Pasadena Bookstores Pushed to Brink by Pandemic

first_imgCommunity News Pasadena Bookstores Pushed to Brink by Pandemic By DAVID CROSS and BRIAN DAY Published on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 | 2:25 pm STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Top of the News HerbeautyThis Trend Looks Kind Of Cool!HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWant To Seriously Cut On Sugar? You Need To Know A Few TricksHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Vietnamese Stunners That Will Take Your Breath AwayHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Strong Female TV Characters Who Deserve To Have A SpinoffHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThese Fashion Tips Are Making Tall Girls The Talk Of The TownHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Of The Best Metabolism-Boosting Foods For Weight LossHerbeautyHerbeauty Community News faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Donald CommunityPCC- COMMUNITYVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS More Cool Stuff Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. 20 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it center_img Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Community News Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Business News Bookstores across the Southland and the nation have long been challenged by a changing marketplace increasingly dominated by online giants such as Amazon, but the increased pressure placed upon local brick-and-mortar booksellers by the ongoing pandemic is pushing some to the brink of closure.Vroman’s Bookstore, which has been in Pasadena for 126 years, reached out to the community last month for support after announcing the pandemic had left it teetering on the edge of collapse.Archives Books shut down early in the pandemic.Founder and owner John Wipf said he had already been considering retirement upon turning 70 when the pandemic struck.Had he not elected to shut down, “I can tell you, I would have gone under,” he said.“I was in the process of retiring and then we had gone into March and I was able to get out of my lease, so I went for it,” he said. “And then, over probably the next week, everything closed up. People started taking this virus seriously.”The pandemic has been hard on many businesses, he added.“I can’t see how any small business isn’t taking a big hit,” Wipf said.Long before anyone had heard of COVID-19, the bookselling industry was in a state of adapting to survive, Wipf said.“I had to move twice. And I had to change how I did business,” he said. But in the end, “I’ve just been really fortunate for 40 years. I started in 1980 in Pasadena.”The Battery Book & Music in Pasadena remains open, but owner Richard West said the past months have been a struggle.“I applied for a loan. I also work an online business a little bit, so I was able to come into my store every day,” he said.“Once they allowed us to open again with masks on… it’s been hellish at times. There was a couple of weeks, even just a couple of weeks ago, where I had just had a handful of customers.”But he said he was confident his business wasn’t going anywhere soon.“I’m not worried or panicked. I know we’re in it for the long haul,” West said.“I’ve been in this business since ’91. I know that it has its ups and downs and you just have to kind of work with your landlord if you can,” he said. “And so far, they have been excellent, actually. And that really, really helps.”Not being able to hold events at the store has also been a significant hindrance to business, West said. “That was part of my business. Those events brought people in.”West said as a one-person operation, he feels better prepared to weather the pandemic than some other businesses.“I think people who have employees, that’s a whole other story. I worry about my cohorts at Book Alley or at Vroman’s.“It would be nice to go back to the old days, or just even a year ago,” West said. “But I get it. People are scared. SoI think once we get a vaccine, we’ll be OK.”See also:Community Rallies Around Pasadena’s Pandemic-Stricken Vroman’s Bookstore Subscribe Make a comment Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more

Learn About Laptop and Desktop Storage Options

first_imgIf a new computer is on your holiday shopping list, or if your business is looking at upgrading yours for the new year, you may be wondering what sort of storage your system might need.If so, join us Wednesday, November 22, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. for a free webinar where we’ll discuss the differences between the multiple storage options now available for our notebook and desktop products.We’ll be digging into some of the reasons M.2 and Optane solutions are taking off while covering best practice when it comes to troubleshooting technical issues as they relate to your storage.Direct2Dell is designed to bring you news and stories about Dell people, products, services, partners and customers. Often those customers need support for their Dell products. For that, our Dell Support team continuously updates a library of articles called the Knowledge Base.In an effort to make that information even easier to find when you need it, each Friday I will bring you a list of the most highly reviewed articles with appropriate responses to the latest trends we are seeing in our customer inquiries.With these publications, you can stay informed about the latest troubleshooting guides and resolutions across various client system lines.Questions about these issues should be left in our Support Forums where trained staff are available to assist, rather than commenting here on Direct2Dell.You can also contact Dell Customer Service or Dell Technical Support for assistance. And, as always, our @DellCares and @DellCaresPro teams are just a tweet away for help.This week we’ve seen a lot of interest in these topics:BitLocker error when using TPM in 1.2 mode after updating the BIOFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the DisplayPort port on a Dell PCHow Random Access Memory (RAM) affects performanceHow to enable Secure Hibernation in Windows 10 Creators Update with Dell EncryptionColors are faded and washed out when High Dynamic Range is enabled in Windows 10Dell Dual Video D1000, Dell USB 3.0 D3100 & Dell Universal D6000 docks do not support daisy-chain functionalityWindows 10: Redstone 3 / Fall Creators Update Causes Recovery Drive ErrorDell LCD Display Pixel GuidelinesWhat Is Memory (RAM)?Dell computers tested for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and previous versions of Windows 10last_img read more

