Applied physicists create building blocks for a new class of optical circuits

Posted on March 1, 2021Categories foxhpqlgTags , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Applied physicists create building blocks for a new class of optical circuits

first_imgImagine creating novel devices withamazing and exotic optical properties not found in nature — by simplyevaporating a droplet of particles on a surface.By chemically building clusters of nanospheres from a liquid, a team ofHarvard researchers, in collaboration with scientists at RiceUniversity, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University ofHouston, has developed just that.The finding, published in the latest issue of Science, demonstratessimple scalable devices that exhibit customizable optical propertiessuitable for applications ranging from highly sensitive sensors anddetectors to invisibility cloaks.Using particles consisting of concentric metallic and insulating shells,Jonathan Fan, a graduate student at the Harvard School of Engineeringand Applied Sciences (SEAS), his lead co-author Federico Capasso, RobertL. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior ResearchFellow in Electrical Engineering at SEAS, and Vinothan Manoharan,associate professor of chemical engineering and physics in SEAS andHarvard’s Physics department, devised a bottom-up, self-assemblyapproach to meet the design challenge.“A longstanding challenge in optical engineering has been to find waysto make structures of size much smaller than the wavelength that exhibitdesired and interesting properties,” says Fan. “At visible frequencies,these structures must be nanoscale.”In contrast, most nanoscale devices are fabricated using top-downapproaches, akin to how computer chips are manufactured. The smallestsizes that can be realized by such techniques are severely constrainedby the intrinsic limits of the fabrication process, such as thewavelength of light used in the process. Moreover, such methods arerestricted to planar geometries, are expensive, and require intenseinfrastructure such as cleanrooms.“With our bottom-up approach, we mimic the way nature creates innovativestructures, which exhibit extremely useful properties,” explainsCapasso. “Our nanoclusters behave as tiny optical circuits and could bethe basis of new technology such as detectors of single molecules,efficient and biologically compatible probes in cancer therapeutics, andoptical tweezers to manipulate and sort out nano-sized particles.Moreover, the fabrication process is much simpler and cheaper to carryout.”The researchers’ self-assembly method requires nothing more than a bitof mixing and drying. To form the clusters, the particles are firstcoated with a polymer, and a droplet of them is then evaporated on awater-repellent surface. In the process of evaporation, the particlespack together into small clusters. Using polymer spacers to separate thenanoparticles, the researchers were able to controllably achieve a twonanometer gap between the particles — far better resolution thantraditional top-down methods allow.Two types of resulting optical circuits are of considerable interest. Atrimer, comprising three equally-spaced particles, can support amagnetic response, an essential property of invisibility cloaks andmaterials that exhibit negative refractive index.“In essence, the trimer acts as a nanoscale resonator that can support acirculating loop of current at visible and near-infrared frequencies,”says Fan. “This structure functions as a nanoscale magnet at opticalfrequencies, something that natural materials cannot do.”Heptamers, or packed seven particle structures, exhibit almost noscattering for a narrow range of well-defined colors or wavelengths whenilluminated with white light. These sharp dips, known as Fanoresonances, arise from the interference of two modes of electronoscillations, a “bright” mode and a non-optically active “dark” mode, inthe nanoparticle.“Heptamers are very efficient at creating extremely intense electricfields localized in nanometer-size regions where molecules and nanoscaleparticles can be trapped, manipulated, and detected. Molecular sensingwould rely on detecting shifts in the narrow spectra dips,” says Capasso.Ultimately, all of the self-assembled circuit designs can be readilytuned by varying the geometry, how the particles are separated, and thechemical environment. In short, the new method allows a “tool kit” formanipulating “artificial molecules” in such a way to create opticalproperties at will, a feature the researchers expect is broadlygeneralizable to a host of other characteristics.Looking ahead, the researchers plan to work on achieving higher clusteryields and hope to assemble three-dimensional structures at themacroscale, a “holy grail” of materials science.“We are excited by the potentially scalability of the method,” saysManoharan. “Spheres are the easiest shapes to assemble as they can bereadily packed together. While we only demonstrated here planar particleclusters, our method can be extended to three-dimensional structures,something that a top-down approach would have difficulty doing.”Fan, Capasso, and Manoharan’s co-authors included Chihhui Wu and GennadyShvets of University of Texas at Austin; Jiming Bao of the University ofHouston; and Kui Bao, Rizia Bardhan, Naomi Halas, and Peter Norlander,all of Rice University.The researchers was supported by the National Science Foundation;the Air Force Office of Scientific Research; the U.S. Department ofDefense; the Robert A. Welch Foundation; and the Center for AdvancedSolar Photophysics, a U.S. Department of Energy Frontier ResearchCenter. The work was carried out at the Center for Nanoscale Systems atHarvard, a member of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network.last_img read more

