Foster’s Fairplay: Campbell steps onto big stage

first_imgSimoya Campbell, that young female half-miler out of an almost unknown programme at Spalding High, is on a collision course with destiny. At 9:25 p.m. on the Jamaica clock today, the former coach Meghan Wilson-Copeland-prepared two-time sub-two-minute campaigner will face the starters. It is the first round of the Beijing World Champs women’s 800m event. This serves as a crucial encounter with her economic future. Success here will carve a niche in the annals of an event where Jamaica has never received a medal at this level from her gender. How much is she alert to the implications for her advance in the event? Her articulate and well-mannered demeanour surfaced when Foster’s Fairplay quizzed her. It was shortly after her second time under the magic barrier with her silver medal at the World University Games – a repeat performance in time (1:59+) and place as at the National Championships about two weeks prior. Addressing the Kingston achievement, she explained: “That moment I crossed the line and looked at the electronic clock and saw 1:59.92, jubilation and elation are words that I would use to describe (it).” How did she actually get there? “The journey here was not easy. However, the fact that I stayed focused and worked hard, it was really motivating that the result was a positive one.” The University of Technology (UTech) student-athlete had some traumatic experiences at the junior level. The experience would have tested every sinew of her character and inner strength. However, she conquered, to be on the doorsteps of one of the biggest sporting showcases known to man. “My faith in God and support of my loved ones and even the small pocket of fans that always believed in me allowed me to overcome the numerous obstacles that presented themselves.” She further explained the sacrifices. “In my final year at high school, I reflected on what I had accomplished so far in all aspects of my life and I wasn’t satisfied, so I decided to make some serious changes, some of which caused me to lose a lot of friends. However, I knew these changes were imminent and vital to achieving my goals, so I stuck to the process and today I am so pleased with my overall development, both on and off the track.” The Stephen Francis-coached athlete, like track and field pundits, realised that the Beijing qualifying time stood in her path to glory. This was coupled with the at times frightening two-minute obstacle. They had to be tackled and overcome to receive that ticket to the World Championships. Her event requires a little more than self-generated speed and endurance to make the cut. This is no 100m dash – “move with the gun, power the drive phase, acceleration zone, then best of form and maintain to the line.” To achieve in the way required takes some pace-making by an athlete who would be compromising her own chances. They pay well on the professional circuit for this “rabbit”. The determined Campbell needed her predecessor at the event in high school, Natoya Goule, now on the US collegiate circuit, to pull her to the most important milestone. She welcomed it. “Natoya played a vital role in (my) accomplishing that feat. Her approach to the 800m is one I always admire – she doesn’t wait for you to take the race to her, she just goes out and commands from the beginning, so upon instructions from my coach, I just stayed as close as I could with her and allowed her to pull me to sub-two-minute clocking and a PB.” Asked what her goal would be in Beijing, came the immediate response. “I always set myself realistic, but ambitious expectations. I am going in with one intention, that is to leave with a medal. I know it will be hard and the odds will stack up against me, however, all my life I’ve defied the odds. I am more confident now that I can achieve at this level after my experience at the World University Games.” How much more confidence can this blossoming star have? Foster’s Fairplay asks all Jamaica to wish her the very best. – For feedback, email lauriefoster2012@gmail.com. path to glorylast_img read more

Around Whittier

first_imgSOUTH WHITTIER – Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe has called a town hall meeting to introduce South Whittier residents to a new law enforcement task force for the area at 6 tonight at Adventure Park, 10130Gunn Ave.The Task Force will help target problem areas and issues, collect data and present information to the Sheriff’s Department.For more information, call Ralph Pacheco at (562)233-7236.Tribute to Beatles set for SaturdayWHITTIER – A Hard Day’s Night, a tribute to the Beatles, performs live at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Wray Theatre at Rio Hondo College, 3600Workman Mill Road.Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for students with ID.For ticket information, call (562) 908-3492.Faith group puts fashion forwardWHITTIER – Bridge of Faith will hold its “Heart of the Home Fashion Show” at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Radisson Hotel Whittier, 7702Greenleaf Ave.The event includes a luncheon, auction, fashion show, shopping and more. Reservations are $35 apiece, with table sponsorships available.For more information, call (562) 789-8009, or (562)907-0789.Explore your past with genealogyWHITTIER – The monthly meeting of the Whittier Area Genealogical Society will be held at 1 p.m. March 18 at the Whittier Masonic Lodge, 7604 Greenleaf Ave.The speaker will be Thelma Montgomery, who teaches a popular life writing class in the area. For more information, call (562) 695-5431, or (626)919-1713.Senior colorectal testing plannedWHITTIER – Colorectal screenings for seniors will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 13-17 at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, Senior Life Center, 12401Washington Blvd.For more information, call (562) 698-0811, Ext. 2847.`Must Love Dogs’ to show at centerWHITTIER – “Must Love Dogs,” a free movie matinee for seniors, will be screened at 1:30 p.m. March 8 at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital’s Flo & Frank L. Scott Conference Center, 12401 Washington Blvd.Reservations are required.For more information, call (562) 698-0811, Ext. 2444.Mall, senior center test blood pressure MONTEBELLO – Beverly Hospital’s 50+ Connection Program is offering free blood pressure screenings:From 8:15 to 9:30 a.m. Friday and March 17 and 31 at the Montebello Town Center (lower level near Mervyn’s), 2134 Montebello Town Center Drive.From 10 to 11 a.m. Friday and March 17 and 31 at the Montebello Senior Center, 115 S. Taylor Ave.From 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Pico Rivera Senior Center, 9200 Mines Ave.For more information, call (323) 725-4333.Church to present Suess programMONTEBELLO – The Montebello United Methodist Church, 1220 W. Whittier Blvd., will present “Read Across Montebello,” a free family program being held to celebrate Dr. Suess’ birthday, from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday.For more information, call (323) 728-8170.Paper deliverer hospitalized BALDWIN PARK – A man remained in critical condition Monday after he was shot while delivering newspapers over the weekend. Baldwin Park police have few leads on the case and need the public’s help. The shooting happened at 5:45 a.m., Sunday in the 13500 block of Ramona Parkway. A man walked up to a parked Rogelio Tapia, 36, of El Monte and shot him three times, according to Lt. Raul Martinez. Tapia was delivering the Los Angeles Times. There was no description of the shooter, who fled in a compact vehicle, which may be green. “We don’t know what the motive is. We just don’t know yet,” Martinez said. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Mark Harvey at (626) 960-1955 Ext. 421. – From staff reports AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

