Muffins hold steady

first_imgWidespread innovation is keeping the muffin category very much alive, as Andrew Williams discoversIt has been a good year for muffins. So much so, that they may even provide an answer to world peace and not many bakery products can claim that. The US military is reportedly tempting captured Taliban insurgents into talking with chocolate nut muffins (true story).This year saw one in 10 more households buying muffins and by that, we mean the UK, not Afghanistan. Spend on in-store bakery muffins has been a runaway success in 2010 and volumes have shot up by a quarter. While much of this is down to price discounts and promotions on packs, a 15% value rise is nonetheless impressive. Plant-manufactured muffins also posted steady growth.Retail is winning the war with foodservice. Figures supplied by NPD Group, which tracks the foodservice market, showed a strong decrease in the number of out-of-home servings of muffins, down 12.2% (52 w/e September 10, 2010). However, it should be noted that much of that decline is accounted for by fewer muffins supplied into education and the workplace; the share of the market supplying into quick service retail outlets actually increased by 2.9% over this time. More people are eating muffins as a late snack, while afternoon consumption, which by far dominates out-of-home consumption of muffins, declined.So where next for market innovation? “I have started catering for the non-sweet-toothed person and found that my range of savoury muffins has really taken off and sells out very quickly everywhere I go,” says National Cupcake Week finalist Angie Townsend of The Tiny Cake Company. “They are proving very popular with our male customers, who tend to shy away from the girlie buttercream swirls and glitter.” Savoury muffins lend themselves to creative flavour combinations such as farmhouse cheddar & bacon, savoury Italian and asparagus and cheese, she adds.For those of us sick of the sight of blueberry and chocolate muffins, there is thankfully some innovation emerging in the category. “We’ve seen a move away from chocolatey options seen in so many cafés,” says Charlotte Pike, MD of free-from specialists Go Free Foods. “Our streusel toppings and simple icings are popular, as are fruity, nutty options. One other thing is the size of the muffin. We have found our smaller-sized muffins a good choice, rather than the huge, bulging muffins sold in many coffee shops.”Inclusions and toppings are very much a trend, believes Jacqui Passmore of Dawn Foods. “For example, our Victoria sponge muffin, which has a jammy, creamy taste sensation, is something that is increasing in sales, as well as flavours like treacle coffee or toffee chocolate crumble topping.”The boundaries between cake-type products and muffins are set to blur further, says Adrian Apodace, marketing director of Honeyrose Bakery. “With muffins we are seeing customers experiment more, asking for more bold flavours, including superfoods, exotic fruits, and hybrids between a muffin and cupcake: a muffcake. But you may not be allowed to print that name due to decency laws.” Press Complaints Commission, do your worst.l Puratos has relaunched its Satin Muffin Mix to meet 2010 salt reduction targets; it has no azo dyes or trans fats and gives improved flavour and appearancel If you’re strapped for time, Macphie is now offering thaw-and-serve muffins in four flavours: blueberry, lemon, double chocolate, and raspberry and white chocolatel CSM has a Chocolate Creme Cake Mix, characterised by a rich chocolate flavour and dark colour that can be customised with chocolate chips, fruit, nuts or dark cherry pieces; there is also Plain Creme Cake Mixl Mitchell & Cooper is supplying a range of Silikomart Professional moulds in shapes from traditional muffin cases through to hearts, pyramids and volcanoeslast_img read more

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JT Daniels’ youth aside, USC will have to find answers quick after loss to Stanford

