Saints and Sinners: The weekend’s talking points

first_imgWe look at the heroes and villains from a truly memorable weekend of rugby The SaintsFinal flourishThere are some people who still don’t like to see playoffs decide league titles, but without them we wouldn’t have dramatic occasions like Saturday’s Aviva Premiership rugby final to enjoy.The players from Northampton and Saracens ran, tackled and passed themselves to an absolute standstill over the course of 100 minutes-plus, in an effort to become champions of England.It was an epic, nail-biting, brutal encounter. Big hits, gliding runs, deft passes, superb kicks, and so, so much tension – this game had everything. The balance of power swung from one team to another, and back, and the drama lasted to the very last nano-second.Standout performers included George North, Ken Pisi, Courtney Lawes, Stephen Myler, Schalk Britz and his buddies in the tremendous Saracens tight five.It was breath-taking stuff and while it left the players needing a good holiday, it left the supporters wishing next season started tomorrow.Hape’s horror storyFormer England centre Shontayne Hape set out to right one of rugby’s biggest wrongs this weekend, by giving a shocking and brutally frank interview to the New Zealand Herald about the brain injury he has suffered by playing the game.Forced to retire because of the repeated concussions he suffered in a career that took him from rugby league in New Zealand to union with London Irish, Montpellier and England, Hape describes the symptoms that he still endures every day and his uncertain future.Hape is telling his story to try to warn other players, especially young ones, that concussions have to be taken more seriously. He also wants rugby’s authorities to sit up and take notice once and for all, and to stop turning a blind eye as players are pressured into playing on when they absolutely should not be.He takes some of the blame upon himself, admitting he hid the severity of his problems from the coaches at Montpellier for a long time. “In the back of your mind you are aware of the dangers, but you are paid to get out there and play and you want to play. You never think anything bad is going to happen to you. So you just do it,” Hape says.However, he is also highly critical of the club officials who put their own short-term interests before a player’s welfare. “There was constant pressure from the coaches. Most coaches don’t care about what happens later on in your life. It is about the here and now. Everyone wants success.“Players are just pieces of meat. When the meat gets too old and past its use-by date, the club just buys some more. You get meat that’s bruised or damaged, the club goes and buys some more.”When a specialist told Hape he had to retire immediately, Montpellier said they would rest him for a couple of months and see how he was. It is time rugby put a stop to such insensitive and short-sighted behaviour. Hopefully Hape’s brave stance will help that to happen. Read his article here.Home run: Leo Cullen helped Leinster add another trophy to their collection on SaturdayLeo the leaderHe has played 219 games for Leinster and led them to a trio of Heinken Cups, so it was entirely fitting that Leo Cullen helped the province win their second successive RaboDirect Pro 12 title in his final match before retirement.He didn’t attract the same amount of wider attention as his fellow-retiree and team-mate Brian O’Driscoll, but among the Leinster players and fans Cullen is as well-loved as the super centre and will be missed just as much, if not more.Having battled away at the heart of the Leinster engine room for 14 seasons, Cullen will go down in history as one of the province’s great servants.Young gunsA couple of young British players grabbed the headlines on the opening day of the Junior World Championship. Wales wing Dafydd Howells took just seven seconds to score the opening try of the tournament in New Zealand, and his team went on to beat Fiji 48-19.England U20s also enjoyed a big win, as they trounced Italy 63-3 and wing Nathan Earle topped the try-scorers’ list for the men in white, with a hat-trick. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Caught shortThe final sinner is Jamie Heaslip’s new haircut. I can say no more!The final cut: Jamie Heaslip tries out a new look for the RaboDirect Pro 12 final The SinnersLast legsJonny Wilkinson glided into retirement on Saturday night with a Top 14 champion’s medal to balance the Heineken Cup winner’s one he pocketed last week. He kicked 15 of Toulon’s 18 points in their win over Castres and had the gloriously noisy and joyful send-off he deserved.Unfortunately, Brian O’Driscoll wasn’t able to relish his own swansong quite so much as he was let down by his own injured calf, or by his script-writer, if you prefer.Unhappy ending: Brian O’Driscoll limps off the pitch after his leg spoiled his Leinster leaving partyHis Leinster team-mates ensured this outstanding Irish hero finished his glittering career as a RaboDirect Pro 12 champion, as they played on without him and beat Glasgow Warriors 34-12 in the final in O’Driscoll’s native Dublin, but the man himself lasted just nine minutes of the match before he was forced to limp off.O’Driscoll still lifted the trophy, alongside Leo Cullen, and enjoyed the moment of victory with his closest rugby friends, but he deserved to play a bigger part in the game. It has been a pleasure, an honour, to watch you Brian, and it’s a great shame your final scene turned out to be a cameo role. Your battered body finally let you down.Official verdictReferee JP Doyle and his team of match officials did plenty right during the Aviva Premiership final, but the events surrounding Owen Farrell’s disallowed try were so confused and controversial that they undid a lot of their good work in those few, extraordinary minutes.Farrell touched down after 61 minutes, seemingly bringing Saracens right back into the game as they had been trailing 14-9. The first howler from the officials was the fact that neither Doyle, nor assistant referee Paul Dix spotted Alex Goode’s forward pass in the build-up. They didn’t even think there was enough doubt to ask the television match official to take a look. Doyle awarded the try and if Farrell had not then needed treatment for a leg injury he inflicted upon himself in his celebration, he would have kicked the conversion and the game would have continued.Instead, there was time for several replays to be shown on the big screen at Twickenham and after seeing the forward pass, TMO Graham Hughes told Doyle he should have a rethink.I don’t ever recall a TMO taking such action when a try had already been given and it is questionable whether it is within his remit. Nevertheless, Doyle and Hughes then reviewed the try, disallowed it and Saracens took another 12 minutes to score the try which ultimately took the game to extra time.Erase and rewind: JP Doyle watches a replay on the big screen at TwickenhamSaracens officials and fans were incensed by Doyle’s about turn, and about the fact that Luther Burrell threw what looked like a forward pass during the build-up to a Northampton try but that was not reviewed.The protocols surrounding the use of the TMO have become increasingly confused this season, with their wider remit leading to a feeling there is nothing they can’t do. I am all in favour of using technology to ensure the right decision is taken, but there is now too much inconsistency in the way the replays are used from match to match. Before the start of next season, the powers that be and the match officials need to sort out what is and isn’t allowed and then make that clear to everyone involved in the game, so we don’t have a repeat of Saturday’s chaos.Led astrayWith extra time all but over, Saracens led Northampton 20-17 and looked set to be crowned Aviva Premiership champions. However, the Saints were attacking and because they had scored two tries to Saracens’ one during the game, they only needed a penalty or a drop-goal to tie the scores, and they would have won the trophy.Amazingly, it seemed like Northampton skipper Tom Wood and the half-backs, Lee Dickson and Stephen Myler, didn’t know this, as they went through phase after phase in their efforts to cross the Saracens’ try-line. Yes, they manufactured a try for Alex Waller in the end, and so won the game 24-20, but the TMO had to take a long, hard look before giving the try as he barely reached the line under a pile of bodies. What turned out to be the Premiership-winning score could easily have been disallowed.Going through the phases under extreme pressure is terribly risky, as there is always the danger of a fumble or an accidental offside. Once Saints were inside the 22 there is no doubt in my mind they should have taken the drop-goal chance.If Wood and co deliberately chose to eschew the kick and go for the try for the hell of it, it was an enormous gamble. If they didn’t know they only needed a kick, they should make sure that next time they are in a competition final they know the rules inside out, because they might not be so fortunate as to see their gamble pay off again.center_img You don’t have to wait long for another chance to see these talented youngsters in action. England play their second game on Friday, 6 June against Australia, while Wales face Ireland on the same day, with Ireland looking to bounce back from a 19-13 defeat by France. Scotland, who were hammered 61-5 by South Africa in their first game, take on Samoa on 6 June. That’s what it’s all about: Northampton celebrate their nail-biting Aviva Premiership final win TAGS: Northampton SaintsSaracens last_img read more

