5kg ganja unearthed in Kitty home

first_imgA mason is currently in custody following the discovery of a large quantity of cannabis at a house in Thomas Street, Kitty Georgetown, on Friday morning. According to information received, ranks of the Police Narcotics Branch acting on information went to the house and conducted a search during which five kilograms of marijuana was found.The illegal substance was found concealed in two transparent plastic parcels in a section of the house. The mason was told of the offence and subsequently arrested. He is expected to be slapped with a possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking charge in the new week.Police have confiscated the cannabis as they continue their investigations.last_img

Simi Valley News Briefs

first_img For more information about VCEDA, call (805) 388-3457 or visit www.vceda.org. — Daily News Applications open for valley council SANTA ROSA VALLEY – Residents may submit applications until Jan. 6 for two seats on the Santa Rosa Valley Municipal Advisory Council, which advises Ventura County officials on issues of concern to the semirural community between Thousand Oaks and Moorpark. The applications are available at the office of Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks in the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite C. They also can be requested by phone at (805) 737-2564. When completed, they can be faxed, mailed or hand-delivered to Parks’ office. — Daily News Braille Institute has vision checks SIMI VALLEY – The Braille Institute will offer free vision consultations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi. The consultations will also be available Jan. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Goebel Senior Center at 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. Specialists will assess visual skills and offer techniques to make the most of existing vision. For information or an appointment, call (805) 583-6363. — Daily News Volunteer training set for ESL tutors CAMARILLO – Free workshops will be held Jan. 7 and 14 to train volunteers as English-as-a-second-language tutors. The workshops will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Leisure Village Recreation Center’s Lanai Room. Call (805) 385-9584. — Daily News Senior programs offered in January SIMI VALLEY – The Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District will be rolling out a new program for the 50-and-over crowd starting next month. A partnership between the park district, city and the Council on Aging will bring a slew of activities to the residents of Simi Valley, including sports, crafts, fitness, recreation and more. Adult age 50 or over can sign up for the new programs, classes and sports leagues Jan. 3. All classes and programs will be held at the Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi. For information, call (805) 584-4400. — Daily News160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Christmas trees can also be taken directly to the Simi Valley Landfill and Recycling Center, 2801 Madera Road, from Monday through Jan. 14. Hours are 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Flocked trees cannot be recycled, but will be collected if cut into 3-foot sections and placed into the regular trash cart. — Daily News VCEDA officials look at economy CAMARILLO – The ninth annual meeting of the Economic Development Collaborative in Ventura County and the 57th annual installation of officers for the Ventura County Economic Development Association will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at Spanish Hills Country Club. The theme of the event is “County Line to Bottom Line: Ventura County and the National Economy.” Chris Engle, vice president and senior analyst for AngelouEconomics, a Texas-based economic development consulting firm, will address how national business trends affect Ventura County in his keynote address at the event. The cost is $100 and includes a networking reception. For reservations, call (805) 384-1800, Ext. 21. Curbside yule tree recycling offered SIMI VALLEY – Trash and recycling schedules for G.I. Industries and Waste Management will be unchanged during the holidays, officials said. Customers with questions about the trash-collection schedule can log on to www.KeepingVenturaCountyClean.com. Waste Management customers can recycle their Christmas trees by cutting them in half and placing the pieces in the yard-trimmings cart on their scheduled pickup day. In Simi Valley, trees can be placed curbside, in addition to the green yard waste container, from Monday to Jan. 6.last_img read more

