In a New Year’s Eve Special, Liberia’s ‘Dynamic Duo:’ the amazing bassist, Ernie Bruce,…

first_img(Part 1)The “tango,” (a ballroom dance of Latin American origin) has always been performed by couples. That no more and no number less than a duo (two) could effectively showcase the intricacies (sophistication, difficulty) of the dance, leaves those of us who will never master the dance with the strong belief that the tango might not be an undertaking for the weak and feebleminded. The well-known saying: “it takes two to tango” could have gotten started as nothing less than a suggestion – that anyone attempting to tango alone on the dance-floor had allowed himself to be fooled into thinking that the hard-work that the tango demands of two people, working vigorously together, could be done as easily and as successfully, by one person. And that might be why that simple but straightforward statement to the foolish – “not to tangle with the tango all by oneself,” has taken on a life of its own. It would go on to become a household word, meddling in the affairs of millions who find nothing better to do than to go about believing that they are bigger than what they really are. “It takes two to tango” did not stop at that point: It took on a life of its own, smashing its way into other cultures, focusing the attention of people all over the world, on the unexpected things that other people did – or didn’t do – in matters that involved almost everything other than dance!Soon, film, television, poetry and drama, began idealizing (celebrating, making special) that simple, short and snappy maxim or saying: “it takes two….” In the process, the media often targeted and exposed the ubiquitous (found everywhere) “I am the man” braggart, telling himself and others that he was stronger or more important than his partner, and was able to carry his share of the work as well as his partner’s. Today, through song, the soundness and power of that expression has been put to music. People the world over now share that almost unrivaled ditty, (a short, simple song): “No Man Walks Alone.” Take a look:No man is an island,No man walks alone.Each man’s joy is joy to me,Each man grief is my own.We need one another:So I will defendEach man as my brother—Each man as my friend!Before moving on let’s step back a little and revisit the title-fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire in the early to mid-1970s. It might teach a few lessons about how to avoid jumping into things with one’s mind made up ahead of things. George Foreman entered the ring that fateful day, full with all of the answers: Answers to questions he clearly had failed to ask himself; or answers to question that he had failed to ask someone else. Muhammad Ali was the underdog, and George Foreman was going to beat him to death. Forman did a good beating: But, it was himself he had beaten up. It was he who almost died – from the shame of unimaginable defeat. Foreman is a changed man today; thank God! But the question: “What if?” still remains.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Watch out for this latest phone scam in Donegal

first_imgGardaí in Donegal are warning people to be wary of a new phone scam doing the rounds recently.People are being targetted by a caller who claims to be from the office of the Revenue Commissioners. The caller, who has a foreign accent, goes on to ask for personal information.Gardaí say they are aware of a phone number starting with 051 which is linked with this scam.  Garda Sean Sweeney from Buncrana Garda Station is warning phone users to take the following steps to avoid being caught out: “Please never answer a foreign phone number on your phone unless you are expecting a call from abroad and never ever give out personal information.“Do not call the number back as this may cost you a fortune.“Unfortunately these scam artists are obviously making money in this way so be alert and don’t fall victim to them,” Gda Sweeney said.  Watch out for this latest phone scam in Donegal was last modified: May 17th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Travel Alert: A5 diversion set to pass through East Donegal villages

first_imgHigh volumes of traffic could be making its way through the towns and villages of East Donegal over the next two weeks due to cross-border diversions.Nighttime works are planned on the A5 between Strabane and Derry from Sunday 28th July to Saturday 10th August.Traffic is set to be diverted through Lifford, St. Johnston and Carrigans during this period. Diversion Map shared by Donegal County CouncilDFI Roads will be temporarily closing the road from Magheramason to Newbuildings on an overnight basis only between 7pm and 7am.The diversions will then operate through the night for all Derry-bound traffic, sending traffic through Lifford, Clonleigh, St Johnston, Carrigans, before crossing into the A40 Mullenan Road in Derry, the Letterkenny Road and Foyle Road onwards.Country-bound traffic will follow the route from: B48 Duncastle Road, Donemana, B49 Berryhill Road, Artigarvan, Woodend Road, A5 Barnhill RoadThe works are being carried out by DFI Roads Contractors. A notice from Traffic Watch NI has advised motorists to expect delays of 15 minutes onto their journeys. Traffic Watch NI Travel Alert: A5 diversion set to pass through East Donegal villages was last modified: July 26th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Darwin Dissed in His Own Homeland

