Jupiter Moon Throws Curve Ball

first_imgThe little inner moon of Jupiter, Amalthea, isn’t dense enough.  A press release from Jet Propulsion Laboratory says that data from the Galileo spacecraft “shakes up long-held theories of how moons form around giant planets.”  Density of moons is supposed to decrease with radius around Jupiter, meaning that Amalthea should be the most solid.  Instead, it appears to be a loose rubble pile less dense than water.  An alternative theory, that it formed farther out and migrated or was captured, is also implausible.  “Amalthea is throwing us a curve ball,” one scientist said.  The original paper was published in Science May 27.11Anderson et al., “Amalthea’s Density Is Less than That of Water,” Science, Vol 308, Issue 5726, 1291-1293, 27 May 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1110422].Planetary science is not exactly batting a thousand these days, even without curve balls.  Looks like she didn’t accept the date when sports dropout McFly proposed, “Amalthea, you are my density… er, I mean, my destiny.”(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 5

first_imgIn the prior installment in this blog series, I proposed a rationale for the adoption of integrated project delivery (IPD) and promised to follow with suggestions regarding its implementation, along with some resources.Meanwhile, that last blog generated a great dialogue (and a few diatribes – always a plus!) about that classic IPD bugaboo, the design-bid-build model. Many of the commenters echoed my own very strong sentiments in favor of involving contractors during early design stages, and gave some great suggestions for how to do that. I won’t reiterate those here, but do encourage anyone who hasn’t read them to do so. Several other types of resources can support IPDContracts. In many discussions of IPD, the issues of responsibility and liability come up. Understandably, this is of paramount concern when project teams deviate from the standard approach to project delivery. A number of relatively new contract forms have evolved to address this need, including the following:AIA A195/B195/A295 Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor/ Owner and Architect for Integrated Project DeliveryAIA C195 Standard Form Single Purpose Entity Agreement for Integrated Project DeliveryConsensus DOCS 300 Standard Form of Tri-Party Agreement for Collaborative Project DeliveryMeeting Resources. As prosaic as it sounds, meeting logistics can be one of the biggest challenges an IPD team faces. There are a number of free online scheduling utilities; I find Doodle to be particularly user-friendly. When an in-person meeting isn’t possible, a conference call (e.g., FreeConference) or web-based meeting is often a good compromise. Skype provides not just free and low-cost calling, but also has a remote desktop sharing feature which is very easy to use. There are numerous web-based meeting services; among the more popular are Webex, GoToMeeting, and Adobe Connect.Information Resources. While not explicitly targeted to IPD teams, these resources can help teams more quickly arrive at sound decisions on high-performance projects:Building America 50% savings packages (climate-specific packages of energy features that will yield 50% energy savings compared with code-built homes)Building Green product reviews, case studies, and in-depth articlesGreen Building Advisor case studies on net-zero and other highly energy-efficient residential projects (and much more, of course!)National Renewable Energy Laboratory information on solar thermal and solar electric systems, among many other resourcesFlorida Solar Energy Center research, case studies, and much moreCollaboration Utilities. There is a diverse and rapidly increasing variety of online utilities that can help support good teamwork. One type is mind-mapping software such as Mindjet, which allows users to create online bubble diagrams and attach myriad types of information to them, including documents of all types, images, emails, urls, etc. This is a very dynamic tool for visually organizing information and ideas, and all team members can contribute. Houzz and Pinterest are representatives of another emerging class of utilities that are designed to allow users to create and share collections of visual information. The Siamese twins of IPDBefore moving on to the discussion of IPD implementation, I’ll share a couple of fundamental principles I’ve derived from my own experience – realizations resulting from shortcomings in process (failures have a way of providing teachable moments, don’t they?!) that have strongly shaped my views about implementation.Principle #1: Sound Process. If your process is sound, good outcomes will follow. In other words, it’s kind of tough to produce a lousy project if you’re observing a well-crafted (integrated) process. RELATED ARTICLES High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 1High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 2High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 