Earth Talk: Fireplaces

first_imgDear EarthTalk: It is starting to get colder and I’m eager to try out the fireplace in our new home, but we don’t want to create health or environmental problems. Are there materials that would be more eco-friendly to burn in a fireplace than regular firewood?     — Emily Eidenier, Durham, NC Burning wood may be humanity’s oldest way of generating heat—and in the home it definitely creates a nice ambience. But it has its downside. According to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, wood smoke “contains toxic carbon monoxide, smog-causing nitrogen oxides, soot, fine particles, and a range of other chemicals and gases that can cause or worsen serious health problems, particularly among children, pregnant women, and people with breathing difficulties.” The Children’s Health Environmental Coalition (CHEC) concurs, citing a raft of studies that show how children living in wood-burning households experience “higher rates of lung inflammation, breathing difficulties, pneumonia, and other respiratory diseases.” For its part, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warns that those with congestive heart failure, angina, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or asthma should avoid wood smoke if possible. Wood smoke is also bad for the outdoors environment, contributing to smog, acid rain and other problems. One greener alternative to burning firewood in a fireplace is to burn wood pellets, which are made from sawdust and other lumber byproducts that would have otherwise been landfilled and gone to waste. These specially formulated tiny logs burn very efficiently and almost completely—largely because there is little moisture content—so there are fewer pollutants to escape into the air inside or out. You need a pellet stove to burn wood pellets, though, or a fireplace insert to handle them safely. (Such an insert employs an igniter to fire the pellets, a blower to fan the fire, and an augur that pours pellets into the flames. Together they obviate the need to open the stove doors—and let pollutants into your living room—to feed the fire.) Another way to reduce emissions from an existing fireplace is to go for a gas insert, which would burn either liquid propane (from a swappable tank) or piped-in natural gas. These inserts draw in air to oxygenate the fire and channel smoke outside, either up the chimney or through a vent. CHEC warns, though, that hearth fires, even with an insert, cannot heat large spaces as efficiently as free-standing wood, pellet or gas stoves. Given, then that fireplaces are typically of more value for aesthetic purposes than heating efficiency, it might not be worth investing time and money into an insert. Using the primary heat source for your home (your furnace) and burning a candle or three in your fireplace might be the most efficient way to stay warm but still enjoy the ambience of live flames in your fireplace. If none of these alternatives make sense for you, remember to get your fireplace checked regularly for backdrafts, leaks or cracks that could bring extra pollution into your home. Also, make sure to get a chimney sweep in every few years to make sure your chimney isn’t blocked up with creosote which could lead to increased indoor air pollution. And if you’re putting in a new fireplace—or an insert—make sure to get a qualified professional to do the work, as proper set-up could be the difference between sickness and health as you and your loved ones cozy up around the fire this holiday season. CONTACTS: Massachusetts DEP,; Children’s Health Environmental Coalition (CHEC), GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at:, or e-mail: Read past columns at: read more

