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Seeing past disabilities in the job search

first_imgThe hardest part of a job search may not be filling out the online application or even acing the interview, but getting your resume noticed by the right people.Add a disability and the obstacles are magnified. According to recent American Community Survey data, 46 percent of disabled people in the U.S. rated their last experience applying for a job online as “difficult to impossible.” The same study found that the vast majority of disabled job seekers do not even reach the interview stage, despite having the education and skills to qualify them for a range of jobs. As a result, the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities was 10.7 percent in 2015 — more than twice the rate for those with no disability (5.3 percent).Harvard Extension School Dean Huntington D. Lambert knows this problem all too well. Lambert is a member of the Perkins School for the Blind Board of Trustees and the Perkins-Business Partnership (PBP), an alliance between the school and local businesses and nonprofits working to combat the high unemployment rate among people who are blind or visually impaired.“One of the major obstacles the PBP identified in our research was the difficulty recruiters and hiring managers have attracting, interviewing, and hiring the visually impaired,” Lambert said. “As dean of the Harvard Extension School, I collaborated with (Perkins president and CEO) Dave Power and volunteered us to help Perkins design, produce, publish, and manage a MOOC that would demystify that process.”The result is a free, three-hour-long edX course titled “Introduction to Inclusive Talent Acquisition.” Targeted to hiring managers, the course provides training and insight into best practices for hiring and onboarding employees with disabilities, from improving the application process to the appropriate way to discuss accommodations in the workplace.“We interviewed both people with visual impairments and human resources representatives to learn more about the barriers to employment from both sides of the process,” said Rachel Kerrigan, community resource manager at Perkins. “The interviews revealed a few patterns, one of which was recruiters and hiring managers are gatekeepers at different stages of the employment process. In order to build diverse teams, both parties need to identify disability as a key part of their diversity and inclusion efforts and work collaboratively. We also learned that … there is widespread confusion and ignorance about how to implement inclusive hiring practices.”To show both perspectives in the course, material is presented through video interviews with visually impaired professionals and interactive, illustrated scenarios representing each stage of the hiring process. For example, the following exercise puts the course-taker in the shoes of interviewer “Dominique,” who is meeting “Sebastian,” a blind job candidate. In this scenario, Dominque is taking Sebastian to the interview location.Dominique (thinking): He might need assistance getting up there. But is that rude to ask? And would I take his arm? What should Dominique say? “Can I show you up there?” Or:“Would it be easier to conduct the interview here?” Choose the first option?Sebastian (relieved): “Sure! I’m glad you asked. It would be helpful if you gave me sighted guide to the room. People usually touch the back of my hand to let me know they’re ready to go.”Choose the second option?Sebastian (frustrated): “It’s okay. I can walk to the room. It’d be helpful if you gave me sighted guide.” Sebastian (thinking): She definitely wouldn’t offer to interview other candidates in the lobby.Exercises like these get to the heart of how certain actions, no matter how well-intentioned, can result in further stigmatizing a disabled interviewee.“We wanted to help people understand the nuances of how to interview and hire people with disabilities,” explained Karina Lin, one of the principal course developers at the Extension School. “We strategized on how to get the Perkins content out in an effective way.”Effective in this case meant not only instructive, but accessible. “Having a different participant in mind changed my approach to making the videos,” said Greg Aimo, videographer and producer at Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education. “For example, I started leaving extra time for audio descriptions to catch up to the images, whereas in the past I’d have cut a little tighter. It inspired a new approach to editing for me and it’s something I’ll take with me in every project.“Meeting and interacting with everyone in the videos we produced helped me think like an advocate,” Aimo continued. “I’m more aware now of the assumptions people make about people with disabilities, and it’s a little overwhelming.”While Perkins and the Extension School hoped for 1,000 enrollments in a year, within the first three weeks the course was offered, more than 900 people had already enrolled.“This enthusiastic response speaks to how many people need and want this content,” Lin said. “It reminded us how necessary this course is for the world.”last_img read more