first_imgAs the seconds ticked off in the fourth quarter, the minutes wound down and the game clock turned closer and closer to triple zeroes, two things became apparent at Stanford Stadium on Saturday. The first was that USC, trailing by two touchdowns, was playing with zero sense of urgency. The second? The man responsible for saving them was not Sam Darnold, but a true freshman.If JT Daniels is going to leap onto scene this year as the freshman phenom he is hyped to be, then he’s going to have to grow up quickly. Through no fault of his own, Daniels now has a mountain of pressure on his shoulders to replicate what Darnold did last year: save a USC offense that, despite being loaded with talent, seems inept at times and subject to questionable play-calling and execution.In Saturday’s 17-3 loss to Stanford, Daniels learned that the hard way. On his first series, which ended in a punt, he took a hard hit and bruised his hand. He came back two series later, but was swarmed by the Stanford defense. He looked rushed on his throws, never found a rhythm, never put a full drive together. For the first time in two years, USC failed to score a touchdown in a game. Stanford had not held USC to 3 points in a game since Franklin D. Roosevelt was president.“We didn’t play well the whole game,” Daniels said. “We left a lot of things on the board. There were plays that we should’ve made that we didn’t make.”He finished with 215 yards on 16-of-34 passing. He threw two interceptions, both coming on ill-advised throws late in the fourth.Part of that is youth. Daniels is 18 years of age. He was born in the year 2000, which is a scary thought. He is a true freshman, and he played like a true freshman facing a top-10 team on the road in his second-ever collegiate game.“He should be in high school still and not on the road facing Stanford,” offensive coordinator Tee Martin said.While true, that is hardly a valid excuse. USC entrusted Daniels with the starting job right off the bat, throwing him into the spotlight to lead a program with high expectations year after year. And to be fair, Daniels did his best. He hung in there for as long as he could. He made some decent throws, scrambled away from pressure and looked like a college quarterback.Where USC needs to find answers, though, is getting the ball in the hands of its best players. Freshman wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who clicked right away with his high school teammate Daniels last week, was targeted just four times for two catches. Head coach Clay Helton said there was a special package for St. Brown called the “Ocho package,” which entailed using him as a slot receiver as well as an outside target.“We’re trying to do everything possible to get it in our playmakers’ hands,” Helton said.Perhaps they should have tried a bit harder. St. Brown was a non-factor offensively, not recording a catch until the fourth quarter. Sophomore running back Stephen Carr, who led USC with 5.2 yards per carry, was handed the ball just 10 times.“They played a lot of snaps today,” Martin said, when asked about St. Brown and Carr’s lack of touches. “They played a lot of snaps.”When pressed further, a fed-up Martin responded: “Next question.”One can nitpick all that went wrong for the Trojans on Saturday, but what’s clear is that there is way too much talent on this program for it to put up 3 points on the board, to record no sacks and to give up four sacks on the other end.“They’re an amazing team, but I don’t ever think we could get shut down entering a game,” Carr said. “Ever.”USC, from the very start, was shut down. For all the four and five-star recruits up and down the roster, for all the preseason hype surrounding Daniels, this team did little to make any sort of first impression in the Pac-12.“I don’t care how much talent you have,” Martin said. “You’ve got to execute.”It starts with looking inward. JT Daniels is not Sam Darnold. Darnold was a special talent who did not look like a redshirt freshman when he took his first snaps as the starter. Daniels is a true freshman who played like one on Saturday. He won’t be pulling Darnold-type heroics right away, but a roster filled with talent shouldn’t need him to.“This is an early game in the season against a top-10 team,” Helton said, “and all our hopes and aspirations and dreams are still out there and our team understands that.”Sure, it is just one loss. But as Daniels will soon find out at USC, the honeymoon period won’t last very long.last_img read more

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GraceKennedy Foods USA Supports Essential Workers in New York and Florida

first_imgEssential workers were treated to lunches consisting of Jamaican staples including jerk chicken, plantains, rice and peas, fish with festival and a selection of Grace Tropical Rhythms and coconut water. The program was launched out of GK Foods’ acknowledgment of the vital role of grocery store workers in sustainable food supply. Face masks have also been distributed during the eight-week initiative. “Grace does a very good job. We are very proud of our relationship. This is the first time we’ve ever seen anything like this. It brings out the Jamaican in you,” said Elvin ‘Eddie’ Fernandez, Owner of Bravo Supermarket in West Park, Florida, whose team benefitted from the Food Tour. GraceKennedy (GK) Foods USA is this week, winding down its eight-week “With Love from Grace” Appreciation Food Truck Tour, which has seen the company delivering hot lunches to some 2,000 essential workers over some 30 stops in New York and Florida since June. The Grace team also made stops at Walmart, Broward Meat and Fish, Presidente, Bravo, Shoprite, Western Beef and Pathmark Supermarkets across New York and Florida. This was our way of showing our appreciation for the selflessness and courage displayed by grocery store workers in keeping stores open during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have helped millions of people get through the current global crisis without interruption, risking their lives, while maintaining the highest level of quality and service,” said Derrick Reckord, President and CEO of GraceKennedy Foods USA, LLC. “Grace is a family brand, known and loved both at home in Jamaica and internationally. While we have contributed to several relief efforts in cash and kind, we also wanted to ensure that retail partners in our key markets, who work to keep our communities fed, are recognized for the essential service that they provide.last_img read more

