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Inspired by a friends mansion, these homeowners wanted one for themselves

first_img151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters.“We focused a lot on raw materials like marble and wicker and although I am a big fan of trends we wanted a family home that was modern and elegant but a place you could live in and enjoy comfortably.” African baskets, art and tropical plants fill the large spaces. 151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters.“We didn’t have Pinterest or much online inspiration at the time, it was mostly ideas we pulled from magazines and our travels to South Africa and around the world.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North4 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago“My husband Johan’s family is South African and we used that as inspiration in the design.“We gave our architect photos from our travels and photos of angles on houses we liked and he was able to use that to design a house that matched our personality.” The mammoth sized front door opens to reveal an African-style and captures a striking riverfront view.“That was one of the requirements we gave the architect, that when you opened the front door you would have a long, unobstructed view down the hallway to the water,” Mrs Planting said. 151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters.ADMIRATION for breathtaking architecture led homeowners Helen and Johan Planting to build one for themselves. The six-bedroom house designed by architect Shane Denman commands the street with its sophisticated style and extensive use of raw materials including timber, marble and stone.The couple who built their stunning family home five years ago said they were inspired by a friend’s home. 151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters.Louvres and wall-to-wall bi-fold doors seamlessly connect the inside to the outside while the soaring ceilings provide light and a sense of space.“There are windows everywhere so you can catch the light from a sunrise and a sunset right through the house,” Mrs Planting said.The mother-of-two said she wanted a home that wouldn’t date. 151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters.While the house is big on space Mrs Planting said it is designed to feel like you’re living in two villas.“The water feature separates the back of the home so when you’re in the main bedroom you can look out and feel like you are completely detached from the next room,” she said. center_img 151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters.“We asked our friend what architect he used because we loved the angles, light and especially the space in his house,” Mrs Planting said.“It was luxurious and breathable at the same time.“We really admired the architecture and wanted similliar spaces.” Mrs Planting said the couple bought the block of land and started from scratch.“The design took about six months,” she said. 151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters. 151 Sir Bruce Small Blvd, Benowa Waters.“We needed a lot of wall space because we love showcasing art,” Mrs Planting said.“My father-in-law does a lot of beautiful paintings and we wanted a place to hang them, not just a corner but walls with space.” last_img read more

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Dark Energy: Can a Theoretical Entity Be Measured?

