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first_imgIt seems odd to be thinking about next winter’s heating already, but a lot of us are. While the pre-buy contracts for heating oil last winter were for about $2.25 per gallon, it looks like the price this coming winter will be double that, and local companies aren’t even offering pre-buys. So you could be paying even more come January or February. Filling a 275-gallon oil tank today costs over a thousand dollars. It’s scary.Ten years ago, an average family in New England was spending about four percent of the household budget on energy; today it’s more like 20%. For lower-income homeowners and renters, that percentage can be far higher. And a lot of residents in the area are not going to be able to afford to heat their homes. This has a lot of us very concerned; the Dummerston Energy Committee (Vermont) has been focusing intensively on these concerns over the past couple months.What can we do about it? How can we contain these rising costs of energy—not only for heating our homes, but also for powering our electric appliances and driving to work?Well, there’s a lot that can be done. In this weekly column, I’ll share strategies for buttoning up your homes, choosing more efficient lights and appliances, and using less gasoline to get around. Each week I’ll pick a specific topic, provide some background, then offer practical solutions to save energy and money. Most weeks, I’ll focus on low-cost measures that are easy to implement, but I’ll also address bigger, more involved projects that offer significantly greater savings potential.We would be in a lot better shape today, had our policy makers heeded those calls for better energy planning 20 or 30 years ago—maintaining President Carter’s leadership on conservation and renewables in the mid-1970s, for example. But instead of looking back at the missed opportunities, we need to look ahead as we deal with the prospect of $5 per gallon heating oil, even higher propane prices, $50 fill-ups at the gas station, and likely increases in electricity prices in the years ahead. What can we do about it?While this column will focus each week on a specific strategy for containing our energy costs, I’ll start out this week with a top-10 list. Since heating costs are what’s on the mind of many of us, I’ll provide a list of ten things that you can do this summer to reduce your heating costs. This is by no means a comprehensive list. It’s a sampling of the opportunities that are out there for saving energy. I’ll leave the details of these measures to future columns—so stay tuned. 1. Get an energy audit of your house. If you’re a renter and pay for fuel, ask your landlord to have an energy audit done. An energy audit will identify where energy is being wasted and provide advice on what to do about it.2. Weatherize your house. Dealing with air leakage is usually the easiest way to reduce heating costs—and improve comfort.3. Install a programmable thermostat (or thermostats) that will allow you to set back temperatures in your house at night.4. Have your furnace or boiler tuned up. At the same time, ask if the nozzle can be downsized to improve energy performance.5. Install storm windows or replace your windows with high-performance models. If you can’t afford either of these options, install a plastic layer on the interior to reduce heat loss.6. Add more attic insulation. If you have an unheated attic, adding additional insulation is relatively cheap and almost always cost-effective. Cellulose is usually the best option.7. Deal with moisture problems. In tighter houses, there is risk that moisture can accumulate. If you have a wet basement, get it fixed with proper drainage. Install and use (quiet) bathroom fans to ventilate moisture from showering, and use your kitchen range fan when cooking.8. Close off parts of your house that aren’t actively used. With forced-air heating, hot-air registers can be closed to these spaces; with baseboard hot water, special valves and piping can be installed to bypass baseboard convectors.9. Replace your showerhead(s) to reduce hot water use. While this isn’t about space heating, if you heat your water with a tankless coil or indirect water heater (operating off the gas- or oil-fired boiler), cutting your hot water use will reduce your fuel use significantly.10. If you heat with wood, get it stacked under cover as soon as possible so that it will be adequately seasoned to burn with optimal efficiency and minimal pollution.last_img read more


first_imgLearn how to get professional looking diffused light in this helpful DIY tutorial.Diffused light is great. It’s easy to work with and very forgiving, making it perfect for indie-film productions. However, getting good diffused light can be tricky.When it comes down to picking the right diffusion panel to use on your video productions you normally have to decide between good or cheap. However, in the following tutorial we will take a look at how to create a quality DIY diffusion panel for as little as $30. To create this DIY panel you will need to pick up a few things, but they’re inexpensive and you will definitely be able to use them on future projects.You will need:1. 4 Canvas Stretcher BarsPrice: $8-$20 for 42. White Gaffers TapePrice: $20 for an entire whole roll3. Diffusion PaperPrice: $80 for an entire 25 foot roll4. Glue or Double sided tapePrice: $2.20 a rollOne thing I love about this DIY diffusion panel project, you don’t need to own any expensive tools to make it. If you have any tips for making this diffusion panel better please share in the comments below.This video was first shared by Tony Roslund on his Vimeo channel. Thanks for sharing Tony!If you want to learn more about creating DIY diffused light check out our post on DIY Book Lighting. Or if you want a quick fix you can always buy a 5-in-1 reflector for about $17 on Amazon. The reflector has a circular diffusion panel inside, making it a great tool for any set.Have any lighting tips to share? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more