Regime wants to isolate Iran, hold elections behind closed doors

first_img to go further May 7, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Regime wants to isolate Iran, hold elections behind closed doors News Follow the news on Iran Receive email alerts Iran is stepping up pressure on journalists, including foreign journalists, in run-up to election Help by sharing this information News IranMiddle East – North Africa RSF_en Newscenter_img Reporters Without Borders condemns the reinforcement of Iran’s system of Internet filtering and blocking. Use of the leading VPN censorship circumvention tools such as Kerio and OpenVPN has been blocked since 4 May, making it very difficult for Iranians to access an unfiltered Internet.The blocking is being compounded by arrests of netizens such as Ali Ghazali, the editor of the Baztab Emrooz news website, who has been held for the past three days.“The Islamic Republic of Iran has signed many international conventions, belongs to the International Telecommunication Union, UNESCO and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and is one of the most active countries in the World Summit on the Information Society, which will hold its next international forum in Geneva from 13 to 17 May,” Reporters Without Borders said.“Like all other parties to these conventions, Iran is supposed to respect its international obligations, which include allowing unrestricted Internet access. Iran’s leaders should match their actions to their words, instead of imposing a digital apartheid on the Iranian people while giving the international community undertakings to respect the free flow of information.“On the eve of candidate registration for the 14 June presidential elections, the regime is no longer content to just exercise constant control over all of the country’s newspapers, jam the TV stations that broadcast by satellite to Iran and block thousands of websites.“It henceforth intends to disconnect the Internet and thereby deprive Iranians of a vital source of news and information. The media isolation in which the regime wants to plunge Iran falls far short of providing the conditions for free and democratic elections.”Baztab Emrooz (, a website critical of the Ahmadinejad administration that had already been blocked four times in the past three years, has been inaccessible again since 29 April, the day after it published an article claiming that President Ahmadinejad had an explosive secret recording.The article said: “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly possesses a recording in which a senior regime official announces to him, the day after the 22 June 2009 election, that the results were rigged so as to increase the number of votes for him from 16 to 24 million.”The website added: “If this recording really exists, the president is in a position to threaten [Supreme Leader) Ali Khamenei’s faction and to put pressure on the Council of Guardians of the Constitution so that the candidacy of his preferred successor, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, is accepted.”The president’s website reacted to the article by issuing a denial and calling for legal proceedings against Baztab Emrooz. Ghazali was arrested on the Tehran prosecutor’s orders on 4 May on a charge of “publishing false information with a view to upsetting public opinion,” and is being held in Tehran’s Evin prison.Reporters Without Borders also condemns grave violations of the rights of prisoners of conscience. Ten of the inmates of Evin prison’s Section 350, including the journalists Said Madani, Siamak Ghadery and Abolfazal Abedini Nasar, were stripped of all their rights and were placed in isolation cells in Security Section 240 on 21 April.They were accused of protesting against deputy prison director Javad Momeni’s interference in their internal management of the dormitories. Momeni, who has a reputation for mistreating prisoners, wanted to force inmates to replace Madani as their delegate.Madani has repeatedly criticized the high price and poor quality of goods sold to Evin’s inmates, and the complicity of prison officials in the trafficking that goes on inside Evin. March 18, 2021 Find out more June 11, 2021 Find out more Organisation News Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 IranMiddle East – North Africa Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists June 9, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