Dornsife hosts values town hall

Posted on September 17, 2020Categories gkdecinrTags , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Dornsife hosts values town hall

first_imgCarol Faull, an external consultant, has been working with USC since August to evaluate the school’s current culture. (Long Le | Daily Trojan) More than 50 attendees learned about the experiences of the Dornsife community as reflected in the poll.  “I look toward the data that’s telling me what’s happening for communities that are marginalized,” Freeman said. “There’s opportunities to really understand [what] members within the gender categories are experiencing not only in their immediate environment but at USC as a whole.” Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences administrators emphasized Thursday the importance of the sessions the will hold to discuss needed changes to USC culture at the third of eight town hall.  Findings of personal values, current culture values and desired culture values by faculty, staff and students were discussed following the release of results from the USC Values Poll administered last Fall.  “It’s not that we have a list of 100 things to chase,” Faull said. “If we solely focused on those top five, we would have some really rich conversations and be able to shape the core unifying values that will take this university forward, as well as how we define that.”   “We heard in the past that for surveys that had been conducted … people never heard the results,” Faull said. “So we were committed through the working groups to transparency.” Discussion sessions to talk about the poll and its results will be held over the coming weeks with separate sessions for students, faculty and staff. The goal of the sessions is to collectively redefine the values of the University, according to Freeman. The poll was administered to find out what the USC community wanted to improve regarding the University’s culture. With approximately 20,000 participants across staff, faculty and students, the poll garnered a 27.4% participation rate. Specifically for Dornsife, there was a 24% participation rate. Freeman said releasing the poll’s results and gaining knowledge of community values was essential to Dornsife’s mission as a liberal arts college that centers its research around values. center_img According to the USC Values Poll, the University’s current cultural entropy, which represents the amount of energy consumed in unproductive work, is 28%. From this assessment, USC is categorized as facing “significant issues,” which means there are issues that require attention and systems that need exploration.  “We have world-class research in social sciences and natural sciences and humanities and so we create a lot of the content that eventually shows up in this kind of work around values,” Freeman said. “So I see an alignment with what we fundamentally do as a liberal arts college.” Faull said results showed that five of the top 10 values that were selected for desired culture, including communication, ethical and transparency,  were shared by staff, faculty and students, serving as a starting point for conversations and deciding values the University wants to build.   Carol Faull, a senior consultant with 1-degree, has been working with USC since August to identify the current experience, build the aspired culture and train USC facilitators. Faull said the company wanted to increase transparency by sharing results in a town hall format, both at the University and individual college level. “It’s not intended to be a destination, it’s a journey,” Freeman said. “So I think we need to remind people that we are just beginning.” Kimberly Freeman, the associate dean and chief diversity officer at Dornsife, said the results of the poll would help identify the key areas that the school needs to improve on and help in bringing the right support to different communities on campus. The University’s Culture Journey is in partnership with 1-degree, an experienced Barrett Values Centre that created the poll and helps organizations build and sustain values-driven culture. The process consists of the poll, reportings through Town Hall meetings and discussion sessions.last_img read more

