Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Families are urged to be economical with electricity use

Pátek, Srpen 24th, 2012

Energy boss Walter Higgins advised families to be frugal with their electricity as he warned it could take years to provide a more efficient supply for Bermuda.

But he rejected suggestions rising bills mean bigger profits for Belco, claiming prices are virtually tied to the global price of oil.

Meanwhile Mr Higgins — the CEO of Belco’s parent company the Ascendant Group — suggested the company is backing down in its court wrangle with Government over the base electricity rates.

He acknowledged the onus is on Belco to find a better solution to fund its new $70 million power station instead of through rate hikes which Government opposes.

The Royal Gazette’s The Cost of Living series showed how the electricity bill for an average family climbed 18 percent in four years, prompting the Family Centre to call for Belco to show more consideration during a time of shrinking wages and growing unemployment.

At any one time, about 200 customers are switched off for failing to pay their bills, but Belco says most are turned back on quickly after making arrangements to settle up.

In an interview with this newspaper yesterday, Mr Higgins said there’s no choice other than to raise rates when oil prices increase.

“People believe and think that somehow what we charge for electricity is related to profitability,” he said.

“Almost the entirety of the variability of electricity is directly and solely connected to what the price of oil is.

“The truth of it is that, yes, embedded within our base rate is a profit on the money we spend to build the power plants, which our investors expect a return on their investment for. But that’s two or three percent. The rest is related to the price of oil.

“We have to change the way we work electricity on the Island. We are in the process of doing that.

“That process will take years as opposed to days and weeks. In the long run we want to have a more stable, less variable, more predictable cost of electricity supply.

“We are very committed to finding a way to give the Island and its customers an electricity supply that works for them.”

Asked what he would say to residents struggling to pay their bills in the meantime, he replied: “Do everything you can to save energy, to use the least amount of energy you can to maintain your lifestyle.”

Modern technology such as energy-efficient light bulbs can help, he said, while Belco has payment plans so people can spread their bills evenly throughout the year.

“Keep talking to us. If you do think something is wrong with your meter or your bill, we have people who can help you with that,” he said.

Three months ago, Environment Minister Marc Bean rejected Belco’s appeal against Government’s decision not to raise base electricity rates by 3.5 percent.

The extra cash would have paid for the new power station at the Pembroke base, which is described as critical in meeting the Island’s ongoing energy needs.

6 Questions with Assembly Candidate Michael Cacciotti

Čtvrtek, Květen 31st, 2012

Michael Cacciotti, one of five candidates for the 41st Assembly District, has worked for the state of California for more than two decades.

First, he served as Deputy Attorney for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and then Deputy Attorney General with the State of California Department of Justice handling consumer fraud.

He says this experience combined with four years working for former Speaker Pro Tem of the California Assembly Mike Roos has given him the institutional knowledge to excel as an Assemblyman.

Cacciotti is also a passionate environmentalist, who serves as a board member on AQMD and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. As a city council member of South Pasadena over the past decade, he has helped save the city thousands of dollars in conversions like compact fluorescent light bulbs, drought tolerant plants and hybrid fleets.

Patch: You began serving as a councilman of South Pasadena in 2001 and are on your third term as Mayor. What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment while in office?

MC: Turning the city around fiscally. When I got on the council, there was no money being spent on infrastructure. There were millions being spent on fighting the freeway, which you have to fight the freeway—but in a smart way.

It’s a great council, and we have worked together to embark on a massive infrastructure program—basically rebuilding the entire city from scratch. The leases—stuff like that is very important. Cities have these concessions in municipal leases where at the state level, here’s what I can do:

They did an audit just last year, and the state has thousands of leases, and they only audited about 32. They found out the state was losing tens of millions of dollars by not reviewing—like we did here in the city [of South Pasadena]. There’s potential for hundreds of millions of dollars in savings.

Patch: Let’s talk about your stance on Caltrans homes. What do you feel the state could gain from selling the approximate 500 homes it owns along the 710 corridor?

MC: When I worked at Caltrans, I’m the one who did all that stuff with eminent domain. I handled a lot of lawsuits when people tripped and fell at those properties; the state got sued for a million dollars—because someone was electrocuted or [there was a] faulty wire, an explosion … a roof caved in …that costs us millions of dollars a year, so the savings there would be in the millions. … in staff to oversee that, litigation in the legal department and then the sale [would put] $500 million to a billion dollars in the State Treasury for transportation projects. The cities and municipalities will get that tax increment back, which was lost for the last 40 years. Everyone wins all the way around.

Patch: You are the only candidate who has been a teacher. How would this affect your role as Assemblyman if elected?

MC: I’ve been in classrooms. My first year, most classes were 25 students, but some were over 35, [and in those classrooms] I was a babysitter almost. I couldn’t teach. Class size is very important. I experienced it personally. It was a nightmare for teachers and nothing gets done for the students. I know the importance of technology and resources.

If it were three years ago … I worked for the state three years ago, I knew the snap shop then when we had a billion dollar budget, and I wouldn’t have supported a tax increase. In those three years, we’ve cut to $700 million. We’ve cut jobs; we’ve furloughed people. My caseload went from 40 to 80 cases.

NASA Map Sees Earth’s Trees in a New Light

Pondělí, Únor 20th, 2012

A NASA-led science team has created an accurate, high-resolution map of the height of Earth’s forests. The map will help scientists better understand the role forests play in climate change and how their heights influence wildlife habitats within them, while also helping them quantify the carbon stored in Earth’s vegetation.

Scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; the University of Maryland, College Park; and Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, Mass., created the map using 2.5 million carefully screened, globally distributed laser pulse measurements from space. The light detection and ranging data were collected in 2005 by the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System instrument on NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite.

“Knowing the height of Earth’s forests is critical to estimating their biomass, or the amount of carbon they contain,” said lead researcher Marc Simard of JPL. “Our map can be used to improve global efforts to monitor carbon. In addition, forest height is an integral characteristic of Earth’s habitats, yet is poorly measured globally, so our results will also benefit studies of the varieties of life that are found in particular parts of the forest or habitats.”

The researchers found that, in general, forest heights decrease at higher elevations and are highest at low latitudes, decreasing in height the farther they are from the tropics. A major exception was found at around 40 degrees south latitude in southern tropical forests in Australia and New Zealand, where stands of eucalyptus, one of the world’s tallest flowering plants, tower much higher than 130 feet (40 meters).

The researchers augmented the ICESat data with other types of data to compensate for the sparse lidar data, the effects of topography and cloud cover. These included estimates of the percentage of global tree cover from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite, elevation data from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, and temperature and precipitation maps from NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and the WorldClim database. WorldClim is a set of freely available, high-resolution global climate data that can be used for mapping and spatial modeling.

In general, estimates in the new map show forest heights were taller than in a previous ICESat-based map, particularly in the tropics and in boreal forests, and were shorter in mountainous regions. The accuracy of the new map varies across major ecological community types in the forests, and also depends on how much the forests have been disturbed by human activities and by variability in the forests’ natural height.

“Our map contains one of the best descriptions of the height of Earth’s forests currently available at regional and global scales,” Simard said. “This study demonstrates the tremendous potential that spaceborne lidar holds for revealing new information about Earth’s forests. However, to monitor the long-term health of Earth’s forests and other ecosystems, new Earth observing satellites will be needed.”

Light, sweets, new clothes mark Diwali in Delhi

Čtvrtek, Říjen 27th, 2011

Their houses lit up in festive spirit, people in the national capital today celebrated Diwali with fervour and gaiety, exchanging sweets, bursting crackers and sharing the joy with near and dear ones.

Houses and shops were at their decorative best, with lights all around the walls, flowers donning the insides and colourful ‘rangolis’ welcoming people at the entrances.

People had been flooding markets throughout this week in frenzied shopping and early on in the day too, many people rushed to their nearby shops to make sure they have enough sweets and crackers for the day.

The day began with many people in new clothes performing puja at home while others visiting temples.

Chants of prayers and wafts of fragrance from incense sticks permeated the environment early in the day, following which people stepped out of their houses to exchange greetings with neighbours, friends and relatives.

Many also took to Facebook to wish ‘Happy Diwali’ to their friends and some also used the social networking site to exhort their friends to follow safety norms while bursting crackers.

As evening descended, candles and oil lamps dotted around the houses as revellers took to open spaces to burst crackers.

As always fire officials were on their toes to ward off any incidents in the city.

They received as many as 85 calls for fire-related incidents since midnight last till 8.00 pm. In Hauz Khas, a restaurant caught fire in the main market area and 10 to 12 fire tenders were sent to control it.

While for many, the festival is all about celebrating, for some it is also about sharing of love and compassion.

Nandita, who celebrates Diwali with friends, made it sure she took out an hour to go to a school run by a charitable trust and distribute some books and stationary to underprivileged children. “It is great if some children would feel happy by the effort,” she said.

Zone Life Taps as Exclusive Global Distributor for Innovate Photonics LED Light Aesthetic Products

Pátek, Září 16th, 2011

Zone Life, a New York City based lifestyle company featuring the newest advancements in the beauty, fitness and nutrition industries, announced that it has obtained exclusive global distribution rights to UK-based manufacturer Innovate Photonics’ LED light based products.

As described by the Company, these products include:

Lipo-Light Advanced Body Contouring System: The first LED red light based system for body sculpting, contouring and lymphatic drainage, Lipo-Light harnesses the power of Light Therapy to trigger the body’s own natural ability to burn fat and visibly reduce inches around the body. It enables the fat cells to release fatty acids and glycerol (a process known as lipolysis) which are then burned off during exercise, enabling faster results in the gym and a motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Lipo-Light is safe, non-invasive and easy to administer. It achieves far greater results compared to low level light laser systems, is not subject to medical directives and is much more cost effective.

Consisting of 8 pads that are placed directly on the skin, each treatment is approximately 20 minutes with visible results in zone target areas that are often achieved in just one session. For optimal results a course of eight to ten treatments over the course of four weeks is recommended.

Fine-Light Skin Rejuvenating System: Intended for direct to consumer use, as well as in the clinic, spa, or salon, Fine-Light utilizes the latest Red LED Light Therapy to stimulate and energize the cells of the skin to promote the production of collagen and elastin, thus helping to plump the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Acu-Clear Skin Cleansing Sys tem: Intended for direct to consumer use, as well as in the clinic, spa, or salon, Acu-Clear’s Blue LED Light Therapy kills the bacteria which causes spots and blemishes thus preventing breakouts, reduces inflammation and minimizes scarring.

Unlike other LED devices on the market, Zone Life said that the distinctive design of Fine-Light and Acu-Clear enables the entire face to be treated in just 20-30 minute treatments, is easily portable and enables the user to wear while enjoying everyday activities such as reading, watching TV or surfing the web.