PIX: DONEGAL SCHOOLS ATHLETES IMPRESS IN TULLAMORE

first_imgRelays are always exciting. As the meeting climaxed the AVS 4 x 100m junior girls team of Emma Brady, Kate McGowan, Ruth Gillespie and Kelly McGrory with no small amount of good sprinting and slick baton changing, ran an outstanding time of 50.34secs for an impressive victory.In the process they broke a twenty year old record and had the distinction of the fastest girls relay time of the day.This performance climaxed a day that found Kate Mc Gowan win the 75m Hurdles in an impressive time of 11.42secs., Kelly McGrory record 2nd and 3rd finishes in the 100 [12.84secs]/200m-26.22secs -the former an identical time as winner Harrison from Limerick -electronic timing deciding on the winner, Emma Brady, 2nd Triple Jump; Karl Griffin 2nd Inter Boys 800m; Clare Brady 4th Inter Girls Pole Vault; Kate McGowan 4th Junior Girls Long Jump; Ciara Crawford, 9th Junior Walk.When the  points were totted up Abbey’s Junior Girls had a total 43 points and to a delighted support group which included parents, coaches, members of Tir Chonaill AC plus school Principal Mr Emmanuel McCormick, team captain Emma Brady accepted the Irish Schools Cup from Mr Micahel Hunt, Chairman of the ISAA.Ruairi Finnigan, St Eunans,/LAC, went to the front from the gun in the Inter[U17] 1,500m and as the race progressed he increased the lead and went on to win in an outstanding time of  3mins 55.22secs. John Kelly, Royal and Prior Raphoe/Finn Valley, was involved in great battle in the Inter-U17 5k Shot Putt. His best of 14.64m, was 20cm better than Jagguar from Blackrock College. Christopher Doherty, Carrick Voc./Tir Chonaill received his first National winning medal when he cleared 3.60m to win the Senior Boys Pole Vault.School mate and Sl Liag AC, Barry Quigg, got over 1.90m for runners up spot in the Senior Boys High Jump. Killygegs Voc’s Hannah Campbell, another member of David Doherty’s Pole Vaulting squad in Donegal Town, had a PB of 2.30m for a bronze medal winning performance – she narrowly missed at 2.50m.Blaithon Patton, St Columba’s/Finn Valley brought the medal haul to a close with a 1.55m best for bronze in the Inter Girls High Jump.PIX: DONEGAL SCHOOLS ATHLETES IMPRESS IN TULLAMORE was last modified: June 5th, 2011 by gregShare 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) Tags:abbey vocational schoolDonegal Townrecord breakers BY EAMON HARVEY: Schools athletes from across Donegal impressed when the Aviva sponsored Irish schools finals were held in a packed Tullamore Stadium yesterday.It was estimated that the attendance was over six thousand.The Abbey Voc School, PE Dept., who work in partnership with the local  Tir Chonaill club , in introducing and developing athletics, reaped a rich harvest when the schools Junior girls team won the overall All Ireland Cup, smashed a twenty years old 4 x 100m record and placed athletes on the winning podium on five occasions during an exciting days athletics. In addition students from St Eunans, Letterkenny,St Columbas, Stranorlar, Royal and Prior Raphoe, Carrick Voc School and Killybegs Voc placed in top three positions.last_img read more