To Mom

Posted on January 11, 2020Categories pjgcjovxTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on To Mom
first_img“People talk about giving 110percent, which is impossible, the most you can give is 100 percent. Jorge had always been a 99-percent guy, and he’s found that last one percent through his mom. You can’t ask any more of him. “He’s having a tremendous season. He’s making a positive out of a negative.” That negative seemingly came out of nowhere. Jorge had just returned to San Diego shortly after last season ended and thought he was taking his mom for a routine check-up. “They were just running some tests, and all the sudden one test led to another test and at the end of the day she had to get something taken out and it happened to be a tumor,” Jorge said. “They were telling me to sign papers since she was asleep for the procedure. I was the only one there and didn’t know what to do. “When they said they thought it was cancer, that was pretty rough. Just hearing that, being the first person to know that your mother has cancer, hearing it straight from the doctor, it was more shock than anything. I didn’t know what to do. Obviously the tears started to run. … It was just the biggest shock of my life because my mom’s always been so outgoing and healthy.” When Jorge joined the Matadors in 2006, Mary Andrade quickly became known around Northridge as the team’s biggest cheerleader. “She’s Mrs. Optimistic,” Rousey said. “She’s so happy. She has a hug for everyone. She’s got `team mom’ written all over her.” When Jorge’s teammates heard the news of Mary’s illness, they instantly became one of the family’s biggest support groups. “They all prayed for me,” Mary said. “They’re so caring. That’s the most beautiful thing, everyone’s been so supportive. I can never thank them enough. The way they’ve been there and helped my son get through this, I’ll never forget that.” Convincing Jorge to remain a part of the Matadors was Mary’s job, though. “We’ve always been a very close family,” she said. “Jorge didn’t want to leave me. He didn’t want to go to school this year. I told him: `Don’t worry about it. This is your last year of college. Go study and go play ball, it’s what you’ve always dreamed of.’ “For as long as I can remember, he’s always loved baseball so much. He used to sleep with his bat when he was a kid, we’d hear him talking to it. Him and his dad would play so long outside, practicing his hitting, they didn’t even want to come in for dinner.” His parents spent so much time attending Jorge’s sporting events – he also played football and soccer through high school – that friends would joke that was all the family knew how to do. When younger brother Michael, who is a sophomore in high school, started having games that conflicted with Jorge’s, the parents would split up and make sure each son had someone to root them on, but Mary was usually the one at Jorge’s games. Jorge said he can’t recall playing a game without his mom being there – until this season. Mary was unable to attend games the first two months of the season. She finished her last round of chemotherapy in late March and was back in the stands for Northridge’s conference-opening series against Cal State Fullerton. “It was hard,” Jorge said. “Ever since I can remember, T-ball, Little League, anything, she always went to every single game. Even when I was at Clemson, she flew out to South Carolina. Like I said, I’m a mama’s boy. I was used to seeing her face in the stands. It was just one of those things, you look in the crowd and right away you find your mom. That’s how it was. Then, the beginning of this season it was so weird looking up in the crowd and knowing she wasn’t there. “When she came back, it was just an amazing feeling to look up and see my mom and dad sitting together. It’s one of those things you usually take for granted.” Although his mother’s illness has altered Andrade’s perspective, he said it doesn’t take any of the sting out of a Matadors season that features more than twice as many losses as wins. “I hate losing with a passion,” said Andrade, who is described by his teammates as an intense leader who never runs out of words of encouragement. “Any type of competitor doesn’t want to have that happen, all the losses we’ve had, but what I try to do now is I try to not let it eat me up so much. Obviously I’m hurt after every single loss, but once it’s family time, it’s family time. “I try not to let that interfere with my family. If I want to think about the game more, I wait until after dinner with them and wait until I’m back at my apartment by myself.” Andrade vows he will play baseball beyond college, but he tries not to think about the upcoming MLB draft. For now, he’s happier thinking about times like today, when his family will all be together. And as for the tough times, the family said their religious beliefs help get them through. “There’s nothing we can’t handle,” Mary said. “We keep the faith. God will help us be strong. We’ve just got to enjoy our days, we never know when it will be our last one. “It’s been a hard year in a way, but it’s made us stronger. When you have the faith, nothing is impossible. You’ve got to be positive. When things like this happen, you get that extra strength.” Mary has another checkup soon, but said she is feeling better. “So far, so good,” Jorge said. “She’s a fighter. She’s tough, that’s where I get my strength from.” Mary said she can’t think of a better way to spend Mother’s Day than watching Jorge’s game this afternoon with Jorge Sr. and Michael by her side. “It’s been a hard year for all of us,” Mary said. “But Jorgie’s made the best of it. He’s gone through so many ups and downs. He never gives up. He works so hard. That’s what I tell him, nothing is given to you, you have to work for it. “He’s been telling me, `Mom, I’ve been working hard and it’s for you.’ I tell him, `No, do it for yourself.’ He doesn’t need to do this to make me proud, I’m already proud of him.” [email protected] (818) 713-3607160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Mary was diagnosed with colon cancer. Suddenly, playing baseball didn’t seem so important to Jorge, who had transferred to Cal State Northridge for his junior season. But Mary didn’t want to see her oldest son give up playing the sport he loved, so he found a way to combine his two loves. Jorge decided he’d dedicate this season to his mother, trying to make her proud and give her something positive to think about. He has succeeded, becoming a bright spot in an otherwise bleak Northridge season. Andrade entered this weekend’s series against UC Riverside leading the Big West Conference with a .397 batting average. The senior first baseman also ranks among the conference’s top 10 in several other offensive categories, including RBIs, slugging percentage, doubles and triples. “You’ve never seen a guy play harder than Jorge,” Matadors coach Steve Rousey said. “He gives it all he’s got all the time. The situation with his mom, it’s fueled his performance. It’s hastened his focus. He wants to do good for his mom. he first time Mary Andrade went to South Carolina to visit her son at Clemson, strangers greeted her by name as she shopped in town. It wasn’t just that her son, Jorge Jr., bore a strong resemblance to her, but that he frequently spoke of her and their close bond. “I’m a total mama’s boy,” Jorge said. So it was no surprise that when his mom needed a ride to a doctor’s appointment last summer, Jorge was the one who volunteered to take her. By the time he returned to their San Diego home, his life was forever changed. last_img

