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  • The Latest: US Tennis Association says best to not play now

    first_img___Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce says team employees have been tested after exhibiting symptoms for the new coronavirus. He says no players or members of the coaching staff have shown any symptoms or been tested. Pierce said Friday he doesn’t know the identity of those who were tested. He said at least 18 or 19 days have passed since any members of the team would have had contact with the employees.“Everyone that has been tested, the symptoms they had or reported, they do feel better,” Pierce said. He said he has “become a master of this Zoom app” while having video conferencing with players, assistants and other NBA coaches. Following a video conference meeting of all 20 Serie A clubs on Friday, the league said “it will await the decrees from the government and place in primary consideration taking care of the athletes’ health and all people involved.”___Officials say they’re working to find a new date for the Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown.The Maryland Jockey Club and Stronach Group announced Friday that whenever the Preakness is run in 2020, it will go on without infield activities that had been one of the race’s biggest traditions. The Preakness was scheduled for May 16 in Baltimore.The organizations say in a joint statement finding a new date for the Preakness “will take into consideration all of the recommended best practices from local and governmental health authorities to protect our community.” The Kentucky Derby was postponed from May 2 to Sept. 5. No decision has yet been made on the Belmont Stakes, which is scheduled for June 6 at Belmont Park in New York. ___Company-wide layoffs by NASCAR on Friday were part of previously planned restructuring. NASCAR did not reveal the number of employees affected. NASCAR “centralized” Iowa Speedway by dismissing most of its staff to instead use the employees from Kansas Speedway. That track is roughly four hours away from Iowa Speedway. The personnel changes were planned as part of restructuring from last years’ merger of NASCAR and track operator sister company International Speedway Corp.NASCAR already has issued pay-cuts to its entire organization. It last week cut executives’ salary 25%, and 20% for other employees as stock car’s sanctioning body adapts to the new coronavirus pandemic. The 38-race NASCAR schedule is the longest in sports spanning nearly 11 months and the season was suspended four races into the year. The next publicly scheduled race is May 9 at Martinsville Speedway, but Virginia is under a state-at-home order into June. NASCAR has privately floated to teams revised 2020 schedules but not announced anything about rescheduling its races.___ The Southeastern Conference is extending its ban on practices and organized gatherings through the end of May. The statement from the organization that runs the U.S. Open Grand Slam tournament said there have not been specific studies about tennis and the COVID-19 illness.But there is “the possibility” that germs could be transferred among people via sharing and touching of tennis balls, net posts, court surfaces, benches or gate handles.So the USTA wants players “to be patient in our return to the courts.”In the meantime, the group encouraged people to create what it termed “tennis-at-home” variations.The U.S. Open is still scheduled to start Aug. 31 in New York. Visa is another major sponsor and has also told its global roster of nearly 100 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls that it will extend sponsorships through 2021.___World Triathlon has extended its suspension of all events from the end of April to the end of June because of the coronavirus outbreak.The latest events to be called off include the Yokohama leg of the world series, three African Cups, three American events, four Asian Cups, one event in Oceania and eight in Europe.World Triathlon president Marisol Casado says “the suspension of all activities doesn’t mean at all that we stop working” on finding alternative dates. Associated Press ___The WNBA has postponed the start of its season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league was set to open training camps on April 26 and the regular season was to begin on May 15. The WNBA will still hold a “virtual” draft on April 17.Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement. “While the league continues to use this time to conduct scenario-planning regarding new start dates and innovative formats, our guiding principle will continue to be the health and safety of the players, fans and employees.” The WNBA, which was set to begin its 24th season, is the longest running professional women’s sports league. Police say the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist was among those detained at a police station in Iten, one of Kenya’s famous high-altitude towns where distance runners train. They were in breach of a 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. The group included a local politician.Kipsang, who is also a police officer, was provisionally suspended this year from track and field and charged with doping offenses that include tampering with doping samples. He has also won the New York, London and Berlin marathons.Twelve athletes were arrested in Iten earlier this week for breaching Kenyan government regulations on social gatherings during the COVID-19 crisis. The runners were arrested for training in a group, which has been banned in Kenya. Training camps have been shut down and athletes must train alone.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The Latest: US Tennis Association says best to not play now ___The Serie A says it will consider resuming only “when health conditions permit it.”The Italian league has been suspended since March 9, when the government ordered a nationwide lockdown.A new government decree issued this week prevents clubs from training — even in small groups — for at least another 10 days.Twelve rounds of Serie A remain, plus four games that were postponed from the weekend of Feb. 22. Also, the Italian Cup semifinals were interrupted after the first leg. The team announced the plan Friday with the team and PNC Arena having shut down operations last month to ensure social-distancing practices.The team says the furlough applies to about 55% of full-time employees, who would be directed to access unemployment benefits through the government’s $2.2 trillion economic rescue package.Furloughed employees ineligible to collect full base salaries through unemployment would receive a bonus from the organization when the furlough ends “to be made whole.”Additionally, furloughed employees will keep healthcare benefits, with the team covering premium payments during that time.In a statement, team president and general manager Don Waddell says the organization “remains committed to taking care of our staff as well as possible given these unprecedented circumstances.” Waddell said the plan “protects our employees from financial hardship while also mitigating the losses suffered by the company during this shutdown.” Pakhnotskaya says in a text message that she “will check on Monday the possibility to receive special permission” from government bodies for staff to collect samples from athletes. There will be no testing this month if that isn’t granted.Testing has been suspended since March 27 under a previous round of measures.Isolation measures around the world have led to a sharp drop in anti-doping tests. That’s led to warnings that some athletes could take advantage of the situation. The World Anti-Doping Agency says it is trying to track gaps in testing.___Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang was among 20 people arrested in Kenya for locking themselves in a bar and drinking alcohol in breach of a curfew imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. It also voted to advance funds of 125 million pounds ($150 million) to clubs in the English Football League and fifth-tier National League.___German soccer club Borussia Dortmund is converting part of its stadium into a treatment center amid the coronavirus pandemic.The Bundesliga club says a space inside Germany’s largest soccer stadium has been made available for medical staff to examine people with virus symptoms.The move comes after an influx of suspected coronavirus cases put existing facilities in the city of Dortmund under strain. The 16-player tournament begins Friday night and will air on ESPN. Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant is the overall No. 1 seed and opens play against No. 16 Derrick Jones Jr. of the Miami Heat in the first round.The winner of the week-long tournament will receive a $100,00 donation to a coronavirus-related relief effort of their choice.BetMGM has a free bracket game available on its website to all verified New Jersey players. All competitors with a perfect bracket will split $20,000 in prizes.If there are no perfect brackets, the prize will be split among the highest scorers.BetMGM is also donating the same amount to the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. ___England’s contracted men’s players are donating 500,000 pounds ($610,000) to the England and Wales Cricket Board and selected good causes, and the England’s women’s squad is taking a pay cut for April, May and June because of the coronavirus pandemic.The players are all making 20% pay cuts for the next three months to fund the voluntary gesture.They plan to detail the charitable donations next week.The announcement by the Professional Cricketers’ Association followed talks over how England’s leading players would respond to the crisis after a request from the ECB for 20% pay cuts. Harper and his wife, Kayla, are giving money to Direct Relief and Three Square in Las Vegas and Philabundance in Philadelphia.“Now is the time to come together and adhere to the guidelines of medical professionals! We are wishing the best to all with our prayers during this time,” the couple said in a statement. ___The Sacramento Kings’ former arena and practice facility is being converted into a surge field hospital for COVID-19 and trauma care patients.The arena, in suburban Natomas, was the Kings’ home from 1988 until 2016, when they moved into a downtown facility. ___FIFA has extended the age limit for the men’s soccer tournament at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic.FIFA says it also postponed two women’s age-group World Cups due this year, and no international games will be played in the early June dates protected for national team call-ups.The amended Olympic rule retains the “players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997” standard for the Tokyo Games. It means players eligible for the intended under-23 tournament in 2020 can still play in Japan at age 24 next year. Men’s soccer kicks off ahead of the July 23, 2021 opening ceremony in Tokyo. ___Philadelphia 76ers owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, as well as All-Star center Joel Embiid made a combined contribution of $1.3 million to Penn Medicine.The money established a funding campaign for COVID-19 antibody testing of front line health care workers. The pledge from Embiid, Harris and Blitzer was expected to help boost efforts to quickly identify health care workers who may have immunity to the virus.Embiid says “we need to do everything possible to help those heroes who are putting their lives at risk to help us.” The gifts will support new experimental serology tests that detect antibodies to determine if a person has ever been infected with the virus-identifying staff and providers that might have immunity.