The Wright View: JADCO need to come clean

first_img What is known, though, is that Brown has not played a first-class cricket match since the March 16, 2015, when he played for Jamaica against the Leeward Islands. Was Brown suspended from playing cricket, or did he voluntarily give up the sport? Were other international athletes who missed three drug tests suspended until their case was heard? The embattled West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has announced most definitely that Russell WILL play in the T20 World Cup. That seems to be on the basis that JADCO has not set a date for the hearing, and the WICB is certain that a hearing will not be scheduled to coincide with the dates of the tournament. I find this to be completely unacceptable. The public of Jamaica (and indeed the world) has a right to be given information when ANY of our citizens run afoul of the rules and regulations of sports. There cannot be one rule for Odean Brown and another rule for AndrÈ Russell. Every West Indian cricket fan, thirsty for the pleasure of watching a strong West Indies team competing in the World Cup, would like to see AndrÈ Russell play. But the question is: Should his appearance in the competition be in defiance of the WADA code as regards missed tests? With the present board of JADCO and its executive director refusing to even explain the Whereabouts Rule to the media and the public, speculation as to why an international star and icon would miss three scheduled drug tests in 12 months will continue. This, I do believe, will be to the detriment of the cricketer. “The strongest human instinct is to impart information. The second strongest is to resist it.” COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE An American writer, Kenneth Graham, once said: “The strongest human instinct is to impart information. The second strongest is to resist it.” I am reminded of that quote as I try to make sense of the news that came out on March 2 this year, when chairman of the disciplinary tribunal of the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commis-sion (JADCO), Kent Pantry, said he had received notification two weeks prior that Jamaica and West Indies T20 cricketer, Andre Russell, had missed three drug tests in 12 months. Pantry told the media that he had appointed a disciplinary tribunal to hear the case. This has serious repercussions for the athlete, and indeed Jamaica and the West Indies cricket team, now in the Far East preparing for the T20 World Cup. Since then, I have not heard an ‘official word’ from JADCO re this very serious case, other than the fact that he has not been suspended, so he is free to continue playing until his case is heard. When the present chairman of JADCO was appointed (Danny Williams) two years ago, I distinctly remember him stating that transparency would be the order of the day and that a liaison officer would be appointed to keep the media informed regarding the important work of his association. His remarks were necessary because the previous chairman, Dr Herb Elliott, was criticised by many (including this newspaper) about his penchant for coy and unhelpful statements. I was sure that the ‘new’ JADCO would be not only new, but different. Missed tests in sports are considered a serious offence and are usually associated with severe sanctions. When Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu missed three drug tests in a 12-month period, her excuse was that she had moved house and “messed up”. This excuse was apparently not accepted and she was banned. The same WADA rule apparently applies to athletes in other countries except Jamaica. On August 15, 2015, Jamaican cricketer Odean Brown was reported in the press as having missed three tests and was to appear before a disciplinary tribunal headed by Pantry and included Professor Archie McDonald, head of the Department of Surgery, University Hospital of the West Indies, and cricketer Maurice Foster. The next news via the media was that the case was postponed until September 4 as a result of a request from the lawyers involved. To date (March 15, 2016) there is absolutely no word as to what the outcome of that hearing is.last_img read more

Coral Daily Download – Arsenal and Man United ahead of Liverpool in battle for FA Cup glory

first_imgNicola McGeady joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.Liverpool left it late to beat Bolton on Wednesday night and move into the fifth round of the FA Cup and Coral’s PR manager revealed they are third favourites, behind Arsenal and Manchester United, to win the competition.She also looked ahead to Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Merseyside rivals Everton this weekend and the north London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal.And she discussed Harry Redknapp’s future after he quit as QPR boss, claiming Aston Villa and Newcastle could be potential destinations for the 67-year-old.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfastlast_img read more

