For just the third time this season, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team has a chance to win consecutive games.After earning their first road victory of the season last Saturday at Ohio State, the Badgers (3-19-4, 1-9-2-2 Big Ten) return to the Kohl Center this weekend to take on Michigan State in their second-to-last home series of the regular season.The 3-2 win against the Buckeyes helped Wisconsin snap an 11-game winless streak dating back to a 2-0 shutout of Michigan Tech on Jan. 3. But considering UW has won just two other games this season, the situation heading into this weekend is a unique one, according to head coach Mike Eaves“There is a tendency to, okay, finally got a win on the road, take a breath,” Eaves said. “But at the same time I think we have to be careful and not lose our position and slide back.”Heading into this weekend with just the one conference win, UW still sits alone in last place with seven points and is pretty much guaranteed a bottom-two league finish. A last place finish has never happened in Wisconsin hockey history, even going back to the start of WCHA play in 1969, and a bottom-two finish has happened only one other time, in 1979-80.“It’s interesting, you walk in our locker room, there’s the standings right there,” Eaves said. “We’re down here at the bottom, and that’s not a very pleasant thing to look at. We’re not used to that.”Despite being at the bottom of the conference ladder, Wisconsin still has eight games to play and can make up some ground in the series against the Spartans (12-12-2, 6-4-2-2 Big Ten), who currently sit third with 22 points.MSU is coming off a series sweep of Penn State at home, which helped propel the Spartans into a tie for third in the Big Ten race with the Nittany Lions. In the inaugural year of Big Ten play, Michigan State struggled much like Wisconsin has this year. The Spartans ended the 2013-14 campaign with just five conference victories and a lone win away from home.But with eight games still left in the conference slate this year, MSU has already exceeded its win total from a year ago and trails first place Minnesota and Michigan by just two points. Eaves credits a big part of the Spartans’ success this season to a great deal of hard work.Similar to Wisconsin, Michigan State has not been overly potent offensively this season, averaging just 2.3 goals per game with only six players having score five-plus goals.But similar to the Badgers, strong goaltending has kept the Spartans in most of their games. Junior Jake Hildebrand has started every game in net for Michigan State, and has a solid 92.4 save percentage along with a 2.27 goals-against average. With the strong play of Hildebrand, the Spartans have held opponents to two goals or fewer in 14 of their 26 total games. MSU has surrendered four or more goals on just six occasions and five goals only three times.As far as special teams are concerned, both teams’ power play units have converted on about 15 percent of their chances. After scoring power play goals in four of five games a few weeks ago, the Wisconsin man advantage has gone just 1-11 in its last four games. Meanwhile, the Spartans had three games without a power play goal, but scored twice on the man advantage last Saturday night against Penn State.If the Badgers can do the little things right, such as staying out of the penalty box, they might have a chance at accomplishing the goals Eaves laid out for the remainder of the season.“Those short-term goals are be 1-0 on Friday, 1-0 on Saturday and play our best hockey in March, because we know if we do that we give ourselves a chance to extend our season when we go to Detroit, and that’s the reality,” Eaves said.Series VitalsWho: Wisconsin vs. Michigan StateWhen: Friday and Saturday, Feb. 20-21, 8 p.m. and 7 p.m.Where: Kohl Center; Madison, WI (15,359)TV: Friday night on Big Ten Network, Saturday night on Wisconsin ChannelSeries history: UW trails 45-46-3, but has gone 8-1-1 in last 10 games, including 3-1 last seasonWisconsin (3-19-4, 1-9-2-2 Big Ten)Big Ten: 1-9-2-2, 7 points, last placeLast series: Split with Ohio State, the second worst Big Ten team, with 2-1 loss and 3-2 win.Leading scorers: Grant Besse (10 G, 10 A), Joseph LaBate (6 G, 9 A) and Morgan Zulinick (5 G, 9 A)Probable goaltender: Joel Rumpel, 3-17-4, 89.9 save percentage, 3.62 goals-against averageMichigan State (12-12-2, 6-4-2-2 Big Ten)Big Ten: 6-4-2-2, 22 points, tied for third placeLast series: Swept Penn State at home with 3-0 and 3-2 victories to come into a tie with Nittany Lions for third place in Big Ten standings.Leading scorers: Matt Berry (8 G, 13 A), Mackenzie MacEachern (10 G, 10 A) and Michael Ferrantino (9 G, 6 A)Probable goaltender: Jake Hildebrand, 12-12-2, 92.4 save percentage, 2.27 goals-against average