first_imgOne would think Brits would cherish their guru Darwin, but he didn’t come out all that well in a poll, reports BBC News.  More than half the population doesn’t believe in the theory of evolution, results showed, and 39% said either creation or intelligent design best explains their view on the origin and development of life (about 12% didn’t know).    Lord Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society was stunned.  “It is surprising that many should still be sceptical of Darwinian evolution,” he said.  “Darwin proposed his theory nearly 150 years ago, and it is now supported by an immense weight of evidence.”    The editor of the BBC Horizon program that initiated the poll called this the first introduction to the British public’s views on this issue.  He also was surprised; “Most people would have expected the public to go for evolution theory, but it seems there are lots of people who appear to believe in an alternative theory for life’s origins,” he commented.  People over 55 were more likely to reject Darwinism.For a country steeped in Darwinian dogma for over a century, with only a small minority attending church where religion is nearly moribund, this is quite a surprising statistic.  If Darwin gave the world the best idea anyone ever had, and is the figurehead of modern biology, why is his claim not so obvious to all the people?    Lord Martin Rees was glad there is no movement to oppose evolution like in the US, but then why can’t Darwin’s disciples win more converts when they have complete control of the science curricula and a near monopoly on the definition of science and truth?  Can’t the people see the weight of evidence?  Maybe they see through it.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Grass Shack Makes a Comeback

first_imgOh, what a feeling: Toyota Roof Garden wants to replace your roof with grass.  Bill Christensen at Live Science says that the car company’s grass tiles include imbedded irrigation piping, provide good thermal insulation and reflect less urban heat to the atmosphere.  The special grass only needs mowing once a year.  Company website (Japanese): Toyota Roof Garden.Figuring out how to mow the slanted roof may be a drawback, but in designing products for daily living, why not consider biology more often?  After all, nature’s solutions were designed with ecology in mind.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img

