18 Dec
2019

Flying Art

first_imgQantas has unveiled a new Boeing 737-800 in Seattle featuring a striking ingenious art livery as a flying tribute to the world’s oldest continuing culture.It is the fourth aircraft in Qantas’ flying art series in partnership with Australian designers Balarinji that began with the first Indigenous livery “Wunala Dreaming” on a 747 aircraft in 1994.Balarinji’s livery design is inspired by the work of late West Australian Aboriginal painter, Paddy Bedford.The livery is an interpretation of the 2005 painting “Medicine Pocket” which captures the essence of Mendoowoorrji, Paddy Bedford’s mother country in the East Kimberly region of Western Australia.It is joint initiative between the airline, the family and estate of Paddy Bedford, Australian Indigenous design studio Balarinji and the National Gallery of Australia. The Balarinji Design Studio has collaborated on the design of all four flying art designs.Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said “as Australia’s national carrier we will fly this livery with great pride. It not only reflects our rich history as a country, it highlights the opportunities we have to promote our indigenous culture to the Australian public and international customers.”Newly announced Qantas Ambassador Indigenous AFL player Adam Goodes took part in the delivery.“I am honoured to be standing alongside this aircraft in all its glory today It represents our people and our culture and it is only fitting that Qantas as the Spirit of Australia is using this aircraft to showcase over 60,000 years of Aboriginal art and culture.”Balarinji’s Managing Director, Ros Moriarty, lauded Qantas for its commitment to reconciliation.“In our studio’s 30th year, it is a privilege to once again work with Qantas on an iconic Indigenous art aircraft. We applaud Qantas for the leadership in supplier diversity and reconciliation.”Mendoowoorrji is the airline’s 69th 737-800.Mr Bedford died in July 2007, aged 85, and was hailed as one of Australia’s coolest painters, although only ten years into a spectacular career.He found worldwide acclaim with his innovative approach to the “Turkey Creek” style of plain ochre and sparse lines pioneered by artistic luminaries Rover Thomas and Queenie McKenzie.Mr Bedford however did not start painting for exhibition until he was well into his 70s when a Melbourne art dealer stumbled across a collection of his discarded paintings bound for the local tip at Turkey Creek.Deeply grounded in traditional lore and ceremonial practice as a senior Gija elder of Jawalyi skin, Mr Bedford enjoyed his rare ventures into the “whitefella art world” where he was feted by curators, buyers and other admirers.However in the city he cut a fine figure with his elegant silver-tipped cane, stockman’s hat and Armani suit he loved to wear to special occasions.Former Art Gallery of WA Director Alan Dodge commented to The West Australian’s Arts Editor Steve Bevis on Mr Bedford’s passing that “he was real character.”“He was also one of the greatest indigenous artists of our time and a lot of people loved him personally. He had a wonderful sense of humour and was a very warm person.Mr Bedford’s humour and warmth was to the fore despite an upbringing that would break most.After spending his childhood at Bedford Downs, Bedford was incorrectly diagnosed with leprosy just before World War II and sent to the leprosarium in Derby where he met and married Emily Watson.They had one daughter, Cathy, who was taken away, along with Theresa, a second daughter from another relationship, and raised in the mission at Beagle Bay.Returning to Bedford Downs in the 1950s, he worked for many years as a stockman for rations of flour, tea and tobacco until he was forced to leave in the mass evictions in the early 1970s after the introduction of legislated equal wages.He later worked for Main Roads shifting rocks on the Gibb River Road before a back injury forced him on to welfare and retirement at the Warmun Aboriginal community at Turkey Creek.It was there Mr Bedford took up painting.last_img read more

