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Should Green Homes Burn Wood?

first_imgEnvironmentalists often argue over the wisdom of heating homes with wood. Strong arguments can be marshaled on both sides of this debate, so I’ll do my best to represent both positions before summing up.According to wood-fuel advocates, burning wood is carbon-neutral. While burning wood releases carbon into the atmosphere, the carbon would have been released anyway if the tree had died of old age and rotted on the forest floor.Here’s how a forest’s carbon cycle works: as trees grow, they sequester atmospheric carbon by converting CO2 in the air to leaves, twigs, and wood. The CO2 isn’t permanently sequestered, however, since virtually all wood (with a few exceptions, like Tutankhamen’s throne) eventually burns or rots. The amount of carbon released by burning is the same as the amount released by rotting.As long as firewood is sustainably harvested — that is, as long as a logger limits annual cutting to the annual growth of the forest — burning firewood is carbon-neutral.Wood-stove advocates also point out:Environmentalists opposed to wood burning often live in congested areas affected by air pollution or in areas where forests are threatened. Seeing trees as precious, they don’t look kindly on logging trucks.Foes of wood burning point out:Particulates are probably the most dangerous components of wood smoke. Particulates small enough to enter deep into the lungs are known as PM10 particulates (meaning they have a diameter of 10 microns or less); these are the particulates that are most likely to contribute to lung disease. Those most vulnerable to smoke-related health problems are people with asthma, young children, pregnant women, and the elderly. According to one source, each year in the U.S., particulates from all sources (including vehicle exhaust) are responsible for 30,000 premature deaths from lung disease,… This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Start Free Trial Already a member? Log incenter_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.last_img read more

Bedi rues Parthiv’s absence in World Cup squad

first_imgThe Indian team has the potential to make it to the final of the World Cup, says former captain Bishan Singh Bedi. But he has serious doubts about most players’ ability to field brilliantly.While terming fielding as the weakest link in the team, the illustrious left-arm spinner said the strong batting line-up will have make up for this weakness by scoring up to 40 more runs in each game. “I see India playing in the final. They have the potential go all the way,” Bedi told MAIL TODAY.The tournament begins with an India-Bangladesh game on February 19. But Bedi, who was part of the selection committee that picked the World Cup-winning team in 1983, agreed that the home team will have to cope with the pressure. “Indians will be under a lot of pressure at home. But Dhoni gave a lovely statement, saying that ‘we have converted pressure into extra responsibility’. If you feel the responsibility, you will have to live up to it. Indians will have to live up to the tag of favourites,” he said.”It’s better if India were not called the favourites. When they are called favourites, they may have a cautious approach.” Comparing the fielding ability of the players in Kapil Dev’s team in 1983 and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side, Bedi said the difference is quite big.”That team was an outstanding fielding side, something that cannot be matched by this team. Fielding is the weakest link in this team.There is only outstanding fielder – Virat Kohli. Yuvraj is not what he was some years ago and Raina, another good fielder, may not get to play all the games,” he averred. “Batsmen will have to score all the time. No excuse there. Indians will have to score 30 to 40 runs more to cover up for (the weak) fielding.”advertisementOn India’s 15-member squad, Bedi said that he would have preferred a second wicketkeeper in place of the third spinner. “It would have been better had there been one more wicket-keeper.Never mind now. But three spinners, in my opinion, are one too many. When and where will they play Piyush (in the XI)? Even if they play two spinners, it is more likely to be Harbhajan and R Ashwin,” he felt.”I would have preferred a second wicket-keeper, somebody like Parthiv Patel. Interestingly, when Parthiv was not so good, they used to pick him. But now when he has improved, they are not selecting him. I would have gone with two wicketkeepers and one spinner less. In my opinion, Piyush would have been the one (to go).”The Delhi-based Bedi said the team will have to peak at the right time. “Peaking does exist in cricket too. And it is very much visible. Pakistanis are peaking at the right time, and so are the Australians. They will come to the World Cup with all the confidence in the world,” he felt. “Indians have got a gap.They will recover from the fatigue. They will have to gain the momentum that has come to a halt with this gap. They should recover and come back to the reality of cricket.”On the several days’ gap between matches for all 14 teams, Bedi said it could be used to one’s advantage. “The gap is good to recoup because it’s going to be hectic and taxing on the mind and body. It’s not 1975 and 1979, when we were only participating; now we are competing – and competing for the championship. That’s the difference,” he said.Bedi specifically said that momentum will play a crucial role in the long-drawn tournament. “Consistency and keeping your momentum going will be the keys to success. And focus will come with consistency. There is no way a team that is aspiring to win the World Cup can afford to relax even for a moment,” he maintained.last_img read more

