Top batsman AndrÈ McCarthy says poor batting led to Jamaica’s below-par showing during the WICB/NAGICO Insurance Super50 Tournament.Jamaica had three wins and as many defeats in Group A before bowing out after finishing third of four teams.”It’s the losing of quick wickets,” said the Scorpions top batsman, a member of the squad, which returned home on Wednesday.”When we batted, we tended to lose two or three quick wickets, which set us back.”It’s something that we need to look into, and work on, as our batting is what has been letting us down over the years.”The Junior Bennett-conditioned Scorpions amassed 14 points, four less than second-place Barbados Pride, who recorded four wins and two defeats.Hosts and title-holders Trinidad and Tobago Red Force ended tops with 22 points following four wins, a loss, and a no-result.The other contenders, ICC Americas, claimed two points.”The guys are not happy about the situation (early exit),” said McCarthy, who topped the preliminary batting chart with 251 runs at an average of 41.83.”After playing and getting knocked out in the first round, the players are disappointed, and taking it hard.”But everybody has to just learn from their mistakes and try and improve,” McCarthy added.The early exit of Jamaica, a far cry from their title-winning exploits four seasons ago under Chris Gayle, occurred with the team passing 200 just twice in six innings.These were against minnows ICC Americas, where they posted 260 for eight before returning to limit their opponents to 76, and 257 for nine in response to 253 for eight.bowled out for 137They were bowled out for 137 in their opening match in chase of 221 against Trinidad, while in their third game, they limped to 139 for eight in pursuit of 138 made by Barbados.Their fourth game, a return-fixture with Trinidad, then saw them being restricted to 176 before the hosts responded with a comfortable 177 for three.Needing to win their penultimate match against Barbados to guarantee themselves a place in the semi-finals, the Scorpions were then held to 173 in chase of 246 for nine.”As batters, we need to think about game situations more,” continued McCarty, the leading scorer for Jamaica in the regional first-class tournament.
I think it’s safe to say that nobody likes to burn oil. Maybe it’s the people I hang around with, but we go straight from talking about the cold weather we’ve been having to how much oil we’ve been burning (for myself, it’s in our Buderus oil-fired boiler that we heat with, along with cordwood in the house and a pellet stove in the adjoining garage apartment). Whether it’s because of financial or planetary concerns, everyone seems to wince when they talk about how many gallons of oil or gas they’ve been through.That’s why I’d like to do something that my friends would probably consider out of character: talk about why burning fossil fuels for heat is so effective and convenient. These fuels have been keeping us warm for a long time — let’s show them some appreciation as we usher them off the stage. While we’re transitioning to renewables, I’ll give some tips on getting the most out of each of those gallons.Millions of years ago, partially decomposed biomass in vast inland seas accumulated in thick sediments, and geologic processes converted that organic matter into fossil fuels, including petroleum and natural gas. These highly concentrated fuels are easy to move from one place to another, and they can readily be burned to produce heat. Indeed, this rich concentration of energy is what the industrial age was built upon.Natural gas is the most common heating fuel in the U.S. Consisting mostly of methane, natural gas is transported in pipelines, so it can only be used in places served by those pipelines. There’s a glut of natural gas in the U.S. right now, so prices are relatively low — even as oil prices are going up.Equipment that burns natural gas can be modified slightly to burn propane (a hydrocarbon consisting of three carbon atoms and eight hydrogen atoms). Because propane is a heavier molecule than methane (which has just one carbon atom), it can be compressed into a liquid (liquid propane or LP gas), which can be transported in trucks and stored under pressure in tanks. That liquid propane vaporizes into a gas that burns much like natural gas, but requires a slightly different nozzle. Thus, propane can be used as a fuel in places without access to natural gas.Heating oil (or fuel oil) is very different from natural gas or propane. Nearly identical to the diesel fuel burned in trucks, it is a liquid that requires injectors that force it into a combustion chamber. Because the ratio of carbon to hydrogen is much higher with heating oil than with natural gas or propane, particulates are more likely to be emitted from burning it, and the heating equipment can become clogged with soot — thus, it’s a dirtier fuel. Heating oil also emits more carbon dioxide per unit of heat output than natural gas or propane — because there’s more carbon that gets converted to CO2 in the combustion process.When using one of these fuels for central heating, we have a choice of burning it either in a furnace or boiler. A furnace heats air, and that heated air is distributed through ducts to registers around the house. A boiler heats water, which is distributed through pipes and baseboard