My Parkway Thru-Ride: It’s Not About the Bike

first_imgI was reading It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong – a rather fascinating story about the cancer survivor and the seven-consecutive-time winner of the prestigious Tour de France. It had been a pleasant read until I read about Lance’s training on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Suddenly my mind went ZOOM. Here it was! Here was the glamorous and awe-striking description of one of the most magnificent places for road bicyclists on this planet – the Blue Ridge Parkway. This was it for me. After reading Lance’s description of the beautiful roads and scenery, I was immediately sold to the idea of cycling the Blue Ridge Parkway. End to end. All 469 miles. I wanted to become an end-to-ender on my beloved leg-driven two-wheeler. “I’m going to tackle the 469 miles of winding, up-and-down, scenic road through the Southern Appalachian mountains,” I ‘informed’ my wife, Sophia who smiled seeing the joy in my eyes.The only question remaining was: when?Setting a date for September 2011 was the first major step to bringing me closer to my desire. The effect of having a clear date is astonishing: it got me going and the stars and the universe immediately seemed to start conspiring in my favor. Things magically started falling into place. The first major shift for me that occurred was that I started to ride my bike and train my body regularly. Whenever possible, I’d include hills and mountains in my training loops. It was an average of three times a week that neighbors and mailmen found me pushing the pedals. The motivation to do that all came from declaring the date of my trip.More coincidences manifested. I started to talk to people about the adventure I had envisioned in my mind. In no time at all, my wife Sophia offered to take on the role of what later turned out to be the backbone and ‘MVP’ – most valuable player – of the trip. She’d drive the support vehicle, photograph and videotape the ride, and cheer the cyclists on the hearty uphills of the Blue Ridge Parkway. A short while later, my cycling buddy Phillip from Hamburg, Germany, subscribed to the idea of this challenging outing as well. On the very first phone conversation with him when I mentioned the trip to the Blue Ridge, he spontaneously and excitedly agreed to join in. “Great”, I thought. “I wouldn’t be alone while sitting in and out of the saddle during the upcoming 469 miles”. I can tell you, it was such a great push for my motivation when someone fully bought into my idea and trusted my plan.If you’re interested in pedaling the Blue Ridge Parkway, check out our guide.By June, my training was on course, I had a support vehicle driver and a cycling buddy to join me. Then, we decided that this 10 day ride would be a great way to raise funds for the neighboring Eliada Homes for Children in Asheville. Cycling the Blue Ridge Parkway for a Cause was now born. When this decision was made, even more people came to help. Our heartfelt big THANK YOU goes not only to the financial sponsors Angie Ensslin, management coach Führungspraxis as well as Dr. Sheela Sheth, but also to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. With a few weeks of preparation to go, I contacted them via e-mail informing them about our plan. You may find interesting to know that the Foundation issues certificates to all people who become ‘end-to-enders’ – be it as motorists, cyclists or otherwise. To my happy surprise, the kind women running the Foundation replied very excitedly in response to our plan of Cycling the Blue Ridge Parkway for a Cause. Just a couple of days later, we were stocked with beautiful Share the Journey T-Shirts, Kids in Parks pencils and other little items that create happiness when shared with kids and adults. The spontaneous reaching out of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation still fills my heart with plenty of joy.To really get this project working well, again my wife Sophia came to rescue. With the help of her guided Visualization Meditations that she offers at her Center for Meditation and Healing, Reflection Pond in Asheville, I developed a clear vision that I was able to turn into an ever-inspiring collage. This outward expression of my inner desire was no great piece of art admittedly, yet it was vital to keep and expand the vision in my mind. It helped me stay focused and excited about all the non-cycling activities that came with this undertaking. For, honestly, I do prefer spinning the cranks of my bike over planning the stages, creating to-do-lists and working the list down or writing press releases.By the way, if you feel so inclined, we do still accept and greatly appreciate your contribution to help us help the children of Eliada. To donate, contact us under or visit us online on and click the yellow button that says “donate” in the right-hand side column of the page. Unless otherwise instructed, we split all donations 50-50 between covering our own costs and passing on to Eliada Homes for Children of Asheville Helping Children Succeed. As of now (beginning of October 2011) we are grateful to have raised 315 dollars for Eliada. 1 2last_img read more

CFPB says structure is ‘unconstitutional’

first_imgAfter years of lawsuits challenging the CFPB’s single-director structure and calls from various stakeholders – including NAFCU – to change its governance to a bipartisan commission, the Trump administration has determined that the bureau’s current structure is unconstitutional.As a result, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger notified congressional leaders Tuesday that the bureau will no longer defend its structure in lower-level cases.NAFCU is supportive of legislation to reform the bureau’s governance structure to a bipartisan commission, as well as other reforms pursued by Congress.In a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, the administration indicated that language in the Dodd-Frank Act saying that the president can only remove a director for “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office” violates the Constitution. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

