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New solutions for water conservation

first_img24 August 2011 It has become a “moral imperative” for major businesses operating in South Africa to adopt water saving schemes for their buildings, thereby helping the country sustain the declining resource. CEO of car rental company Avis, Wayne Duvenage, did not mince his words at the Sustainable Water Resource Conference and Exhibition. The event, held in Kempton Park on 16 and 17 August, was attended by leading water experts and businesspeople and supported by the International Marketing Council of South Africa – among a range of sponsors. Recycling water for reuse in buildings was the experts’ principal recommendation. Homeowners are also advised to go for recycling technologies. Avis saved 75-million litres of water in 2010 in its major centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. The Avis scheme kicked off in 2008 with a R1.9-million (US$264 000) investment, and started paying off in 2009 when the company saved 4.2-million litres. Avis has pumped an additional R1.5-million ($208 000) into the construction of underground water filtration and recycling facilities at its three main depots. The aim is to save at least 95-million litres of water each year. “We decided to recycle water because that was the right thing to do,” said Duvenage. “We’re recycling water that was going down the drain.” The company reprocesses grey water from washing machines and baths, which is then used to wash most of its fleet of 20 000 rental cars, while potable water from public sources remains available to employees for hygienic use. Harvesting rainwater is a focus of Avis’ recycling efforts. “You know how much it rains in Cape Town, so it’s nice to switch off municipal water and use rainwater,” said Duvenage. It’s always recommended for entities to study the impact of their business on the environment, he pointed out.Conserving a precious resource South Africa is water-stressed, experts at the conference revealed. Reports have pointed out that the country runs the risk of facing critical shortages by 2020. “South Africa is stressed both in the quantity and quantity of water that we have,” Duvenage said. Alison Groves, a sustainability consultant at WSP Green by Design, said: “In South Africa we need to get beyond the idea that water is always going to be available.” New solutions are needed to sustain potable water availability, Groves added. Her consultancy group has established itself as an industry leader in the greening of major buildings, having helped big companies such as Absa, Nedbank and Woolworths introduce water-saving and eco-friendly schemes in their properties. Banking group Absa’s headquarters in downtown Johannesburg have been fitted with recycling and rainwater harvesting technology that allows it to save at least 43 000 litres of water every day. Retailer Woolworths’ distribution centre in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, is another facility with a large grey water reclamation system. Groves pointed out that the centre has “irrigation ensured for 10 months per year without using potable water”. Woolworths saves R1-million ($139 000) in municipal water bills per year thanks to its recycling efforts. Other companies, such as South African Breweries, are rolling out major water-saving schemes in a bid to help protect the precious resource. Duvenage pointed out that “business is starting to change its behaviour” in accordance with the green revolution, but there is room for improvement. “We believe business has to act much faster,” he said.Residences can reduce consumption It’s not only businesses and public entities that should assume the responsibility of saving water, but homeowners can play a major role as well. The grey water technology of Cape Town-based Water Rhapsody, a specialist water conservation company, has proven its efficiency in recent years. Its founder Jeremy Westgarth-Taylor said that water recycled and harvested through its system is suitable for irrigation, toilet flushing, cleaning and washing. Homes can reduce consumption from 280 litres to “as little as 100 litres per day” and save up to 90% of their municipal water bill by using the system. “But it’s done in such a way that you don’t change your lifestyle. You just take control of your own supply,” said Westgarth-Taylor. Water Rhapsody won the WWF Green Trust award in 1998 for product innovation. It’s helped the University of Cape Town reduce potable water consumption by over 90%. The late Kader Asmal, former Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, told Water Rhapsody, in a 2010 letter to the company, that its water recycling system helped nourish grass and shrubs in the garden of his Cape Town home. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Episode 48 | CTC, ARC/PLC, and OFBF to DC

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A lot of acronyms for this week’s podcast because Ohio agriculture has been staying busy.The crew hears from David Brandt and David Montgomery from Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference.Ty Higgins catches up with Brad Harris of Firestone to talk tire tips for an upcoming busy spring.Joel Penhorwood talks with Ben Brown, new hire at Ohio State in ag economics, about the ARC/PLC safety net programs.All that and much more in this week’s edition of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast.last_img read more

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Patriots defense pushed around in Super Bowl loss to Eagles