___ The ban includes team and individual practices, meetings and other gatherings — whether voluntary or required — as well as camps and coaches clinics.The powerhouse league had previously announced that in-person athletics activities were suspended through April 15 because of the coronavirus pandemic.Also Friday, the conference said virtual film review that does not include physical activity is permissible. Effective April 6, activity of this nature will be expanded to four hours a week consistent with an NCAA rule waiver and NCAA legislation, an increase from the previously permissible maximum of two hours a week.___A gaming site is donating $20,000 for pandemic relief in New Jersey and giving out another $20,000 to fans who can predict the results of the NBA 2K tournament among NBA players.center_img The move comes one day after the Indiana High School Athletic Association canceled the entire spring sports season. State officials had previously announced all schools would remain closed for the rest of the academic year.___Mental health experts who were supposed to be available to help American athletes at the Tokyo Olympics are being asked to start working now. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee says the experts are leading discussions about mental health and wellness for athletes and staff in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Those same experts will also be on hand at the Tokyo Games, which have been postponed a year. The USOPC also disclosed the 13 members of a new external mental health task force created to support American athletes and coaches. It includes Olympians, doctors and the head of The Speedy Foundation, a mental-health organization named after the late Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, an Olympic silver medalist in aerials. That group is working with an internal group at the USOC being led by chief medical officer Jonathan Finnoff. ___The world heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev on June 20 has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.The fight was scheduled to take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London and will be Joshua’s first defense of his IBF, WBA, WBO belts since he regained them from Andy Ruiz Jr. Major League Lacrosse has postponed the start of its season because of the coronavirus outbreak.The six-team league was scheduled to begin its 20th season on May 30.In a statement, the league says “this decision was made to safeguard the health of our players, fans and staff, as well as those within our MLL communities as a result of the global pandemic.”MLL has teams in Boston, Denver, Philadelphia, Long Island, New York, Annapolis, Maryland, and Fairfield, Connescticut.No date has been set for the season to begin. The league says it will be guided by CDC recommendations. ___The Lawn Tennis Association is giving up to 20 million pounds ($24 million) through grants and interest-free loans to help venues, coaches, officials, and players in Britain during the coronavirus pandemic.Singles players world ranked from 101 to 750 and doubles players ranked from 101 to 250 — who are not already receiving funding — are eligible for grants, and there will be increased prize money for British tour events if the tours resume. This week, Wimbledon was canceled and the tours suspended the British grass-court season.Most of the focus of the LTA package is on protecting the grassroots, including continued funding for development centers and the two national academies, and supporting full-time coaches.Chief executive Scott Lloyd and the executive team will take temporary pay cuts of 20%, while some staff will be furloughed next week but will be paid 80% of their salary. The All England Club announced this week that it had canceled this year’s edition of Wimbledon. The French Open was postponed from May to September.___The CONCACAF Nations League semifinals and final in June have been called off.The U.S. had been scheduled to play Honduras on June 4 in Houston, with Mexico meeting Costa Rica in the other semifinal. The winners were to play three days later at Arlington, Texas.The Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Football said Friday it made the decision due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It is not yet known when the matches will be rescheduled. Berlin says a few days later, on March 27, he had a fever. He at first was told he had pneumonia, but a test came back positive for the virus.He says he called everyone with whom he has been in contact — including his barber — and is feeling better. He says doctors told him players he might have seen on March 13 shouldn’t be concerned because he’s beyond the 14-day incubation period.Berlin has been in various positions with the tour since 1998, with a brief spell as Michelle Wie’s first agent. He says his wife is awaiting her test results, though she has not shown any symptoms.___The Carolina Hurricanes are putting more than half of full-time staff on furlough through June 7 while taking steps they said would ensure affected employees don’t lose income amid the coronavirus pandemic that has led to the suspension of the NHL season. The 16 teams at the Tokyo Olympics next year can also select three over-age players in their rosters. A stellar lineup includes Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Spain.The decision was made on Friday by a FIFA panel of soccer officials worldwide created to address the soccer shutdown.Two women’s World Cup tournaments — the Under-20s hosted by Panama and Costa Rica in August and September, and the Under-17s in India in November — are postponed.___Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper is donating $500,000 to help coronavirus relief efforts in his hometown of Las Vegas and in Philadelphia. The Kings and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services say the hospital will have approximately 360 beds along with additional hospital services.The Kings are also donating 100,000 medical masks and $250,000 to community service organizations.___The PGA Tour executive who oversees player activity is the first PGA Tour employee to have tested positive for COVID-19.Ross Berlin, the tour’s senior vice president of player affairs, says he was self-isolating after The Players Championship was canceled when he complained of losing his sense of taste and smell. His doctor put him through a coronavirus hotline interview and told him he wasn’t a high-risk candidate without a fever or breathing difficulties. One of the major summer baseball leagues for college players has canceled its season because of the coronavirus pandemic.Commissioner Bruce Alger of the Valley Baseball League in Virginia said the executive committee unanimously agreed the risk to players’ health would be too great.The 11-team Valley League has been sanctioned by the NCAA since 1961 and began using wooden bats in 1993. It’s among dozens of leagues where college players spend their summers.The Cape Cod League, generally considered the top summer league, said it had not decided whether to cancel its season. Play is scheduled to begin June 13.___ Joshua’s promoter, Matchroom Boxing, says a new date for the fight is being worked on.___More than a dozen U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes received reassurance this week when Toyota North America announced it would extend their endorsement contracts through the rescheduled Tokyo Games in 2021.The auto company and major Olympic sponsor has 17 U.S. athletes under contract. They include swimmer David Boudia, gymnast Laurie Hernandez, Paralympian Oksana Masters and sprinter Michael Norman.The status of endorsement contracts is a major concern to athletes because most signed deals that were set to expire after this year’s scheduled Olympics. They have been rescheduled for 2021 and that has forced corporations to reset and rethink the structure of their deals. ___The Premier League has pushed back its restart date and says play will not resume at the beginning of May.The league had given a return date of April 30 amid the coronavirus outbreak but now says the season “will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so.”It says there remained a “combined objective” for all remaining domestic league and cup matches to be played to maintain the integrity of each competition.The league also says it has consulted players over a pay deduction or deferral of 30%. ___The NFL’s Indianapolis Colts are giving season-ticket holders the option to defer April’s payment until June 15.On Friday, team officials emailed letters to those with payment plans, giving them a Wednesday deadline to accept the offer.The final two installments were initially due April 15 and May 15. The Colts have not announced any changes about the May payment.“In light of the unique circumstances right now, we have decided to modify the payment options for members of our season ticket family on payment plans,” the letter reads in part. Organizers in Switzerland say its “the first time since the Second World War that the traditional event will not take place.”They say “the risk of additional strain on the Swiss health system due to possible crashes during racing is high.”___The Russian anti-doping agency is preparing to freeze all testing until May to comply with new government measures shutting down work deemed non-essential.RUSADA deputy CEO Margarita Pakhnotskaya tells The Associated Press that her agency is looking for possible exemptions to instructions from President Vladimir Putin for all Russians except those working in essential sectors to stay home through April 30. The center will open on Saturday.___The Tour de Suisse has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, removing one of the few cycling events left on the calendar before the Tour de France is due to start.The nine-day Swiss race was scheduled to run from June 6-14 and is designed to give riders a chance to prepare for the three-week Tour de France. The French race is still scheduled to start on June 27.Colombian rider Egan Bernal won in Switzerland last year ahead of his first Tour de France title. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:The U.S. Tennis Association says its best not to play the sport right now because of the coronavirus pandemic.In a posting on its website on Friday, the USTA called it “in the best interest of society to take a collective pause” from tennis. April 3, 2020 ___The SailGP global league has suspended its season through the end of June due to the coronavirus pandemic, wiping out a regatta scheduled for New York on June 12-13. Ticket purchasers will be automatically refunded by the end of June.SailGP already canceled its San Francisco regatta that had been set for May 2-3.Two more regattas are on the schedule for 2020, at Cowes, England, Aug. 14-15 and at Copenhagen Sept. 11-12. The opening regatta of SailGP’s second season, held in Sydney in late February, was won by British sailing star Sir Ben Ainslie, who also is leading an America’s Cup campaign. SailGP was co-founded by former America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts of New Zealand and tech billionaire Larry Ellison.last_img read more

