HIS Church Brings in Food Items

first_imgThe international charity, HIS Church, based in Lincolnshire, the United Kingdom, has dispatched three 40-foot containers to Liberia containing food and non-food items to assist indigent communities throughout the country in the wake of the untold sufferings caused by the Ebola virus outbreak.The items, estimated at $1.4 million United States dollars, are in response to a special appeal recently  made to the charity by the Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai.According to the Coordinator at HIS Church Charity, Mr. Richard Humphrey, “his organization is immensely pleased to identify with Liberia at this critical time in the country’s history,  especially considering the devastating effects the ongoing Ebola virus has had on the human capacity and infrastructure developments initiated by the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.”Speaking further, he said one of the containers is loaded specifically with items to assist communities devastated by the Ebola outbreak. The items include mattresses, beddings, kitchenware, clothing, sewing machines, high grade Basmati rice, high visibility jackets, handbags, anti-bacteria lotions among others.He noted that “the food and non-food items are intended to assist residents in quarantined communities with basic needs while helping to contain the spread of the virus and the loss of additional lives”.Also speaking at the loading bay in Lincolnshire, the Liberian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Rudolf von Ballmoos, thanked HIS Church Charity on behalf of the President, government and people of Liberia for the huge consignment of items designated for the people of Liberia. He noted, “This  gesture on the part of HIS Church Charity demonstrates the level of concern shown by international organizations towards the eradication of the Ebola virus from Liberia.The unexpected emergence of the Ebola virus at a time when the government is pursuing a protracted transformation agenda following years of civil conflict, said Ambassador von Ballmos, has the potential to cause distractions.  He, however,  assured His Church leaders that the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf remains committed to eliminating the virus from the country with the support of all friendly governments and international organizations.The containers are being loaded at the Felixstowe port outside London and are expected to arrive in Liberia by the end of September.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Qhubeka: bicycles for rural development

first_img2 May 2013 Team MTN-Qhubeka, Africa’s first UCI-registered Professional Continental cycling team, is the most successful and largest multi-discipline cycling race team in Africa, comprising 24 men and women of varying African nationalities competing in road, mountain bike and BMX racing. MTN-Qhubeka races a full professional UCI-continental road and mountain bike schedule throughout Africa, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. In March, it became the first African team to line up in a World Tour race when it took part in the Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy. In the team’s follow-up race, the classic Milan Sanremo – at 298km the longest one-day race in world cycling – MTN-Qhubeka’s Gerald Ciolek claimed the first victory for an African team at World Tour level, while Songezo Jim became the first black South African rider to race a World Tour event.‘Mobilising change – one bicycle at a time’ The team’s focus, however, is as much on youth and community development as it is on winning races – although the vehicle in both cases is the bicycle. Through its partnership with South African non-profit organisation Qhubeka, the team helps rural African communities by giving bicycles to children in return for work done to improve their environment and their community: for every 100 trees grown to at least 30 centimetres, or for every ton of waste collected, Qhubeka donates one bicycle. No ordinary bicycle, either, but a Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycle, engineered specifically for African terrain and load requirements, designed by World Bicycle Relief in Chicago, USA and assembled and tested in South Africa. Qhubeka, in partnership with the Wildlands Conservation Trust, has distributed more than 40 000 of the bicycles since 2004, in the process making a massive difference in the lives of rural communities lacking a fundamental element of development: transport. “Rural schoolchildren are particularly badly affected by lack of mobility,” Qhubeka notes on its website. “In South Africa, of the 16-million school-going children, 12-million walk to school. Of these, 500 000 walk more than two hours each way, spending four hours getting to and back from school each day.”Creating community ‘tree-preneurs’ Providing bicycles is a quick, effective and economical method of addressing this problem, while doing this in return for growing trees helps to nurture community “tree-preneurs”, who grow trees from seed and then barter them for food, clothes, education support – and bicycles. Eleven-year-old Katlego, who lives in Vosloorus in South Africa’s Gauteng province, is one of many who have used the opportunity to become a savvy micro-entrepreneur. Having grown 100 trees in a milk bottle nursery in her family’s small yard, Katlego went on to grown 600 tree seedlings and bartered these for six Qhubeka bicycles. One of these she uses to cycle to and from school, drastically reducing her commute time and so giving her more time for homework. The bicycle, designed to carry up to 250 kilograms, also makes it easier for her to fetch water, give someone a lift, or transport groceries. And the other five bicycles? Katlego rents these out to community members for two hours at a time, bringing in money that has significantly boosted her family’s income. “Qhubeka believes that human well-being is dependent on environmental health,” the organisation says. “Through our partnership with Wildlands Conservation Trust we are actively pursuing a world that is not only greener but provides more opportunities for those at the bottom end of the economic scale.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