Darwin Losing in the Polls

first_imgMany scientists are celebrating Darwin as the greatest scientist in history on his Bicentennial, but public support for his theory is slipping.  A new Zogby poll shows significant erosion over the past few years over the question of whether evolution only should be taught, and a new Gallup poll shows only a minority believe in evolution.    The results of the Zogby poll are explained on Evolution News with graphs.  The demographics indicate that it is not just church-goers who support academic freedom to teach the strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory; a large majority of those calling themselves liberals, college grads and Democrats also responded affirmative to the question, “Would you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree that teachers and students should have the academic freedom to discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of evolution as a scientific theory?”  Young adults were among the strongest in agreement.    In another article, Evolution News pointed out that the Zogby poll shows support for teaching “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution has risen 9 percentage points since a similar poll in 2006.  They said that even after the Dover trial, the public remains unconvinced that the scientific debate over Darwin is over.  “Indeed, support for the Darwinists’ position has dropped significantly while support for teaching the controversy over evolution has risen.”  The original Zogby report has been reprinted on the Discovery Institute website.    Evolution News commented on Richard Dawkins’s reaction to the poll.  Dawkins called it a “stupid poll” because it “presumes there is scientific evidence against evolution.”  Dawkins does not accept that premise.  He said the Discovery Institute ought to go into the lab and publish such evidence if it is out there.  But as Anika Smith pointed out, whenever Darwin doubters do that, the evolutionists cover it up or prevent them from publishing it in the first place.    Fox News reported on a separate poll by Gallup that revealed, “Fewer Than 4 in 10 Believe in Evolution.”  The percentages show that this feeling is not limited to the religious; 24% of those described as weekly church attenders said they believe in the theory of evolution, while 39% of all respondents believe it.  See also the British poll reported last week on 02/04/2009).  So on the eve of the Darwin Bicentennial, there is still only a small minority in the public that believe in Darwin’s theory as the explanation for life.  36% responded that they don’t have an opinion one way or the other.Eugenie Scott, Ken Miller, Richard Dawkins, William Provine and the other Darwin bulldogs need to face up to the fact that 150 years of indoctrination has failed to convince the public of evolutionary naturalism.  They are an elitist minority.  What gives them the right to dictate to the world what the public shall hear?  Is it philosophy of science?  No; one cannot presume their definition of science rules, when no one has ever come up with a satisfactory definition of science.  Is it the evidence?  No; as we document day after day, week after week, month after month, the evidence must be twisted or put off into the future to support the neo-Darwinist position.  Is it religion vs science?  No; Darwinism is just as religious as theism; it is an all-encompassing world view that goes far beyond observation.  Is it naturalism vs supernaturalism?  No; the definitions of nature and natural are as slippery as a greased eel.  Is it the privileged status of scientific institutions?  No; some of the best science has been done outside the institutions and by bucking the consensus.  Surely one needs to be well-trained in mathematical physics to speak credibly on quantum mechanics or nuclear fusion, but Darwinism is not that hard to understand: spontaneous variation (which everyone can see), and survival of the fittest (which is as intuitively obvious as “Boys will be boys”).  When they say this combination of intuitively-obvious statements produced giraffes from bacteria, that is not intuitively obvious.  They know you cannot get from here to there, PhD or not.    In spite of the public demand for academic freedom, the Darwin elitists continue their biased propaganda.  Darwin 200 website of London’s Natural History Museum, and the Nature Darwin 200 celebrations, for instance, contain only gushy praise for the Bearded Buddha written by Darwin Party operatives, without a hint of dissent.  They completely ignore the criticisms of Darwin’s ideas coming from many directions (even some from within the camp, like the 01/28/2009 and 01/22/2009 entries show).    If scientists want to get public support for the DODO policy (Darwin-only, Darwin-only), they must deal honestly with the strengths and weaknesses of the theory in open debate.  They must tear down the Berlin Wall (as explained in Expelled) that protects one side from criticism, imprisons the citizenry and punishes those trying to escape.  They must face the strong critiques from intelligent design, the fossil record, the fine-tuning of the universe, epistemology, the logical fallacies in philosophical naturalism, the philosophical critiques of methodological naturalism, and much more.  They cannot just go to a judge in Pennsylvania for a local ruling pushed by the ACLU, and announce the debate is over.  They must stop the persecution and expulsion of well-reasoned alternative viewpoints.  They must stop the Stalinesque indoctrination in the schools.  They must own up to the bitter implications of evolutionary naturalism on society (01/15/2009) and explain why altruistic humans should tolerate destructive ideas.  They cannot act like a religious tribunal.  Science is all about debate, open discussion, and thinking outside the box.  As long as the Darwin-only dictators arrogate to themselves to sole right to speak on such topics, they are going to continue to erode their support.    The public sees them for what they are: elitist totalitarians who want to dictate not only what you can say, but what you can think.  The ivory-tower Darwin bulldogs need a concentrated and sustained dose of humility.  Let’s celebrate Lincoln, who emancipated slaves, and Darwin, who understood that facts could be adduced for the opposite conclusions to his viewpoint, and therefore promoted balanced debate on both sides of each question (see quote above).  To the Darwinists we ask, why don’t you celebrate Darwin Day by following his advice?  What could possibly go wrong if we all had that spirit?(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Lucky LUCA Was Already Complex

