Donegal Town Community Band crowned Ulster Champions at Fleadh

first_imgThe Donegal Town Community Band has been crowned Ulster Champions at the Ulster Fleadh in Castlewellan, Co Down. The band were awarded the prestigious award on Sunday afternoon.It is the first time the band have been crowned Ulster champions at senior level. The Ulster Fleadh returned to Castlewellan last weekend for a week-long celebration.Members of the band celebrating their victoryA special homecoming has been planned to welcome the team home at the Diamond in Donegal Town tonight (Sunday) at 8pm. Donegal Town Community Band crowned Ulster Champions at Fleadh was last modified: July 28th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Round-up: Terry injury, Courtois criticism, Polter, QPR look at ex-Spurs youngster

first_imgJohn Terry is due to undergo a scan on his injured ankle on Tuesday.The Chelsea skipper suffered the injury towards the end of the 2-2 draw at Swansea and is a doubt for Friday’s game against Liverpool.Many Blues fans on Twitter have been critical of keeper Thibaut Courtois – and the decision to sell Petr Cech – in the wake of Sunday’s match.QPR also have an injury concern – Sebastian Polter did not train with the rest of the squad on Monday and is a doubt for the match against Newcastle.Polter did not appear for the second half against BlackburnBoth Rangers’ and Fulham’s development sides were in action on Monday evening.Former Tottenham youngster Channing Campbell-Young, who has been on trial with the R’s, featured in a 6-1 defeat at Bolton.Fulham’s Under-23s fared better, beating Aston Villa 3-0 at the Whites’ Motspur Park training ground.Kalas has impressed since joining Fulham on loanMeanwhile, on-loan Chelsea defender Tomas Kalas says he believes Fulham’s squad is stronger than the promotion-winning Middlesbrough one he was part of last season.Chelsea Ladies full-back Hannah Blundell has told West London Sport her team are still very much in the WSL title race.In cricket, half-centuries from Middlesex’s top three put Championship leaders Middlesex into a commanding position against Lancashire at Old Trafford.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Arsenic Life Isn’t

first_img(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Remember the claim in 2010 that living organisms were discovered using arsenic instead of phosphate?  Further tests show it was not the case.The announcement of alien life on our own planet captivated the media briefly in December 2010 (see “Arsenic and Old Lake, 12/02/2010).  This week, though, PhysOrg, National Geographic, Live Science and Astrobiology Magazine were among news outlets announcing Felisa Wolf-Simon’s claim was wrong.  If true, it “would have revolutionized how we think about life,” NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine noted, but two subsequent studies have apparently confirmed that the organism does require phosphate, not arsenic, in its genetic code.  This undercuts the main claim of “arsenic-based life.”National Geographic said the life-form named GFAJ-1 (after Felisa’s initials) does not represent a “second Genesis” of life on Earth.  Astrobiologist Paul Davies, however, contends that one falsification does not invalidate his quest to continue looking for alien life on our own planet.  Wolf-Simon is not conceding, though.   She thinks that if the organism ingests tiny amounts of arsenic, it will still validate her claim.  Most of the other scientists looking into it say she will have to provide much stronger evidence.Isn’t this a good example of science at work?  Doesn’t this show that science is a self-correcting process, like the late positivist Carl Sagan emphasized?  Aren’t scientists showing themselves to be unbiased truth-seekers, willing to debunk an idea even if they prefer it were true, if the facts do not confirm it?  Aren’t they setting a good example of intellectual integrity?Well, nes and yo (those are inextricable mixtures of yes and no).  Sure; to a degree they have illustrated a desire for strong evidence in this instance.  But this one was easy.  The organisms are right here on our home planet, easily collected and studied in the lab (easy compared to studying life on Europa or some extrasolar planet).  They still believe in evolution despite 153 years of falsifying evidence since Darwin published his storybook.  Take a look at this quote from the PhysOrg article: “NASA has conducted numerous probes at eastern California’s Mono Lake, an unusually salty body of water with high arsenic and mineral levels, as it is likely to reflect conditions under which early life evolved on Earth, or perhaps Mars.”With silly evidence-free tales like that, contrary to all we know about probability and the complexity of life, their brief escapade into integrity is too little too late.  Evolutionists are still straining out a bacterium and swallowing a camel.  They pay their tithes of mint, phosphate and arsenic but ignore the weightier issues of the law of nature, that design demands a Designer.  They remain blind leaders of the blind on the really big questions.OK, so here’s 2 cents for your honesty here, but pay up on your trillion-dollar promissory notes that expired 152 years ago.last_img read more