  • Titan Methane Age Still a Problem

    first_img“Our new map provides more coverage of Titan’s poles, but even if all of the features we see there were filled with liquid methane, there’s still not enough to sustain the atmosphere for more than 10 million years.”  So said Elizabeth Turtle, lead author of a paper in Geophysical Research Letters,1 in an article on the Cassini Imaging Team [ISS] website.  She added, “How long Titan’s atmosphere has existed or can continue to exist is still an open question.”  The press release was written up by Space.com and National Geographic.    A comparison of older and newer images suggests that cloudbursts of liquid methane may occur.  Some of the polar lakes may dry up and others refill as the seasons change.  Cassini is exploring Titan at its equinox.  One goal of another extended mission would be to study seasonal changes until the next solstice in 2017.    Cassini instruments have difficulty characterizing the lakes.  They could be very shallow.  The Huygens probe landed in 2005 on a flat playa that appeared to have ice boulders that had tumbled out of canyons possibly carved by flash floods.  Scientists in the 1990s had predicted that Titan’s surface might be submerged in a global ocean of liquid ethane and methane; that did not pan out.  Instead, most of the equatorial region of the planet-size moon is blanketed with dunes.  All the low-albedo features, assumed to be lakes, discovered to date have been in the polar regions.    How is the absence of methane explained?  The press release said, “the new observations suggest that underground methane reservoirs must exist.”  To what extent that conclusion was inferred from the need to keep Titan billions of years old was not stated.  The original paper’s introduction referred to the quandary about methane destruction rates in the atmosphere, but then hid the solution underground:Photochemical processes acting in the atmosphere convert methane into more complex hydrocarbons, substantial quantities of which may have precipitated from the atmosphere over Titan’s history [Yung et al., 1984; Lorenz and Lunine, 2005].  These processes create Titan’s atmospheric hazes and destroy methane over relatively short timescales, ~107-108 yr [Yung et al., 1984].  Therefore, Titan is hypothesized to have reservoirs of liquid methane to resupply the atmosphere [e.g., Lunine, 1993].  Knowledge of the distribution of liquids on Titan’s surface and clouds in its atmosphere, as well as any changes in either, provides constraints that are essential to furthering our understanding of Titan’s methane cycle, its atmospheric dynamics, its total methane inventory and, thus, the sustainability of its current atmosphere.The constraints so far make it difficult to extrapolate Titan’s methane lifetime over another 1-2 orders of magnitude.  After stating the problem, the paper focused on observations of changes in the lakes, but revisited the age problem in paragraph 10:The low-albedo features observed by ISS at both poles cover over 600,000 km2, almost 1% of Titan’s total surface area; however, even if all of these features are currently liquid-filled, they do not appear to provide enough methane to keep Titan’s atmosphere resupplied for a substantial amount of time [Lorenz et al., 2008].  Thus, although Mitri et al. [2007] have demonstrated that evaporation from lakes covering 0.002�0.02 of the surface could maintain the current methane relative humidity over short timescales, only a relatively small fraction of the liquid reservoirs required to replenish atmospheric methane over geologic timescales currently appears to exist on the surface.No evidence for subsurface reservoirs was provided.  Atmospheric methane is not a closed system.  The solar wind depletes the methane and converts the remainder to ethane and complex hydrocarbons that should have been accumulating on the surface to extreme depths, if the process has been ongoing for billions of years.  (This is a problem at Mars, too: see 01/16/2009).  Instead, Titan appears to be mostly a dry world with very few craters and low relief, blanketed with icy sand dunes.    The popular write-ups either did not mention the problem or suggested the answer is underground.  They focused instead on the fascinating idea of methane cloudbursts on a strange world.  National Geographic not only avoided the subject, but ended with a tie-in to global warming: “It may be that global warming on Earth will take us slightly in a Titan-like direction, with heavier downpours separated by longer droughts.”  The original paper said nothing about global warming.1.  Turtle et al, “Cassini imaging of Titan’s high-latitude lakes, clouds, and south-polar surface changes,” Geophysical Research Letters, VOL. 36, L02204, Jan 29, 2009, doi:10.1029/2008GL036186.We’ve been bringing up this problem for years.  This latest paper shows that no solution has been forthcoming for over two decades; in fact, the problem has only gotten worse.  The consensus Age of the Solar System (A.S.S.) is 4.6 billion years.  10 million years is 1/450th of that value, and that is the maximum that the empirical evidence permits.  If planetary scientists truly followed the evidence where it leads, as scientists are supposed to do, they would have to conclude Titan is young.  Evidence from Enceladus, Iapetus, Mercury, comets, Mars, the moon and many other bodies that showcase evidence of youth could be adduced for support.  The ramifications of that conclusion would be so far-reaching and unpalatable to the old-age, evolution-inebriated materialistic community, they have to resort to distraction to keep people from thinking about it.  CEH thinks the sidestep is the most interesting part of the dance.    The comeback argument is that scientists “know” the solar system is old from other lines of evidence, e.g., radiometric dating of meteorites and rock units on Earth, and so forth.  But they don’t “know” these things without making assumptions.  Planetologists used to “know” that planets required billions of years to form from a solar nebula.  That was before the revolution in thinking caused by the discovery of extrasolar planets.  Their properties suggest – some say require – rapid formation to prevent destruction by migration.  Indeed, a whole new “heretical” disk-instability hypothesis proposes that giant planets can form much more rapidly than thought.  When you find a number of bodies in the solar system today with upper-limit ages converging at the recent end of the evolutionary timescale, it becomes increasingly implausible to believe we live at a special epoch when all these phenomena are observable.  It should call into question the timescale itself.    For reasons philosophical rather than empirical, many in the old paradigm don’t wish to think along those lines.  Others, from years of indoctrination in the paradigm, cannot even begin to think outside the box.  They just chalk up the mysteries as anomalies.  Anomalies are the stuff of which scientific revolutions are made.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

  • South African entrepreneurs: tips to grow your business

    first_imgShoprite’s mobile soup kitchens help feed vulnerable South Africans across the country every day. (Image: Shoprite)A South African supermarket group is helping feed thousands of hungry people every day by donating unsold food to relief organisations.The Shoprite Group – which runs Shoprite and Checkers stores across the country – has a no-waste policy. Instead, surplus food is donated to Foodbank South Africa, which in turn distributes the food to hundreds of non-profit organisations, collectively feeding thousands of hungry people every day.In 2015 alone, the supermarkets donated close to R100-million worth of surplus food to organisations in need.Shoprite also directly services vulnerable communities across South Africa every day with its fleet of 19 mobile soup kitchens. Since they took to the road in February 2007, the kitchens have served over 27-million meals.Acting for changeThis winter, the supermarket group’s customers can also play their part to fight hunger by simply donating R5 or more to the #ActForChange Fund at any till-point in stores across the country. The funds go towards the work of FoodBank South Africa.“It costs FoodBank South Africa R1.08 to provide enough food for one meal, so a donation of R5 will allow us to provide nearly five meals,” said Kate Hamilton, fund development manager at Foodbank South Africa.“Considering that more than 13.8-million South Africans go hungry every day, we have a collective responsibility to work towards ending hunger in our country – and every little donation helps.”The #ActForChange Fund was launched in March this year after customers asked to be part of efforts making a difference in communities affected by the ongoing drought gripping the country.Customers have since donated well over R200 000 to the fund, which hopes to raise even more through winter.On Mandela Day this year, FoodBank South Africa will be holding a meal and hamper packing day in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. The events will happen in 67-minute slots from 9 am to 3 pm on 18 July 2016.Check out Foodbank South Africa’s website on www.foodbanksa.org on how your donation will be used to make a difference.last_img read more

  • It’s time to stockpile forages

    first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest For those who raise livestock, making hay is a way of life. However, after going through another frustrating hay season dealing with weather and equipment, there has to be a better way … and there is.Stockpiling forages, especially cool-season grasses for fall and winter grazing, is an excellent option – and now’s the time to consider it. All you need to do is make a final grazing of the field or final mowing and let it grow until later in the fall or winter. Typically, adding nitrogen when stockpiling is initiated will increase yield and quality.If you live in an area with fescue, this is the forage that usually works best. Other grasses like orchardgrass work, but the quality and yield diminishes faster as winter weather settles in. We have conducted research in eastern Ohio periodically over the past 25-plus years, and we have consistently had increased yield and quality when nitrogen fertilizer was added, although not always statistically significant.For example, in replicated trials at three locations in eastern Ohio last fall, there was a significant difference between the control (no fertilizer) and treatments of 100 pounds of urea, 100 pounds urea plus Agrotain and 219 pounds of ammonium sulfate (the three treatments were 46 actual pounds of nitrogen per acre) for yield and crude protein – but not among the treatments. The forages were predominantly fescue and orchardgrass pastures. The study was initiated on Aug. 2, 2016, and harvested on Nov. 4, 2016. There was no more than 0.1 inch of rainfall in the first 12 days of the trial and 3.2 to 5.85 inches of rain within 30 days. The control plots averaged 2,627 pounds dry matter per acre, and plots with nitrogen added averaged 3,144 to 3,694 pounds dry matter per acre. Crude protein averaged 13.19 percent for the control plots and 13.35 to 13.65 percent for the treatments. So we had improved yield and quality adding nitrogen.What are some considerations for stockpiling? Do you have extra pasture or hay fields you can stockpile? Are you going to be short on stored feed this winter? Can you sell extra stored feed and stockpile? Will the cost of the fertilizer be more or less than purchased hay? Depending on weather conditions when stockpiling, and the availability and cost of purchased hay, sometimes buying hay could cost less.How about other factors such as the time needed to feed the hay compared to grazing the stockpiled forages? I know I save up to an hour each day when my cattle are on stockpiled forages compared to feeding hay every day. In many situations, the quality of the stockpiled forages may be better than hay. I know of many producers that will feed hay in the late summer while stockpiling because they will overall use less hay in a given year.Another reason I like to stockpile is for calving season in March. I save a “high and dry” field that has been stockpiled since August and not only am I done feeding hay three weeks early, the cows have a thick sod to calve on, virtually eliminating mud issues. The cows even seem to improve body condition once on the stockpiled fescue. However, I do feed a couple pounds of shelled corn to each cow every day to provide a little extra energy. I also recommend a forage test prior to feeding that late in the season as quality of the stockpiled fescue will decrease. However, in the photo taken early March, 2017, you may be able to notice green, already growing fescue in the sod.When considering stockpiling, think about time, costs, and weather. I have already mentioned time saved not having to feed hay, but how about the time and costs of making the hay? Generally speaking, it is three times more expensive to feed an animal than to make them graze it.If you have the opportunity, I would stockpile, especially cool season grasses like fescue. Depending on what part of the country you are in, you can initiate stockpiling now through October. The earlier you begin, the higher the yield will be but lower quality when you begin grazing. The later you begin stockpiling, the quality will tend to be higher and the yield lower. If a soaking rain is forecasted within a couple days, applying approximately 50 lbs. of nitrogen in the form of urea will provide additional yield and quality. If no rain is forecasted in the near term, applying Agrotain® will reduce chances of volatilization with urea. Ammonium sulfate worked well in the trials, even without rain, but the costs were approximately twice as much compared to urea.Each year, I am trying to reduce the amount of hay I make and increase the amount of acreage I stockpile. My goal is to get down to only 60 days of feeding hay this year. I have had a few farmers in Southeast Ohio over the years get down to 30 days or less. I hope to eventually get there as well and maybe get less frustrated putting up hay!last_img read more

