QPR make two changes for the game against fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest, with Pawel Wzsolek and Ryan Manning coming in for Jamie Mackie and Sean Goss.Rangers, not yet safe from the threat of relegation, are still without the injured Grant Hall.Forest are without Jack Hobbs and Zach Clough, but Danny Fox and Mustapha Carayol have been passed fit to play. QPR: Smithies; Perch, Onuoha, Lynch, Bidwell; Wszolek, Luongo, Manning, Freeman; Washington, Smith.Subs: Ingram, Sylla, Ngbakoto, Furlong, Mackie, LuaLua, Furlong.Nottingham Forest: Smith, Lichaj, Worrall, Mancienne, Fox, Cohen, Vaughan, Brereton, Osborn, Carayol, Assombalonga.Subs: Evtimov, Pinillos, Mills, Tshibola, Vellios, Ward, Cash. Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch) x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
8 January 2010Despite earlier doubts about its completion date, the Gautrain rapid rail link between Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton Station will be ready in time for South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup™, says construction consortium Bombela.The Bombela Concession Company has just been given two amounts of R144-million each from the provincial and national governments, and it plans to have the route between the airport and Sandton complete by 27 May. The World Cup starts on 11 June.“The Gautrain consortium and the Gauteng provincial government have come to a resolution to ensure completion of the OR Tambo link and Sandton before the event,” according to a statement from the National Treasury’s Thoraya Pandy.In July 2009, Bombela offered to fast-track construction of this section at a cost of R1.3-billion, but this was refused by the provincial government. Bombela responded by indicating it would find solutions without the extra funding, says Ingrid Jensen, the spokesperson for the Gautrain.The extra R288-million was paid at the end of 2009 and, stresses Jensen, it will not necessarily be used for the completion of the airport link but rather for general construction along the entire route. The amount largely accounts for inflationary costs.“A lot can happen, like construction delays. It is a tight schedule,” she says.In November, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane emphasised that the Gautrain was never a World Cup project, saying that it would be a bonus if the train were ready by 11 June.Good progressConstruction work to the airport station is making good progress. The station concourse is directly linked to the departures level of the adjacent new central terminal building, one level below.“Finishing works within the station concourse shell are approaching completion and electrical and mechanical installations are well advanced. Ticket vending machines and fare gates have been installed and are being tested,” according to the latest Gautrain construction update.“Externally, the platform structures and canopies are substantially complete, with finishing works, including the installation of tinted glass closure screens, currently in progress. Rail tracks have been installed through the station. Construction of the three sets of emergency access stairs located at the ends on the platform is ongoing.”Meanwhile, the 16 kilometres of tunnels running from Park Station in Johannesburg’s CBD to the Marlboro Station in Alexandra are complete. Work on the seven emergency access shafts – in Hillbrow, Riviera, Dunkeld, Rivonia Road, Illovo, and two in Houghton – is ongoing.The 10 Gautrain stations are beginning to look like railway stations, with entrances and exits, stairways, platforms and parking garages taking shape.Delays in construction have been caused by land acquisition issues, delivery and numerous project variation instructions.Source: City of Johannesburg