The Afterword: The thinly-veiled charade of celebrity is breaking down

first_imgCelebrities “are stuck inside, but can’t read the room”, as The Guardian eloquently pointed out. As I would put it, the divide between the celebrity ideal and the masses has never been more obvious. The famous have long played the role of “ambassadors of the meritocracy” by serving as success stories of the American Dream and the pursuit of wealth through talent and hard work, yadda yadda. They are not the richest of Americans by a long stretch, but they have often acted as a middle ground between the elite and the masses, with a unique ability to be both unattainable and relatable.  Yup, celebrities are on the chopping block, and no, that’s not hyperbole — #eattherich and #guillotine2020 have become rallying cries of the digital generation. I mentioned in a column earlier this year that growing anti-capitalist sentiment has led to criticism of the highly-publicized lives of the rich and famous. People were already fed up, and quarantine just might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. I brought up the role of women in the workforce in WWII to introduce the idea that initially reactive changes can become instrumental to a system, a country or an ideology. Only time will tell whether the widespread disillusionment toward celebrities is a temporary coping mechanism or a permanent cultural shift.  In fact, this all feels strangely and poetically ironic coming off “Parasite”’s (2019) legendary Best Picture win at this year’s Oscars. For those who haven’t seen it, the film tells the story of how a poor South Korean family cons their way into a rich home, shedding light on the vapid nature of the uber-wealthy without missing a beat. Its powerful message of class warfare, as one Twitter critic put it, was that “when you try to beat capitalism at its own game, you’ll always shed more blood of the working class than the elite.”  There is a cultural equivalent to this situation: In times like these, veils are lifted and bare, ugly truths are revealed. When the economy is at a standstill and we are collectively forced to hole up in our homes, class inequality becomes impossible to ignore and pandering can’t do much to offset that. Among the social impacts of the virus, as one New York Times article so aptly put it, “is its swift dismantling of the cult of celebrity.”  Rachel McKenzie is a junior writing about pop culture. Her column, “The Afterword,” runs every other Tuesday. The rich ate “Parasite”  up, lauding its astute social commentary without realizing — doy! — that they embody the same invulnerability and obliviousness that characterized the wealthy Park family. In a sense, that’s what’s happening now: Over the course of this pandemic, celebrities have tried to embed themselves in a narrative of sacrifice and resilience that is humorously misplaced. It’s like that one scene in the movie where a flood destroys the Kim family’s home while the Park family laments they can’t go camping anymore because of the rain — highly metaphorical, uncomfortably disparate and impossible to forget.  I hope I’m not overgeneralizing, but there’s something to be said about Madonna calling this pandemic “The Great Equalizer” from a bathtub filled with rose petals. I mean, come on.  Well, as it turned out, we never looked back. Women’s roles continued to expand in the postwar era, and what was once a compensatory shift quickly evolved into a persisting societal norm. That’s not the only occurrence of its kind; in fact, wars and pandemics tend to bring with them large-scale changes that otherwise might not have breached the mainstream. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, for one, the idea of universal basic income has transitioned from fringe to buzzword status.  I don’t know what I believe, but I do think that this might be the end of “We Are the World”-esque pandering. Hey, it’s a small victory, but a good one and likely not the only positive one that will come of this mess.  When men across the country went off to fight in the Second World War, women filled the gap they left in the labor force — as a temporary measure, of course.  That idea has always been a thinly veiled charade, sure, but it is clear now that it has disintegrated altogether, giving way to the realization that, no, we’re actually not “all in this together” and, no, not all of us can afford to “stay positive” all the time. Some are unemployed, late on rent and trapped in crowded, conflict-ridden apartments while others are sitting pretty in heavily-staffed palatial mansions. All that considered, corny one-liners and awful song covers aren’t doing much to convince us we’re all facing the same beast.   Shockingly, a recently-deleted Instagram post from Kylie Jenner sending us her “love and prayers” in a pair of $2,000 Dior Jordan 1’s isn’t the light at the end of the tunnel we were looking for. Surprisingly, Gal Gadot telling us that “staying home is her superpower” from her walk-in closet is not easing our existential stress. Oh, and plot twist: Celebrities’ joint cover of “Imagine” by John Lennon was incredibly tone-deaf — in more ways than one: Turns out that the sheer presence of celebrities didn’t cure all our ailments and we don’t want millionaires singing to us about “no possessions” in a period of acute financial stress whose reverberations will likely alter the course of our careers and lives. Who’d have thought?last_img read more

