Wacky winds blow over regatta

first_imgSunday dawned with strong winds coming from the south at 8-11 knots. By the end of the final race the wind was blowing at close to 18 knots. When asked if the strong winds were ever a problem, Voss replied, “No, not at all. The boat was just awesome. Twenty-one (knots) is when these boats start getting fun. They’re very stable. The faster they go the more fun they are.” Ray Godwin and Temptress chased Pirahna and was close on its transom both days. “We came around the last race. We were last off the start, so we had to work hard to catch up,” Godwin said. Chayah and Emirage II competed in the one design 48 class. Chayah, owned by Oscar Krinsky, was never really challenged. LONG BEACH – “Nice regatta,” David Voss skipper of Pirahna and winner of the Farr 40 class said after Sunday’s races of the Midwinter Regatta. “We kind of got a little bit of everything.” Voss was referring to the weather which between Saturday and Sunday was, to say the least, different. At the start of the first race on Saturday, the usual 5-8 knot southeasterly breeze that blows across Long Beach bay was replaced by a strong 8-11 knot northwesterly Santa Ana condition. However, before the second of three races could be started, the wind died with light puffs coming from the traditional wind direction. By the end of the third race, the wind was its normal self, coming in from the southwest at about 5 knots. center_img Taking first place in the PHRF A class was Dan Rossen and his B-32, Problem Child. Mako, skippered by David Michaelis took first place in the Schock 35 class finishing first in 4 out of 5 races. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

How the Raiders can fill their most glaring need in 2019 NFL Draft

first_imgIt doesn’t take a rocket scientist or even a draft guru-turned-general manager to figure out where the Raiders need the most help after a dismal 2018. They finished last season with a mere 13 sacks, the fewest single-season total for any team since the 2008 Chiefs finished with only 10.The Raiders knew they wouldn’t wreak havoc in opposing backfields after trading All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack before the regular season, but nobody could’ve anticipated their pass rush being as anemic as it …last_img read more

How Chromosomes Pack Without Exploding

first_imgWhen preparing to divide, a cell has to copy all its DNA accurately and pack it into chromosomes.  A professor at U Chicago told Science Daily this is “like compacting your entire wardrobe into a shoebox.”  The cell has another difficulty in this compaction process, though: DNA, being negatively charged, resists packing.    Eukaryotes overcome the resistance by neutralizing the negative charge with histones.  DNA wraps around the histones, forming nucleosomes, which then coil and supercoil into the familiar chromosomes.  One class of marine algae, the dinoflagellates, uses a different method: it neutralizes the negatively-charged DNA with positively-charged ions of calcium and magnesium.    The U Chicago team was puzzled at this exception to the rule.  They wondered if “this may have been the first and very efficient step toward the goal of neutralizing DNA, long before histones came into play.”  The statement was only a suggestion, however.  It also does not explain why dinoflagellates have much more nuclear DNA than human beings.    One observation, though, was dynamic.  When the scientists removed the positively-charged ions from the dinoflagellate DNA, the chromosomes exploded.Did they find a sequence from positive-ion neutralization to histone neutralization?  No; their evolutionary belief dictates that they use imagination and speculation to invent stories to link different organisms with common ancestry.  There are puzzles to solve here, for sure.  Why would a marine alga have so much more DNA than a human?  Why would it use a different method of neutralizing the DNA?  Don’t let these puzzles overshadow the major question: how genetic information arose that could be systematically and accurately copied, then condensed by orders of magnitude into a tiny space.  If you ever figure out how to compact your wardrobe into a shoebox, one thing is certain: you will not have done it by an evolutionary process.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