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Vetch-Bempong,Arosen win CAL bank annual invitational golf tourney

first_imgBeatrice Vetch-Bempong and Norwegian Ole Ronald Arosen lived the golfer’s dream as the two pieced together brilliant rounds of golf each to vault into top spots in the Ladies and Men Divisions respectively on Saturday at the Achimota Golf Course.In the Ladies category, Beatrice Vetch-Bempong was adjudged winner with 39 stable ford points with Jessica placing second with 37 stable points, the third place went to Nana Bermah Tackie with the fourth position going to Margret Owusu Baah.In the Men’s category Norwegian Youth international stunned his Ghanaian counterparts to win the ultimate with a net score of 67 points; Isaac Koffie took the second slot with John Kwashie coming third.“To me, this is the biggest and most successful tournament we have ever organized, we had international golfers all over the world coming in. In terms of the numbers, organization, trophies and participation, everything was very good in addition to a perfect sponsorship by my bank. This tells you how we cherish our high net worth clients” Frank Adu Managing Director of the Bank said.last_img read more

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Paper View:  Why SETI Hears Only a “Great Silence”

first_imgEnrico Fermi posed a curious question in 1950: “Where is everybody?”  If life emerges on planets as a consequence of evolution, there should be other intelligent civilizations out there, and some of them must have colonized other worlds.  He thought there must have been plenty of time for galactic colonizers to achieve technologies far beyond our own by billions of years, and therefore to have reached every corner of the Galaxy by now, including Earth.  Where are they?  This innocuous question, named “Fermi’s Paradox” (though others had asked it, too) has troubled advocates of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) ever since.  Though SETI technicians patiently eavesdrop on more and more stars each year in the half-century since SETI began, the Great Silence seems ominous.     Milan M. Cirkovic and Robert J. Bradbury think they know why.  Their ideas, published in New Astronomy July 2006,1 call for nothing less than a complete overhaul of SETI thinking: Hereby, we would like to propose a novel solution, based on the astrophysical properties of our Galactic environment on large scales, as well as some economic and informational aspects of the presumed advanced technological civilizations (henceforth ATCs).  In doing so, we will suggest a radically new perspective on the entire SETI endeavor. Traditional SETI, listening for radio signals from biological life, is “fundamentally flawed,” they claim.  Think post-biological.  Life will not remain content with the limitations of flesh, they reason.  Borrowing from the speculations of science historian Steven J. Dick, they believe biology will eventually give way to technology.  Advanced technical civilizations will be composed of machines.  They quote Dick: In sorting priorities, I adopt what I term the central principle of cultural evolution, which I refer to as the Intelligence Principle: the maintenance, improvement and perpetuation of knowledge and intelligence is the central driving force of cultural evolution, and that to the extent intelligence can be improved, it will be improved. Not “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong,” in other words.  At least until the universe runs down, the Intelligence Principle will triumph over Murphy’s Law.  This is the foundational principle of their proposal.  Life will gravitate toward maximum information processing, subject to the constraints of physical laws. A natural extension of the Intelligence Principle is what can be called the digital perspective on astrobiology: After a particular threshold complexity is reached, the relevant relations between existent entities are characterized by requirements of computation and information processing.  It is related to the emergent computational concepts not only in biology, but in other fields such as fundamental physics, cosmology, neuroscience, and social sciences. Here’s a brief synopsis of their scenario.  Life emerges on a planet, evolves to a state of intelligence, then gravitates toward more efficient information processing and computation, till it transcends the biological and becomes strictly technological.  A machine civilization is not going to care about communicating with beings like us.  Its priority will be to maximize information processing.  To do this, the entities will have to have to migrate from the places where they first evolved as biological life forms.  This is due to simple constraints of physics.  The warmth of a summer sun may be valuable to biological organisms like us, but heat is an enemy of computation.  Galaxies have a galactic temperature gradient: hot at the center, cooler at the edges.  It’s at the outskirts of the galaxy, therefore, where a machine civilization would migrate.  That, however, is not where traditional SETI is looking, and that is the reason for the Great Silence.     In their scenario, we need to drastically modify our search strategy.  Whether artifacts of technology would be detectable at the edges of the Milky Way or external galaxies, they are not sure.  Perhaps aliens would send inscriptions (see 09/01/2004).  They are quite certain, though, that radio is not on the broadcast schedule: We conclude that the conventional radio SETI assuming beamed broadcasts from targets – selected exclusively on the basis of the old-fashioned biological paradigm – within the vicinity of our Solar System … is ill-founded and has minuscule chances of success on the present hypothesis.  It is a clear and testable prediction of the present hypothesis that the undergoing SETI experiments using this conservative approach will yield only negative results. (Italics theirs.)  How can their prediction indeed be tested?  If conventional SETI does get a radio signal, the prediction might fail; otherwise, how long would they have to wait in silence to feel vindicated?  Traditional SETI researchers would probably argue this point.  But Cirkovic and Bradley also put forth a falsification test: look for evidence of technological artifacts at the outer fringes of nearby galaxies.  That, unfortunately, will probably be very difficult without more advanced technology.  Nonetheless, they are quite adamant that traditional SETI thinking is parochial.  It’s oblivious to the physical constraints that would drive life toward information processing.  “In a sense the problem has nothing to do with the universe itself, and everything to do with our ignorance and prejudices,” they state accusingly.  “In this special sense, the flaws in the currently prevailing views on SETI are much less excusable.”     In their paper, the authors acknowledged the contribution of Guillermo Gonzalez (along with Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee) to the extension of ideas about planetary “habitable zones” to galactic scales: the Galactic Habitable Zone (GHZ).2  They extended this concept further to a Galactic Technological Zone (GTZ), where machines could optimize their computational power.  This zone would be the outer reaches of a spiral galaxy – but not so far out that heavy elements would be lacking.  They were also honest about their assumptions: There is no meaningful scientific hypothesis for resolving Fermi’s Paradox – or, indeed, any problem of importance in science – without a set of assumptions.  