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CPJ’s #WhereIsAzory Campaign Highlights Missing Tanzanian Journalist

first_imgTanzanian freelance journalist, Azory Gwanda, was last seen by his family and friends on November 21, 2017.The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Monday, April 8 launched the #WhereIsAzory campaign to bring attention to the case of a Tanzanian freelance journalist Azory Gwanda, as Friday, April 5, 2019, marks 500 days since he was last seen.The campaign intends to raise awareness about Gwanda, and will call on Tanzanian authorities to carry out a credible investigation and publicly account for his fate. Supporters can participate by sharing the hashtags #WhereIsAzory and #MrudisheniAzory on social media.“Azory Gwanda is a freelance journalist reporting about his community, and he must not become just another statistic,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator.“Through this campaign, we want to ensure that Gwanda’s case becomes a priority for the Tanzanian authorities, and that we get much-needed answers about what really happened to him. Until that time, Tanzanian journalists will not feel safe,” Quintal said in a statement posted on CPJ’s website.Gwanda was last seen by his family and friends on November 21, 2017, according to CPJ research. He told his wife, Anna Pinoni, that he was taking an emergency trip, and would return the next day, but since then, his whereabout has remained unknown.In an interview with Mwananchi newspaper, Pinoni said she thought her husband’s disappearance might be linked to his work reporting on a series of mysterious killings in Tanzania’s Coast region, a view shared by others with whom CPJ has spoken.In Tanzania, journalists and media outlets are wary of retaliation if they are too vocal about Gwanda’s case. When two CPJ representatives were detained overnight and interrogated in Tanzania last year, they were specifically asked about their interest in Gwanda. His disappearance comes amid declining press freedom in the country, including government-ordered media shutdowns, fines, restrictive regulations, and arbitrary arrests of journalists.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Students plan to save scenic area

first_imgGORMAN – This gray pit-stop along Interstate 5 on the Grapevine blossoms into a bright, vibrant tapestry once a year in the spring when wildflowers cover its hillsides – a scene that a group of UCLA Extension landscape-architecture students hopes could be protected from future development. These 25 students in the course Advanced Environmental Analysis and Planning compiled a 92-page report aimed at dedicating 2,800 acres along a 5-mile stretch of Gorman Post Road as a wildflower preserve. The proposal, which they plan to present to local property owners, was unveiled Saturday. “You sort of think about Gorman as the place where you have to stop and put (snow) chains on your car,” said Greg Maher, a third-year landscape architecture student and co-manager of the class project. “But it’s more than that. There is just a lot that’s going on around here. “It’s a different kind of planning exercise,” said O’Brien, a city of Los Angeles planner who has taught the course for seven years. “This is more like advocacy planning. You’re advocating that to be done, rather than planning for a site. “That particular area is ecologically valuable. It’s a conjunction of three major ecological areas. The desert, the mountains and the coast all come together right there – it’s unique. We want people to know how great this site is, and how precarious this site is right now.” The students spent eight weeks compiling land use, ecology, geology and environmental data to design a 2,800-acre preserve stretching from the intersection of Interstate 5 and state Route 138 to Gorman’s northeast town limits. They also propose a visitors center and granting Gorman Post Road state scenic highway status. “This is a big-picture sort of thing,” Maher said. “We’re looking at how something can be used 10 to 20 years down the road. We’ve never really dealt with anything like that before.” Whether the proposal takes root depends on the 22 private-property owners who own the 48 parcels covering the preserve site. “We’re not proposing to take away anybody’s land,” Maher said. “It’s at what point do you say, ‘Enough, leave this place alone?”‘ For student planner Meg Sullivan, the project took her studies out of the classroom and into the center of community planning policy. “When we have assignments up to this point, even if it’s designing a park or public place, nobody would’ve heard about it,” she said. “We had a sense that what we’re doing can really matter. “We hope that we could have an impact on this site. We all fell in love with it.” Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 eugene.tong@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “It’s definitely about the wildflowers. But it’s also about what’s happening to the last vestiges of open space in Southern California.” A sleepy town dotted with a few motels and gas stations, Gorman is the last outpost before the Los Angeles-Kern county line. It was a key stop on the old Ridge Route through the Tehachapi Mountains, though its importance waned with the construction of Interstate 5. Still, the area remains renowned for its natural scenery – local poppies inspired artist Christo to set 1,760 giant umbrellas in 1991 along the Grapevine as part of his “Umbrellas” project. But development is creeping in. A spring-water farm and a small subdivision have been proposed, while The Tejon Ranch Co. is planning the 23,000-home Centennial development to the north. It adds up to a fertile classroom for University of California, Los Angeles, Extension planning instructor Michael O’Brien, a change of pace from the usual parks or public plaza design projects. last_img read more