South Africans at the vin the UK in May 2009.(Image: Homecoming Revolution) Nomsa Mthembu, a 34-year-old South African tourism consultant, has been living in the UK for the past seven years, but now she wants to return home.Before she makes the final decision, boards that plane and flies back, she wants to be sure of potential job opportunities. For this she’s banking on the 2010 Homecoming Revolution London event taking place at the Kensington Olympia Conference Centre on 20 and 21 March.“I am looking forward to going to the conference, I would like to know what companies are offering jobs and I’m willing to talk to people,” said Mthembu, who graduated with a BA Honours in travel and tourism management from the UK’s Derby University in December 2009.“I am expecting to get more information from companies and generally find out what is going on back home.”The annual event, now in its fourth year, will host about 38 South African companies offering job opportunities and recruitment programmes for suitably skilled expats. “We’ve got great companies coming with us to recruit South Africans who want to come back home,” said Brigitte Lightfoot of the Homecoming Revolution.The event – boasting speakers such as University of Pretoria Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Cheryl de la Rey, Bafana Bafana captain Aaron Mokoena and a range of company executives – has attracted high-profile corporates such as Eskom, South African Breweries, the CSIR, First National Bank (FNB), Nedbank, Group Five, Investec Bank and many others.“The companies are coming mainly to recruit … it’s also an opportunity for them to tap into new skills,” Lightfoot said.South African recruitment agencies will also be there to broaden the scope, she added.Bite of UK recessionMthembu, who was born in KwaMashu in KwaZulu-Natal, currently lives and works in Manchester. She relocated to further her studies, and said she was offered jobs there even before she graduated.“At the moment I work in the hospitality industry, which I love,” she said. “I have been working and studying at the same time – it has been hectic.“If I had my way I would come home tomorrow, I am tired of running around like a headless chicken.”But Mthembu said she doesn’t “regret coming here, [as] I have achieved so much academically and financially”.Her desire to return home is driven by ambitions to advance in and contribute to South Africa’s growing tourism industry, she said. “It takes time to get a promotion at work here – unlike back home.”She said she’s noticed that job opportunities in the UK have shrunk somewhat due to the recession, which hit the UK hard in late 2008.Interest in the Homecoming eventMthembu said most South Africans she knows in the UK have bought tickets and she’s predicting a full house in Olympia.“It will be full – I can promise you that. Everyone I know has bought tickets for the event,” she said. “People want to go home, there is no place like home.”Last year’s event, also held in London, attracted about 1 200 South Africans. Lightfoot said she’s sure the 2010 turnout will be even better. “It’s really exciting this year,” said Lightfoot, who previously lived in the UK for six years.Reversing the ‘brain-drain’The Homecoming Revolution is an NGO that encourages and helps South Africans abroad to return home. Supported by FNB, the organisation helps address the skills shortage in the country, which spiked in the 1990s.“We’ve seen an increase in the number of people wanting to come back to South Africa,” Lightfoot said. “We get a lot of enquiries about South Africa from people abroad.”Besides facilitating the journey back home, the organisation also helps expats find jobs through its online careers portal.‘SA tourism booming’There are plenty of opportunities in South Africa’s growing tourism industry, Mthembu believes. In 2008 the industry contributed R25.8-billion (US$3.3-billion) to the national GDP, attracting about 42.5-million local and international tourists.“South African tourism is big,” she said. “I learned more about it when I came here. Even though I worked in the travel industry back home, there are some issues I did not know about.”She now has a greater understanding of the various multinationals that own hotel chains in South Africa, which has helped her assess the scope of opportunities back home.“I have travelled to Spain, Italy, Germany and Greece and – guess what – South Africa has got the best five-star hotels,” said Mthembu.