Oklahoma State’s snap speed progression since Gundy took over

first_imgPhoto Attribution: USATSIPhoto Attribution: USATSIMike Gundy said it at media days:“We want to play as fast as possible”Tracy Moore said it earlier this spring:“I’m not going to lie. It’s a lot faster than when Coach (Dana) Holgorsen was here.”Parker Graham said it, too:“Oh my Gosh, it’s even faster than the last one, if that’s even possible.”Everything we’ve heard since the curtain closed on that whatever that thing was at the Cotton Bowl in January has pointed towards OSU going even faster than before. Gundy even riffed on a no-huddle wishbone O at media days, which sounds just…insane.The point remains though, OSU will continue to test the limits of speed — and now the Big 12 is trying to help them out.I wanted to look at how fast this thing could go. How far we’ve come since Gundy took over and who else is testing the dexterity of the people in charge of play clocks all over the country.First, how far OSU has come. The numbers I’m about to throw at you are simply this: total time of possession on offense divided by total plays. Passing teams are sometimes helped by this because the play clock stops for them on incompletions…though if you’re throwing that many incomplete passes, you likely have bigger issues.The reason the numbers might seem inflated is because a team holds the ball for a while when it punts, has turnovers, and commits penalties. I didn’t include these as offensive “plays” because, well, those are all things that slow an offense down and I don’t feel like they should be added to artificially enhance these numbers.Here are OSU’s numbers:Total time/total plays2005: 24 seconds per play2006: 26 seconds per play2007: 23 seconds per play2008: 26 seconds per play2009: 28 seconds per play2010: 22 seconds per play2011: 20 seconds per play2012: 21 seconds per playPretty interesting, right? That 28 to 22 drop you see in 2010 is D-A-N-A. Also, the 2011 team was insane. So good, so fast, so disciplined. Just a machine.And I think that 2005 team was fast because it just scripted three plays at a time then punted. Not much to think about there…that 2009 team was slow because Zac was tired of getting murdered every time he snapped the ball.Now how do these rank nationally?Here those numbers from the last six years:10 fastest teams2012 Houston: 18.1 seconds2012 Marshall: 18.7 seconds2012 La. Tech: 19.1 seconds2012 Arizona: 19.4 seconds2009 Houston[1. Dana.]: 19.6 seconds2011 Middle Tennessee: 19.8 seconds2012 Baylor: 19.9 seconds2011 Houston: 20.2 seconds2012 Indiana: 20.4 seconds2008 Oregon: 20.5 secondsOkahoma State’s six teams rank 15th, 19th, 41st, 106th, 432nd, 567th (out of 723 teams).Only seven teams (again, out of 723!) have ever broken the 20-second mark so I would think that’s the goal for OSU. And with that eighth referee added I think they could get it this year.The five slowest2012 New Mexico: 31 seconds2011 Temple: 31 seconds2008 Northern Illinois: 31 seconds2012 Auburn: 31 seconds2010 UCF: 31 secondsOh, Auburn. That was a clinic in why you don’t hire Iowa State coaches who can’t win at Iowa State.Other notes:• 2010 OU was the only team to run over 1,200 plays (1,210).• UTSA only ran 680 plays in 2012. OSU will reach that by the end of October this year.• The only team to have the ball for fewer than 300 minutes in a season was Houston in 2012 (the fastest team of the era).OSU has been really good in this area and is getting better. In and of itself snap speed doesn’t do much, but when you combine it with a “we know exactly what we’re going to do on every play” attitude, well, you have something.One of the biggest things I’m worried about this year is Yurcich’s ability to pull the trigger quickly on plays like Monk and Dana were able to — those dudes lived to call the right play at the right time and it’s one thing that made the Pokes great over the last three years.Check out our full 2013 OSU football preview here.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Pakistan election sees rise of antiblasphemy party

