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App to assist medical research

first_imgSaint Mary’s communicative sciences and disorders department and Notre Dame’s engineering and computer science departments have teamed up with Contect, Inc. to create an app to help detect concussions on the sidelines of sports games.Contect Inc. came into existence through the ESTEEM program (Engineering, Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Masters Program), president of Contect Inc. Shane McQuillan said.“Contect came into existence through my ESTEEM thesis, which was a required component of the program,” McQuillan said. “That being said, a lot of companies that were established did not continue after the program, so Contect is fairly unique in that sense. We won the McCloskey business competition last year, which provided the ground work to keep things going.”The app is in its early stages but hopes to go to market in early 2015, McQuillan said. The app will first be used in high schools and will then expand to other markets fairly quickly.“At a very high level, here’s how it works: we take a baseline speech recording from an athlete at the start of a season,” McQuillan said. “During this they read a serious of words and sentences that are presented to them by our application, we then analyze these recordings and extract a number of acoustic metrics.“After a suspected concussion the athlete repeats the same test, and again we extract the acoustic features. We can compare the sets of features to establish if there is a likelihood of concussion.”The team of creators for Contect Inc. is composed of software developers and entrepreneurs who are capable of building a robust application, McQuillan said.Saint Mary’s communicative sciences and disorders professor Sandra Schneider designs tests and trials and examines recordings to see what changes she can detect in athlete’s voices.“We are at a point in time in society, in our world, where we can’t do research just in our own field alone and understand it,” Schneider said. “I think we really have to cross boundaries. … Between computer science and engineering, those people have different skillset than we have, and it’s kind of nice to be working in conjunction of all of us together because I think we all learn something from each other as we go through this.”The earlier a concussion is detected, the sooner it can be treated, McQuillan said.“Contect is trying to fill a gap where there is no good solution — sideline concussion detection,” McQuillan said. “If you want to detect them straight away, you’re going to need to do it on the sidelines, and Contect wants to offer a product that can do so.”The brain is such a finely-tuned instrument that it does not like any kind of change, Schneider said. Over 1,000 athletes have been baseline tested as part of the Spring season trial. Schneider predicts close to 40 will receive a concussion at some point during the season.“With sports injury related concussions, it’s a fact that usually one concussion isn’t the problem, its multiple concussions,” Schneider said. “Every time they get hit, in practice on the field, the more hits that you have the more in danger you are. This brain can only take so much. And then it begins to show cumulative effects.”Speech is a sensitive tool that is a good indicator for anything that happens to the brain, Schneider said.“It’s an emotional indicator and it’s a neurological indicator,” Schneider said. “That’s why they thought that speech would be a good indicator on the sidelines. You can have a baseline of somebody and then you have them read these words and we have the words and what they need to do and if there is any change it would be an indicator.”Schneider said the app is groundbreaking because currently, there is no literature that says there can be changes in speech due to a mild concussion.“The app right away was developed to look at speech and see if there were any changes in speech due to a mild concussion, which, believe it or not, there is nothing in literature about that at all so this is like breaking ground,” Schneider said. “We know there’s changes in speech and people with moderate and severe traumatic brain injury but do we know that speech is a detector for mild concussions.”Schneider said coaches have been accommodating at the high school level so far but believes that this app will become a political issue as well.“You also have to realize that it’s a very political issue because you start into Division One, which is like the Notre Dame football team, and as you know there’s a lot riding on the line when you pull one of your star quarterbacks out because of concussion,” Schneider said. “And some of them I don’t think want to know that information. So it’s a political decision in a lot of ways. And they know they’re going to run into that.”The app is meant to be used in conjunction with other concussion screeners, Schneider said. The app alone cannot be used to make a decision.“Right now we seem to be primarily in the high schools but later it will be in the college level and then when we have something that is really strong and seems to be pretty accurate at detecting something, then I think they’ll push it to the next level,” Schneider said. “So we’re talking a few years.”Tags: app to detect concussions on sidelines, contect inc., ESTEEM, ESTEEM thesis, notre dame computer science, notre dame engineering, saint mary’s communicative sciences and disorders department, shane mcquillanlast_img read more