Serena ‘very likely’ to make comeback at Australian Open: organisers

first_imgAustralian Court has 24 major titles, making her the most successful player in Grand Slam history.Tiley described the Australian Open, which will be held from January 15-28, as a “family-friendly event”.“We’ve had this before. Roger Federer travels with his four kids and we are a family-friendly event,” he said, referring to Williams and her baby.The winner of the 2018 tournament will walk away with Aus$4.0 million (US$3.0 million), up from Aus$3.7 million last year. The total tournament purse has risen 10 percent to Aus$55 million.Share on: WhatsApp Melbourne, Australia | AFP | Serena Williams will be ready to make her tennis comeback at the Australian Open with her return to Melbourne for the season’s opening Grand Slam “very likely”, organisers said Wednesday.Williams, 36, won this year’s Australian Open while pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl in September. She has not played a competition since, raising questions over whether the 23-time Grand Slam winner would attempt to defend her title next month.But tournament director Craig Tiley is optimistic she will return for a crack at her seventh Melbourne Park crown after marrying Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian last month.“She’s got her visa, she’s entered, she’s practising and she’s probably just got to find a bit more space for a bigger entourage,” Melbourne’s Herald Sun quoted him as saying.“There’s no question that she’ll be ready in our view and she wants to break a record that is Margaret Court’s. It would be a pretty significant accomplishment for her to be able to do that.”last_img read more

Falling Rocks Leave Holes in Science

first_imgHard data in astronomy is hard to come by, except when it comes by special delivery – as with meteorites.  If there is any class of phenomena that should be well understood, it should be space debris and the craters they form, because the processes involved can be watched in real time.  Meteorites adorn many institutions and private collections.  In addition to thousands of craters that can be studied on the moon and other bodies, we have plenty of examples right here on the home planet.  The physics of crater formation is subject to modeling on computers.  For good measure, experiments on crater formation can be performed in the lab by shooting materials into rock and ice.  A few recent science reports illustrate, however, that a great deal remains puzzling and mysterious.What is it?  National Geographic News reported that “A pair of mysterious meteorites discovered in Antarctica is baffling scientists who are struggling to determine the origin of the space rocks.”  The rocks were “oddly rusted and salty and smelled like rotten eggs.”  It’s not that they worry these were left by the Space Chicken; they just don’t know what laid them on the Antarctic ice.  Unusual for meteorites, these two are partially melted and contain anomalous amounts of feldspar.  “Thus there are two mysteries,” one of the discoverers said.  “What is the parent planet for the rock, and what type of geologic activity on that planet produced the unusual mineral assemblage?”  That seems to cover the most important points to know, other than that they exist.Low and behold:  In Peru, eyewitnesses watched a crater form last September 15 when a large bolide hit the ground.  The panic it caused among locals is of interest to psychologists, but the impact crater itself, now filled with water, is also filled with puzzles., the BBC News and Science Daily told how this crater is impacting ideas about meteorite fall and crater formation.  Scientists were so baffled by it, some thought it was a fake: “It just didn’t make sense with what we understand of collisions with this type of fragile rock.” The object should have shattered and dispersed before hitting the ground.  Bad news to humans dodging space rocks: this one appears to have hit with full force at 15,000 miles per hour.    The crater it formed (49 feet across) is leading some scientists to suspect other water-filled circular depressions around the earth might have formed the same way.  One planetary scientist remarked, “Perhaps they also will defy our understanding.”Mercury falling:  The MESSENGER team reported this week at the Lunar and Planetary Science conference in Boulder, Colorado that they can’t explain some mysterious craters. said that there are two new classes of craters in pictures from the January 14 flyby (see 01/17/2008) that “scientists are puzzling over how to explain.”  Two craters have dark rims and another has an unusual shiny bottom.  Of the latter, Clark Chapman remarked, “I haven’t heard any really convincing explanations from our science team.  We don’t yet know what the material is, why it is so bright, or why it is localized in this particular crater.”Crater upheaval:  Was it a salt dome?  a circular monocline?  a volcano, or something else?  Long suspected to be an impact crater, Upheaval Dome in Utah is looking more like, indeed, it was hit by a space rock.  Two Berliners reported in Geology this month that they have confirmed the impact hypothesis by detecting shocked quartz grains in the periphery of the central uplift.  Calling this feature the “sphinx of geology,” they said, “The very controversial debate about Upheaval Dome’s origin has lasted nearly a century, over the course of which extremely different hypotheses (gradualism versus catastrophism) have been proposed.”  Chalk one up for the catastrophists.Space enthusiasts will surely want to peruse the craters that became visible yesterday during Cassini’s close flyby of Enceladus.  Some of the craters in the north polar region (across the world from the geyser eruptions) appear semi-melted, while others are half-erased by subsequent geological activity.  Others, with irregular edges, have large mounds in their centers criss-crossed by fractures.  The lack of new impacts in the flows would suggest that these regions are very young.    Adding these stories to the upsets about crater count dating (12/20/2005, 06/08/2006, 05/14/2003, 12/27/2002) should convince onlookers that planetary scientists, like mountain drivers, also need to watch for falling rocks.1.  Buchner and Kenkmann, “Upheaval Dome, Utah, USA: Impact origin confirmed,” Geology, Volume 36, Issue 3 (March 2008), pp. 227-230.The lesson of this entry is not that scientists are incapable of someday understanding this subject better.  It is that here is a subject right under our noses that is poorly understood.  If there are this many anomalies, upsets and mysteries about something easily amenable to scientific investigation, how reliable are their pronouncements about far distant and unobservable phenomena like dark matter, black holes and the birth of the universe?    Puzzles are good for science.  Thank goodness there are plenty of mysteries for future scientists to solve.  Let the reader of science news reports beware, however.  Science reporters are among the most dogmatic in the world about accepted theories and consensus explanations.  A little experience with puzzles and anomalies in science is an effective antidote for dupidity.** Dupidity, n. A tendency to become a dupe of the press.  (A new CEH word coined for this occasion.)(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Big Texas Win on “Critical Thinking”

