Reviewing Submissions for Government Funding

first_imgI just finished up two long days sitting in a conference room with over 25 other people reviewing green building proposals for a federal agency that must remain unnamed. Both interesting and mind-numbing, the process of reading, evaluating, grading, discussing, and writing reports was an arduous and informative process.We saw many well written proposals for ridiculous projects and many poorly written ones for potentially viable ideas. Our work involved separating the wheat from the chaff in a group of about 65 submissions. There were several themes that regularly repeated themselves in the papers, including CO2 detectors to assist in ventilation systems, advanced window technologies, reflective roofing, and unique air filtration devices.Before I get into some of the interesting and amusing content of the proposals, I feel the need to mention the incredible group of experts assembled to undertake the work. The reviewers included engineers, consultants, architects, and researchers, along with experts in air quality, building management, IT, green building, and other disciplines. I suppose there were a few building scientists in the group, but no one described themselves as such.I frequently find myself humbled when I sit down with others how have almost limitless depths of knowledge in specific subjects, particularly as I see myself as a generalist with a very broad but relatively shallow knowledge base. Coming from a contracting background, where being a “jack of all trades but master of none” is both a common and valuable trait, I am often out of my depth with roomfuls of subject experts.I bet you never knew I was a rapporteurEach of us was sent a copy of all proposals in advance of the meeting, with an assignment to prepare a written evaluation of between 7 and 8 of them and briefly read through all the others. Each proposal had three primary reviewers, one of whom was listed as the “rapporteur” (literally French for “reporter”) – the person responsible for assembling the reviewers’ consensus and preparing the final written report.I didn’t know that using fancy French words was a hallmark of government programs. Didn’t they rename French fries in the Congressional cafeteria for a while?Lots of talk about demand-controlled ventilationOne subject of multiple proposals was a new or updated type of CO2 detector designed to be used in demand-controlled building ventilation. Now, I’ve had lots of discussions and arguments about, listened to many presentations, and read books and articles on building ventilation, but somehow I missed this particular phrase – “demand-controlled ventilation” – before. In its simplest form, this can be provided by something like a humidity sensor in a bathroom, but for whole-building ventilation, particularly for residential projects, it is pretty rare.One of the attendees pointed out in a side discussion that he manages his house ventilation based on hot water use – when his college age children are home and use more hot water, it signals his ventilation system to move to a higher exchange rate. Not exactly orthodox, but interesting nonetheless.It does appear that there is a lot of thought (and money) going into using CO2 sensors to manage building ventilation these days. While I like the concept, it falls into the category of possibly being too complicated to work consistently and effectively. It will be interesting to see how these experiments evolve into real-world products.Evaluation haikuPerhaps the most entertaining part of the entire meeting came towards the end, when each rapporteur had to provide a brief review of one of the proposals that had not made the “competitive” cut, just to make sure that we weren’t getting rid of anything that was worthy of consideration. After being reminded by the meeting organizer to keep our comments as short as possible, the gentleman next to me provided his report in haiku as follows:This one not so good,Has to do with mold, I think,Was not understood.Both amusing and concise, it was one of the best reviews of the entire meeting.My take on the entire processOverall, I found the evaluation process well organized, if somewhat arbitrary. Individual reviewers were assigned proposals based on their self-reported expertise and the expected content based on the title.In most cases the matches were reasonable, but some of us were reviewing things that were far beyond our ability to understand them. As each proposal was discussed by the entire group, these gaps were easily filled in, and we ultimately arrived at, I believe, reasonable evaluations of each proposal.As we are not the final arbiters of the process, I don’t believe I will ever find directly out which proposals were approved, but it will be interesting to see if any of them eventually appear in the marketplace. I enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with a diverse group of very smart people, hear their opinions, and learn new things from them.last_img read more

