Supporters of fired Colombian workers confront GM

first_imgProtest in Detroit at General Motors shareholders’ meeting in solidarity with Colombian GM workers.Photo: Frank HammerDetroit — For nearly two years members of Asotrecol — the Association of Injured Workers and Ex-workers of General Motors Colmotores — have been living in tents outside the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia. They are still demanding justice for workers who were fired after they were injured on the job in GM’s Colombian plant. After they were fired, GM denied that their injuries were work-related, making them ineligible for workers’ compensation.From September 2012 until March of this year, Asotrecol President Jorge Parra resided in Detroit, trying in vain to meet with GM executives to resolve the situation. When he returned to Colombia, his many supporters here vowed to continue to work in solidarity with Asotrecol.On June 6, a group of activists, most of them rank-and-file union members, demonstrated outside GM world headquarters here during GM’s annual shareholder meeting. Huge letters on poster board spelled out a message that could not be clearer: “GM: workers are not disposable.” The protest received many honks of support and widespread media coverage.Asotrecol sent the following message to the protest:“Dear Compañeros,“It is a great great joy for us to know that we can count on your help and support, to know that even though our countries are separated by far distances, we are united by the same needs and the same dreams of a world that is more just.“We want to let you know that we have been camped in front of the U.S. Embassy for 674 days, 22 months now, in a permanent occupation that has involved many tough days, as you can understand, with many dreams and hopes. Our fellow workers currently inside GM Colmotores enjoy great benefits from what we have been able to achieve together, and your role from the U.S. has been key in this struggle.“GM in Colombia has begun to make big changes that would be impossible to imagine if not for our struggle based on our humble but firm conviction of enforcing our rights. Today we are hopeful that the U.S. Embassy in Colombia will fulfill the commitment it has made to intervene very soon.“Today more than ever, we beseech you brothers and sisters, fellow workers in the U.S., to help us maintain the pressure through all these beautiful protests and expressions of support, like today’s, that are ultimately our only weapon of pressure and justice in getting GM to do right.“Compañeros, beyond that, we wish to express, in our name and in that of our families, our deepest thanks and infinite admiration for your solidarity and the affection that you have always shown us. God Bless you all, brothers and sisters.“Fraternally, Asotrecol — SOLIDARITY HAS NO BORDERS.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Conditions affecting local teams

first_imgIt’s been a season of mixed fortunes so far in high school track and field here on the North Coast, with the weather playing havoc with the schedule.Individually, however, some local athletes have been leaving their mark, mostly at meets outside of the area.“Collectively, it’s been pretty horrible in terms of the weather,” Fortuna co-head coach Norm Sotomayor said. “We’ve missed out on three meets now and I feel like we’re real far behind where we want to be.”The only competition open to …last_img

Tomas Hertl explains game-winning shot: “If you don’t try, you never know”

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceLAS VEGAS — Tomas Hertl figured he’d take a chance.Skating through the neutral zone after taking a pass from Marc-Edouard Vlasic while the Sharks were killing a penalty in the second overtime, Hertl carried the puck over the blue line, dusted it off and beat goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with a wrist shot on the short side from the top of the circle.“When I first get (the puck), I was already a little bit tired. I was …last_img