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16 Dec
2019

Chilling Out With Air Conditioners

first_img[This reflects a few corrections from the original posting]My wife and I did our outside work early, while the weather was still bearable. Since mid-day we’ve been holed up in the house. It’s not exactly cool indoors, but we’ve had the house closed up and it’s about 15 degrees cooler than outdoors. If it gets much warmer, though, I admit that I’ll at least be thinking about getting an air conditioner—as I do every year for a few days during the hottest weather.Readers of last week’s blog know that there are usually ways to avoid mechanical air conditioning (at least in Vermont)—though in places like Phoenix (where it was forecast to reach 109°F today), air conditioners are pretty-much a necessity.So what is an air conditioner exactly, and how does it work?A short history of refrigerant-cycle air conditionersRemarkably, one of our founding fathers, Ben Franklin, had a hand in the underlying science of air conditioning. In 1758, Ben Franklin and a colleague in England, chemist John Hadley, conducted an experiment on the cooling properties of evaporation. By using a bellows to evaporate highly volatile liquids like alcohol and ether, they were able to drop the temperature to 7°F, building up a thick layer of ice on their mercury thermometer—while the ambient temperature was 64°F.In 1820, another of history’s greatest scientists, the British inventor Michael Faraday, showed that by mechanically compressing ammonia to liquefy (condense) it and then allowing the ammonia to expand and evaporate, he could cool air. And in 1842, a Florida physician, John Gorrie, wanting to keep patients cool, was able to use this principal to make ice in an Apalachicola hospital. Gorrie patented his system in 1851 and hoped to commercialize it to cool buildings, but his financial backer died, and with it, Gorrie’s path to success. Air conditioning would not reappear for 50 years.In 1902, Willis Carrier of Syracuse, New York perfected a system for dehumidifying a commercial printing plant. The goal was to stabilize the paper, but the invention also kept the plant’s temperature more comfortable and the workers more productive. He formed The Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America to produce these systems, eventually extending beyond commercial buildings to homes. With 32,000 employees in 170 countries, Carrier Corporation (now a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation) is today one of the world leaders in high-technology heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration systems.Refrigerant-cycle air conditionersThe operation of a mechanical air conditioner depends on a refrigerant, a specialized fluid whose phase can be altered between liquid and vapor by compressing and then evaporating it in a closed loop. This phase change process absorbs and releases heat, thus enabling an air conditioner to move heat from one place to another—even if that heat flow is from a cooler to a warmer space (seemingly in opposition to Second Law of Thermodynamics). This vapor-compression or refrigerant cycle is the principle behind nearly all air conditioners, as well as heat pumps and your kitchen refrigerator.It’s a complicated process, though, so hang onto your hat!In an air conditioner, refrigerant is pumped through a closed loop where it is alternately evaporated and condensed. In the process of evaporation, which usually occurs inside the house, heat from the house is absorbed into the refrigerant—cooling the house. That gaseous refrigerant is then pumped to the condenser, located outside the house, where the compressor mechanically compresses the vapor, increasing its pressure and causing it to condense back into liquid; this process releases the heat that was absorbed inside the house.The evaporator coils and condenser coils are heat exchangers that transfer heat first from the indoor air into the refrigerant and then from the refrigerant to the outside air. It’s an elegant process that is largely hidden inside the air conditioner components. In a window air conditioner, this refrigerant cycle occurs in a single box, absorbing heat on the room side and rejecting it on the side hanging outside the window. In a central air conditioner the indoor and outdoor units are separate and connected by refrigerant lines.To summarize, this refrigerant cycle is a closed loop, and two phase changes occur every time the refrigerant is pumped around that loop. Heat is absorbed on one side of the loop (evaporation) and rejected on the other (condensation). In a heat pump this refrigerant cycle can be reversed allowing heat from the outside air the be captured and delivered into the house during the winter months. (I told you this was going to be complicated!)Very significantly, air conditioners lower household humidity levels. This occurs because the evaporator coils that are in contact with the house air are cold (below the dew point temperature), and moisture from the indoor air condenses on them (just as water condenses on the outside of your glass of iced tea on a hot humid day). This condensate is captured and drained outside the building, thus removing that moisture from the house and lowering the relative humidity. That condensate is what drips on you when you walk underneath a window air conditioner in the summer.Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. He also coauthored BuildingGreen’s special report on windows that just came out. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.last_img read more