The First Cab Cam of 2016 – Brent Pence

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest One of the first to get the 2016 planting season started in Ohio was Pence Farms in Clark County. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins rode along for a round or two of corn planting and visited with Brent about how things are going early on in this New Carlisle field.last_img

Finding the Insulation Sweet Spot

first_imgCan Foam Insulation Be Too Thick? Payback Calculations for Energy-Efficiency ImprovementsPearls of Wisdom From Recent Conferences Energy Modeling Isn’t Very Accurate Sometimes, It’s Cheaper to Install PV Than More Insulation Building America Special Research Project: High R-Value Enclosures for High Performance Residential Buildings in All Climate Zones If you double the R-value of your insulation, the rate of heat loss is cut in half, Holladay continues. “The only questions are (a) whether more insulation is a good investment, and (b) whether the embodied energy of the insulation materials exceeds the energy that is likely to be saved over the lifespan of the insulation,” he says.Lewendal proposes the construction of three identical houses and studying the effects of adding more insulation. Although it’s possible this exact test has not been performed before, Holladay says, it really doesn’t matter.“Michael Blasnik (among other researchers) has assembled energy use data on hundreds of thousands of U.S. homes,” he says. “Energy researchers have developed sophisticated models that have been repeatedly validated by comparing modeled results to test home performance. In short, we know exactly what happens when we add R-20 of cellulose to an attic with R-38 cellulose. Of course, different families operate their houses differently. But we have all the data we need to do the calculations that you apparently think have never been made.” Passivhaus targets aren’t based on cost-effectivenessHolladay agrees with Lewendal that R-70 walls are overkill. Holladay notes, “You’re right; PHPP [Passive House Planning Package software] pays no attention to cost-effectiveness. All PHPP tells you is how to hit 15 kWh per square meter per year.”He also agrees that R-40 isn’t the right answer for all cold-climate builders. “If you have done the calculations for your housing type, your wall insulation type, your insulation costs, and your payback time frame, and you have come up with R-30, I have absolutely no reason to doubt you. I have consistently said, ‘You have to do the calculations.’” The work has already been doneLewendal could save himself the trouble of a new study, replies GBA senior editor Martin Holladay, because the work has already been done.“What you call a ‘theory’ is a truism enshrined in our building codes,” Holladay says. “The entire reason that the minimum insulation values in U.S. building codes are higher in Minnesota than in Florida is the well-understood calculation that you call a ‘theory.’” RELATED ARTICLES Parts of the equation we don’t knowCalculating the “sweet spot” of exactly the right amount of insulation with any precision requires two bits of information, adds Ron Keagle, the cost of energy and the cost of money over time. “It also depends on individual perception of thermal comfort and their willingness to pay for it,” he says, “although I suppose you could average that across all homeowners.”Another wild card, says James Howison, are the occupants themselves. Suppose they spend $200 a month on heating and cooling in a leaky, poorly insulated house. They stay on budget by adjusting the thermostat — a little cooler in winter, a little warmer in summer. With a better insulated house, they still spend $200 a month on energy but they can afford to be more comfortable, Howison says.“On one hand one could say that the improvements are yielding more comfort and are therefore efficient, but from an energy perspective it’s problematic,” he writes. “I suspect that this applies with existing housing, perhaps less with new housing. I think that the proposals to include energy costs in budgeting for getting mortgages would really help this, by including this expectation.”Holladay adds that there’s one more thing to ponder: “Here is a huge factor: should we include the external costs of burning fossil fuels in our fuel cost assumptions? Right now, the U.S. government is unwilling to enact carbon taxes that reflect the true economic cost of global climate change. As a result, every U.S. homeowner pays less for electricity, natural gas, and fuel oil than would be the case if the price of energy included the the true cost to the planet of burning fossil fuels.”center_img No, we still don’t know the answerDespite claims to the contrary, Lewendal isn’t convinced enough research has been conducted. He’s done the background reading suggested by Holladay and others, and is familiar with the suggestion that above-grade walls in cold climates be insulated to R-40.