There should have been a major announcement in some posh setting, maybe even a boxing ring in Las Vegas, with confetti ready to fall from the rafters and luminaries in the audience. That’s how a champion like Evander Holyfield should go out – with the people he entertained celebrating an accomplished body of work in general, and the heart of the man as a fighter in particular.Instead, there is no fanfare. Instead, most are saying, “Thank God. Finally.”Holyfield is 50, having fought probably 13 years past when he should have quit. The courage that he showed in being a smaller man fighting as a heavyweight was not matched by the wisdom to sit down when it was time. Worse, when those around him even questioned if he should continue, he fired them.For the past decade or more Holyfield, instead of existing as an exalted former champion, has been considered a misguided, delusional, punch-drunk ex-fighter desperate to compete when he was far beyond his prime. In his last 16 fights, mostly against boxers you’ve never heard of, Holyfield is  8-7-1 with a no contest. All of these came when he was 37 or older – a time when he should have gone back to school or spent his time fishing. Sad, that.His career record of 44-10-2 (one no contest) is more sparkling than it suggests. When he elevated in class from cruiserweight to heavyweight, a young, swift and determined Holyfield defeated elite fighters such as Riddick Bowe, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Ray Mercer, Michael Moorer and Michael Dokes. Of course, his two victories over Mike Tyson are what set him apart.He pummeled Tyson in their first match, November 9, 1996, stopping him in the 11th round. A 24-1 underdog, Holyfield was atop the boxing world. They fought again in 1997, the infamous night Tyson resorted to biting off a portion of Holyfield’s ear because he could not compete with him.Two years later, Holyfield lost a second time to Lennox Lewis in a fight in which he made the bigger, younger man fight until the final bell. In truth, that was Holyfield’s last hurrah.He kept fighting, but accomplished little in the ring. He wanted to become a five-time heavyweight champion, but lost to someone named Nikolai Valuev, a 7-foot WBA champion from Russia. That was four years ago or nine years after his last commendable effort.If you ask him today, 48 hours from when he turns 50, he would say he could still take one of the heavyweight belts. But he’s only fooling himself. Most places around the world would not even sanction a fight featuring Holyfield, although his body remains the envy of most men.“The game’s been good to me and I hope I’ve been good to the game,” Holyfield said to Sports Illustrated. “I’m 50 years old (on Friday) and I’ve pretty much did everything that I wanted to do in boxing.”He made more than $200 million in the sport. But he also has squandered most of it. He pays more than $500,000 a year in child support of his 11 children fathered among nine women. His lavish compound south of Atlanta that featured 17 bathrooms, three kitchens, a bowling alley, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, fishing ponds, etc., is his no more, devoured in foreclosure.Much of his money also went to charity. He had a big heart. At his home each July 4th he would host hundreds of youths, providing food, games and entertainment, capped with a fireworks show when the sun dropped. He did not have to do it, but he did it because he felt it was his obligation to be a part of the community, a regular guy with extraordinary resources.In the end, Evander Holyfield will be remembered as a boxer of utmost resolve and determination, The Real Deal. His personal life has not been so prolific. But he still has some living to do to determine the final arc of who he is as a man.Curtis Bunn is a best-selling novelist and national award-winning sports journalist who has worked at The Washington Times, NY Newsday, The New York Daily News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. read more


first_img Bahamas DPM Turnquest, as IDB Governor, Talks Technology and Climate Change Resilience at IDB Conclave Related Items:jamaica, ministry of agriculture, roger clarke Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, Sept. 10 (JIS);The brightly shining sun belied the somber mood, which hung over the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston today (September 10) as the body of the much beloved late Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, arrived in the island.There was hardly a dry eye among the throng of Cabinet Ministers, Government officials, and family members in attendance, as the casket, draped in the Jamaican flag, was carried by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) past the honour guard created by the mourners, from the airplane to the hearse on the tarmac.Mr. Clarke died on August 28, 2014 while returning to the island from the United States, where he had gone for back surgery. The Government Ministers, led by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, raised their voices in unison as they belted out renditions of various hymns including “Great is thy faithfulness”, “How great thou art”, “I will go without a murmur”, “God will take care of you”, “Precious Lord lead me home”, while they awaited the arrival of Mr. Clarke’s body in the departure lounge. The singing resumed as the casket was placed in the hearse. Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites offered prayers, after which the Lord’s prayer was recited. Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, who was in attendance, said it was a “very sad occasion.”Speaking with JIS News, Mr. Clarke’s driver of 10 years, Easton Stewart expressed sadness that “my boss gone leave me”.“He was a good man to me and he always stood by my side. I loved him. I took him all over Jamaica,” he said, adding that he will just have to be strong with God.Mr. Clarke has been accorded an official funeral, which will be held on Saturday, September 13, at the St. George’s Anglican Church, Savanna-la-Mar, in Westmoreland. Interment will follow at a family plot in Glen Islay in Williamsfield.Mr. Clarke’s body has been transported to Manchester, where it will be housed at Lyn’s funeral home until tomorrow (September 11) when it will be available for public viewing across the island until Friday (September 12).On September 11, the body can be viewed at the People’s National Party (PNP) Headquarters, 89 Old Hope Road, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.,; on Friday, September 12, at the Sharon Baptist Church in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon; and the Mannings High School in Savanna-la-Mar, in Westmoreland, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on the same day.A wake will also be held on September 12, at Independence Park, in Savanna-la-Mar. Two boys die, bicycle and van collide in St. Catherine, Jamaica Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Jamaica’s Senate Begins debate on National Identification and Registration Bill Recommended for youlast_img read more

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