SA’s ‘most important year since 1994’

first_img4 January 2010 Friday 1 January marked the beginning of the most important year in South Africa since 1994, President Jacob Zuma said in his New Year message, calling on all South Africans to work together make the 2010 Fifa World Cup “one of the most successful projects we have ever undertaken as a nation”. South Africans made history in 1994, when the country held its first democratic elections, Zuma said. “We embarked on a phase of reconciliation and forgiveness, and worked hard to build one nation, united in its diversity … We have proven to the world that it is possible to emerge from a horrible conflict, and work together … to build a successful, peaceful, stable, multiparty constitutional democracy.” The year 2010 “is our next critical moment,” the President said. “We have won the greatest marketing opportunity of our time, the rights to host the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup.” Hosting the biggest single-code sporting event in the world should revive the spirit of unity and patriotism in country, Zuma said, “in the same manner that the 1995 Rugby World Cup brought the nation together. “The year 2010 must be the year in which for the first time, we all communicate positive messages about our country to the world – the successes and possibilities. We have to put the culture of negativity behind us. “We can already see the fruits of the tournament,” Zuma said. “We have new magnificent stadia, roads and new-look international airports. “Through the major boost to the construction industry, many of our people obtained work and training opportunities, and this helped to reduce the impact of the recession. “Working together we must ensure that the tournament enhances our country’s global competitiveness. It must contribute to long-term economic growth and the creation of decent jobs.” Zuma urged South Africans to be welcoming and hospitable to the thousands of international tourists and football fans set to descend on the country in June and July – and to support the country’s national soccer team, Bafana Bafana. “Most importantly, we must make 2010 an exciting and most enjoyable year for all of us. Happy New Year and Happy 2010 Soccer World Cup to you all!”SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Facebook Goes Lite and Tests Twitter-Like Version of Itself

first_imgRelated Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tonight, a number of Facebook users reported that they received beta invitations to a ‘lite’ version of the popular social networking service. Details about this simplified version of Facebook are still sparse, but we know that the site will be available on http://lite.facebook.com and will offer users a “faster, simpler version of Facebook.” Judging from what we have seen so far, Facebook Lite turns Facebook into a very Twitter-like experience. Currently, the lite.facebook.com link doesn’t go anywhere and the invites have disappeared again, but just a few days ago, at least this Twitter user got to see it in action (hat tip to MG Siegler for finding this).Attack on Twitter?It is interesting to see that Facebook is working on this now, especially given that it only announced the acquisition of FriendFeed yesterday. If these screenshots turn out to be true, then this would be a full-force attack on Twitter. FriendFeed was often heralded as a potential challenger for Twitter, though it never quite got the mainstream traction to fulfill this promise. Earlier this year, Louis Gray argued that in order to succeed, FriendFeed would have to offer a simplified version of itself. Now that FriendFeed is part of Facebook, maybe the FriendFeed team will get a chance to do just this.Overall, stripping down Facebook’s interface to the bare essentials doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. The current interface is getting rather cluttered and if Facebook really wants to emphasize the stream, this is definitely a step in the right direction. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#Facebook#news#web frederic lardinois A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Natural Building In Nicaragua