  • “Storm fronts” affecting current markets

    first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLCThere are two “storm fronts” affecting markets right now.The first was widespread rain slowing planting progress, and continued wet weather forecasted. The market might be trading 63% of the corn crop being planted in the Tuesday afternoon’s report. I’m in the camp of around 59%.The second storm is blowing out of Washington, D.C. Another MFP payment is expected, but there are a lot of changes and rumors circling about how farmers will get paid. At one point, it was anticipated to be based on planted acres like last time, which would encourage farmers to plant as much as possible. Then Thursday it was discussed that payments would still be based upon acres with adjustments by county, but the exact details were unclear. Then on Friday rumors started circulating that prevent plant payments could somehow be included. There were many questions about the feasibility of that possibility at this point. Any policy change could drastically affect farmers’ planting decisions. Decreasing the number of planted acres could cause a major corn and bean rally.This is an unprecedented year in weather and politics. As we navigate so much uncertainty, predicting market direction is extremely difficult if not impossible. The next few weeks will be the most volatile the market has been in the last 6 years.Weather forecasts show more wet weather is expected next week. Parts of the Dakotas will be in the corn prevent plant window as of Saturday. The market indicates farmers should consider pressing their luck and plant past their prevent plant dates and hope there isn’t an early frost or a change to the MFP payment policy. BeansI’ve been asked several times recently why I haven’t been talking about beans. It’s because fundamentally bean prices haven’t made a lot of sense this last year. In my opinion, prices have been high compared to potential supply. Last year’s huge carryout should have been an anchor keeping bean prices below $9, but futures managed to stay above $9 for much of the winter.While last summer market participants were blaming the trade war for price drops, the much bigger issue was the huge harvest and record potential carryout. Today exports for the 2018 crop are only 400 million bushels below last year. So even without the trade war, there would have been a huge carryout by historical comparisons. Therefore, it’s been difficult to rationalize prices above $9, yet that was pretty common for much of last several months.Looking forward to 2019, I still think U.S. farmers may plant too many bean acres unless an unexpected policy change becomes available to the market. The recent wet weather could force farmers to make tough decisions about their planting intentions. What about MFP2?Some farmers are already planning for it. Right now, it seems like farmers need to plant their beans in order to receive a payment from the government. However, nobody really knows for sure how the next round of payments will exactly work. I think it’s risky to plant something that requires government intervention to make a profit, but I understand the fear of missing out if you don’t. What did you do?I kept beans in the rotation on our farm. I wanted to do fewer acres because of prices, but we really couldn’t because of rotation requirements for our fields. I now have to market the beans we planted. What are bean breakevens for farmers?Based upon University data, average breakevens throughout the U.S. are around $9.75 futures level, give or take 25 cents. Bean breakevens are a little harder to calculate because for each 1 bushel per acre yield change, the breakeven price shifts 20 cents.There was only a small window of opportunity to market beans close to breakeven over the last 6 months. While I never want to market any crop at a loss, I came close for this crop year. Still, I waited hoping for just a small rally from a possible trade deal to get profitable levels, but it hasn’t come for the 2019 crop. In hindsight I should have sold some a couple months earlier. What will you do now?I have enough capacity to store all of my 2019 beans, so that gives me until September 2020 (16 months) to sell them. This means I get to see 2 U.S. and 1 South American crop productions to see if there are any production problems. There is always a long shot at a trade deal with China that could increases exports significantly. The last 16 months have been an extremely wild ride, sometimes just waiting is the best plan. The corn market proved this week that market fundamentals can change in 2 weeks and quick unexpected rallies can happen. Market action — Bean basis sale for the 2018 cropI originally set my futures prices at $9.75 on 100% of my 2018 bean production in February 2018. Due to logistical constraints, I’m unable to deliver soybeans to a processor during harvest, so last fall I stored 100% of my 2018 bean crop even thought it was all priced-on futures. Since then, I’ve been hoping for a basis rally to move my physical grain.I never set my bean basis before harvest. One, bean production, between my farm and the total U.S. production, can vary enough to shift market dynamics affecting basis year to year or I might not have enough grain to fill my contracts. Two, historically bean basis will improve after harvest when processors need beans to crush.Unfortunately, due to the trade war this year, basis fell significantly for harvest delivery and never really recovered into the harvest season. Before harvest, and before the trade war started, basis for harvest delivery picked up on my farm was -75 cents. During harvest it dropped lower, eventually going as low as -1.05, picked up on my farm, and stayed at similar levels for months.Then several weeks ago when the bean board was imploding, basis finally took off. At the end of April, a processor raised their basis bid to -83 cents against the July futures, picked up on my farm. This was the highest I’d seen post- harvest, so I set my basis and started to have the grain shipped out.While this basis was 8 cents lower than the preharvest basis levels it was 22 cents better than the lowest harvest basis values. Because I never sell basis ahead of time, I’m still able to be ahead by waiting until well after harvest to get a basis value close to the best value I have seen for the 2018 crop over the last year. The cost to hold my beansWaiting until May to move my beans, instead of shipping them at harvest and paying off my operating note at harvest, has a cost. Bean’s CASH value from October to May was consistently averaging around $8.30 for my farm. With a 6% operating loan interest rate, it costs 4 cents per month in interest ($8.30 x 6% / 12 months) to sit on my grain waiting for better basis. I stored the beans for 8 months (October to May), so it cost me 32 cents to wait. Market carry was available to offset those costsMy beans were ultimately sold against November futures last year, and I “rolled” this position to July ’19 futures on 8/29/18 and collected 49 cents of market carry. In the end, I profited 17 cents from waiting (49 cents market carry – 32 cents interest cost). Reviewing my 2018 bean trade decisionsMarket conditions were unusual this year with the very large supply in the market, so I had to make adjustments to my marketing plan. Basis levels rarely collapse like they did this year. And while it’s not uncommon for basis levels to drop during harvest, there is usually a post-harvest basis increase that will provide basis levels better than harvest delivery values. While it took longer than usual, basis did eventually rally more than 20 cents after harvest. On a positive note, the 49-cent market carry was the best bean carry I’ve received in the last 10 years. In the end, I’m pleased with the final outcome for storing my beans. My final 2018 bean price:$9.75 futures+$.49 market carry-$.32 interest to store beans-$.83 basis picked up at the farm$9.09 Cash Value picked up on my farm One of my best decisions was investing in more storage 8 years ago. Had I not had the additional storage, I may have had to consider taking my beans to the local shuttle loader who was, and still is, bidding 25 cents less than my local processor, when freight to both locations is considered. I did not even include that profit in my review above because at this point, I don’t usually plan to sell the local shuttle loader as the bid at those locations has never been better than the processor for the last 10 years. It was the whole reason why I built storage in the first place for my beans. This benefit is really helping me when bean prices are having trouble hitting profitable levels. Please email [email protected] with any questions or to learn more. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results.last_img read more

