Report: Nets aren’t actually Kevin Durant’s top spot; Warriors still in play

first_imgNo one is quite sure which team Kevin Durant will sign with when free agency begins Sunday, but a report Friday suggests it would be a mistake to believe the Brooklyn Nets are the frontrunners to sign the Warriors star.There have been multiple reports the past week suggesting Durant is most likely destined for Brooklyn, but “sources familiar with the matter” told Ian Begley of SportsNet New York that the Nets are not the favorites for Durant.“The idea that the Nets are currently the front …last_img read more

New Forbes Africa out in SA

first_imgRay Maota Patrice Motsepe, South African mining magnate, Mamelodi Sundowns football club owner and billionaire, graces the cover of the first issue of Forbes Africa. (Image: Forbes Africa) MEDIA CONTACTS • Forbes Africa  +27 860 100 209 RELATED ARTICLES • Law and Order comes to Cape Town • SA actresses make it big in Hollywood • Bieber wins top press photo award • Made in Cape Town: African sci-fiForbes Africa, the latest edition of the world-renowned business magazine, has hit the shelves in South Africa.The launch was held at Montecasino in Fourways, northern Johannesburg, on 29 September 2011.The magazine’s inaugural African edition, which went on sale on 1 October, is published by ABN Publishing and distributed by On the Dot, a leading media logistics company in South Africa.Content for the publication will be derived from a partnership with Africa Business News and TV station CNBC Africa.The business magazine can be found at CNA and Exclusive Books, as well as other selected retailers in South Africa. It will also be available in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mauritius, Botswana and Namibia.Chris Bishop, managing editor of the publication, said: “I am honoured to head up Forbes Africa. It will be a crisp and lucid voice which will resonate wherever people do business – a voice that will articulate the energy, hard work and dreams of the people of Africa.“Forbes Africa is a pan-African magazine that will celebrate and analyse the entrepreneurial spirit in the continent to spark ideas.”Cover manGracing the first issue is South African mining magnate, football club owner and billionaire, Patrice Motsepe.In the issue Motsepe comments on the debate surrounding the nationalisation of mines, money and football.Motsepe said at the launch: “It’s a huge honour to be on the cover of this prestigious magazine, as the people that will feature in this publication will reflect just how excellent entrepreneurship has become in Africa.”The chairperson of Africa Rainbow Minerals and owner of Mamelodi Sundowns, one of the top four football teams in the country, is estimated to be worth US$3.3-billion (R28-billion) and was ranked the 503rd billionaire in the world in 2008.Giving his views on nationalisation as an industry leader, Motsepe said in the first issue that he believes business should be caring about the welfare of its fellow citizens – just as it cares about share growth, competitiveness and the next dividend.Commenting on challenges facing his football team, Motsepe said: “We mainly went into soccer not to make money, but as a means of giving back. Of course we never thought we would lose so much money.“But it’s important for people to know they can relate to you, that you are not an arrogant, aloof, uninvolved person.”The 20 most powerful women in AfricaThe first issue of Forbes Africa also highlights the 20 most powerful women on the continent, ranging from positions in politics, telecoms, finance, mining and aeronautics.In order from one – 10, they are: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweal, minister of finance in Nigeria; Joyce Banda, vice-president of Malawi; Gill Marcus, governor of the Reserve Bank of South Africa; Joyce Mujuru, vice-president of Zimbabwe; Diezani Allison-Madueke, minister of petroleum resources in Nigeria; Isabel Dos Santos, an Angolan businesswomen; Maria Ramos, CEO of Absa bank; Mamphele Ramphele, former director of the World Bank; and Linah Mohohlo, governor of the Bank of Botswana.Positions 11 – 20 went to: Nicky-Newton King, deputy CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange; Wangari Mathaai, the first African women to receive a Nobel Peace Prize; Siza Mzimela, CEO of South African Airways; Nonkululeko Nyembezi Heita, CEO of Arcelor Mittal in South Africa; Graça Machel, chancellor of the University of Cape Town; Pinky Moholi, CEO of Telkom; Hynd Bouhia, former director of the Casablanca Stock Exchange; Bridgette Radebe, chairperson of Mmakau Mining; Irene Charnley, non-executive director of the MTN group; and Monhla Hlahla, CEO of Airports Company South Africa.The honour to Wangari Mathaai, Kenyan environmentalist and political activist, comes posthumously as she died in Nairobi at age 71 on 25 September 2011 after a long battle with cancer.She was the first East African women to receive a doctorate in anatomy and the first environmentalist to receive a Nobel Peace Prize for her initiatives in promoting sustainable development, democracy and peace.last_img read more