US Open to go ahead as planned: reports

first_img “This is the world we are living in,” USTA’s director of player relations Eric Butorac told ATP and WTA players during a conference call last week. “We believe this is a good plan and believe it is good for the sport. It’s good for the tennis economy, creates jobs for you, for coaches, for commentators, for so many people.” Djokovic however said the proposed safety measures and restrictions on the numbers of support staff were problematical. “We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week,” Djokovic said. “Also, we could bring one person to the club, which is really impossible. “I mean, you need your coach, then a fitness trainer, then a physiotherapist.” Djokovic’s misgivings were shared by defending men’s singles champion Rafael Nadal, who would be chasing a 20th Grand Slam title at Flushing. Promoted Content6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually TrueInsane 3D Spraying Skills Turn In Incredible Street Art10 Phones That Can Work For Weeks Without RechargingBelieve It Or Not, Paul Rudd Is Turning 50 This Year6 Incredibly Strange Facts About HurricanesThe 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The WorldWhy Do So Many Digital Assistants Have Feminine Names & Voices?7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More7 Of The Wealthiest Universities In The WorldWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Who Earns More Than Ronaldo? The US Open tennis tournament is to go ahead as planned pending formal government approval, the New York Times reported on Monday. The US Tennis Association will stage the US Open as planned in late August pending formal government approval, reports said Monday The Times cited four tennis officials speaking on condition of anonymity as saying that the Grand Slam event would take place in its usual late August-September slot. The status of the tournament has been mired in uncertainty for weeks as New York battles the coronavirus, while a number of top players have expressed doubts about playing in the tournament. The Times report said the tournament would take place at Flushing Meadows without fans from August 31 to September 13 after receiving support from the ATP and WTA Tours. The US Tennis Association is expected to announce the decision later this week, the Times reported. Forbes magazine also reported that the Open would take place as scheduled, with a decision expected “soon”. The proposed plans for the tournament had been met with widespread reservations amongst leading players in international tennis, with world number one Novak Djokovic the most outspoken critic. Under proposed safety protocols, US Open players would be confined to a hotel outside of Manhattan and would only be allowed to bring one member of their entourage to the event. Singles qualifying would be eliminated while the doubles tournaments would be reduced from 64 pairings to just 24. Loading… Read Also: UEFA set to decide on way forward for suspended Champions League Nadal, the world number two, said earlier this month that he would not play in New York if the tournament was taking place now. The 34-year-old says tennis should not resume until it is “completely safe” for all competitors. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

Deputies: Local Man Offered Underage Girl Money, Candy for Sex

first_imgA 24-year-old Palm Beach County man is facing sexual battery charges, after authorities say he forced a child to perform sex acts on him.Deputies say Pedro Juan Francisco, of Lake Worth Beach, offered a girl candy and money in exchange for sex at the victim’s grandmother’s house. The girl, who is now 10, told investigators it happened two years ago.According to the arrest report, Francisco forced the girl into the lewd acts even as she resisted.The victim’s sister told investigators she walked in on at least one of the acts and reported it to her grandmother.It is unknown whether Francisco has an attorney at this time.last_img read more

