Inter chief executive Giuseppe ‘Beppe’ Marotta was the mastermind behind Juventus signing Cristiano Ronaldo and whilst currently focused on other targets such as Dries Mertens and Marash Kumbulla, if Messi decides he wants to leave Barcelona, Inter, armed with the knowledge Marotta has of such ginormous deals, will try and sign him. Messi has a clause in his contract which allows him to free himself this Summer although he cannot use this clause to go to another club in a top five league. Therefore Tuttosport suggest it could take around €100 million to sign him. The situation will very much be similar to that of Ronaldo’s as he pushed to leave Real Madrid and despite being worth more, they settled for a €100 million fee.Advertisement Loading… It would not be impossible for Inter to sign Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi according to a report in today’s print edition of Tuttosport. Inter could offer Messi a net salary of €35 million a year, approximately €66 million gross. They could however take full advantage of the new tax laws on foreigners meaning they would only have to pay tax against €51 million of that gross sum. Messi could chose to adopt the same tax relief method that Ronaldo chose which would be the worse solution for Inter as they would not save as much. Read Also:‘Messi leaving Barca not impossible, could play with Ronaldo’ The report from the Turin newspaper suggests that the total cost of a move for Messi could range between €350-365 million or €86-91 million a year on the basis he signs a four year contract with the club. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?Who Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?The Highest Paid Football Players In The World2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The WorldHere Are The Top 10 Tiniest Mobile Phones On The Planet!7 Of The Wealthiest Universities In The WorldA Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of ArtWhat Happens To Your Brain When You Play Too Much Video Games?
Biblical creationists and evolutionists have one belief in common: we came originally from dust. How that dust became organized is the difference. Both views teach that our bodies are comprised of the same atoms found in dust, but creationists say an intelligent designer purposefully molded the dust into a fully-formed man and woman, whereas evolutionists claim the dust organized itself over aeons of time (see cartoon). Several recent evolutionary articles seem to endow dust with nearly magical properties of self-organization. As if pulling a rabbit out of a dusty hat, Astrobiology Magazine announced, “Galactic Dust Bunnies Contain Stuff of Life.” The basic idea is that carbon, oxygen and iron may form in stars at the centers of galaxies like ours and blow the dust into the outer regions. The Spitzer Space Telescope detected silicates and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), rich in carbon and oxygen, near the center of the Milky Way. “These elements are the building blocks of all planets, including our own Earth (as well as of human beings and any other life forms that may exist in the universe).” The implication is that there is an evolutionary connection between PAH molecules (which are like the dust in your tailpipe) and you. The preoccupation with life-potentiating dust was also seen in another article on Astrobiology Magazine. It began, “NASA scientists analyzing the dust of meteorites have discovered new clues to a long-standing mystery about how life works on its most basic, molecular level.” That mystery is homochirality: the fact that all proteins in life use left-handed amino acids. Science Now echoed the finding by Goddard astrobiologists who noticed slight excesses of one hand over the other in meteorites collected in Antarctica. “In one of the rocks, the imbalance was 18%, the largest ever reported for a meteorite.” The discoverers theorized that the amino acids made contact with melting ice in the parent asteroids, and become more biased toward left handedness when polarized light in space impinged on the molecules. “Whatever the reason,” the article said (indicating these theoretical notions are not certain), “life as we know it could just as easily have been given a nudge toward the right-handed side in a different environment.” Jeffrey Bada of UC San Diego remained skeptical. “It’s a lot to ask from a natural geochemical process, which, basically, we know nothing about.” Another astrobiologist mentioned the possibility that bacterial contamination of the meteorite biased the ratios. Problems or not, the two articles on Astrobiology Magazine were optimistic that the secret of life is inherent in dust: “The study shows that biological molecules created in space and delivered to Earth by meteorites” [i.e., space dust] “ may have had a profound effect on the development of life.” And as to the origin of the dust from stars, the other article said, “The research is helping astrobiologists understand how elements necessary