from rain and filtered and purified, and municipal water will only be used when the tanks are empty.Solar panels for both power and heating will ensure that no energy is used to heat water, and in terms of space heating, says Gray, good architectural principles and passive design means that a minimal amount of heating is needed. The building also has big glass windows which let in natural light and air, reducing the need for artificial lighting and climate control. A mixed-mode ventilation system will allow the building to use mechanical ventilation when necessary.People in the building will be able to monitor energy consumption in real time, via a screen in the entrance and a page on the web, which will supply a graph of energy consumption measured at one-minute intervals. The graph for Block E is already available online.The amount of concrete used in construction has been reduced through the addition of fly ash into the mixture. Fly ash is a residue generated during combustion, for example at coal-burning power stations.“This means that the building itself is constructed from recycled material,” Gray says.Carpets and paint used in the interior contain low levels of volatile organic compounds. Cycle parking and special cycle routes around the office park are aimed at encouraging this eco-friendly alternative means of transport.Going green and saving the planetGreen buildings, according to GBCSA, are energy and resource efficient and kind to the environment because of the practices used in their design, construction and operation. They have also been proven to be healthier for residents and workers, leading to higher productivity.For green buildings, these practices will usually include the optimal circulation of fresh air and use of natural light, resulting in a lower use of air conditioning and heating. Lighting will be energy efficient and controlled through motion detectors, and there will be greater use of renewable energy sources. The builders will make use of recycled or sustainable materials, and there will be other sources of water, such as rainwater harvesting, besides the municipal supply.Locally sourced products are essential to shrink the construction footprint, and if any existing structure is demolished to make way for the new building, as much material as possible, such as windows, doors or floors, must be re-used.When a company applies for green star certification for a building, there is a rigorous process that must be followed. Once the building has been registered – which is only the first step towards certification – the project team will prepare the necessary documentation to prove that the building complies with GBCSA standards. Assessors will not award points, says the GBCSA, unless they can see that all the requirements have been met exactly as detailed in the technical manual. By this stage the full assessment fee must have been paid. Once the fee and the documentation have been received, a panel will evaluate the submission and make their recommendations to the GBCSA, who will then contact the project team.At this point the team gets another chance to earn their green stars by including extra supporting documentation or making alterations to their designs if necessary, and resubmitting their application.The panel will again scrutinise the application and make their final pronouncement and the project team will be notified of their score.A score of 45 to 59 earns the building four green stars and is an indication of best practice locally; a score of 60 to 75 earns five green stars and signifies South African excellence; and a score of 75 to 100 earns six green stars and is indicative of world leadership.Upper Grayston E scored 67 points, which is currently the highest five-star score in the country.last_img read more

Biased refereeing blamed for Devendro’s knockout

first_imgIndian boxer Devendro Singh’s bid for an Olympic bronze medal was dashed after he succumbed to Ireland’s Paddy Barnes in a high-voltage quarter final contest which was marked by some debatable refreering and controversial warnings at the Excel Arena here.The 20-year-old Devendro fought gallantly last night but could not prevail over his stronger opponent who scripted a 23-18 victory to romp into the semi-finals.But the high-scoring result left the Indian contingent fuming as they claimed that the refreeing had gone heavily against the diminutive Indian who was warned once in the second round.With Devendro’s exit, the Indian challenge in the boxing ring also came to an end with only MC Mary Kom providing the spark with a historic bronze medal in women’s boxing which has been introduced in the Olympics for the first time.Backed by the noisy crowd, Barnes took an early lead by winning the first round 7-5 nd maintained the tempo right through to send the Indian packing out of his maiden Olympics much to the disappointment of the Indian fans.Both the boxers started the contest on a very aggressive note as they uneashed a flurry of punches at each other but the Irish pugilist relied on his experience to gain the upper hand.Trailing by two points, Devendro continued to be aggressive but a warning against him gave his opponent a bigger lead by the end of the second round which ended 10-5.The third and final round saw both the boxers going all out and devendro desperately tried to regain lost ground.advertisementBarnes, who had eked out a comfortable lead by then, was warned in the third round. But he ensured that he did not concede too many points and allow devendro to bounce back.The entire stadium, mostly filled up with Irish supports, burst into cheers when Barnes was declared the winner.Barnes will take on top seed Shiming Zhou of China in the semi finals on August 10. Zhou defeated Birzhan Zhakypov of Kazakistan 13-10 in the quarter finals.The Indians were livid with the point decisions which they claimed had been extremely unfair on Devendro.”There were so many mistakes against our boxers. He (Barnes) was not hitting the right spots and still getting points. It was not fair,” India’s foreign coach B I Fernandez said after the bout.”The refereeing was poor, not only in this bout but many other Indian bouts. It is very sad, but we have to live with it. The opponent was clearly holding, but he didn’t say anything,” Fernandez said.On the mood in the Indian boxing camp, he said, “It’s very difficult. We deserved to get a medal here.”Coach Gurbakhsh Singh Sandhu said some times referees go with the crowd and Devendro was hit hard by that.”Sometimes the referees go with the crowd. The referees use their own mind, I dont want to say too much on it,” Sandhu said.On the performance of the Indian team, he said “I am extremely happy with the overall performance of the Indian boxers. I am very sad because I think I am responsible for not being able to translate those performances into medal winning performances.””We had come for medals. We are very grateful to Mary Kom who has come to our rescue and got a medal,” he said.Sandhu was, however, full of praise for young Devendro who fought his heart out but was unlucky not to make it to the semi-final.”He fought his heart, he was aggressive right through.What else do you expect from such a young boxer. I am happy with his performance,” Sandhu said.Barnes was thrilled with his victory and said he was now looking forward to the semi-finals.”It is a dream come true to be here. I am over the moon.It was a real achievement. The fans make me proud to be Irish.Words can’t describe how I am feeling,” Barnes said.”I knew he would come forward all guns blazing. It was really nerve wracking, but I dug deep and just got on with it,” he said.On meeting ZOU Shiming of China in the semifinal, he said “Bronze medals are for losers. I am fighting a guy in the next fight who beat me 15-0 in Beijing. Our plan in the next fight is to score a point.”On becoming the first Irish boxer to win medals at successive Olympic Games, he said “I don’t really think about that. Just qualifying for the Olympics was a dream come true.”advertisementlast_img read more