3High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 4 IPD means following some rulesMy principles, above, were the result of observations about things that were working well, and some things that weren’t. Further observation and reflection on those principles over many years has led me to a set of basic rules for implementing IPD:Rule #1: Committed Leadership. Committed leadership is absolutely crucial. If either the purse-strings are controlled by a party who is not committed to IPD or the project team leader is not committed to IPD, it simply can’t happen. A sound process won’t be observed, and you may be unable to engage the right players.Rule #2: Designate a Champion. It’s critical to have an IPD champion within the project team. IPD is not the normal way building projects are developed; hence, someone needs to be responsible for its care and feeding. This may be anyone on the team, but ideally a seasoned professional with prior IPD experience or someone who is enthusiastic about the prospect of fulfilling this role and who is very organized.Rule #3: Be Inclusive. As much as you can, include every team member in your IPD process from the earliest possible date (or, by definition, it’s not so integrated). There’s a very practical reason for this: the person left out is the one who will cause problems – not out of malice, stupidity, or laziness, but typically because of a lack of understanding of the project’s goals or of the reasoning that underlies particular decisions. (Hearken back to part 4 in this blog series.)Rule #4: Establish Communication Protocols Early. As a team, identify the range of systems, materials, and issues that will need to be addressed as the project progresses, and the team members who should be involved in communications about each of these areas. Often it’s a pretty comprehensive matrix; the sample shown below arguably is missing some dots.Rule #5: Use an Online Workspace. There are a number of online workspace options, ranging in sophistication from the fairly rudimentary (e.g., Buzzsaw, Google Docs) to the more fully-featured such as Central Desktop and Basecamp, which I use because it offers a reasonably good balance between functionality and price. The two principal values of these utilities are:• Version control – everyone should have access at all times to the most current version of all project documents;• Email conversation archive – dialogue among team members about particular issues should be easily accessible from one central point without having to mine individuals’ sent or received email boxes. Principle #2: Right Players. A sound process, carried out by the right people, all but guarantees a good project (or product). The “right people” are qualified, committed, and creative. By qualified, I mean having prior relevant experience – ideally on other high-performance projects, and projects that are comparable in nature (building type) and scope (size, complexity). Committed players are also crucial, and in fact, a team member who lacks an ideal background but who is hugely enthusiastic about the undertaking can be a great asset. And finally, a spirit of creativity and innovation are essential. Ultimately, attitude trumps experience, if you can’t have both.These two principles are Siamese twins; one can’t exist without the other. Closing thought: integrated ≠ linearIn Part 4 I described the conventional or predominantly linear handoff process by which buildings are designed and constructed. Integrated project delivery, by contrast, is iterative rather than linear. And while a certain amount of iteration is inevitable even in a normal process, it’s a defining feature of IPD. For those new to IPD, this may seem inefficient, evoking sensations of déjà vu – didn’t we already discuss this? Didn’t we already decide? However, the nature of IPD is such that deeper discussion and more intensive collaboration reveals more nuance and therefore a more thoughtful and carefully considered approach to design and construction. Hence revisiting some ideas and decisions is inescapable. I like the metaphor of the spiral staircase to represent this phenomenon – although the landscape may be strikingly familiar as you move from one stage of a project to the next, in fact you are progressing towards your goal. And paradoxical as it may seem, this spiraling process is the quickest route from the start of design to your destination – a highly efficient and resourceful building. Many of my colleagues who have been involved in designing high-performance projects attest to this, perhaps none so succinctly as Scott Shell of EHDD Architects in San Francisco:“Integrated design can reduce construction cost while providing significant sustainable design benefits. On the CSU [California State University] Monterey Bay Library, by comparing a number of integrated structural, mechanical, and architectural schemes, we found that tradeoffs from one discipline more than offset added costs in another, while achieving energy savings of almost 40 percent.”last_img read more