Peter Danube is planning to build a detached workshop in northern Delaware, a Climate Zone 4 locale. The 20-by-32-foot building will be constructed on concrete piers, rather than on a slab or over a crawlspace, and therein lies the dilemma. How should he insulate the floor? “It is important that the shop have a warm wood floor and the project has to be something I can build myself,” Danube writes in a Q&A post. “I would like the building’s heating and cooling to be as efficient as possible and would like to apply best practices in building efficiency given this situation. ” Danube explains that the bottom of the floor assembly will be too close to the sloping ground underneath the shop to allow him to insulate from below. Instead, as the drawing at the top of this column shows, he wants to do the job from above, after the floor has been framed. First, he would install pieces of 1/2-inch pressure-treated plywood between the joists. Next, mineral wool between the joists; and finally, a continuous layer of 1 1/2-inch-thick foam on top of the joists to slow down thermal bridging. The shop floor will be made from tongue-and-groove OSB 3/4 inch thick.RELATED ARTICLESRigid Foam InsulationA Green Building Workshop in NebraskaIn Vermont, an Energy Retrofit WorkshopChoosing Rigid Foam An alternative would be to add 2×4 sleepers across the tops of the joists on 24-inch centers and fill the voids in between with extruded polystyrene (XPS) foam. The floor could be laid over the 2x4s. “The above plan (and even the alternative) will allow me to set my joists and build everything from the top as I do not have access to the underside of the joists for attaching foam or plywood directly,” he says. “Over what little space there is available under the building, I intend to put down a permeable fabric on the ground and cover that with a few inches of gravel.” Is this plan Danube’s best option? That’s the topic for this Q&A Spotlight. The foam needs to go on the bottom While Malcolm Taylor acknowledges that working that close to grade is a pain in the neck, he also warns Danube that his initial approach won’t be successful. “Foam doesn’t have sufficient compression strength to be placed over the joists without a subfloor underneath,” Taylor says. “It will crush. Unfortunately, the place for the continuous foam is on the underside, where you don’t have easy access.” Taylor’s solution is to build the floor upside down in sections, then flip them over to create the finished floor system. The continuous layer of foam would be on the bottom of the assembly, protected by plywood. He suggests dividing the floor into four sections, perhaps small and light enough to be handled by Danube and a couple of helpers. If Danube works by himself, dividing the floor into even smaller sections would be an option. Sharpening his pencil, Danube figures each of those four sections would weigh about 1,000 lb., and flipping them over would require “several friends and some frosty beverages.” He produces a modified construction sketch (see the image below) that incorporates Taylor’s suggestions and breaks the floor into eight 500-lb. pieces to make them easier to handle. This is the wrong approach “I have a lot of respect for Malcolm’s experience,” writes GBA Editor Martin Holladay, “but I don’t recommend the approach he’s endorsing. There are a lot of problems with wood-framed buildings with floor joists close to grade. Buildability is only one of them. You need access under your joists for a variety of reasons.” Holladay has two other bones to pick with the plan. First, Danube should not place a permeable fabric over the ground under the shop. It should, instead, be a vapor barrier — perhaps EPDM roofing, a pond liner, or polyethylene sheeting. Second, placing the entrance to the shop on the uphill side of the building so that it’s at grade level is a mistake because it puts earth in contact with the floor framing. He could raise the level of the entrance a foot or so and build a long wheelchair ramp up to the entrance, but even this doesn’t seem like a good idea. “Here’s my rule,” he says. “Only build a crawlspace if it is high enough for a human being to access for maintenance purposes. If you don’t have enough room for an adequate crawlspace, you need a slab.” A framed floor close to grade is always a second-best option, Taylor replies, adding, “However, the downsides are mitigated in outbuildings which typically don’t include plumbing or mechanical systems, and if you decide to build that way, the method I describe yields good results.” A way to keep water away from the entrance Given Holladay’s comments about keeping earth away from the floor framing near the entrance, Danube says that he may build an overhang from the main roof and frame a 10-foot-deep deck below it. The idea, he says, is that replacing deck parts would be easier than floor parts if contact with soil causes problems. He