first_imgThe redshift of galaxies has been measured for some 90 years, but the existence of “dark energy” was postulated only recently – in the late 1990s.  It was needed to explain unexpected dimness of the most distant galaxies, as measured by Type Ia supernovae.  Some cosmologists claim they are measuring dark energy – others say it is an unnecessary quantity that may not even exist.    PhysOrg triumphantly announced that dark energy has been measured with more precision than ever before by astronomers using the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.  This measurement “Sheds New Light on Universe’s Expansion,” the article states.  Yet it becomes clear reading the article that what they were measuring were X-ray emissions from galaxy clusters, then combining the measurements with theoretical models of dark energy.    It should be apparent that only light can be measured, not darkness (the absence of light).  For instance, a record-breaking gamma ray burst was announced by Space.com: “A violent cosmic explosion has unleashed the brightest blast of X-rays ever detected from distant space, a signal so bright it temporary blinded the NASA space telescope assigned to spot it.”    Speaking of the Type Ia supernovae used to measure cosmic expansion, Science Daily said that the origin of these key cosmic explosions is still a mystery.  A spokeswoman for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said, “The question of what causes a Type Ia supernova is one of the great unsolved mysteries in astronomy.”  Scientists have models for them – such as the accretion of matter onto a white dwarf from a binary companion, or the collision of two white dwarfs – but no model explains all the observations.  This would seem to cast doubt on whether there is a single mechanism – and how, if not, astronomers can have confidence in their distance measurements (cf. 03/28/2010, bullet 5).    Science magazine hosted a written debate this week on the question, “Is dark energy really a mystery?”  Eugenio Bianchi and Carlo Rovelli in France answered “No.”  Dark energy is nothing more than lambda, the cosmological constant Einstein erroneously tossed out of his original field equations.  Since lambda is an integral part of his theory, and the current Cold Dark Matter (CDM) model employs it, there is no mystery.  Dark matter is not a substance, they said.  It is part of the explanatory apparatus.    Taking the affirmative, Rocky Kolb of Chicago acknowledged that the CDM model is the leader, with no observations against it, but said its success comes at a price: “In the model, only about 5% of the total mass�energy of the Universe is observed and understood, and 95% of the Universe is dark.”  Kolb is not impressed by attempts at alleging that a “new constant of nature” (the cosmological constant) “explains” dark energy.  To him, it fits the description of a mystery in the “non-theological” sense of the word: “Something not understood or beyond understanding.”  Moreover, if lambda is the measure of dark energy, it is “absurdly large” for a constant – on the order of 1028 per square centimeter.  Such a constant “cannot at present be related to any other known or expected length scale in nature, and “Attempts to explain this new length scale fail by many, many orders of magnitude.”  His objections then became philosophical and historical:We must demand more of cosmology than just piling on components or constants to a model to reproduce observations.  Otherwise, we would still happily be adding epicycles to the Ptolemaic model of planetary motion.  Cosmological models, along with their constants and components, must be grounded in laws of nature that we understand.  The magnitude of the cosmological constant cannot currently be explained by any physics we know.  Until it is, it is a mystery.See also the 09/28/2009, 06/30/2008 and 05/11/2006 entries, or search for “dark energy” in the search bar.1.  Bianchi, Rovelli, and Kolb, “Cosmology forum: Is dark energy really a mystery?”, Nature 466, pp 321�322, 15 July 2010, doi:10.1038/466321a.What kind of science ascribes 95% of reality to mysterious, unknown stuff (MUST) that must exist to keep a theory going? (see 02/28/2008).  If a religion did that, it would be laughed out of the observatory.  Kolb recalled a personal communication he had with maverick astronomer Tommy Gold: “for every complicated physical phenomenon there is a simple, wrong explanation.”  Scientists only fool themselves by giving names like “cosmological constant” to things they do not understand.  It’s a trick the Murphy’s Law books use for entertainment: (e.g., Skinner’s Constant: that quantity which, when added to, subtracted from, multiplied or divided by the answer you got, gives you the answer you should have gotten).  Make one up and explain the universe.  How about Darwin’s Constant: the tendency to speak beyond experience, defined in units of hubris per square paragraph.  Have some fun and send in your entry to the Feedback line.Dawkins’ Constant: The tendency for evolutionists to think they could have designed a better universe, planet, and life than God did. 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How to Clean an Air Conditioner Condensate Drain