The Achilles’ Heel of Zoned Duct Systems

first_img Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. What is zoning?Before we find out what that thing is, though, let’s be precise in our language and clear up exactly what we’re talking about. The word “zoning” is used in more than one way in the context of heating and air conditioning systems in a house. First, larger houses are almost always zoned. That is, they have more than one thermostat so you can control the conditions separately in different parts of the house. In a two-story house, for example, there will probably be at least two thermostats — one upstairs and one downstairs. RELATED ARTICLES Is It OK to Close Air Conditioner Vents in Unused Rooms?Keeping Cool in a Two-Story HouseAll About Furnaces and Duct SystemsReturn-Air ProblemsDuct Leakage TestingHow Duct Leakage Steals TwiceThou Shalt Commission Thy Ducts! The problems with the bypass ductA few years ago at the ACI conference, I heard John Proctor and Rick Chitwood discuss the issue of bypass ducts. Proctor isn’t a fan of zoning at all, and Chitwood is. On one point, though, they both agreed: Bypass ducts should never be used.Here are three reasons why:Throwing cold air directly into the return plenum reduces the temperature of the air coming in to be cooled. That makes the evaporator coil get colder, and the colder it gets, the less efficient it becomes.The bypass duct steals air. Even with all three zone dampers open, the bypass duct has a big pressure difference across it, and air is lazy. It’ll cheat and take the path of least resistance whenever possible, in this case the bypass duct.Not only is a colder evaporator coil less efficient, it’s also more likely to freeze up, as the condensation it collects eventually drops below the freezing point. (And if you think a bypass duct is bad for air flow, a frozen coil is way worse. It’s really hard to push air through a solid block of ice.) Last week I wrote about what happens when you try to save energy by closing air conditioning registers in unused rooms. In the end, I recommended not doing it because you won’t save money and you may create some big problems for yourself, like freezing up the coil and killing your compressor.At the end of the article, I mentioned that zoned duct systems do close off registers, and that doing so can be OK with the right kind of equipment and design. But there’s one thing often done in zoned duct systems that’s rarely done well.center_img The other way that the term “zoning” is used is to describe a single duct system attached to a single HVAC system that serves multiple zones. In most homes with forced-air HVAC systems, each thermostat is connected to its own heating and cooling system. The home is zoned, but the HVAC system is not. In a “zoned system,” a single heating and air conditioning system is controlled by multiple thermostats in multiple zones.In the photo above, the three green lights are part of three zone dampers that control the flow of air to three separate zones. Depending on the needs of the house, any combination of one, two, or three zone dampers may be open and sending conditioned air to their respective zones.If only one or two of the zones are calling for air, most air handlers will create extra static pressure because one or two of the pathways are closed off. Enter the bypass duct (shown in Image #2, below). When the system is running but not all of the zone dampers are open, the bypass duct — in theory — is supposed to relieve the extra pressure and maintain good air flow throughout the duct system. Savings from eliminating the bypassJust this week, Proctor posted an article on zoning and bypass ducts on his website. With the article, he included a video demonstration of a zoned system, showing the changes in airflow and temperatures with and without the bypass duct open.Then he performed the calculations to show the efficiency for each configuration. In his little experiment, the three configurations with the bypass duct closed (with no air through bypass) were 22%, 27%, and 32% more efficient than the configuration with the bypass duct open.Of course, if you’re sending air to only one zone, you still have the issues of reduced air flow in a PSC blower and increased energy with an ECM blower, as I described last week for the register-closing scenario. To do zoning right, you’ve got to account for the extra air when one or more zones are closed during operation. Probably the best way to do that is with a multi-stage air conditioner that can also ramp down the fan speed to send less total air through the system.My friend David Butler, one of the most accomplished HVAC designers I know, believes that bypass ducts can be done right… but it’s still best to avoid them. “It’s a tool that should only be used when [other] options aren’t feasible or possible.” The bottom line with zoning is that it’s a tricky business no matter which way you go. ACCA has a zoning protocol called Manual Zr, and that’s a good place to start if you’re going to design a zoned system.last_img read more

