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Banyana star aims at success

first_imgFresh from the University of Johannesburg‘s triumph in the inaugural Varsity Football competition, Amanda Dlamini speaks about her decision to relinquish the national captain’s armband and her work in the development of women’s soccer.In March, the Banyana Banyana midfielder gave up the captaincy, after two years at the helm, to focus on her own game and her tertiary studies.“It was one of the toughest decisions I had to make regarding my footballing career. It’s something that needed to be done for me to be content with myself, my game and my studies.”Higher education was a priority, said the third-year Road Transport Management student, even for those young women carving out a career in professional sport. “Women’s sport still lacks the sponsorship needed to make a good living. So should anything happen, such as a career-changing injury, one should be able to continue having a full life through your chosen field.”Dlamini is currently back home in Harding, KwaZulu-Natal, while she completes a module via correspondence, and plays for Durban Ladies in the Sasol provincial league.She has already made 66 appearances for the national squad and notched up 21 goals in the process.HIGHLIGHTUniversity of Johannesburg and Banyana Banyana midfielder Amanda Dlamini in action during the inaugural Varsity Football series (Image: Wessel Oosthuizen/SASPA)The highlight of her tenure as captain was leading the first ever Banyana team to qualify for the Olympic Games in 2012.She hopes to still be an integral part of South Africa’s plans to qualify for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup and their quest to win the African Women’s Championship.Earlier this year, this sporting role model established the Amanda Dlamini Girls’ Foundation, which aims to inspire young girls from rural areas to pursue their dreams.“As a rural girl, I know how it feels to be isolated from all sporting activities. Because I have experienced these challenges, I felt the need to go out there and motivate these young girls not to give up, no matter what.”As part of the programme, Dlamini shares her footballing experiences and some of the challenges that female athletes face. She said the emphasis was on balancing education and sport, providing coaching in life skills and football.“We offer career guidance and teambuilding exercises. There’s also something called ‘my sacred space’ – which is where I tell them about my upbringing and relate to them and answer one-on-one questions.”Dlamini, who scored two goals in UJ’s 6-0 drubbing of Tshwane University of Technology, believes it was depth of experience that gave her side the edge in the Varsity Football competition in September. Although the presence of past and present national players like herself, Noko Matlou and Disebo Mametja had no doubt strengthened the side, she preferred to focus on the entire unit.“We work as a team and shy away from focusing on individuals. We work very well as a unit and not as a group of stars. We are always mindful of complacency and therefore work hard at training sessions to complement the massive talent we have in our squad.”ADDING VALUEThe 25-year-old said the Varsity Football series had added great value to the game by ensuring constant competition and providing a visible and equal platform for women’s football.“This shows that women’s sport as a whole is on the rise and being taken seriously.”Dlamini’s greatest ambition is to one day have her own football academy for women. According to her, her own start was slightly less auspicious, following her cousin and brother to the fields where they played.“One day I was asked to play because they were a man short and I grabbed that chance with both hands. At first it was just a hobby – little did I know the only little girl playing with boys would one day get this far.”last_img read more

Higher interest rates and agriculture

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Last month, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen announced a rare hike in interest rates. This was only the second move higher for interest rates since the Great Recession of 2009 and there will likely be more on the way later this year.Interest rates are mostly discussed when it comes to credit cards, mortgages and car loans, but the bump in the interest rates will heavily impact agriculture as well.“It all depends on how farmers are financed,” said Matt Monteiro, Senior Vice President and Treasurer with Farm Credit Mid-America. “A lot of people in agriculture are going to have farm mortgages and over 50% of the time those loans are at a fixed rate so many existing loans will not be impacted, but if a farmer is in the market for additional land the rates will be a notch higher than they were but still low.”When it comes to operating loans for inputs or feed, for example, those loans will be at a higher rate that they were at last year. Many suppliers in the recent past were offering 0% financing and that offer may be a little harder to find in 2017. It’s never a good thing when incremental costs are getting added in to a farming operation’s budget, but rates have been very manageable for a long period of time.“Since the election, the 10-year Treasury has gone up by about a half of a percent,” Monteiro said. “A half of a percent on each $100,000 is about $500 of annual interest expense so markets are still at or near their all-time lows.”If a farmer is looking to borrow money this year it is important to have a clean balance sheet.“My advice would be to pay down some operating loans, if possible, to create some excess capacity for borrowing,” Monteiro said. “It’s also important to have a good game plan and understanding of their operation to be able to show their breakeven point to their lender and show that they have a good handle on their finances.”last_img read more

After the Real-Time Web Summit…What Comes Next?