Round-up: Borysiuk latest, Holloway-Henry spat, loan moves lined up, Fulham deal agreed

Posted on December 21, 2019Categories azizhwbxTags , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Round-up: Borysiuk latest, Holloway-Henry spat, loan moves lined up, Fulham deal agreed

first_imgEmbed from Getty ImagesIt has been an eventful day at QPR, whose efforts to revamp their squad continue.West London Sport revealed this week that Rangers will listen to offers for Ariel Borysiuk after he failed to impress Ian Holloway.The Polish midfielder’s former club Lechia Gdańsk have since shown an interest in taking him back to his homeland on loan.Rangers manager Holloway has paid tribute to Karl Henry but revealed he would not have given him a new contract had he been in charge in the summer.That prompted Henry to confirm on Twitter that, as West London Sport revealed, he had recently fallen out with Holloway.Holloway has also made it clear that he would like to send youngsters Olamide Shodipo and Osman Kakay out on loan.Meanwhile, Tjaronn Chery’s move from QPR to Chinese club Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng has been confirmed.Rangers and Fulham have both been charged by the FA following the angry scenes during the final minutes of Saturday’s derby at Loftus Road. Fulham have agreed a deal to sign Werder Bremen midfielder Athanasios Petsos on loan.Embed from Getty ImagesBut the Whites’ promotion hopes suffered a setback when they were beaten 1-0 at Reading, where Chris Martin had a penalty saved for the second successive match.And West Ham look likely to finally complete the signing of Scott Hogan from Brentford following weeks of negotiations between the two clubs.   Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Drink This Before Bed, Watch Your Body Fat Melt Like Crazy x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Norwegian brings long-haul low-cost flights to Barcelona

Posted on December 18, 2019Categories bfymlamyTags , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Norwegian brings long-haul low-cost flights to Barcelona

first_imgNorwegian Air Shuttle will add the Spanish city of Barcelona to its growing Boeing 787 network when it launches long-haul low-cost flights from the airport next year.The low-cost cost airline will also ramp up its network from Copenhagen, Denmark, to the U.S. with a new non-stop service to Oakland International Airport (OAK), one of the three international airports in the San Francisco Bay, from March. And the airline’s CEO Bjorn Kjos has hinted it is planning more long-haul flights. “Our low-cost long-haul growth between Europe & the U.S. has only just started,” he told Bloomberg TV.Barcelona El Prat Airport, which features a stunning new terminal, will be Norwegian’s seventh European base offering long-haul services, joining Copenhagen, London Gatwick, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm and the Norwegian city of Bergen. It also offers flights from Guadeloupe and Martinique in the French Caribbean to the U.S.From June 5, Norwegian will connect the Spanish city with direct flights to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Oakland, New York’s Newark Liberty International and Fort Lauderdale in Miami.  Norwegian’s flights to Newark (EWR) will be the carrier’s first from that New York City-area airport.The airline already flies to New York’s JFK airport, with year-round service from the European destinations of Copenhagen, London Gatwick, Oslo and Stockholm and seasonal services Guadeloupe and Martinique.Norwegian’s long-haul operations in Barcelona will begin with two Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft permanently based at the airport, where passengers can connect to the airline’s short-haul network.The low-cost carrier will offer 325,000 seats on its intercontinental services from Barcelona during the first full year of operations of its long-haul base there. Of these, 170,000 seats are to California – divided equally between Oakland and Los Angeles.Norwegian’s Barcelona – Oakland route will be the only direct, non-stop route between San Francisco and any Spanish airport.Kjos, who founded Norwegian, described the launch of direct flights between Barcelona and the U.S.  as a “new milestone” for the airline.“Spain is an important market for us where we have been very well received since we launched here,” he said. “Many Spaniards choose to fly Norwegian on domestic Spanish routes and routes to other parts of Europe. An increasing number of Americans also fly with us to Europe, and we look forward to welcoming even more travelers from both sides of the Atlantic.”The four new long-haul routes from Barcelona “is only the first step in what promises to be a long journey,” Kjos said, vowing that Norwegian will “develop the full potential of long-haul opertions from Barcelona, ”‹”‹adding more frequencies and more routes than we announced today.”All Norwegian’s long-haul flights are operated with a new fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Its 787-8s are configured with a capacity of 291 seats, including 32 seats in premium economy and 259 in standard economy class, while the larger 787-9 has 344 seats (35 in the premium cabin and 309 in the economy cabin).Premium service includes a dedicated check-in counter, additional luggage allowance, fast track security, lounge access, priority boarding, seats with a 19-inch width and a 46-inch pitch “sleeper seats, all meals and drinks.  All seats are equipped with touch-screen interactive IFE TV screens and all its 787s are WiFi enabled.At present, Norwegian has a fleet of 11 Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines powered Dreamliners, which will increase to 42 units in 2020.The four new U.S. routes from Barcelona will operate throughout the year, according to the following schedule:Barcelona – Los Angeles: Begins June 5 with twice-weekly service rising to three-times-a-week from August 22.Barcelona – Newark: Begins June 6 with twice-weekly service rising to four-times-a-week from August 22.Barcelona – Oakland: Begins June 7 with twice-weekly service rising to three-times-a-week August 22.Barcelona – Fort Lauderdale:  Twice-weekly service from Aug. 22.Copenhagen – Oakland: Begins March 28 with twice-weekly service.Norwegian offers a total 44 routes to the U.S., 37 of which are from Europe and seven are from the French Caribbean. Upcoming routes to the U.S. include Las Vegas from London launching on October 31; Las Vegas from Oslo launching on November 1; and Fort Lauderdale from Guadeloupe launching on December 17.last_img read more