New transport era for Joburg

first_img25 June 2010 Thousands of fans have been streaming off the City of Johannesburg’s new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system into the Soccer City and Ellis Park stadiums for the 10 World Cup matches that have already been played there. For the many South African spectators, it has been their first taste of the new transport system in the city, and all indications are that it will become a well-used mode of transport long after the World Cup has left the country’s shores. Known as the Rea Vaya (“we are going”), the system is one of the many transport and infrastructure projects that was accelerated for the kick-off of the 2010 Fifa World Cup™, and during the tournament it has been one of the largest carriers of fans to and from matches in the city. “The BRT is currently transporting around 30 percent of the fans to both Ellis Park and Soccer City,” said Sibongile Khumalo, Johannesburg host city coordinator for the World Cup. “We have received a positive response from the public and the uptake has been very good,” said Khumalo. “The BRT system takes fans straight to the stadiums, and the easy access and usage has made it very popular with fans.” The Rea Vaya transports fans to Soccer City in around 10 minutes from the Westgate station in the Johannesburg CBD, and under 15 minutes from the Thokoza Park station in Soweto. “The BRT saves people time, they can beat traffic as the system reliable and quick,” said Khumalo. Based on the Brazilian Curitiba, which was the first BRT system developed in the world, the Rea Vaya utilises specialised vehicles, dedicated bus lanes, easy access stations and reliable scheduling. The BRT system is a growing project, with new routes being planned for other parts of the city, ensuring that public transport in Johannesburg will continue to benefit more people once the World Cup concludes. “We plan to increase the network after the World Cup,” said Khumalo. “This is a system that will change the way people travel around the city. Already, 20 000 Johannesburg residents use the system daily, from home to work and back again.” For Khumalo, the publicity around the Rea Vaya system during the tournament has raised public awareness and understanding among South Africans. “The BRT was fairly new before the tournament. Using the buses on the way to matches means that new customers are being created every day, and these people will start using the system as part of their daily transport.” As fans arrived in Soccer City for the clash between Ghana and Germany on Wednesday night, commuters were impressed. “The buses are great, comfortable and fast,” said Koketso Baloyi. “It is great to finally have a system like this in South Africa. With the Gautrain and Rea Vaya, the travel around Johannesburg will change for good,” he said, referring to the recently completed Gautrain rapid rail link between the Johannesburg suburb of Sandton and OR Tambo International Airport. Isaiah Malatji first used the Rea Vaya on his way to the opening match at Soccer City between South Africa and Mexico. “It is really amazing and has done us proud, I’ve caught it to a few games now and in conversation with other commuters we can only sing its praises,” said Malatji. “I will definitely be using the buses regularly. Before this I relied on my car, but this will change for me after the World Cup. It is a great gift for our young nation having first-class infrastructure, and it makes us proud to be from Johannesburg. We will gain much from this World Cup.” Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committeelast_img read more

SA extends new power plant deadline

first_img8 July 2013 South Africa’s new Medupi coal-fired power station, under construction in Limpopo province, is unlikely to deliver its first power to the country’s grid by the end of this year as planned, state power company Eskom confirmed on Monday. Medupi’s unit 6, the first of Medupi’s six 800 MW units, was due to deliver its first power to the grid by December 2013. A more realistic target for the first synchronisation of unit 6 to the grid is the second half of 2014, Eskom said. Medupi, one of the two large coal-fired stations that Eskom is building, is a 4 764 MW coal-fired power station located near Lephalale. It will the first South African power station to have “super-critical” technology, and one of the world’s largest dry cooled stations, so it will much more efficient than older coal-fired stations. The other station, Kusile, is located in Mpumalanga province and will have the same technology but with the addition of flue-gas desulphurisation – a first in South Africa. Flue-gas desulphurisation is a state-of-the art technology used to remove oxides of sulphur from the exhaust flue gases in power plants that burn coal or oil.Labour unrest, contractor failures Medupi has battled with labour unrest as well as under-performance by key contractors, putting the timelines of the project, which began in 2005, in question. Eskom has been engaging with contractors Hitachi and Alstom to resolve critical technical issues regarding the welding on the station’s boilers and the control and instrumentation systems for its units. Inadequate post-weld heat treatment had meant that multiple welds needed to be retested and fixed, while welds made using unqualified procedures needed replacement. Eskom said on Monday that effective interventions had been put in place to address these issues while the progress of the repairs was being closely monitored. “Some progress has also been made in resolving the control and instrumentation issue. However, there has been continued under-performance on the control and instrumentation contract, despite active interventions by Eskom over the past year, and it is now clear that the issues on the control and instrumentation for unit 6 will take time to resolve.”Interventions to support revised target The revised 2014 target is based on in-depth independent and internal assessments of the project which Eskom has undertaken. “The revised schedule is based on certain assumptions and depends on the success of interventions to ensure [that] critical timelines on the boiler and control and instrumentation contracts are met in the next few months, as well as the stability of the labour force,” Eskom said. Eskom’s board is closely monitoring the project, while senior executives are on site on a weekly basis. Additionally, the Eskom project team has been strengthened with specialist support. A bi-monthly meeting has been set up between Eskom executives and the chief executives of all the major contractors, including a site walk, in order to resolve all the issues hampering progress. Significant progress has been made to restore effective labour relations on site since March. In June, Eskom, the contractors and labour signed an innovative new “partnering agreement” which should bring stability. “We have done everything in our power to meet the December target date,” Eskom CEO Brian Dames said in Monday’s statement. “However, it is now clear that the boiler and control and instrumentation issues cannot be resolved in time for the first unit of Medupi to deliver first power to the grid by 2013. “We are communicating this pro-actively, in line with our commitment to keep South Africa informed on the progress of the build projects.” Ensuring security of supply The company is working to ensure South Africa’s security of supply despite the delay, with a revised outlook indicating that there could be a potential gap in supply in 2014 – the most likely scenario being a gap in the region of 700 MW. “The power system will remain tight … and we are working to put initiatives in place to close the gap,” Dames said. “We remain determined to keep the lights on, with the help of all South Africans. This is being done with support from government.” Once unit 6 is online, the remaining five units of Medupi will be brought online at intervals, so that the entire power station should be fully commissioned by 2017. Meanwhile, the cost to complete Medupi has increased to a maximum of R105-billion (excluding interest during construction, transmission costs and claims against contractors), from the previous estimate of R91.2-billion. The increase would be funded from existing capex allocations and would not affect electricity tariffs, the company said, adding that the cost remained within international benchmarks. “We expect to get more than 3 800 MW of new capacity online by 2015, from Medupi, Kusile, Ingula and our Sere wind farm,” Eskom finance director Paul O’Flaherty said. “We have had the programmes and the costs independently reviewed. “We are working very hard indeed to make sure that we deliver, and we have the commitment of the major contractors to achieve our goals.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