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VP Pence exits NFL game after anthem protest

first_imgView comments LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City “And so this is what systemic oppression looks like — a man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple things out and leaves the game with an attempt to thwart our efforts.”Pence, who flew to Indianapolis from Las Vegas and was scheduled to head back west to California, was criticized in other quarters as well.“After all the scandals involving unnecessarily expensive travel by cabinet secretaries, how much taxpayer money was wasted on this stunt?” US congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, said in a tweet. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Members of the San Francisco 49ers kneel for the National Anthem before the start of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. FILE PHOTO/Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFPUS Vice President Mike Pence walked out of an NFL game Sunday when some players kneeled for the national anthem, the latest twist in a running saga over the controversial protests against racial injustice.Pence said that he departed after seeing players kneel during “The Star-Spangled Banner” ahead of the clash between his home team the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Trump took credit for the departure of Pence and his wife from the stadium in a later tweet, saying, “I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.”San Francisco safety Eric Reid, one of the players to embrace the anthem protest after it was initiated by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last year, said Pence’s walk-out looked like a publicity stunt.“With the information I have, the last time he went to a Colts game was three years ago, so this looks like a PR stunt to me,” said Reid, noting that the picture Pence had tweeted of himself and his wife in Colts apparel appeared to be the same as one taken at a game three years ago.The vice president also tweeted a picture of himself, clad in a button-down shirt and blazer, and his wife standing for the anthem on Sunday.“He knew our team has had the most players protest. He knew we were probably going to do it again,” Reid said.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem,” Pence wrote on Twitter.While Colts players stood arm-in-arm at their home game in Indianapolis, more than 20 of the opposition San Francisco 49ers players knelt during the song.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIt was a less organized gesture than the team’s demonstration last week, when 30 players kneeled with hands on hearts while teammates stood behind them, but it should have come as little shock to Pence, an Indiana native who tweeted his photo in Colts cap and shirt before the game.“While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem,” Pence tweeted. “I stand with President Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem.” Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’ PLAY LIST 02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’00:50Trending Articles02:11CJ Peralta assures fair decision on Marcos poll protest vs Robredo01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Curry scores 40, Warriors rout Wolves in Shanghai Read Next MOST READlast_img read more

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2014 Year-End Giving Results in Big Win Online for Nonprofits

first_imgWant more insight on how online giving is growing? Stay tuned! In February, we’ll release our Digital Giving Index, which will take a closer look at online giving trends. We’ll share where, how, and how much donors gave across our digital channels in 2014. How did your year-end fundraising campaigns perform? Chime in with your experiences in the comments and let us know what you plan to build on—or change—in 2015! It’s no secret that year-end giving is an important source of donation dollars for most nonprofits. Last year was no exception and we saw a lot of “generous procrastinators” giving big online in December 2014. When we looked at organizations who received donations on the Network for Good platform in both December 2013 and December 2014, we saw an 18% increase in total donation volume year over year. A few other important notes about year-end giving results:The total number of donations also grew year over year. In December 2014, 22% more donations were made to charities through Network for Good compared to December 2013.As expected, #GivingTuesday was a big driver of December donations on the Network for Good platform in 2014, with over $4.5M raised on December 2. This represented a 148% increase over total donation volume on #GivingTuesday 2013.December giving also accounted for 30% of all online donations made to nonprofits through Network for Good in 2014, with 10% of all annual giving happening on the last three days of the year. This stat has remained consistent for the last 5 years, underscoring the significance of year-end giving on overall fundraising results.The average gift size for the month of December also increased by 6.5% compared to 2013.last_img read more

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Rethinking Family Planning in China

first_imgPosted on July 6, 2012June 21, 2017Click 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Family planning laws in China, particularly the one child policy, are being challenged by high profile scholars and other individuals this week. The Wall Street Journal‘s China Realtime Report explains the issue and why we are seeing increased activism surrounding family planning in China:A group of 15 prominent Chinese scholars issued a open letter [in Chinese] on Thursday calling for a rethink of country’s family-planning laws, arguing that the law in its present form is incompatible with China’s increasing respect for human rights and need for sustainable economic development.It was the second open call for reform of the one-child policy this week, and comes less than a month after the shocking story of a seven-months pregnant woman forced undergo an abortion ignited a firestorm of anger online.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Five Ways an Innovative Program Increased Facility Birth in Nigeria