The verdict? The days are fun, friendly – and a big confidence booster, according to women who are taking part. “It’s a great opportunity to learn to play with others who are at the same level,” said one. “I was a little nervous about the overall day but the experience was good,” added another. “It’s given me the confidence to play on the course and improve,” said a third. Over 220 women were involved and this year the scheme has been extended to Cheshire and Durham, with events on offer until September. Women members from the clubs taking part volunteer to support and encourage the newcomers. The Academy Away Days were successfully trialled in Hertfordshire last year after it became clear that women who had taken Get into golf courses at local clubs would welcome support to get out on to the course. They feature a novel way of scoring which avoids counting stroke. Instead, the players complete challenges, which involve playing skills and etiquette such as successfully hitting the green in one, raking the bunker correctly and shaking hands on the final green when they complete their game. New women golfers in Cheshire, Durham and Hertfordshire are being offered a fun and sociable way to get into the swing of regular play. Caption: Some of the players at a recent Academy Away Day. The Away Days are a new initiative from England Golf, which is committed to growing the women and girls’ game. Currently only 15 per cent of club members are women and just one per cent are girls. Lauren Spray, the Women and Girls’ Participation Manager, said: “The Academy Away Days are a great way for women to bridge the gap between coaching and playing and to make new friendships.” 8 Jul 2017 New women golfers get in the swing The Academy Away Days were successfully trialled in Hertfordshire last year after it became clear that women who had taken Get into golf courses at local clubs would welcome support to get out on to the course. The verdict? The days are fun, friendly – and a big confidence booster, according to women who are taking part. “It’s a great opportunity to learn to play with others who are at the same level,” said one. “I was a little nervous about the overall day but the experience was good,” added another. “It’s given me the confidence to play on the course and improve,” said a third. Lauren Spray, the Women and Girls’ Participation Manager, said: “The Academy Away Days are a great way for women to bridge the gap between coaching and playing and to make new friendships.” New women golfers get in the swing But, there’s a huge appetite among women for golf with research showing that 640,000 women and girls are interested in playing the sport. Last year, 43% of the beginners introduced to the sport by the Get into golf campaign were female. But, there’s a huge appetite among women for golf with research showing that 640,000 women and girls are interested in playing the sport. Last year, 43% of the beginners introduced to the sport by the Get into golf campaign were female. The events are all played on short courses or nine-hole layouts suitable for beginners and all have shotgun starts so the players finish together and can socialise after play over a glass of fizz or juice. They feature a novel way of scoring which avoids counting stroke. Instead, the players complete challenges, which involve playing skills and etiquette such as successfully hitting the green in one, raking the bunker correctly and shaking hands on the final green when they complete their game. The Away Days are a new initiative from England Golf, which is committed to growing the women and girls’ game. Currently only 15 per cent of club members are women and just one per cent are girls. New women golfers in Cheshire, Durham and Hertfordshire are being offered a fun and sociable way to get into the swing of regular play. Academy Away Days are being held in the three counties for women who have completed beginner coaching, bringing them together for on-course outings to grow their confidence and to make new friends. The events are all played on short courses or nine-hole layouts suitable for beginners and all have shotgun starts so the players finish together and can socialise after play over a glass of fizz or juice. To find out about beginner opportunities visit www.getintogolf.org Over 220 women were involved and this year the scheme has been extended to Cheshire and Durham, with events on offer until September. Women members from the clubs taking part volunteer to support and encourage the newcomers. Academy Away Days are being held in the three counties for women who have completed beginner coaching, bringing them together for on-course outings to grow their confidence and to make new friends. To find out about beginner opportunities visit www.getintogolf.org