Last.fm Introduces a Subscription Fee For Streaming Music Via Its Mobile Apps

first_imgTags:#music#web The personalized music streaming company Last.fm has announced that its radio service will become an ad-free, subscriber-only feature on iPhones and Androids, starting February 15.Last.fm Radio will remain free via its website and desktop app as well as for U.S. and U.K. users of Xbox Live and Windows Mobile 7 phones.Last.fm Radio offers a personalized station, playing full song tracks based on users’ preferences. Currently, that streaming service is free in the U.S. and U.K. via an ad-supported app.In explaining the decision to move to a subscription-based model, Last.fm says that “In other markets and on emerging mobile and home entertainment devices, it is not practical for us to deliver an ad supported radio experience, but instead, we will migrate to what we believe is the highest quality, lowest cost ad-free music service in the world.”The change brings Last.fm in line with many other music services that charge you to listen to music via your mobile devices. The $3-per-month fee is less than Spotify’s $9.99, but Last.fm does not let you play tracks on demand. audrey watters 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts center_img 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

Thoughts on Nuclear Power

first_imgContinuing in the recent thread of examining various power generation technologies, this week I’ll weigh in on nuclear power. I do this against my wife’s better judgment, and perhaps out of concern that my columns haven’t been generating enough controversy.Let me start with the bottom line—that I am generally opposed to nuclear power, and I do not support the relicensing of Vermont Yankee beyond 2012. But some of my thoughts on both the benefits and concerns about nuclear power differ considerably from the standard no-nukes arguments.What’s to like about nuclear power?Given the specter of global climate change precipitated largely by fossil fuel combustion since the dawn of the Industrial Age, society must find alternatives to these old habits and the corresponding emissions of carbon dioxide. While nuclear power isn’t quite the carbon-free energy solution that most nuclear proponents suggest (due to carbon emissions associated with the uranium fuel cycle, plant construction, decommissioning, and so forth), the carbon intensity associated with nuclear power is far lower than that of coal, oil, or natural gas power generation. Many experts, including vice president Al Gore, argue that dealing with climate change is the “moral imperative” of our age, and quite a few environmentalists are suggesting—to even their own surprise—that nuclear power needs to be a part of the solution.Solving the waste storage conundrumHere’s where I’ll raise some eyebrows among my environmental friends. I believe that one of the most commonly raised concerns about nuclear power could be solved quite easily if we were a little smarter and were willing to consider a wholesale shift in our approach. The storage solution being developed today and for the last 30 years—sequestering high-level waste deep inside Nevada’s Yucca Mountain—would provide the highest level of safety at day one, then that level of safety would steadily decrease over time due to seismic activity, volcanism (the ridge is comprised mostly of volcanic tuff, emitted from a volcano), erosion, migrating aquifers, and other natural geologic actions. (Completing this facility has also met with so much resistance and delay that many doubt it will ever actually be opened.)It seems to me that a far better solution for nuclear waste storage would be to put it in a place where the level of protection would increase over time. Why not bury it in a stable area of seafloor where sediment is being deposited at a fairly rapid rate. We know how to drill holes in the bottoms of oceans using undersea oil drilling technology—which could be adapted for this new purpose.The nuclear waste could be stabilized (perhaps by “vitrifying” it into a glass form) and dropped into these holes, which would then be filled back in or capped. In some areas, more than a centimeter of sediment is being added to the seafloor every year. Over a few hundred years, a foot of compressed sediment would be deposited in these locations, and over several thousand years, that compacted sediment would be well on its way to becoming protective sedimentary rock. These small areas of ocean could be designated as off-limited to other uses to avoid accidents.I’m far from an expert in nuclear waste, but I did take some geology courses back in my college days, and it just seems like common sense to put a dangerous material somewhere where the protection would get more—rather than less—robust over time.Guessing that I wasn’t the first to suggest this storage option, I went to Google to see what’s been said about it. I found some fairly well-developed science on “sub-seabed storage” (the technical term for this approach)—and even support for the idea from a past president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.Research into sub-seabed storage was supported by the U.S. Government from the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s, when the efforts were killed in favor of the Yucca Mountain “solution.” Politics, not science, seemed to spell its demise. There’s an excellent article on this from the Atlantic Monthly in October 1986.Lest you think I’ve joined the ranks of Patrick Moore and other environmentalists who have shifted their position on nuclear power, I have not. I believe that some of the problems with nuclear power are solvable—such as long-term storage—but others are much tougher. Stay tuned; next week I’ll lay out these concerns.last_img read more