first_imgAn air conditioner does two jobs: It cools down the air and it dehumidifies the air. If you live in a dry climate, you don’t want the AC to dehumidify much because it uses extra energy and makes you spend more on lip balm and hand lotion. If you live in a humid climate, you really want it to do that second job as well as it can to keep your indoor air dry and comfortable. But where does all that condensate go?In most homes, it goes outdoors through a pipe, like the one above. Sometimes there’s a condensate pump that pumps it out, but most often it drains by gravity alone. Occasionally that condensate line gets clogged. This happened at my condo just as the air conditioning season started cranking up. (We live in Atlanta, Georgia, a mixed-humid climate.) Gunk in the pipe built up to the point where it was barely draining. We could run the AC for a little while and then we’d have to turn it off again as the pipe filled up.Cleaning out the gunkOver the Memorial Day weekend, I tackled the problem. One of the best ways to do so is with good old air pressure. If you can close off all escape routes except the one in the direction of the clog, you can shoot positive pressure into the pipe near where the indoor unit is located. That should blow the clog out the other end. In our case, that wasn’t an option because our condensate line is connected to our upstairs neighbor’s air conditioner, too. It’s not the best option anyway because it can blow your condensate line apart if you have any weak connections.So I got out my little wet-dry shop vac and set it up to suck the gunk out at the end of the pipe. The photo below shows the setup. With the airtight connection, I got the bucket full of crud you see at left. (The black plastic object with the grid pattern is part of the shop vac.)If you really want to see how bad it was, watch the short video below and you can see my wife pouring it out.Yes, all that gunk was in our condensate line. One problem with condensate lines is that algae can grow in them. In our case, there’s also a lot of sediment in that bucket, possibly from a corroded evaporator coil. We replaced our AC in 2009 and the condensate line hasn’t been cleaned since then, so some of that crud could have been from our old unit. In fact, I’m guessing this is the first time this condensate line has been cleaned in the 45 years it’s been there. A few condensate line productsIf you haven’t thought about your condensate line lately (or ever), this would be a good time to do so. You can have your HVAC company make sure it’s clean, or you can get the tools and do it yourself. To keep it clear, you can use an algaecide that’s safe for air conditioners. An HVAC company can recommend one. (Don’t use bleach! It can cause a host of problems.) In hot-humid climates like Florida especially, clogged condensate lines are a frequent problem.When I posted this article in the Energy Vanguard Blog, some of the commenters mentioned products that make condensate line maintenance easier. (There was also a strange discussion about Legionnaire’s Disease.) Here are three. Rectorseal Mighty Pump. This is a manual pump you can use to put positive or negative pressure on the drain line. No electricity needed. It comes with the connectors you need to hook up to standard condensate lines.Rectorseal Waterless Trap. This add-on can serve a couple of different purposes with condensate lines. If the trap is in unconditioned space in a climate zone where water in the trap can freeze, this waterless trap might be the answer. Regan Murphy, who posted the link, wrote that it’s also helpful for condensate lines plumbed to the sewer line by keeping sewer gases out of the house without having to worry about keeping water in the trap.All-Access condensate clean-out device. This may be the coolest of the three products. You cut out a section of the condensate line and install this little device. Then you can use it to clean out the drain line with positive or negative pressure. You can add algaecides there. You can also use it to flush the line with water. It’s a really clever little device. Watch the videos (especially the first one) on their page to see all it can do.A little preventive maintenance now could save you thousands of dollars in water damage repairs and the loss of your air conditioner. And you know the most likely time for these to problems to occur is when it’s really, really hot outside. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. RELATED ARTICLESAir Conditioner BasicsGBA Encyclopedia: Air ConditioningThe Magic of ColdWindow-Mounted Air Conditioners Save EnergyAll About DehumidifiersUsing Ceiling Fans To Keep Cool Without ACcenter_img I was hoping to avoid a trip to the hardware store, so I used red duct tape to try to make an airtight connection between the shop vac hose and the condensate line. It didn’t work. I took the shop vac hose with me to the store and bought some fittings in the plumbing department. I hooked it all up (photo at left) and got a nice, airtight connection this time. With the taped connection, I got maybe half a cup of water out of the pipe.last_img read more

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World Cup catches betting flu, 13 arrested