Cover crops garnering more interest in western Ohio

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This week, area agriculturalists met at the St. Mary’s Township House and discuss cover crops after winter to prepare for spring planting season. Extension agents from Shelby, Auglaize and Mercer Counties, along with VanTilburg Farms, Inc. were represented at the meeting to discuss varieties of cover crop seeds to plant, the mixes, when they grow and what to do now after winter to prepare for spring planting season.Matt VanTilburg with VanTilburg Farms, Inc. discussed a wide variety of cover crops, including management during the spring, preparing for planting the crops, and year-round tips for effective cover crop usage. Pictures were displayed of the cover crops planted at the Brown farm last fall in 2014 and their progress that very day, based on how they withstood the winter. John Smith, retired Auglaize County Extension agent also made an appearance as he assisted with the previous cover crop field day last fall, when they were planted and discussed, prior to his retirement.Sessions were held at 2:30, 4:30 and 6:30, with the greatest attendance session starting at 2:30. The township house was so crowded with such a vast turnout of area farmers, the air conditioner had to be used even with the chilly weather outside. Denny Riethman with Mercer County and Jeff Stachler, the new Extension Agent for Auglaize County, also aided and answered questions throughout the day.Cover crop termination was a major focal with preparing for spring planting season. Many varieties like oats, radishes and buckwheat will be killed naturally by the weather (called winter-kill). While some other varieties are a bit more persistent like cereal rye or annual grass, which need to be terminated with tillage practices, a roller crimper or herbicides. Timing is also an important factor to be considered when deciding the next crop to plant and all determinations are factored into the year-round process of what to plant and when.Cover crops along with the different mixes are an immense asset as they increase the water infiltration rate, biologic activity, water holding capacity and also decreasing erosion and run-off. Implementing them with your standard crops will help to increase production while also utilizing conservation practices. Handouts from the session cover more information, while also providing input on a variety of cover crop tips. To learn more, contact local Extension offices or VanTilburg Farms, Inc.last_img read more

Does a Bigger Volume Mean More Heating and Cooling Load?

first_imgWhat happens to the heating and cooling loads when you encapsulate an attic? With the insulation and air barrier at the ceiling below the attic, you’re excluding the attic space. That volume of air up there isn’t involved in the conditioning of the home. But when you move the enclosure to the roofline (usually by installing spray foam insulation beneath the roof deck), now the attic’s volume is included in the conditioned space.Occasionally I hear people say the loads will be higher because of the extra volume. Does having more air inside really increase the loads?A load calculation refresherTo understand this issue, let’s take a look at what goes into doing a load calculation. To do it right, you have to consider all the ways heat enters or leaves a home. Here they are:Enclosure loads – This is where most of the heating and cooling load comes from. It’s the heat that conducts through walls, windows, doors, ceilings, and floors. It’s also the radiant heat that comes (mainly) through the windows, also known as direct solar gain.Infiltration load – The air that leaks in through the building enclosure is really a sub-category of enclosure loads. But it’s worth separating it out, if