radiators (more correctly called “convectors”).Furnaces are more common than boilers. They offer the benefit of somewhat lower cost (usually), and the network of ducts and registers can also be used to deliver fresh (ventilation) air and chilled air from central air conditioning systems. When ductwork is installed properly, it’s a fine option. A downside to furnaces, and the distribution of heat using forced warm air, is that ductwork is often poorly installed. If ductwork isn’t properly insulated and sealed, a lot of air leakage and heat loss occurs that wastes energy (and money) — particularly when ducts are run through unheated spaces, such as unheated attics or basements.Leakage isn’t an issue with boilers and hot-water distribution (leaks are much more obvious, so they get fixed), but labor costs are significant, and that hot-water distribution system can do only one thing: provide heat. A separate ducted distribution system is needed if central air conditioning or a whole-house ventilation system is installed.Some older houses still have steam heat. Before we had electric fans and pumps, steam was a great way to distribute heat throughout a building. The boiler would boil water, producing steam that would rise through a network of pipes and radiators. In the radiators (usually made of cast iron), the steam would release its heat, warming the room. In the process of releasing that heat, the steam would condense back into water, which would flow by gravity back into the boiler. As a teenager, I lived in a house with steam heat and grew accustomed to the loud clanking that occurs with steam heat when there is inadequate pitch in steam lines (so that water gets trapped) or valves are not working properly.Whether a furnace (with ducted warm-air distribution) or boiler (with baseboard hot water) is installed, the higher the efficiency of the heating system the better. When buying new heating equipment, choose Energy Star equipment as a minimum, and buy the highest-efficiency furnace or boiler your budget permits.With existing equipment, make sure the furnace or boiler is operating efficiently by getting it tuned up. In some cases, performance can be improved by downsizing the burner nozzle. Just as important (often this is more important), improve the distribution system by insulating and air-sealing ducts and insulating portions of hot-water piping that run through unconditioned or semi-conditioned spaces.In addition to this Energy Solutions blog, Alex contributes to the weekly blog BuildingGreen’s Product of the Week, which profiles an interesting new green building product each week. Just posted: Greening the Pink Panther: Owens Corning’s new non-formaldehyde binder that will be used in all of the company’s Fiberglas.Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News, which is now in its 20th year. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.
The defacement of ancient and legendary Hindu lawgiver Manu’s statue, installed in the Jaipur Bench of Rajasthan High Court, last week and the subsequent arrest of three persons on charges of spraying black paint on the sculpture has shifted focus on a long-drawn-out controversy. A section of activists have been raising objection to the statue’s presence on the High Court premises since its installation in 1989.Two women and a man from Aurangabad were arrested with the charges of destroying public property and hurting religious sentiments slapped on them. The women, Sheela Pawar and Kantabai Ahire, who reportedly wanted to meet the High Court’s Registrar with a request letter for removing the Manu statue, allegedly went to the court’s garden area on October 8 and smeared black paint on the stone sculpture.Accused in custodyAnother accused, Abdul Sheikh Dawood, an accomplice of the women activists, who had managed to escape, was arrested subsequently. All the accused are at present lodged in the Central Jail here under judicial custody and their bail application is yet to be heard.The women reportedly told the police that they opposed Manu’s philosophy and had sprayed paint on the statue as a mark of protest. On the other hand, lawyers have registered their protest against the lack of security in the High Court, because of which the accused walked up to the statue and tried to damage it.The issue of shifting the Manu statue from the High Court premises has been pending ever since its installation. Though it was built by the Rajasthan Judicial Officers’ Association and installed after the permission of the then Chief Justice, an agitation was launched with the demand for its immediate removal.Decision challengedAfter a Full Court resolution directed that the stone sculpture be relocated, Jaipur-based Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Acharya Dharmendra challenged the decision on the judicial side and obtained a stay order. Since then, the matter has come up in the court time and again without any final decision.‘Regressive laws’ Dalit activist Bhanwar Meghwanshi said here on Saturday that the Manusmriti, supposedly authored by Manu, had laid down “regressive laws” for women and the people of so-called lower castes. “Having the Manu statue on the High Court premises goes against the principles of justice and equality, which the court is supposed to uphold,” he said.