The Supervising Sound Editor You’ve Never Heard of Is Quietly Saving Movies

first_imgWe recently spoke with one of the busiest supervising sound engineers in the business about what it takes to build a world using sound.Of all the different elements involved in the production of a film, sound is the unsung hero. A good audio engineer is one of the most valuable assets you can have when making a film. Derek Vanderhorst is a prime example of talent and discipline advancing a career with bigger and bigger projects. He’s worked on cartoons like Rugrats and Oscar powerhouses like No Country for Old Men. His resume is very impressive. (He’s even built his own sound stage, Summit Post.) As both the supervising sound editor and the re-recording mixer on the film Hala, which was just picked up by Apple for distribution, Vanderhorst spoke with us about the film and his career.PremiumBeat: How did you get into the business of being a supervising sound editor?Derek Vanderhorst: I began my career as a foley mixer and decided early on that I wanted to learn about all the aspects of sound editorial. For me, sound design is about the entire soundscape, not just about cutting the cool sounds you hear in films. I’ve been fortunate to have met incredible editors over the years; seeing them assemble teams and build a collaborative spirit is what drew me to supervising and mixing. I also enjoy working closely with all the editorial departments to really craft a cohesive soundscape that suits the project. Learning to edit foley, FX, sound design, backgrounds, dialogue and ADR, and how to mix the films is what has really given me an advantage as a supervising sound editor. PB: How did you approach your work on Hala? I heard you were inspired by one line in the script.DV: Early in the film, Hala has a line that is something to the effect of “It’s the silence that she feared.” This one line sets the entire mood of the film and really inspired me. It allowed me to craft this idea of using empty space to tell the main character’s story and enhance her emotions. The use of sound really let us feel Hala’s loneliness and isolation, particularly through the cacophony of the school hallways, the beautiful exterior sounds and the beat of tension during arguments.Image via Sundance Institute.PB: How was your work on Hala different than projects in the past? DV: I love working with young talented directors like Minhal Baig, who bring such excitement and passion to a project like this. She is a very special director and reminds me of Terrence Malick in her poetic approach to storytelling.  Our job with the sound is simply to support the emotion of the scene, much like you would with music. Sound design for this film allowed us to craft a sonic bed for the emotions to ride, whereas working in a genre like comedy is much more about bringing realism to what you see on screen.Each film is different in that you are working with new material and new people. There are different ways of collaborating. Luckily on Hala, Minhal had a lot of ideas that she had been thinking about since the writing of the script, and she has a wonderful way of verbalizing her ideas. She was incredibly collaborative in the sound process even when she was busy with other elements of finishing the film. She made a lot of time for sound, and it was a very important aspect to her.Image via Sundance Institute.PB: Is there something specific you look for when choosing to work on a film? DV: I love working on studio films, but my real passion is to work with young directors that are pouring their life dreams into their film and really deserve to have the sound taken as seriously as that of a major studio production. I’ve seen too many amazing films struggled to have a proper soundscape due to budget, so when I have time in-between bigger budget films, I look for smaller projects like Hala where I can collaborate with passionate, talented young directors like Minhal.PB: How do you mix a scene with several people talking such as in a round table discussion for broadcast?  Do you manually duck the mics that aren’t being used or is there a noise gate that kills a signal when someone isn’t speaking?DV: Scenes with a lot of people talking are very difficult because you want to keep the natural chaos of the conversations but bring the viewer in to specific lines that drive the story. In the editing process, I will try and split all the characters onto different tracks so we can have as much control as possible over the mix. The use of a gate would sound artificial, and I always love the noise of chaos and the natural messiness of a scene, like the one at the dinner table in Hala.Image via Sundance Institute.PB: Describe the role of a re-recording mixer.DV: A re-recording mixer’s job is to take all the elements that have been recorded and edited from production dialogue, ADR, BGs FX, design, music, [and] to foley and mix them to a master 5.1, 7.1, or Atmos mix. You may start with 1000 tracks of audio, and the job of the mixer is to mix the raw audio into a few final tracks that make up what the audience will hear. If a mix isn’t cohesive, it will really have a negative effect on the audience experience because it can bring them out of the film rather than engaging and drawing them into the story on-screen. PB: What are some tactics you use to match re-recorded audio originally shot outside?DV: I’ve actually recorded actors and groups of actors outside to capture the natural reflections of the exterior. When that can’t be done, using a large ADR stage with limited room reflections is our best tool. Luckily, there are many reverbs and delays that have been developed that let us create an exterior environment.PB: Do you master your mixes, or does that typically get sent to another department?DV: Our final Printmaster that we create on the stage is our master mix, so it’s different than music, where many times it will be sent to a mastering house. Nothing should change in the final Printmaster once it leaves my hands.Image via Summit Post.PB: Could you speak to the level of involvement Summit Post takes in the field versus post-production? What are the specific duties for each department?DV: With larger-budget films and directors that I have relationships with, I like to go to the set early on with a protools system and listen to the sound right after it’s been shot so we can make any necessary adjustments to the production recordings before we get too far down the road, which makes for a much smoother process. If we can spot any issues early, we can correct them, as this will always lead to a much better-sounding film. Many times, I am hired after the film has been shot and when they are beginning the picture editing process, so we do our best with what is available.PB: What advice do you have for someone just starting out in the sound department?DV: Be passionate, make every sound have meaning behind it, and go in ready to learn something new each day. Try to stay humble as it is our job to collaborate with the director and picture editor. The director has had a vision for this film long before we start our process, so keep an open mind and really listen to their ideas and vision. Our entire job is based on listening, so if you’re not listening and hearing your director, then you’ve already missed the coolest part of this job!Cover image via Summit Post.Since premiering at Sundance 2019, Hala has been picked up by Apple for distribution!For more interviews with some of the leading industry creatives, check out our past conversations here:The Disaster Artist: Editing a Film about Making a FilmBlending Documentary and Narrative in “The Drug Runner”Tips for Crowdfunding Over $100,00 for Your Documentary ProjectsHow The Coen Brothers Edit Their FilmsInterview with Screenwriter Patricia Resnick on Mad Men and Altmanlast_img read more