This home at Wynnum West offers country life in suburbia

first_img54 Duncan St, Wynnum WestEscape to this quiet, country-style homestead in the heart of suburbia.The home at 54 Duncan St, Wynnum West, exudes classic elegance and comfort.Owners Deborah Scott-Ranson and Mark Thompson bought the 3327sq m property six years ago to cater for their big family. 54 Duncan St, Wynnum West“Between us, we’ve got seven children, so we needed somewhere with a lot of space,” Ms Scott-Ranson said.It didn’t disappoint, with seven bedrooms, three bathrooms, three lounge rooms, a huge outdoor patio and a large yard. 54 Duncan St, Wynnum WestMore from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020“There’s always somewhere in that house to get away and have private time,” Ms Scott-Ranson said.She said it was the ideal escape from a busy life.“It’s a big family home and it’s very private,” Ms Scott-Ranson said. 54 Duncan St, Wynnum West“It doesn’t feel like you’re in the middle of suburbia – it feels like you’re out on acreage.“From the minute you walk in the door, it’s got a homely feel.”They have renovated parts of the home as their children have grown up and needed more space, but otherwise, Ms Scott-Ranson said it didn’t need a lot of work.center_img 54 Duncan St, Wynnum WestShe said the upstairs bedrooms with the gabled ceilings were her favourite part of the home.She was also going to miss standing at the kitchen window that overlooks the patio and backyard.“We’ve had lots of big family gatherings there,” Ms Scott-Ranson said. 54 Duncan St, Wynnum WestShe said the children would miss the home, particularly its pool, big backyard and cubbyhouse in the front yard’s tree.“It’s a perfect place for kids to get lost in,” Ms Scott-Ranson said.It is also close to schools, public transport, the waterfront and Wynnum Plaza.last_img read more


first_imgOne easy way to determine if banknotesare genuine and not altered is by checking the watermark by viewing thebanknote against the light from either side. Last month, over 50 pieces of fakeP500 bills were seized in Barangay San Isidro, Jaro, Iloilo City. The watermark in the blank spaceshould be the same image as the portrait on the banknote and denominationalvalue. Still, according to Ligad, consumersmust not be complacent because “counterfeit notes could not be totallyeradicated from circulation.” To avoid inconvenience, consumersshould plan their cash withdrawals, payments and other bank transactions,stressed Ligad. ILOILO City – Be wary of counterfeitbanknotes this holiday season. Become familiar with the various securityfeatures of the Philippine currency, according to the Bangko Sentral ngPilipinas (BSP) Iloilo branch. Carefully feel, look and tilt the banknotes tocheck the identifiable security features. This detailed illustration from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas helps consumers distinguish genuine Philippine currency from well-made fake ones. The central bank calls on the public to report any information on currency counterfeiting to the nearest police station or law enforcement agency. BSP GRAPHIC He warned counterfeiters and thosecirculating them that they would be held liable for violating the Revised PenalCode. So far this month in this city andIloilo province, according to BSP-Iloilo bank officer II Lowen Andrew Ligad,there is no recorded case of fake bills yet.center_img “Those selling fruits and thoseoperating small businesses should be careful,” said Ligad. The New Generation Currency banknoteseries, currently in circulation, has the latest technology security featuresthat are easily identifiable but difficult to counterfeit. “We have ample supply of bank notes incirculation. But we encourage the public to not wait for the time they shouldrush to get their money from the bank,” he said. Meanwhile, BSP-Iloilo assured thepublic that there is enough supply of cash in this city and Iloilo province. The BSP called on the public to reportany information on currency counterfeiting to the nearest police station or lawenforcement agency, for appropriate action. The public should also withdraw cashwell-ventilated and well-lighted automated teller machines, Ligad added./PN Of particular concern to BSP-Iloiloare sectors of the economy most vulnerable to fake money – small-time traderssuch as vendors.last_img read more

NBA Coach of the Year

first_imgIt is interesting to see what happens to coaches in the NBA who have won the Coach of the Year Award.  Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks won the title this year.  The question is “how long will he remain the coach of the Hawks”?  I have 3 examples of what happened to some of his predecessors after they won this award.Avery Johnson of the Mavericks was their coach in 2005-06 when he won.  He was fired 2 years later even though he was the fastest to win 150 games in the NBA.Sam Mitchell of the Raptors won in 2006-07.  He was fired 17 games into the next season.  At that time, he had the most wins in team history.George Karl of the Nuggets was Coach of the Year in 2012-13.  He made the playoffs all 9 seasons up to that point.  He has not made it since he won the award.  The moral of my story–don’t win this Coach of the Year Award if you want to stay with your team.last_img read more