Posted on December 18, 2019Categories oimdzshwTags , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Vacancies: STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP MANAGER: GOVERNMENT

first_imgBRAND SOUTH AFRICABrand SA aims to contribute to the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP) by undertaking coordinated initiatives to build South Africa’s reputation and contribute to the country’s global competitiveness. It also aims to inspire and instill pride and patriotism amongst South Africans and to drive active citizenrySTRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP MANAGER: GOVERNMENTREF: SRM: G001SALARY: R662, 857 – R805 299 (CTC) To manage and influence relationships with key stakeholders prioritised in the strategic plan to promote the Brand SA’s branding and communications objectives in partnership with these stakeholders, to external audiences. To play a key programme manager role in the definition and delivery of projects through obtaining the brief, needs and expectations of the stakeholders and ensuring they are effectively addressed in the roll-out plan facilitated by Brand SA and through efficiently leveraging stakeholder resources. The programme manager is the main Brand SA custodian of the relationship with the stakeholder to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the collaborations.Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science / Economics / Sales and Marketing / Business ManagementPreferred: Postgraduate degree in Political Science / Economics / Sales and Marketing / Business Management (e.g. MBA)5+ years combined experience in marketing, communications, public relations, stakeholder relations, (account management) at a senior levelTrack record of successfully brokering / negotiating collaborations and joint ventures in a highly political / pressured environmentKey Performance Areas:Contribute to the development of the overall stakeholder management strategyEstablish the correct networks and channels and provide input on portfolio priorities, plans and budgets.Feed market insights into the overall knowledge management system.Contribute to the development of programme specific projects and initiativesWith reference to the Brand SA business plan and signed MOU’s with priority stakeholders, unpack, research and workshopThis would also involve ongoing press briefings, speech writing and setting the sceneSell the project / initiative / campaign plan for buy-in and approval (sign off) with the stakeholder priority base (levels, locations, platforms, decision-makers, beneficiariesSell the project / campaign / initiative to the relevant stakeholder bases and decision-makers / beneficiaries to ensure buy-in in terms of the content, tone, roll-out mechanism(s), budget, audience target(s), collaborative ownership, time lines and output.Facilitate and manage the stakeholder relationships in the delivery of the projects/ campaign / initiative plansFacilitate, drive, and maintain the established relationships with key stakeholders on the signed-off projectsThis also involves, on occasion, actual organising and delivery of meetings, events and functions.Compliance, monitoring and reportingMonitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the stakeholder-implemented initiatives (including risks) and reflect this in the quarterly reportingTo scan the wider public policy environment to identify and exploit opportunities for future work where supportive of the strategic aims of Brand SARequired Skills, Competencies and Attributes:Strategic abilityConsultativePresentation skillsMedia managementPublic relationsMarketing skillsNegotiation skillsStakeholder managementPlanning abilityResults oriented (output driven)Follow-through abilityWillingness to work extended hoursPerform under pressureNetworking abilityPersuasive, Service orientedlast_img read more