Inadequacies of Darwin’s Theory Exposed

first_imgFor a scientist who has been celebrated all year by many as the greatest thinker in history, Darwin left behind a lot of gaps.  If his theory of common ancestry by descent with modification is so well substantiated, as the scientific community claims, why are there continual attempts to fill gaps with other notions?    One such attempt was reported by Science Daily.  A team at Johns Hopkins University looked for other mechanisms to explain both variation of phenotypes in populations and the persistence of diseases.  Why?  They argued that Darwin’s theory does not explain them:For more than 100 years, mainstream science has embraced the basic tenets of Darwin’s view that characteristics that increase an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce will be passed from generation to generation.  Scientists later demonstrated that stable, significant traits are indeed inherited in the DNA carried in parental genes on chromosomes and randomly distributed to offspring.    Characteristics that affect an organism’s ability to adapt and survive in times of environmental change have been thought to arise by chance through random mutations in an organism’s DNA.  However, this view could not explain how such mutations, which arise only rarely, help organisms of every size and variety adapt quickly enough through time.  Nor could it explain how diseases that lead to a dramatic loss of survival – such as diabetes, heart disease, autism, and schizophrenia – persist in populations.  Indeed, genes that directly contribute to these conditions have been difficult to find.Looking for mechanisms in epigenetics (the regulation of genes) has also proved inadequate, say Andrew Feinberg and Rafael Irizarry.  They are trying to see if there are genes that contribute to trait variability, which in turn are selected for by the environment.  Whether or not this notion improves evolutionary thinking, it is apparent that they believe Darwin’s theory, even as augmented and refined to the present day, does not explain the observations.    Judith Monk opened an article in Science1 with a statement that deflates a year of celebrations about Darwin and his Origin of Species:Darwin referred to the origin of species as “that mystery of mysteries”, and despite decades of study, evolutionary biologists still cannot agree on the underlying processes that have produced the great diversity of life around us.Notice she said that it is evolutionary biologists – not creationists or intelligent design advocates – who cannot agree on how speciation occurs.  She was writing to add comments to another paper in the same issue of Science by van Doorn,2 Edelaar and Weissing on the possibility of sympatric speciation (that is, speciation within a population lacking genetic or geographical barriers).  Sympatric speciation was deemed heretical not long ago by most Darwinians (01/15/2003).  It was dismissed by leading evolutionists of the 20th century, like Ernst Mayr and Theodosius Dobzhansky.    The paper by van Doorn et al has a title that seems to challenge or supplant Darwin: “On the Origin of Species by Natural and Sexual Selection.”  Aren’t those the very ideas Darwin championed?  Look how they began their paper:Even as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, discussion continues on whether speciation is adaptive (that is, driven by selection) and to what extent it is inhibited by gene flow.  Ecological conditions can induce natural selection for local adaptation, but disruptive or diversifying selection is usually not sufficient for speciation if individuals can migrate between habitats.  In such cases, a mating structure has to emerge that strongly reduces hybridization between ecologically specialized populationsThey came up with a model (not fieldwork) that shows how natural and sexual selection in concert might lead to sympatric speciation.  “Natural and sexual selection are often depicted as opposing forces, but they can work in concert, ”they claimed.  “Our model highlights how natural and sexual selection reinforce each other’s actions in the context of adaptive speciation.”    Though this sounds supportive of Darwin’s theory, it is different enough that they themselves distinguished it.  Even so, it is not clear how valuable it is to invoke model forces that at times compete and at other times reinforce each other.  At best, it is a model whose plausibility is subjective: “Sexual selection acting on indicators of local adaptation could provide such a general explanation,” they said.    Other evolutionary biologists, though, have discounted the role of sexual selection (02/28/2006, bullet 4, 02/26/2003).  PhysOrg, which published a brief description of the paper, noted that the model “may soon be tested in the field” – indicating it has not been tested at all.  Monk’s ending comment indicates the provisional nature of the model: “This model may be used to test the prevalence of local adaptation and condition-dependent sexual selection in generating diversity, and provides a means to bring sympatric speciation in from the cold.”    Meanwhile, a vocal minority of evolutionary biologists are scuttling Darwin’s mechanism almost entirely (see “Can Evolution Survive Without Darwin?”, 08/29/2008).  They found a mouthpiece in reporter Susan Mazur 12/19/2008 bullet 4, 09/10/2008, 08/29/2008, 03/07/2008).  Her new book, The Altenberg 16: An Expos� of the Evolution Industry portrays the Darwin establishment as a closed community of pretentious bigots.  Mazur and the outsiders are definitely not supporters of intelligent design or creationism, but find Darwinian and neo-Darwinian mechanisms wholly inadequate to explain the diversity of life.  A taste of Mazur’s poison pen was shared by Jonathan Wells recently on Uncommon Descent:Evolutionary science is as much about the posturing, salesmanship, stonewalling and bullying that goes on as it is about actual scientific theory…. Perhaps the most egregious display of commercial dishonesty is this year’s celebration of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species—the so-called theory of evolution by natural selection, i.e., survival of the fittest, a brand foisted on us 150 years ago.1.  Judith Monk, “Evolution: Sexual Selection and Darwin’s ‘Mystery of Mysteries,’” Science, 18 December 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5960, pp. 1639-1640, DOI: 10.1126/science.1184680.2.  van Doorn, Edelaar and Weissing, “On the Origin of Species by Natural and Sexual Selection,” Science, 18 December 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5960, pp. 1704-1707, DOI: 10.1126/science.1181661.150 years of Darwin and they are still trying to figure out the mechanism he supposedly proved?  They are still coming up with new untested models and selling us promissory notes?  Look at their right hands shaking Darwin’s hand, while their left hands are picking his pockets.  If you are noticing the shady tactics and the voodoo accounting of Darwin supporters, and suspecting there is something else than science going on here, join the ranks of the ex-clueless.(Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