for life are formed and distributed through the Universe.” A few billion years later, St. Patrick walks the heaths of Ireland, bringing good news to people walking in pagan darkness and fear.Now we can add the Dust Bunny to Tinker Bell, Popeye and Yoda in the cast of characters in the evolutionary play, King Charles and His Magic Kingdom. The Dust Bunny from space contains within herself all the potentialities of eagles, frogs, giraffes, starfish and humans: NASA tells us that galactic dust bunnies contain the stuff of life. So the cosmic Dust Bunny, sent on a beam of starlight, falls to a planet that had just emerged from the dust of the sun. All she needs is the awakening zap from Tinker Bell’s mutation wand, and her inherent potential begins to unfold. Over billions and billions of years, left-handed amino acids, “for whatever reason,” join hands and invent codes, morphing into trilobites and squid and jellyfish and worms. Under King Charles’ just laws, stuff happens: fins swim, legs walk, and eyes pop into existence. The living dust morphs into mice and cavemen and Popeye the Sailor Man. Minds emerge from the dust, till at the pinnacle of this long process, Yoda the scientist looks back, calls St. Patrick a fool, and explains how it all really happened. More primitive versions of this philosophy were called pantheism. Darwin Party Productions, Inc., has animated the ancient play into a new epic – Pantoonism – now playing in science journals near you. Abadabadababacadabra, that’s all, folks.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
29 August 2013South African hospitality group Bon Hotels has opened what it says is the continent’s greenest hotel.The R170-million, 145-room Hotel Verde, situated 400 metres from Cape Town International Airport, was officially opened on Tuesday, with Bon Hotels saying it aimed to raise environmental awareness and help preserve the natural wetlands in the area around the airport.“The team at Hotel Verde have gone to the greatest extent yet seen on the continent – from locally sourced suppliers to sustainable practices on the building site to multiple ways in which they can generate their own electricity and reduce waste to almost zero,” Bon Hotels said in a statement.Hotel Verde was constructed with concrete slabs comprising recycled materials called cobiax void formers – polypropylene hollow spheres that saved over 1 000 tonnes of concrete.Geothermal pumps have been installed through 100 boreholes 65 metres underground, where a constant ground temperature of 19 degrees Celsius will be used to maintain ventilation and air-conditioning in the hotel.Hotel Verde’s bar will make use of the geothermal pumps to maintain the temperature in the wine cellar. It also includes a “living wall”, made up entirely of plants.‘Boosting efficiency, sustainability’Photovoltaic panels, three wind turbines and a grey water recycling plant are other measures that have been introduced to boost efficiency and reduce operational costs.Water from guest showers will be treated in the recycling system and then be used in all toilets in the building; the system is expected to reduce the hotel’s water consumption by about 37%.Public areas such as lifts, toilets and passages have been equipped with movement- sensor-controlled lighting.The hotel gym has also been made part of the greening solution. “Hotel Verde will be the first in South Africa to use power-generating equipment – these machines pump power back into the hotel as you work out and shows the amount of energy you are generating,” Bon Hotels said.Guests are also able to use the outdoor gym equipment or run along the 320 metre jogging trail set amid a fynbos garden and along the surrounding wetlands.“We had the opportunity to change the status quo here,” said Hotel Verde’s sustainability consultant, Andre Harms. “We looked at different ways of doing everything, right from the word go.”Hotel Verde has applied for green certification through the internationally recognised, United States green building certification system Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and is hoping to achieve this rating shortly, following its opening.Data will be collected for a further year before the hotel will apply for LEED Gold for existing buildings.SAinfo reporter