for no other reason than it’s entered separately in the calculation.Ventilation load – The outdoor air you bring in for ventilation adds heat (both sensible and latent) in summer and results in heat loss in winter.System loads – When you put a heating or cooling system in unconditioned space, there’s heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter at the system. Likewise for the distribution system, whether you use air (ducts) or water (tubing). Duct insulation and sealing and pipe insulation help reduce those gains or losses, but you still have to include what’s left when you’re figuring the total loads.Dehumidification and humidification loads – All dehumidifiers give off heat. Most of them dump that heat into the space you’re dehumidifying. (An exception is the Ultra-Aire SD12,* which is a split-system dehumidifier.) Humidifiers need heat to vaporize the water. Sometimes that heat comes from the heating system itself, in which case it adds to the heating load.Internal loads – People give off heat. Lights give off heat. Appliances give off heat. You get the idea. Those things all get included, too. By entering all the relevant details of the house under consideration, you get the loads for each room, each zone, and the whole house.What’s air got to do with this?So, which one of those loads is related to having a higher volume of air to heat and cool? Well, a couple of them are actually. When air leaks into a house, that unconditioned air has to be heated or cooled. Same with ventilation, except that in this case the “leakage” is intentional.But the question here is about the effect that increasing the volume has on the load. When you encapsulate an attic and bring it into the conditioned space, the additional air in the attic doesn’t add anything to the load. If a sloppy spray foam job resulted in the attic not being airtight, then infiltration into the attic does add to the load, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.Now, you may have more heating and cooling load when you encapsulate an attic, but it’s not because of the extra volume of air inside the conditioned space. When you move the enclosure to the roofline, you also increase the surface area of the home. That can increase the enclosure load. But if you’ve moved your HVAC system from unconditioned to conditioned space, you may end up with a lower load. In hot climates that can be significant.Another factor that increases the loads when you encapsulate an attic is the insulation level. A lot of times, contractors will use a lower R-value for insulation on the roofline than they would on the ceiling below. (Martin Holladay wrote an article about this several years ago here on GBA.)The problem here may be that the people who believe a bigger volume means a bigger load are confusing a correlation with causality. Hey, I get it. All my friends in Maine are trying to reduce their consumption of margarine because it’ll improve their chances of staying married. See the graph below, and you’ll be convinced, too. (See the website Spurious Correlations for more.)Wait, no! That’s a correlation between two variables — but there’s not a shred of evidence that there’s a causal relationship between the two. Same here. We know what factors contribute to heating and cooling loads. The volume of air inside the home is not one of them.* In full disclosure, Therma-Stor, which makes the Ultra-Aire line of dehumidifiers, advertises in the Energy Vanguard Blog. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. RELATED ARTICLESDoes Open-Cell Spray Foam Really Rot Roofs?Saving Energy With Manual J and Manual DHow to Perform a Heat-Loss Calculation — Part 1How to Perform a Heat-Loss Calculation — Part 2Calculating Cooling LoadsIt’s OK to Skimp On Insulation, Icynene Sayslast_img read more