Evans doubtful, Ayanbadejo questionable on Ravens’ final injury report

first_imgFriday’s injury report supported Ravens coach John Harbaugh’s claim about the likelihood of Lee Evans playing against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.It’s highly unlikely.The veteran wide receiver is listed as doubtful along with linebacker Dannell Ellerbe despite both players having practiced all week on a limited basis. Evans has missed Baltimore’s last six games with an ankle injury.Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo is questionable for Sunday and will take a concussion test on Saturday in hopes of being cleared for contact. Both he and Harbaugh expressed optimism, and Ayanbadejo has not experienced any further concussion-related symptoms this week.A day after sitting out practice, safety Ed Reed and linebacker Terrell Suggs were full participants and are listed as probable for Sunday, alleviating any lingering concerns regarding their availability against the Seahawks.Rookie running back Anthony Allen was ruled out as he continues to deal with a thigh injury.For Seattle, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and wide receiver Sidney Rice are both probable after practicing fully on Friday.BALTIMOREOUT: RB Anthony Allen (thigh)DOUBTFUL: LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh), WR Lee Evans (ankle)QUESTIONABLE: LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (head)PROBABLE: C Matt Birk (neck), S Ed Reed (shoulder), LB Terrell Suggs (knee), TE Kris Wilson (calf)SEATTLEOUT: LB David Vobora (concussion)QUESTIONABLE: TE Cameron Morrah (toe, knee)PROBABLE: QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral), WR Sidney Rice (foot)last_img read more

Shelter dogs take centre stage

first_imgSAO PAULO (AP):Four trained shelter dogs that once roamed the streets of Sao Paulo found themselves centre stage at the Brazil Open tournament.In an exhibition with players, Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain and Gastao Elias of Portugal, the canines Frida, Costela, Mel, and Isabelle engaged onlookers on Thursday night by picking up balls that went out of bounds. Not long ago, the same dogs had run abandoned in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city.The shelter dogs, wearing orange ribbons and trained for months, spent almost a half-hour tracking down balls often intentionally missed by the 122nd- and 140th-ranked players. Baena and Elias played for real yesterday in the ATP tournament’s quarter-finals.At the command of their trainer, Andrea Beckert, the dogs retrieved the balls with their teeth and ran off the court to their trainer. The unusual initiative was made to promote the adoption of abandoned street animals.Beckert said that the biggest difficulty was to make the animals more confident and playful.”These are dogs that were mistreated. We have to make them adapt, feel the environment, the court, the noise of the balls, and the noise of the people. Some are doing well; others are still a little scared,” she told journalists.The basic commands that the dogs learnt were “pick the ball”, “let it go”, “stay” and “come”.The organiser of the ball-dog initiative, Marli Scaramella, said that all four still live in shelters.”The idea is to show people that a well-fed and well-treated animal can be very happy. We have more than 1,000 dogs in our care,” she said.last_img read more

Ex-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick earns recognition for Nike ‘Dream Crazy’ commercial

first_imgFormer 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick filmed an inspirational Nike commercial, “Dream Crazy,” that began airing in Week 1 of the 2018 NFL regular season.Want to know something crazy? According to TMZ, the ad has been nominated for a Commercial Emmy.It’s an eye-catcher. As Kaepernick narrates, you see 10-year-old wrestler Isaiah Bird who has no legs, a surfer riding a monstrous wave, and a young woman in a wheelchair dribbling basketballs with both hands.“Don’t settle for homecoming queen …last_img read more