In building of the migrational solution to Fermi’s puzzle, we have relied on the following set of assumptions: The Copernican principle continues to hold in astrobiology, i.e. there is nothing special about the Earth and the Solar System when considerations of life, intelligent observers or ATCs are made.2 Laws of physics (as applied to the classical computation theory and astrophysics) are universally valid. Naturalistic explanations for the origin of life, intelligence and ATCs are valid. The Milky Way galaxy exhibits well-established gradients of both baryonic matter density and equilibrium radiation field temperature. Habitable planets occur naturally only within the GHZ (which evolves in a manner roughly understood), but ATCs are not in any way limited to this region. We assume local influences both of and on ATCs.  Thus, we disregard overly speculative ideas about such concepts as cosmic wormholes or “basement universes”.  Interstellar travel is feasible, but it is bound to be slow and expensive (for anything larger than nanomachines) at all epochs. Astroengineering on the scales significantly larger than the scale of a typical planetary system (on the pc-scale and above) will remain difficult and expensive at all epochs and for all ATCs. ATCs will tend to maximize the efficiency of information-processing, no matter how heterogeneous their biological and cultural structures and evolutionary pathways are. These assumptions are naturally of varying validity and importance.  Items 1 through 3 are essential methodological guidelines of the entire scientific endeavor.  Although item 1 has recently become controversial with “rare Earth” theorists, there is still no compelling reasons for relinquishing it.  Assumption 4 is an empirical fact, and 5 is quite close to it.  Assumptions 6 and 7 are conservative extrapolations of our limited scientific and technological perspective, but in our view should be retained until the contrary positions can be verified.  In particular, absence of the Galaxy-size astroengineering effects in external galaxies … strongly supports the assumption 7. The most speculative assumption was #8, they acknowledged, but they reasoned this way: whether a civilization evolves toward hedonism (like the Romans) or toward accomplishment (like the Greeks), both would need to maximize their information processing.  “In either situation,” they rationalized, “they will seek the greatest computational capacity and efficiency possible to support these activities.”     So there you have it.  The drive toward the ultimate CPU governs the fate of life and intelligence.  Geeks will someday rule the universe. 1Milan M. Cirkovic and Robert J. Bradbury, “Galactic gradients, postbiological evolution and the apparent failure of SETI,” New Astronomy, Volume 11, Issue 8, July 2006, Pages 628-639, doi:10.1016/j.newast.2006.04.003. 2See also the film The Privileged Planet.  In this film Gonzales discusses the GHZ, and Brownlee gives reasons for his “rare earth” hypothesis.  The film also argues against the assumed Copernican Principle. Interesting paper.  Heavily sci-fi, profoundly speculative, politically incorrect, and somewhat amusing, perhaps, but thought-provoking.  Is it scientific?  Does its presence in a scientific journal indicate it is worthy of more serious consideration by rational truth-seekers than if it appeared in a theological journal or in Mad Magazine?  After all, they made predictions and provided a falsification criterion.  They talked about baryons and physical laws and thermodynamics.  And look – they even had equations!  Surely no one could accuse this kind of sober, rigorous analysis as being equivalent to religion.  What do you think?     Religion is a misleading word in this context.  It conjures up images of candles, robes, icons and prayer wheels.  World view is a more appropriate term: a way of looking at the world, of answering the big questions: who are we?  Where did we come from?  Why are we here?  Where are we going?  Science cannot answer these questions, yet world-view issues loom big in this article.  They have attempted to give their opinion about the origin and ultimate fate of the universe, dress it in a lab coat and pass it off as science.  Yet by any measure of scientific criteria, they always left a way out.     Their prediction is hollow, because it would require proving a universal negative.  Their falsification test is hollow, because we could all be dead before anyone finds a way to detect an unknown kind of technology at intergalactic distances, and even if someone did, another would find a natural explanation for it.  Predictions and falsifiability are not necessary components of science anyway, according to some philosophers of science.  And equations – well, nice, but the ones in the paper describe observable physical properties of temperature distribution in galaxies and have nothing to do with the social habits of intelligent beings.  Sentient beings are notoriously resistant to obeying equations about what they should do or will do.  In short, the scientific props of this article are distractions from the fact this is nothing more than a world view paper.     Their entire thesis breaks down on one of their assumptions.  It was nice of them to list their assumptions, but not so nice to glibly claim that the least plausible is one of “essential methodological guidelines of the entire scientific endeavor,” namely, “Naturalistic explanations for the origin of life, intelligence and ATCs are valid.”  Did you catch it?  They just attempted to baptize naturalism in the waters of science as if we wouldn’t notice.  (Only Cirkovic has a PhD, but they both attempted to doctor a philosophy.)     Why should this tactic be allowed for sci-fi speculation, but not for other kinds of scholarly investigation?  After all, theologians can make testable predictions.  A conservative Bible scholar, for instance, could predict that evidence for King David will be found, even point to the Tel Dan inscription as confirming evidence.  Some preachers argue that the equation “nothing times nobody equals everything.” has been falsified.  Should sufficiently scholarly sermons be allowed in scientific journals, then?  Not a few theologians are well trained in mathematical physics, and not a few scientists doubt the assumptions listed by these two speculators.  They should have no privilege in this game.  The quality of the reasoning and the support of evidence, not the scientific trappings and venue, need to carry weight in evaluating world view claims.  Cirkovic and Bradbury may wish to believe that life and intelligence are emergent properties of matter in motion, but they cannot support this world view with scientific evidence.  In fact, the tide of evidence is overwhelmingly against it (06/12/2006, 04/17/2006, online book).     These sci-fi speculators pulled off a shifty sidestep.  They merely assumed that “naturalistic explanations” for these things are “valid,” and then hid behind an arbitrary rule that naturalism is an essential methodological guideline for the entire scientific endeavor.  Oh yeah?  It wasn’t for many of the greatest scientists in history (see online book).  This claim is only made now by the Eugenie Scotts and Ken Millers of the world who want to shield their philosophical speculations from critical scrutiny.  It’s a tactic not unlike the childhood ploy “King’s X” that allows them to evade rules of the game to which the others are bound.     Cirkovic and Bradbury are as free as anyone to speculate, but need to take their speculations out of New Astronomy and argue them before philosophers and theologians, not claim special privilege for things that cannot be observed or known – indeed, things that run contrary to what we do know about the propensities of matter in motion.  What they wrote, though, is bound to make the SETI Institute angry.  A lot of investment capital is bound up in traditional SETI strategies.  These two warring parties may make any further comments superfluous; they may end up falsifying each other.(Visited 53 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Is This Insulation Too Good To Be True?