China Suffers 30 Years of Misguided Malthusian Idea

first_imgChina has had a “one-child policy” for 30 years this week.  This policy has caused untold grief for many families desiring children, and has resulted in unexpected demographic problems – such as aging of the population, not enough brides for young men, and enormous numbers of abortions.  Two articles in Science this week explored the convoluted reasoning that resulted in history’s biggest social experiment, and asked, what are the prospects for abolishing the policy, or at least relaxing it?  After all, this regrettable “case of ideology trumping science” sprang out of “a wave of neo-Malthusianism” that captivated government officials in the days of Chairman Mao – a view of population demographics that had influenced Darwin (01/15/2009) – but has largely been discredited today (12/09/2009 bullet 3, 12/12/2008, 06/05/2007, 03/17/2003).  Unfortunately, the inertia of the policy has only added to the horrific consequences.    Dutch reporter Mara Hvistendahl wrote a detailed historical account of China’s one-child policy in Science,1 and added a short article about some of the personalities that influenced it.2  Her main article dove right in with a list of the consequences:Elementary schools converted into nursing homes.  Lonely only children coddled by parents and grandparents.  A generation in which men seriously outnumber women.  China’s one-child policy may have slowed population growth in the world’s most populous country.  But it has also produced a rapidly aging population, a shrinking labor force, and a skewed sex ratio at birth, perils that many demographers say could threaten China’s economy and social fabric.    As the most spectacular demographic experiment in history, the one-child policy is unprecedented in its scope and extremity.As with many social experiments, the policy began with seemingly good intentions.  Chinese leaders were led to believe they faced a monumental population explosion and food shortage unless the birth rate were reduced.  It began in Mao’s reign with public persuasion, trying to nudge families to marry later and have fewer children, but by the time of Mao’s successor Deng Xiaoping, it became a mandate.  “One child per family” soon led to horrors like birth police dragging weeping pregnant women to the abortion clinic:To implement the policy, the government beefed up its birth planning infrastructure, adding thousands of workers and launching propaganda campaigns.  Enforcement was flawed from the beginning: The central government assigned stringent birth quotas to local governments but left them to shoulder a portion of the costs.  Some local officials intent on meeting targets forced pregnant women to abort and sterilized men against their will.  Others issued offending parents outrageous fines to recover program costs.    The drive sparked a backlash, fueling discontent among peasants.  It also led to a rash of female infanticide among Chinese hoping to make their sole child a boy—a prelude to sex-selective abortions that later became widespread.The Chinese government patched but did not abandon the policy in the face of these consequences, leading to “a clunky policy that is comparable in complexity to the U.S. tax code.”  When ultrasound machines became available later, many couples desiring sons used them to selectively abort female fetuses, leading to the skewed sex ratio that has left many Chinese men out of the marriage market.  In addition, the pension population has risen as the labor force has dwindled.    It makes no sense.  While it succeeded in drastically curtailing the birth rate, it’s bad science and it’s terrible social policy.  How on earth did the Chinese government get led down this path?    Hvistendahl indicted Malthus in the justification for the one-child policy, but it wasn’t just Chairman Mao that was mesmerized by Malthus in the 1970s – it was the western world, too:He [Mao] wasn’t alone in worrying about population growth.  In Western countries, too, public health breakthroughs and falling mortality rates had led to a fear of overpopulation, sparking a wave of neo-Malthusianism that culminated in the controversial 1972 report The Limits to Growth by the Club of Rome, an international group of scientists.  Doomsday projections found their way to China.  “Developed countries spread Club of Rome thinking to the developing world,” says Liang Zhongtang, an economist at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences who participated in deliberations over the one-child policy.    In China, neo-Malthusianism resonated with a government intent on boosting economic growth.  The aim was to manipulate population dynamics under the planned economy.Problem: Mao had already decimated the population through his ideologically-caused famines during the Cultural Revolution.  Solution: he could blame the famine on overpopulation.  “Poor central planning had helped cause food shortages,” she euphemized, “but now attention focused on population as the culprit, and Chairman Mao Zedong, who had once encouraged large families, shifted course.”  By deflecting criticisms of the famine to a new culprit (too many mouths to feed), he simultaneously found a new way to manipulate the populace under his Marxist “planned economy”.     In her second, shorter article,2 Hvistendahl told the story of how Song Jian, a prot�g� of American defector Qian Xuesen (see 12/10/2009) who had become Mao’s trusted science advisor, was entranced by a Dutch game theorist.  At a meeting in the Netherlands, “over beers at a pub,” Geert Jan Olsder used questionable statistics based on game theory to convince Jian that China needed to drastically cut its birth rate to avoid catastrophe.  Jian, a military scientist who wasn’t even a demographer, took Olsder’s equations back to China enthusiastically.  He came up with calculations that “dazzled policymakers, making the policy appear to be good science.”  It wasn’t.  Jian Song made ““wild projections of a population explosion” based on “unreliable data”; nevertheless, his appearance of scientific credibility “wowed Chinese leaders” and propelled them toward measures to “avert catastrophe”.  As a result, the “policymakers responded with an extreme plan” to combat the mythical threat: restrict all couples to one child per family, and maintain it for 20 to 40 years.  That was 30 years ago – September 25, 1980.    Now that we know this, why not just abolish the policy?  