first_imgDelhi Polices crime branch sleuths with the seized laptops, cell phones, recording devices and note books after busting a betting racket.With due apologies to Australian cricket captain Ricky ‘Punter’ Ponting, he is not the only punter playing in this World Cup. Seriously, there have always been punters in cricket and they never retire.Ever since the game evolved from the humble village of Humbledon in England, people have been wagering their money – from outcome of matches to something as strange as the colour of Bishan Singh Bedi’s turban. Bedi apparently used to change his turbans for each session of a Test match and the Aussies used to love betting on the colour he would choose for a particular session.That was when cricket was played by gentlemen in crisp flannels. Today, betting is a highrolling syndicate in the Western world and a similar big money spinning nefarious activity in our parts.The World Cup give this “vice” a frenzied lease of life, spawning crores of rupees on the sly. Since the law of the land does not agree to such activities, the police obviously swoop down on such rackets operating from decrepit houses in dark alleys with an assortment of modern high-tech communication gadgets. These fly by night operators thrive on the human instinct to make money and more money.Of late, the police have been hot on the heels of betting rackets across the country. In Delhi, they have busted three betting syndicates over the past three weeks.advertisementOn Sunday, inspector Arvind Kumar’s team arrested five punters – Kuldeep Jain (32), Suresh Chand Jain(42), Ajay Jain (34), Manoj Jain (39) and Avdhesh Sharma (44) – from a house on rent in East of Kailash, south-east Delhi. These five were not taking bets directly, but 32 bookies across the city were doing their job. They were offering Rs 1.60 for every rupee invested.The police said the punters use a computer software, Back and LayPro, to place the bets. The software can be downloaded from the internet or bought from Gaffar Market, the police added.A rented room often attracts the police. Hence, many syndicates have moved to cars and vans. “Cars are the safest place to run a betting racket. All you need is a laptop with WiFi, mobile phone, television and a notebook.The police have so far arrested 13 bookies in the Capital. Nine of them CUP CATCHES are property dealers. They confessed that were trying to cash in on the World Cup fever to make a quick buck.Down south, the betting mafia has made Karnataka its new hub for the World Cup. The police have busted rackets in five different locations across the state over the past 15 days – arresting more than 25 people in Bangalore, Bellary, and Belgaum.”We had clear information that the betting mafia has moved to Karnataka from Mumbai. They have formed a ring in the state. All the five gangs that we nabbed are interconnected,” a senior police officer said.What has appalled the police is the presence of armed guards from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar outside the houses of the betting gangs. “This is new to Bangalore. Armed guards are common in Mumbai. The Bangalore underworld does not rely on guards from other states,” the officer added.In Andhra Pradesh, the Vijayawada police on Sunday arrested five persons for betting on the India-England cricket match in Bangalore and seized Rs 2.10 lakh in cash, 12 mobile phones and a laptop.Here again, real estate dealers from Hyderabad were involved in the betting racket. Subba Raju, a punter and property dealer, said cricket betting has two categories: match betting and fancy betting.”Match betting is simple. In this, one can bet, for instance, on 40:42 when two favourite teams are playing. The bookie gets Rs 40,000 extra for every one lakh he bets on the first team if it wins the match. If the second team wins, he would lose Rs 42,000 for every one lakh straightaway.As the match progresses, the bookies can raise their stake, but the basic figure remains the same,” Raju explained.last_img read more

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Asian Games 2018: India thrash Sri Lanka 20-0 in men’s hockey

first_imgAkashdeep Singh scored six goals as defending champions India thrashed Sri Lanka 20-0 to remain unbeaten in the group stages at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. India, who already qualified for the semi-finals, will take on Malaysia in the last-four encounter on Thursday.India scored a total of 76 goals and conceded only three goals in five matches at the group stages to top Pool A with 15 points.Rupinder Pal Singh scored a hat-trick once again to take his tally of goals to 12 in this edition of the Asian Games.It was always going to be a cakewalk for world No. 5 India against Sri Lanka, ranked 38th and it turned out to be so as the title holders toyed with the rival defence to score goals at will.ASIAN GAMES 2018 FULL COVERAGE | MEDALSAkashdeep Singh (9th, 11th, 17th, 22nd, 32nd, 42nd minutes) scored six goals while Rupinder Pal Singh (1st, 52, 53rd), playing his 200th international match, Harmanpreet Singh (5th, 21st, 33rd) and Mandeep Singh (35th, 43rd, 59th) struck thrice each as India completely dismantled the Sri Lankan defence from start to finish.Lalit Upadhyay scored a brace (57th, 58th) while Vivek Sagar Prasad (31st), Amit Rohidas (38th) and Dilpreet Singh (53rd) scored a goal each.ASIAN GAMES DAY 10 LIVE UPDATESHaving already secured their place in the semi-finals, the match against Sri Lanka was an inconsequential encounter for the Indians but they came out full steam to decimate the islanders.Such was India’s domination was that the Lankans failed to register a single shot at the Indian goal, leave aside earning any penalty corners.advertisementThe Indians, on the other hand, had 46 shots at the Lankan goal and found the target on 20 occasions.Also Read: India men’s hockey team scores 76 goals in group stageThe Indians scored 12 field goals, seven from penalty corners and one from penalty stroke.Such was India’s confidence that they withdrew their goalkeeper 1 minutes from the hooter for an extra field player and the move bore fruit as they scored six goals in that period.Meanwhile, last edition’s bronze medallist India will face reigning silver medallist China in the semifinals of the women’s hockey competition while title holders Korea will take on Japan.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

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