first_img Video Series: Covering an existing roof with rigid foam Insulating Low-Slope Residential RoofsHow to Build an Insulated Cathedral CeilingMartin’s Ten Rules of Roof DesignOpen-Cell Spray Foam and Damp Roof SheathingHow to Install Rigid Foam on Top of Roof Sheathing Go with the spray foam optionOne of Verschuren’s objections to spray foam is that it would defeat the purpose of installing cedar shingles over skip sheathing by limiting their drying potential.But Holladay has a suggestion: “If you are committed to your plan,” he writes, “install some cardboard or housewrap between your rafters followed by R-20 of spray foam, and live with the imperfect thermal performance of that type of assembly (assuming, of course, that your local building department doesn’t require a higher R-value),” he writes.Once Verschuren has cut up all that expensive insulation and placed it between the rafters, Holladay says, there is still the problem of thermal bridging through the rafters. “Once thermal bridging is accounted for, the improved performance compared to spray foam is minor, and certainly not worth the investment.”Nate G looks at it this way: Verschuren’s planned installation of Spaceloft, with a total price tag of $10,000 for materials alone, yields a total R-value of 38. Holladay’s alternative of closed-cell foam over cardboard plus a single layer of Spaceloft gets the roof to R-29 at a cost of $2,480.“So for less than 25 percent of the price, taking Martin’s advice and adding only a little bit of Spaceloft would get you 77 percent of the R-value. That seems like a no-brainer to me. The differences between R-30 and R-38 are not worth paying another $7,500, in my humble opinon,” he writes. “Comfort-wise, if this is conditioned space, you won’t feel the difference. But it’s your money!” RELATED ARTICLES Do the math on how much you’d really saveThe cedar roof cost $20,000 just five years ago, Verschuren replies, so removing it to put more insulation above the rafters isn’t an attractive idea — and it makes the Spaceloft option look a little less harebrained despite the expense. In addition, the engineer who’s designing a radiant-floor heating system for the house wants a healthy dose of insulation.Charlie Sullivan has sharpened his pencil and done some math. After using new cost estimates provided by Verschuren, he calculates that Spaceloft would cost about $15 per board foot (1 foot square by 1 inch thick).“That brings is back into the realm of a little eccentric, as opposed to completely wacko,” Sullivan says. “I’m comfortable with a little eccentric. My previous cost-effective calculation changes to 12 times as expensive as it should be, rather than 75 times.“The extra heat loss from that, at a 60°F temperature difference (we still don’t know your climate, so that’s a guess) is only 265 Btu/h less than you’d get with an R-5/inch solution. The radiant engineer shouldn’t call himself an engineer (or radiant for that matter) if he thinks that an extra 265 Btu/h is going to undermine his design. That’s less heat loss than a 25 square foot high-quality U-0.2 triple-pane window.”Nate G believes Verschuren would do himself a favor by being more flexible. “You seem to be getting yourself tied in knots because of the limitations you’ve set for yourself,” he adds. “Sometimes it’s time to admit that those limitations either preclude any good options or need to be removed.”If Verschuren could lose just a few inches of ceiling height, he adds, he’s have many more options. Or, if he needs more space, he could always build a ground-floor addition that preserves the architectural character of the house. The coup de grace for this idea?The discussion so far has assumed Spaceloft has an insulating value of R-10 per inch, and that apparently does apply for certain versions of this product. But Bill Dietze takes a close look at the fine print and throws this curve: “Jan, the link you provide mentions the uses of Spaceloft as ‘Great for home insulation, winter clothing, science projects,’ but the link to datasheets for material with a conductivity of 0.14 W/mK (R-10 per inch) is an undersea pipe product,” he writes. “Hardly residential. If you proceed, be aware that you are probably in the ‘science project’ category.“The Spaceloft product rated for ‘Ambient temperature walls, floors and roofs in commercial, residential and institutional building’ has a lower thermal resistance (R-8.3 per inch) and no datasheet describing the application.”If the lower R-value is correct, it makes the case for Spaceloft even less compelling, Holladay points out.