first_imgUS defense chief agrees it’s time to take another look at defense pact with PH PLAY LIST 01:46US defense chief agrees it’s time to take another look at defense pact with PH01:20US Defense chief Mark Esper visits Manila American Cemetery for wreath-laying ceremony00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City AFP official booed out of forum They had the first one of the night, on an interception by safety Duron Harmon in the first half.But they played with a different lineup against the Eagles Sunday, with starting cornerback Malcolm Butler benched in favor of Eric Rowe.Butler missed a day of practice last week with an illness. He warmed up and was in uniform, but didn’t play. It was the first Patriots game in which Butler did not play a first quarter snap since their Super Bowl win over Seattle to cap the 2014 season.Asked about the change during the television interview at halftime, coach Bill Belichick said it was a coaching decision.“I made the decisions that give us the best chance to win,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Without Butler, New England’s defense — and particular the secondary — had trouble keeping Foles and Philadelphia’s offense in check.The Eagles punted only once in the game and converted on a pair of fourth downs.Rowe struggled early, giving up three catches for 66 yards, including Foles’ first touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery.But New England’s secondary got the first turnover of the night when Philadelphia’s Jeffrey struggled to control a deep pass from Foles near the goal line. Stephon Gilmore got a hand on it and juggled it before it wound up in the hands of Harmon.Philadelphia used some trickery, facing fourth-and-goal on the 1 with less than a minute to play.After a timeout, the Eagles got the ball to Trey Burton on a reverse, who flipped a pass to a wide-open Foles for a touchdown.New England pulled to within 22-19 after scoring on the opening drive of the second half.The Patriots defense would break down again, though, this time letting Corey Clement get behind Marquis Flowers and McCourty for an over the shoulder 22-yard catch in the back of the end zone.Safety Patrick Chung was shaken up on that play and missed a few series. He returned to action in the fourth quarter but had to leave again late in the game with a head injury. LATEST STORIES Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) dives into the end zone over New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32) for a touchdown, during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. APMINNEAPOLIS — So many times this season New England’s defense made plays when it had to give Tom Brady and the Patriots offense a chance to win.But it couldn’t figure out the Philadelphia Eagles its 41-33 loss Super Bowl loss on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT View comments 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Nick Foles a Super Bowl MVP and unlikely folk hero in Philly John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The 41 points New England allowed were more than they have given up in any Super Bowl in the Bill Belichick era. It also surrendered 613 total yards, including 373 through the air to MVP Nick Foles. LeGarrette Blount, a former Patriots running back, rushed 14 times for 90 yards and touchdown.The Patriots offense did its part. It didn’t punt and had no turnovers through three quarters. After playing from behind most of the night, Brady gave New England its first lead of the game, 33-32 on a 4-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski with 9:22 to play.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut on the ensuing drive New England safety Devin McCourty couldn’t keep Zach Ertz from stretching the ball across the goal line for an 11-yard touchdown reception from Nick Foles that wound up being the game winner.The Patriots entered the game with 159-15 record, including a perfect 16-0 in the playoffs, when they had won the turnover battle. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

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Bioplastics to social robotsnew tech to bring inclusivity

first_imgNew Delhi: From biodegradable plastics to humanoid robots, a new wave of emerging technologies is on the horizon that have the potential to provide major benefits to societies and economies in the years to come, a new World Economic Forum (WEF) report said. An international Steering Committee of leading technology experts identified this year’s “Top 10 Emerging Technologies” — humanoid (and animaloid) robots designed to socialize with people; a system for pinpointing the source of a food-poisoning outbreak in seconds and minuscule lenses that will pave the way for diminutive cameras and other devices, among others. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year “Technologies that are emerging today will soon be shaping the world tomorrow and well into the future – with impacts to economies and to society at large,” said Mariette DiChristina, Editor-in-Chief of Scientific American, and chair of the Emerging Technologies Steering Committee. Bioplastics are advanced solvents and enzymes that are transforming woody wastes into better biodegradable plastics. Like standard plastics derived from petrochemicals, biodegradable versions consist of polymers (long-chain molecules) that can be moulded while in their fluid state into a variety of forms. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India “However, the options currently available – mostly made from corn, sugar cane, or waste fats and oils – generally lack the mechanical strength and visual characteristics of the standard kinds,” emphasized the report. Recent breakthroughs in producing plastics from cellulose or lignin (the dry matter in plants) promise to overcome those drawbacks. In an added boon for the environment, cellulose and lignin can be obtained from non-food plants, such as giant reed, grown on marginal land not suitable for food crops, or from waste wood and agricultural byproducts that would otherwise serve no function. Worldwide sales of consumer robots reached an estimated $5.6 billion in 2018 and the market is expected to grow to $19 billion by the end of 2025, with more than 65 million robots sold a year. “A wave of robots is lining up to take the place of defunct robots, including BUDDY (Blue Frog Robotics), a big-eyed mobile device that plays games in addition to acting as a personal assistant and providing home automation and security,” said the report. Like most robots, social robots use artificial intelligence (AI) to decide how to act on information received through cameras and other sensors. The ability to respond in ways that seem lifelike has been informed by research into such issues as how perceptions form, what constitutes social and emotional intelligence, and how people can deduce others’ thoughts and feelings. Another promising emerging tech of 2019 is tiny lenses. It is hard to make tiny lenses with traditional glass-cutting and glass-curving techniques, and the elements in a glass lens often need to be stacked to focus light properly. “Engineers have recently figured out much of the physics behind much smaller, lighter alternatives known as metalenses. These lenses could allow for greater miniaturization of microscopes and other laboratory tools, as well as of consumer products,” the report mentioned. In the next few years, the tiny lenses will probably make their way into smaller, easier-to-manufacture sensors, diagnostic tools such as endoscopic imaging devices and optical fibres. Those potential applications are appealing enough to have attracted research support from government agencies and such companies as Samsung and Google. Disordered proteins as drug targets will herald new possibilities for treating cancer and other diseases, said the report. These “intrinsically disordered proteins” (IDPs) looked different from the proteins with rigid structures that were more familiar in cells. IDPs were shape-shifters, appearing as ensembles of components that constantly changed configurations. This loose structure allows the IDPs to bring together a wide variety of molecules at critical moments, such as during a cell’s response to stress. “It is increasingly likely that in the next three to five years, these once “undruggable” proteins will end up in the crosshairs of pharmaceutical development,’ said the WEF report. Other emerging technologies on the list are: Smarter fertilizers that can reduce environmental contamination; collaborative telepresence where participants can be seen in virtual gatherings; advanced food tracking and packaging; safer nuclear reactors, DNA data storage; and utility-scale storage of renewable energy.last_img read more

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