A ‘Kit-Home’ Approach to Passivhaus

first_imgSonya Newenhouse’s home — a 968-sq.-ft. three-bedroom in Viroqua, Wisconsin, that she shares with her sister, Astrid, and their roommate, Bjorn — is a source of both comfort and marketing potential. Comfort because the house, which was certified to the Passivhaus standard in early November, is handling the onset of winter without a hitch. Marketing potential because the house also is the model for what Newenhouse is pitching as a “kit home” package of plans, materials, and consulting services that will help her clients build homes of like size and performance.Newenhouse is president of Madison Environmental Group, a green building and sustainability consultancy that has developed designs and construction documents for homes of 600, 800, and 1,000 sq. ft. (in one-, two-, and three-bedroom configurations, respectively) that would meet Passivhaus requirements for airtightness, heating, and primary energy use, and also would qualify for LEED for Homes Platinum certification. As noted on an MEG summary of the prototype project, the kit-home package also includes special building materials, a detailed specification sheet for the remaining building materials, project management assistance, and green construction consulting for clients as they progress through the building process.Why Passivhaus? In a blog posted shortly after the prototype home was certified by Passivhaus Institut, Newenhouse writes that one reason Passivhaus is the centerpiece of her kit-home strategy is that it addresses what she sees as an ecological imperative in new-home construction. “If we’re going to take responsibility for reducing our energy footprint and prepare for the future,” she says, “it’s critical to leapfrog our building efficiency standards. No longer is 25% or 50% more efficient good enough — 80% to 90% more energy efficient is what’s needed.”The NewenHouse, as the prototype has come to be known, joins the Passive House in the Woods, in Hudson, which was supervised by architect Tim Eian, who also has been guiding a couple in Minneapolis on a retrofit of their three-bedroom house to Passivhaus Institut’s EnerPHit standard.The prototype’s slab and exterior walls are insulated to R-57, the roof to R-100. Dense-packed cellulose fills the rafter bays and the 16-in.-thick double-stud walls. The building is designed to accommodate both solar hot water and photovoltaic systems. Newenhouse estimates that the total annual electric demand for the house, with its three occupants, is 6,119 kWh.Newenhouse arranges tours of the house by appointment, and also will play host to an open house from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on December 23.last_img read more