  • Inefficient Hot Water Piping Layouts Waste Hot Water

    first_imgThe proposal would set requirements resulting in small volumes of hot water in the pipes between the hot water source and the use. It is intended to apply to all occupancies, although in the article I am focusing on residential applications.The ICC is holding Final Action Hearings on October 22-28, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. The proposed amendments to the International Plumbing Code (IPC) will be heard on Wednesday, October 24th, starting at 1:00 pm.Among the key provisions in the proposed change are:a requirement that 3/8-inch pipe should only be used for fixture fittings that have a flow rate that does not exceed 1.5 gallons per minute;a requirement (for some residential applications) that the maximum volume of water in the pipe between the water heater and a tap shall be 64 ounces;a requirement (for some residential applications) that the maximum length of piping between a water heater and a tap be restricted to 50 feet for 3/8-tubing, 43 feet for 1/2-inch tubing, and 21 feet for 3/4-inch tubing.To understand how these provisions would be implemented, it is essential to read the code proposal in its entirely. (See the link provided below.) The “reasons statement” accompanying the proposed code changeAs an I-code, the IPC specifies minimally acceptable requirements for plumbing. Delivery of hot water to a user in a timely manner is one measure of plumbing performance. The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) specifies the delivery of hot water to the user in 10 seconds or less as “acceptable performance,” delivery of hot water to the user in 30 seconds or less as “marginal performance,” and delivery of hot water in more than 30 seconds as “unacceptable performance”. Implementing this proposal will improve health and safety by correlating the IPC with local health codes and with good plumbing engineering and plumbing practice. It will also result in satisfied users, including those in areas with low water pressure.The core of this proposal is to make sure the volume of water in the pipes, which must be cleared out before hot water can be delivered, does not prevent the delivery of hot water in a timely manner. If you agree that delivery of hot water should be at least “marginally acceptable” in terms of time-to-tap, then you need to support this proposal.Supporting InformationThe following documents the values in this proposal and demonstrates the response to the committee’s comments. The committee [previously] disapproved P130 because the “volume limitations were too restrictive and unrealistic to apply to all buildings.” In response, this comment increases the lengths for smaller diameter branches from circulation loops or heat-traced lines. It also improves the readability of the code text.Why implementing the 2012 IPC often results in “Unacceptable Performance”The 2012 IPC allows for 50 feet of developed length [of piping] – of any diameter – from the source of hot or tempered water to the fixtures. However, the delivery of hot water is a question of volume (length and diameter) between the source and the uses and flow rate of the use. At current legal flow rates for faucets, showers and many appliances, 50 feet of piping contains more water than can be cleared out in the Marginally Acceptable time of 30 seconds or less, let alone the Acceptable Performance time of 10 seconds or less.We are all familiar with the problem of waiting for hot water to arrive. When it takes too long at hand-washing sinks, many of us just give up and use whatever temperature comes out. When it takes too long at a shower, we watch the water run down the drain until the water is hot enough to use. When it takes too long in public restrooms or at hand washing sinks in food service establishments, it becomes a concern for our public health code colleagues.Providing hot or tempered water to public lavatory faucets is a special case, and the reason we have called it out in this proposal. The time-to-tap is particularly important for hand washing events, which tend to be of very short duration, generally 5-10 seconds long. Large volume in the fixture supply piping, low flow rates and short events result in it taking a very long time for the water to get warm. Correcting this requires keeping the volume small enough so that hot water arrives in a timely fashion when only one faucet with a maximum fixture fitting flow rate of 0.5 gpm or a maximum volume per cycle of 0.25 gallons is being used. Having even Marginally Acceptable performance requires piping lengths much less than 50 feet long.Can a volume limit be applied to all buildings?Yes. The specifics have to do with the configuration of the hot water system within the building. There are three typical configurations for a hot water system: a central water heater (or boiler) with trunks and branches serving each use or group of uses; a central water heater (or boiler) with a circulation loop or heat traced trunk line and branches to each use; distributed water heaters (or boilers) located close to the uses they serve. Buildings can have one or a combination of these systems as long as the 2012 IPC requirement of no more than 50 feet of developed length on any path from the source to the use is met.The volume limitations in this proposal work in any building. Buildings with vertical risers will be able to comply by locating the fixture fittings and appliances close to a circulated riser; this should not be a problem as they are relatively close already. Buildings with a central corridor circulation loop will be able to comply by locating the hot water fixture fittings and appliances closer to the corridor or by moving the loop closer to the fixture fittings and appliances. Buildings with public lavatories can meet the volume and length limits in this proposal in several ways including bringing circulation loops closer to the faucets, priming the branch lines that run behind the wall when people enter the lavatory, heat tracing the branch lines or installing water heaters in the bathroom or under the sinks.In some buildings, no changes to architectural design will be needed – it will only be necessary to design and install the plumbing to meet the new code. In other buildings changes in the architectural design will be needed so that the hot water system will meet the new code. It is likely that we will see more buildings with combinations of hot water delivery systems. Based on my experience with improving the performance of hot water systems throughout the US, costs for additional water heaters or for somewhat longer circulation loops and heat traced trunk lines will be more than offset by the savings in smaller diameter trunk lines and in shorter branches that are often of smaller diameter because their length is smaller too.What should be the maximum allowable volume?Implementing the IPC should result in at least marginally acceptable performance at legal flow rates, in all occupancies, even in areas with low water pressure. The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) has established performance criteria for the timely delivery of hot or tempered water (Domestic Water Heating Design Manual – 2nd Edition, ASPE, 2003, page 234). Table 1 [reproduced below as Image #2], taken from text in ASPE’s manual, presents the time-to-tap performance criteria. According to this table, 30 seconds is the maximum amount of time to have Marginal Performance. Anything longer is unacceptable.So how much water is contained the IPC allowable limit of 50 feet of developed pipe length? Will clearing out this volume of water result in at least marginally acceptable performance? Table 2 [reproduced below as Image #3] shows the volume contained in 50 feet of pipe for nominal diameters up to 4 inches. (I realize that 50 feet of developed length is almost always shorter than 50 feet of pipe, but for simplicity, I have used 50 feet in the table.)Let’s look at a few examples: 50 feet of ¾ inch tubing contains 1.2 gallons, 50 feet of 1 inch contains just under 2 gallons, 50 feet of 2 inch contains 7 gallons and 50 feet of 4 inch contains more than 28 gallons. This is the minimum volume that must be cleared out of the pipe before hot water will get from the source to the use. (Based on research conducted by the California Energy Commission, the actual volume that will come out before hot water arrives is more than volume contained in the pipe. In ¾ inch nominal pipe, approximately 25 percent more water will come out at 2 gpm; 50 percent more will come out at 1 gpm and 100 percent more will come out at 0.5 gpm. The amount of additional water that comes out gets larger as the pipe diameter increases.)Table 2 [Image #3 below] also shows the consequences of the volume in terms of the time-to-tap for flow rates of 2, 1 and 0.5 gpm. This range of flow rates is typical of showers, sinks and public lavatory faucets. Near the top of the table, the minimum time to clear out the cold water in the pipe is shown in seconds, further down it is shown in minutes. (NA is shown when we considered the flow rate to be excessive for the pipe diameter – either too much pressure drop or excessive velocity, or both – based on an analysis using the Hazen-Williams formula.)None of the times shown in Table 2 are within the Acceptable Performance range. This means that if plumbers or plumbing engineers design a hot water system to meet the minimum 2012 IPC, without also paying attention to the volume in the piping it will most often result in Unacceptable Performance. The best they can get is Marginal Performance in a limited number of cases. Table 3 [reproduced below as Image #4] compares the time-to-tap performance different volumes that are being discussed at this Final Action Hearing. The flow rates in the table are typical of faucets and showerheads, and many appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines.Using ASPE’s criteria, only 3 data points in Table 3 have Acceptable Performance; 9 have Marginal Performance; all the rest have Unacceptable Performance. None of the volumes have Acceptable Performance for the low flow rates (0.5 gpm and smaller) found in public lavatory faucets. In addition, the Performance times shown in the 0.25 and 0.5 gpm columns are longer than the actual event itself, which is often only 5-10 seconds long. To make any sense at all, hot water must reach the faucet before the event is over, which is why there is a separate volume requirement in this proposal for the fixture fittings with these flow rates that are found in public lavatories.We need to assess the performance when flow rates are between 1 and 1.5 gpm, not the maximum values of 2.2 and 2.5 gpm allowed by code for faucets and showers respectively. Why? One reason is that the flow rates of faucets and showers are rated at pressures of 60 and 80 psi respectively. In practice, operating pressures are often less than the rated pressure and the actual flow rate is less than the rated flow rate. In addition, hot water is only a portion of the total flow rate. The reduction in flow rate is most noticeable in areas with low water pressure to begin with. Another reason is that studies done in Indiana, California and Minnesota have found that even when full flow rate faucets and showers had been installed, the hot water portion of the flow was most often between 1 and 1.5 gpm. In this range of flow rates, the 300-ounce volume has Unacceptable Performance. The 75-ounce volume has both Unacceptable and Marginal Performance. The 64-ounce volume has Marginal Performance. The 24-ounce volume has both Marginal and Acceptable Performance. I believe the IPC should provide at least marginally acceptable performance at typical flow rates for all areas in the jurisdiction, including those with low pressure.This section only applies to Public Lavatory FaucetsThe time-to-tap is particularly important for hand washing events in public lavatories, which tend to be of very short duration. It becomes essential to keep the volume from the source to the use very small when the fixture fitting flow rate is only 0.5 gpm. Looking at the row for ½ inch nominal tubing in Table 2, the minimum time to clear out the cold water would be 1.2 minutes. Assuming that each hot water draw lasts 5 seconds, and that all draws happen right after each other, the 15th user would get hot water. If the branch line were larger, say ¾ inch, the minimum time increases to 2.3 minutes and the 28th user would get hot water. If the branch line was 1 inch, the minimum time increases to 3.9 minutes and the 47th user would get hot water.The delivery of hot water to public lavatory faucets needs to be considered separately because of potential health issues. The events are short and the flow rates are low. Table 4 [reproduced below as Image #5] shows the time-to-tap performance based on the requirements in the proposal. The 0.25 and 0.5 gpm columns show that even at very low flow rates this volume will result in Acceptable Performance according to ASPE criteria. Given the short amount of time people spend washing their hands in public restrooms, it does not make sense to Marginal Performance category for determining the volume from the source to the use for public lavatory faucets. The volume was chosen so that hot water would arrive in the first part of the hot water event so that every person who uses the public lavatory will have the benefits of hot water.Now to the decisionThe provisions in the 2012 IPC (and previous versions), which only limit the feet, do not give guidance on the volume and as we have shown, often as not result in Unacceptable Performance. Unfortunately, many of us have experienced this! In contrast, this proposal contains the provisions necessary to support the correlation of the plumbing and health codes with good plumbing engineering design and plumbing installation practice.There are 3 key questions that we are asking you to answer:1. Do you want the IPC to support the provisions in local health codes to supply hot or tempered water for hand washing for every user of public lavatory faucets?2. Do you want the IPC to support the ability of plumbers and plumbing engineers to provide hot water within 30 seconds after opening the tap; this is the Acceptable and Marginal Performance ranges as defined the American Society of Plumbing Engineers. (See the arrows next to Tables 3 and 4.)3. Do you want the IPC to provide these levels of performance in all parts of your jurisdiction, including those with low water pressure?If so, please support this comment. Assembling the required votesTo get this proposal adopted, we need to have enough code officials who support the measure to attend the hearing and vote for it. We need a two-thirds majority to prevail. So please talk with your local code officials and ask them to support it. If they are not able to travel to Portland, ask them to get you in touch with those from your state who are going to attend. If that is not possible, please ask them to send a short letter of support that can be read into the record.If you are able to attend the meeting in Portland, short statements providing reasons why this proposal is worthy of a “yes” vote are in order. We need perspectives from the point of view of architects, plumbing engineers, builders and plumbers. I am willing to help you craft your testimony so that is most effective for this audience. What is the key to an efficient piping layout for domestic hot water? The answer is to keep the volume of hot water between the water heater and the tap as small as possible. The difficulty is that most buildings have only one source of hot water and the many uses are spread throughout the floor plan.The least expensive answer for new buildings would be to group all of the bathrooms near the kitchen, so that the home has one or more plumbing cores. That way, that hot and cold water uses would all be located close together, near the water heater or boiler that served them. In houses, this would typically mean one or two such cores.In the absence of such cores, we need to plan the plumbing to supply hot water as efficiently as possible. Those of you who know my work have heard about Structured Plumbing. (For more information on Structured Plumbing, see Saving Water and Energy in Residential Hot Water Distribution Systems and Guidelines for Specifying Structured Plumbing Systems.)Structured Plumbing is a method of running the trunk line of the hot water distribution system from the water heater past the hot water uses so that the volume from the trunk to each use is as small as practical, ideally less than 1 cup. In addition to routing the hot water supply close to each use, the Structured Plumbing approach includes a demand-initiated pump that allows the occupants to prime the trunk line shortly before they want hot water.Green Building Advisor has had several articles on topic of efficient hot water supply over the years; see, for example, Hot-Water Circulation and Waiting for Hot Water. Proposed code changesNow to the proposal itself: P130-12 (AMPC)-Klein is the most important of the proposals I have submitted. The proposal can be viewed on the ICC website. (To navigate through the document, click on the “P130” link in the sidebar that appears on the left side of the screen.)Three other proposals — P89, P92 and P129 — concern recirculation pumps and pump controls for domestic hot water systems and are also worthy of your consideration. They can be found in the International Plumbing Code section on the ICC website linked to above. A proposed amendment to the plumbing codeCurrent building codes permit builders to install piping systems that waste too much hot water. I’m now drumming up support for a proposed amendment to the International Plumbing Code. RELATED ARTICLES GBA Encyclopedia: Hot-Water CirculationGBA Encyclopedia: Efficient supply layoutsGetting Into Hot Water — Part 3All About Water HeatersGetting In Hot WaterWaiting for Hot WaterProduct Guide: Taco Hot Water D’Mand System Gary Klein: Residential Hot Water Distribution Gary Klein is the managing partner of Affiliated International Management. His firm provides consulting on sustainability, primarily on the water-energy-carbon connection.last_img read more