After all, it was never intended to last forever, and the unforeseen consequences are now obvious in hindsight.  Unfortunately, Hvistendahl explains with frustrating candor, the inertia is too great.  Reformers are attempting to raise awareness and argue that it’s time to abolish the policy, or at least relax it in certain areas, but are finding that the policy has become sacrosanct to many bureaucrats.  “As of 2005, the family-planning bureaucracy had swollen to 509,000 employees, along with 6 million workers who help with implementation,” she stated.  “Those stakeholders are ‘risk-averse,’ says Wang [Feng, a UC Irvine demographer].  ‘They pay no cost for doing nothing.”  The Chinese culture also tends to value stability and continuity.  The reform advocates sound like heretics.    Another consequence of a whole generation raised on the one-child experience has surprised advocates of reform.  They are finding that people have become emotionally consigned to the idea of having only one child.  It’s all they have ever known.  All their friends have only one child.  In a test city that relaxed the policy, researchers found that many women did not intend to have a second child, even when it was permitted.  So in spite of negative demographic consequences facing China’s elderly, bachelors, work force, and the sustainability of its population – all based on flawed math and science and ideology – a majority of the couples in a province who were given, once again, the opportunity to have families with siblings, responded, with no disagreement from the bloated bureaucracy, “one child is best.”1.  Mara Hvistendahl, “Demography: Has China Outgrown The One-Child Policy?” Science, 17 September 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5998, pp. 1458 – 1461, DOI: 10.1126/science.329.5998.1458.2.  Mara Hvistendahl, “Of Population Projections and Projectiles,” Science, 17 September 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5998, p. 1460, DOI: 10.1126/science.329.5998.1460.Chairman Mao was one of the most evil men the world has ever seen.  The influence his beliefs and actions had on hundreds of millions of people yearning to breathe free is beyond appalling.  And this story is not the worst of the nightmares traceable to that evil, evil dictator.  When his policies led to a famine that killed tens of millions of Chinese (because he trusted the science charlatan Lysenko), he didn’t accept responsibility for any of it.  Hvistendahl says, “attention focused on population as the culprit, and Chairman Mao Zedong, who had once encouraged large families, shifted course.”  The people would now suffer for his mistake with the “most spectacular demographic experiment in history,” the one-child policy adopted by his successor.  Mao died in luxury, accompanied with wine, women and song, as his victims starved and rotted in hard labor camps.  He never took any responsibility for murdering 77 million of his own people (11/30/2005), but paraded his big-brother visage throughout the country, forcing his subjects to adore him like a god.    He was no god; he was a devil.  Mao justified his political horrors with “scientific” ideology.  He venerated Lenin, Stalin, and Darwin, building a political apparatus – and guiding the most populous nation on the planet – around their views.  Darwin, in turn, was strongly influenced by the know-nothing Thomas Malthus, a preacher of sorts dabbling in a subject he did not understand.  It resulted in Darwin’s vision of a secular world uncared for by God, a world of natural selection, a cruel world of struggle and hunger and death, pitiless in its indifference to the suffering of the individual.  Too bad Malthus was not good at math and economics.  Who told him population grows exponentially but food supply grows linearly?  Nobody.  Malthus made it up!  Who told Olsder that game theory proved China would have a population catastrophe?  Nobody.  He made it up!  These big liars and their willing dupes have the blood of millions on their hands.    This story is a lesson not just to China watchers but to the whole world.  The consequences of flawed ideas can be far-reaching, emotionally wrenching, and cruel.  They can be matters (literally) of life and death.  The true stories that could be told by Chinese couples deprived of their natural rights to life, liberty and family are too horrible to contemplate.  Can you hear their cries?  Can you see their tears?  The conclusion piles insanity on cruelty: political inertia, propaganda and indoctrination have made this horrendous demographic experiment very difficult to stop.    If China’s people had been given the liberty to enjoy their natural rights endowed by their Creator, it’s likely there never would have been the feared population bomb.  (It didn’t happen in Europe and America, despite the Club of Rome and Paul Ehrlich.)  People with freedom to explore their potential, especially those taught to value work and improve their lives and society, become wealthier (wealth generation, remember, is not a zero-sum game; the scientific findings of Faraday and Morse, for instance, created millions of new jobs).  Free people develop technology and science and better medicine.  Free people don’t have to depend on lots of children for their future, hoping that a few infants might survive the perils of childhood diseases to assist them in old age.  If anything, in Europe and America, the problem is that birth rates are too low.  It’s the repressed poor in third world dictatorships that tend to have high birth rates.    Yesterday was Constitution Day in America (see US Constitution Initiative website and the National Archives Charters of Freedom).  If China, desiring to modernize in the 1970s, had followed the example of the American Constitution, with its foundation of individual liberties granted by God, its people could have avoided so much heartbreak and terror.  Unless we learn the hard lessons of this story, we are doomed to see even worse horrors from any big government bent on an agenda trusting the bad ideas of Darwin and Malthus.  Never assume that past dictatorships have exhausted the horrors in the Darwin Pandora’s box.  A new documentary, What Hath Darwin Wrought, has just come out.  Watch the trailer, and spread the message, before a world government picks up where China left off.(Visited 748 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA economy’s record expansion