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 13, 2015October 28, 2016By: Nnenna Ihebuzor, Director of Primary Health Care Systems Development; Seye Abimbola, Research Fellow; Ugo Okoli, Program Director of SURE-P Maternal and Child Health Programme, Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development AgencyClick 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post is part of our Translating Research into Practice Series, which features guest posts from authors of the MHTF-PLoS open-access collections describing the impact of their research since publication.The Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) was set up as a game changer to reduce maternal and child mortality so Nigeria could achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on maternal and child health (MCH). Established by the national government in 2009 to improve the availability of skilled birth attendants in rural communities, the program engages newly graduated, unemployed and retired midwives to work temporarily in rural areas. Four midwives are posted for one year to selected primary health care (PHC) facilities to provide the human resources for health necessary to achieve the MDGs in their states and local government areas.1. Scale upSince the publication of our PLoS Medicine paper, the MSS has subsequently been scaled up from 625 PHC facilities to an additional 375 facilities, providing 1,000 facilities across Nigeria with an additional 4,000 midwives and 1,000 community health extension workers.2. Antenatal care, facility delivery, and family planning increase, maternal and neonatal mortality decreaseThe MSS continues to contribute to improved health outcomes in the rural communities where antenatal care visits and facility delivery have increased by more than 100%, family planning uptake by more than 200% and maternal and neonatal mortality have decreased by 19% and 5%, respectively, since the 2009 baseline. In 2012, inspired by the success of the MSS, the national government created an MCH component of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), which provides an additional 1,000 PHC facilities and strategies to mitigate some challenges encountered in implementing the MSS. Since its commencement, routine monitoring data show a 50% reduction in maternal mortality, 48% increase in antenatal visits, 61% increase in skilled birth attendance and 59% increase in first time acceptors of contraceptives in SURE-P MCH facilities compared to the baseline data.3. Policy Change for Family PlanningThe experience of implementing the MSS has helped reveal to the national government the existing realities of PHC in Nigeria. This has contributed to influencing a change in national policy to now allow community health extension workers, who form the bulk of the PHC workforce in Northern Nigeria, to provide contraceptive injectables to women.4. Conditional Cash Transfers Increase Facility DeliverySince antenatal care uptake far outpaces facility deliveries within the MSS, SURE-P MCH includes a conditional cash transfer component that is currently being piloted in 18 of Nigeria’s 36 states. Pregnant women receiving the cash transfer are required to attend four antenatal care visits, deliver in a facility and attend postnatal visits. In return, they are given N5,000 (US$32), pro-rated based on the number of conditions they meet. Preliminary results show a 27% increase in facility delivery with this incentive.5. Improved community engagement and human resources investmentFurther, the MSS has renewed attention to community engagement in PHC by reactivating community health committees, which have been successful in ensuring community ownership and support for health workers. To support these committees in generating demand for MCH services, SURE P MCH introduced a cadre of 6,000 lay community-based health workers nationwide. Selected by the committees, they help pregnant women, mothers and their children use PHC facilities along the continuum of care.Despite these improvements, the high health worker attrition within the MSS continues. This is worse in northern Nigeria, where in some states only one third of deployed midwives stay. SURE-P MCH is trying to address the challenges responsible for attrition: challenging living and working conditions, irregular payment of salary and deployment far from home, since the majority of the midwives are from southern Nigeria.The way forwardAlthough we’ve seen great success from the MSS, SURE-P MCH and the MSS together support only 10% of PHC facilities in Nigeria. While they significantly improve health outcomes where they are implemented, nothing short of active support for PHC by states and local governments will make a major dent on national MCH indices to affect progress towards the MDGs. Translating MSS into significant improvements in national MCH indices requires innovative ways of getting sub-national governments to support PHC. One such way is contained in the 2014 National Health Bill, which was signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan on December 9th, 2014. The bill guarantees that 1% of national revenue will go to PHC, but sub-national governments have to match federal allocation as a condition for accessing support for PHC. Hopefully this new law will help us to turn the page on PHC governance in Nigeria.Share this:last_img read more