  • Google I/O Keynote: 8 Best Moments In Photos

    first_imgAfter debuting a Google+ design overhaul, SVP of engineering and social Vic Gundotra also took keynote attendees through a demonstration of Google’s new capabilities in photo editing. Some especially notable features include the ability to auto-edit an entire batch of photos to the best moments and to enhance photos automatically. Google Maps Escapes The Stratosphere Related Posts nick statt Senior VP Amit Singhal opened by recalling childhood hopes of bringing his Star Trek-influenced dreams to life, and segued to how Google is bringing that to pass with devices that you can talk to. The goal is to make search a natural language conversation, and Google’s examples were pretty convincing — both a Chromebook and Nexus were able to accept spoken commands and turn them into personalized search results without a single hiccup. (See also:Google Search Learns To Listen & Understand Context)Google Delivers Impressive Photo-Editing Tools While the first attempt at demoing a live multiplayer game at the keynote failed, Google managed to get it right the second time in a more impressive setting. On a stripped down racing game, four players competed all using different devices that synced together to form the race track. Google Realizes Its Star Trek Dreams One of the briefer announcements at I/O was the introduction of a variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4 configured with the look and UI feel of a 4.2 Jelly Bean Nexus phone. In a sense, it strips all the Samsung bloatware from the phone to deliver a much purer Google/Android experence. The phone will hit the Play store June 26, with a no-contract price of $649. Google’s Music Streaming Service Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Larry Page’s speech was notable both for its oddly vulnerable quality and for the hoarseness of Page’s voice, which hovered slightly above a whisper — a consequence of what Page described yesterday as an unexplained case of vocal chord paralysis.The big surprise here came when when Page turned the finale into a Q&A session. The highlight: Google’s CEO telling Robert Scoble, who was first in line to ask a question, that he didn’t appreciate his now-infamous Google Glass shower pic. Jon Hamm Of Mad Men Makes An Appearence (Not Really…) Last but definitely not least is that guy who looked eerily like Jon Hamm (of Mad Men, you philistines) waiting in line to ask Larry Page a question… while wearing the greatest hat ever. Turns out it wasn’t Jon Hamm (sigh), though from a distance (and over slightly grainy streaming video) the resemblance is truly uncanny.Images by Nick Statt for ReadWrite While the overhaul of Google Maps certainly wasn’t the most exciting presentations of the keynote, the presentation ended with stunning scenes of the Earth from space — both daylit and at night. That view and others that used to be limited to the Google Earth service are now baked right into your browser as part of the new Maps refresh. Desktop users will see it first, with mobile users to follow soon after. Larry Page Ends His Speech With A Q&A Session The news was out yesterday, so it wasn’t a huge surprise when Google’s Chris Yerga announced the company’s plans to enter the music streaming service battleground with Google Play All Access. Despite the few missing details, ReadWrite’s John Paul Titlow writes, “It’s a crowded space with challenging economics, but if anybody is well-positioned to win this game, it’s Google.”(See also: Google Just Launched A Grenade At Spotify — And It Just Might Work)Free Chromebook Pixels Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Google bombarded thousands of attendees at its I/O 2013 Keynote with enough information to force that hi-res photo of Vic Gundotra’s forehead into their dreams tonight. Here are the eight best moments:Google Variant Of The Samsung Galaxy S4 A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Android#Chrome#Google#Google IO13 Google didn’t disappoint with its Oprah moment. While a free Google Glass device was obviously the longshot giveaway in the back of everyone’s mind, the company opted instead for a free Chromebook Pixel laptop for every attendee. Not bad. Linking Device Displays Into A Multiplayer Gamelast_img read more

  • Are Spin-Offs and Media Tie-Ins Changing The Summer Blockbuster?