first_imgStudents in Texas schools will now have more opportunities to hear the flaws in Darwinism as well as evidences for it.  After months of acrimonious debate, the Texas State Board of Education adopted science standards that require students learn to “analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations” including theories of evolution and the origin of life.    The new language replaced the long-standing wording of teaching the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution.  Though Darwin critics were advocating to retain the old language (the website of Texans for Better Science Education is, they feel the new language is even stronger.  The general critical thinking language states:…in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations so as to encourage critical thinking by the student.As applied to evolutionary theory, this means students will have opportunity to “analyze, evaluate and critique” hypotheses of natural selection, mutations and common ancestry.  They will also be able to evaluate evolutionary explanations for the “sudden appearance, stasis, and sequential nature of groups in the fossil record,” the “complexity of the cell,” and the “formation of simple organic molecules and their organization into long complex molecules having information such as the DNA molecule for self-replicating life.”  They can also “discuss scientific hypotheses for the origin of life by abiotic chemical processes in an aqueous environment through complex geochemical cycles given the complexity of living organisms.”    As reasonable and straightforward as this language may sound to outside observers, the evolutionists are treating the vote as a defeat for them and a victory for supporters of intelligent design.  The NCSE was just crowing over defeat of the “strengths and weaknesses” language by a tie vote (and therefore defeat) on March 26, but was angry at the final vote today, March 27.  On the other side, Evolution News and Views blog of the Discovery Institute, which has been giving the blow-by-blow account of the proceedings, calls the vote a big win, “a huge victory for those who favor teaching the scientific evidence for and against evolution.”  Undoubtedly, cheers and boos will soon be heard in the press.  Evolution News is keeping a running blog on whether the reporting in the media is accurate or not.    What happens in Texas matters to the whole country.  Texas is the biggest textbook buyer in the United States.  Authors of biology textbooks will not wish to write one version for the Lone Star State and another for other states.  The textbooks written to incorporate the new standards, therefore, will likely become normative for the rest of the country.    The NCSE and other pro-Darwin groups had tried to persuade the SBOE that their opponents had religious motivations.  John West of the Discovery Institute was quick to point out that the vote is a victory for fairness and balance, not the teaching of creationism or religion.  “Contrary to the claims of the evolution lobby, absolutely nothing the Board did promotes ‘creationism’ or religion in the classroom.  Groups that assert otherwise are lying, plain and simple.  Under the new standards, students will be expected to analyze and evaluate the scientific evidence for evolution, not religion.  Period.”  The chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, Don McLeroy, has written a commentary in The Statesman explaining why the new definitions will help teachers and students weigh testable evidence instead of ideology.It is a sad measure of our cultural demise when getting a vote in favor of fairness and critical thinking requires a herculean effort against a dogmatic establishment.  Much as we celebrate with those who won, consider what a small advance this is.  The Darwinist totalitarian regime has imposed such thought control on the scientific and educational institutions they can hardly think straight.  This should have been common sense.  In what other branch of inquiry is it normal for students to have predigested conclusions poured down a funnel into their skulls?  Of all subjects, science should be the most open to critical thinking.  Not so with Darwinism.    Less than a century ago the Darwinists were clamoring for fairness themselves.  