first_imgBamboo vs. woodDecember 4, 2011. Since I got back to Sabana Grande a couple of days ago, the Grupo Fenix team of Nancy, Susan, Erika and myself have been spending hours and hours discussing bamboo vs. wood. We try to look at the social, economic, and environmental issues involved in each material, weighing out all the pros and cons that we can think to raise within the debate.With wood, there is a severe crisis in this country. For several decades it wasn’t managed at all and the serious deforestation leaves little wood to harvest. A few years ago a moratorium was put on wood harvesting and it was extremely difficult to even buy wood for construction. Now it is easier and supposedly the harvesting regulations encourage responsible actions, but it’s a poor country and with it comes lots of corruption, so we just don’t know how responsibly harvested. Still, wood is relatively inexpensive to buy so it is most likely what the locals can afford from pocket. And we love wood and we know wood.Bamboo, on the other hand, is not yet here in abundance and is just beginning to be grown and harvested in Nicaragua. Yet it is a highly renewable material, thriving on proper harvest strategies, and as I understand, in five years an acre of land could be producing enough bamboo annually for a dozen homes.This could be a huge boon to the agricultural community here on Solar Mountain. But in the short run bamboo costs two to three times what the wood would cost, which is significant cost to the people in this region. The cost seems to come from the necessary curing and drying process.So we have proposed to the bamboo farmer that he deliver the bamboo and give us a two-day workshop in reforestation, harvesting and curing techniques, and building and joint techniques. This way we can feel that we are making a solid investment in a more responsible building material that would actually reach and truly benefit the community of Sabana Grande in time. Drawing Lessons from Ancient RootsTales From ArmeniaAlternative WallsStraw-Bale WallsNostalgia for the Hippie Building HeydayA Santa Fe Adobe Gets a Modern Addition Bau-Biologie: Sustainable Materials and Solar Power in the SouthwestPreserving the Green in Britain’s Ancient HousesThe Natural Building MovementGBA Product Guide: Earthen Unit MasonryQ&A: Exterior siding on cob wallsAnother group has formed with more of an agricultural and reforesting focus, Promoter Solares Agro Ecologicá. Their stewardship is La Montaña Solar (Solar Mountain), and this is where my main building work will be focused. Building a composting toiletNovember 20, 2011. I am working on two building projects here in Sabana Grande, along with Nancy Bernstein, a carpenter and timber-framer from New York.Our first project is a double-chamber composting toilet (see images #8 and #9, below). It is the only one in the village. Everyone here has basic pit toilets (la letrina) in the yard, though the solar restaurant received grant money to install a biodigester to their toilet and it makes gas they use for cooking at the restaurant. My Sabana Grande family also has a biodigester that they regularly feed cow manure for their cooking gas but it isn’t hooked up to the human waste stream.We are using the toilet building project to try out a few techniques with the local materials from the mountain. We have excellent soil and red, yellow, and white clay in abundance.There is also bamboo that is fine to split for wattle-and-daub, and lots of grasses and pine needles, as well as a parasite plant that grows in the trees and on the wires, that are a good source of fibers for adobe and cob.Meanwhile, we are designing the classroom/gathering space for Solar Mountain. This includes learning as much as we can about bamboo for the structural aspect of the building, due to the lack of wood here.This area is steeped in traditional building techniques. This won’t change much. This area is so impoverished; the people are poor and the land has suffered. It will take a long time to bring back timber and correct the erosion issues. Meanwhile people still burn wood for cooking everyday.Dirt is still dirt cheap. Adobe works well and the people here know it. Addressing deforestationNovember 5, 2011. Ninety percent of the cooking here is done over fires, and cooking beans in particular uses large amounts of wood. One of the the current projects at Solar Mountain was created by a university in Sweden, Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship, designing an initiative to reduce deforestation and poverty and to increase water supply. One of the first strategies implemented was using solar cookers, building more efficient wood-burning cookers, and creating a community kitchen where people can buy tortillas and beans with local currency, with the intent to cut the wood use in the community by 50%.The next step is to improve the watershed. The Solar Mountain group is planting trees on the ravaged hillsides and building dikes to slow down the water flow. They have planted 14,000 trees, and have funding and a goal of planting a total of 25,000.The public schools are limited in what they can offer within the very low funding for public education in this country. What I have seen so far is quite heartbreaking. Most schools don’t even have books.Transportation consists of walking and riding bicycles, horses and buses. Bicycles are abundant. Not everyone has one, but it’s the equivalent of a car here and sometimes a truck! There is usually a sister, brother, child or mother sitting on the top tube or handlebars, sometimes two. Or I’ll see a young man riding, while balancing a a pile of wood on his shoulders and a 5-gallon bucket of water on each handlebar, or 50-pound bag of corn resting on the top tube. And I thought I had decent biking skills. Really, it’s impressive. Liz Johndrow lives in Putney, Vermont. She is a builder and trainer who offers workshops on natural building skills. Her website is Earthen Endeavors. “Dirt” houses carry a social stigmaDecember 4, 2011. I’m happy to see there is a strong desire on the part of some very dedicated Nicaraguan architects and builders to re-emerge traditional techniques and encourage sustainable, healthy, and affordable building for Nicaraguans. They are working to nip that “concrete is better” belief in the bud, and support a return to earthen architecture mentality.Many of us are aware of the class issue and mentality that exists in the world in places where living in “dirt” houses is a sign of poverty even when these clearly, when well-built (like any material and modality needs to be) surpass concrete in function, environmental impact, and even beauty. Some of the international efforts are less dedicated to this understanding and continue to bring in volunteer teams to build with concrete. These are often young people paying to have a cultural “gap year” experience in a service project, and to have an opportunity to practice their Spanish.And of course there are many builders here who are building with concrete within the country as well.I recently attended a seminar in Granada, Construccion social y recursos naturales, that was sponsored by an organization from France that has a long-term project and relationship with an organization in Granada, La Casa de la Mujer. The seminar sponsor group, CRAterre, has a focus of earthen architecture and is working on education and resources for the women’s organization regarding their choice of building material.The day-long seminar was with architects, engineers, builders, and local women in the social justice movement. I listened to presenters stories for hours, while practicing my Spanish and helping others practice their English! And there were several presentations about adobe, bamboo, rhino block, and tequezal.Of course I missed much because it is still difficult to process that much Spanish and when people are passionate they speak quickly! But the visual presentations and having context were a fantastic help and I managed to clarify a lot by cornering people at breaks and meal time. [Editor’s note: Liz Johndrow is a natural builder who specializes in the use of cob, strawbale, adobe, earthbag, and earthen plasters. During the winter months, she volunteers in Nicaragua, where she works with villagers, especially women, on construction projects in Sabana Grande, Totgalpa. What follows is a sample of Johndrow’s blog entries written from Nicaragua. You can learn more about her work at her website, Earthen Endeavors.] Taquezal and adobe wallsNovember 20, 2011. Last month we went to Ocotal to see a 150-year-old building built