    first_imgHollywood’s biggest franchises are increasingly creating offscreen media tie-ins. These extras can be great, but is this damaging the films themselves?There was a time when a film would end as soon the credits rolled. The characters had fulfilled their journey; the plot had come to its conclusion. The end. However, with the increase in studios pushing for franchises that share the “in-film universe,” and studios clamoring to produce more films spun from previous hits, we’re seeing an increase in film characters living off the screen in short films, novels, and comics. However, more worryingly, we’re also starting to see a shift of important onscreen information offscreen.What Is Canon?Before we break down how content delivery is evolving, we must first understand canon, because when we look at how spin-off media can get misused, we can see how studios are using canon to encourage consumers to purchase tie-in merchandise.Canon simply is a term that grants official merit from filmmakers or license holders to spin-off property. It’s a term you hear a lot in the science fiction and fantasy genres, and it’s no coincidence that we see spin-off and tie-in media predominantly from these genres.Nathan Ditum at Kotaku has a lengthy essay on “Why People Get So Worked Up About ‘Canon’,” which is a fascinating read in itself, but there’s a key area that Nathan touches upon:The reason this is such a compelling thing, despite the surface madness of it, is that love sends us crazy. When we love a world, we want to exist and revel in it. We want it to be true. And that truth is disrupted by inconsistency and contradiction. We need that integrity — our belief requires it. Canon is about neatness, and appreciation, and the urge to know and absorb everything about something you love. It’s about ownership and protectiveness. And it can also be unexpectedly damaging.Novels that expand a film’s story are not new — they’ve been around for quite some time, and film novelizations will often offer new perspectives you don’t see in the films that inspire them. For example, in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial by William Kotzwinkle, we go into the mind of E.T. himself.However, the need to know everything has perhaps been used most efficiently by the Star Wars franchise. Since 1999’s Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, each film has inspired novels, comics, video games, and animated cartoons that expand the themes and characters in the movies. Since The Force Awakens, the media tie-in trend has continued, but we have also seen the franchise asking us to discover information elsewhere, instead of presenting it to us in the film itself.Negative Use of Spin-off Media“Goodness! Han Solo! It is I, C-3PO. You probably don’t recognize me . . . because of the red arm.”For the few who did not see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that line was delivered by a robotic character who usually sports identical gold arms, and as you can tell from the quote, one arm is now red.That wasn’t just a quip to Han Solo to make the audience laugh (although the people in my theatre sure did), the golden droid was also inviting us to ask the same question: “How did you get that red arm?” The problem is, the movie doesn’t tell us. To find out, you have to purchase the $1.99 comic from Marvel.Image via Marvel.While you could easily read a summary of the story somewhere online, when we’re talking about canon (and that insufferable desire to know everything about the world you love), you might think you’re getting cheated out of a quick explanation — just so some fans will buy the information later. And the issue isn’t only about plot information. This trend can include characters, too.In 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we met the stuttering McGuffin character known as “DJ.” This character helped the protagonists get from point A to B — only to betray them in the end. Where this character came from, what his motives are, and why he works for the highest bidder are all mysteries. That is, unless you buy the tie-in comic. As one CinemaBlend reader commented, “I remember when characters in movies were written well enough that they didn’t need alternative methods of storytelling to make you care about them.”Changing the OutcomeIn 2013, Marvel released the hotly anticipated Iron Man 3. It opened to favorable reviews and broke a dozen box office records. However, hardcore fans of the property were disappointed at the twist reveal of the Mandarin — in that there wasn’t one. At least, not in the style the fans are used to. In brief, The Mandarin is to Iron Man what the Joker is to Batman, and viewers didn’t get this information in the movie.The studio heard the fans loud and clear. A year later, Marvel released a direct-to-video short film titled “All Hail The King,” which featured Trevor Slattery, the false Mandarin. In the short, we see that there is, in fact, a terrorist group led by the real Mandarin and that Slattery’s impersonation has displeased him.The short film is a quick bolt of energized fun that expands the Marvel universe beyond the feature films. But more importantly, it nullifies the villain’s journey in Iron Man 3. In one scene, the villain of the film, Aldrich Killian, shouts “No more false faces. You said you wanted ‘The Mandarin’ . . . you’re looking right at him. It was always me Tony, right from the start. I am the Mandarin!” Well, after the short film, not anymore — just as Trevor is no longer the fake Mandarin, Aldrich is no longer the real Mandarin.Speaking to UpRoxx, director Shane Black had the following to say:Marvel saw so many negative things they made a whole other movie just to apologize called [All] Hail the King. In which they said, ‘No, no, the Mandarin is still alive. That wasn’t him. There’s a real Mandarin.’ The only reason they made that was an apology to fans who were so angry . . . We didn’t know. We all thought they’d eat it up because it never occurred to us the Mandarin is as iconic to people as, say, the Joker in Batman.With one short film, the studio was able to hint at the existence of the beloved villain (although we’ve yet to see or hear about the Mandarin) and keep the peace with the fans. However, you have to ask about the integrity of the artistic vision when filmmakers can change elements of a story after the fact with a spin-off. Sure, we’re talking about a superhero blockbuster here, but still, when you walk out of a theater knowing that what you’ve just seen can change depending on the fans’ reactions, it can feel empty; nothing is complete.Tie-Ins Done WellIt’s easy to focus on the negatives aspects of tie-in media, but there are plenty examples of stand-alone material that enriches the lore of a film’s universe.When we watch a drama or thriller, the story may linger with us for a few days while digest what we’ve just watched and how it has positively or negatively affected us, but we don’t necessarily continue to wonder how that world, within that story, is still turning. It’s our world; we don’t need to.However, in genre films — mainly science fiction, and fantasy, where we are transported to thriving story universe with rich lore, history, and character mythos — there will always be an element of the untold. There is always an event before the storyline that led the characters to their current situations in the film. If you watch any sci-fi or fantasy film, within the first thirty minutes, you’ll often see plenty of plot history.In anticipation of the release of Blade Runner 2049, for example, Warner Brother’s released three short films set before the events in the film, featuring characters from the movie. One of these films covered the blackout event referenced in the film.Luv: “All our memory bearings from the time. They were all damaged in the Blackout. But there are, sometimes, fragments.”The preceding is a simple line of exposition that gives context to the data loss in the film. Warner Brothers also expanded on this event in the short anime film aptly named Blackout 2022.The short explores who caused the blackout, how it happened, and the circumstances surrounding it — and we also see an animated glimpse of the character Sapper, who appears in the feature. The most important thing to note: this short film works on its own. You do not have to watch it to understand a vital element of 2049, nor does it change the events of 2049 — it simply offers additional insight into a plot event. Further, it works as a stand-alone short film that someone without any knowledge of Blade Runner could appreciate. (Although, of course, watching both movies improves your experience of each.)A more modest example of tie-ins used correctly is Alien: Covenant’s Last Supper prologue. Although the prologue lacks a typical short film narrative and merely serves as a prologue to the feature, we’re get glimpse of the crew members and their characteristics, the ship design, and an updated version of the android portrayed by Michael Fasbender.As with the Blade Runner 2049 short films, you don’t have to see this sequence to appreciate the film itself. It’s an addition to the film. I think if studios want continue to use short films, comics, and novels to expand their film worlds, it should be in the vein of these examples: a promotional teaser like the Alien clip or an expanded event like Blackout 2022. It’s a method that adds integrity and adventure to a film’s premise, not something that asks you to devote more time and money after the experience for essential information about a character or plot event that should have appeared in the film itself.Interested in the filmmakers behind some of the industry’s leading movies? Check out these interviews:Behind The Scenes: Crafting The Stylized Naturalism of Bomb City with DP Jake WilganowskiThe Disaster Artist: Editing A Film About Making a FilmExclusive: Designing Wakanda and the Amazing Sets of Black PantherInterview: How the Editor Behind I, Tonya Recreated HistoryInterview: How This Oscar Nom Edited Downsizing While Directing His First Featurelast_img read more