This Assam tigress is proving too tough to catch

first_imgCatching a Royal Bengal Tiger is tough. Catching an intelligent tigress “addicted” to livestock is tougher, forest officials and veterinarians in Assam are finding out.F03, the tigress that strayed out of the 78.81 sq. km. Orang National Park in November 2017, has given her potential captors the slip at least a dozen times since. Officials said she could even be out-thinking their moves.Nothing worksNothing that the officials have tried — from building an isolated cattle shed with live food inside to using baits in a camouflaged cage — has worked so far. To make things worse, one of the veterinarians on the job fractured his leg on Sunday morning after falling from the back of an elephant startled by the presence of the tigress nearby.As the patience of people in seven villages covering a 6 sq. km. area wears thin, wildlife experts fear the tigress could be too smart for her own safety.“A tiger that took the same route as the tigress to prey on livestock of farmers last year, was poisoned. We need to do something fast for the safety of the tigress as well as the villagers, but she seems to be always a step ahead of us,” Orang’s Divisional Forest Officer Ramesh Gogoi said.F03 is one of 24 striped cats estimated as part of Orang National Park’s 2017 tiger census.Park officials said she has made a cluster of villages 3 km upstream of National Highway 52 on the northern edge of Orang her hunting ground.“For a park that has the highest density of tigers in the country, space is hard to come by. This could be a reason why she has ventured out for easier kills,” Mr. Gogoi said.“We put up cameras along the route the tigress kept using. The image from one of the cameras last Friday night confirmed the tigress to be F03.”“She was captured from near where a pig was tied as a bait not far from one of three machans (treetop platform to keep a watch on animals below) in her prowling area. But she avoided the pig, travelled 2 km to a village beyond the Dhansiri river to eat another pig,” the Assam Forest Department’s Dhansiri division DFO Madhurjya K. Sarma told The Hindu.Tigers in the wild hunt during the day. But F03, officials said, has taken a nocturnal turn preferring to prey on animals when the villagers are asleep.last_img read more

Fed Cup: Anne Keothavong hopes home advantage will give Britain the X factor

first_imgShare on Facebook Fed Cup Read more Topics Johanna Konta Share on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Twitter Naomi Osaka says Wimbledon’s grass is ‘a little bit frightening’ Since you’re here… That feeling stems from a strong squad, led by Johanna Konta, ranked No 39 but showing signs of the form that took her inside the top 10, backed up by Katie Boulter, ranked 83, Heather Watson, Harriet Dart and Katie Swan. But the X factor could be that for the first time since they dropped out of the World Group in 1993, Britain will be playing at home.The venue is the University of Bath, an impressive home to a host of elite sportsmen and women. Showcasing women’s tennis in a part of the country not renowned for the sport was a major factor in convincing the International Tennis Federation to make Britain group hosts. “It is going to be key,” Anne Keothavong said on Tuesday. “I never got to experience it as a player but I am looking forward to experiencing it as a captain and I know all the players are too.”Keothavong stressed the importance of boosting participation, not least since figures from Sport England showed the number of regular tennis players in Britain fell from 457,200 to 398,100 in the 10 years to 2016.“We’re bringing tennis to a different part of the country,” she said. “There’s no grass-court event here or anything else. We’re trying to open our sport up to as many people as possible. You all know the participation figures and everyone’s aware of that, but I do think events like this help raise the profile of women’s tennis and that’s something we should all get excited about because the depth of women’s tennis in this country is as strong as it’s ever been. We want more kids to take up the game, we want as many people to participate as possible. The players are all aware of that, and of the bigger picture as well.” The Britain team pose for a selfie at the Roman Baths in the city. Photograph: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for LTA Anne Keothavong Share on WhatsAppcenter_img Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Reuse this content Support The Guardian With the Davis Cup having switched to a new format this year, the Fed Cup may also change in the coming years but, for now, getting out of the group remains a hard slog. “The stress and the emotions that we all feel as a team to get through a week like this, it takes a lot out of the players and that shouldn’t be underestimated,” Keothavong added. “The format, which can be frustrating, is something I’ve spoken about in the past. I feel very strongly about Fed Cup and Davis Cup coming in line with each other.“We came close last year. It’s credit to the players they have come back again. We have a shared goal and a shared purpose, but they want to go on this journey together and hopefully have another opportunity, another shot at making it into the World Group. Credit to all of them for that, that they’re prepared to put themselves on the line and do it all over again.”If Britain are to succeed this week, much will depend on the efforts of Konta. Though she was beaten in the second round of the Australian Open last month, her level of play was a vast improvement on the second half of last year and she will go into Tuesday’s opening match, against Slovenia, with confidence.Getting out of the group will not be easy but it won’t be for the lack of support. Tennis It is almost 26 years since Great Britain last played in the elite World Group level of the Fed Cup, the flagship team competition of women’s tennis. Since then, they have languished a couple of rungs below the top flight, the path back to the top level blocked by superior opposition, tough draws and a fair bit of bad luck.Unless you are a country blessed with several top players, like the Czech Republic (who have won the event in six of the past eight years), the USA and France, the Fed Cup can be a harsh environment.Last year Britain came through four matches in four days only to then fall to Japan in a play-off that would have elevated them to World Group II, the second tier of the competition. But if the format is almost as difficult to understand as it is to navigate, there is real optimism this week that Britain can begin climbing the ladder. Share via Email Facebook Pinterest Share on Messenger newslast_img read more