first_imgIn this picture taken on 30 July 2018, head of Pakistan`s Sunni Muslim Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) party, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, gestures as he speaks to media in Lahore. Islamic fundamentalist parties fielded more than 1,500 candidates in Pakistan`s provincial and national elections last week that were won by cricket hero turned politician Imran Khan.A relatively new anti-blasphemy party whose leader has reportedly vowed to nuke the Netherlands should he ever come to power did surprisingly well in Pakistan’s elections last week, which were tainted by the rise of extremist groups.Islamic fundamentalist parties fielded more than 1,500 candidates in Pakistan’s provincial and national elections that were won by cricket hero turned politician Imran Khan.Extremists were a major talking point going into the contest with politicians, including Khan, accused of pandering to their vote base by trumpeting hardline issues such as blasphemy.Here AFP looks at how the main extremist parties fared during Wednesday’s polls.- Anti-blasphemy party -The performance of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), led by radical preacher Khadim Hussain Rizvi, will worry mainstream politicians and human rights activists the most.The group, founded in 2015, entered the national consciousness last year when it blockaded the capital Islamabad for several weeks calling for stricter enforcement of Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws.It wants the automatic death penalty for anyone deemed to have insulted Islam or the Prophet Muhammad.Rizvi reportedly told journalists recently that if he took power in the nuclear-armed country he would “wipe Holland off the face of the earth”, over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published there.Fortunately for the Netherlands, TLP failed to win any of the 272 seats up for grabs in Pakistan’s National Assembly.It did, however, capture two seats in the provincial assembly of Sindh.TLP polled over 2.23 million votes in the national assembly elections, its first general election, and more than 2.38 million provincial votes, election commission website data shows.”Their overall number of votes is very surprising. It’s a really spectacularly rapid rise,” political commentator Fasi Zaka told AFP.TLP’s strong showing is of particular concern to Pakistan’s Ahmadi community, which has long been targeted by extremists. They consider themselves Muslims but their beliefs are seen as blasphemous in most mainstream Islamic schools of thought.- Group linked to Mumbai attacks -Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek was backed by Hafiz Saeed, the man accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. Saeed has been designated a terrorist by the United Nations and has a $10-million bounty on his head.Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek was formed after Pakistan banned the Milli Muslim League — the political party of hardline militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is headed by Saeed — from the election.None of the party’s candidates won seats but they did register more than 435,000 national and regional votes.Zaka said he had expected work done in Punjab by LeT’s long-established charitable arm — Jamaat-ud-Dawa — to have translated into more votes.”They have been in the business of service delivery where the state has not fulfilled its remit … I think they have underperformed,” he said.- Sunni hardliners -Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) is a radical Sunni group that frequently spouts hatred against Pakistan’s Shiite minority community, considering them heretics.”If we get power in the evening and if a single Shia is alive by the morning in Pakistan then change my name,” leader Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi told an election rally.ASWJ is considered to be the political face of sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which has been behind numerous bloody attacks on Shiite Muslims in Pakistan.Its candidates ran as independents and were known to have won at least one seat, in the Punjab assembly.Zaka, the analyst, said that while votes for extremist parties did not translate into many seats in a first-past-the-post system, their sizable vote banks will give them clout in an increasingly competitive political landscape.”The interesting thing about this election is not what it says about Pakistan now but what kind of space it creates for a Pakistan five years down the line,” he told AFP.last_img