Sex Cells: The Evolution (or Design) of Genitalia

first_img(Visited 88 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 There’s been a lot of news about sex organs in recent days.  Which does a better job of explaining the facts of life: design or evolution?People either get squeamish or excited at the subject of genital organs, but we all live with our undercover parts every day and might respect them more if we understood what’s going on down under.  Toward that end, we need to be able to talk about reality with the dispassionate demeanor of the physiologist.  Then we need to consider how things got the way they are.  So no prurience in this entry; just factual analysis of what science is learning about our so-called privy members.  Much of the news (mostly about the male of the species, but some about both) is quite surprising.Protein record:  New Scientist reported research coming out of the Human Protein Atlas, a map of the human “proteome” (the set of all proteins made by the body).  In “Amaze balls: Testicles site of most diverse proteins,” Andy Coghlan noted one unexpected result:The proteins in our cells and tissues are responsible for everything from repair and maintenance to the production of signalling chemicals. You might expect that the brain, being our most sophisticated organ, would produce the widest array of proteins. But while the brain hosts 318 unique proteins that we know of, testicles are home to 999.Many of those proteins are directly involved in sperm production and meiosis, the researchers found.  “What’s going on in the testes is unique, as sperm must survive with half the chromosomes and outside the human body,” lead researcher Mathias Uhlén of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, said.  An article about this on the BBC News says that the “testes had more distinctive proteins because of their focus on producing large numbers of sperm without any errors in their genetic code.”Uhlén expects that a similar number of proteins are made in the female reproductive organs, but “eggs are made inside fetuses, so he will not be testing this theory.”Frozen:  Must we lose the capacity to reproduce in limited years of youth?  Medical Xpress reports that “Sperm grown from the frozen testicle tissue of newborn mice has been used to produce healthy offspring.”  This offers hope to men scheduled to undergo surgery for testicular cancer “as a way of preserving their fatherhood prospects.”  There’s also been talk of freezing female eggs as a job benefit for career women not wanting to lose their motherhood prospects because of work; Apple and Facebook recently were reported to be offering egg freezing to attract female engineers.  Live Science published “5 Things You Need to Know” about egg freezing; though it’s better now than it used to be, it’s not guaranteed, it requires a lot of doctor visits, and it’s not recommended as a way of delaying pregnancy, Rachael Rettner warns.Meiosis:  The cell division process that yields sperm and egg cells with half the usual chromosome count is very complex.  To keep the chromosomes from separating prematurely, the chromosomes must lock together tightly with molecular “glue”.  The Stowers Institute for Medical Research identified a “molecular scissors” that separates the pairs at just the right time.  The press release begins with admiration of the process:The development of a new organism from the joining of two single cells is a carefully orchestrated endeavor. But even before sperm meets egg, an equally elaborate set of choreographed steps must occur to ensure successful sexual reproduction. Those steps, known as reproductive cell division or meiosis, split the original number of chromosomes in half so that offspring will inherit half their genetic material from one parent and half from the other.The scissors is an enzyme named Topoisomerase II, “able to cut and untwist tangled strands of the double helix.”  Without it, meiosis cannot succeed, and the organism (in this case, a fruit fly) is sterile.  One of the researchers thinks the choreography is kind of messy and crazy.  “This method of segregating shorter chromosomes may be clunky, odd, crazy, and as noncanonical as it gets, but that doesn’t matter, because the cells survive,” he commented.  “In the end, these processes don’t have to be elegant, they just have to work.”  And work it did, or he wouldn’t be here to say so.  The article did not mention evolution.Plant meiotic inversion:  Plants do meiosis with a variation, a press release from the University of Vienna says.  While describing it as an “orderly” process, the scientists found, surprisingly, that plants “show an inversion of the canonical meiotic sequence, with the equational division preceding the reductional.”  Also, their chromosomes attach to spindle microtubules along their full length, rather than to distinct kinetochores, as in animal cell division.  “These connections seem to provide sufficient force to allow proper orientation and disjunction during the second division, the article says.Endowment:  In an article beginning with a photo of two large brass balls, Lizzie Wade explained for Science Magazine why human testicles are much smaller than those of chimpanzees.  It’s evolutionary, she says.  First, the metrics: “Human brains are nearly three times larger than those of chimpanzees, but we’ve got nothing on our closest cousins in the testicle department,” she begins.  “Whereas human testes top out at about 50 grams, chimpanzees’ routinely reach weights of 150 to 170 grams.”  Why?  It has to do with mating habits, she claims; primates like chimps that are more polygamous during mating season need more sperm-producing mass, while the more monogamous, like humans and gorillas, get by with less.  Then comes the just-so story:But hope is not lost, puny humans! Our primate ancestors appear to have switched between mating types—and, therefore, testicle size—at least six times before we came along, suggesting that testicle tissue may respond to evolutionary pressure more rapidly than other body parts do.It’s not clear what Lizzie, a woman, wants to gain from bigger testicles in men.  Is she advocating promiscuity?  Men seem to do fine with what they have; the last thing one would think an evolutionist wants is a promiscuity-driven human population explosion.  Incidentally, a survivor of testicular cancer is pushing a six-foot ball around the country as a “giant inflatable testicle” to raise awareness of the need for young men to be tested early, Breitbart News reported.  Hopefully Lizzie Wade is not hoping for that level of “hope” for “puny human” endowments, or else the underwear industry would be cast into confusion, to say nothing of male athletics.  Even with “puny” testicles, it’s quite remarkable the amount of motion that external male genitalia can sustain without damage during running and jumping sports.Middle leg:  Another popular evolutionary story making the rounds claims that the penis is a derivative of limb tissue. Another just-so story “Where the penis comes from” (Science Magazine) was echoed by Live Science (“How Sex Organs Get Their Start”) and another by David Cameron on PhysOrg, “Genesis of genitalia: We have one. Lizards have two. Why?”  No one is claiming that lizards or humans fail in the reproductive act because of their equipment.  Quite the contrary:When it comes to genitalia, nature enjoys variety. Snakes and lizards have two. Birds and people have one. And while the former group’s paired structures are located somewhat at the level of the limbs, ours, and the birds’, appear a bit further down. In fact, snake and lizard genitalia are derived from tissue that gives rise to hind legs, while mammalian genitalia are derived from the tail bud. But despite such noteworthy contrasts, these structures are functionally analogous and express similar genes.So what’s the evolutionary point here?  No one is arguing that the “variety” works well in one species and poorly in another.  