Will SimCity Launch Disaster Stop Online-Only DRM?

first_img9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App nick statt If you went to Amazon on Thursday and tried to buy the new SimCity, the first major release of the classic urban planning PC series in 10 years, you wouldn’t have been able to. Amazon wouldn’t sell it to you.Why? Because the servers of the game’s publisher, Electronic Arts, were in such a disastrous state that very few people could actually access the game. And those who could were seeing server issues disrupt their save files. So Amazon decided to pull it.Server problems wouldn’t normally hamper a video game’s launch, unless that game is developed by EA. In an effort to combat piracy – or something, it’s not quite clear – EA deployed an online-only Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology through its Origin servicefor SimCity, which came out on March 5. That means in order to play the game, you need to be online at all times and connected to EA’s servers, even when playing the single-player mode. When player demand starting causing the servers to fall, it also brought down nearly every player’s ability to play any aspect of the game. EA moved fast to address the problem but not fast enough. A string of press releases addressed the issue with mounting seriousness, culminating with EA’s decision late Thursday to actually begin removing key features of the game to help keep the servers online. For example, the company eliminated the mode that lets players speed up time to accelerate their city’s growth. A blog post by Kip Katsarelis, SimCity’s senior producer, details the company’s plans to address the problems, but did not offer concrete information on when the changes would happen.And in an email sent out on Friday to EA’s marketing affiliates, the game publisher announced that it has “deactivated all SimCity text links and creative and we ask you to please remove any copy promoting SimCity from your website for the time-being.” Wow.The AftermathGaming site Polygon addressed the issue, docking SimCity 1.5 points from its original stellar score of 9.5 for the ongoing server problems. Then it updated it again, dropping the score to 4.0. Kotaku told fans, under a heading titled “Should You Buy This Game?” a big, bold “NOT YET.” Even The New York Times decided to address the topic, apparently taking a philosophical approach by asking A Game That Can’t Be Played: Is It Still A Game?As of now you can at least buy the game from Amazon again, if you really want to. Both the physical and downloadable versions are back up for sale, with a special note warning, “Many customers are having issues connecting to the ‘SimCity’ servers. EA is actively working to resolve these issues, but at this time we do not know when the issue will be fixed.”These issues aren’t going away: Take one look at the physical version of SimCity‘s limited edition on Amazon and you’ll get a good idea of the breadth of the backlash. The product is on its way to becoming the worst rated item in the Amazon marketplace, with an astounding 2,796 1-star reviews compared to just 70 5-star reviews, at the time of publication. If EA can’t fix this fast enough, SimCity may garner as much Amazon hatred as 2008’s Spore, another EA title (ironically from Maxis and Will Wright, the same team that created SimCity) plagued by the company’s self-imposed DRM measures. (Ironically, Maxis is earning the sympathy of some players who prefer to blame EA.) Even more telling is the review marked “Most Helpful,” happens to be a facetious take on the game, including satirical gems like, “Thankfully, the game never actually loads. I was looking for a program where I could zone out, and stare at my computer screen in a meditative state for hours on end with no interruptions.” The Biggest DRM FailureThe point isn’t just that SimCity is a great game plagued by a bad launch. The real question is how big an impact these kinds of DRM debacles have on game sales – and on DRM technologies.EA’s online-only DRM is not alone in the gaming industry. Blizzard, makers of the Warcraft and StarCraft series, tried similar tactics with the release of Diablo 3 last year, angering thousands upon thousands of players locked out of the overburdened severs. But as Wired’s Chris Kohler noted, Blizzard fixed the issue in a matter of days, and the game went on to sell millions and lead the PC market in 2012.If companies solve these issues fast enough, the backlash bubbles for about a week before everything goes back to normal. And nothing substantive changes. Publishers like EA get to keep pushing the limits – revising the terms of digital ownership through brute force. We can only hope things will be different this time. SimCity proves once and for all that online-only DRM is an utter failure. It doesn’t even do much to combat piracy – making legitimate customers feel more pain than the pirates.There’s a big difference between protecting content reasonably – perhaps with activation codes or secure disc-based DRM – and asserting authoritarian control over the people who actively want to pay for your product. The first priority should be treating paying customers with respect. If You Don’t Like The Terms, Ignore The ProductThose hosed by EA don’t have much recourse. EA is not offering refunds for digital copies, and fuming in online communities doesn’t seem to have much effect on the giant company. Going forward, the only real solution may come from the most helpful 1-star review on Amazon, from a user named Malor who earned more than 7,700 recommendations. He noted that SimCity is not a typical game with a beginning, middle and end. It’s a toy, and you used to be able to buy that toy and play with it. But now, Malor wrote, “You don’t even get to buy your toy. Rather, you rent a toy from EA, who lets you play with it only in very limited, circumscribed ways, only on their servers.”Malor’s final recommendation offers perhaps the best approach: “You would be wiser to take three twenties out of your wallet, and light them on fire.” In other words, don’t waste your time or money on products with draconian DRM, no matter how intriguing they might be otherwise. Only when DRM affects sales will EA and other publishers take this situation seriously. Image courtesy of Electronic Arts. Tags:#DRM#gaming#piracy center_img 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