  • Behind rookie Collin Sexton, Cavs thwart bruised, Giannis-less Bucks

    first_imgGoogle Philippines names new country director The Bucks are staggering toward the end of what has been a special season. The Eastern Conference leaders were without Antetokounmpo, one of the top MVP candidates, who missed his second game in a row with a sprained right ankle. They were also down five other rotational players including starting guard Malcolm Brogdon (foot) and forward Nikola Mirotic (thumb).Khris Middleton scored 26 points and Eric Bledsoe 24 for the Bucks, who couldn’t wrap up their first division title since 2001. They were at a disadvantage as Antetokounmpo sat in warmups and watched from the end of Milwaukee’s bench.“When you don’t come out on top it never feels good,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “The guys, the competitive fight they brought in not the easiest of circumstances, I’ll take that any night.”Down 105-102, Milwaukee had a chance to tie it but had an ugly turnover without getting a shot off with less than 10 seconds remaining.Cleveland’s Kevin Love, who missed Monday’s game in Detroit with a sore back, left in the third quarter with an apparent head injury. He banged into Bledsoe late in the second quarter and played just three minutes in the third before going to the locker room for evaluation.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Since March 11, the Cavs have beaten Toronto, Detroit and Milwaukee — three probable playoff teams and in the Raptors and Bucks, the two top teams record-wise in the league.“Since the All-Star break, we’ve been playing well,” said Thompson, who had seven points and six rebounds in his first game since Jan. 16. “We’ve been playing well at home, beaten some good teams at home. I’d like to say if it was the NCAA Tournament, we’d definitely be a bubble team. We’ve got some good big wins.”TIP-INSBudenholzer and Bledsoe were given technicals for arguing during the break between the first and second quarters. … Antetokounmpo scored 44 with 14 rebounds in Milwaukee’s win at Cleveland on Dec. 14. … Dropped to 13-2 in the Central.Cavaliers: Nance finished with seven points, a team-high five assists, two steals and two blocks. … Although having Thompson on the floor would have certainly helped them win some games, Drew said the Cavs didn’t push Thompson. “I was hoping we would have gotten him back sooner,” Drew said. “But any time you are dealing with an injury, you can’t rush players back. ” … G Matthew Dellavedova missed his seventh straight game with a concussion.UP NEXTBucks: Host Miami on Friday.Cavaliers: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon eventcenter_img Cleveland Cavaliers’ Collin Sexton (2) drives past Milwaukee Bucks’ D.J. Wilson (5) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 107-102. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)CLEVELAND — Collin Sexton has left a sluggish, sometimes painful start to his pro career, behind him.He’s taking off, and he might just take the Cavaliers with him.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sexton scored 25 points and became the first NBA rookie to score at least 23 in seven straight games since 1998 as Cleveland delayed Milwaukee from clinching the Central Division on Wednesday night with a 107-102 win over the bruised Bucks, who were without superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.Sexton made a 3-pointer with 1:42 left and dropped a driving layup one minute later as the Cavs held on for one of their signature wins in an otherwise dismal season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsSexton’s development has been one of the bright spots for the Cavs, who have undergone a coaching change and been riddled with injuries. His seven-game scoring streak is the longest for any rookie since Tim Duncan did it 21 years ago.“That’s what’s up,” Sexton said, smiling. “It’s cool. He’s a legend. We got the win against the No. 1 team, so that’s even better.” NBTC: RJ Abarrientos shines as FEU stuns Canada Durham to enter semis MOST READ The team did not have any further information on Love, who finished with 10 rebounds in 18 minutes.“He didn’t seem to be himself,” coach Larry Drew said.While the Bucks are nursing injuries, the Cavs were as close to full strength as they’ve been in months as Tristan Thompson returned after missing 26 games with a sore left foot. It was a rare chance for Drew to have three of his top frontcourt players in Thompson, Love and Larry Nance Jr., who had missed the previous five games with a chest bruise.“It felt good having that many bodies,” Drew said.Middleton did all he could to carry the Bucks in the first half by scoring 18. But without enough support, he couldn’t keep up with the better-balanced Cavs, who built a 16-point lead and went into the locker room at halftime leading by 11.MILWAUKEE’S MASH UNITThe Bucks were also without guards Sterling Brown (wrist), Donte DiVicenzo (heel), George Hill (groin) and center Pau Gasol (ankle).Budenholzer dismissed a report that Mirotic, who got hurt during Tuesday’s win over the Lakers, could be out for as long as a month. The Bucks did not provide a timeline in their release.“These things can always change,” he said. “In a perfect world, they’re less. Sometimes they take longer. This is a little bit of a unique injury.”MARCH MADNESS Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other View commentslast_img read more

  • 8 Ways to Solve Prospects’ Problems Through Your Marketing

    first_img Originally published May 14, 2012 12:48:00 PM, updated August 26 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Content Creation You’re in business because you provide solutions. You’ve got answers. You’re the (wo)man with the plan. Let’s take a look at some of our customers, for example. AmeriFirst Home Mortgage helps home buyers find the right mortgage for them. In The News helps businesses memorialize their accomplishments with custom lamination and engraving. HubSpot helps marketers get an end-to-end view of their marketing activities to determine which channels provide the most ROI.Notice how none of those explanations of what each company provides focused on the specific product or service? That’s because the product or service isn’t what makes a lead want to be your customer — it’s a solution to their problem that people care about. Your business is successful because it provides some solution, but if your campaigns seem to be flailing a bit, it may be because you haven’t applied that problem-solving principle to your marketing.Plan your content for every persona and stage of the buying cycle. [Free Content Mapping Template]Not yet, anyway. This post will give you plenty of ideas to implement that will make your marketing more solution-oriented. That way, your prospects see you as a helpful problem solver they actually like and trust … not just a peddler of your product or service!How to Inject Problem Solving Into Your Marketing1) Create how-to blog content. As most inbound marketers know, success starts with content; so begin by writing blog posts that solve peoples’ problems! If you’ll allow me to get meta for a minute, this very blog post about how to be a problem solver is, well, solving a problem. People reading this presumably want to know how to inject more problem solving into their marketing, and this post is providing solutions to that problem. When writing your how-to blog content, focus on providing actionable advice. There’s already a ton of content out there that says a lot without really saying anything at all. But you want your content to give you credibility and authority; you can do that by making sure your reader walks away from the blog post with at least one thing he or she can do to be better.2) Create lead gen offers that make people’s lives easier. Helpful content doesn’t end with blog posts, nor does successful marketing. You need to convert that blog traffic into leads, and if you’ve written some amazing content, your readers will probably want to learn more from you. Create lead gen content that will help your readers be more successful — at work, at home, whatever it is your customers need. For example, HubSpot has released tons of ebooks that show marketers how to do something, like set up their Facebook page timeline, for instance. Or perhaps you’d like to create some templates for your audience, like we did with our downloadable leads waterfall graph that we encourage all marketers to use. If you’re looking for some inspiration, we’ve written an entire guide to creating lead gen offers quickly.3) Source problems to feed your content. I’m asking you to create all this content, but where will the topics come from? You should be speaking with the people on the front lines of your business on a daily basis — employees working in Services, Support, and Sales hear questions from prospects and customers during every conversation. Ask all employees to document these questions and problems and send them your way to feed your solution-oriented content. And if any of them fancy themselves a writer, they can document their answers, too, for a guest spot on your blog! (Tip: As you write this content, be sure to keep other departments in the know. Sales, Services, and Support should be equipped with an arsenal of content they can send to their prospects and customers that answers their questions. This will not only establish trust and authority between employees and your prospects and customers, but for Sales, it could shorten the buying cycle, too.)4) Leverage the brainpower of your community. Part of being a helpful, solution-oriented marketer is connecting people with content that solves their problems … regardless of the source. Look, nobody knows everything. You’re surrounded by people that have data, research, insights, and experiences from which your audience would benefit. Tap into that brainpower, and be the one to share it with the rest of your community! We’re doing this now, in fact, with our push for our social media community to contribute ideas for our next blog post.Want your Twitter username FT’d on the greatest list of marketing pet peeves? Respond with what annoys YOU! Follow us to hear the best ones.— HubSpot (@HubSpot) May 14, 2012Not only is this an excellent way to build strong relationships with others in your industry, but it also shows that you’re committed to providing answers for people regardless of the source.5) Monitor and respond to social media inquiries. Speaking of social media, your active presence on social sites can contribute to your reputation as a thought leader, problem solver, and all around awesome business. This means more than just monitoring your Twitter stream for questions you can answer, though. Think outside of the box a bit! Visit places like LinkedIn Answers, Quora, and industry forums to see what problems people are having. Take a look at how HubSpotter Meghan Keaney Anderson improved both HubSpot’s clout, and her own, by answering Scott’s question on Quora. Take special note of how she linked back to a blog post HubSpot wrote that answers his question, too!6) Optimize for long-tail search. Long-tail search is a critical component of any well-rounded SEO and content strategy, and it provides tremendous opportunity for marketers that are looking to be more solution-oriented with their content. That’s because many long-tail keywords are centered around interrogative queries, like “what makes a good blog post,” or “where should I host my blog,” or “how to start a blog.” Not only does centering content and SEO around long-tail keywords of this nature give you another avenue to assert yourself as a helpful marketer instead of a pushy salesperson, but it also helps you achieve higher search rankings quicker, and with a more niche market than short-tail and head terms allow. And if the keywords provide solutions to evergreen problems — in other words, problems that your audience will always face — your website will also enjoy ongoing organic traffic as a result of your high ranking for these long-tail queries!7) Nurture leads with emails based on their problems. Now that you have all of this fantastic, solution-oriented content, you should use it to nurture your leads! After all, you can’t have a successful lead nurturing program without a full arsenal of content. Consider segmenting your lists and creating lead nurturing tracks that address specific buyer problems. You can identify the problems right in your landing page forms. Take a look at the optional field we at HubSpot include on almost all of our landing pages to allow us to do this type of nurturing.By asking leads to identify their biggest marketing challenge, we get a better idea of what problems our audience face so we can create content to address it, and simultaneously target prospects in our email sends according to the problems they need an answer to.8) Create apps and tools that help solve a problem. Tools and apps — especially free ones — are mutually beneficial for businesses and their audience. Let’s take one of HubSpot’s free tools, Marketing Grader, as an example. Marketing Grader helps solve a problem many marketers face … they don’t know how good their marketing is. When you enter your website into the free tool, you get a comprehensive report that tells you not just an arbitrary grade, but also actionable advice on exactly what areas of your marketing need improvement, and how you can do it. It even provides links to content that helps solve your problems. So ask yourself: “Self, is there a tool or mobile app I could develop to help my leads and customers?” If there’s a problem people in your industry face, make your business the one that solves it!How do you inject problem solving into your marketing to gain the trust and loyalty of your prospects?Image credit: Tomasz Stasiuk Topics:last_img read more