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… “Real-Time Web Summit was sweet! Thanks for a great event.”- Jean-Paul Cozzatti, Technical Director, AIM LifestreamWe’ve got notes submitted for more than half of the sessions last week, but if you send in yours then everyone else will magically do so as well and then we’ll all have access to documentation of the entire day. Our documentation producer Heidi Nobantu Saul is putting everything together now and is taking notes by email sent to [email protected]: Here Comes Some Heavy-Duty ResearchWe’re also excited to announce that our next premium report will be on the topic of the real-time web and is available for pre-order now. Our first report, the ReadWriteWeb Guide to Online Community Management, was a commercial and critical success (most recently it got nice links from CNN and PBS).This next report should be even better – we’ve interviewed more than 40 companies building or using the real-time web and hundreds of people joined us to discuss various parts of the real-time story at the Summit. All the knowledge we’ve gleaned from all those conversations will be expertly concentrated into one high-value research report that you can pre-order now so you don’t miss it later and can save a nice bit of money.Everyone: Our Next Event!What comes next for the RWW Events Department? We’ve got a couple of things we’re thinking about. We may want to do another Real-Time Web Summit on the East Coast, perhaps in six months. And/or we may do an event on the West Coast about Augmented Reality. What do you think of those ideas? Let us know in comments, we’d really like some feedback.Thanks to everyone who made our first event fabulous, we really appreciate everyone’s help. An extra big thanks to our sponsors – if you found the event useful or of interest, please check out the websites of the people who played a big part in making it proffitable and thus sustainable.We hope you’ll all join us for our next event! At the ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit last week a great time was had by (almost) all and participants are telling us it was one of the most valuable events they’ve been to in a long time. We so appreciate everyone’s support in making it a great event!Now that it’s over – it’s time to talk about what comes next. Below you’ll find some thoughts – you can help us decide what ReadWriteWeb will do to follow up on this first event. Real-Time Web on the East Coast or Augmented Reality on the West Coast? Let us know what you think.Participants: Send in Your NotesFeedback from the Real-Time Web“One day worth three of most conferences.” -Adrian Chan, Social Software UX Consultant“Great coversations. Can’t wait for the next one.” -Mike Nimer, Director of Engineering, Nomee (sponsor) Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Real-Time Web#web marshall kirkpatrick Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Solar Ruling Prompts Industry Jitters