Congress continues its blundering

first_imgSmriti Irani and Ajay MakenAjay Maken, once Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs in the erstwhile UPA dispensation has chosen his Twitter handle towhat else – run down Smriti Irani, Narendra Modi’s HRD Minister. But who is Smriti Irani? Of course this question has been asked before – and replied – most tellingly and eloquently by Prime Minister Modi while campaigning in Amethi. But Maken has chosen to stir the waters again through his chosen vehicle of communication-twitter. A twitter profile that has been doubly verified by the much valued blue check mark and a banner photograph of the “Chief Communication Strategist” of the Congress Party looking on at Rahul Gandhi. No prizes for guessing the portly middle aged Mr Maken’s qualifications for the Sports and Youth Ministry.Hypochondriac Since the day the Congress lost the election, the party’s pronouncements have acquired an supercilious and condescending tone. Losing is never easy but a lack of respect for the verdict now extends to a derision of elected representatives and Ministers even before they have started working. Their numbers in Parliament do deny them the legitimacy of an Opposition that can be taken seriously but this does not mean that their vigilance is reduced to swipes that kitty party regulars may take at each other on boozy afternoons. The Congress have a role to play even if they do not realize it. As the largest national party they remain a future alternative for the voter who was frustrated by the lack of alternatives this election . This ordinary voter is not being weaned off power and dreading the prospect of at least five years on the margins of history like the erstwhile Congress ministers but is instead accepting a new government and pushing aside apprehensions with hopes of a better future.On the other hand, the Grand Old Party instead of putting on its trainers and hitting the road insists on behaving like hypochondriac with no ailment but an intense desire for attention and being proved right in their diagnosis. But even a diagnosis (be it a biased one) requires investigation and the time to be taken seriously.The issue is not Ms. Irani’s qualifications for the job. One wishes that she succeeds and proves her detractors wrong given that degrees are no substitute for hard work and honest intentions. I shall not even bother going through the rigour of pulling out examples of academically challenged achievers-of which there are plenty in politics and in life- since these times of artless jibes make such articulations unnecessary. Neither is Mr. Maken the sole perpetrator of this kind of speak. However given his position as the communications apparatchik of the Congress he automatically becomes representative of the bitterness that is the Congress position. It is time the Congress reconciles itself to the reality of its defeat. For if it does not, electoral defeat may not be its only loss.CriticismHowever electoral loss does show up some new facets to personalities. Who knew that the Congress party had so many foodies? But the chatter about biryani and dhoklas did not undermine the tactility of the handshake that was needed between two neighbours locked in a perpetual bout of shadow boxing. Sure, the Congress could have taken this step, the fact is that they didn’t. Sure, there would have been criticism, but they chose to avoid it. Prime Minister Modi is no stranger to criticism so he doesn’t quite bother with it. Dhoklas were served, hands were shaken, Chief Ministers dropped out, commentators from across the border exulted and some on our side rushed to call it a “victory.” The ordinary voter watched it all on television and the Congress spoke about biryani and coronations (the latter unintentionally revelatory).BitternessFor those of us looking for justice for 26/11 and who knew some of those who died in the attacks – the fact that the issue was addressed mattered. This was a step closer to some kind of resolution, no matter what was on the menu, which seemed to be the Congress’s primary concern.In their great hurry to remind the voter that they have made the wrong decision, the Congress remains the bitter single at the wedding party, the one who sits in the corner and keeps saying, “It’s never going to work out” till no one is really listening. But let’s assume that it’s not going to work out at least eventually. It’s still not a smart idea to tell someone that they got it wrong and in this case I mean the voter. Especially, if you have nothing more to offer than one-liners. This isn’t an intellectual argument, it’s actually a common sense one, because the voter, dear leaders does not have time to play intellectual footsie with you. Save that for the canteen in parliament. The ordinary citizen is going to conveniently pick up on the noises you’re making and if all he is hearing are disgruntled grunts, guess whom he’s not going to choose? Remember, no one likes a whiner. Everyone has 99 problems but they’re not about to make grumpy politicians one of them.- The author scripted the story of the much acclaimed film Kahaanilast_img read more