in the traditional style called taquezal. It is basically a double-lath system infilled with cob.Part of the inner wall was intentionally exposed in the restaurant we went to, and so we sat at the table next to the exposed wall, over a plate of frijoles and tostones and queso, translating the description to English.Most houses here are adobe. The exterior is usually exposed adobe, or it might have a lime coat. A few people have put on a coat of cement stucco, but most people don’t think it’s a good idea. (I’m glad to hear this). The interiors are either lime-coated or have a simple paint (clay and water) of tierra blanco, some of the white clay from the mountains. Most floors are earthen, tile or cement.This morning I stopped by the house of one of the Solar Women, and she was sprucing up her kitchen floor with a bucket of red earth, rubbing it in with her bare hands. Today was her daughter’s quinceñera, so lots of guests were coming to her home and she was beautifying her kitchen. I would love to offer to put in an oil-hardened earthen floor, but I don’t imagine she would leave her kitchen for even a day or have the money for the oil.While walking to the river to cut some bamboo, we met Maximo, who makes adobe bricks and here he is showing us the roof tiles he makes with 1/8-inch screened clay, sand, and sawdust. He puts them in a fire and they come out very durable ceramic tile for the roofs. We plan to use some for the entrance roof of our classroom. Solar headlamps and wood cookersNovember 19, 2011. It’s been quite a few years of volunteers coming from all over the world to work on renewable energy and agricultural initiatives. Right now there are seven of us gringos from the U.S., Canada, and Switzerland.Nancy and I are working on the natural building projects. Amanda is designing a solar headlamp for health workers that can be made inexpensively and repaired easily. Mike is building Ecofogons all over Sabana Grande. It is a highly efficient wood cooker and also creates less smoke, since it has a stovepipe. It is designed to cut down on wood use and smoke and was designed by the folks at Aprovecho Institute.Fred is working on a “light in a bottle” design to use plastic bottles fllled with water to work as a prism, to bring in light into a building through the ceiling during the day. Julian is improving the autoclave solar cooker for sterilizing hospital equipment. Meanwhile we are all excited for the long-awaited grand opening of the Las Mujeres Solares restaurant in December. Making plaster from local materialsDecember 4, 2011. Last week I spent some time at the Inanitah Community, on the beautiful island of Ometepe, teaching a small plaster workshop. Besides being an incredibly restful time in astounding beauty and getting a really good dose of organic fruits and vegetables, there was an excellent exchange of plaster and earthen floor sampling.While I was “teaching,” I learned some more local traditional uses of various materials. First, they have a lot of volcanic soils on the island with two volcanos, so making something a pretty color is a bit challenging. The sand there is gray and black.Also, the lime in the country seems to be questionable in freshness, chemical composition, and processing technique. So most people aren’t very excited about it. It tends to be chalky and weak, but we did add some pitahaya, a cactus that we soaked in water until it became slimy, and it appeared to improve the strength and chalkiness of the lime plaster significantly. Paul also mentioned a tree bark as an additive as well, but didn’t know the name of the tree.When I returned to Sabana Grande, I mentioned the cactus and the tree bark to the two men, Don Lisandro and Hilario, who do a lot of the concrete foundation work around here. Well, they got very excited and animated, and of course starting talking muy rapido until I raised my hands to make it clear nothing was getting in. They laughed and started over, telling me about la cascara del guasimo, the bark of a tree that grows in abundance right here on Solar Mountain!So yesterday we harvested and soaked some pitahaya and some guasimo, and I learned that the seed is sweet and is common refresco that they drink here. The seed is called tigüilote.Tomorrow I will make plaster samples with both additives for comparison. Don Lisandro also taught me how to make a lime paint with the guasimo and I am excited to try that for exterior plaster protection. He also has worked with lime plasters at El Centro Solar on their adobe buildings, so I will stick close to him as we finish our plasters on el aulo, the learning center we are building.And the soil here is very nice to work with as well. It is strong and muy pegajoso, which is music to our ears. Yep, it’s very sticky stuff and makes a very strong plaster. Can’t wait to add the manure and slimy plant stuff and see what we get!center_img A successful project, and good vibesFeburary 3, 2013. For the first two weeks of the workshop we finished the adobe walls, put up posts and top beams, began five different wall systems out of bamboo, branches, clay soil, and straw. We have begun the adobe benches.This week we will add in some bottle art and cob backings for the benches, bas-relief sculpting, earthen floor samples, basecoats and finish plasters.The workshop has gone all too fast, even in this land of equatorial heat and tranquilo vibes. I am so glad to know I will see many of these women that I am quickly growing fond of, again at the next workshop in just two weeks. I’ll have a bit of a base of some new accidentally stumbled upon racy and vulgar phrases, a few more Nica songs under my belt to play on the guitar, and new relationships with some of the sweetest women. Designing an earthen buildingJanuary 20, 2013. I will never handle a machete as well as any of these women, and do such a diverse number of tasks with one simple tool. And their mastery of making a tortilla is a beautiful thing that easily translates to other creations with their hands and rhythm. So it was an exciting two weeks, because I pretty quickly saw these goals being reached.They were a playful and affectionate group though some are shy and lack confidence and need more coaxing. But they all know how to work, so if they were given a task that they were comfortable with and it loosened them up, they often they stepped up to something else they hadn’t tried before.Originally they shared their vision as a group, and Nancy and I took their ideas and designed a space that could fit the needs of the group, accomplishing most of it in a two-week workshop and working with a small budget from some appreciated monetary donations.The original design incorporated bamboo as the framing component, but that was washed away in a Christmas Eve flash flood, and the supplier didn’t get another cutting to us in time. So we went ahead and used local wood, though we tried to use a minimal amount since it is pretty scarce. Postscript: Reflecting on this year’s workMarch 2013. It was wonderful to return to Sabana Grande for a second project this year.Last year I was able to teach the communities different possibilities of cob, wattle and daub, variations on taquezal and wattle and cob, bottle art and sculptural techniques, using adobes for benches, earthen floor, and how to make clay and lime plasters that will last and be beautiful.This time, after assessing the desired project, the site and location, and the financial resources, I decided that working primarily with adobe was a sound choice. It would allow the women to continue to work with the vernacular building style and make the bricks themselves. This would provide them with income for the two weeks of adobe brick making.Also, the field where the youth center would be is a bit if a cooker, and the thick adobe walls would buffer the daytime heat. The thermal mass of the adobe stabilizes the rather intense daytime heat and keeps it cool until nighttime, when the temperatures drop again and draw the heat back out of the bricks.Among the challenges I have seen with adobe (and ”modernizing” it with plasters) are poor preparation, proper hydration of the substrate, and insufficient understanding of how plasters work well. The people in this region never used to plaster the adobe, and then they jumped right to cement stuccos, which has proven to fail over and over. But they like the idea of smoother surfaces that are less rustic and less likely to provide housing for insects.Since this is a youth center, we chose a circular shape to create a nice community meeting space, create some playful elements, and allow