“What if the diminishing returns for insulation here in Bozeman is R-30 and we took your advice and installed R-40 in the next thousand homes and it turns out R-30 is where the curve bends down reducing the marginal improvement in performance?” he says. “The cost of going from R-30 to R-40 is about $3K. What is the opportunity cost for our customers if we overspent $3 million on insulation?”In fact, Lewendal says he has used two energy modeling programs and can’t conclude R-40 is best for his area. “We have studied models from all over the world and found that countries like Turkey and those in Scandinavia have done a better job of modeling the diminishing returns of insulation than we have,” he says. “Still, we are not convinced that prescriptive modeling matches performance very well. My best example is the PHIUS [Passive House Institute U.S.] model. They think that R-70 plus walls will give homeowners the best value. I am quite sure that a very low [air changes per hour] and modest insulation is more appropriate. The exact number for us here in Bozeman is what I want to determine.” R-40 may be ideal but consumers aren’t listeningThe bottom line, Lewendal adds, is that consumers don’t seem to be responding to the consensus that R-40 walls are close to ideal in a cold climate.“Most homes get about an R-21 because the government says it is good and our cities enforce that level of insulation,” he writes. “A few homes get about R-70 because they think Wolfgang [Feist of the Passive House Institute] is a smart guy and they will pay almost anything to reduce CO2 even if it means making more CO2 than the opportunity cost of that extra insulation… So, how do we get the average homeowner to ask for what your blogs have suggested, which is a PGH or pretty good house?”Lewendal thinks there are enough uncertainties to justify his new study.But to Keagle, his quest to find the insulation sweet spot can be based only in part on objective science.“The rest is intuitive and subjective,” Keagle writes. “Part of that is simply belief. You can build an example house and prove what it does. That would be convincing to the extent that it confirms part of the objectivity of the sweet spot.“But communication, information, explanation, and marketing can also be convincing without an example. Or the example can be part of the marketing as a working demonstration. I don’t see any of this as reinventing the wheel. The goal is to sell the public on the idea of higher efficiency.” Anders Lewendal, a builder in Bozeman, Montana, is wrestling with a familiar dilemma: What’s the right amount of insulation to put in a house?“Our theory,” he writes in Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor, “is that too little insulation wastes energy and equally, too much insulation wastes energy. Where is the sweet spot in each climate zone?”To that end, Lewendal is proposing more performance testing.“We are interested in knowing if GBA has conducted any performance testing that makes diminishing returns conclusions,” writes Lewendal. “If not, we are hoping GBA might give us some advice that makes our experiment productive.”[Coincidentally, Lewendal is the founder of a “build American” campaign promoting the use of U.S. building materials. GBA has published two articles on his efforts: One Builder’s Buy-American Strategy and A 100-Year-Old Energy Star Home.] Our expert’s opinionGBA technical director Peter Yost added this:On one level, this sort of discussion drives me crazy. You simply can’t energy-model a single answer to the question of the “right” level of insulation or home energy efficiency. There are just too many variables, including changing wall configuration and systems with greater assembly depths; ever-increasing and unpredictable energy prices; climate change; assembly performance impact on the “right” mechanical system.And since many energy-modeling program results are either directly or inherently linked to simple payback analysis of the various energy measures, that really makes my head explode. We should not be using term-based payback analysis for long-term durable goods, like houses and their building assemblies. Please see the BuildingGreen blog I wrote on value transfer.And please also consider a recent GBA Energy Solutions blog by Alex Wilson in which he suggests that the insulation sweet spot can be a function of the PV sweet spot. I like the idea of comparing the opportunity costs for insulation and renewable energy, although to make the comparison really “apples to apples” the two approaches would need to have identical service lives (the PV system would need to last as long as the wall assemblies, or the insulation in them).In any event, I think the insulation sweet spot is a lot like the literal use of the term sweet, in relation to food: the best flavors are not just sweet, but a combination of flavors. The insulation “sweet spot” is actually a more complicated flavor involving more than just insulation.last_img read more