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Rubisco “Highly Tuned” for Fixing Atmospheric Carbon

first_imgRubisco sounds like a brand of cracker or something, but it’s actually an air cleaner your life depends on.  It’s an enzyme that fixes atmospheric carbon for use by photosynthetic microbes and plants.  In doing so, it sweeps the planet of excess carbon dioxide – the greenhouse gas implicated in discussions of global warming – making it a politically important molecule as well the most economically important enzyme on earth.  Rubisco is the most common enzyme in the world, too; every person on earth benefits from his or her own 12 to 25 pounds of these molecular machines, which process 15% of the total pool of atmospheric carbon per year.  For a long time, biochemists thought this enzyme was slow and inefficient.  That view is changing.  Rubisco now appears to be perfectly optimized for its job.Rubisco’s cute name is a handy anagram for the clumsier appellation ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase.  Tcherkez et al. first broke the paradigmatic logjam about this enzyme’s purported inefficiency with an article in PNAS,1 titled, “Despite slow catalysis and confused substrate specificity, all ribulose bisphosphate carboxylases may be nearly perfectly optimized.”  Howard Griffiths commented this week in Nature2 about this paper and the new findings about its optimization.  Though his article referred to evolution seven times, and only mentioned design twice, the latter word seemed the most valuable player.There are four classes of Rubisco, some more efficient at fixing carbon than others.  Its reputation as a slow enzyme (2-8 catalytic events per second) may be unfair.  Carbon dioxide in gaseous form has to compete for access to the active site against the much more abundant and lighter oxygen.  Griffiths shows what a difficult job this molecule has to perform; no wonder it leaks somewhat.  But, as he explains, even the leaks are accommodated:It is curious that Rubisco should fix CO2 at all, as there is 25 times more O2 than CO2 in solution at 25°C, and a 500-fold difference between them in gaseous form.  Yet only 25% of reactions are oxygenase events at this temperature, and carbon intermediates ‘lost’ to the carbon fixation reactions by oxygenase action are metabolized and partly recovered by the so-called photorespiratory pathway.  Catalysis begins with activation of Rubisco by the enzyme Rubisco activase, when first CO2 and then a magnesium ion bind to the active site.  The substrate, ribulose bisphosphate, then reacts with these to form an enediol intermediate, which engages with either another CO2 or an O2 molecule, either of which must diffuse down a solvent channel to reach the active site.This is a harder job than designing a funnel that will pass only tennis balls, when there are 500 times more ping-pong balls trying to get through.  Not only is Rubisco good at getting the best mileage from a sloppy process, it may actually turn the inefficiency to advantage.  Griffiths started by claiming, “evolution has made the best of a bad job,” but ended by saying that the enzyme’s reputation as “intransigent and inefficient” is a lie.  Why?  It now appears that “Rubisco is well adapted to substrate availability in contrasting habitats.”  This means its inefficiency is really disguised adaptability.Experimenters thought they could “improve” on Rubisco by mutating it.  They found that their slight alterations to the reactivity of the enediol intermediate drastically favored the less-desirable oxygenase reaction.  This only served to underscore the contortions the molecule must undergo to optimize the carboxylase reaction:Such observations provided the key to the idea that in the active site the enediol must be contorted to allow CO2 to attack more readily despite the availability of O2 molecules.  The more the enediol mimics the carboxylate end-product, Tcherkez et al. conclude, the more difficult it is for the enzyme to free the intermediate from the active site when the reaction is completed.  When the specificity factor and selectivity for CO2 are high, the impact on associated kinetic properties is greatest: kcat [i.e., the rate of enzyme catalytic events per second] becomes slower.So, rather than being inefficient, Rubisco has become highly tuned to match substrate availability.Another finding about the inner workings of Rubisco bears on dating methods and climate models.  