the curves in all directions to make for stronger plasters. On the other new adobe buildings there, most of the sharp 90 degree corners are already damaged and have lost their plaster.We are softening all the edges on this round building and using our best recipe of red clay soil, river sand, screened horse manure or burril, fresh cow manure, and guasimo. It makes for a super-strong plaster that the kids can climb all over.We began the project with leveling the site by hand. This is sun-baked earth that was hard as rock. It took hour after hour of work with a pick-ax and bar to break it up and carry it away in wheelbarrows. They continued digging for the meter deep by meter and half below grade foundation or cimiento. This took several dedicated people several days.Once the trench was dug, it was time to build the stone and suelo cemento mortero foundation. The mortar is 6 parts clay-based soil and one part cement. This allows for the foundation to absorb the tectonic uplift forces through its flexibility from the earthen element. The proportion of stone to mortar is about 50%-50%.We decided to continue the suelo cemento above grade for the stemwall or sobrecimiento. This isn’t recommended for its vulnerability, and often straight concrete is used, but we had so much success last year in using earthen mortar and covering between the stones with a thin cement mortar that we decided to do this again and minimize the concrete use in the building.Once we finished the foundation, we were ready for the workshop to begin. We had one thousand adobe bricks, built to the standard for adobe mejorado, sized for seismic strength at 14x14x4 inches. Also several yards of river sand, several more yards of red clay-based soil, and dozens of bags of burril and rice straw.We had sixteen courses of adobe to stack and two curvy cob walls to break up the interior space and continue outside to provide shade and places to play. The height of our walls was to be no more than 8 times the width of the bricks. This provides a more stable wall system.We also introduced burlap strips in the mortar layer of the three middle courses (7-8-9) for additional tensile strength.I will be returning in a few weeks to work on finish plasters, earthen floor, and a community art project as a sculptural mural on the outside wall. The folks there are putting on the tile roof, finishing the cob walls, and softening all the edges of the adobe for a more enduring plaster. Stay tuned! Daily choresFebruary 27, 2012. For the residents here, a lot of time is spent taking care of the daily basic needs. Hauling water, hand washing clothes, gathering wood, tending cows, planting, tending and harvesting corn and beans and squash, and the many steps of preparing the corn for tortillas.There is plenty of opportunity for social interaction as some of these chores are accomplished. Women often hang around the wells while filling buckets and washing clothes at the wash station provided. These clothes-washing stations allow them to haul less water all the way back to their homes and everyone takes turns cleaning the well area. November 5, 2011. I am currently living in Sabana Grande, which is a community of Totgalpa. Both would be missed in the blink of an eye. Sabana Grande is known for its renewable energy initiatives and vision towards sustainable practices. Not everyone here participates in this vision, but there is a group, Las Mujeres Solares, which has a significant presence. Their focus is building and selling solar cookers, teaching renewable energy, and opening the Solar Restaurant for the volunteers and people passing through on the PanAm Highway 1. RELATED ARTICLES Local women build solar ovensJanuary 8, 2012. The Solar Women have just opened their restaurant! It’s been a big step for them to opened their doors and invite in the public. It’s a lovely adobe building that they built two years ago, and it is exciting to see the bustle of activity finally happening there.Meanwhile, they have recently received an order for 20 cocinas solares (solar cookers) to go to a community in Chinendega, so I was able to see them working on the cookers this morning. Maria Magdelena, a student at Las Mujeres Constructoras, does a lot of the carpentry. They all participate in painting, fastening hinges, placing the glass and such. Some of it’s very particular work, so the women who have shown particular finesse in these different steps of the process now build the cookers and take great pride in their business. Building a classroom and youth centerJanuary 20, 2013. Sabana Grande is a pueblo of Totogalpa, about 20 km from the Honduran border. This is the poorest region of Nicaragua, in the second poorest country in Latin America. Most everyone here lives well below poverty level.The people are kind and care for their families and community and are excited, in this particular community, for the growing application of renewable resources. The renewables allow this very poor community to attain a higher quality of life while living within the limitations of their immediate environment.We trained several women from the community to build with local natural resources in their raw form and they now have a ‘‘natural classroom,” which they are inspired by and proud of.I choose to introduce many techniques and support their more indigenous knowledge of building with adobe. They refer to these new techniques as “modern natural building” and are proud to have built some natural and modern (and cheap!).The gringos who show up are volunteers here to share and learn about renewable energy and live within the community for their time there. There are no showers or internet or cars and such.The other group I am working with, Asociacion Mujeres Constructoras de Condega, is a women’s carpentry school in the town of Condega, serving young women from rural communities. These women train in non-traditional trades such as carpentry and woodworking, welding and residential electricity installation.This year (2013) I will be leading a two-week workshop in which we will build a round adobe youth center. I have two women assistants, budding natural builders from the U.S. and Austria, to support the project and learn more about the culture and natural building. We will be joined again this year by the same team we trained last year and they will continue to learn the skills. We are using their traditional materials but introducing a round and sculptural building, that will support the youth in having a learning center.At the site of their school we will be building a cocina and kioska for the school, providing a place to cook meals, eat, and study in a beautiful environment built by the students and community members. I will be teaching different techniques, along with my assistants and a maestro from the school, a 23-year-old engineering student Felipe, who is so excited to learn from me (and me from him!), support women in their empowerment and trades learning, and is a sweetheart of a guy! Checking out local construction methodsJanuary 31, 2012. On a recent bus trip, I enjoyed observing the use of local resources in their building techniques. I always enjoy being in a place that is still in touch with using the natural resources inherent to the building site area and has traditional building techniques still being employed.Most people are quite happy with the sensibilities of using the resources available to them, particularly with the scarcity of money for purchasing materials. There is the use of concrete as a smooth and easier-to-clean surface compared to the commonly seen dirt floors and more crumbly adobe walls. I continue to observe and inquire as to what prevents them from taking the surfaces a step further, towards what I would define as finished.I have also noticed that many people don’t fully understand the needs of lime as a plaster, and so it often fails here. In areas where there are purer clays and people have sufficient overhangs, there are lovely, simple clay finishes on the exterior and interior.Of course these clay paints and plasters bond beautifully with the adobe. But there isn’t always sufficient keying with the adobe when they use lime, and my observations suggest that there isn’t very good bond, so I suspect the adobe isn’t sufficiently hydrated before application and there is also little done to keep the lime protected from the sun and wind and sufficiently hydrated those first days after application. I am in the middle of doing some tests and creating a more durable lime plaster and I am testing it on the composting toilet in Sabana Grande.last_img read more