By The Nelson Daily SportsGranite Pointe’s Lauren Taylor didn’t shoot the greatest round but her Vikings still had a great day.Portland State rode the even-par round by Britney Yada to take a one-shot lead into day two of the Big Sky Conference Golf Championship Monday at the at Ocotillo Golf Resort in Chandler, AZ.Portland State, the defending Big Sky Champs, finished the day with a 303 score, one stroke in front of Northern Arizona and Montana.Yada has a one-stroke lead over three players on the individual leaderboard. She made two birdies and two bogeys, firing nine-hole totals of 37 and 35 to complete the day at even par.Ashli Helstrom and Lauren Howell of Montana, and Bethany Leclair of NAU are all one shot back at 73.Meanwhile, Taylor, 19, and teammate Tiffany Schoning are among a group tied for 21st. Both shot 79 on Monday.The L.V. Rogers Bomber golfing grad went out in seven-over par 43, but rallied to shoot an even 36 on the back nine. The players tee off for round two at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and the same time Wednesday for the final round of the 54-hole tournament played on the 6,162-yard, par 72 Ocotillo Golf Resort layout.The winner of the tournament advances to an NCAA Regional on May 5-7, likely the West Regional at Washington National Golf Club in Auburn, [email protected]
The public will decide on the expansion of the aquatic centre fitness facilities that will cost $1.5 million at referendum this year, but local business owners want the community to have more information about the true impact of this cost before the vote. The vision to expand the fitness centre that operates under the Grand Forks Recreation Commission has been in the works for 11 years. The first proposal went before council in 2000 with a price tag of only $240,000 but was rejected. In 2010 the commission put it back on the table with new drawings and cost estimates. In April they recommended to the board of the Regional District of the Kootenay Boundary that the project proceed to referendum. Brian Johnson, owner of Flexus Body Systems, questioned the decision to proceed with the expansion at the aquatic centre. Johnson noted that financial reports on the aquatic centre show losses every year. The aquatic centre announced in March that it will be closed for six weeks this fall in order to manage their budgets. “Usually if one wants to expand a business it’s because they’re busting at the seams,” said Johnson. “Is it really worth the cost of going to referendum for this decision? If the centre is already running at a deficit, to expand into another 3000 square foot facility, it’s going to be an ongoing cost. You take a losing situation – it might not be the best investment for the future.” Johnson said there needs to be more information provided to the public about the actual costs of the facility and the construction and consideration given to how $1.5 million could be better used in other recreation options around the community. “With a non-profit organization like the aquatic centre, conflict (can happen) with businesses in Grand Forks who form the tax base. We were never approached to see if we had concerns. We’ve been in competition before,” Johnson added noting the lack of community input on the project. The existing facility is 600 square feet full of equipment, accessible only by crossing the pool deck which limits access to staff availability. “We have a maximum capacity of maybe eight to 10 people on a good day,” explained Mackey. “We’ve been running classes of close to 20 – 25 people in that space for a number of years. A lot of the initiative for this project has come from our user groups who have expressed concern.” Mackey said that people have had to be turned away from classes because of the restrictions on the space. The new design can hold up to 50 people in the fitness centre and another 50 in the studio a total of just under 3000 square feet. Mackey said cost estimates as of November 2010 totalled upwards of $1.5 million. The new facility would see 32 additional hours a week of operation for the fitness facility using 46 staff hours per week. One of the spin offs would be freeing over 2000 sq ft of activity rooms in the arena that potentially could be used as a youth centre for the community, explained Mackey. The building will include environmentally friendly designs using no fossil fuels and will see a net zero increase to carbon footprint of facility. “There’s always the question about how it’s going to impact the private sector. The private sector is demand driven, whereas the public sector is need driven. GF Rec does not compete with Flexus, Curves or Jazzercise. We offer services to all socio-economic and demographic sectors. We do not duplicate services with them,” Mackey commented. Grand Forks council accepted the presentation made by Mackey at their Jun. 27 meeting, and made a motion at their Jul. 18 meeting to support the referendum on the expansion question at the upcoming elections in November.