first_imgMore wrangling to followThe SEIA hopes it can present a convincing case to the ITC and the president that new tariffs on solar cells and modules are not in the country’s best interests.“We expect to be front and center in the ITC remedy process, and in the administration’s consideration of this deeply flawed case,” Hopper’s statement said. The New York Times talked with several analysts who said that tariffs would revive solar module manufacturing in the U.S. and prompt foreign producers to open U.S. factories or enlarge factories they have here.But reaction has been mostly negative. Price spikes in anticipation of the ITC vote are already having an impact on planned solar projects, and new tariffs could threaten billions of dollars in solar investments in the Southeast alone, according to a report from Greentech Media. Stephen Smith, the executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, said that utilities in the region are planning to add more than 4,000 megawatts of solar, an investment of more than $4 billion.“All those jobs, property values, and clean energy opportunities are now at serious risk given today’s decision,” he told Greentech Media.A number of interest groups have lined up against the tariffs, including a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, including Republican senators from Georgia and Kansas. The American Legislative Exchange Council, a behind-the-scenes group promoting conservative policy among state lawmakers, the National Taxpayers Union, and the conservative Heritage Foundation also are among the critics.The key decision will be made by a president whose pledge to put “America First” and restore the coal industry to a position of prominence, and that has some industry insiders predicting that new tariffs are all but a sure thing.“[Trump] could easily reward his buddies in the coal industry who would really like to see high-priced solar panels competing with coal for space on the grid,” Clark Packard, a policy analyst and trade lawyer with the conservative think tank R Street Institute, which opposes tariffs, told Politico. “He may just want to stick it to people — your coastal elites who never would have voted for him who are more likely to use solar panels. He’s looking for any circumstance to impose tariffs, it doesn’t seem he cares what they are.” The news was not entirely unexpected, but last week’s ruling that U.S. solar manufacturers have been harmed by cheap imports has opened the door to new tariffs and prompted warnings that job losses and higher prices will follow.In voting unanimously to support a petition from Suniva and SolarWorld Americas, the International Trade Commission (ITC) has started a process that will place a final decision on new tariffs and minimum module prices in the hands of President Donald Trump. The next step is a hearing on October 3 in which the ITC weighs potential remedies. There is a November 13 deadline to send a recommendation to Trump. The president will have 60 days to accept or amend the ITC’s recommendations.In the meantime, an industry trade group is warning of the serious consequences that could result from the “deeply flawed” trade case, brought by the two bankrupt companies under a seldom used provision of U.S. trade law.In a written statement following the September 22 decision, Abigail Ross Hopper, the president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said that Suniva and SolarWorld, both of which have non-U.S. owners, had only themselves to blame for their business problems. Hearings Open on Solar Panel Trade CaseCould a Trade Dispute With China End the U.S. Solar Boom?Large-Scale Solar Power Is Spreading Across the U.S.Solar Jobs Are Booming RELATED ARTICLES “The ITC’s decision is disappointing for nearly 9,000 U.S. solar companies and the 260,000 Americans they employ,” she said. “Foreign-owned companies that brought business failures on themselves are attempting to exploit American trade laws to gain a bailout for their bad investments.” The SEIA has argued that as many as 88,000 U.S. jobs could be at stake.Suniva, on the other hand, said the question was whether the U.S. would continue to have the capability of manufacturing solar panels.“We brought this action because the U.S. solar manufacturing industry finds itself at the precipice of extinction at the hands of foreign market overcapacity,” the Georgia-based company said in a statement. “It will be in President Trump’s hands to decide whether America will continue to have the capability to manufacture this energy source.”last_img read more