Sanlam takes authors on a journey

Posted on December 18, 2019Categories yaqgzozfTags , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Sanlam takes authors on a journey

first_imgStories told over the ages form an important part of heritage, offering the reader fragments of the past. They also provide a window into the imagination of the author. (Image: Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature)South Africa has many unique and authentic stories to tell, stories that live in the minds of those who have dreamed them, lived them or witnessed them, but who don’t have the opportunity to share them with the rest of the world.In looking to provide the stepping stones they need to get their stories out into the world, through its Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature competition, financial services group Sanlam offers promising young writers the chance to have their books published for others to read.Entries for the competition close on 7 October 2016, so there is still time for writers to enter and stand the chance of being one of the finalists.The competition has six categories: English, Afrikaans, Nguni languages, Sotho languages, Xitsonga and Tshivenda. Each category has two prizes: R12 000 for first place and R6 000 for second place.To be considered for the competition, the author’s book has to be suitable for people between the ages of 12 and 18 and be at least 25 000 words long. The competition is only open to citizens of South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana.“As a bookseller I’m constantly on the lookout for more literature that is aimed at the youth that is both published and written locally, and the sad thing is that there just isn’t enough” says Jessica Smith from The Book Lounge in Cape Town.“But with the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature, they provide a great platform for both established authors and emerging writers and it gives them the opportunity to have their work published.”250 WORDS A DAYThe competition invites writers to join their team of established authors and take advantage of the opportunity to spend some time with programme facilitators and get tips and inspiration from established authors who act as mentors.Smith explains that the 250 words a day challenge “makes the overwhelming task of writing a full-length novel feel that much more achievable.“The guidance that they provide and the tools that you are given are just invaluable.”Listen to 2013 winner Sipho Kekezwa talk about what the win has done for him:GET INVOLVEDIf you are an aspiring writer and you feel you have a story that is worth being told, you still have time to enter this year’s competition. Visit the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature web page for more information.Entry forms are available on the website, along with details about how to enter and share your African stories for African youth. The competition gives you an opportunity to improve your writing and dive deeper into the world of storytelling.“Even for those whose stories are not published, a spark has been ignited and a love for both reading and writing solidified,” says Smith.“I am so grateful to this competition for allowing emerging voices to be heard and for talent to be nurtured. I absolutely cannot wait to see these works on our shelves.”PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part to help improve the lives of those around you or the environment? Do you know of anyone who has gone out of their way to help improve South Africa and its people?If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

A Petition Strives to Defend a Certain Definition of ‘Passive House’

Posted on December 16, 2019Categories btyvtfheTags , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on A Petition Strives to Defend a Certain Definition of ‘Passive House’