It would make sense in a design view that functionally analogous organs would express similar genes.In Science Magazine, Elizabeth Pennisi speaks more of functional design and health of sex organs, tacking on a short evolutionary story at the end.  (Note to women: your anatomy is included in the discussion.)It’s not a question a lot of scientists ponder out loud, but it’s key to much of life on Earth: Exactly how does the penis form?  Today, two teams of researchers report having solved one part of this mystery, pinpointing how the organ gets its start in snake, lizard, mouse, and chick embryos. Now that they understand the penis’s origin, researchers can track its development in more detail to understand what drives it to follow a different path in females and become a clitoris. The finding doesn’t just answer a biological conundrum; it could also help millions of people born with genital malformations….Regardless of this difference of opinion [about whether the specific tissues in the embryo are destined for limbs or genitalia], these new insights into how the penis gets started in the embryo are impressive, says Gunter Wagner, an evolutionary biologist at Yale University who was not involved with either study. “It’s seems like a pretty complete story to me.” For him, the work begins to address the question of how novel anatomical structures arise in evolution. And in that respect, he adds, “it’s a big advance.”Most of the other reporters leapt onto the notion that the penis evolved from a limb.  Live Science wandered into storyland:“There’s always been a suggestion that limbs and genitalia might have co-evolved,” said Patrick Tschopp, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School, who led the study. “When animals made the move toward dry environments, two things had to change.“First, the earliest animals to crawl onto land hundreds of millions of years ago had to evolve limbs from fins so they could get around, Tschopp told Live Science. Second, the creatures had to find a way to protect their eggs and keep them from drying out. They were facing a much more hostile environment, and they could no longer just release their eggs and sperm into the water. Nature’s solution was internal fertilization — direct delivery from the male to the female, which required external genitalia.Well, if “Nature” required it, then natural selection was there to produce it—that seems to be the suggestion.   Thus, we have two SEQOTW winners in this post.  Nevertheless, it is interesting that limbs and genitals share embryonic pathways.  The BBC News reported that the scientists turned limb cells into genitals by switching certain genes on or off during development.  This is not surprising, since the fates of many organs, including male genitalia, are switched on at set points during the embryo’s growth.  That is why both males and females have nipples, which form before male genes are expressed.Female mystique:  The female reproductive apparatus came up in a New Scientist article.  Reporter Kayt Sukel took issue with Vincensio and Guilia Puppo for publishing an article claiming to be the “final word” on female orgasm, saying that “the vaginal orgasm (and the G spot) does not (and could not) exist” and that the clitoris is simply a “female penis” with similar response to stimulation.  “Female sexuality, including the female orgasm, is complex,” Sukel writes—too complex for such simplistic descriptions.Origin of copulation:  Evolutionists at Flinders University seem deliriously happy that the origin of sex has been “discovered.”  In Science Daily‘s report, “Origins of sex discovered: Side-by-side copulation in distant ancestors,” the article was not really about the origin of sex at all (sexual reproduction was abundant in the Cambrian explosion and exists even among eukaryotic microbes).  Rather, it’s about the earliest claimed example of internal fertilization, or copulation.  It was inferred from fossils of “primitive” armored fish called placoderms.  It’s not clear how the “origin” of sex fits the data, since internal fertilization was already up and running in these animals.  “Our new discovery now pushes the origin of copulation back even further down the evolutionary ladder, to the most basal of all jawed animals,” they say—raising the question of how it evolved at all.  Wikipedia laments, “The evolution of sexual reproduction is a major puzzle.”Finagle’s 2nd Law states: “No matter what the anticipated result, there will always be someone eager to (a) misinterpret it, (b) fake it, or (c) believe it happened according to his own pet theory.”  Darwin’s corollary can be stated: “No matter the phenomenon, there will always be an evolutionist eager to make up a just-so story about how it came to be.”  It should be obvious from these news items that sexual organs and the processes going on inside them are out of reach of unguided natural processes.  Genitalia, like every other part of the human anatomy, show profound evidence of intelligent design, from the macro to the micro level.  Good grief; evolutionists have a terrible time explaining the origin of sex, let alone genitalia and the profoundly elaborate, irreducibly complex systems involved at every stage in baby making.There’s been increasing openness in the media to discuss sexual organs.  It’s becoming more common, for instance, for both men and women, including political commentators, to equate courage with having balls and cojones.  Is that healthy?  It’s certainly a big change from the prudishness of the 1950s and early 1960s.  Laws about indecent exposure, and social norms about subjects considered improper for polite conversation help to protect women and children (men, too), from harassment and embarrassment.  Leaked photos of nude celebrities recently produced an uproar in the media, with worries about privacy—a concept in retreat.  Yet too much body shame can have negative consequences, too.  People should be able to discuss genitalia in the right context with a certain level of emotional maturity.  Everyone admires Michelangelo’s David, and most people have no qualms over nude sculptures in outdoor fountains in Rome and Washington DC.  What should a creationist think?In the 1970s, Dr. James Dobson—certainly opposed to indecency—nevertheless warned that shaming children who are inquisitive about their genitalia can be harmful to their spiritual development.  He advocated nonchalantly covering up if a family member was caught in an unguarded moment, and speaking matter-of-factly about body parts in response to questions.  Children are not naturally ashamed of nakedness, so the level of respect for privacy that is appropriate must be learned.  Parents walk a fine line here.  Christians and creationists believe we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-16) and that “everything created by God is good, and that nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with thanksgiving” (I Tim. 4:4-5).  That doesn’t imply that everything created should be exposed or flaunted.  Yet overreaction to body exposure seems discordant with the teaching that God’s designs are good and worthy of praise.As with anything, the Bible is our guide.  The Bible is not prudish about body parts, but is steadfastly opposed to lust and lewdness; it also associates nakedness with shame quite often (e.g., Rev. 3:18).  Other than that, the amount of covering that is appropriate seems culturally determined to some extent.  We are not to offend or take offense, but seek the good of our neighbor.  And what is appropriate depends on context; beach attire is not appropriate in the office.  Male-female differences must also be factored in.  What’s at issue is not the body parts (which God created and pronounced “very good”), but the mind (which is fallen), and our responsibility to those around us.Christians are understandably appalled at the lewdness of modern society.  We have the opportunity to present a righteous standard, reacting but not overreacting.  How do we teach and express a good balance?  What has been your experience?  Has it changed at all, the more you learn about the intricate design of sexual organs?  Your comments are invited.last_img read more