Using Total Effective Length in Duct Design

first_imgRELATED ARTICLESThe Fundamentals of Rigid Duct DesignThe Two Main Reasons Your Ducts Don’t Move Enough AirAll About Furnaces and Duct SystemsSaving Energy With Manual J and Manual DKeeping Ducts IndoorsReturn-Air ProblemsSealing DuctsDuct Leakage Testing Today I’m going to explain an important concept in one of the most popular ways of doing duct design. I’ve been writing a series on duct design over at my blog and began with a look at the basic physics of air moving through ducts. The short version is that friction and turbulence in ducts results in pressure drops. Then in part 2 I covered available static pressure. The blower gives us a pressure rise. The duct system is a series of pressure drops.We can divide the pressure drops into two categories: those resulting from the ducts and fittings and those resulting from all of the components that aren’t ducts and fittings (e.g., registers, grilles, filters…). When we subtract the non-duct/fitting pressure drops from the rated pressure rise (total external static pressure) of the blower, we get the available static pressure. That’s the total pressure drop we have available for the ducts and fittings and is what sets our duct pressure budget.What we want to get out of this in the end is the proper duct and fitting sizes. We have a certain amount of available static pressure to use up. If our ducts are too small, we can end up with either too little air flow in the case of a fixed-speed blower (PSC, which stands for permanent split capacitor), or we get the air flow but use too much energy with a variable-speed blower (ECM, which stands for electronically-commutated motor). The first step in finding the proper duct and fitting sizes is to find the total effective length (often called equivalent length), the topic of today’s article. What is effective length?Length is length, right? Why do we need something else called effective length? The answer lies in fittings, those duct components that allow you to take air out of a trunkline, split a single duct into two runs, turn the air, and more.For straight duct sections, pressure drop depends only on the length. Well, that’s the idea anyway. If we use flex duct and don’t pull it tight, the pressure drop will be greater than if it were pulled tight. Texas A&M did a study on the effect of flex duct not pulled tight and the results are astounding. In my article on this research, I showed from their results that a 6″ duct moving 110 cfm when pulled tight will move only about 70 cfm with 4% linear (longitudinal) compression and about 40 cfm or less at 15% compression. (I’ll write more about the effect of different duct types in the HVAC design process later in this series.)For our purposes here, I’m going to assume that the ducts we’re using are either rigid metal or flex pulled tight. ASHRAE now has a duct calculator with options for 4%, 15%, and 30% longitudinal compression, but that’s not for use in designing duct systems. It’s to show how bad existing systems are if the flex isn’t pulled tight or to scare installers into pulling it tight.So, we’ve got straight sections of duct with their pressure drops depending on the actual length. And then we’ve got fittings. Each fitting — whether it’s splitting the air flow, reducing the duct size, or turning the air — will cause a pressure drop. In the duct design process, however, it’s more convenient to categorize these pressure drops by the length of straight duct run that would create the same pressure drop. And that, my friend, is the definition of equivalent length.But wait, you say! You were talking about effective length and now you’re talking about equivalent length. What’s going on here? ACCA’s Manual D uses both terms, although without clearly distinguishing them. From the context, though, here’s what I’ve surmised: The effective length is the combination of actual lengths of straight duct and equivalent lengths of fittings. Most people use the term equivalent length for both, though.Adding up all the lengths and equivalent lengthsBefore sizing a duct system, we have to lay out all the ducts. Below you can see an example of one we did recently. It shows the duct layout with all vents, fittings, air flows, and duct sizes. To find those duct sizes, the software we use (RightSuite Universal) calculates the effective length of the most restrictive run. From the return grille to the supply register in that run, it adds the lengths of the straight runs and the equivalent lengths of all the fittings.Each fitting we choose has an effect on the pressure drop and total effective length (TEL). We can look them up in tables, like the one below showing equivalent lengths for various elbows.The main variables we have to work with for this fitting type are:Radius of the turn (R)Diameter of the duct (D)Number of piecesRound or ovalWhen we choose fittings, we pick them based on what’s commonly available at HVAC supply houses. We also go a little conservative here because we’re doing third party HVAC design and don’t have control over the installation. For example, most of the elbows used in actual duct systems have 4 or 5 pieces. We often choose a 3 piece elbow in our design, though, because it gives us a little slack in the design. If the installer uses the 4 or 5 piece elbow instead, with 5 feet less equivalent length, the actual duct system will be less restrictive than the designed duct system, at least in that part.The total effective length (TEL) is the sum of all those fitting equivalent lengths plus the lengths of straight duct. If you’re doing it by hand, you have to go through the process for every single duct run. Then you choose the one that has the greatest total effective length. You do NOT use the sum of all the ducts and fittings.The last image below is a screenshot from RightSuite Universal showing the total effective length in one of our designs. The lengths of straight sections of duct add up to 36 feet for the supply side and 13 feet for the return side. The fittings add up to 290 feet and 85 feet respectively. This is typical. Fittings dominate when it comes to using up the available static pressure, so you have to choose them carefully. Just take a look at that table of elbows above. If you choose well, you can be at 10 or 20 feet of equivalent length. If you choose that smooth mitered elbow, however, you end up with 75 feet.The next stepOnce you lay out your ducts and choose your fittings, you have a total effective length. But here’s a little caveat: Those equivalent lengths for fittings depend on the velocity of the air, too, and it’s not a linear relationship. There are corrections for that effect, which, as far as I know, aren’t currently built into the software.To summarize:The blower creates a pressure rise to move air through the ducts.It’s rated for a certain amount of air flow at a specific total external static pressure.The ducts, fittings, and other components cause pressure drops.Subtracting the pressure drops for all the things that aren’t ducts or fittings from the total external static pressure yields the available static pressure.The available static pressure is the pressure drop budget you have to work with when designing the ducts.Each fitting has an equivalent length that equates its pressure drop to an equivalent amount of straight duct.When you add up the equivalent lengths of all the fittings and then add that number to the length of the straight sections in the most restrictive runs in the return and supply ducts, you find the total effective length (TEL).The next step in designing a duct system would be to take your available static pressure and figure out what friction rate you have to work with in sizing the ducts. 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.last_img read more