first_img9 June 2004South Africa’s newly appointed Cabinet has got down to work – and analysts say it is clear that a “developmental state” geared towards promoting faster economic growth forms the bedrock of government policy.Growth is looking positive so far in 2004. The national statistics agency, Statistics South Africa, said the economy grew by 3.1% in the first quarter – more than three times the growth over the same period in 2003.According to newspaper ThisDay, it is South Africa’s 22nd consecutive quarter of growth – the longest economic expansion since 1960.This is in line with trends across the continent. The African Development Bank has announced that the continent’s economy grew by 3.7% in 2003, with some African states recording growth rates above 5%.Economists say the improvement in the economy is partly due to a boom in domestic demand, sparked by a series of steady cuts in interest rates over the last year and R13.3-billion in tax relief last year.According to ThisDay, the manufacturing, retailing and wholesale sectors have benefited the most. Manufacturing grew 2.7% in the first quarter of the year, while the wholesale and retail trade rose 3.3%. Strong growth was also seen in the hospitality industry (3.3%) and agriculture (2.7%).Economists say it is likely that the Reserve Bank will remain steady on interest rates for the months ahead, though it may raise them towards the end of the year to offset creeping inflation.Newly appointed Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa told a parliamentary media briefing last month that it is important that the state remains engaged in the economy, and that the economic distortions of the past mean that it is impossible for it to remain neutral.Transport Minister Jeff Radebe told the briefing that the state cannot rely on the market to address the country’s present economic development needs, and will continue to invest in socio-economic infrastructure.Mpahlwa said it was important for government to limit the rising costs of key economic drivers like transport, energy, water and telecommunications. Structural barriers to growth, such as the railways and ports, would also be addressed, he said.Mpahlwa added that economic growth was central to black economic empowerment, which in turn would provide the skills needed to grow the economy.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Severe air turbulence could triple due to climate change