Actual Documentary Tips You Can Learn from Popular Mockumentaries

first_imgIt has been said that the best way to learn an art form is through imitation. But, the true way to master an art form is to mock it.Documentary filmmaking is no easy task. It takes years of work honing your chops and practicing the skills needed to produce, shoot, and edit meaningful stories, that engage and excite documentary audiences.And while the documentary industry might be growing in terms of micro-ized content, it still takes filmmakers with a keen understanding of what makes documentaries tick. From finding interesting subjects, to crafting concise narratives, to shooting intense, personal moments, all the elements that make a good documentary can also be found in the genre’s sardonic cousin — the mockumentary.So, using some of the most popular mockumentaries from the past, let’s take a look at some of the intrinsic lessons you can learn and apply to your documentary endeavors.The Characters Make the StoryImage from Best in Show (via Warner Bros.).Just like a mockumentary, your documentary project(s) will only be as good as your subject(s). Yes, sometimes your subject is a concept, cause, or event, but it’s the characters therein that make the story. Best in Show, for example, on the surface is about the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show in Philadelphia. But, it’s really about dog owner characters who are the main subjects.Similarly, a documentary like American Movie is about the making of an independent horror film, but really it’s about the main lead Mark Borchardt and an eccentric cast of characters, in small town Wisconsin. The trick for both is to create, find, and bring your unique characters to life on the screen.But Conflict Drives the NarrativeImage from This is Spinal Tap (via Embassy Pictures).Because they are fiction and often scripted, mockumentaries will always have the advantage over documentaries in terms of developing intriguing conflict and strong narrative arcs. Not that real life isn’t ripe with conflict, but mockumentaries get the luxury of manufacturing the drama.Take This is Spinal Tap, for example, directed by Rob Reiner and written by its ensemble cast. The mockumentary film lampoons heavy metal culture and the classic rock-style documentaries that seem to exist for every band ever. And while it’s about the music, the inevitable conflicts that arise between band members over their rise and fall are what drives the narrative.Prioritize Intimate ScenesImage from What We Do in the Shadows (via Paramount Pictures).Documentary filmmaking can often be an art of finding a delicate balance between personal privacy and capturing true intimacy. Mockumentaries don’t actually have to deal with filmmakers being too intrusive of making its subjects uncomfortable because it’s dealing with professional actors and fiction.What We Do in the Shadows makes great use of this verite-esque style of filmmaking. It employs a number of techniques to suggest that the documentary crew is sneaking around and finding creative ways to capture intimate moments by shooting through windows, relying on audio recordings, or filming from extremely far away.Documentary filmmakers deal with much more difficult practical and ethical concerns, though. You should never exploit your subjects or document them without their consent. And, even if they do allow it, get their wishes in writing in case they change their mind.Unless you’re doing expose-style work, only capture intimate moments with previous consent. However, if the subjects agree, keeping space and finding the similar methods to capture private scenes, without obstructing them or distracting them, can become some of your most powerful documentary moments. Balance Dialogue and Reaction ShotsImage from Borat (via 20th Century Fox).For practical purposes, documentary filmmaking comes in all shapes and sizes. Some docs shoot single camera and make sporadic use of lighting or external equipment. While others use multiple cameras and feature high production quality interviews and motion graphics.One mockumentary that truly captures the more DIY documentary style would be Borat — or at least based on the segments featuring him on Sasha Baron Cohen’s Da Ali G Show. For an HBO produced program, the show works hard to hide its production values with camcorder quality footage and small crews.However, if you watch it, Borat is a masterclass in balancing character interactions and reaction shots. Most of the show’s humor comes from the authentic reactions from the non-actors being interviewed. Similarly, for Cohen’s Ali G and Bruno characters, the crew puts as much of the focus — if not more — on capturing reactions and responses to the main subjects’ dialogue and actions.Follow the FunnyImage from Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (via Universal Pictures).It’s odd to think that the mockumentary genre has predominantly been used to create comedy. Conversely, documentaries are often thought to be a more serious (or somber) art form that shines a mirror upon society with the hopes of eliciting change. However, as the medium has developed and grown, humor has found its way alongside it. Documentaries themselves have found more ways to entertain.The Lonely Island’s Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is one of the latest in a line of parody mockumentaries that satires recent pop culture phenomenons, placing them in a comical light. You could even say it’s still meant to explore, or poke fun at, things that society actually takes seriously.Documentaries are no different. For the ones looking to provide information in order to help bring about change, part of the appeal to audiences can be expressed through the same funny principles.Cover image from Mascots (via Netflix).For more documentary filmmaking tips, tricks and advice, check out some of these articles below.The 6 Types of Documentary FilmsHow “American Vandal” Shows Us the Future of Documentary FilmThe 5 Best Places to Pitch Your Documentary Film ProjectsThe Disaster Artist: Editing A Film About Making a FilmMake Your Documentaries Matter with Awe-Inspiring Materiallast_img read more