Building Science Pioneer Dies

first_imgInventor of the chainsaw retrofitGBA senior editor Martin Holladay met Rob Dumont when they were both invited to an expert panel on residential retrofit work in Winnipeg, Manitoba in June 2006 (see Image #3, below). “I interviewed Rob several times over the years,” Holladay recalled. “He was a humble man, quiet and unassuming, and he had a deep understanding of residential energy issues. He was unfailingly kind and generous with his time.”Holladay notes that Rob Dumont, along with his colleague Harold Orr, was the originator of the chainsaw retrofit method. Dumont and Orr were co-authors of a classic 1987 paper, A Major Energy Conservation Retrofit of a Bungalow, a thorough documentation of the world’s first chainsaw retrofit. Varied contributions to buildingDumont moved to Saskatoon in 1970 and earned a master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Saskatoon before starting his career with the National and Saskatchewan Research Councils.Anil Parekh, a professional engineer with Natural Resources Canada, first met Dumont in the late 1980s and worked with him on a number of technical committees over the years. Asked about Dumont’s most important contributions to building science, Parekh rattled off a long list of accomplishments, including his early work on heat recovery ventilators; authorship of computer code that later became HOTCAN for heat loss and heat gain calculations; development of the so-called Factor 9 home that became the cornerstone of net-zero energy building in Canada; and pioneering research that “paved the way for developing [the] ‘house as a system’ approach to deep energy retrofits in Canadian homes.”“He knew the whole house as a system,” Parekh said by telephone, “that when you change on component it’s going to change the others. One really has to look at the practical effects of it. At the same time, he also knew that energy efficiency had to live with indoor air quality.”Parekh recalled that Dumont was part of a team that worked in a garage on the university grounds to develop the first heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) for houses, and idea that was later widely commercialized. HRVs, which provide mechanical ventilation with a minimal energy loss, are now standard for tight, high-performance homes.According to the obituary published in Saskatoon’s The Star Phoenix, these and other projects helped Dumont win a number of awards, including Canada’s National Energy Efficiency Award in 1999 and the leadership award from Building Saskatchewan Green in 2014. The houses that made a differenceFew projects on Dumont’s resume have made as big an impact as the Saskatchewan Conservation House. Although it was boxy and ungainly, it nonetheless incorporated all of the principles that became hallmarks of Passivhaus construction.Dumont was one of 11 team members, led by Harold Orr of the National Research Council, who jumped into the project at the request of the Saskatchewan Provincial Government after the OPEC oil embargo of 1973.“If we use six times as much insulation in the walls and ceiling and use much better windows and doors, we would be down to a total heat loss that is about 20 percent of the heat loss of a conventional house,” Orr wrote in a description of the project for this year’s Passive House Pioneer Award.“The trick is to attach the big wedges of pie first and then do your best on the smaller wedges. When we did this to the proposed SCH, we estimated that we could heat the house with a candle, a 45 Imperial gallon candle, and in 1976 about 33 dollars worth of fuel.”Using double wall construction and a carefully installed vapor and air barrier, the house tested at 0.8 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals, startling close to the current Passivhaus standard of 0.6 ach50.“We were just inventing the technique at the time,” Orr wrote, “and our subsequent designs have allowed much tighter houses down to 0.1 ach50.”Orr worked with Dumont for a number of years after the Conservation House was completed and said by telephone, “He was a very good friend. He had his funny streaks like everybody does, but he was very knowledgeable, and he kept up his knowledge, and was really strong telling people about how to build energy-efficient houses. He had the experience, because he built and owned two houses himself and also retrofitted another house.”Dumont also will be remembered for his work on the Factor 9 home, which he described in a 2010 article in Home Energy magazine. The house, built in Regina, Saskatchewan, was designed to use 90 percent less energy per square meter of floor area than an average existing home in Saskatchewan circa 1970.The house was insulated to R-80 in the attic, R-41 in above grade exterior walls, and R-44 on basement walls, and constructed with structural insulated panels. Windows on the south face of the house captured solar energy, and solar thermal panels provided space heating and hot water. Article on Factor 9 house.pdf UPDATEDRobert Stephen Dumont, a respected and well-liked researcher who helped create the essential elements for high-performance and net-zero energy building, died May 29 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He was 69.Early in his career, Dumont was part of a team that designed the Saskatchewan Conservation House, a 1977 project honored this year by the Passivhaus Institut in Germany and an early forerunner to what became Passivhaus construction in Europe and the U.S.Far ahead of its time, the Saskatchewan Conservation House (Image #2, below) had far more insulation than a conventional house, triple-glazed windows, an insulated crawl space, and a very tight building envelope — all of the elements that builders now routinely use to reduce energy use.His own house in Saskatoon, built in 1992 and described in a 2013 GBA article by Michael Henry, had 16-inch-thick walls filled with cellulose, a drainwater heat exchanger, insulated hot water tank, and other energy-saving features, all in a very conventional looking package.Peter Amerongen, a builder in Edmonton who counted Dumont as an important mentor, visited the house in 2004 after deciding to “up our game” and venture into net-zero construction.“Basically, it was the formula we needed to follow,” Amerongen said of Dumont’s house. “And really, all we’ve done since then is tweak it, and take advantage of the new things that came along.” Praise from the Passivhaus communityKatrin Klingenberg, co-founder and executive director of the Passive House Institute U.S., said she never met Dumont but exchanged emails with him as she and others researched work of the 1970s and ‘80s that led to Passivhaus designs.“From what I could glean,” she wrote in an email, “among others he was instrumental to researching the underlying principles of passive houses and to formulating the core principles. I am deeply grateful for his work and contributions as it has made the work of the next generation, including my own, possible.”In a statement, the Passivhaus Institut praised Dumont’s contributions:“Today, we wish to express our high respect for his great commitment. Rob Dumont has not only contributed to the understanding of the main principles of sustainability. He also brought forward energy efficiency — the key to energy independence and the implementation of renewables and the universal approach everybody can take, regardless of if they are rich or poor in natural resources or if they construct buildings, vehicles or electronics.“The world needs people like Rob Dumont who understand this message, take responsibility for their actions and live for these convictions. We need people like Rob Dumont who know that life is about more than individual financial benefit. The contributions of Rob Dumont will live on forever — as long as there is a decent human society.“We convey our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.” Remembered as a gentle manAmerongen, among others, remembered Dumont as someone steeped in the technical details of building science but who also made his points without rancor.“Whenever I wanted to do something new, I would run it by Rob,” he said, recalling a time when he was adamant about discontinuing the use of polyethylene vapor barriers in outside walls. “And he very gently told me he didn’t think it was a good idea to get rid of the vapor barrier in our climate.“It seems like he was right on in that regard,” Amerongen continued. “And so the first time he was very gently advising me not to do it, and then I took another passive house course and passed the exam and got heated up about getting rid of the vapor barrier, and the second time he was more forceful and basically told me not to be an idiot. He didn’t say it that way, of course, but that’s what I felt.“He was so incredibly observant and would always report his observations with this really gentle, matter of fact way. It was never about him. It was always about the information.”last_img read more