first_imgThe chances of being tossed around an aircraft cabin by severe turbulence could triple in coming years due to climate change, a new study has found.The study by University of Reading researcher Dr Paul Williams is the first to examine the impact of climate change on turbulence and the results should make even the most brazen of passengers buckle up.Although technology that allows aircraft to detect unexpected turbulence has improved, clear air turbulence remains difficult to distinguish and there are still incidents where passengers and cabin crew are injured.It is already estimated to cost US carriers $US200 million annually and Increased turbulence has implications for aircraft insurers and for the efficiency of airline operations.The study, published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, used super computer simulations to look at how a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would affect wintertime turbulence levels on trans-Atlantic routes at about 39,000ft. it said that level of CO2 was widely expected to occur later this century.The results showed the average amount of light turbulence in the atmosphere will increase by 59 per cent with light-to-moderate turbulence rising by 75 per cent, moderate by 94 per cent, moderate-to-severe by 127 per cent and severe by 149 per cent.The reason for this, according to the study, is that climate change is generating stronger wind shears within the jet stream and that these are a major cause of turbulence.“Our new study paints the most detailed picture yet of how aircraft turbulence will respond to climate change,’’ Williams said.“For most passengers, light turbulence is nothing more than an annoying inconvenience that reduces their comfort levels, but for nervous fliers even light turbulence can be distressing.“However, even the most seasoned frequent fliers may be alarmed at the prospect of a 149 per cent increase in severe turbulence, which frequently hospitalises air travellers and flight attendants around the world.”Williams said his priority now was to investigate other flight routes around the world.“We also need to investigate the altitude and seasonal dependence of the changes, and to analyse different climate models and warming scenarios to quantify the uncertainties,” he said.Conservative estimates show the busy North Atlantic flight corridor experiences about 790 turbulence encounters a year resulting in 687 minor and 38 serious injuries to flight attendants as well as 120 minor and 17 serious injuries to passengers.However, the Reading researchers believe actual injury rates are higher with other estimates indicating that there are over 63,000 encounters with moderate-or-greater turbulence and 5,000 encounters with severe-or-greater turbulence annually.last_img read more

SAA offers flight alternatives to Argentina

first_img12 November 2013 South African Airways (SAA) has announced its commitment to continue providing travel options to and from Argentina, despite discontinuing its direct flights to Buenos Aires from 28 March next year. The airline said in a statement on Monday that customers will still be able to travel to Argentina on SAA via Brazil (where the airline operates 11 weekly flights), or between South Africa and Argentina via flights operated by the airline’s partners in South America. SAA has made travel agreements with fellow Star Alliance partners (made up of Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines and Thai and United Airlines), and other major airlines operating between Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, as well as to and from other key South American destinations. “Before discontinuing any route, SAA takes into account the possible consequences of stopping flights, with consideration given to how a particular market can still be served,” SAA chief executive Monwabisi Kalawe said. He added that the decision to rationalise the carrier’s long-haul network was the result of “declining passenger volumes and the depreciation of South Africa’s currency against the US dollar by more than 20% over the last 12 months, and high fuel costs.” SAA’s long-term turnaround strategy will see the airline using more of its Star Alliance membership to gain the most benefits out of the partnership. Customers already holding ticketed reservations on SAA direct services between Johannesburg and Buenos Aires from 29 March 2014 onwards will be re-accommodated via SAA’s Sao Paulo flights, in line with IATA conditions of carriage. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