Scientists have known that Rubisco favors the lighter, faster-moving carbon isotope 12C over 13C.  By measuring the ratio of these stable isotopes in organic deposits, paleoclimatologists have inferred global carbon dioxide abundances and temperatures (knowing that Rubisco processes the isotopes differently).  That assumption may be dubious:Several other correlates are also explained by this relationship.  For instance, Rubisco discriminates more against 13C than against 12C, the two naturally occurring stable isotopes in CO2.  But when the specificity factor is high, the 13C reaction intermediate binds more tightly, and so carbon isotope discrimination is higher (that is, less 13C is incorporated); in consequence, the carbon-isotope signals used to reconstruct past climates should perhaps now be re-examined.  In contrast, higher ambient temperatures (30-40 °C) reduce the stability of the enediol, and Rubisco oxygenase activity and photorespiration rate increase.Those considerations aside, Griffiths is most interested in two things: how this enzyme evolved, and whether we can improve on it.  If we can raise its carboxylation efficiency, we might be able to increase crop yields.  So far, genetic engineers have not succeeded.3As for the evolution of Rubisco, he mentions three oddball cases but fails to explain exactly how they became optimized for their particular circumstances – only that they are optimized.  Yet their abilities seem rather remarkable.  For instance, though the “least efficient” forms of Rubisco reside in microbes living in anaerobic sediments, where oxygen competition is not a problem, “One bacterium can express all three catalytically active forms (I, II and III), and switches between them depending on environmental conditions.”  In another real-world case, “some higher plants and photosynthetic microorganisms have developed mechanisms to suppress oxygenase activity: CO2-concentrating mechanisms are induced either biophysically or biochemically.”  In another example, “Rubisco has not been characterized in the so-called CAM plants, which use a form of photosynthesis (crassulacean acid metabolism) adapted for arid conditions.”  These plants, including cacti and several unrelated species scattered throughout the plant kingdom, have other mechanisms for dealing with their extreme environments.  In every mention of evolution, therefore, Griffiths assumed it rather than explaining it: viz., “The systematic evolution of enzyme kinetic properties seems to have occurred in Rubisco from different organisms, suggesting that Rubisco is well adapted to substrate availability in contrasting habitats.”So, can we improve on it?  If so, given all the praise for what evolution accomplished, Griffiths seems oblivious to the implications of his own concluding sentence:Other research avenues include manipulating the various components of Rubisco and cell-specific targeting of chimaeric Rubiscos.  Potential pitfalls here are that the modified Rubisco would not only have to be incorporated and assembled by crop plants, but any improved performance would have to be retained by the plants.  Finally, one suggestion is that we should engineer plants that can express two types of Rubisco – each with kinetic properties to take advantage of the degree of shading within a crop canopy.  Such rational design would not only offer practical opportunities for the future, but also finally give the lie to the idea that Rubisco is intransigent and inefficient.What, students, is a synonym for “rational design”?1Tcherkez et al., “Despite slow catalysis and confused substrate specificity, all ribulose bisphosphate carboxylases may be nearly perfectly optimized,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online before print April 26, 2006, 10.1073/pnas.0600605103 PNAS | May 9, 2006 | vol. 103 | no. 19 | 7246-7251.2Howard Griffiths, “Plant biology: Designs on Rubisco,” Nature 441, 940-941 (22 June 2006) | doi:10.1038/441940a; Published online 21 June 2006.3If and when they do, the benefit would be tuned for humans and their livestock, not necessarily for the ecology or atmosphere.Folks, here you have it again.  What Griffiths meant as a paper praising evolution is really a paper demonstrating intelligent design.  We dare any evolutionist to explain how this “highly-tuned” enzyme, with the optimized contortions of its intermediates and its “highly conserved” (i.e., unevolved) active site, arose by an unguided process, especially how a lowly bacterium – the simplest of organisms – evolved three forms of it and can switch between them depending on environmental conditions!  And don’t say it evolved because evolution is a fact.Here again, also, we see how further research is giving “the lie to the idea” that something in nature “is intransigent and inefficient.”  