But aren’t we just building what buyers want?Joe Wilson recalls visiting a house well along in construction during an open house in his area. The builder was the head of the local building association for years. The house Wilson toured had five bedrooms and three and a half baths and would sell for $430,000 or more.“I spent some time going through and noting the 2×6, 16-in. on-center traditional (non-OVE) framing, the numerous unplugged gaps at penetrations, the builder grade vinyl windows, the lack of caulk or sealant or gaskets at plates and sills, a ripped piece of housewrap dangling from under the brick,” he writes. “Rolls of glass batt were in the garage, ready to go.”But three couples he saw at the open house were focused on the square footage, the size of the closets, and the granite, all of which brought a smile to the builder’s face.Later, the builder said no one had ever inquired about the possibility of building with a more modern approach.“He didn’t seem greedy, just like he saw his work as a business and that he wasn’t ‘custom,’” Wilson says. “He even offered me the names of three builders he said did custom work. ‘You’ll pay for it, but you’ll get what you want.’”He wonders whether builders and buyers can be taught to look at houses differently, but he doesn’t seem especially hopeful. After restoring historic buildings for more than three decades, Roy Harmon seems a little disillusioned, if not outright confused, with the current state of residential construction.Most of the buildings he’s worked on are more than a century old, built at a time when carpenters served apprenticeships but building codes did not exist. The only reason the buildings eventually fail is because of neglect, not inherently poor construction.In contrast, there are a “myriad” of building code requirements these days, but no training requirements to become a home improvement contractor or carpenter.“As a result, for the past 20+ years, thousands of plastic shacks called homes have been thrown together, by greed-driven developers that seem to dabble in the grey zone just below ‘minimum code requirements,’ ” Harmon writes in his Q&A post. “The untrained, inexperienced workers are all that this process seems to have afforded.”Harmon wonders whether we’re better served by skilled builders who really know what they’re doing, or a strict code enforced in an age of poorly trained labor and a focus on the bottom line. And in our haste to build green, are we sure that LEED standards and green materials will meet the test of time? RELATED ARTICLES Are Energy Codes Working?Code Green Blogs by Lynn UnderwoodReport from the ICC Code Hearings Free Digital 2009 International Energy Conservation CodeWrestling With the Bay State’s “Stretch” Code ProposalAverage Cost of Meeting 2009 IECC? Not MuchGearing Up for California’s New Green Building CodeEnergy Code Gets Slightly More Stringent Q&A Spotlight: Home Appraisal Woes Building codes are not the issueCodes are the result of the problem, not its cause, says Tony Olaivar. If it weren’t for building codes, shacks would still be common. Moreover, he adds, “I’d be willing to suggest that the shacks contemporary to your historic homes did not stand the test of time.”Codes, he adds, are actually improving over time: “Every time a house burns or collapses or an insurance claim is filed, there are statistics gathered. There’s plenty of science that goes into all of it. Don’t get discouraged.”“All current codes exist because of prior failures and catastrophes (both natural and man-made),” writes Andy Ault. “Codes don’t cause the substandard results, they exist because of them. And with the adoption of new requirements into some of the upcoming 2012 codes (such as air leak testing in the IECC) they are finally moving past simple life safety and actually getting into VERIFIED building performance.”GBA Senior Editor Martin Holladay makes another point: although it’s easy to take a rosy view of old-time carpentry practices, the longevity of buildings was not always assured. While he’s seen lots of solid historic homes where he lives in Vermont, the opposite also is true. “I’ve also see older homes with failing foundations that lean or bulge and older homes with rotten sills and sagging ridges and undersized rafters that look like a sway-backed old mare,” Holladay writes. “Plenty of builders in the old days didn’t use a span table and cut corners by framing their homes to what they considered were the minimum requirements — and they guessed wrong.”While imperfect, building codes are intended to eliminate those kinds of problems.“With rare exception I can’t think of many aspects of building codes that don’t add to the safety or performance of houses, although enforcement is sometimes limited because of budgets of the municipalities,” Allan Edwards says. Does the appraisal process contribute to the problem?Steve El thinks so. Because we’re a mobile society, families have to keep resale in mind, and lending is based on the appraised value of a home.“This is where a big problem creeps in, in my opinion, and that is the manner in which values are placed on homes is broken,” El says. “Take two next door houses on identical lots, where the houses have the same basic floor plan. One home is built to code minimum and the other is superbly built to a much higher standard.“For mortgage appraisal purposes, the two homes will appraise almost the same. There will be just enough ‘extra’ tagged on to the superbly built home’s appraised value to make the mortgage appraisal process look — repeat LOOK — legitimate. But in my opinion, the process has nothing to do with value.”Were buyers better educated to demand value and fix the appraisal process, then builders would be forced to follow suit or be out of a job, he says.Actually, says Riversong, the appraisal business isn’t broken. Appraisals “very accurately” reflect market value because they’re based on comparable sales in the same area.