10 months agoWagner admits Huddersfield shopping list expanding

first_imgWagner admits Huddersfield shopping list expandingby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveHuddersfield boss David Wagner admits his shopping list is expanding.The Terriers are in dire need of a goalscorer in their bid to survive a second season in the Premier League and additional firepower is likely to be Wagner’s number one priority.“You can trust me, I try to do this job as well as I can as a manager and if the window is in front of you, you have to prepare yourself as best you can,” he said.“I have a list and a pen and sometimes I put some more names on the list. I do what every manager does at this time of the season.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Out Of Bounds: Everything We Found Unsuitable To Post Today (2/11/2015)

first_imgKatherine Webb poses in a bikini.Here at College Spun, believe it or not, we pass on a number of potential posts every day. Sometimes they’re too edgy. Sometimes they’re too confusing to figure out. Sometimes we just flat out run out of time. Here’s everything we passed on today, for one reason or another.1. AJ McCarron’s wife, Katherine Webb, is pissed at people on social media calling her too thin in the below photo. This isn’t really our territory any longer, but it’s interesting.2. The Harvey Updyke Twitter account, which we can’t independently verify the authenticity of, tweeted that Auburn had banned it. It’s about time.What a bunch of babies— Harvey Updyke (@Harveyrolltide) February 11, 20153. A lesbian couple in Alabama got married – wearing Crimson Tide gear. We were a bit late to the party finding out the news.Melissa and Kimberly Martin got married Monday morning in Montgomery (If you couldn’t tell they’re big Alabama fans)— Kim Chandler (@StatehouseKim) February 9, 20154. FSU running back Karlos Williams has been tweeting some weird, cryptic stuff about a relationship he’s in. Back in October, he was under investigation for domestic violence. We’ll hold off on speculating what’s going on.Now I’m lying to my children and putting make believe shit in their heads. Ok. I’m bad father now.— Karlos Williams Sr. (@Karlos_Sr) February 10, 2015Don’t have the time for someone else’s Bs when I have my own going on. Ppl so call care about you and your family but they only cause drama.— Karlos Williams Sr. (@Karlos_Sr) February 11, 2015#stressed— Karlos Williams Sr. (@Karlos_Sr) February 11, 2015I wouldn’t shed a tear. For you I have nun to spare.— Karlos Williams Sr. (@Karlos_Sr) February 11, 2015I guess all good things come to an end. Should have seen this coming. Oh well process and move on. #Live&Learn— Karlos Williams Sr. (@Karlos_Sr) February 11, 2015Victim????? Bih please.— Karlos Williams Sr. (@Karlos_Sr) February 11, 20155. Ole Miss wideout Laquon Treadwell made a lame joke about Tupac. 6. Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews went after a Twitter troll after he criticized her for promoting TruBiotics.Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 5.52.15 PM7. Ohio State’s Brutus the Buckeye is lucky he didn’t break his face in the below video.In case u missed it-Brutus came 2 Cams 5th BDay Party-What He Did was EPIC! #UrMascotCantDoThis #AirBrutus @Court0385— Zach S❌ith #Zone6 (@CoachZachSmith) February 10, 20158. Katherine Webb’s sister, Laurie Webb, lightly joked with a friend about Cam Newton’s laptop-stealing days at Florida.Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 5.58.40 PM9. Maryland is “turning back the clock” against Indiana tonight – to 2002. We understand that the two schools played for the 2002 national title, but that seems a little ridiculous.We pulled some of our favorite 2002 throwback gear. Can’t wait to see yours! Men’s basketball vs. Indiana 9pm tonight— UMD Archives (@UMDArchives) February 11, 201510. Porn star Mia Khalifa, on top of being a Florida State football fan, is apparently a Duke basketball fan. Giddy up.“@CaMeRoNdO: Dukes working your squad @miakhalifa” Duke IS my bball squad— Mia Khalifa (@miakhalifa) February 10, 2015 Also Check Out: Wednesday’s Cheat Sheetlast_img read more

South Carolina WR Pharoh Cooper Addresses Negative Tweets

first_imgSouth Carolina football players run onto the field.COLUMBIA, SC – NOVEMBER 25: The South Carolina Gamecocks run onto the field before their game against the Clemson Tigers at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)South Carolina junior wide receiver Pharoh Cooper didn’t play his best in the first half of the Gamecocks’ contest against UCF this past Saturday, muffing a punt and dropping a surefire touchdown pass. But in the second session, Cooper turned it on, running for a 29-yard score to give the Gamecocks the lead. He also hauled in a 35-yard touchdown to put South Carolina up two scores just before the fourth quarter started.After the game, Cooper took to Twitter to address the criticism he received for his early play. Apparently, fans were tweeting some negativity at him during the first half.LOL to all these negative tweets about me .. Ima always come through for my team baby ! Believe dat !— Pharoh Cooper (@KingTutt_chdown) September 26, 2015 I’m just human ..we all make mistakes ..— Pharoh Cooper (@KingTutt_chdown) September 26, 2015 Nonetheless..great team win today !! Let’s get ready for next week ! #GamecockNation— Pharoh Cooper (@KingTutt_chdown) September 26, 2015 But it’s okay.. I expect Yall to be mad .. Cause that’s not what’s expected of me ..! Forever gonna fight for my team ! I promise !— Pharoh Cooper (@KingTutt_chdown) September 26, 2015 While Cooper certainly handled it well, it’s never acceptable for fans to criticize players for their play on the field. Unfortunately, it’s a trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down.last_img read more