Evolutionists love to showcase examples of inefficiency in nature, to give the impression that any God or designer would not do such a bungled job.  The only bungling is in the theories of evolutionists who look at optimized, rational design in the face and can’t see a rational designer.  Human rational design applied to improving on nature’s engineering marvels does not support evolution, it supports intelligent design.  If human intelligence is required to copy or modify a design, one cannot say that the original design “emerged” by an unguided, purposeless, material process.  Why is that such a hard concept for the Darwinists to grasp?  Why can’t they see the illogic of their position?  As usual, they merely assume evolution can perform any engineering job necessary, even designing nanomachinery that exceeds our human capabilities.Notice the snippet about climate models in this story, also.  It goes to show that assumptions about the unobservable past, like foundations under a house of cards, can shift under new research.  Though Griffiths was not specific about the degree of alteration climate models might suffer, this is a point to remember whenever popular science reports glibly claim things like “218.24267 gazillion years ago, the atmosphere went through a period of global warming followed by a snowball earth.”You may never have heard about this indispensable enzyme that helps keep you breathing and gives you salad to eat (and, indirectly, meat from plant-eating animals).  Astrobiologists had better pay attention.  Mars and Venus have lots of carbon dioxide, but no Rubisco.  Earth has just enough CO2 to help moderate the atmospheric temperature, but not too much to cause a catastrophic greenhouse effect; that balance is maintained in part by this highly-tuned enzyme.  Our ability to read and write and think these thoughts owes to the convergence of numerous improbable factors, including our planet’s optimal distance from the sun, a global magnetic field, a planetary mass that retains the right ingredients but lets others escape, a transparent atmosphere, a star that produces radiation with just the right energy range for molecular reactions, and optimally engineered molecular machines in plants that can harvest that energy.  As a result, our lungs have air, our bodies have food, and our eyes have beauty and variety to enjoy.  If this looks like intelligent design, and if that has philosophical or religious implications, so be it.  Thank God for Rubisco. (Visited 123 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Govt, business join climate fight

first_img18 October 2005A partnership between the government and Business Unity South Africa to address the challenge of climate change was formed at the National Climate Change Conference in Midrand, Johannesburg on Monday.The newly formed partnership is expected to create a system for monitoring and reporting on the levels of greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa.“At the World Summit on Sustainable Development, South Africa led the way in highlighting the ‘triple bottom line’ of business – economic, social, and environmental concerns,” said Business Unity SA (Busa) President Patrice Motsepe.“This agreement gives further content to that approach. Busa understands the importance of economic growth that does not mortgage our future for the sake of short-term profit, and we will work with government to ensure that we address the challenges of climate change together.”The mining magnate also referred to the increasing number of South African companies that were exploring investment opportunities presented by the Clean Development Mechanism.Environmental Affairs Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said the government hoped to extend the partnership with business to other interventions, “especially those which will help our rural and agricultural communities adapt to the impacts of climate change through the diversification of the rural economy.”Investment in scienceScience Minister Mosibudi Mangena opened the science session of the conference with calls for greater investment in the science of climate change and African research and development.Stating alternatives for energy use, Mangena said nuclear power was one of the options, alongside wind and solar technologies.“Climate change research requires global observation of numerous characteristics of the earth system over a long period of time,” the minister said.“Scientists need to ensure that reliable data is collected by a whole suite of observing systems – from satellite to surface stations to ocean buoys operated by various countries and agencies.”Source: BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Foundation and Nailbase Details for a Minnesota House