SA condemns violence in Egypt

first_img15 August 2013 South Africa has joined the international community in condemning the violence used by the Egyptian security forces to disperse pro-democracy demonstrators this week. Well over 300 people were killed and more than 3 000 others injured across Egypt on Wednesday in clashes between supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the security troops, after the latter dispersed two pro-Morsi sit-ins. Egypt’s Health Ministry said 43 policemen were also killed. But it remains difficult to dig out the real number of deaths and injuries due to conflicting sources as well as continuing clashes across the country. The Egyptian security forces started the evacuation operation at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo’s Nasr City and Nahda Square in Giza. The pro-Morsi protesters had been sitting-in there for some 45 days. After the deadly clashes, the Egyptian interim presidency announced a nationwide state of emergency for one month, while the cabinet imposed a curfew on turmoil governorates including Cairo, Giza and Alexandria. On Thursday, Pretoria urged all parties in Egypt to exercise restraint and resolve their differences through dialogue, adding that the loss of life diminished the democratic aspirations expressed by millions of Egyptian voters last year. The South African government called on the interim authority “to end the bloody actions against its own people, and to conduct a credible and transparent judicial investigation against those who committed the massacres since 30 June 2013,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement on Thursday. It also called for the unconditional release all political detainees, and for the launch of “a genuine and comprehensive transition process so as to allow for the return to constitutional normalcy and democratic legitimacy”. Pretoria reiterated the importance of national reconciliation as paving the way for peace and stability in Egypt, saying that South Africa remained ready to share its own experiences and lessons in this regard. “An Egyptian-led, all-inclusive negotiated process remains the only option for Egypt to get out of the present impasse,” the department said. On Thursday, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane discussed the situation in Egypt with her counterparts in the region on the sidelines of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit currently under way in Malawi. The department said they had agreed that peace and stability in Egypt was crucial to the North African region and the African continent as a whole. Source: SAnews.gov.za-Xinhualast_img read more