also plans to rest the floor sections on girders, and thereby gain a little more room under the building than he had originally thought. There will be no plumbing or wiring under the shop, so he does not foresee the need to crawl around under the floor. “I like your idea of upping the ground cover to a pond liner under the floor,” he says. “That eases several concerns. I will probably run buried perforated pipe across the high side of the slope ahead of the building to deal with any water that might one day come through this part of my yard. I would probably also tie my downspouts into such a drain.” Reconsider your choice of foam Another concern is Danube’s choice of rigid foam. XPS is manufactured with a blowing agent with a high global-warming potential, Holladay points out, while expanded polystyrene (EPS) is not. Although XPS has a slightly higher R-value per inch than does EPS, its chemical makeup often makes it a second choice among green builders. The trouble is, Danube has a ready supply of XPS close to home while EPS is a special order item. Further, a change in the formula for XPS Danube has read about will make this type of rigid foam environmentally friendlier by 2020. If he delays construction, that would be an option. Dana Dorsett points Danube to a source of reclaimed EPS and polyisocyanurate not too far away from where he lives. Repurposed Materials seems to have a good inventory of polyiso in stock, which could be used in the shop walls, he says. “There are many foam reclaimers out there, but it takes some sleuthing to figure out where they are in your local area,” Dorsett adds. One company to check with is Nationwide Foam. Permeable or impermeable ground cover? Holladay has already weighed in on the choice of a ground cover under the shop (a vapor-impermeable barrier), but Peter Engle disagrees. “If the space under the building is going to be open to the outside, I don’t think it matters much whether you use a permeable or impermeable ground cover,” Engle writes. “My preference would be a permeable one. With impermeable ground covers, I often see water pooling on top of the cover, due to blowing rain, surface drainage and/or condensation. Ponds under your building will just breed mosquitoes.” He suggests grading and raking the soil before putting down the ground cover. A smooth, slightly crowned surface will shed water to the outside of the building. Holladay still thinks Danube would get a better night’s sleep if an impermeable material separated the floor system from moisture-retaining soil. “A compromise would be to use a vapor-impermeable membrane on the uphill side of the crawlspace, and a vapor-permeable membrane on the downhill side of the crawlspace,” he says. Think concrete Walter Ahlgrim has two more thoughts on the project: Danube might reconsider his use of wood framing for the floor altogether and go with concrete instead, and make the building two full stories instead of the original plan of 1 1/2. Today’s formulations for pressure-treated wood haven’t been around for very long, he says. “We have no history to tell us how the new formulas will hold up in 50 or 100 years,” he says. “Some of your wood will be very close to the ground. Consider what would be necessary to replace that wood.” His objections to 1 1/2-story buildings have to do with the difficulty of air sealing the ceiling properly. Although Danube faces some deed restrictions on height, Ahlgrim suspects the plans could be tweaked enough to satisfy local building officials. Our expert weighs in GBA Technical Director Peter Yost also had some thoughts: The part of the structure I am most concerned about is the uphill side. Water management details there are more important than whether the sloped grade underneath your structure includes a vapor-permeable or vapor-impermeable barrier. On a similar project we used metal grating to transition from finished grade to the structure for a fully draining clean break. In terms of which rigid insulation to choose, there’s excellent GBA guidance here. For EPS, there is a really wide range of materials that various materials suppliers carry. Here is a link to an EPS industry document with a useful summary and properties table: Compressive Strength of EPS. Standard XPS has a compressive strength of 25 psi, almost certainly adequate for this workshop. But if compressive strength is a big concern (particularly if you wanted to create a thermal break between the structure and each concrete pier), there is always Foamglas, rated at 90 psi. Any exposed rigid foam (except for Foamglas) should be wrapped in insect screening. Finally, capillary breaks are important at the top of each concrete pier. When I built my SIP kitchen addition I used a sturdy membrane as the capillary break at each pier (in the photo below, you can see the bright blue membrane cap break between each 6-by-6 pressure-treated post and the concrete pier).