first_imgInsect worriesOne of the things about a frost-protected shallow foundation that has always made me uneasy is the potential for insect intrusion into the foam. Northern Minnesota is not a termite zone, but will it be 100 years from now?I searched fruitlessly for information on how deep in the soil termites and carpenter ants will burrow. Regardless, I wanted to protect my foam, and also block any possible path from the foundation insulation into the wall insulation.I initially explored wrapping all of the wing insulation and the vertical face of the foundation foam with stainless-steel screen cloth, but that was prohibitively expensive, especially for something I wasn’t sure was necessary. I eventually settled on covering the top of the wing insulation with Ice& Water Shield, and extending that up the face of the foundation. That would later be lapped with more peel-and-stick flashing to connect the Zip sheathing to the face of the foundation.This created a nice barrier against burrowing insects (and varmints) from the exterior, and broke the potential path between the foundation insulation and the exterior wall foam with a peel-and-stick flashing. I also couldn’t find any information about whether ants or termites would chew through Ice & Water Shield, but I assumed they would not. Subsequent layers of metal flashing would further reduce that risk. This is the second part of a blog series by architect Elden Lindamood about the design and construction of his own home. The first installment was called A Low-Energy House for Northern Minnesota.Progress has continued on the new house, and a few things have come up along the way to warrant minor changes in the foundation insulation details and window installation. It is refreshing to work with a builder who asks questions and works with me to alter things and arrive at alternate solutions that seem more practical and buildable to him without losing my performance or aesthetic intent. Too many times I have arrived on project sites to find a builder who simply “did it the way he’s always done it” despite the bid set that specified otherwise.I’d like to share some of the details that my builder and I altered from the original design. I’ll also share a few experiences with the nailbase insulation panels in case a reader is considering that wall construction method. The nailbase skin is smaller than the nailbase insulationWe also stipulated that the nailbase panels have an OSB skin measuring 47 3/4 inches x 95 3/4 inches and an EPS panel measuring 48 inches x 96 inches. This was done on the recommendation of a builder; based on experience on a previous job, he thought it would aid in getting the joints between panels really tight.It turns out that although the manufacturer was very accommodating at providing the panels we requested, the OSB skins aren’t all glued perfectly centered, or straight, on the foam panels. Thus Steve learned that to ensure accuracy, he needed to measure his cuts off the foam, not from the OSB edge.Since this is winter construction, the panel adhesive, which you are to apply liberally between each panel, is cold and a bit stiff. That means that the panel joints don’t seem as tight to me as they might be if the sealant was more easily squished. Again, there isn’t much we can do about that except wait until May, so we’ll make do.Fortunately, because of panel screw alignment with the studs, the panel joints don’t often fall on a stud in the cavity wall and the potential for thermal bridging at a panel joint is somewhat minimized. It does make me reconsider the merits of multiple layers of foam with staggered seams, though.Steve also commented that he really liked the large washers provided with the screws, and that it was much easier to install the panels in a flat plane than it is to install furring strips directly over thick foam. ARTICLES BY ELDEN LINDAMOOD A Low-Energy House for Northern MinnesotaInstalling Windows in a Minnesota House Relative Humidity and Makeup Air at a Tight Minnesota HouseA Follow-up From Northern Minnesota RELATED ARTICLES Polyethylene Under Concrete SlabsFoam Under Footings Frost-Protected Shallow FoundationsQuestions and Answers About Air Barriers A Deep Energy Retrofit Using Nailbase Insulation PanelsDo I Need a Vapor Retarder? Right out of the gate, the excavator encouraged me to use sand for the base rather than the crushed gravel that I had specified. My original intent was to take advantage of crushed stone’s lesser tendency for capillary action on a site with a high water table to help ensure that the slab, the slab insulation, and horizontal wing insulation would stay dry. In talking it through with the builder and excavator, however, I agreed since my site is dead flat for hundreds of feet in any direction, and since there was no way to run a drain tile to daylight, that using sand (which would be cheaper and easier to work) was an acceptable solution in this instance.Had it