Sod is turned at Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital

first_imgAn artist’s impression of the new hospital, to be built on the grounds of the Wits School of Education near the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. (Image: Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital) • Lebogang Mashigo Account Manager Meropa Communications +27 11 506 7300 [email protected] • Mandela’s love of children • Madiba’s legacy is forever • Mandela posters show world’s respect • Nelson Mandela – a timeline • Putting children’s rights firstMelissa Jane CookMadiba was praised for his vision and legacy, which would live on through the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. The project took a step closer to fruition when the earthmovers got to work today.Dignitaries, ministers, distinguished guests and schoolchildren attended a sod turning event held at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Parktown, Johannesburg, on a bright, sunny Thursday, 20 March. This ground-breaking gathering was held in a glamorous white marquee. It was complete with a fun photo booth with colourful accessories and a mindful space where people could choose a picture and write a message of grateful thanks or a tribute to Madiba and attach it to strands of chain. The marquee was overflowing and the atmosphere electric.Sibongile Mkhabela, the chief executive officer of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust, opened the event, saying she was incredibly honoured to be speaking on this hallowed ground. “In 2009, Madiba sat here, at this space, and blessed and dedicated it to the children of South Africa, and to health care.” Acknowledging everyone present who had contributed in the most generous of ways, she said she would never forget Madiba saying: “As long as there are good men and women in the world, the work will carry on.”Indeed, the work did carry on and the mandate of the trustees, to raise a billion rand, had almost been realised – the trust has raised R570-million towards building the hospital. It will continue its work until the target is met. “After years of fundraising under difficult economic conditions, we are proud to announce we can break ground and start building a hospital.”Mkhabela is the head cheerleader of the initiative, and said: “Having followed our beloved Madiba’s mandate of improving the care of our children, we are proud of reaching this milestone and look forward to building this hospital.” The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust officially celebrated the start of the Nelson Mandela Children’s hospital at a sod-turning ceremony, with dignitaries, ministers and children. (Image: Melissa Jane Cook)The hospitalIt would be a world-class, highly advanced, specialised children’s hospital that would shape the lives of the children in Africa and shape the future of a greater Africa, she said. It would work on a referral basis across all its centres of excellence, which would include pulmonology, cardiology, neurosciences, craniofacial surgery, nephrology and general paediatric surgery.In addition to giving patients access to world-class health care, the hospital would serve as a training and research facility, which would ensure a much wider reach into the region.Professor Adam Habib, the vice-chancellor and principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, said that Wits “will ensure that we have various academic and clinical synergies for the operation of the hospital and for the training and education of high-level clinical paediatric skills in the southern African region”. “The location of the hospital, on Wits land, as well as in close proximity to the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital, allows for paediatric academic teaching access from the Wits Medical School, maximising operational efficiencies and staffing models.”A promise has been made that the facility will never turn away a child because of an inability to pay; rather, it will give them nurturing care. This was the last wish of Madiba and all present at the sod-turning were assured that his legacy would live on through the hospital. There are only four children’s hospitals in Africa – by comparison, there are 20 in Germany alone, 23 in Canada, and 157 in the United States. The Mandela hospital will lead the way and have the best researchers and top academics, and will be at the cutting edge of children’s health research globally.Future leadersMandela was a champion of children’s rights and always believed they were the future; as such, they should be nurtured. In a powerful display of gratitude, youngsters took to the stage and honoured Madiba and his vision.Michai’h, once a cute two-year-old photographed sitting on Mandela’s knee, is today an ambassador for the children’s hospital and part of the “For kids, by kids” campaign. She stood on stage and said proudly: “We can do this; we can keep his legacy going.” She then threw her fist in the air and shouted their slogan: “Let’s do this.” This campaign is aimed at youth in schools to get them to live Madiba’s legacy by raising awareness and funds for the hospital.Sam Harding, a high school student, was involved in an advertisement that called for beds and highlighted that the hospital would soon become a reality. Wanting to help – he believes that children can make a difference – he donated part of his pocket money to the hospital.Watch the Pushing for Beds 60-second ad:Abundant generosity“It always seems impossible, until it is done,” Mandela once famously said. People have given generously to this dream of his, some even taking it a step further. In April 2013, Matt Silver-Vallance attached himself to 200 helium balloons and went on a Balloon Run, drifting across the Cape Town sky from Robben Island to Table Bay. He said we were a living a part of history and this hospital would be a living monument to Madiba.The list of donors and sponsors is long, yet Mkhabela pointed out that it was not only about money; companies had donated in any way they could. Italtile donated all the sanitary and brass ware; Liberty donated people and office space; Absa created a banking platform for individuals to deposit donations; Barloworld donated diggers and a car – among many others who gave time, money and needed items.PartnershipsHabib, who said it was Mandela’s event and so addressed the audience as “comrades”, went on a trip down memory lane. He spoke about a young Mandela walking through the university grounds in the 1940s. “This is a place where Mandela learned so much. However, the university treated him wrongly, by saying he could never be a lawyer because of the colour of his skin.“This event symbolically is saying sorry for any wrong doings, and to make amends, the university is donating the land that the hospital will be built on. We are making amends for 70 years ago.”The partnership would be three-pronged between the university, the government and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “The collective ills in our society can’t be addressed by any of us, but they can be overcome with collective good,” said Habib. “This hospital is for the services of the population of southern Africa and speaks to the great patriot that Madiba was.”Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi added: “This is a historic day, a historic moment in history. We need to focus on the needs of the children currently and in the future. Today marks the first day Madiba’s dream comes true. We need to protect and nurture our children as he would have done.” He reiterated the government’s support for the legacy project by committing to the operating expenses of the hospital, which would be budgeted through the normal budgeting process of the Department of Health.The crowds gathered outside among schoolchildren to witness the first spade being struck in the ground and the soil upheaved. Behind the spot, a large green field was waiting, waiting to turn into something glorious, something life-changing. “This is an exciting time for the project, and we encourage global citizens to continue to be part of the living memorial to Madiba’s legacy. Together, we can build this hospital and secure Africa’s hopes of a better future,” said Mkhabela.Five diggers were ready for their performance, and small children clapped and jumped excitedly. A song about a legacy boomed in the background, as the earthmovers, branded with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital logo, danced across the field, moving in crazy ways and riding up the slope towards the crowd, scooping into the earth and excavating rich, moist soil – opening a space for Madiba’s dream to become reality.The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital is expected to open in March 2016.last_img read more