Stop Blaming the Customers – the Fault is on Amazon Web Services

first_imgAlmost as galling as the Amazon Web Services outage itself is a the litany of blog posts, such as this one and this one, that place the blame not on AWS for having a long failure and not communicating with its customers about it, but on AWS customers for not being better prepared for an outage. It’s a tendency that displays a “blame the customer” mentality I’ve been seeing a lot lately. To understand why it’s wrong one has to understand what actually happened and what claims AWS made about it services.We covered the differences between availability zones and availability regions, and AWS’ lack of communication, in our previous coverage. Now that the dust has settled, it’s worth looking back at what happened. This timeline by Eric Kidd explains the series of events, and the various options different customers had. RightScale provides another good summary. What can we learn?What Amazon ClaimsHere’s what AWS claims about Availability Zones:Each availability zone runs on its own physically distinct, independent infrastructure, and is engineered to be highly reliable. Common points of failures like generators and cooling equipment are not shared across Availability Zones. Additionally, they are physically separate, such that even extremely uncommon disasters such as fires, tornados or flooding would only affect a single Availability Zone.In other words, AWS claimed that by putting your data in different availability zones, within one region, was redundant. As far as AWS’ customers were concerned, they didn’t have a single point of failure.Amazon Relational Database Service customers have the option of paying double the regular cost of the service for a multi-zone service: “When you run your DB Instance as a Multi-AZ deployment for enhanced data durability and availability, Amazon RDS provisions and maintains a standby in a different Availability Zone for automatic failover in the event of a scheduled or unplanned outage.”What Happened vs. What Was Supposed to HappenThe mass outage was due to Elastic Block Storage (EBS) service problems in a single Availability Zone. EBS instances can only live in one Availability Zone, but users should have been able to use their snapshots to create a new EBS instance in another availability zone. RDS depends on EBS, but RDS customers paying for multi-zone service should have had their databases failed-over to another zone automatically.However, the “control plane” for creating new EBS instances suffered congestion, preventing any ability to failover either manually or automatically. The current assumption is that it was overloaded by customers who’s initial EBS instance failed. Kidd calls this a “bank run.”The important thing here is that there actually was, unbeknownst to AWS customers, a single point of failure across zones: the control plane. This made AWS unable to fulfill its own failover promises. In fact, RDS customers ended up in worse shape than many others – it took over 14 hours to get many of their databases moved over, longer than those that were able to failover manually.Multi-Region Multi-Vendor DeploymentsSo why not place applications in multiple regions, just to be safe? It’s not that simple. First, AWS charges more for transfers between regions. But more importantly, it’s technologically more complex. Amazon Machine Instances (AMIs) can’t just been moved from one region to another. Justin Santa Barbara writes “The different regions have different features available, different AMI ids, I think reserved instances can’t be moved between datacenters – in reality failover between regions is not realistic.”Barbara writes that it may actually be easier to failover to an entirely separate cloud than to use regions as failover. I’m not sure that’s the case, but regional failover is certainly complicated. And based on the claims made about Availability Zones, would have seemed unnecessary before last week. After all, if each data center in the availability region is a discrete entity insulated from the failures of each other data center, then why would it be necessary add yet another data center in another region? Especially if doing so adds great expense?Chris M Evans recommends using multiple cloud providers. To his credit, he recommended this even before the AWS outage (one of the things that bothers me about the blame the customer crowd is that their wisdom about what customers should have done comes entirely after the fact). Again, however, this adds additional complexity – and with that additional complexity, additional costs and additional risks. To many customers it seemed natural to just live with having multiple Availability Zones instead of multiple providers.Even BigDoor CEO Keith Smith, concluded his widely cited piece on Amazon’s failure to communicate with customers by writing:We can spend cycles designing and building technical belts and suspenders that will help us avoid a massive failure like this in the future, or we can continue to rely on a single huge partner and also continue our break-neck pace of iteration and product development.I can’t tell you today which option we will choose. But I’m sure it will be the question on the mind of many startups across the country.George Reese of enStratus wrote for O’Reilly Media: “In short, if your systems failed in the Amazon cloud this week, it wasn’t Amazon’s fault. You either deemed an outage of this nature an acceptable risk or you failed to design for Amazon’s cloud computing model.”That misses the point. Accepting a certain amount of downtime is one thing, accepting 14 hours of downtime when you’ve already paid extra for redundancy is another. Yes, customers accept a certain amount of risk, but that doesn’t make it their fault when Amazon screws up.Why Didn’t Some Sites, Like SmugMug and Twilio, Go Down?What about the companies that had the good fortune to avoid outages? Aren’t they evidence that it’s the customers’ fault for not setting things up right? Not really. Both Twilio and SmugMug boast about their “design for failure” but the important thing is that neither company relied on EBS. Had these companies been dependent on EBS, they likely would have suffered a similar fate.What About Netflix?What about Netflix? Netflix, as documented by Adrian Cockcroft, does use EBS.Kidd writes about Netflix:Run in 3 AZs, at no more than 60% capacity in each. This is the approach taken by Netflix, which sailed through this outage without no known downtime. If a single AZ fails, then the remaining two zones will be at 90% capacity. And because the extra capacity is running at all times, Netflix doesn’t need to launch new instances in the middle of a “bank run.”It’s not clear how much Netflix uses EBS, but Cockcroft gave a presentation saying Netflix avoids it. This tweet indicates that Netflix is more reliant on S3, SimpleDB and Apache Cassandra than on EBS, but Cockcroft did note that the company was having EBS trouble during the outage.It’s also worth noting that Cockcroft tweeted that Netflix only runs out of one region.It’s The Customers’ Fault Because They Shouldn’t Have Been Using EBS in the First PlaceI love this argument – that it’s customers’ fault for using EBS in the first place. Mashery co-founder Clay Loveless makes this case.AWS has been offering the EBS service since 2008. It’s not considered a “beta” product. Why shouldn’t customers be able to rely on it? True it’s had issues over the years, leading some companies to decide not to use it. But AWS has happily taken money from customers for years now. If it’s a product that isn’t ready for product, AWS should have said so. (Unfortunately for customers, the EBS outage won’t count towards their SLAs.)What the “they shouldn’t have used EBS” argument comes down to is: customers are stupid for trusting AWS to provide the service promised. It’s saying that customers that paid for multi-zone RDS replication should have expected 14+ hours of downtime. If AWS itself were to tell its customers “You should have known better than to trust our service,” we would be up in arms – wouldn’t we?I keep seeing similar arguments. “We shouldn’t blame Dropbox for lying about its encryption, we should blame customers for trusting Dropbox.” “We shouldn’t blame Apple for not giving users control over their location logs, we should blame customers for expecting privacy.” I’m sick of it.It might in fact be true that we can’t expect vendors to provide customers’ what they promise. But that is squarely on the shoulders of vendors, not the customers. And I’m sick of “savvy” pundits putting down customers and excusing failure and bad behavior on the part of companies.Yes, things happen. AWS is run by humans, and humans make mistakes. AWS deserves some forgiveness . But let’s not forget who messed up.How to Fix the ProblemIn the short term, I suspect many customers will move away from using EBS and RDS. In the medium term, infrastructure-as-a-service providers need to come up with a standard system for sharing instances across clouds, whether that’s OpenStack, Cloud Foundry, Eucalyptus or something else. Customers shouldn’t have to choose between trusting only one provider or committing to a complex and potentially unreliable multi-vendor solution. The days of vendor lock-in must come to end. Meanwhile, bloggers, analysts, journalists and other opinion-makers need to put the blame back where it belongs: on service providers that don’t live-up to their promises.(Lead image by Ian)Disclosure: Mashery is a ReadWriteWeb sponsor. Tags:#cloud#Cloud Providers 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… klint finley Related Posts last_img read more