“But it is still ahead in many ways over ‘the rest’ to use,” Verschuren says. We have the money to do it but do not want to waste it, either!” Editor’s note: After this article was published, GBA learned that the product formerly known as Spaceloft has be re-branded as Proloft. For more information on Proloft, visit Advanced Insolutions Inc.. Here is a link to a report on R-value testing of Proloft Aerogel Blanket.center_img There are a few downsides, however: The cost is “exorbitant,” and Verschuren still has to figure out how to detail the installation so it will be vapor-open and able to dry out.Or, does he have other alternatives? That’s the issue for this Q&A Spotlight. Our expert’s opinionHere’s how GBA technical director Peter Yost sees it:I decided I really needed to check in with Jan Verschuren on this one; just too many balls in the air to offer any helpful perspective. Having done that, I think the list of constraints (below) Jan poses or faces proves that if you narrow the boundary conditions on a problem enough, you can arrive at a singular solution.Here are the factors to consider:The newness of the current roof cladding means you can’t build up insulation topside.Very low ceiling heights mean that there is little room to build up insulation on the bottom.The ceiling is already being built down 13/16 inches for Warmboard-R panels, primarily for radiant cooling.Radiant cooling for the attic space is being driven by lack of room for ducts and an already-in-place ground-source heat pump system, making for a fairly easily retrofit for radiant cooling.The homeowners can’t really rely upon natural ventilation (open windows) for low-grade space cooling because of urban noise issues.Spray foam insulation is not an option.As Jan says, “…my hands are tied!”So, if we can agree to accept these constraints, Jan is ending up with layers of Spaceloft in between the rafters and two layers (2 centimeters) of continuous Spaceloft to the underside of the rafters.We confirmed that standardized independent R-value testing of Spaceloft yields about R-8.3 per inch. That makes Spaceloft significantly better per unit of thickness than any other readily available building insulation but also means the entire assembly is still not code-compliant and far from high performance.At the end of the day, that phrase “readily available” may be the key to whether this solution will work for Jan and others considering this pricey approach to insulation: neither I nor Jan could get Aerogel to respond at all to our requests for technical information and information on the availability of Spaceloft for Jan’s project.No magic bullet for this one, with neither the bullet or its delivery magical at all. Space what?GBA senior editor Martin Holladay has never heard of Spaceloft, but has two other suggestions. “Three and a half inches of closed-cell spray foam would give you about R-22.7,” he writes. “That’s less than code minimum requirements. The solution is to thicken up your rafters or to install several layers of continuous rigid foam under your rafters.“You’ll lose a little headroom, but at least you’ll have a roof that meets minimum code requirements.”If Verschuren absolutely can’t afford to lose any headroom in the attic, Holladay adds, “it’s time to raise the roof. Again, we’re talking physics. Sometimes you just have to face facts.”Nate G understands why Aerogel insulation performs as well as it does, but Spaceloft is another question.“I am highly skeptical of the claims of this product because Aerogel is a rigid material, basically a mostly-hollow brick made out silicon,” Nate G writes. “This stuff [Spaceloft] comes in a flexible blanket. I have a hard time believing that it behaves the same as rigid Aerogel. The way Aerogel material works is by trapping a lot of air in billions of nanometer-sized pores. In a solid material, the integrity of these pores can be guaranteed. In a flexible sheet, how can it?”And then there is the expense.“But let’s say I’m wrong that this stuff really performs as advertised,” Nate G adds. “The best price they offer is $95/inch thick/square foot. By contrast, conventional insulation materials are literally in the ballpark range of to 100 times less expensive. At 3 1/2 inches thick, you’re paying $332 per square foot of roof. You could, like, demolish the house and build a whole new one for that price given an average-sized attic.”To Holladay, that kind or price tag makes Spaceloft “fairly irrelevant to the everyday concerns of residential builders” even if it performs as advertised. CONSTRUCTION DETAILS Jan Verschuren has a nicely roofed older house, and a problem to go with it. Cedar shingles have been installed over skip sheathing, making for a roof that’s not only historically correct but one that allows air to circulate freely beneath the roof deck. Verschuren’s next objective is to insulate between the 2×4 rafters, and here’s where he has run into a snag.Building codes require at least R-38 worth of insulation in the roof. Ordinarily, that wouldn’t be a problem, but Verschuren says that he has only the 3 1/2-inch deep rafter bay to work with. He can’t afford to lose any headroom by adding insulation below the rafters, and he’d rather not tear off the roof to add extra insulation on top of the rafters.He’s zeroed in on a type of insulation called Spaceloft with a reported insulating value of R-10 per inch. The distributor’s web site describes Spaceloft as “a flexible aerogel composite blanket.”“So, 3 1/2 iches is all we have, but we’d like to get to an R-50 or thereabouts in our upgrade of this 1925 house built in Climate Zone 4C,” he writes in a Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor. “Spaceloft seems the only option.”Verschuren thinks he can get nine layers of this material in the rafter bays, followed by one or two layers over the bottoms of the rafters.last_img read more