Operating at Net-Zero Energy

first_imgA Leaky Old House Becomes a Net-Zero ShowcaseStrategies and Details: Building Details for a Deep Energy Retrofit Study Shows That Expensive Windows Yield Meager Energy ReturnsThe High Cost of Deep Energy RetrofitsNumber Crunching on a Deep Energy RetrofitRemodel Project: Deep Energy RetrofitRetrofits versus ReductionsDeep Energy Retrofits Are Often Misguided Paul Eldrenkamp is the owner of Byggmeister, a design/build firm based in Newton, Mass. Rachel White is the company’s performance manager. This blog, the third in a series of posts about the project, originally was published at the Byggmeister website. The first and second posts are Preparing a Historic Home for the Next 100 Years, and Planning for Net Zero Energy. But with this project we had two things going for us: a relatively accommodating building, and highly motivated homeowners (not to mention our top-notch planning team, led by David Foley of Holland and Foley Architecture).The home’s relatively simple form made it possible for us to superinsulate the building shell and drastically cut air leakage. This drove the heat loss down low enough that we were able to significantly downsize the mechanical system, replacing the existing gas boiler with three minisplit heat pumps for both heating and cooling. (Heat-recovery ventilation ensures a steady supply of fresh air.)Equally important is the home’s unshaded south-facing roof, which supports an 11.7-kW PV system projected to produce 15,000 kWh per year, or 120% of what the house is modeled to consume. (For context: according to the Energy Information Administration, the average Massachusetts household consumes roughly 32,000 kWh annually, or two and a half times as much as this house). Existing houses are a bigger challengeThe same can’t be said for existing homes. On the contrary, retrofitting a home to operate on a net-zero basis is a pretty audacious undertaking. Most of the homes we work on push back hard against such ambition. There are several obstacles, including our relatively harsh climate; the older, architecturally complex character of our housing stock; the frequency with which homes have been renovated without attention to efficiency; and the prevalence of smaller lots, particularly in urban settings. RELATED ARTICLES A few months ago we completed a deep energy retrofit of a house that we hope will be net-zero energy — in other words, that we hope will produce as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. If we succeed, this will be our first net-zero project.There are two key strategies for designing a net-zero-ready home: you minimize the amount of energy the house needs to operate; and you maximize the amount of energy that the house can produce onsite, usually with a photovoltaic system (PV). In short, you create an energy budget that balances consumption with production.Implementing these strategies on a new home is relatively straightforward. In fact, leaders in the high-performance building industry have been building net zero ready homes for years now, and some are even doing so at market rate. (To learn more about one Massachusetts company, Transformations Inc., that is building market-rate and affordable net zero energy homes, click here.) It’s up to the homeowners to make it workNow it’s up to the highly motivated homeowners to actually make it to net zero — i.e., to live within their energy budget. We are currently in the process of gathering monthly usage and production data to determine how close we get to this goal. We are also monitoring at a more finely grained level, increasing the likelihood that we will be able to get there.With the help of the SiteSage eMonitor system, we are collecting circuit-by-circuit usage data. Monitoring this closely has several purposes, not least of which is it tells us whether equipment is working properly. When a usage pattern looks atypical, we can sometimes use the eMonitor to help us troubleshoot in real-time.We can also use circuit-by-circuit monitoring to help the homeowners develop net zero “habits” — to give them the feedback they need to live within their energy budget. We can let them know when they’re at risk of exceeding their budget and overdrawing their “energy account.”While in many respects living in a net-zero energy home is easier than living in a standard home (for one thing, a well-designed net-zero energy home is far more comfortable from a thermal standpoint), net-zero living does take some adjustment. Much of the conventional wisdom about operations and maintenance, particularly in regards to mechanical equipment, doesn’t translate well to low energy homes.For example, minisplit heat pumps operate most efficiently when they are maintained at a fairly constant temperature. The eMonitor data can help us identify whether the homeowners are laying down a net-zero habit of “setting and forgetting” their minisplits, or are falling back into a habit of using setbacks.It remains to be seen whether we will achieve our goal of net zero energy. If we do, there’s no question that thoughtful operations on the part of the homeowners, supported by monitoring on our part, will have played a key role in getting us there — at least as key as lucking into such an accommodating house in the first place.last_img read more