Shortlist for SA’s top literary awards announced

first_img19 May 2014 South Africa’s literary world gathered in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley over the weekend for the annual Franschhoek Literary Festival, the highlight of the local books calendar. This year, 169 authors entertained thousands of visitors at talks and discussions, readings and workshops leading up to the highlight of the festival, the announcement of the Sunday Times Literary Awards shortlisted nominees. Taking place at an invitation-only cocktail party at Allora Ristorante Classico on Saturday evening, it was the place to see and be seen. The canapes were good, the wine warming and the guests in fine fettle. The weather was the only Grinch at the party, settling in coldly around the shoulders and ears. From 50 books on the long-list, just 10 were selected for the shortlist – five in each category. These are the Alan Paton Award and the Sunday Times Fiction Prize. “The shortlists acknowledge the work of South African authors who have produced outstanding writing,” Sunday Times books editor Ben Williams told the audience. “This year’s non-fiction shortlist features a host of ‘state of the nation books’ in competition with literary biography and investigations into South Africa’s past while the fiction shortlist contains an interesting mix of different genres, including historical fiction, and, in one novel, both speculative fiction and crime. “It is not going to be an easy task selecting the respective winners.” This year is the 25th anniversary of the Alan Paton Award, awarded annually to a book that presents, in the words of the criteria, “the illumination of truthfulness, especially those forms of it that are new, delicate, unfashionable and fly in the face of power; compassion, elegance of writing, and intellectual and moral integrity”. The criteria for the Fiction Prize require that the winning book should be “a novel of rare imagination and style, evocative, textured and a tale so compelling as to become an enduring landmark of contemporary fiction”. Annari van der Merwe, the chairperson of Fiction Prize judging panel and founding publisher of Kwela Books and Umuzi, said: “The picture of our society that emerges from this year’s submissions for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize is not a cheerful one; however, we feel that there are some exceptional books in the running this year. “The novels on the long list explore practically every pressing social ill – corruption, greed, violence, drug addiction, alcoholism, the rape and abuse of women and children, the plight of minorities. By and large, the novels were well-designed and we were also struck by the generally high quality of the technical editing. Judging an award of this calibre is no easy task.”The shortlist The overall winners of both awards will be announced in Johannesburg on 28 June. The shortlisted books for the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction are: A Rumour of Spring: South Africa after 20 Years of Democracy by Max du PreezMy Second Initiation: The Memoir of Vusi Pikoli by Vusi Pikoli and Mandy WienerPortrait of a Slave Society: The Cape of Good Hope 1717-1795 by Karel SchoemanThe Concentration Camps of the Anglo-Boer War: A Social History by Elizabeth van HeyningenRichard Rive: a Partial Biography by Shaun Viljoen The first Franschhoek Literary Festival took place in 2007 with two main objectives: The Shining Girls by Lauren BeukesFalse River by Dominic BothaPenumbra by Songeziwe MahlanguThe Spiral House by Claire RobertsonWolf Wolf by Eben Venter The shortlisted books for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize are: The annual festival runs from Friday to Sunday during the third weekend in May, preceded by the Book Week for Young Readers. The events take place in village venues within a few minutes’ walk of each other – helping to create a vibrant ambience in streets buzzing with book-lovers and book sellers. Restaurants are full and there is chatter in the streets and lanes. The emphasis is on informal discussions and spirited debates between several writers with a chairperson, or one-on-one conversations, and occasional talks, explain the organisers. Starting at 10am and ending at 5pm, up to eight one-hour events run concurrently with half an hour between each. Fringe events include literary and publishers’ dinners, book launches, writing workshops, a school spelling bee, wine writers’ prizes and classical music concerts. One of the main reasons for starting the festival in 2007 was to encourage a culture of reading in the Franschhoek valley, add the organisers. Each seat sold makes a contribution “to the great cause of creating confident readers”. Among other measures, the FLF Library Fund donates books to schools and creches and has a librarian who helps run these libraries. “Weekly visits to the upgraded school libraries by all classes for storytelling and to borrow books, as well as the excitement of author visits during the Book Week for Young Readers, are already improving local reading levels.” To bring together a broad cross-section of mostly South African English-speaking writers and a few distinguished authors from overseas, aiming to present quality events that inspire and inform; andTo raise funds for local community and school libraries, for which the FLF Library Fund was established.last_img read more

Overcoming (high) obstacles

first_imgSome climbing caches are more accessible than others. Those that require ropes, harnesses and other gear can be fantastic, but may be beyond the reach of non-technical climbers. However, geocaches in trees are often suitable for a wide variety of ages and abilities. So what makes for a great tree climbing geocache experience? For many people, tree climbing is a childhood hobby that becomes less attractive as they grow older (and more risk averse). For me, (Rock Chalk) the opposite happened. I grew up in an area without big trees, and played games that kept my feet on the ground. As an adult, I discovered geocaching and the thrill of trying something new: tree climbing caches. I could talk all day about my personal favorite tree climbing experiences, but just a few that come to mind are “Bird House” (Fort Myers, FL) and Secret Squirrel Society (Seattle, WA). I’ve only been up in a few trees outside North America, and the most spectacular of those required special equipment. That’s an entirely different blog post! SharePrint RelatedReach new geocaching heights!March 15, 2016In “Community”Climbing for a SmileyMarch 25, 2014In “Community”Kuş Evi / Bird House (GC4W8G4) — Geocache of the WeekDecember 9, 2015In “Geocache of the Week” Have you ever climbed for a smiley? Share with your Friends:More Tree climbing geocaches are a blast. For me, it’s a combination of adrenaline rush and natural beauty that’s hard to beat. On that note, I can’t stress enough the importance of safety in your pursuit. If at any point you feel you’re taking an unnecessary risk, just stop and return to terra firma. The right tree: It should be sturdy enough for an adult to climb. If the limbs are too thin, it can be hazardous for the geocacher and the tree. (Never damage a tree or other wildlife while attempting to find a geocache.) The right equipment: Even if you don’t need ropes or harnesses, you must wear the correct footwear and other apparel. Flip-flops are a no-no! The right day: Don’t attempt to climb in wet, icy or otherwise dangerous conditions. And be sure to bring a friend. Not just to keep an eye on you, but to take great pictures!last_img read more