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 1, 2017) – Graded stakes winner Texas Ryano heads a very competitive field of 14 older males in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Marcos Stakes for 4-year-olds and up going 1 ¼ miles over the turf course at Santa Anita Park.Trained by Carla Gaines and owned and bred in Kentucky by Warren B. Williamson, Texas Ryano comes off a Grade II win in the 1 ½ miles Hollywood Turf Cup Stakes at Del Mar on Nov. 25 earning the 6-year-old gelding by Curlin a 105 Beyer speed figure in the process.A third place finisher in the Grade II, 1 3/8 miles Del Mar (turf) Handicap on Aug. 20 and a second place finisher in the Grade II, 1 ¼ miles John Henry Turf Handicap on Oct. 2, Texas Ryano still managed 100 and 101 Beyer speed figures respectively, even in defeat.In 18 lifetime starts, Texas Ryano has a record of 5-3-3 demonstrating a 61% “in the money” percentage and has amassed earnings of $438,355.Most recently a winner of the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles San Gabriel Stakes, originally slated to be run on the grass but moved to the main track due to weather, Blue Tone will try turf for the first time on Saturday in his fourth consecutive added money attempt.Trained by Bob Hess, Jr. and owned by Beverly Engelberg, Schroeder Farms, LLC and Jan Steeper, Blue Tone is an 8-year-old gelding by Birdstone. He is 25-7-4-3 overall with lifetime earnings of $558,870. A Red Tie Day, Corey Nakatani, 119Flamboyant, Brice Blanc, 121Itsinthepost, Tyler Baze, 119Blue Tone, Martin Garcia, 121Texas Ryano, Joe Talamo, 124Power Ped, Stewart Elliott, 119Gustnado, Rafael Bejarano, 119Perfectly Majestic, Kent Desormeaux, 119Conquest Daddyo, Luis Contreras, 119Some in Tieme, Tiago Pereira, 121Isotherm, Flavien Prat, 119Hi Happy, Altair Domingos, 119Twentytwentyvision, Mike Smith, 119Frank Conversation, Mario Gutierrez, 124 First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For events, table reservations, scratches, late changes and complete morning line information, please visit www.santaanita.com THE GRADE II SAN MARCOS STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS AND WEIGHTSRace 9 of 9 – Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PST
Donegal County Council has welcomed some eco-friendly changes after installing 36 Solar Photovoltaic panels to the roof area of the County House, its main headquarters in Lifford.This initiative is part of the Council’s ongoing drive to improve energy performance throughout its operations.“Solar PV converts energy from sunlight into electricity,” explains Peadar Espey, Facilities Manager with Donegal County Council. New 36 solar PV panels installed on the roof of the County House in Lifford as part of Donegal County Council’s drive to energy performance improvement.“The installation of these solar panels is part of our overall drive to achieve energy performance improvements throughout all our premises. The solar PV system will generate approximately 8,350 kilo Watt hours (kWh) of electricity per annum.“Since installed in late September the system has generated 636kWh with the highest production for a single day at 27kWh. When the days are longer and brighter from April to September the installation has the potential to generate over 60 kWh per day,” explains Peadar.Emmett McCabe and Peadar Espey from Donegal County Council Facilities Management and Energy Team with Barry Sharkey and Emmett Sharkey from North West PV, the Solar PV contractor.The Council’s initiative is in line with its ISO 50001 accredited Energy Management System which was first achieved in October 2016 and has been retained following a number of extensive independent audits.“We are fully committed to transitioning to a low carbon, climate-resilient society and the work we have being doing over the last number of years to improve our energy efficiency and reduce our carbon emissions forms an important part of the global fight against climate change. “The use of this type renewable energy will assist Donegal County Council in helping achieve national targets of reducing carbon emissions by 30% and improving energy efficiency by 50% by 2030 under the national Climate Action Plan 2019” concludes Peadar Espey.County House in Lifford going solar was last modified: November 20th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:county house lifford
Three papers recently claim to have seen natural selection. None of them, however, identified a functional advantage that would have tied changes to novel benefits that could improve a species. Yeast: “New Type of Genetic Variation Could Strengthen Natural Selection,” trumpeted a headline in Science Daily. It was about a study of two varieties of one species of yeast – one in Japan, one in Portugal. Scientists compared the genomes of the two isoforms of the same species and found one form had a particular functional gene network, the other did not. Remarkably, they said in their paper in Nature,1 “these polymorphisms have been maintained for nearly the entire history of the species, despite more recent gene flow genome-wide…. This striking example of a balanced unlinked gene network polymorphism introduces a remarkable type of intraspecific variation that may be widespread..” The word “Remarkably” is even in the title of their paper: “Remarkably ancient balanced polymorphisms in a multi-locus gene network.” Remarkable as that may be, the authors did not identify the origin of any new function, organ, or genetic information. The paper said, “The numerous cases of long-term balancing selection, complex genetic interactions, and theoretical considerations all hint that BuGNPs [balanced unlinked gene network polymorphisms] might be important for explaining the evolution of complex