UEFA consider one-legged UCL ties and a final four in Istanbul

first_imgSoon UEFA will be called to make a final decision on the dates and the format of the Champions League, which is expected to return in August. Read Also: Ronaldo talks tough after returning to Juventus training Although they have not ruled out the idea, UEFA are facing the obstacle of the broadcasters who will see the amount of games reduced. The governing body will announce their final decision on June 17 along with the 12 venues where the 2020 European Championship will be held next summer. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 However, in the last few hours, UEFA have been contemplating shortening the Champions League with one-legged games in the quarter-finals and a ‘final four’ which will take place in Istanbul. Matches will be played behind closed doors, but the teams would embrace that plan to avoid travelling between countries amidst the coronavirus crisis. European football’s governing body are considering various scenarios, but there is one in particular that seems as the front-runner on their agenda. According to that plan, the competition will start on August 2 with the Europa League’s remaining last 16 games being played. The Round of 16 will be completed the following weekend along with the respective Champions League ties. Over the following couple of weeks, teams will play the quarter-finals and the semi-finals at a rate of two games per week, with each tie over two legs as usual. The Champions League final will be disputed on August 26 and the Europa League decider will take place three days earlier.Advertisementcenter_img Loading… Promoted ContentCrazy Expensive Things That Taylor Swift Owns2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearA Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This DayWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksSome Impressive And Almost Shocking Robots That Exist5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?The Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthDid You Know There’s A Black Hole In The Milky Way?last_img read more

Omeruo scores in Leganes’ victory against Eibar

first_img The defender, thus, ended his five-year stay with the Stamford Bridge outfit, having also featured for ADO Den Haag, Middlesbrough, Kasımpasa, and Alanyaspor on loan. The 26-year-old featured prominently for the Cucumber Growers last season, playing 23 league games, but his efforts were not enough to help the club maintain their La Liga status. Omeruo has featured for the Nigeria U17 and U20 teams before he made his Super Eagles debut against Cape Verde in 2013 in a friendly. The defender has since become a key component of the national team and featured prominently as the West Africans clinched the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations title in South Africa. read also:Newly promoted La Liga side keep vigil on Omeruo Omeruo now has 52 caps for the three-time African champions and was part of Gernot Rohr’s side that finished third at 2019 Afcon in Egypt. The centre-back will hope to replicate his impressive pre-season performances when the 2020-21 campaign gets underway. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Kenneth Omeruo was on the scoresheet as Leganes secured a 3-1 victory over Eibar in Saturday’s friendly at Estadio Municipal de Butarque. The Cucumber Growers continued their build-up to the 2020-21 Segunda Division campaign with a win at Estadio Municipal de Butarque following their relegation from La Liga last season. The Super Eagles centre-back impressed in the encounter, finding the back of the net to inspire Jose Luis Martito’s team to victory. Omeruo opened the scoring as early as the third minute, firing home his effort from close-range after connecting with a corner-kick. Roberto Rosales doubled the lead in the 12th minute before Jose Arnaiz sealed the win despite a late strike from Quique. Omeruo joined the Cucumber Growers on loan in the summer of 2018 from Premier League club Chelsea. The Nigeria international delivered solid defensive performances during his temporary stay to earn a permanent deal with the side.Advertisement Loading… center_img Promoted ContentWhy Go Veg? 7 Reasons To Do ThisWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?What Is A Black Hole And Is It Dangerous For Us All?5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks5 Reasons To Wait For The Solo Black Widow Movie10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoInsane 3D Spraying Skills Turn In Incredible Street ArtWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?A Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of ArtYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeDid You Know There’s A Black Hole In The Milky Way?Birds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Themlast_img read more

Cricket News This Was Most Challenging Innings That I Have Played: Rohit Sharma On Double Ton