Calculating Heating Degree Days

first_img2012-1343,328 — 2,77515.61— 46,518 Using degree daysLet’s say that hypothetical of yours is in Atlanta, and you did the work in the summer of 2013. Then you download my spreadsheet and find your total energy usage for those two years. Let’s keep it simple here and just look at the effect on winter heating bills. Here are the numbers for November through March of the pre- and post-improvement years: 2013-1440,987 -5.4% 3,37212.16 -22.1% 36,237 What is a degree day?A degree day is a combination of time and temperature difference (ΔT). The basic idea behind it is to give you an indication of how much heating or cooling a building might need. (Emphasis on the “might” there.) Degree days are just an estimate of heating and cooling needs, and we’ll look at some of the reasons why you need to keep them in the proper perspective.A good starting place is the simplified† equation for heat flow shown as Equation 1 (see Image #2, below)Now, this equation actually give you the rate of heat flow. In the Imperial system of units that we use here in the U.S., the result will be in BTU/hour. So if we multiply that rate by the time period, as shown in Equation 2 (see Image #3, below), we end up with the quantity of heat flow in BTU.Yeah, I know both equations here use the same variable, Q, for rate of heat flow and quantity of heat flow. The first equation will usually have a dot over the Q in physics or engineering books, but let’s gloss over that and get to the main point here.If we take the (ΔT x t) factor at the end of the second equation and use an appropriate base temperature, we can call the combination degree days. For example, in the U.S. we typically use a base temperature of 65°F when calculating heating degree days. (More about that in Part 2 of this series on degree days.) If the temperature stays constant at 64°F for one full day, that would give us one heating degree day (HDD). If the temperature is 60°F for a full day, we get 5 HDD.Got it? It’s just the difference between the outdoor temperature and the base temperature multiplied by the time it’s at that temperature. Many sources of degree days use the mean daily temperature. Instead of being a constant 64°F or 60°F above, you get the same result if the mean temperature for a day is 64°F or 60°F.Using mean hourly temperatures would be a better approach. Using mean minutely (is that a word?) temperatures would get you even closer. (If you’ve had some calculus, you know where this is headed, right?) The smaller you can make those time intervals, the more accurate will be your result for degree days. (OK, calculus lovers, we’re not going all the way there. Sorry. It is left as an exercise for the reader to do a Riemann sum with your temperature data and limit the size of the intervals to zero yourself.)When we combine ΔT and t like that, we can substitute degree days (either HDD, CDD, or total DD) into the equation. The result is Equation 3 below. This is the form of the equation I used in my recent article on the diminishing returns of adding more insulation. Here’s where the power of normalization shines. If you look just at the reduction in kilowatt-hours, it looks like a 5.4% reduction. When we normalize for the colder winter post-improvement, though, you can see that we really reduced the consumption by 22.1%.That works in the other direction as well. If the post-improvement weather is milder than what you had before, you may think you got a bigger benefit than you really did if you look only at the change in consumption without normalizing to degree days. Finding degree daysMy favorite site for generating degree days is It allows you to generate degree days for whatever base temperature you want to use. (See a discussion of that issue in Part 2 of this series.) I’ve been tracking heating degree days for Atlanta with data from for the previous seven years, and you can see my graph below.You can find degree days in other places as well.The Weather Underground website has tons of weather data, including degree days. Go to their page called Historical Weather and enter your location and the date. Once you get the data, you can select different time frames to see more than one day at a time.I prefer because they base their calculations on more than just the average daily temperature. (I’ll explain further in Part 2.) It’s also easier to get what you want if what you want is degree days. What are degree days good for?I’ve already mentioned one of the uses of degree days, but let’s go ahead and make a list here.Normalizing energy use for changes in weather. This is what I referred to above and will illustrate below. If you make energy improvements to your home, degree days help you discover the real effect of the improvements.Comparing one climate to another. Degree days are one important measure. Design temperatures are another.Comparing the energy efficiency of one home to another home in a different climate. Just as you can normalize to weather changes in one location, you can get a feel for differences in the energy efficiency of homes in different climates. Year         kWh   % Change  HDD  kWh/HDD   % Change   Normalized kWh Complicating factorsIn Part 2 of this series, we’ll go further into the discussion of the base temperature and some other complicating factors. If you want to read ahead, check out the the article, Degree Days – Handle with Care!, on the Energy Lens website.Despite the complicating factors and limitations, degree days are quite a useful invention. Whether you’re a homeowner just trying to understand your energy bills or a home energy pro who wants to know everything, it can be helpful to understand how they’re calculated and what they do. 2013-1440,987 kWhcenter_img Year            kWh Let’s say you did some work on your home to make it more energy-efficient: air sealing, more attic insulation, and a duct system retrofit. You’ve got your energy bills for 12 months before and 12 months after you did the work, and now you want to see how much energy you saved. So you sit down with all 24 months worth of utility bills, convert everything to a common unit if you use more than one type of fuel, and take a look at the numbers.Unless, however, you take into account another important factor, you may be led to incorrect conclusions.You can’t simply compare the total amount of energy you used in the year before and the year after you made the energy improvements. As it turns out, weather changes from year to year, so an abnormally warm winter before the improvements followed by a really cold winter after the work might cause your home to use even more energy than before. But if you adjust for the difference in weather, you should be able to see the effects of the increased energy efficiency.That’s where heating degree days and, to a lesser extent, cooling degree days come in. 2012-1343,328 kWh The reduction in energy consumption is the difference between the two numbers, or 2,341 kWh. At $0.12/kWh, the savings amounts to about $281 per year. Actually, it’s even worse than it first appears because a good chunk of those kilowatt-hours were actually from the natural gas used, and gas is really cheap these days. That’ll push the annual savings down below $200, making the return-on-investment not so appealing. (Of course, the actual ROI includes more than a financial return. With a good home performance retrofit, your home is more comfortable and healthful, too.)We still need to account for the change in weather from one year to the next, though. If we expand the table to include heating degree days and some calculations based on it, we get this: It’s not a unit of timeOne point of confusion for many people is that “degree days” sounds like a unit of time. It’s not. That’s why we can have 5 heating degree days in one day and well more than 365 degree days in a year. Atlanta, Georgia has about 3,000 heating degree days each year (65° F base temperature).It’s not a unit of time. It’s a combination of time and temperature: ΔT x t. RELATED ARTICLES Choosing a Base Temperature for Degree DaysAll About Climate ZonesHow to Perform a Heat-Loss Calculation — Part 1How to Perform a Heat-Loss Calculation — Part 2Energy Modeling Isn’t Very AccurateWhich Building Energy Statistics Make the Most Sense? Q&A: How do deviations in average winter temperature affect energy consumption? Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. Footnote† To do heat flow right, you’ve got to use the full-blown partial differential equation (shown below) because the variables above actually vary over a smaller scale than a whole assembly. The hygrothermal modeling tool, WUFI, solves the full equation numerically and gives you a lot of power to manipulate the inputs…and a lot of opportunities to get screwy answers if you don’t know what you’re doing. The simplified form above is fine for a lot of things.last_img read more