been a full basement below the water table, I wouldn’t have relented. Steve also suggested that he could run the sub-slab vapor barrier / soil gas barrier continuously down, under, and up the form for the thickened slab edge, helping to protect it from capillary moisture (see Image #4, below). I agreed that was a good plan, and we were on our way. The nailbase panels cuppedA previous project taught us a few things about using nailbase panels for our high-R walls.The first issue is that the nailbase panels were cupped. Having an OSB skin on only one side makes them less stable than a SIP, so they all seem to cup with the center of the OSB skin moving outward about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch.This isn’t problematic in and of itself, but it does make it critical that the attachment screws get a good purchase in order to pull the center of the panel tight to the wall. The panel manufacturer, Extreme Panel, usually provides 8 1/2 inch self-tapping screws with their 8-inch nailbase panels. These screws are long enough (normally) to grab the structural sheathing beyond.Note that the manufacturer only requires you to screw into the sheathing, which is why the 8 1/2 inch screws are what they usually provide. Because of the cupping issue, we ordered 9 1/2 inch wood-tipped screws instead, hoping to get a better bite in the sheathing and pull the panels tight. (I should mention that the nailbase manufacturer was very helpful in ordering the non-standard screws, and has been a pleasure to work with).Even with these more aggressive screws, Steve said he thinks it is best to hit a stud so that he doesn’t just strip out the hole trying to pull the panel center tight. He added that if he were to do it again, a 10-inch screw might be preferred. Frost heaving pushes up the flashingSteve placed a prefinished metal flashing over the top of the peel-and-stick flashing to protect and finish the foundation (see Image #5, below). This was then taped, and we were ready for the nailbase panels — with one small hitch.Since we are building in the winter, in northern Minnesota, despite the fact that the weather has been mercifully mild so far, winter construction brought its first complication. We had a significant amount of rain before I backfilled the trench against the metal foundation flashing. The soil that I backfilled with was sandy in many places, and muddy topsoil in others. The soil was saturated.A few weeks after that was done and Steve was getting ready to place the first nailbase panel, he noted that the wet soil had grabbed the metal flashing as it froze, and heaved it up about 1/4 inch. This meant that the joint between the bottom of the nailbase panel and the top of the foundation insulation wouldn’t be as tight as I hoped.Since there wasn’t much that could be done, shy of waiting until next May, we decided to place a strip of expanding foam tape at the rear of the joint, and a liberal bead of sealant at the front of the joint (see Image #6). This should serve to keep insects and vermin out of the joint.I’ll definitely watch the joint over the next couple of years as things settle in to be sure it doesn’t open up. If it does, I’ll have to caulk it. Steve is inclined to think it will never be a problem.center_img Planning for an attic catwalkI had the truss manufacturer add an additional single horizontal member to each attic truss at 28 inches above the bottom of the trusses. This allowed Steve to install a catwalk using plywood salvaged from the concrete forms. The catwalk runs the length of the attic (see Image #8, below). This added a couple of hundred dollars to the cost of the truss package, but if I ever have to do any work in the attic, I think I will be happy I don’t have to wade through 24 inches of cellulose.Steve suggested some good installation details for the ceiling air barrier. He installed the polyethylene before the interior partitions were framed, so the membrane is continuous across the top plates of the partitions. He instructed the plumbing and electrical trades that he wants as few holes as possible in that membrane.He also sealed the ceiling air barrier to the lower of the two top plates at the exterior walls (see Image #9). This makes the air barrier continuous through that plate to the exterior Zip sheathing. (The Zip sheathing was also sealed to that plate when the sheathing was installed.)When penetrations are made in that plate, the penetrations can be sealed more easily from the interior side of the penetration, eliminating the possibility of air infiltration between the plates, which I have seen when conduction blower door tests at other jobs (see Image #10).In my next blog, I hope to share some photos of the window installation and to talk about the changes we made to those details. In the meantime, Steve is trying to get the envelope closed in just as the Minnesota winter is getting really