NHF to Ramp Up Service Delivery

first_img This will be achieved through ongoing implementation of several engagements, including drug subsidy provision for specified chronic illnesses under the Individual Benefits Programme and Jamaica Drug for the Elderly Programme (JADEP), and project funding for the Ministry of Health through the Institutional Benefit Programme. National Health Fund (NHF) service delivery, targeting further reduction in healthcare costs, continues in earnest this financial year. As stated in the 2019/20 Public Bodies Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, the support to the Ministry will cover a range of prevention and promotional activities as well as infrastructural development and improvement. Story Highlights National Health Fund (NHF) service delivery, targeting further reduction in healthcare costs, continues in earnest this financial year.This will be achieved through ongoing implementation of several engagements, including drug subsidy provision for specified chronic illnesses under the Individual Benefits Programme and Jamaica Drug for the Elderly Programme (JADEP), and project funding for the Ministry of Health through the Institutional Benefit Programme.As stated in the 2019/20 Public Bodies Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, the support to the Ministry will cover a range of prevention and promotional activities as well as infrastructural development and improvement.Other programmed activities include health fairs, with about 100,000 persons to be screened for various illnesses.The NHF will also be further promoting the Quick Prescript application, which was introduced in 2018 to reduce the waiting time for clients accessing medication via public pharmacies.The application allows users to initiate the processing of prescriptions using smartphones.Individuals are alerted when the medication is ready, which may be collected on presentation of the original prescription.Clients without smartphone access can utilise the Quick Prescript kiosks situated in selected pharmacies.Meanwhile, the NHF is projecting operational surplus of $1.18 billion, while the staff complement will increase to 573 from 558 in 2018/19.last_img read more