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Ceres beefs up champs league roster

first_img Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Didal, Fil-am reach Tokyo qualifiers semifinals ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Former Kaya Iloilo midfielder Miguel Tanton could turn out to be Ceres’ marquee signing as he’s set to fill the void to be left by Ott who, sources said, will be playing in the Thai League 1 next season.The League 1, commonly known as T1, is Thailand’s premier football competition contested by 16 clubs and operates on a system of promotion and relegation to League 2.A key cog for Kaya since 2015, Tanton, a midfielder, was part of the 23-man squad of the Azkals in the AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.A versatile player who can play at midfield or in central defense, Villanueva proved instrumental in the Azkals’ qualification for the Asian Cup, but was unable to crack the squad of coach Sven Goran Eriksson.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsDe Bruycker played in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia while it will be Marasigan’s second stint with Ceres, which he played for in 2015.The Busmen begin their campaign on Feb. 5 when they take on Yangon United of Myanmar in the preliminary round of Champions League qualifying at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City. The winner of the match will take on Thai club Chiang Rai United in the next round. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bracing for an uphill climb in the AFC Champions League starting next month, Philippines Football League (PFL) champion Ceres-Negros added depth and quality to its squad after signing four new players for the coming season.Anticipating the move of stars Patrick Reichelt and Manny Ott, who are reportedly set to sign for clubs overseas, the Busmen signed former Davao Aguilas players Dylan De Bruycker and Dennis Villanueva as well as Angelo Marasigan from Global FC.ADVERTISEMENT US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants View comments LATEST STORIES Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandemlast_img read more