ONE fighter Batolbatol passes away

first_imgLacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ View comments El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Signed under the ONE Championship umbrella for the past three years, Batolbatol has registered a 5-3 record since transitioning from boxing to the world of MMA.His last fight was on May last year where he submitted to Christian Lee at ONE: Kingdom of Champions in Bangkok, Thailand.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsBatolbatol was scheduled to fight Indonesian Sunoto Peringkat at ONE: Conquest of Kings this July before the card was cancelled.In a statement, ONE Championship expressed its grief following the tragic news, which read: “ONE Championship is deeply saddened by his untimely passing. The organization extends its sincerest sympathies and deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Rocky Batolbatol during this very difficult time.” Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES Batolbatol’s fellow fighters also paid him a tribute, with Jenel Lausa writing: “Sana nasa magandang kalagayan ka na ngayon, ‘tol. We miss you so much. God bless. Alam naman namin kasama ka na ngayon ni God.”(I hope you’re in a better place right now, brother. We miss you so much. God bless. We know that you’re with God now.) IDLSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant MOST READ Rocky Batolbatol. Photo from ONE ChampionshipMixed martial arts fighter Rocky Batolbatol passed away on Sunday after figuring in a road accident in his hometown Cagayan de Oro. He was 32.Formal medical reports have yet to be released on his untimely demise.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Australian tennis star Tomic says he has no love for the game National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweetlast_img read more