The Green Countertop Dilemma

first_imgDuring a recent visit to Eco6Design in Half Moon Bay, California, I was drooling over all the fabulous “eco” options for countertops. Serious eye candy! Vetrazzo, Fireclay Tile, Stone Age, IceStone, Fuez. I was itching to go home, rip out my pale-avocado-tile-with-black-grout counters and start afresh. After all, at 30-plus years old, they’re beyond dated, they’re scratched and chipped, and the grout is so eroded that we have a well-developed riparian system when we sluice down the counters after cooking.And then, in the quiet of the next morning, before other humans in my household had awoken, my mind drifted back and stalled on the issue that has long frustrated me about countertops; to wit, no matter what they’re made of, they’re inherently non-green inasmuch as they are custom, adhered in place, and worse – they fasten cabinets to walls at the backsplash.Just How Ungreen Are Countertops?Stewart Brand, in his deservedly famous book How Buildings Learn, points out that the materials in a building that are least enduring – whether due to wear, changing technology, or changing fashion – should be most accessible and easy to swap out for new. It follows then that those items also should be those in which we invest the least: money, energy, and resources.With rare exceptions, countertops score horribly on all counts:1. They are appallingly expensive. I came home with a price chart for these wonderful counter options, and the low end is around $30/sq.ft. So new counters for my midsize kitchen would cost upwards of $500 — not including the labor to remove the old and install the new. Call it $1,500. Ouch! Not this year …2. The embodied energy of countertops is typically very high. Most counter materials contain cement, are fired at high temperatures, contain a high percentage of synthetic materials, and/or may travel long distances (probably by truck) to get to their final destination. Obviously, the trade-off is durability. Brand’s admonishments notwithstanding, nobody wants flimsy, cheesy countertops that start to look battered within months. Even so, it’s hard to justify an astronomically high energy investment in materials that are highly subject to the vagaries of fashion and taste – all the more so for a speculative builder, whose choice may be rejected by a buyer and promptly replaced.3. The investment may be disproportionate to the countertop’s longevity. Countertops may not require a lot of raw material in their manufacture, but their high cost is at least a partial reflection of all the resources — materials, labor, and energy — that go into making them.What to Do?Sad to say that, despite pondering this conundrum repeatedly, I have yet to come up with a truly great answer. The ideal solution would be modular (or resizable) rather than unitary, would be installed without glue or grout, and would decouple the horizontal counter surface from the backsplash. This would mean that, however great the investment, it would be readily reusable when removed for whatever reason.Relatively large stone or ceramic tiles (12×12 or 12×24) might work but would require a clever (nonadhering) installation/deinstallation method, which I have yet to encounter. Even so, there would still be seams between tiles to deal with: Hard to imagine a seam sealer that would work well in service but also remove easily when the time came.I suspect the best option is butcher block (FSC or reclaimed, of course), in good-size chunks, installed with screws from below for easy disassembly. Somewhat surprisingly, studies have shown that wooden cutting boards have good antimicrobial properties as well as providing a good work surface, hence their popularity in restaurant kitchens. Restaurant kitchens also provide a clue to a good second option: stainless steel. It’s not modular, but it can be cut easily to any desired length.SinksAnother countertop challenge is the sink cutout, which is problematic from a couple of perspectives: It’s not compatible with modular materials; plus you pay for – and then typically throw away – the material in the cutout area. If I were going to do over my kitchen this year, I would swap out the charmingly vintage avocado undermount sink (which along with the surrounding countertop are the only vestiges of the prior owner’s tasteful 1970s décor – the matching appliances having died welcomed deaths over the past decade) for a sink with integral backsplash and apron. These allow the countertops to butt up against them, eliminating the sink cutout. Hurrah! Problem solved. Well, mostly …The BacksplashI mentioned separating the backsplash from the countertop. Hmmm, another challenge. The reason for not having them separate is to avoid making a path for water to travel from the counter into the wall. In my ideal world, building new, what would I do about that?A. Use non-paper-faced drywall in walls abutting countertops, whether in baths or in kitchens.B. Develop a flashing detail for the joint where the counter intersects the backsplash.C. Assemble the backsplash on an underlayment – off the wall – instead of installing it directly to the wall. Then attach the assembly to the wall in such a way that it could be later removed (probably in sections).That all sounds perfectly reasonable (don’t you think?), but I haven’t actually attempted it. I’m betting there are some readers out there who may have some creative solutions to this dilemma, and I’d love to see them. Please write in!last_img read more