A Charger in Every Garage

first_imgThe city council in Palo Alto, California, has voted unanimously to require that new houses built within city limits be equipped with rough-in wiring for an electric car charger. According to The San Jose Mercury News, councilors also agreed to streamline the permitting process for chargers and come up with other strategies that would encourage the use of electric vehicles.“Let’s figure out as a council what we can do to remove the obstacles to owning electric vehicles in Palo Alto,” the newspaper quoted Mayor Greg Scharff as saying. “I think what we really need to do is make it convenient, easy and economical.”Schraff said the electrical work would add about $200 to the cost of a house, one-quarter the cost of doing the work as a retrofit.As Green Car Reports noted, Palo Alto is a wealthy Silicon Valley community where average houses cost more than $1 million, so the pre-wiring won’t be much of a strain for most homebuyers.Palo Alto also is home to Tesla Motors, which produces luxury plug-in cars.last_img read more

What’s the R-value of Cedar Shingle Siding?

first_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img White cedar has an R-value of about R-1.4 per inch, so it isn’t too hard to calculate the R-value of white cedar siding. The trickiest part of the calculation is determining the siding thickness.If we’re talking about cedar shingles, there are usually a maximum of three layers of shingles at any one point in the wall. The shingles are tapered, so the total thickness of the siding includes layers with different thicknesses. (The butt of the shingle may measure 3/8 inch; the top of the shingle may measure 1/16 inch; and the middle of the shingle may measure 3/16 inch).Let’s be generous, and assume that the three layers add up to a total thickness of 3/4 inch. We calculate the R-value of the cedar this way:(0.75 inch * 1.4) = R-1.05Next, we’ll add a value (R-0.17) for the exterior air film:R-1.05 + R-0.17 = R-1.22What if the singles are thicker? Let’s do the math for 5/8-inch-thick shingles. We’ll be generous (again) and assume that the three layers add up to a total thickness of 1.25 inch. So the R-value of the cedar is:(1.25 inch * 1.4) = R-1.75Adding the R-value of the exterior air film, we end up with:(R-1.75 + R-0.17) = R-1.82So, if you’re using 3/8-inch shingles, the installed siding will have an R-value of (at most) about R-1.3. If you are using thicker 5/8-inch shingles, the installed siding will have an R-value of (at most) about R-1.9.If any readers think that the R-value of cedar shingles might be higher, it’s worth consulting standard R-value tables for a reality check. Most such R-value tables ascribe an R-value of R-0.87 for wood shingle siding.If you were a shingle manufacturer, you might want to fudge these figures a little and exaggerate the R-value of the shingles. If the… last_img read more

Hurricane Sandy: What Will It Take To Get You To Move To The Damn Cloud?