Two Rules for Humidity

first_imgWe use that fact to our benefit with dehumidifiers, which run humid air over a cold coil, condensing out a good deal of water vapor. When we’re talking about parts of a building, though, we’d rather not have water vapor condensing on (or absorbing/adsorbing in) materials, whether we’re talking about bathroom windows, crawl space band joists, or vinyl-covered walls. So here are the two rules.Rule 1: Keep humid air away from cool surfacesWhen you’re looking at plans for a building or trying to understand what went wrong in an actual building, a good place to start is identifying where the humid air is and what parts of the building it’s in contact with. If you’ve got a vented crawl space in a humid climate, the humid air is in that crawl space. The dew point of that air could be 75°F or higher. When the living space above is being conditioned, the floor could go below the dew point, depending on how cool the occupants keep the house. But even when the thermostat is at 75°F, the floor could be cooler. If that crawl space air finds any wood or other materials cooled by contact with the space above, those materials could be sucking up water from the humid air.You could have problems in winter, too. The photo below (Image #2) shows the band joist, floor trusses, and subfloor in a crawl space on a cold day. The builder would go on to encapsulate the crawl space to prevent this problem, but they didn’t get the vapor barrier installed in time to prevent this mess. The humid air in the crawl space found cold surfaces everywhere while the house was still being framed.With crawl spaces, you can achieve the separation of humid air and cool surfaces a number of ways. You can encapsulate the crawl space and remove the humid air. Or you could make sure the humid crawl space air doesn’t come anywhere near surfaces that might be below the dew point. Fiberglass batts in the floor won’t get you there. You’ll need to use closed-cell spray foam or put some kind of air barrier (usually rigid foam board) over the bottom of the floor joists.The same applies to every other part of a house. Where you have humid air, you need to make sure there are no cool surfaces. Sometimes those surfaces are cooled by air conditioning. Sometimes they’re cooled by outdoor weather.Rule 2: Keep surfaces warm when they’re in contact with humid airOK, the second rule is really the same as the first one, but in reverse. (Technically, it’s the contrapositive for you logicians out there.) The first rule says where you have cool surfaces (i.e., below the dew point), you need to keep humid air away. The second rule says where you have humid air, you need to keep the neighboring surfaces above the dew point.Think of a wall assembly. Moving from inside the house to outside, the basic assembly consists of drywall, framing/cavity insulation, sheathing, and cladding. Where’s the humid air? In summer, it’s most likely outdoors. If you don’t want outdoor water vapor condensing on your siding or sheathing, you need to make sure those materials don’t go below the dew point. If you’ve got insulation in the walls, you’re most likely not going to have a problem here. Even with no insulation, those walls aren’t likely to be below the dew point unless you’re keeping the house really, really cold.The surface most likely to be at a temperature below the dew point is the drywall. If you’ve got a problem there, you’ve violated Rule 1. That means your wall sheathing isn’t acting as a good air barrier. (The lead photo in this article shows a case where that happened.)The more common example of a Rule 2 violation is condensation on interior side of the exterior sheathing in cold weather. If you keep the air in the home at 70°F and 40% relative humidity, the dew point is 45°F. Normally we wouldn’t consider that to be humid air, but it could certainly find surfaces below 45°F in winter. That makes it a potential source of moisture problems.With the water vapor inside the house and the cold surfaces on the outside, we just need to make sure keep the humid air in contact with only warm surfaces. That means we need good insulation to make sure the drywall stays warm. And we need good air sealing to keep the humid air from getting into the wall and finding cold sheathing.But even those approaches aren’t quite enough for houses in cold climates. Water vapor can move through a wall assembly by diffusion as well as by air leakage. Using continuous insulation outboard of the sheathing solves that problem by keeping the sheathing warmer. Martin Holladay has covered this subject in his article, “Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam Sheathing.” The newer codes also include requirements for continuous insulation in some climates.If you opt for double-stud walls, you’ve got to make sure you have a vapor retarder to slow the movement of water vapor to the cold sheathing. See my article on double-stud walls for more on that issue. Another good resource is Martin Holladay’s article, “How Risky Is Cold OSB Wall Sheathing?”Keeping things dryWater vapor probably gets more attention than it deserves in our discussions of moisture problems in buildings. Bulk water from bad flashing, stupid roof design, and failing gutters cause a lot more problems than water vapor. Still, water vapor does matter. As I write this, condensation is dripping down a bathroom window somewhere and mold is growing in a house with poorly insulated walls and unvented space heaters. If you can identify a problem resulting from humid air, you have two ways to deal with it: keep the humid air away from cool surfaces or keep surfaces warm when they’re in contact with humid air. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. RELATED ARTICLESWhat Is the Ideal Relative Humidity in Winter?Worries About Trapping MoistureAll About Wall RotWhen Sunshine Drives Moisture Into WallsAll About Vapor Diffusion Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam SheathingHow Risky Is Cold OSB Wall Sheathing? Because I’ve written so much about moisture in buildings, I get a lot of questions on the topic. Some are about walls. Some are about the attic. Some are about windows. Some are about the crawl space (which generates the most questions on this topic).The key to answering a lot of those questions boils down to an understanding of how water vapor interacts with materials. Once you know that, it’s easy to see the two rules for preventing damage from humidity.How water vapor interacts with materialsThe first thing to understand is that water vapor floating around in the air gets pulled in by the materials in contact with the air. Let’s ignore the issue of hygroscopic materials here and focus on the effect of temperature. The dividing line is the dew point temperature. When the temperature of a material is above the dew point, we don’t get condensation. When it’s below the dew point, condensation happens. And the lower the temperature of a material, the more water vapor it will pull out of the air.last_img read more