first_imgSimple to complex: that’s been the essence of evolutionary theory ever since Charles Darwin imagined some organic molecules coming together in a warm little pond eons ago.  Whatever simple life form emerged from his pond started his evolutionary process that led to the human brain.  But what if the “last universal common ancestor” was already highly complex?  What if bacteria and archaea are “devolved” remnants of a more complex ancestor?  That’s exactly what a new study is claiming. “Last universal common ancestor [LUCA] more complex than previously thought” is the headline on PhysOrg.  Here’s what’s out: “Many believe LUCA was little more than a crude assemblage of molecular parts, a chemical soup out of which evolution gradually constructed more complex forms. Some scientists still debate whether it was even a cell.”  Not according to a study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: “New evidence suggests that LUCA was a sophisticated organism after all, with a complex structure recognizable as a cell, researchers report.” The article goes on to describe discovery of an enzyme common to all three kingdoms of microbes.  This enzyme, vacuolar proton pyrophosphatase, has been found in prokaryotic bacteria, along with a structure that is “physically, chemically and functionally the same as an organelle called an acidocalcisome” that is common in eukaryotic cells.  Acidocalcisomes are complex organelles that help control osmosis.  They contain protein pumps and gates that actively transport water, calcium, and ions.  An analogous structure and enzyme is also present in archaea.  Conclusion: the “last universal common ancestor” (LUCA) was already complex enough to contain these organelles, along with their molecular machines, and therefore “may have been more complex even than the simplest organisms alive today,” according to James Whitfield, a co-author of the study published in Biology Direct. Whitfield said that today’s bacteria may appear primitive because they are stripped-down versions of earlier complex cells.  Because they live in extreme environments and have to reproduce quickly, bacteria could represent specialized cells that are simpler than LUCA had to be.  “You can’t assume that the whole story of life is just building and assembling things,” he said.  The last sentence of the article is another quote by Whitfield: “We may have underestimated how complex this common ancestor actually was.” The “universal common ancestor” meme is common in evolutionary reports.  A separate example can be found in a BBC News story about a scientist from Northern Arizona University who watched living fish jump by flipping their tails.  All of a sudden she envisioned a mythical universal fish jumping ancestor: “It suggests that, rather than a rare adaptation that evolved in a select few species, the ability to leap on land is common among bony fishes. So many more of their ancient aquatic relatives might have invaded the land than had previously been thought.”  She immediately thought “In my mind, that opens up the fossil record to re-interpretation,” adding, “The last common ancestor of the two species examined in this study lived about 150 million years ago,” she said, “which implies that the behaviour is at least that old.” One should not think, though, that common ancestors are necessarily simple.  PhysOrg published another discovery from Oxford University that shows another complex structure found in every cell from bacteria to humans: snake-like structures called cytophidia (“cell snakes”) whose functions are unknown.  They move around in cells and seem to have something to do with an enzyme called CTP synthase that plays a role in the formation of CTP, a building block of RNA and DNA.  The enzymes become organized in structures that move throughout the cell.  “Cytoophidia have heads and tails and can move around. They really do look like snakes,” one researcher said.  Their numbers appear tightly controlled by the cell.  The discovery led to a general principle about cells that reverberates back on the LUCA story, too: The cell needs an organized structure to bring this industry of biochemical reactions under control, with many processes cordoned off in separate chambers, capsules and compartments. It allows related reactions to be better controlled and regulated, with the right concentrations of the different molecules brought together in the right environment. After all, you don’t just bung all the ingredients into a chemical engineering plant, a brewery or a baking tin imagining that the recipe will be fine. “The beauty of a well-organized cell has not been appreciated by everyone. Without the structure, a bag of the same amounts of all the molecules would not do the same thing as a living cell,” explains Ji-Long. “Compartmentation could be a general feature for many enzymes in a cell,” he believes. The number of essential parts of a free-living cell is growing.  This puts pressure on evolutionists to (1) explain how these complex structures and enzymes each emerged individually without a designer, and (2) explain how the last universal common ancestor got them all together at the same time, in the right concentrations, in the right compartments, working in a coordinated fashion, encoded in DNA, with machinery to replicate the entire cell faithfully, so that natural selection could act on future generations. The fish story is just that (a fish story), but the LUCA story provides continuing confirmation of a trend seen for a decade (search on LUCA in our search bar, or go to 07/12/2010 “Bacteria Too Complex to Be Primitive Eukaryote Ancestors,” 01/14/2008 “Bacteria to the Future”, and 2/29/2004 “Was Their a Single Common Ancestor for All Life?” where Whitfield and the U of Illinois crew were struggling seven years ago with the LUCA myth).  It confirms again that bacteria cannot be considered primitive transitional forms from the “RNA World” or whatever other speculative scenario the evolutionist wants to conjure up, as if “primitive” prokaryotes “emerged” from a chemical soup, then “tinkered” for a billion years or more before becoming eukaryotes.  It puts more strain on origin-of-life scenarios, because the first cell had to “innovate” all this machinery early on by a blind, purposeless, unguided process.  We report this not that one must accept the LUCA myth; it just shows that even using their own assumptions, evolutionists are having a harder time against the facts. Notice in the article that the lead author, Manfredo Suefferheld, who found the acidocalcisome in bacteria in 2003, said that finding organelles in bacteria went against tradition.  “It was a dogma of microbiology that organelles weren’t present in bacteria,” he said.  Science would be better without dogma.  Darwinism puts the fog in dogma, producing fogma, a dogma so thick you can’t see it unless you are outside of it.  The Darwin Party then puts the dog in fogma, sending their attack dogs barking and biting anyone who tries to clear the air.(Visited 66 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Toyota SA explains their continued investment into South Africa