harsh. Should the base be crushed stone or sand?One of the first conversations I had with my builder, Steve Johnson, that resulted in an alternate detail involved the insulation surrounding the frost protected shallow foundation (see Images #2 and #3, below). The original and revised details seem very similar at first blush, but there are a number of differences which were all carefully considered for constructability and performance. Sealing the nail headsWith the foundation complete, the above-grade walls were framed and sheathed with Zip System OSB. The joints were taped — the taped sheathing will be my air barrier — and the sheathing was also taped back into the framed window openings. Since this is for air control only, and the windows will be “outies” at the face of the nailbase panels, the openings didn’t need to be flashed at the Zip sheathing, but simply sealed.Even though Huber says you don’t need to tape or seal the nail holes in the panel fields, my partner Catherine and I spent a few hours taping little squares of Zip tape over each nail hole. It may not make any difference, but since I am going for a ridiculously tight envelope, I thought it was worth the minimal effort (see Image #1 at the top of the page). The nailbase corners come together in a mitered jointSteve opted to miter the outside corners of the nailbase panels. He cut them short so that he could fill the gap with canned spray foam.The manufacturer suggested a butt joint with a piece of extra OSB glued on, but Steve liked the miter joint idea better. He did the second corner with a 43-degree cut so the gap gets wider toward the outer edge, allowing for easier filling with the canned foam (see image #7, below). He is using a track saw with a chainsaw-type attachment that allows him to make his miters in the thick material.Other than making the exact kind of mess you’d expect from cutting EPS with a chainsaw, the cuts are straight and the cutting method seems to work great. His non-mitered cuts are executed with a Festool track saw, cutting 3 inches deep on each side and then finishing off the unreachable center of the cut with a handsaw. Using multiple layers of thinner foam would make cutting easier because you could use a table saw or circular saw, but I think the time lost with the nailbase panels is made up in the speed of installation. I’ll ask Steve to share further impressions on the process when the job is finished.Also note that I opted to extend the trusses out over the nailbase panels, as opposed to running the nailbase panels up to the roof deck (see Image #1 at the top of the page). I did this because at the time it seemed easier than notching the nailbase panels around the truss tails or holding them below the soffits. Also, the nailbase panels are expensive, so reducing the area covered by the panels and filling the area with the attic cellulose seemed more prudent. You really could do it either way, but this is the direction I chose. Foundation insulation changesAs the drawings show, I switched from XPS to Type IX EPS for the under-slab insulation. This was primarily a matter of cost and availability, with a very small energy penalty (and a slight global warming potential improvement). The builder installed the EPS in two 4-inch layers, with the vapor barrier placed between the two layers.We then discussed my detail showing a single continuous sheet of insulation from beneath the footing, extending out to form the horizontal wing insulation. I thought I was being helpful by detailing it so Steve wouldn’t have to cut any more foam than necessary, but because of how he wanted to set his wood foundation forms, that was going to be difficult. I was hesitant to let that one go because I was concerned about a joint or gap at the lower, outer slab edge. However, Steve wanted to install the vertical exterior foam post-pour, so the vertical insulation could then go on prior to the wing insulation, creating a lapped joint that I was happy with.This detail also allowed Steve to slope the exterior wing insulation away from the house without the need for the extra tapered insulation that I envisioned placing on top of it. Additionally, Steve asked if the 2’0″ dimension that I had initially indicated from the top of slab to bottom of thickened edge was code-required. I looked into it and determined that the 2’0″ dimension was required to the bottom of foam, not the bottom of the concrete. This allowed Steve to cut his forms and vertical insulation to 24 inches instead of 27 inches.All of this discussion lead to a good foundation detail that fit the builder’s preferred process, met my performance goals, and saved some time and money. This is how I wish all projects would go — but I digress. Elden Lindamood is an architect with Wagner Zaun Architecture in Duluth, Minnesota.last_img read more

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Many injured at Narendra Modi rally in West Bengal’s Thakurnagar