1A Across America Texans Take The Border Crisis Into Their Own Hands

first_img 00:00 /04:02 X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: “We’ve had volunteers from Canada, from Spain; we’ve had volunteers from everywhere, from New York to Washington State,” said Brownsville native Mike Benavides, who has seen the outpouring of support firsthand.He helped found the non-profit Team Brownsville.Benavides, a veteran and special education teacher, has spent nearly every morning and evening after work at the border. It’s almost a second job. Elizabeth Trovall/Houston Public MediaMike Benavides stands in front of the Brownsville Bus Station, where many of his trips to Mexico begin.A year ago, he started by serving food out of a wagon he would tote across the border. Word of the work he was doing spread quickly, leading to an outpour of donations and volunteers.  Now his group is coordinating with a restaurant across the border to serve meals, and they have a well-stocked supply closet in Brownsville located inside a taco shop. “We went from a little ragtag group of five to an actual 501(c)(3),” said Benavides. Team Brownsville collects supplies that go directly to migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. Donations have helped stock shelves with Advil, diapers, handmade pillows, wet wipes and other essential supplies. During hot summer months, Benavides said bug spray, clean t-shirts and undergarments are also in high demand. Items will make migrants waiting at the bridge in Matamoros, Mexico a little more comfortable while they wait to cross into Brownsville. They’re on a government waitlist to seek asylum — a list that typically takes two months or longer to get through. – / 4Team Brownsville formed a year ago, after the Trump administration began its practice of metering, which requires people to wait in Mexico before they can ask for asylum. Before, people were able to cross into the U.S. and be processed immediately.  “In my 49 years crossing the bridge, I’ve never seen people stranded at the bridge,” said Benavides. His dismay led him and a few other colleagues to act. Benavides said it’s important to focus on what he can control, even though he said sometimes he feels like he is spitting on a fire.Thinking of the migrant children who have died in federal custody still brings him to tears. “It made me mad. But I channel that anger and that rage into something positive. I could have let this rage consume me. I could have let it make me hateful, but it kind of took another turn,” he said.Elizabeth Trovall/Houston Public MediaThe Gateway International Bridge connects Brownsville, Texas with Matamoros, Tamaulipas.Benavides focuses his energy on the kids he can help. When he crosses the international bridge into Matamoros, Mexico, Benavides is welcomed with hugs from Venezuelan, Cuban and Central American children. He checks in with kids and their parents to see how they’re doing. “We try to keep these people as comfortable as we can but you can see the conditions. There’s nothing comfortable about spending your day sitting on a concrete sidewalk,” Benavides said. He’s seen a lot of suffering at this bridge, but also a lot of hope.He and his network are there to help how they can, which also involves people who live far away from the border. For example, when a medical issue comes up, he sends text messages and pictures to a doctor in Austin to see the best option for treatment.  While @realDonaldTrump admin says the father and daughter who drowned chose their fate, the Cubans and Hondurans waiting in #Matamoros, Mex (some knew the family) told me they’ve been waiting months to get processed, blame the US govt for long wait times in unsafe conditions pic.twitter.com/fwFYcJtlmc— Elizabeth Trovall (@elizTrovall) June 27, 2019That help is much appreciated by the people who have traveled thousands of miles to the border, only to find themselves facing long wait times and harsh conditions. Many are terrified in this city plagued by homicides and kidnappings.One of the women waiting to ask for asylum is Xiamara, a migrant from Honduras. She said her family has been waiting at the border in Mexico for two months. She asked not to use her last name for fear it could affect her chances of getting asylum.“It’s not easy when one has economic problems and problems with sick children. It’s really hard,” she said. Her youngest daughter suffers from a tumor that causes epilepsy. Team Brownsville has given her daughter medication to avoid epileptic seizures. It hasn’t prevented all seizures, but it has helped. Xiamara said she’s grateful. Though she and her children are living in high temperatures and without access to running water, she said she thanks God and the volunteers for helping with her family’s basic needs. How to support community-run organizations at the border:Team Brownsville accepts donations on their website. There you can also get in touch with an organizer to see how to get directly involved in providing aid to asylum seekers. Their Facebook page provides regular updates on the work they’re doing in Brownsville and Matamoros. Angry Tias y Abuelas is another community non-profit that organized around the same time as Team Brownsville. They provide humanitarian aid like food, water and hygiene supplies to asylum seekers who have recently been released by immigration officials in both Brownsville and McAllen. You can follow them on Facebook or donate here. Annunciation House provides shelter for asylum-seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas. The non-profit has been around since the 1970s. You can access their donation page on their website.center_img Share Listen Elizabeth Trovall/Houston Public MediaMike Benavides reveals tattoos he had done in memory of two migrant children who died in the custody of federal immigration authorities.The humanitarian crisis unfolding at the border, and the Trump administration’s response to that crisis, has inspired protests across Texas. But, while some are raising their voices, others are taking action and heading to the border themselves.“This is a government problem, but a church opportunity,” said Jim Jehovice.In June, Jehovice traveled to the border with a group from Christ Methodist Church in Sugarland, to help migrants at the Catholic Charities respite center in McAllen, Texas. “There’s no political angle to this, it’s a pure act of love on our part to help with the situation,” Jehovice told public radio project 1A Across America, in partnership with Houston Public Media. He’s one of hundreds of volunteers working at the border who come from all over Texas and beyond. last_img read more