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Rocking the Case Study

first_imgI’m a huge fan of case studies. They’re an incredible tool to showcase your nonprofit’s work, demonstrate social proof, and gain more supporters. Jay Baer’s Youtility explains the power of case studies in greater detail, but here are a few ways you can use this approach to support your fundraising and marketing efforts: 1) Get testimonials. Tell the story of why people support your organization. Ask questions such as:Why are you passionate about this issue?When did you start learning about this issue?Why do you choose to support our organization?By gathering this information, you’ll not only have endorsements for your cause, but you can also use responses to inform your marketing and donor recruitment strategies.2) Document how you spent money. Did you dedicate a large portion of funds to operational expenses? Why? What impact did it have? Once you explain that to donors, they’ll better understand how you fulfill your mission, and why it’s important to have operational expenses. Every penny of your budget doesn’t have to go to on-the-ground work, but you do have to demonstrate how operations are vital to ensuring the services you provide are making a positive change. 3) Survey those you help. Ask your constituency how they’ve found your services. Do they see your nonprofit as a vital member of their community? Would they be able to get where they are without you?If those answers affirm your work, ask respondents if you can use a quote in your case study. Most will be happy to help. In some cases, if you provide them with links and social media messages, they’ll share the study with their network, too. If the answers bring up questions or poke holes in your work, pay attention to that. That’s a great opportunity to take feedback and turn it into something positive.Have you created a case study before? What were the results? How did you share it with supporters?last_img read more

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Celebrating the Second Year of the PLOS-MHTF Collection on Maternal Health

first_imgPosted on January 29, 2014August 10, 2016Click 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)The following was originally posted on PLOS  BlogsPLOS Medicine and the MHTF review highlights of the second successful collection, as part of their 3 Year partnership focusing on improving Maternal Health globally.Back in late 2012 the Maternal Health Task Force, at the Harvard School of Public Health, and PLOS Medicine issued a call for papers on the theme ‘Maternal Health is Women’s Health’, chosen in order to recognise that a women’s health is of crucial importance through her lifetime, and not just during pregnancy and labour.The breadth of the research that has been submitted to PLOS since the call has been of great quality and impact. In this blog, we’d like to highlight just some articles in the collection that represent a selection of the important work recommended to alleviate the poor health, low educational attainment and low socioeconomic status adversities affecting maternal health, that women and girls of experience throughout their lifetimes.To continue reading, visit the original post at PLOS. For more on Year 3 of the PLOS-MHTF  collection on maternal health, including guidelines for submitting to the collection, visit the Year 3 call for papers. To read articles published in the Year 1 and Year 2 collections, visit PLOS Collections.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Our New Power Woman of Tech: Maria Canfora

first_imgSilicon Valley isn’t the only hub for tech start-ups these days. The Washington D.C. area is quickly becoming a solid alternative for attracting highly-educated, ambitious and talented people in the technology sector. DCA Live has highlighted a key list of thought-leaders, innovators, and drivers of change in various industries, since 2014. One key group of individuals making an impact on the business community of DC are women, and today, DCA Live is putting out its list of the 40 women under 40 who are driving change.The Trending 40 Women in Tech includes founders, CEOs, investors, engineers, financial experts, marketing gurus, and others who contribute to the local ecosystem. The New Power Women of Tech includes our very own Maria Canfora, Chief Financial Officer, Network for Good.In a hi-tech culture that has gained a reputation for being unwelcoming to and biased against women, Maria has made a name for herself. “I absolutely love what I do,” said Maria. “Being a part of a start-up’s culture, the growth, the fast pace is invigorating. The energy is what attracts me to start-ups. And the special culture at Network for Good is unlike any I have experienced. Being a B Corp, it is one that is not only driven by their financial performance, but also the desire to develop a product that allows customers to do good.”She continued, “We are in a small and well-known group of about 2,000 companies—such as Warby Parker glasses, Dansko footwear, Patagonia outdoor clothier, and others—that are committed to meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.”In this leadership role, Maria is well equipped to help drive the year-over-year 40 percent+ growth that Network for Good is experiencing.  She has more than 20 years of experience guiding start-ups and other tech companies to IPO; three to be exact. She was also the winner of the Women in Technology Leadership Award for Corporate Public Sector Small Business in 2014.Given Maria’s wealth of experience in helping start-ups build from the ground up to successful IPOs she wanted to offer these tips:Managing the Growth. Way too often start-ups hire like mad. This approach locks in overhead expenses. Sadly, most are not able to support that growth by sales.Refining Your Brand. It is easy to want to be something for everyone, especially in a high-growth space. No one wants to turn down business. But the sooner a company can identify the niche they play in and refine their brand to reflect that, the better suited they will be to take on that market share.Hiring Isn’t Just for HR. Every person in the organization should have a hand in ensuring that each new hire is a good one. When you are growing so fast, it is easy to overlook the hiring process when if anything it should be the most rigorous.last_img read more

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