first_imgToyota South Africa Motors CEO explains their continued investment into South Africa  By Tsabeng Nthite – South Africa’s vehicle market remains the biggest in Africa, accounting for 37% of new vehicle sales on the continent. Mr Andrew Kirby, President and CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors attributes this to the direction that the South African government has taken to make South African an attractive investment destination.  “The automotive sector is a bright spot for us in South Africa because we have long-term stability of the industrial policy from government, and over the years there has been consistent support from the motor industry,” said Mr Kirby.  Brand South Africa in collaboration with Business Leadership SA – is running a six week campaign to position South Africa as in ideal investment destination. The CEOs Know Campaign  features CEO’s from  multinational corporations based in South Africa who  share insights on the value of their respective organisations’ investment into South Africa. Mr Andrew Kirby, CEO and President of Toyota South Africa is one of the CEO’s featured.“The benefit for us is that we get asset investment support, and we also get support through the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP), which incentivises the production and exports of vehicles which allows us to offset a lot of the initiation costs, and that makes  us  globally competitive,” concluded Mr Kirby. Other  CEO’s  featured include South African Tourism CEO, Mr Sisa Ntshona; the Johannesburg Stock Exchange CEO, Ms Nicky Newton-King; MD and Partner of Goldman Sachs South Africa, Mr Colin Coleman; Executive Head of Anglo American South Africa, Mr Andile Sangqu, as well as CEO of Shell Companies South Africa, Mr Hloniphizwe Mtololast_img read more

A Free Visual Programming Language for Big Data

first_imgUntil the last few years, large scale data processing was something only big companies could afford to do. As Hadoop has emerged, it has put the power of Google’s MapReduce approach into the hands of mere mortals. The biggest challenge is that it still requires a fair amount of technical knowledge to set up and use. Initiatives like Hive and Pig aim at making Hadoop more accessible to traditional database users, but they’re still pretty daunting.That’s what makes today’s release of a new free edition of EMC’s Greenplum big data processing system so interesting. It draws on ideas from the MapReduce revolution, but its ancestry is definitely in the traditional enterprise database world. This means it’s designed to be used by analysts and statisticians familiar with high-level approaches to data processing, rather than requiring in-depth programming knowledge. So what does that mean in practice? Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Related Posts Visual programming can be a very effective way of working with data flow pipelines, as Apple’s Quartz Composer demonstrates in the imaging world. EMC has an environment called Alpine Miner that lets you build up your processing as a graph of operations connected by data pipes. This offers statisticians a playground to rapidly experiment and prototype new approaches. Thanks to the underlying database technology they can then run the results on massive data sets. This approach will never replace scripting for hardcore programmers, but the discoverability and intuitive layout of the processing pipeline will make it popular amongst a wider audience.Complementing Alpine Miner is the MADlib open-source framework. Describing itself as emerging from “discussions between database engine developers, data scientists, IT architects and academics who were interested in new approaches to scalable, sophisticated in-database analytics,” it’s essentially a library of SQL code to perform common statistical and machine-learning tasks. The beauty of combining this with Alpine Miner is that it turns techniques like Bayes classification, k-means clustering and multilinear regression into tools you can drag and drop to build your processing pipeline. Traditionally it’s been a development-intensive job to implement those algorithms on large data sets, but now they’re within the reach of analysts without requiring engineering resources. Even better, because it’s open-source users of other database systems are able to take advantage of the code, though then they won’t benefit from Greenplum’s underlying processing engine.This release from EMC is only free for non-production use, and the majority of the product is not open-source, so it’s definitely not an immediate threat to Hadoop adoption. It is a sign that the traditional enterprise world is starting to pay attention to the wider world though, and demonstrates some of the areas where free solutions are lacking, especially in terms of their ease-of-use. The engine is an extremely powerful tool for large-scale machine learning, as this example from O’Reilly’s Roger Magoulas demonstrates. Will it open up these sorts of enterprise tools to a whole new set of academic and startup users? Tags:#Big Data#hack Why You Love Online Quizzes How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… pete wardenlast_img read more