Sania Mirza, Cara Black enter US Open semis

first_imgSania Mirza (left) with her doubles partner Cara Black. Photo: ReutersIndian tennis player Sania Mirza moved into the women’s doubles semi-finals of the US Open with Zimbabwe partner Cara Black after rivals Zarina Diyas and Yi-Fan Xu retired in the quarters.Third seeds Sania and Cara took the first set 6-1 in 40 minutes and won a game in the second set when Kazakh Zarina and her Chinese partner Yi-Fan retired at the Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.Sania and Cara will now face Martina Hingis of Switzerland and Flavia Pennetta of Italy in the semi-final.The Swiss-Italian pair registered a 6-4, 6-3 win over fifth seeds Kveta Peschke of Czech Republic and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovakia.Sania has now equalled her best performance in the US Open. She had also reached the semis last year with Chinese partner Zheng Jie.In the mixed doubles semi-final, top seeded Sania and her Brazilian partner Bruno Soares will face Yung-Jan Chan of Chinese Taipei and Ross Hutchins of Britain on Wednesday.Meanwhile, in the junior boys’ singles second round, South Korean seventh seed Duckhee Lee eased past India’s Sumit Nagal 6-2, 6-2.last_img read more

IPL 2016: Gujarat Lions not adapting to different conditions, says Dwayne Bravo

first_imgGujarat Lions slumped to their third straight defeat in the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad yesterday. Suresh Raina’s men were at the top of the table after winning six out of their first seven matches but now are struggling to get back to winning ways.Star all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who has been topping the bowling charts this season, said his team was lacking the ability to adapt to different conditions and that it has led to their downward spiral. (Full Coverage|Points Table)”I think we did not adjust quickly. When you look at IPL games, the previous games that were played in Hyderabad, it’s always a high scoring game, a high scoring venue. So, I think the conditions were more challenging to bat in,” he saidBravo also said the wicket at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium was difficult to adapt and that their openers Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith found it hard to adapt.”The conditions are more challenging for batting. As batsmen, as international players, we did not adapt quickly enough,” he said.Bravo said it was difficult for Gujarat to keep churning 180-plus scores in the league.We cannot keep playing as though we are trying to get 180-190. It’s not going to be possible. Every condition is different and if we don’t adjust as batters quickly, we are going to find ourselves in this position again when it is challenging for batters,” he addedAlso, Bravo was all praise for Sunrisers Hyderabad pacers who did the job for their team on Friday. .advertisement”Very good bowling. You have got to give credit to the way Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) bowled his first over. We all know once conditions favour in his area, it is very difficult to play him. He is one of the best swing bowlers in the world. You gotto give credit. I think Ashish (Nehra) backed it up very well… It was very difficult to score.”Replying to a query if his side lacked a fourth seamer and on Pradeep Sangwan’s performance, Bravo said Sangwan said is a good bowler and that a bad day in office can happen to anyone.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