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16 Dec
2019

Retrofits versus Reductions

first_imgAnyone who is contemplating a deep energy retrofit has to consider multiple approaches and techniques for taking the diverse building stock we have and transforming it — from the standpoint not just of energy use, but also comfort, health and safety, and durability — because so much of our building stock is plagued with deficiencies. Retrofits fix the issues with the building — and saving energy almost ends up as a desirable byproduct.If energy saving is the principal goal, it’s important to look carefully at the choices the occupants make. Energy in buildings goes to more than heating and cooling, which are the main loads that retrofits target. Over forty percent of primary energy in U.S. homes goes to non-thermal loads.Once we superinsulate a house in New England, energy for heating, once the largest load by a comfortable margin, may become the smallest load among heating, domestic hot water (DHW), and plug loads/lighting/appliances (PLA). To get to truly low energy performance then requires focus on domestic hot water and PLA loads. RELATED ARTICLES What Is a Deep Energy Retrofit?Deep Energy Retrofits Are Often MisguidedThe High Cost of Deep-Energy RetrofitsIt’s Not About Space HeatingWindow Installation Tips for a Deep Energy Retrofit Roofing and Siding Jobs Are Energy-Retrofit OpportunitiesBest Construction Details for Deep-Energy RetrofitsBuilding Details for a Deep-Energy RetrofitThe History of the Chainsaw RetrofitA German Deep-Energy Retrofit Deep savings without a deep energy retrofitWith motivated homeowners, it’s possible to get deep energy reductions without a deep energy retrofit. People can do a moderate amount of weatherization work on a house, and then install a point-source heater such as a single-zone minisplit heat pump to keep the most-used part of the house comfortable. The rest of the house runs cooler and the main heating system stays off until the outdoor conditions get severe.Lots of savings have been demonstrated with this approach. Couple that with LED lighting replacement in high-use fixtures; great low-flow showerheads like the Delta H2OKinetic; a horizontal-axis clothes washer; and (depending on the household size) perhaps a heat-pump water heater. Replace the dryer with a drying rack and a clothesline. Make a concerted attempt to keep appliances and entertainment stuff off when not using it. Hunt down phantom loads.Combine all of the above, and the total outlay might be $10,000 to $20,000. The energy saved might equal or even exceed what a second household might achieve by going the whole enchilada and doing a deep energy retrofit, especially if that second household is much less conscious of their domestic hot water and PLA usage, and heats the whole retrofitted house to comfort temperatures. Relief from ice dams is worth somethingI’ve noticed that households that pursue a deep energy retrofit have a pretty wide range of energy use per person. The climate doesn’t care how we each reduce our consumption, just that we do. Of course a motivated, conserving household living in a house that has undergone a deep energy retrofit will have the lowest energy usage of all, but if a household is committed to reducing their carbon emissions, they needn’t spend six figures to get there.What a deep energy retrofit gets that the other strategy (targeted weatherization and behavior-based deep energy reductions) may not is relief from the non-energy deficiencies — ice dams, pest infestations, water issues, mold, etc. — and true comfort. The cost of remediating those defects shouldn’t have to be paid for solely by the energy savings that accrue. A deep energy retrofit courseI’m excited because I’ve been putting together a new online course on deep energy retrofits. Because there are so many different buildings and conditions, and therefore solutions, the course is based on case studies, and we show many approaches that people have chosen to implement.To learn more about the transformative possibilities of deep energy retrofits, click on the link for the ten-week Deep Energy Retrofit online course, and join me starting September 14th. Comparing a deep energy retrofit with weatherizationI live in a zero net energy house that has undergone a deep energy retrofit. Previously, I weatherized a pretty good house and also reaching zero net energy.I like the second house a lot better because of its superior comfort and air quality. But I spent a lot more money to get there, and the total energy performance isn’t much better, because domestic hot water usage and PLA loads are pretty similar. The deep energy retrofit house uses less energy for heating at an even 70°F setpoint than the pretty good house used with some temperature setback and letting parts of the house get cooler. I hope to live in this retrofitted house for a long time, and it’s worth it to me to have spent what I did to get a house my wife and I are so pleased to inhabit. I’m just not fooling myself that I needed a deep energy retrofit to achieve deep energy reductions, if that was my only goal.last_img read more

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3 Dec
2019

Disgruntled legislators give PDP the jitters

first_imgBharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary Ram Madhav on Saturday may have attempted to put to rest the speculation on government formation in J&K, but the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC) accused the BJP “of making bids to split local parties”.NC vice-president Omar Abdullah alleged that the State unit of the BJP had admitted to being party to efforts to break the PDP. “Power at any cost would seem to be the guiding philosophy [of the BJP],” the former Chief Minister said.Turning against partyMr. Abdullah’s remarks come days after at least five PDP legislators — Imran Ansari, Abid Ansari, Abbas Wani, Yasir Reshi and Javaid Beigh — hinted at quitting the party and expressed “disillusionment with Ms. Mufti’s leadership.” Mr. Ansari hinted at many leaders from the Congress and the NC “ready to quit their parties.” “J&K is set to witness a political tsunami,” he said.However, no MLA has put in papers. The anti-defection law in J&K is stringent.What compounds worries for PDP president Mehbooba Mufti is the growing number of disgruntled members, like Rajpora Haseeb Drabu and Lolab Abdul Haq Khan, MLAs, who are maintaining a “meaningful distance from the party’s central leadership”.Delhi meetingsMr. Drabu’s meeting in New Delhi with Peoples Conference (PC) chief Sajjad Lone, considered close to the BJP and Mr. Madhav, fuelled speculation of a third front being formulated ahead of the Assembly polls. Mr. Ansari is also considered close to Mr. Drabu and Mr. Lone, who is emerging as a point-man to cobble a third front ahead of the elections.last_img read more

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