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi was forced to cut short his speech at Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas of West Bengal on Saturday after a stampede-like situation occurred at the public gathering. Several persons, including women and children and a few journalists, were injured when the people breached the barricades and surged towards the stage where the Prime Minister was speaking. This is the second time a rally addressed by Mr. Modi in the State has run into problems in crowd management. In July last, a tent collapsed at his rally in Paschim Medinipur district, injuring several BJP supporters.As the crowd swelled in the ground near the headquarters of Matua Mahasangha, the Prime Minister tried to pacify the people. But when the crowd kept moving towards the stage, he wrapped up his speech in 20 minutes and left the venue. The rally was held under the banner of International Matua Maha Sammelan and Dharma Sabha. A large number of people carrying the flags of Matua Mahasangha gathered at the venue, along with BJP supporters. After the Prime Minister left, the organisers gave medical help to the injured and tried to unite children with their parents. Later in the day, at a public rally at Durgapur, Mr. Modi expressed regret at the developments. “Some women and children faced problems. I want to apologise to them,” he said, urging BJP supporters to be patient while displaying their affection towards him.last_img read more

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In big trouble: Warriors down 3-1 in NBA Finals

first_imgGolden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) looks up during a stoppage in play during the first half against the Toronto Raptors in Game 4 of basketball’s NBA Finals, Friday, June 7, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)OAKLAND, Calif. — Golden State coach Steve Kerr is fond of saying that the Warriors have seen everything in their five-year run as the best team in the NBA.They are now looking at something they haven’t faced before.ADVERTISEMENT And then they scored three points the rest of the way, before making the long, slow walk off the court and to the locker room.It’s very possible they made that walk at Oracle for the last time.When Golden State was down 3-1 in the West finals to Oklahoma City — and Durant — in 2016, it needed to win just one road game in order to escape that mess.They need to win in Toronto twice now, after not being able to win at home even once.Now, the biggest challenge of the Warriors’ five-year run is officially here.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Golden State’s hopes of a third straight title are hanging by a most precarious thread. The Warriors will be quick to say that even a 3-1 deficit in the finals isn’t insurmountable.They know.The Warriors learned that the hard way. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP LATEST STORIES They’ve successfully overcome a 3-1 deficit in the playoffs before — but never in the NBA Finals, and never when they needed to win two road games to win the series.Such is their predicament. Oracle Arena might have seen the Warriors for the last time. The Larry O’Brien Trophy might be hoisted in Canada on Monday night. The Toronto Raptors are in full control of these NBA Finals, their 105-92 win on Friday night giving them a 3-1 lead and putting them on the brink of winning their first title.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Raptors close in on historic NBA title, beat Warriors for 3-1 lead MOST READ Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers02:42PH 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 They blew such a lead in 2016, falling twice at home to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. But the Warriors’ collapse that year was largely due to Andrew Bogut getting hurt in Game 5 and Draymond Green losing his cool and earning a one-game suspension. The Raptors have no such injury concerns, no such behavioral matters to deal with right now.The Raptors are as poised as can be.They were in trouble in each of the first three rounds of these playoffs — down 1-0 to Orlando, down 2-1 to Philadelphia, down 2-0 to Milwaukee. It steeled them. Toronto got better every step of the way.Golden State looked the exact opposite on Friday night. The Warriors are still without Kevin Durant, endured a night where Stephen Curry struggled, and where their biggest boosts came from Klay Thompson returning from a balky hamstring and Kevon Looney playing through the pain of a cartilage injury in his upper body.The Warriors made a run. Curry’s 3-pointer with 3 minutes left pulled Golden State within eight and gave the Warriors a chance.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View commentslast_img read more

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