Arunachal Pradesh, India’s hydroelectric powerhouse, stares at water scarcity

first_imgArunachal Pradesh is staring at scarcity of water, the very resource that is expected to make the frontier State India’s hydroelectric powerhouse.On Saturday, the State’s Minister for Environment and Forests Nabam Rebia said more than 200 rivers and streams across Arunachal Pradesh have dried up. This, he felt, would soon make the State face shortage.The scenario, he indicated, could be as grim as Shimla, the capital of another “presumably water-abundant” Himalayan State that underwent a severe water crisis recently.Mr. Rebia attributed the drying up of water bodies to rampant destruction of forests besides thinning glaciers in the Eastern Himalayas due to climate change.“The State’s forest cover has decreased from 82% to 79% and catchment areas of many rivers are under threat because of jhum (slash-and-burn) cultivation and landslides,” he said at an official function in the Papum Pare district. Large-scale hunting of animals, too, has been a factor in the depletion of the State’s natural resources, Mr. Rebia said. He added that the State government would ban hunting of wildlife. Many communities hunt birds and animals for food and adornment of traditional headgear. Wild animals such as Asiatic black bear, leaf deer and Mishmi takin are considered delicacies.M. Surya Prakash, the State’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, said public cooperation was imperative for conservation of forests and wildlife in a State where much of the land is community-owned. All, however, is not lost, officials said. They cited the examples of Hyer Habia Catchment Area Welfare Committee in the Midpu area of Papum Pare district, and the Bugun community of the Singchung village in West Kameng district, whose members take turns to protect a 17 sq. km. biodiversity hotspot. The water scare in Arunachal Pradesh has undermined the State’s much-vaunted hydropower potential, which the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy said is 25,962 MW. But only about 405 MW had been commissioned till 2017.last_img read more