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey Responds To Jim Harbaugh’s “Whining” Subtweet

first_imgJim Harbaugh addresses a group of reporters. Jim HarbaughYouTube/Jim HarbaughThe war of words between Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and the SEC continues. After Jim Harbaugh blatantly subtweeted about the SEC “whining” over his upcoming spring football team trip to IMG Academy, the conference’s commissioner Greg Sankey has responded. From“I’m not going to reduce what is an important conversation to some childhood use of Twitter,” he said. “This is an important issue.”It doesn’t sound like the SEC will be able to block Harbaugh from doing what he wants this spring, so he’ll win this round. Even if the conference successfully changes spring football rules, Harbaugh’s not going to stop pushing the boundaries, no matter what schools and leagues it annoys.[]last_img read more

Imagine Dragons To Headline Benefit Concert For OneOrlando Fund

first_imgGRAMMY Award-winners Imagine Dragons and fun. frontman Nate Ruess announce the “ALL IS ONE Orlando Unity Concert,” taking place on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at Hard Rock Live Orlando.One-hundred percent of ticket sales will directly benefit the OneOrlando Fund, providing support for victims and survivors, their families and various communities affected by the recent Orlando tragedy.Those looking to support the cause but unable to attend the concert can purchase a ticket to be donated to those who provided aid in the wake of the tragedy (first responders, trauma team workers, local hospital staff, etc.). One-hundred percent of these ticket sales will also directly benefit the OneOrlando Fund.Official tickets can only be purchased at the Hard Rock Live Box Office at or 407-351-LIVE (5483) and to purchase tickets or to purchase for first responders. Tickets cost $150 for general admission and balcony and $200 for table seats. For this one-night benefit concert, all Ticketmaster service charges will be waived.For more information, please visit read more

Centennial Park redevelopment tender awarded for 55 million

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Fort St. John City Council has awarded the tender for the redevelopment of Centennial Park. At Monday’s meeting, Council voted in favour of awarding the tender for the park’s renovations to Charlie Lake-based Northern Legendary Construction for $5,498,798.20. The company submitted a bid of just over $5.2 million, but that number was revised upwards by around $200,000 by the City’s consultant IBI Group due to arithmetic errors.The City received two bids for the park’s redevelopment, both from local companies. The other bid submitted for the project was from Fort St. John-based Knappett Industries Ltd., whose bid totalled $5,657,825.00, around $159,000 higher than the other bid. A rendering of the new bandshell and stage design for Centennial Park. Photo by City of Fort St. John.The City has budgeted a total of $6.2 million for the park’s redevelopment, with $4.1 million allocated from this year’s Capital Budget, and the remaining $2.1 million allocated to be spent next year.Northern Legendary has received praise in recent years, being named as a finalist in the Best Apprentice Training category at the Small Business BC Awards for the past two years, winning the category at the most recent awards in February. The firm was one of the Top 10 Finalists in the Best Employer category, and also took home two awards at the 2018 Northern BC Commercial Building Awards in Prince George on March 8th. Construction on the project is anticipated to start in August, with the completion scheduled for the Spring of 2020.last_img read more

AAP in secret poll pact with Congress… Delhi voters fully aware of this: Manoj Tiwari

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari on Wednesday launched a fresh attack targeting AAP-chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. He said that Kejriwal is now heavily demoralised after seeing BJP’s candidate list for the seven seats in the Capital and is hence contesting the upcoming polls in a secret alliance with the Congress. “The voters of Delhi very well know this fact,” he said.Tiwari alleged that Kejriwal has given up on his own candidates as part of some understanding between him and Congress leaders. He claimed that the Delhi CM has become the enemy of voters by not implementing some welfare schemes brought in by the BJP government at the Centre. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe MP from North East Delhi said, “The claim of Bijli Half-Pani Maaf has also proved to be hollow and the people living in rural areas and unauthorized colonies of Delhi are facing a shortage of water.” Tiwari who is contesting this year from NE constituency again said that just like people all over the nation, people of Delhi have faith in Narendra Modi. “In roadshows of the Delhi BJP candidates, there was massive turnout. This shows that on May 12, the people of Delhi will vote for BJP,” he said.last_img read more