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Ranieri slams Fulham: No desire. No passionby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveOldham Athletic have dumped Fulham out of the FA Cup.Aleksandar Mitrovic missed a hotly-contested penalty as Fulham were dumped out of the FA Cup 2-1 by League Two side Oldham.Callum Lang headed in the visitors’ 89th-minute winner to stun the Premier League hosts and prompt extended touchline celebrations from caretaker boss and lifelong supporter Pete Wild.Denis Odoi’s goal early in the second half meant Fulham were expecting to coast home, only for Oldham to turn the tide as Bournemouth loan striker Sam Surridge equalised from the penalty spotAnd then Lang buried Gevaro Nepomuceno’s teasing cross, to spark exuberant celebrations on both the Oldham bench and among the delirious travelling supporters.Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri made six changes to the side beaten 4-1 by Arsenal in the Premier League five days earlier, but was “disappointed” his players did not seize their opportunity.”I gave a chance to them to show if I am right or wrong, to see if I am right to choose other players – I am right,” said Ranieri.”I did not see desire or passion, I wanted to see desire – show me I am wrong, show me! I am not wrong.”He added: “The first half was boring for us, the second half much better, we scored a goal and had chances to score, but then at the end they deserved to win. They made two goals, had another great chance and well done to them.”I am very disappointed, if we played as well as we play in the training session, we win the match. I don’t know what happened for these guys.”
ATLANTA – JANUARY 09: Cheerleaders of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets run around with flags before the game against the Duke Blue Devils at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on January 9, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)There is a run on student half-court shot contest wins today. Earlier, a Virginia student nailed a shot to win $18,000. Now, Georgia Tech student Caleb Espy drilled a half-court shot on his first try to win free Domino’s pizza for a year. “Espy” is a pretty apt name for someone with a shot that impressive. We would probably opt for the $18,000 if we had the choice between the two prizes, but free pizza whenever you want is a pretty valuable prize for a college student.
PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 01: Quarterback Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles warms up prior to the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)Former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston had a solid day at the NFL Combine today, but he did run the 40-yard-dash a bit slower than many expected. Winston clocked in at 4.97 seconds, leading many to poke fun at his weight, yet again. Porn star Mia Khalifa, a self-proclaimed Seminoles supporter, is even getting in on the fun.Khalifa posted a humorous meme of Winston mid-sprint, and suggested that he’d have run much faster if he were seeking out her “new scene.” What a time to be alive.What my BFF sends me @JamezRave pic.twitter.com/uvsjfSLCsv— Mia Khalifa (@miakhalifa) February 21, 2015
MONTREAL — The Crown has withdrawn a charge of obstructing a peace officer against an aspiring Bloc Quebecois candidate who confronted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a public event last summer.Matthieu Brien had pleaded not guilty to the charge that stemmed from an altercation with Trudeau during celebrations of Quebec’s Fete nationale last June.The charge was dropped and Brien was acquitted by a judge today after agreeing to a condition not to communicate privately, either directly or indirectly, with Trudeau.Brien confronted the prime minister as he was greeting citizens in a park in Trudeau’s Papineau riding and suggested the federal leader didn’t belong there on the Quebec holiday.Trudeau’s security personnel removed Brien, and the charge resulted from his subsequent interaction with them.Brien later announced he would seek the Bloc nomination to run against the prime minister in his Montreal riding. Brien lives in the riding and unsuccessfully sought the Bloc nomination there in 2015. The Canadian Press
Washington: India and the United States have asked Islamabad to “meaningfully address” the international community’s concerns on terrorism, including that emanating from across the border from Pakistan. The concern was raised in an statement by the Indian Embassy here after Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and his American counterpart Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale held Foreign Office Consultations here at the State Department, nearly a month after the Pulwama terror attack. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping “Both sides called on Pakistan to meaningfully address the concerns of the international community on terrorism, including cross-border terrorism,” the statement said. Tensions between India and Pakistan flared up after a suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14. India has provided a dossier to Pakistan, detailing the role of JeM in the Pulwama terror attack. India has also said that Pakistan has failed to take any credible action against JeM and other terrorist organisations, which continue to operate with impunity from Pakistan. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang On Monday, Gokhale called on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and they agreed that Pakistan must take “concerted action” to dismantle terrorist infrastructure and deny safe haven to all terror groups on its soil. Gokhale and Hale also reaffirming their commitment to the Indo-US Strategic Partnership and they reviewed the progress made since the first Ministerial 2+2 meeting held last September and discussed ways to further expand cooperation. While cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region formed an important part of their deliberations, they also discussed counterterrorism cooperation and a range of global and regional issues of mutual interest, including the current situation in Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran and Venezuela, the State Department said in a readout of the meeting. “They affirmed the vitality of the US-India strategic partnership and the importance of joint leadership to strengthen the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region,” the State Department said, amidst China increasingly flexing its muscles in the region. The Indo-Pacific is a biogeographic region, comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea. Beijing asserts nearly all of the South China Sea as its territory, while Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts. During the meeting, Gokhale and Hale affirmed their support for increased cooperation to include advancing initiatives undertaken as part of the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue process. “Recognising that the US and India share complementary visions for the Indo-Pacific, they agreed to deepen cooperation toward their joint goals in the region, including in conjunction with other Indo-Pacific partners,” the State Department said. According to the Indian Embassy, Gokhale and Hale exchanged views on building convergence in the Indo-Pacific and agreed to work with each other and regional partners to promote inclusivity, stability, peace and prosperity in the region.
By Pavithra Rao – An average of about 45 elephants per day were illegally killed in 2011 in every two of five protected sites holding elephant populations in Africa, thanks to the growing illegal trade in ivory, which continues to threaten the survival of elephants on the continent. A joint report by four international conservation organizations says that 17,000 elephants were killed in 2011 alone and the amount of ivory seized has tripled over the last decade.“Organized criminal networks are cashing in on the elephant poaching crisis, trafficking ivory in unprecedented volumes and operating with relative impunity and with little fear of prosecution,” says Tom Milliken, an expert on ivory trade with TRAFFIC, a global wildlife trade monitoring network. The joint report, Elephants in the Dust: The African Elephant Crisis, released this year, warns that increasing poaching levels, as well as loss of habitat, are threatening the survival of African elephant populations in Central Africa and in previously secure populations in West, Southern and Eastern Africa. The report was produced by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network (TRAFFIC).The 17,000 elephants illegally killed in 2011 lived at sites monitored through the CITES-led Monitoring Illegal Killing of Elephants programme; these sites hold approximately 40% of the total elephant population in Africa. The report warns that initial data from 2012 show that the situation had not improved, and that the true figures may be much higher.Long ago elephants used to roam freely in Africa, finding paradise in places like Côte d’Ivoire, which literally means “the coast of ivory.” Even the country’s national football team, Les Éléphants, derives its name from the mighty animal. The elephant population of Côte d’Ivoire has since dropped dramatically, with only about 800 remaining throughout the country. The drive to save elephants has become the latest frontier in the conflict over natural resources in Africa.“Like blood diamonds from Sierra Leone or plundered minerals from Congo, ivory, it seems, is the latest conflict resource in Africa, dragged out of remote battle zones, easily converted into cash and now fueling conflicts across the continent,” according to Jeffrey Gettleman of the New York Times.Elephant tusks are of high value in the Far East, particularly in China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, where many use them for ornamentation as well as for religious purposes. With booming economies, the demand can only increase, many believe.Going extinctIncreasing numbers of poachers in Africa are ready to supply these markets. They slaughter the animals and saw off their tusks, sometimes even invading sanctuaries to do so. Given the rate at which they are being slaughtered each year, African elephants could be extinct over the next decade, says the Wildlife Conservation Society, an animal protection organization.The authors of Elephants in the Dust agree. They say current population estimates suggest alarming declines in elephant numbers in parts of Central and West Africa, as well as an increasing risk of extinction for some local populations. Africa used to have a few million