CFB Insider Thinks A Top Head Coach Could Switch Teams This Off-Season

first_imgA general view of Georgia Tech's football field.ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 02: A general view of Bobby Dodd Stadium during the game between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Pittsburgh Panthers on November 2, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Right now, it is hard to find two more different programs than Mike Leach’s Washington State Cougars, and Georgia Tech under Paul Johnson.Leach is one of the most well-known progenitors of the spread offense, and used it to turn around one of the toughest Power Five jobs. Johnson spreads people out a bit too, but does it in order to run a unique triple option attack.Wazzu is out in The Palouse, and is a real outpost in the Northwest. Georgia Tech is in Atlanta proper, a great college football city surrounded by fertile recruiting grounds.Johnson’s found plenty of success at Georgia Tech, with a 79-58 record going back to 2008. That includes a conference title, three more division titles, and a pair of Orange Bowl trips.Things have started swinging pretty wildly for the Yellow Jackets, though. Coming off of a 2014 Orange Bowl trip, the team went 3-9, rebounded to win nine games, but finished 5-6 last season and are off to a 3-4 start this year. Throw in Johnson’s bristly personality, and it wouldn’t be surprising for the two sides to part.Yahoo Sports‘ Pete Thamel wrote a piece outlining the various Power Five coaches who could be fired after the year. Johnson was on the list.Tech is trending toward another losing season at 3-4, and there’s little juice in the program. Paul Johnson has had a great run there, as he’s 79-58 over 11 seasons. But with Georgia’s program building into a rocket ship and Tech failing to exploit a vulnerable ACC, Johnson’s run feels like it’s trending toward the end.Athletic director Todd Stansbury has been back on campus since 2016, and there’s an increasing feeling that he’s anxious to get football more nationally relevant. Johnson is 61, which makes retirement a possibility. His buyout is also structured to be paid per season, which makes this reasonable for Georgia Tech.Prediction: There’s a strong feeling in the industry that this opens, as Johnson’s program has gone stale.Thamel named two possible replacements for Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech, including Mike Leach.Leach and Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield were pegged as options.In terms of personality, what you get in Johnson, you’re getting a different brand of in Leach. He is a bit more forthcoming, but also more prone to controversial statements when he starts to drift from football.Leach would completely overhaul the offense,a dn could better tap into the talent available around Georgia Tech. He turned Texas Tech into a consistent high-performer in the Big 12 before his controversial firing there.It wouldn’t be terribly surprising for him to leave Washington State either. The Cougars are currently in line to represent the Pac-12 North in the conference title game, after knocking off Oregon last week, but he was reportedly ready to take the Tennessee job if offered last year. Athletic director Bill Moos, who brought Leach to Wazzu, is now at Nebraska.If Washington State continues to thrive this year, maybe he decides to stay, but it does seem like Leach can be had for the right opportunity.[Yahoo Sports]last_img read more

Order of Nova Scotia Honours Five Outstanding Nova Scotians

first_img Mineral and fossil expert, Eldon Thomas George, Parrsboro Businessman, philanthropist, community leader, Fred George, Halifax Distinguished heart surgeon, scientist, innovator, Cecil Edwin Kinley, Halifax Singer and songwriter, Raylene Marguerite Rankin (Anderson), Mabou (posthumous) Peace educator, author, teacher, Hetty (Hendrika) Margaretha van Gurp, Sydney “These men and women are excellent additions to the order,” said Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant. “They exemplify the depth of talent and leadership in our province, and as we recognize their hard work and dedication, I would like to thank them for making Nova Scotia a better place.” The recipients were selected by the Order of Nova Scotia Advisory Council from 100 nominations. “This year’s recipients are very deserving – their community involvement, their philanthropy, and their will to improve the lives of the people in our province speaks volumes,” said Viola Robinson, chair of the Order of Nova Scotia Advisory Council. “We received an overwhelming response for nominations this year. I encourage all Nova Scotians to continue to nominate, and re-nominate people they feel are deserving.” The 2013 recipients were recognized at the 12th investiture ceremony at Government House in Halifax. The Order of Nova Scotia was established in June 2001 and is the highest honour bestowed by the province. Recipients have the right to use the initials O.N.S. after their names. Five outstanding Nova Scotians were honoured for their valued contributions in the areas of the arts, medicine, science, business and social issues at a ceremony held today, Nov. 27. Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant, Chancellor of the Order of Nova Scotia, was joined by Premier Stephen McNeil to invest the recipients into the order during the ceremony held at Government House in Halifax. “It is my privilege to help invest this year’s recipients into the Order of Nova Scotia,” said Premier McNeil. “Their accomplishments are inspiring to us all, and their work and legacies will continue to inspire all Nova Scotians for generations to come.” The 2013 Order of Nova Scotia recipients are:last_img read more