first_imgRanchi: Rohit Sharma feels his maiden double hundred in Test cricket on Sunday against South Africa was by far the “most challenging one” in his new role as an opener. Rohit has had scores of 176, 127 in the first Test against the Proteas and now has hit his maiden double hundred to emulate Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag as players to score 200 across two formats. “Speaking of this particular knock, I would say it was most challenging. I have not played much. I played only 30 Tests. In terms of what was thrown at me, I would definitely say it was probably the most challenging one,” the talented Mumbaikar said at the end of day’s play.He always knew that he had to make best use of the opportunities in his new role as a Test opener or else “a lot could have happened” as far as his stint in the longest format is concerned. “Kafi kuch hone wala thaa naahin toh kaafi kuch aap likh dete mere barein mein (A lot could have happened had I not performed and you guys (media) would have written a lot about me,” a satisfied Sharma said while taking a slight dig at the media.”So it was about making most of the opportunities I got. I knew I had to make full use of it, otherwise media would have written against me. Now I know everyone will write good things about me,” he added. Rohit has amassed 529 runs from four innings thus becoming the only fifth Indian opener to score 500-plus runs in a Test series.”It was a good opportunity for me to open the batting. As I said during the Vizag Test, the communication between me and my team management was happening for a long time about opening the batting. So mentally, I was ready for it. I knew it could come at anytime.”Also Read | Rohit Sharma 212, Ajinkya Rahane 115 Flatten South Africa As India Tighten Grip In Ranchi TestHis double century came after India were left reeling at 39/3 in the first morning as he along with Ajinkya Rahane (115) staged a remarkable turnaround with a mammoth 267-run fourth wickekt partnership, the highest versus South Africa.While he has had a blockbuster start to his career as a Test opener, Rohit himself acknowledged that he has a long way to go. “In Tests, it has it’s challenges. Having played only three Tests as an opener, I know I have long way to go. I am not reading too much into these three Tests. Of course, I will take a lot of positives but I am not reading too much into it.”Talking about the challenge of opening the batting, he said,”Opening the batting is a different challenge to batting at Nos 6-7. It’s just about how you prepare yourself, what you talk to yourself in your mind about what do you want to go out there and achieve. “Playing the first ball of the match, compared to facing a delivery after 30-40 overs is a different ball game altogether. There’s nothing in particular that I’ve done in terms of technique.”The 32-year-old is now eyeing to replicate the success overseas when the tour New Zealand next year. “Wherever you play the new ball, you have to have some understanding of the basics of the game. Which ball you have to play and leave. In certain aspects of the game you have to be mindful of.“I was allowing myself to take time rather than going after the ball straightway. It’s not a good idea with a new ball. You got to play with a little lower backlift. In overseas, of course, it’s a different ball game. That’s a challenge and I am awaiting.” He was all praise for Ajinkya Rahane, whose attacking strokeplay in the post-lunch session on the first day turned the tide.“Once we went there after lunch (first day), it was Ajinkya, who started taking that momentum. It was he, who actually gave the team the momentum. If I am not wrong, he was batting on 40 off 43 balls just around the first drinks break after lunch which means he capitalised on the loose balls, we got those singles as well,” Rohit praised his partner, with whom he shared 267-run stand. Asked whether he’s keeping a tab of the slew of records, he said: “When you bat, you are not aware of the records. I will see these records only after I stop playing.” For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

University, student leaders to host semesterly forum to address community concerns

first_imgThe headline of this article was updated Aug. 28 at 9:20 p.m. to reflect the correct number of public meetings that will be held each semester. “We have a forum where people are allowed to ask questions, speak of issues that are affecting them or the community and really just raise issues and have a dialogue about it,” said Stone. Trojan Council, a group of four USC governing bodies, is currently in its formalizing stages and hopes to host its first ever University Forum at the end of the semester. Formed in 2017, Trojan Council is composed of Academic Senate, Staff Assembly, Graduate Student Government and Undergraduate Student Government. Formal objectives of the group include working with both students and administration to discuss campus issues in an effort to resolve them.  Undergraduate Student Government President Trenton Stone co-authored a resolution to create a University Forum open to all students and hosted by Trojan Council, a coalition of leaders. (Grace Harrison | Daily Trojan) The University Forum will invite students, staff and faculty to attend a discussion with University President Carol Folt, Provost Charles Zukoski and Vice President for Human Resources Felicia Washington. This will allow students to have the space and resources to ask and resolve questions about issues affecting their community. Previously, meetings with the Trojan Council were only open to the governing bodies’ presidents and vice presidents. While students could ask to present their concerns to the Council, both Stone and the USG Senate hope that the University Forum will provide more accessibility to students. Undergraduate Student Government President Trenton Stone announced in a Senate meeting Tuesday that Trojan Council will host a University Forum open to students at the end of the semester. Although Trojan Council wasn’t previously institutionalized by USC or any of the participating groups, each governing body passed a resolution to reaffirm their organizational support. Stone hopes that the creation of the University Forum will help establish a lasting legacy for Trojan Council. “Right now we’re planning that [forum] for later in the semester and then the other thing that we’re doing is just working on formalizing Trojan Council to make sure that it will stay long-term and to just really figure out of what the Trojan Council looks like,” Stone said.last_img read more