Blue Heron EcoHaus: Adding it All Up, Part 2

first_imgStrangely, if you visit the Canadian Passive House Institute (CanPHI) website, you’ll find that there are total of five projects that have received Canadian PH certification. If you look up the Passivhaus Institut’s Project Database, you’ll find that there are a grand total of 23 houses in all of Canada that have received PHI certification.Why the discrepancy, you may ask? Why so few certified projects? BLOGS BY KENT EARLE Adding It All Up, Part 1Blower-Door TestingInsulation, Air-Sealing, and a Solar ArraySoffits and Siding at the Blue Heron EcoHausPlacing the Concrete FloorsAdding Walls and RoofDealing With Really Bad WaterMaking an ICF FoundationLet Construction BeginPicking High-Performance WindowsHow Small Can We Go?Choosing a Superinsulated Wall SystemHeating a Superinsulated House in a Cold ClimateIs Passivhaus Right for a Cold Canadian Climate? A standard designed for the German climateThis is a bit complicated, and took me a while to figure out. But here are the basics as I understand it: the Passivhaus standard was developed in Germany for German buildings in the German climate (obviously). However, when other builders in other countries tried to build a “Passivhaus” — in, say, the U.S., England, or Canada — they realized something profound: Hey… wait a second… I don’t live in Germany!Maybe trying to build to the German Passivhaus standard in Minnesota or Saskatchewan is going to be really difficult? Maybe impossible? Or maybe possible but really expensive? Or maybe possible but only to produce a really uncomfortable building to actually live in?Still, PH satellites started to spring up in most countries around the world. Slowly, Passive Houses, built to the German requirements, started to be built in other countries, with the first certified Canadian building being built in 2009. The uptake, however, was certainly neither rapid nor widespread. Why? Was it not as the Passivhaus Institut of Germany said — that these buildings are “truly energy-efficient, comfortable, and affordable”? Or is it just that we are too cheap or lazy or complacent to meet those strict German requirements elsewhere?It seems like this is something that these PH satellites were struggling with. These issues are discussed here, here, and here.A few years ago, though, some people started to say, this is silly. Why are we following German standards and requirements for our buildings when we don’t actually live in Germany?The German Passivhaus standard is as follows:Space heat demand: Maximum of 15 kWh/m2 annually OR a peak demand of 10 w/m2.Blower-door test result @ 50 Pa: Maximum of 0.6 ach.Total primary energy demand: Maximum 120 kWh/m2 annually.Simple enough, right? Hit these numbers using the PH planning software and your building can be certified as a PH. Where’s the problem?The airtightness standard of 0.6 ach50 is strict but not impossible. There had been many houses built to this level of airtightness before PH came around. Rob Dumont’s own home in Saskatoon in 1992 tested at an awe-inspiring 0.47 ach50.Jumping to the third requirement, the total primary energy demand of 120 kWh/m2∙yr ensures essentially that you are not wasting energy or are at least using it wisely. It forces you to use energy-efficient lighting, appliances, and mechanical system components. I don’t think anyone can argue with that as being important to green building. Canada needs its own standardAnyway, let’s try to bring this full circle, back to my original question: Why don’t we just build all new houses in Canada to the PH standard?I hope that I have presented the argument that it may not be realistic to build a certified PH in Canada and follow the original edicts of the German Passivhaus Institut of “energy-efficient, comfortable, and affordable.”From Part 1 of this series (see the first entry in the “Blogs by Kent Earle” sidebar), you may be able to see that there is a huge chasm between how most new homes in Canada are currently built (as a result of our pathetic building code allowing inefficient homes to be perpetuated) and the extremely difficult PH standards currently set in Canada.Unfortunately, I think the CanPHI has done itself a disservice in not