Open-Cell Spray Foam and Damp Roof Sheathing

first_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberscenter_img UPDATED on July 8, 2015Now that insulation contractors have been installing spray foam insulation on the underside of roof sheathing for several years, we’re beginning to accumulate anecdotes and data on successful installations and failed installations. The anecdotes and data are enough to provide a few rules of thumb for designers and builders who want to install spray foam on the underside of roof sheathing.Increasingly, building scientists are investigating why OSB roof sheathing on many spray-foam-insulated roofs stays damp for months at a time. Most of these damp-sheathing problems involve open-cell foam rather than closed-cell foam.I’ve been reporting on wet-sheathing problems arising from the use of open-cell spray foam since 2005, when I wrote two articles on the topic for Energy Design Update (“Vapor Retarders and Icynene,” April 2005, and “Every Failure Holds a Lesson,” July 2005). As originally understood, the problem with open-cell foam was that it is vapor-permeable, and therefore allows moisture in the interior air to diffuse through the insulation and reach the cold roof sheathing during the winter.Five years later, Mark Parlee, an Iowa builder, wrote a seminal article on an Icynene-insulated roof with rotten roof sheathing. His article, “Repairing a Rotting Roof,” was published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Light Construction. One of the factors that contributed to the failure described by Parlee was high indoor humidity.At a recent building science conference in Florida (Conference on Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings XII, December 1-4, 2013), two academic papers were presented that shed light on questions surrounding the moisture content of roof sheathing that has been insulated on the underside with spray polyurethane foam.One paper discussed a field study that found that even in a relatively warm climate (South Carolina), roof sheathing can accumulate moisture when open-cell… last_img read more