first_imgAs the recovery from Hurricane Sandy moves into its next phases, companies and organizations that depend on the Internet are beginning to ask the hard questions about the effects of the superstorm. Outfits directly affected are wondering how to keep from getting hammered again, while others around the world are looking to make sure they’re not vulnerable to these kinds of disasters.The obvious answer is a cloud-based deployment for websites and services that takes full advantage of the cloud’s elasticity and redundancies. But that’s been true for a while. So what’s the hold up?The Problem Is ClearThe images and stories that came out of Lower Manhattan put the problem in sharp relief, to paraphrase New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg: Locating so many Internet service providers in one geographic area put a lot of Internet resources in serious risk. It was a gamble that didn’t pay off for many data center operators and their online customers, thanks to flooding that knocked out power – sometimes along with the backup generators and fuel supply pumps.By Saturday, things were getting back to normal, as larger Internet providers like Equinix and Internap were operating either on utility power or stable generator power. But this wasn’t a uniform recovery – Datagram, which hosts prominent websites like Huffington Post, Gawker and BuzzFeed, lost the basement generators at its 33 Whitehall Street facility and did not receive a new backup generator until 2pm Friday.The full impact of the storm is still being measured, as recovery operations continue. But to give an idea of how may sites were dropped off the Internet after Sandy made landfall, take a look at the chart below of IP addresses from the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre. Immediately after Sandy’s landfall a week ago, the number of announced systems dropped by 400, which cut off more than 2,000 separate sites on the Internet using unique IP addresses.APNIC Chart of IPv4 Addresses.The efforts to keep or restore those data centers’ connectivity to the Internet are tales of can-do, sleeve-rolling, American hard work and ingenuity – and they should be applauded for making the best of a bad situation.At the same time, as the tech community gawks at pictures of bucket brigades of petrochemicals and sea-water flooded basement, its obvious that this is not the best solution. The time for excuses justifying these kinds of heroic, yet ultimately unnecessary last-minute saves is over.When The Train Comes, MoveThe Herculean efforts of the data centers whacked by the storm bring to mind another mythical character, King Sisyphus, the rather wicked soul condemned to forever roll a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down just before it reaches the top. And while the affected ISPs, websites and their customers may not be wicked, they are still facing a Sisyphean situation if they go back to the way things were.The fact is, if this storm didn’t wake companies up to the importance of using off-site public clouds as at least a backup for their online presence, then one has to wonder if what it would take to jog the IT staff into taking action. Tthat’s true for companies in Lower Manhattan – and everywhere else. Your company may be located in an area prone to hurricanes, earthquakes, or tornadoes – or you could be victimized by human error or a malicious hack or even physical attack. The plain truth is that no company is truly safe from the possibility of disaster – so you have to be prepared to get the hell out of the way when trouble comes, and to have a way to get back on your feet if you do get knocked down.The key to doing that quickly and efficiently is to remember that your website is on a network – it does not have to be tied down to one vulnerable server in one vulnerable building.Cloud Costs Coming DownIt’s one thing to say “just get your site on the cloud” and quite another to make that happen. Sites have to be architected in such a way they can be migrated reasonably. Regulatory compliance may also play a big factor for certain industries. Plus there’s the cost of replicating data across multiple locations.But that cost is not as much of issue as it used to be, according to Robert Offley, CEO of managed service provider CentriLogic. Five years ago, the cost of replicating a site was “six to eight times higher than now,” Offley explained. Today site replication is a far more cost-effective option.Simple site replication is just one way to take advantage of the cloud. There’s a full spectrum of cloud-based solutions, anything from backing up your sites’ database in an off-site facility to full-on multisite cloud architecture for a website that can adjust smoothly from server to server, based on regional network and data center outages. There’s a whole host of options out there that aren’t that expensive – not when compared to the loss of traffic and revenue that will hit your business when things do go wrong.What Are You Waiting For?Amazingly, it’s still a lesson that needs to be taught. As the events after Sandy show, there are a whole lot of businesses, including tech-savvy organizations who should really know better, that haven’t taken the time and effort to put active backups in place – much less to move everything into the cloud.If your business is a storefront, you can’t just pick up and move when disaster strikes. But if your business is on the Internet, you most certainly can move your bits when the time comes – or better yet right now.Not taking advantage of the very thing that makes cloud so valuable, the capability to keep your site up and running no matter what happens in any single location, is a waste of the available technology and very short-sighted… to the point of stupidity.Objections will be raised to this argument, of course, chiefly that clouds aren’t perfect solutions, either. First off, cloud facilities can be whacked like any other data center, as Amazon and its customers have found out quite a bit this year. Nor do clouds offer duplication and high-availability services out of the box, as it were. Customers, namely Web admins and developers, have to build their sites to take full advantage of the cloud, or otherwise it’s just another server sitting in the building somewhere waiting to get knocked offline.But when Web teams plan for success in the cloud, elastic services offer a better 21st Century method to avoid or respond to disasters. Certainly a lot better than waiting for a bucket brigade.Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Related Posts Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … brian proffittcenter_img How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#cloud computing#hurricane sandy last_img read more