Spain vs Netherlands: La Roja seek win in World Cup deja-vu

first_imgNetherlands will be eager to avenge their World Cup finals defeat as they take on Spain in Group B tie on Saturday.There will be no love lost between Spain and Netherlands, two of the biggest names in football, as they lock horns for their Group B clash in the FIFA World Cup on Saturday.Netherlands will be looking to avenge their 2010 World Cup finals defeat while Spain will be eyeing a deja-vu of the match result, last time these two met in the tournament.But, a lot has changed since Netherlands 0-1 loss to Spain in the final four years ago. La Roja, attempting to become the first team to retain the World Cup since Brazil 52 years ago (1962), are not the same side anymore.Last year Spain were beaten 0-3 by Brazil in the Confederations Cup final, which could be a sign the reign of Spain is over.Spain coach Vincente del Bosque selected a total of 16 players from the 2010 squad. With an average age of 28 years and 91 days, the Spanish squad is one of the oldest at the World Cup.On the other hand, Netherlands’ squad is one of the youngest of the tournament, with an average age of 26 years and 170 days. Only seven players were already present four years ago: Nigel de Jong, Wesley Sneijder, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Dirk Kuyt, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and reserve keeper Michel Vorm.After the early exit at Euro 2012, Netherlands new coach Louis van Gaal decided to inject young blood in their old and tiring squad by selecting many players of the Dutch Eredivisie. But, his biggest – yet to be proven greatest – contribution to the national team came with the implementation of a new tactical formation of 3-5-2 which suits their star players Robben, van Persie and Sneijder best.advertisementThe new formation will provide Netherlands more defensive security and the front three more or less will have a free role.Though Vincente Del Bosque chose against disclosing his team’s formation for the grueling tie, he has no reason to deviate from the 4-3-3 formation that has won Spain three consecutive major tournaments. He will probably start with Diego Costa as central forward.Despite all the previous facts and shrewd locker room discussions, if these two footballing giants intend to win this tie, it’ll ultimately have to be on the pitch where the ‘nerves of steel’ will be put to test. So, will the Dutchmen succeed in burying the ghosts of their past and embark on an ideal start against their old foe, or La Roja will come out shining once again to prove their critics wrong?Probable Line-up(from):Netherlands(5-3-2): Jasper Cillessen; Daryl Janmaat, Ron Vlaar, Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Daley Blind, Jonathan de Guzman, Wesley Sneijder, Nigel de Jong; Robin van Persie, Arjen RobbenSpain(4-3-3): Iker Casillas; Cesar Azpilicueta, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Xavi; David Silva, Diego Costa, Andres Iniestalast_img read more

Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep retain top spots in men’s and women’s singles rankings

first_imgRafael Nadal retained the top spot in the latest men’s singles Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings ahead of Switzerland’s Roger Federer.Austria’s Dominic Thiem moved one place up to seventh while Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, who was seventh earlier, went down a spot to No.8. Thiem’s win at St. Petersburg Open on Sunday helped him gain a spot in the men’s rankings.Thiem claimed his 11th career title and his first on indoor hard court by winning 6-3, 6-1 over Slovakia’s Martin Klizan in just one hour and eight minutes.Meanwhile, Gilles Simon of France jumped 10 positions to be ranked 29th, after winning the Moselle Open title on Sunday. Simona Halep was knocked out of the US Open in the first round (Reuters Photo)In the latest Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) women’s singles rankings, Romania’s Simona Halep maintained the No. 1 spot ahead of Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki.Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic climbed one spot up to seventh over Japan’s Naomi Osaka, after defeating her 6-4, 6-4 at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, reports Efe.Germany’s Julia Goerges entered the top-10 list after qualifying for the second round of the Wuhan Open tennis tournament in China, by beating Markela Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4).Further down the rankings, Kazakh Yulia Putintseva jumped 16 positions to be ranked 45th, thanks to being a runner up at the Guangzhou International Women’s Open.The current top-10 ATP rankings and point scores are as follows:1. Rafael Nadal (Spain) 8,760 points2. Roger Federer (Switzerland) 6,900advertisement3. Novak Djokovic (Serbia) 6,4454. Juan Martin del Potro (Argentina) 5,9805. Alexander Zverev (Germany) 4,8906. Marin Cilic (Croatia) 4,7157. Dominic Thiem (Austria) 3,8258. Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) 3,7559. Kevin Anderson (South Africa) 3,59510. John Isner (US) 3,470.The current WTA rankings and point scores are as follows:1. Simona Halep (Romania) 8,061 points2. Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) 5,5063. Angelique Kerber (Germany) 5,2954. Caroline Garcia (France) 4,7255. Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic) 4,5856. Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) 4,5557. Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) 4,4758. Naomi Osaka (Japan) 4,3909. Sloane Stephens (US) 3,91210. Julia Goerges (Germany) 3,730.(With inputs from IANS)last_img read more