Heat hang on late, top Grizzlies

first_imgLOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ANDERSON HURTMemphis lost starting forward Kyle Anderson to a sprained left ankle in the first half. X-rays were negative, and Bickerstaff said he will have an MRI on Sunday.DAUNTING SCHEDULEMiami plays only four home games in the next six weeks — and three of those are in a four-day span between Jan. 30 and Feb. 2. After that, the next Heat home game is Feb. 23. In all, 12 of Miami’s next 16 are on the road and 11 of those games are against likely playoff teams.TURKEY TURNAROUNDAt Thanksgiving, Memphis was 12-5 and leading the Western Conference. The Grizzlies are 7-18 since, and have fallen to 14th in the West.UP NEXTGrizzlies: Visit Houston on Monday. Both of Memphis’ games against Miami this season were followed by one with the Rockets.Heat: Visit Milwaukee on Tuesday. It’s the start of a four-game trip for the Heat, who are 10-8 on the road so far this season. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Only a few days shy of his 37th birthday, Wade can still block shots — even in the biggest moments of a game. Justise Winslow scored 26 points, Wade delivered the block and won the ensuing jump ball with 4 seconds left, and the Miami Heat beat the Memphis Grizzlies 112-108 on Saturday night.“If he would have won that jump ball, I would have been highly disappointed in myself,” said Wade, whose birthday is Thursday. “I was very confident going into that jump ball that I could muster up just enough to get it.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsHe had just enough. Wade tapped the crucial jump to Josh Richardson, who made a pair of free throws to seal it for Miami with 1.1 seconds left.Richardson and Tyler Johnson each scored 14 for the Heat, who hit midseason at 21-20. Bam Adebayo and Derrick Jones Jr. scored 11 apiece, and Wade finished with 10 as the Heat survived despite wasting a 13-point lead midway through the third quarter. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion It was tied twice more after that as well, but the Grizzles never reclaimed the lead.Conley tried a runner for the lead with 56 seconds left, and Gasol had a wide-open 3-point try as the shot clock was running down with 32 seconds remaining. Both missed — Conley’s bounced off and Gasol’s missed everything, going wide left.With Miami up one, Wade missed a jumper with 14 seconds left and Richardson grabbed the rebound for Miami before getting fouled. He made one of two free throws, and Memphis called time with 9 seconds left.That brought on the play where Mack tried to drive on Wade, to no avail.“It just came down to getting stops at the end,” Green said.TIP-INSGrizzlies: Memphis opened on a 19-7 run, then had a 17-4 run later in the half — yet still went into the break down 63-61. … It was the first game at Miami for Joakim Noah since Dec. 6, 2016. … During the game, Justin Timberlake tweeted out a video showing him making half-court shots on the Grizzlies’ practice court in Memphis. He had a concert in their building Saturday night. … Mack and Jaren Jackson each had 13 points for Memphis.Heat: It was kids’ day at the Heat game, and Spoelstra got into the act by holding his 9-month-old son Santiago as he stood for the national anthem. “One of the coolest things I’ve experienced,” Spoelstra said. … Hassan Whiteside (ill) missed the game. … Miami made 15 3-pointers, and has 33 in its last two games.CHASING MICHAELWade now has 865 blocked shots, 28 away from matching Michael Jordan’s career record for a guard. Add in playoffs, and Wade has 1,040 — 11 shy of Jordan’s record.center_img MOST READ Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Karl-Anthony Towns has 27-27 game to lead Wolves past Pelicans PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) scores against Memphis Grizzlies guard Shelvin Mack (6) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)MIAMI — Shelvin Mack drove on Dwyane Wade, with the game on the line.Mack’s layup attempt never got near the rim.ADVERTISEMENT “It’s not always going to be pretty for us,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.JaMychal Green scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who went 0-2 this season against Miami — losing the two games by a total of seven points. Mike Conley scored 22 and Marc Gasol had 15 for the Grizzlies.Conley banked in a 65-footer as time expired, though it was waved off and would have been irrelevant anyway.“We still had an opportunity down the stretch,” Memphis coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “They just made a couple more plays than we did.”No lead was safe: Memphis blew a pair of double-digit leads in the first half, and Miami was up by 13 midway through the third before finding itself scratching and clawing at the end. Conley’s 3-pointer with 6:31 left knotted the game at 99, ending a 12-minute stretch where the Grizzlies outscored the Heat 32-19.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View commentslast_img read more