traits, but we know of no other definitive examples of balancing selection acting to preserve alternative states of a multi-locus gene network within a single species.” So not only was this a case of preservation rather than progress, it was all taking place within a single species. No “origin of species” was claimed for this “New Type of Genetic Variation [that] Could Strengthen Natural Selection.” Even more surprising is that neither the paper nor the press release tied the alleged natural selection to actual fitness or survival.2 The press release from Vanderbilt University, nevertheless, was almost breathless in its excitement about The Force: “The unexpected discovery of a new type of genetic variation suggests that natural selection – the force that drives evolution – is both more powerful and more complex than scientists have thought.” As noted before, though, if natural selection is a force, it is only the force of a bumper in a pinball game (07/14/2009, 08/09/2009 commentaries). not the flipper operated by a game player trying to get somewhere.Primates: Another study claimed remarkable powers for natural selection in primates. PhysOrg began an article with standard boilerplate about natural selection, followed by questions:During evolution, living species have adapted to environmental constraints according to the mechanism of natural selection; when a mutation that aids the survival (and reproduction) of an individual appears in the genome, it then spreads throughout the rest of the species until, after several hundreds or even thousands of generations, it is carried by all individuals. But does this selection, which occurs on a specific gene in the genome of a species, also occur on the same gene in neighboring species? On which set of genes has natural selection acted specifically in each species?A team in France set out to compare genomes of humans, gorillas, chimpanzees and macaques to answer these questions. Surprisingly, they never again addressed the topics of fitness and survival assumed in the boilerplate description of natural selection. They could not have cared less if the mutations they compared had anything to do with fitness, progress, or new genetic information. All they tried to do was find out if the same genes showed the same differences in different species of primates. Here’s the closest they got: “An example that has been confirmed by this study is the well-known case of the lactase gene that can metabolize lactose during adulthood (a clear advantage with the development of agriculture and animal husbandry). The researchers have also identified a group of genes involved in some neurological functions and in the development of muscles and skeleton.” But the case of lactose tolerance is moot; some have argued that intolerance is the norm, and adult lactose tolerance is due to a loss of function. Humans did not evolve into agriculturalists and ranchers by mutations and natural selection. It presumably took intelligent design for people to plant the first crops and raise cattle. And regarding development of muscles and skeleton, it would be hard to argue that humans are more fit than monkeys and macaques who swing in the trees with ease. So what gains did natural selection make? The authors did not identify any new function, organ, or information linked to the gene differences. Any linkage to fitness was put in future tense: “Using a larger number of primate genomes, the study now needs to determine the extent of this phenomenon in terms of genes and biological functions,” the article ended. “By including other vertebrate species in the study, it will also be possible to determine whether we share adaptive events with rodents, birds or fish, as some isolated observations appear to suggest.” Fish: Science Daily was almost giddy as it announced today, “Stickleback Genomes Shining Bright Light on Evolution.” It’s not just shedding the usual flashlight on evolution; they’ve upped the ante. Now a discovery is shedding a “bright light on evolution.” The eyes of scientists are wide open and filled with light. They said, “Twenty billion pieces of DNA in 100 small fish have opened the eyes of biologists studying evolution. After combining new technologies, researchers now know many of the genomic regions that allowed an ocean-dwelling fish to adapt to fresh water in several independently evolved populations.” But again, this study showed no new genetic information or fitness – just fluctuating amounts of body armor and minor changes to the shapes of existing structures, coloration and behavior in stickleback fish. These are changes any young-earth creationist would yawn at. Salmon and other species are already known to prosper in both salt and fresh waters. “Can we find genomic regions that were altered due to natural selection?” one scientist asked. Where would they look? Well, they certainly did not look for an increase in fitness, whatever that means, or a new organ or function. In fact, fitness and survival were not even mentioned in the article, and natural selection was only mentioned one time – as a question, seen in the quote above. The article suggested that genes “may be evolving”; one scientist pined, “We hope to learn something about these fish while they are still evolving, literally, from an ocean population to a freshwater one.” The team did not show that anything new has emerged by natural selection. They only showed adaptation of existing genes, structures and functions to a change in environment. Stickleback fish apparently come preprogrammed with the ability to thrive in a variety of habitats. If this is a bright light on evolution, it didn’t reveal much.It is clear that to evolve a bacterium into a human would require enormous gains in functional information encoded in