distancing itself from the German Passivhaus Institut. By not developing its own Canadian climate-specific standard for the unique climate zones of our country, which maybe (just maybe) one day could be adopted on a large nationwide scale.Until such time that the CanPHI recognizes this and modifies its requirements appropriately and regionally, I doubt that PH will ever gain much more than a very small handful of faithful followers willing to spend, at all costs, to meet an arbitrary set of values developed on the other side of the world.That being said, I do know that you can in fact build a house in Canada that is energy-efficient, comfortable, and affordable. Because that’s what we’ve done.But it isn’t a Passive House.center_img In mid-November 2015, just before we moved into our new house, we were asked to be part of the Passive House Days tour (a worldwide weekend of awareness of Passive House and energy-efficient building). Well, not “officially” — we were asked to be a part of the tour by the event organizer in Saskatchewan, who was the Passive House (PH) consultant on what should become the first certified PH in Saskatchewan. Even though we did not build a PH, we did follow the standards as closely as I could justify. From the beginning we were not pursuing certification.Although all of the visitors on the PH tour were very interested in our house, our process, and why we did the things we did, one question we got a lot was, “If you were following the Passive House standard, why not go all the way for certification?”First, let’s back up a little bit. Indeed, the principles of a PH are second to none. From Passipedia: “Passivhaus is a building standard that is truly energy efficient, comfortable and affordable at the same time.” So simple. Brilliant even. I wanted to build a Passive House. Who wouldn’t? The space heating demand is the sticking pointThe real problem, in my opinion, is the space heating demand of 15 kWh/m2∙yr or a peak load of 10 W/m2. These numbers dictate the maximum amount of space heating allowed for each square meter of a building. Remember — this is based on a German climate.In Germany, the number of heating degree days (HDD) is around 3,100 annually compared to more than 10,000 in Saskatoon. That means that the heating requirement in Saskatoon is three times that in Germany. Besides that, who really cares what your heating demand is? With the maximum energy demand of 120 kWh/m2∙yr already stated, what difference does it make whether you use 50% of that to heat your house or 10% in terms of your overall efficiency? This is my real beef with PH and the one that most others working towards PH in countries that have climates other than a German one tend to struggle with, too.Recently, the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) split off (or was banished — depending on what you read) from the German Passivhaus Institut. This allowed PHIUS to develop its own standard and specific requirements for climate zones in the U.S., and also allowed it to use North American calculation values instead of European. As a result, it is now easier — OK, let’s say, more attainable — to hit the PH targets for your Minneapolis house using a Minneapolis climate to calculate your requirements. Now that makes sense to me.Sadly, the Canadian PH Institute has resisted following its American counterparts and has continued to align itself with the German requirements. Thus, it’s darn near impossible (practically) to meet the PH standard and become certified by the Canadian PH Institute.There is a small loophole of sorts, though. A Canadian house can pursue certification via PHIUS, which has climate-specific standards for the northern states, where the climate is somewhat closer to our climate. Although the conversion is not exact, the space heating demand requirement for the northern U.S. is about 30 kWh/m2 annually (or double that allowed in the German standard). That’s better — but still, the maximum heating degree days in Saskatoon are more than any other place in the continental U.S. Nonetheless, there have been a few Passive Houses in Canada that have used the U.S. system to become certified (maybe 10 or 12).I told you this was complicated…last_img read more