“If we want to have the intrinsic qualities of a thing valued then we need to be willing to acknowledge that kind of value in the marketplace,” he says. “Everything in our culture is superficial, shallow, short-term and narrowly-focused. It is our society which is broken. Until we fix that, we cannot expect our valuation formulas to be based on anything other than what we are willing to pay for.” Corporate model discourages quality outcomeOld World apprenticeships and craft guilds have been left behind, writes Robert Riversong, as the building industry adopted a standard corporate model for success.“We quickly became an industrial society with adversarial labor unions to attempt to win a few concessions from the bosses,” he says. “The corporate model of business, with profit as the guiding principle, became the standard for all enterprise — and the easiest way to maximize profit is through mass production and minimizing costs, including both materials and labor.“Both government regulation and building codes were the reaction to the problem, not the problem itself.”As Tony Olaivar put it, “all jobs have gone the way of McDonald’s,” with scant training for employees because that made it easier to fire them “at the drop of a hat.”Riversong sees workers in this system are “just another economic input which can as easily be undercut or outsourced as any resource input.”To add to these troubles, labor has become so specialized that building projects now require overseers to draw all the players together. Even then, there aren’t many “Master Builders” around who can see a project through from design to finish details.“When we return to understanding house building as a trade or craft and not a business, we might rediscover some of the pride in workmanship that was once the hallmark of well-crafted and durable architectural design and fabrication,” Riversong says. “And we will need to find ‘profit’ in our sense of satisfaction of a job well done rather than in adding cost that makes such a basic human need as shelter unaffordable for the masses.”There are efforts underway to train young workers, says Andy Ault, including Skills USA and Construction Challenge .“It’s no small task to try to convince tech savvy kids that it’s desirable (and maybe even ‘cool’) to be a contractor these days,” Ault writes. “So we all have to do our part to support and volunteer for these groups and put our time and effort where our complaints are. “ That’s the subject of this week’s Q&A Spotlight. Our expert’s opinionHere’s what GBA Technical Director Peter Yost has to say:I think there are really three separate but related issues in this discussion: codes, performance-based value, and education.First, a quote from an Environmental Building News feature article entitled “Sustainability and Building Codes” (EBN Vol. 10, No. 9), which I co-authored with David Eisenberg of the Development Center for Appropriate Technology (David is the director of DCAT, the leading organization for green building codes in the U.S.):“Building codes have long been used by societies to protect individual and general welfare, and to hold practitioners accountable for their work. As long ago as 1750 B.C., Hammurabi, the Babylonian king of Mesopotamia, created his famous Code of Laws covering a wide range of public and private matters. Number 229 of this Code states: “If a builder build a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built fall in and kill its owner, then that builder shall be put to death.” This type of “performance” code must certainly have had an impact on quality of construction, but it very likely stifled innovation!”We need and benefit from the codes because they, by-and-large, make for safer and better buildings. But I think codes must be performance-based (including third party performance verification) or we get silly prescriptions, such as “warm-in-winter” vapor retarder locations or “seal all holes” for air tightness.And we not only need performance in the codes, we need it in all aspects of the building industry; from design to construction to appraisal to sales. The single most significant purchase almost all of us make in our lives is a home, and yet most of us do NOT approach the purchase as a performance-based value proposition. That is just crazy, because we do performance-based purchasing for other large, long-lived products such as cars, and computers, and appliances, why not homes?And the need for education of how buildings really work is just as pervasive. We are asking more of our homes, but not asking more of all those who touch them—architects, builders, code officials, realtors, and homeowners. Every sector needs building science education about how buildings work; the codes can’t and were never meant do it on their own.