genetic information. Neither of these articles contained observational evidence that the mutations or variations that were alleged to have been preserved by natural selection created any gains in fitness, function, or information.1. Hittinger et al, “Remarkably ancient balanced polymorphisms in a multi-locus gene network,” Nature 464, 54-58 (4 March 2010) | doi:10.1038/nature08791.2. The paper spoke of fitness only in a theoretical sense: “Therefore, keeping co-adapted interacting alleles or gene complexes together is probably crucial to optimal fitness,” or, “it is conceivable that functional GAL80 (and perhaps other functional GAL genes) could also confer slight conditional fitness costs by other unknown means in the Japanese population.” The authors only speculated on why the two populations differed. Persistence of the polymorphisms alone was taken as evidence of natural selection – even for the isoform that was non-functional. The non-functional polymorphism did not seem to the researchers to be a temporary condition on the way to being selected out. “Instead,” they said, “the striking localized peaks of extreme sequence divergence between populations are best explained by strong balancing selection on the GAL genes, which suggests that non-functional alleles are fitter in some genetic backgrounds and/or environmental conditions.” When fitness is linked to survival, however, it becomes a tautology: survivors are the fittest, and the fittest are the survivors.You have just witnessed how the Darwinists pretend to be scientists by acting busy, talking jargon and making promises. Busy work, talk, and promises are cheap. To demonstrate the prowess of natural selection, they would need to demonstrate actual progress – a new complex organ, a new wing or eye or ability that never existed before, arising without any intervention, solely by the power of natural selection. Instead, they busy themselves with comparing little genetic changes between organisms that are already fit. They use divination techniques to tell the peasants what differences, like the folds in a liver or the motions of the pendulum, indicate that the Spirit of Charlie has been at work. It’s pure poppycock. Even a poppy and a cock are more fit than these scientists. They ought to get on a fitness treadmill and do something useful with their energy (but watch out for the slippage on the treadmill: 03/17/2003). Natural selection, the phrase that made Darwin famous, is a glittering generality wrapped in a personification pretending not to be a tautology, “survival of the fittest.” That phrase launched a thousand ships in the 20th century and led to unspeakable horrors by ruthless dictators who thought it was their scientific duty to eliminate the unfit. But who is fit? Fitness is a meaningless term that means anything that survives, whether it has good genes or not (see “Fitness for Dummies,” 10/29/2002). That’s why Hitler had to conclude Germans were not the fittest since they lost the war, despite all that propaganda, the health campaigns and the Holocaust he perpetrated in the name of fitness. That this shaky foundation for the Battle Hymn of the Repulsive persists into 2010 is enough to make one really, really angry.Now the fit will be survivors and survivors will be fit,And survivors will survive to prove the fitness of the fit,Oh, this natural selection, it’s so simple, isn’t it?’Tis ruthless marching on.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This week’s DuPont Pioneer Field Report was a good news, bad news situation. Andy Lang is a DuPont Pioneer Account Manager for Wood, Hancock and Hardin Counties and he said that planting progress is still lagging and many farmers are switching acres to soybeans. On the other hand, growers in his area are all smiles as they drive by their wheat fields. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins has more.
An exploding truckMac Sheldon of Demilec gave a great talk titled “SPF Retrofit Problems & Solutions.” He discussed how controls have improved to the point where spray foam going off-ratio, while still possible, is becoming rare. He did show some of the problems that occur, including a scary photo of a box truck with the roof blown off because someone put water in the wrong drum. That drum ended up across the street.Installer errors are the most frequent problems, and there’s been a concerted effort in the industry to improve in that area. Sheldon discussed the new accreditations and certifications that SPFA offers, and Rick Duncan went into a bit more detail about them. If you’re in the business of installing spray foam, get over to the SPFA website now and start getting your workers certified. Don’t ever point your spray wand at human skinThe last speaker of the day was Paul Duffy of Icynene. He discussed some of the basics again and, as several other speakers had done, he hit the issue of safety pretty hard. “It’s going to be an obligatory part of SPF presentations from now on,” he said.Duffy also gave the most jarring example of the day. To illustrate how much pressure the liquid is under when it comes out of the gun in a high-pressure SPF rig, he asked, “What do you think will happen if I aim a foam gun at my hand? It will inject foam under my skin and expand when it gets there.” Low-density, open-cell spray foam expands to 100 times its original volume very quickly, so imagine the Michelin Man on steroids. A quick overviewJoe began by talking about the “perfect wall.” That led quickly to what he calls the 500-year wall, for three reasons: It represents 500 years of evolution; it lasts 500 years; and it takes clients 500 years to pay for it. He went through some of the details he presented in his “Perfect Wall” paper on the Building Science Corp. website, discussing where