first_imgWhat gets to define “passive house”?In their accompanying comments, most of the signatories seem to have no problem with PHIUS’s plan to modify criteria for the colder parts of North America, though they agree with Robinson’s contention that, should PHIUS modify its criteria, marketing the revised standard as “Passive House” would create confusion.“ ‘Passive House’ is not a trademark or brand, but it does have a recognized meaning internationally and in the U.S.,” wrote Greg Duncan, an architect and certified Passivhaus designer based in Brooklyn, New York. “I believe that if PHIUS starts certifying buildings that do not meet this standard, they should use a different term.” UPDATED 4/5/2012 with new blog linksProduct names, program names, brands, and logos can be potent symbols of identity, so much so they’re often at the center of all kinds of marketing initiatives, corporate litigation, and cultural iconography. For people in the building industry, the term “passive house” – or Passivhaus, as we call it here – has come to mean a specific performance standard, and some say that if the criteria behind the standard are loosened to accommodate, say, climate conditions, a name other than Passive House (or Passivhaus) should be used.That is the core idea of a petition that has been circulating on the Web since March 16 via SignOn, a petitioning tool sponsored by civic action group Hayden Robinson, an architect and certified Passivhaus consultant based in Seattle, launched the petition to suggest to Passive House Institute U.S. – which has been examining data from 100 PHIUS-certified projects and fielding comments from the building community about possibly relaxing the Passivhaus standard for some projects in extremely cold climates – that the group’s initiative, while worthy, should proceed with a name other than Passive House. Several of those who signed the petition are in Western Europe, a few are in the U.K. and Canada, and at least one is in Australia. Multiple standards would create confusionHere’s the text of the petition: “The Passive House building energy standard is widely recognized in North America and internationally. In the United States, the standard is used by hundreds of businesses and professionals, and its criteria are maintained by a number of certifying agencies offering services across the country. In its blog post, ’15kWh is dead. Long live 15kWh,’ PHIUS publicized a plan to create its own certification criteria and promote them using the Passive House name. PHIUS’s desire to innovate is commendable, and the larger conversation around potential improvements to the Passive House standard is healthy; however, having multiple standards competing under the name Passive House would create confusion and controversy. We therefore ask PHIUS to distinguish its program by giving it a distinctive name.” RELATED ARTICLES Redefining Passivhaus The Passivhaus Institut in Germany Disowns Its U.S. Satellite The American Passive House Institute Responds to Dr. FeistRound 3: Wolfgang Feist Discusses the PHI-PHIUS SplitPassivhaus Combatants Continue To Speak OutPossible Relaxation of Passivhaus Standard Stirs Debate PHIUS Tries to Trademark ‘Certified Passive House Consultant’PHIUS Draws a Line in the SandA Bridge Over Passivhaus Waterscenter_img Katrin Klingenberg respondsPHIUS director Katrin Klingenberg told GBA she regards the petition as a “pretty normal response to our proposal for change” – a response, she said, that stems in part from misunderstandings about PHIUS’s study of building science and building performance as it relates to climate zones in North America.“We haven’t been doing our best to communicate what we’re doing more clearly,” she said, noting in an e-mail that PHIUS’s data analysis “will address climates that are very different from the central European climate. Some climates might see a slight relaxation in the annual energy target (Duluth, MN, very cold), some will see a tightening (San Francisco, CA, much milder). It only makes sense to not make Passive House cost-prohibitive/impossible in very cold climates.”Klingenberg also wrote, “Modifications will be in line with critiques of Passive House from leading building scientists and energy experts in North America like John Straube, Marc [Rosenbaum], Martin [Holladay], etc.”Klingenberg pointed out that in dry, sunny climates of the sort found in New Mexico, hitting the annual energy target could lean less on superinsulation and more on the output of a solar thermal system.“Modification doesn’t change the core value of PH,” she wrote, “it only makes it more accessible and cost-effective, and enhances its chance to become mainstream (without compromising comfort and envelope). It makes it the best it can be.” Discussion heats up in the blogosphereSeveral bloggers have chimed in on this dispute, including:Mike Eliason of Brute Force Collaborative: On Peti- & Certifica- tionsLloyd Alter of Treehugger: A Plague On Both Their Passive HousesAndrew Michler of Inhabitat: Passive House Debate Heats Up Mike Eliason again: Monitoring the Petition FalloutMatt Hickman of Mother Nature Network: Active AggressiveRoger at the EdgewaterHaus blog: When is a Passive House NOT a Passive House?last_img read more

Geothermal Energy and Narrow Streets

Posted on December 16, 2019Categories btyvtfheTags , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Geothermal Energy and Narrow Streets

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Everybody seems to love geothermal energy. That’s why many American homeowners brag that they heat their house with renewable energy, saying, “I’ve got a geothermal system that extracts heat from the soil in my backyard.”Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but you’ve been misinformed. You don’t have a geothermal system. All you have is a heat pump that runs on electricity.Just because the heat-pump salesman told you that it’s a geothermal system, doesn’t mean it is.Karyn and I got married on August 9th. After the wedding, we took a one-week trip together to São Miguel Island in the Azores. We had a fabulous time on our honeymoon. Karyn didn’t even grumble when I took lots of pictures of construction sites and energy installations.The Azores are located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, between Boston and Lisbon. The islands are Portuguese.On the island of São Miguel, I took a photo of a real geothermal facility — that is, a generating plant that uses boiling water rising from the earth’s hot mantle to drive a turbine that produces electricity. How did I know it was a geothermal plant? Well, I could see small clouds of condensed water droplets emerging from the stacks, and I could see high-voltage power lines leading from the plant down the mountain.Oh, yes — there was also a sign.The 173 GWh plant produces 38% of the electricity used on the island of São Miguel. For more information on the plant, see “Use of Geothermal Resources in the Azores Islands.”Karyn and I came across the geothermal plant while hiking from the hot springs of Caldeira Valha to the crater lake of Lagoa do Fogo.One way to tell the difference between the… Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