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Top Nonprofit Fundraising Posts of 2017

first_imgIn 2017, the Network for Good blog covered a variety of topics ranging from fundraising strategies and planning to top campaigns and donor retention best practices. Here are the top five blog posts from our thousands of subscribers during 2017 – Enjoy!1) 8 Resources to Help with Fundraising PlanningIn this post by Liz Ragland, readers were given templates, resources, and tips to help get their plan ready and give your individual giving a boost in 2017.2) 3 Steps to Getting Corporate Sponsors for Your EventFundraising events take a fair amount of money to produce, and it’s easy to spend more money on the event than it actually raises. In this post we shared the secret to ensuring your event has a net financial gain, through corporate sponorships.3) Five Things Nonprofits Must Know to Keep DonorsThis post featured five top tips for planning donor retention strategies to grow individual giving this year. Did any of these strategies work for you?4) Five Tips for Launching a Smart and Successful Fundraising CampaignFundraisers are always looking for the secret to launching a smart and successful fundraising campaign. In this post, guest blogger Janet Cobb tackled how to set and achieve a SMART goal, laying out the five keys to success.5) 7 Tips to Make your Donors an Irresistible Fundraising OfferIn our last top post of 2017, guest blogger Claire Axelrad gave us some valuable tips on the “40-40-20 rule” Because if you don’t make it clear and easy for folks to take the exact action you desire, then the rest of your mailing has little purpose.What was your favorite blog post of the year? Do you have any topics you’d like to see us cover in 2018?last_img read more

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The Impact of #GivingTuesday Infographic

first_imgStill wondering if you should participate in #GvingTuesday tomorrow? From first-time donors to your longtime, faithful donor base, this global day of giving is one of the most popular events of the giving season.Network for Good’s data shows that charitable giving on our platform on #GivingTuesday continues to grow. Since #GivingTuesday began in 2012, participating nonprofits raise more money in their year-end campaigns than organizations that don’t. And more nonprofits are participating every year. Due to the popularity of #GivingTuesday, more and more donors are participating, too!Even if you’ve procrastinated, these next 24 hours still offer time to organize a successful day of giving. Pull together your best impact stories, testimonials from community partners, and powerful images. Prepare an email blast and your social media posts, and spend this #GivingTuesday engaging with your donors. For other quick ideas, check out our Ultimate #GivingTuesday Checklist.last_img read more

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Video: Segmenting Donors for Better Engagement

first_imgIf you’re just getting started with donor segmentation, or need new ideas on how to segment donors for better outreach, our Donor Segmentation Cheat Sheet offers great tips on how to generate donor lists by giving level, donation date, and campaign fund. Use the template to record your donor totals, date of list, and any notes for data analysis. Getting to know your donors takes a little extra effort; but you’ll see the benefits in engagement levels, donor retention, and ROI. Donor segmentation is an essential part of every fundraiser’s work. Segmenting is the first step to knowing your donors better. Grouping donors by certain criteria or segments gives you a better idea of who is in your donor management system based on giving habits, location, involvement, and more.Segmentation not only tells you who is in your system, but also helps you send relevant, personal communications to each group of donors. From your e-newsletter to your direct mail appeals, you can never segment your audience too much. The more personal you can make your outreach, the more your supporters will feel connected to your work.At Network for Good, we encourage the same approach in getting to know your donors, volunteers, and other supporters. Network for Good’s donor management system helps nonprofits quickly and confidently target their donors with the right appeal, and send it out at the right time. Read more on The Nonprofit Bloglast_img read more

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