to use foam, which foam works, and how not to do stupid stuff. RELATED ARTICLES Of course, he also took his jabs. (He called out ASTM at Summer Camp this year.) At the Experts’ Session, he said that ASTM stands for Another Stupid Test Method. He also continued the anti-WUFI campaign I first heard at the Passive House conference in Denver. In discussing how you decide what vapor permeability you want in your materials, he said, “You guess. I’ll trust your guess better than a WUFI analysis. WUFI should only be done with adult supervision.” (WUFI is a modeling tool for moisture and heat transport through building assemblies.) Blowing agents and global warming potentialOne of the big issues in the past couple of years has been the blowing agents used in spray polyurethane foam, specifically HFC-245fa used in closed-cell SPF. This whole thing blew up when Alex Wilson of Environmental Building News wrote a paper in 2010 in which he concluded that closed-cell SPF and extruded polystyrene (XPS) had too much global warming potential (GWP). He made his paper look like science when it wasn’t, and his analysis included so many assumptions that his results were not valid.I wrote a response to his paper in August 2010, Don’t Forget the Science in Building Science, but more people read his paper than mine, and sadly, too many people believed his.Yes, Alex did have a point about the blowing agents, and he should have just said that he didn’t like them instead of trying to calculate bogus “paybacks.” The good news for those who care about the GWP of materials is that the speakers from Honeywell announced their replacement for HFC-245fa, which they call Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent. It has a GWP of less than 5 (HFC-245fa is greater than 1000) and will be available starting in 2013. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. GBA Encyclopedia: Spray Foam Insulation Joe Lstiburek Discusses Basement Insulation and Vapor RetardersInsulation to Keep Us Warm — Not Warm the PlanetSpray Foam Jobs With Lingering Odor ProblemsIt’s OK to Skimp on Insulation, Icynene Says Three Massachusetts Home Fires Linked to Spray Foam Insulation The odor problem was only mentioned brieflyIt was a great day packed with good information. In addition to what I mentioned above, the speakers also hit on the topics of ignition barriers, fires, lawsuits, and odors… briefly.I like spray foam, but I’m also wary of some of the drawbacks. As with most of our technology, though, it works well when used appropriately and poorly when it’s not. It’s still true that the process is more important than the product. We need to get a lot more people in building science and construction to really understand what that means, and Joe’s day-long symposium on spray foam was a great way to help with that. Spray foam insulation evokes some interesting conversation among building scientists, construction professionals, environmentalists, and homeowners who have it in their homes. Many think it solves all problems, no matter how poorly it’s installed. Some think it’s helping to warm the planet and compromise the health of people and pets. In the middle are those who work with it regularly and see both the warts and the beauty of the product.Building Science Corporation recently hosted its annual Experts’ Session, and the first day was all about spray foam insulation, with a collection of people who are mostly in the third camp mentioned above. Joe Lstiburek spoke first, and then introduced several experts to give us high-level information on this product — everything from the basics of open-cell versus closed-cell foam to the latest work on blowing agents.The other invited speakers were:Mac Sheldon from DemilecDr. Mark Bomberg, a building scientist who taught JoeRick Duncan, PhD, PE, from the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA)Xuaco Pascual and Mary Bogdan from HoneywellPaul Duffy from Icynene
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now There are a lot of people who are very good people with very good skills that also happen to be in the wrong role. When this is true, they struggle to produce the results their company needs from them, making the company unhappy with their performance. The person in the wrong role is also unhappy because they are trying to be valuable but struggle to do what needs to be done when it is work they should not be doing. Over time, both the person and the company become frustrated with each other, especially when this mismatch is allowed to go unaddressed for a long period of time.If you are responsible for this person on your team, your first obligation is to determine whether you can train and develop them to succeed in the role in which they have been placed. The only way they will ever have a fair chance to succeed is if you provide them the mindset, skill set, and toolkits they need—based on where they are now. When that isn’t enough, you must be fair to the person and find them a role in which their skills will be valuable. If they can be reassigned to a role that suits their unique skills and abilities, you need to help them find that role.If you are the person in the wrong role, your responsibility is to recognize that even though you believed you were right for the role in which you find yourself, you really need to do something else. There is no reason to try to tough it out if you are miserable and failing. Instead, start seeking out another role within your company where you believe you can make a difference. Then ask for the opportunity to be moved to that role.In the end, your company will be a lot happier with you in the right role making a greater contribution, and you will be much happier doing better work and work that is aligned with your skills and abilities.