Magic use big 3rd quarter to run away from Lakers

first_imgOrlando Magic’s Elfrid Payton, left, scoops up a loose ball in front of Los Angeles Lakers’ Brook Lopez during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)ORLANDO, Fla. — The Magic’s shots went in and the Lakers’ starters went out in the third quarter Wednesday night.Los Angeles never recovered.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points apiece for the Lakers, who never led after the first quarter.When Elfrid Payton’s three-point play gave the Magic a 66-53 lead 93 seconds into the third, Lakers coach Luke Walton yanked all five of his starters out of the game.“I just thought we came out with no energy. (Speights) got a quick 3 and it didn’t feel like our guys were ready to play,” Walton explained. “The message was, look, if you’re not ready to play or you don’t want to play, you’re not going to play. So we went to the second unit. It was a teaching moment.”The Lakers (19-31) never again got the margin under 11.Hezonja hit a 3-pointer, Fournier followed with two more and Jonathon Simmons added two more 3s to help the Magic finish the period on a 22-13 run for a 20-point lead. They led by 29 early in the fourth.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ The Lakers were down by 12 when three straight baskets by Clarkson got them back in the game midway through the second quarter. Speights scored Orlando’s final 10 points of the half, including a couple of 3s.It was a dispiriting loss for the Lakers, who had won eight of 11.“We lost by 30 (actually 22) to the team that has the worst record in the league,” Kyle Kuzma said. “That’s kind of deflating, but give credit to them. They beat us.”TIP-INSLakers: It was Clarkson’s sixth straight game of 15 or more points. … Rookie G Lonzo Ball missed his eighth straight game with a sore left knee. … The Lakers, the worst 3-point shooting team (.327) in the NBA, went 4 of 20 from long range.Magic: F Aaron Gordon missed his second straight game with a strained left hip flexor. Orlando is 2-9 without him. … The Magic shot 54 percent from the field. … Orlando wore new uniforms without the words “Orlando” or “Magic” on them.UP NEXTLakers: Play at Brooklyn on Friday night, the fourth stop on a five-game road trip.Magic: Home on Saturday night against Washington. AFP official booed out of forum Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Wizards’ John Wall expected out 6-8 weeks after knee surgery Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Marreese Speights scored 21 points, Evan Fournier added 19 and Orlando ran away from the Lakers for a 127-105 victory. Winning for only the fourth time in 24 games, the Magic hit a franchise-record nine 3s in a 43-point third period.“The 3-pointer is a momentum shot,” Speights said after making his second start of the season. “You come out and hit a couple like that and you can beat a team easily. You saw that happen in the third quarter.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutOrlando (15-35) was 9 for 13 from behind the arc in its highest-scoring quarter of the season. The Magic shot 18 for 32 (56 percent) from 3-point territory overall.“It seemed like we were going to make every single shot,” said Mario Hezonja, who hit two of his four 3-pointers in the third. “When that happens, you can take a breath and say, OK, we don’t have to go crazy tonight and try to protect anything. We can control the pace of the game. And we did that.” NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Read Next View commentslast_img read more

a month agoWest Ham midfielder Declan Rice targets top 6

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say West Ham midfielder Declan Rice targets top 6by Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham midfielder Declan Rice feels they can push for a top six finish.Rice was speaking after their 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.He said, “If you look at the players we’ve got, without a doubt we should be pushing for top six, like Wolves did so well last season.“Last season, we were going to teams like Wolves and Cardiff and we were losing and that’s what let us down, but this season we’ve started well and we could have gone third, and that was what was in all of our minds.“We’re on eight points and that’s five points better than we had after five games last season, so we see it all as a positive.” last_img read more

Kentucky’s Players Take To Social Media To Thank Fans For Their Support

first_imgDakari Johnson Thank You KentuckyDakari Johnson Thank You KentuckyThursday, seven players from Kentucky’s 2014-2015 squad – Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Devin Booker, Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Dakari Johnson and Trey Lyles – all announced their decisions to turn professional this June. After the announcement – which you can see a clip of here – a number of them have taken to social media to thank Wildcats fans for their support during their stays in Lexington.Check out the posts from Booker, Johnson, Lyles and Aaron Harrison.Thank you #BBN— Dakari Johnson (@SafariDakari44) April 9, 2015Thank You!— Trey Lyles (@TreyMambaLyles) April 9, 2015#BBN for life— Aaron Harrison (@AaronICE2) April 9, 2015BBN, it’s been a privilege to put on the UK jersey for you this season. You have made me one of your own and I’ll never forget my time here.— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) April 9, 2015To my brothers and coaches, no one can ever take away what we accomplished this year. Though things didn’t end like we wanted, we made— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) April 9, 2015history. I feel like it’s time for me to take that next step, but know I’ll treasure my time here forever. #BBN, you’re the best. #Reload— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) April 9, 2015If all seven players are taken in June’s NBA Draft, Kentucky will set a record for number of players drafted from one team.last_img read more