How to Design a Close-Up Shot — And When You Should Use It

Posted on December 12, 2019Categories rctitncdTags , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on How to Design a Close-Up Shot — And When You Should Use It

first_imgThe close-up shot is a director’s secret weapon, but it requires technical know-how and narrative timing. Here’s what you need to know.Cover image via REDPIXEL.PL.There is a scene in Five Easy Pieces wherein Bobby Dupea (Jack Nicholson) wheels his ailing father (William Challee) outside in the cold to view the sunset, confess, expose, and apologize for his estrangement from the family. It’s a powerful sequence and a raw and emotional disclosure for our main character.The scene requires intimacy, and Bob Rafelson knew that it required a close-up — but one that served the story and the character. These men have had a turbulent, cold, and distant relationship. The sequence begins reflecting the past with a long shot of Nicholson and Challee against a dramatic sunset. They are both small and insignificant against the majestic sky.Image via Columbia Pictures.They stop dead center in the frame, and at this camera distance, Nicholson fixes the blanket on the old man’s lap and utters “You cold” to someone too sick for words. It’s the first step at connection, and on action, as Nicholson bends down to his level, Rafelson cuts to a medium two-shot. He sustains this shot for about 40 seconds, until Nicholson earns his close up — until the character is ready to reveal something. And even then, Rafelson frames the shot below his shoulders to not be too intrusive. He allows his actor to determine the frame.Rafelson doesn’t rein in the performance — if Nicholson needed to drop his head, the camera moved with him. When Nicholson leans and nearly leaves the frame, Rafelson cuts quickly to a reaction shot of Challee then returns to Nicholson swinging back in. It’s at that exact moment when Nicholson loses it emotionally, and he becomes his most vulnerable. All of this is by design, not luck or spontaneity. The people in the editing room chose these moments precisely to reflect the director’s vision for the emotional result of the scene.The PayoffImage via Paramount.Just like the source material, the close-up (by design) is the payoff shot. A line like “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” in Gone With the Wind only has power because of the nearly four hours we’ve spent watching Rhett Butler pursue, sacrifice for, and ache over Scarlett O’Hara. When he says that line, it’s a release for the character and the end of his story.The same principle applies to shooting. The close-up shot is a window into the character. It can reveal the character’s growth moment (John McClane’s confession to Powell that he never told his wife he’s sorry in Die Hard); it can depict a character discovering something important (Gene Hackman unraveling the truth in The Conversation) or create tension between characters (the standoff in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). It can be all this and much more. It is a tool the director uses to let the audience know that a particular moment is important.If you overuse it, you run the risk of fatiguing the viewer and undermining the truly important moments. If you avoid it completely, you may be missing opportunities to reveal character and risk emotionally alienating the story.Technical ConsiderationsImage via United Artists.You’ll want to use a longer lens (70mm-100mm) for a close-up. A longer lens makes the depth of field shallower and throws the background out of focus. A wider lens tends to distort faces, making them look abnormal. Longer lenses reduce that effect. If you were to use a 24mm lens, you would have to move the camera very close to your subject to frame the actor for a close-up and  contend with a lot more background than you would using a 70 or 85mm lens.In terms of storytelling, overusing the close-up might undermine the artistic vision. If you highlight every scene as special, then nothing is particularly special. In addition, overusing the close-up can disorient the viewer. If there are no establishing shots or master or medium shots that show the viewer where they are in the context of the events in the film, you can create a frustrating experience that won’t serve the story.Continuity is also an important consideration. You may be so focused on the depth of field that subtle aspects of continuity could get lost. For example, if you were shooting outside, was there a breeze in the establishing or wide shot that later, when you are shooting the close-up, is missing? Has the natural light dramatically changed, and will you need to artificially match it to the master? The temperature? If so, pay attention so the actor doesn’t appear cold in the master but comfortable in the close-up.Up Close and PersonalImage via Artisan Entertainment.The close-up is a powerful design tool for the director. It should spring from the screenplay, giving the viewer clues and insight into story and character.Try to imagine Ellen Burstyn’s powerful story about wearing the red dress in Requiem for a Dream from across the room. And see what the director (Aronofsky) conveys by getting out of the close-up as soon as Jared Leto’s character begins to lie. He stands, moves away, and ends up framed at the very edge. He is so far removed from the previous intimacy that he is practically out of frame. That is filmmaking that serves the story and resonates with the audience.Looking for more cinematography breakdowns? Check out these articles.ESCAPE ROOM (Short Film) — How To Composite Your Own StuntsFilmmaking Lessons from Oscar-Nominated DirectorsOn Fading to Black: The Hows, The Whens, and The WhysThe Cameras and Lenses Behind 2018 Oscar-Nominated FilmsBezier Curves: What Are They and How Do You Use Them?last_img read more