lauren orsini Tags:#DARPA#DARPA Robotics Challenge#robotics#Virtual Robotics Challenge 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Related Posts At DARPA’s Virtual Robotics Challenge (VRC), everyone’s a winner.You might think I’m being folksy here, given how when robots are capable of saving our lives in disaster situations, it’s a pretty good thing for all of humankind. While that’s almost certainly true, the VRC took it more literally. The original plan was to run 26 university-affiliated robotics teams through three virtual trials to produce six winners. In the end, members of nine different teams were awarded advancements.What happened? According to a DARPA release, several team mergers and no small amount of “good sportsmanship” were involved. Over the past two weeks, the 26 teams have been judged by their abilities to program a simulated ATLAS robot to complete several skills that would be mega-useful in a disaster situation, especially since they’re all things that would be hazardous for humans. What’s more, DARPA limited communications and vision between the team and the robot, to better reflect the difficulties first responders might face in a real disaster. Watch the video to see an overview of the three scenarios in action:The teams all used the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF)’s Gazebo simulator because, as CEO Brian Gerkey predicts, it should translate easily to programming on an actual robot. “If you come up with a winning solution for [the simulation], then the software that you’ve written for it should, for the most part, transfer to a physical robot in a physical environment and produce qualitatively the same results,” he said in a VRC media roundtable discussion. The original plan was to award the six winning teams six ATLAS robots with which to advance to the physical part of the DARPA robotics challenge, this December. But with members of nine teams advancing, it’s a little different. One of the winning teams, Caltech, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, chose to use its own robot and donate its ATLAS to another team. Two other teams merged, and were awarded a seventh ATLAS robot from Hong Kong University. In total, seven teams (comprised of members of nine original teams) will be competing. Whew! While seven teams advanced, that doesn’t mean they all did equally well. The top performance came from the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola, Fla., with 52 points. The next team to even come close to that was Worcester Polytechnic Institute, from Worcester, Massachusetts, with 39 points. The lowest amount of points a team earned – that had members still advance – was 23 points.Those score numbers are based on rankings that show how many tasks the team completed, how fast the team completed the task, and how many bits of information they used to communicate with the robot.Over the next few weeks, DARPA will be publicizing the teams’ performances on its YouTube channel, and then we’ll really be able to see what the difference between a 52 and a 23 looks like. Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Why You Love Online Quizzes How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees?
Women’s 20’s FinalBrisbane City Cobras 3 defeated Sunshine Coast Pineapples 1Player of the Final – Tara Sheppard (Brisbane City Cobras) Women’s Open FinalSouth West Queensland Swans 6 defeated Brisbane City Cobras 3 Player of the Final – Emilee Cherry (South West Queensland) Mixed Open FinalBrisbane City Cobras 12 defeated South Queensland Sharks 6 Female Player of the Final – Renee Fraser (Brisbane City Cobras) Male Player of the Final – Dylan Hennessey (Brisbane City Cobras) 26 teams from right across Queensland converged on the Palm Beach Touch Fields on the Gold Coast from Friday to Sunday to take part in the 2012 Queensland State Championships. With three days of exciting games concluding on Sunday, the massive weekend of Touch Football saw some of Queensland’s best players battle it out. The Brisbane City Cobras finished the event with wins in three divisions, the Men’s 50’s, Women’s 20’s and Mixed Open, while South West Queensland took out the Women’s Open final and the Central Queensland Bulls were one touchdown winners in the Men’s Open division final. The results of the event are below:Men’s Open FinalCentral Queensland Bulls 5 defeated South Queensland Sharks 4Player of the Final – Dan Withers (Central Queensland Bulls) Men’s 50’s Final Brisbane City Cobras 5 defeated Sunshine Coast Pineapples 4 Player of the Final – Geoff Garrick (Brisbane City Cobras) Related LinksQLD State Champs
BSkyB’s over-the-top movie service Now TV is now available on the Microsoft Xbox games console platform. Registered Now TV customers will be able to access the service via the Xbox at no extra cost, allowing them to stream movies to their TV screens. Now TV customers are allowed to register up to two devices through which they can access the service.The Xbox version of the service will allow users to view movies at 720i resolution and access all 11 Sky Movies live channels if they take up the Sky Movies Pass option. Xbox users will be able to find the App on the homepage for instant access to the service. Kinect for Xbox 360 owners will also be able to navigate using voice and gesture controls.Now TV has already launched on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, some Android smartphones and on the YouView connected TV platform. Sky said it was also developing versions for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Roku streaming player platforms.The service currently offers a Sky Movies pass option, giving access to over 600 titles for £15 (€19) after a 30-day free trial, and ‘pay and play’ access to over 1,000 movies through the Sky Store, with prices ranging from £0.99 for library titles to £3.49 for new releases. Sky has said it will add sports content including Premier League football, the UEFA Champions League, England Test cricket, Heineken Cup rugby, ATP tennis and the golf Masters from Augusta by the end of the year, with shows from Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts and Sky Living to follow.