elephants at the turn of the century, current estimates put the continental population in the range of 420,000 to 650,000. Botswana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe account for well over half of them.Cyanide poisoning Worse, many of the poachers are alleged to be working for rebel groups, such as the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda and the Janjaweed in Sudan, and terrorist and militant groups such as Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab. These groups engage in the illicit ivory trade, using the profits to finance terrorist works.Earlier this year UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that elephant slaughter for tusks was surging in the Central African Republic, Cameroon, Chad and Gabon. “Poachers are using more and more sophisticated and powerful weapons, some of which, it is believed, might be originating from the fallout in Libya,” Mr. Ban said in a report to the UN Security Council. In Zimbabwe, for instance, poachers have started using cyanide on elephants and other wildlife by poisoning natural salt licks. Since May 2013, photos by legitimate hunters, taken during aerial surveys in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, have shown more than 300 elephant corpses.According to Elephants in the Dust, large-scale seizures (seizures of consignments weighing over 800 kg) of ivory destined for Asia have more than doubled since 2009, reaching an all-time high in 2011. The report says large movements of ivory, involving the tusks of hundreds of elephants in single shipments, were a sign “of the increasingly active grip of highly organized criminal networks” engaged in illegal ivory trade.“These criminal networks operate with relative impunity, as there is almost no evidence of successful arrests, prosecutions or convictions,” says the report. Furthermore, “The prevalence of unregulated domestic ivory markets in many African cities, coupled with the growing number of Asian nationals residing in Africa also facilitates the illegal trade in ivory out of Africa.”It’s not just the elephant population that is threatened by illegal killings; local communities suffer too. “The surge in the killing of elephants in Africa and the illegal taking of other listed species globally threatens not only wildlife populations but the livelihoods of millions who depend on tourism for a living and the lives of those wardens and wildlife staff who are attempting to stem the illegal tide,” says Achim Steiner, UNEP executive director.In May 2013, for example, poachers in the Central Africa Republic attacked the Dzanga Bai Clearing in the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park, home to about a hundred elephants. Almost 20 poachers illegally entered Dzanga Bai and massacred more than 25 elephants, including four calves. During the same month, poachers invaded the Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya and four other animal sanctuaries, killing seven rhinos.Concerted efforts neededNumerous solutions have been proposed and adopted in the past to stamp out poaching, but with mixed results. According to Mr. Ban’s report, “The situation has become so serious that national authorities in some countries, such as Cameroon, have decided to use the national army in addition to law and order enforcement agencies to hunt down poachers.”One innovative tool from the wildlife campaign group Kenyans United Against Poaching is the HYPERLINK “http://poachersexposed.com/” website. The site is intended to name and shame animal poachers as well as middlemen and traffickers. According to Salisha Chandra, a spokeswoman for the group, publicly listing offenders’ names online will make poachers and traffickers think twice. Last May the Kenyan parliament increased penalties for wildlife poaching and trafficking of ivory to up to 15 years in prison along with huge fines. According to authorities, poaching has reduced Kenya’s elephant population from 160,000 in the 1960s to 38,000 today.Challenges remain Even with efforts to increase fines and jail time for offenders, poachers are still on the prowl. Somalia, for instance, is overrun by rebel and terrorist groups, as well as pirates and traffickers. It is no wonder that the illegal ivory trade flourishes in such an environment.Anti-poaching campaigners are demanding that authorities properly investigate and prosecute all those involved in exporting elephant tusks especially to the Far East. UNEP has called for follow-up investigation of any large-scale seizure of ivory going from Africa to Asia, and for trans-boundary criminal intelligence units.The successful outcome of current efforts hinges on the availability of adequate resources, and on the political will to raise necessary awareness and enact and implement policies that punish offenders. The Elephants in the Dust report expresses this point clearly: “Unless the necessary resources can be mobilized to significantly improve local conservation efforts and enforcement along the entire ivory chain, elephant chains will falter, poaching will continue and illegal trade in ivory will continue unabated.”Africa Renewal
Brutus Buckeye helps carry the flag spelling “Ohio” before the game against Purdue-Fort Wayne on Nov. 11. Ohio State won 107-61. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo Editor