They wanted to defend the right of a teacher to teach their views in the classroom.  Now that the shoe is on the other foot, they have redefined one-sided dogmatism to whole new levels of shame (see 12/16/2008).    They’re like crooks who rob a radio station by begging at the door that they just want a minute to give their commercial on the air, because they want fairness and it isn’t right for the owners of the station to give just one point of view.  After enough pressure, the exasperated manager lets the Darwinists in.  They grab the manager, owner, broadcasters and toss them outside and lock the door.  Then they take over the microphones and announce that the station is under new management.  While the rightful owners are banging at the locked doors and windows, the usurpers commandeer the airwaves, teaching fairy tales about how dirt came to life and bacteria became human.  The owners spend years in court trying to get the usurpers to open the door.  The courts (in cahoots with the crooks) rule against the owners over and over, often by one-vote margins.  Finally, by a close vote, after months of wrangling, a board still doesn’t let them in, but grants them one small concession: allowing them to insist that the stories the Darwinist usurpers tell on the air can be analyzed and critiqued by the public.    That is where this vote brings us.  It does not restore the rightful owners (i.e., the taxpayers) to their place.  It does not allow two sides to be heard.  It only means that the listeners will no longer be forced to endure propaganda taught as fact; they will have the right to think about it critically in light of empirical evidence.  In today’s mad, mad world, one can be grateful for any glimmer of sanity, no matter how slight.    This “huge victory” is just a cloud the size of a man’s hand on the horizon (I Kings 16).  Whether it ends the drought of reason will require much more work and providence.  Lovers of fairness should take heart at the hard work and persistence of Texans for Better Science Education and the many who testified, wrote the Board and assisted in the effort in numerous small ways.    New Scientist is all paranoid that this vote “leaves loopholes for teaching creationism.”  No it doesn’t.  It takes away the dogmatism of the Darwin Party and calls their presumptive authority to account.  They can no longer merely tell students their story is plausible.  They will have to provide evidence.  This is a good thing that everyone should welcome – parents, teachers, scientists.  The taxes in Texas should promote facts and a nexus of fair-minded people, not an axis of hacks devoted to dogmatism.  Let’s work to make last year’s movie Expelled represent the rock bottom of Darwinist intolerance, about which, from the vantage point of a new era of critical thinking, society will look back at with disgust and promise, “never again.”The stars for right, are big and bright,deep in the heart of Texas,The science sky is wide and high,deep in the heart of Texas.The sage advice is so precise,deep in the heart of Texas,Reminds me of, the vote I love,deep in the heart of Texas.Fanatics wail, along the trail,deep in the heart of Texas,Reporters beat around the bush,deep in the heart of Texas.The righteous cry, “Ki-yip-pee-yi,”deep in the heart of Texas,The bigots brawl, and crawl and bawl,deep in the heart of Texas.(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Now’s the Time to Install Solar

first_imgThis summer is a great time to get a good deal on a solar water heating or solar-electric (photovoltaic) system for your home. While I argued a few months ago in this column that the 30% federal solar tax credit has some flaws–key among them being that it’s based on the dollar value rather than performance and that there’s no cap on the cost of the system (and credit you can earn)–these aren’t reasons not to take advantage of it.While the solar tax credits are scheduled to be in place until 2016, I won’t be at all surprised to see them scaled back or eliminated well before then. If you haven’t noticed, the political pendulum is swinging, and incumbents who supported the stimulus funding are now being cast as reckless spenders and are losing primaries. I think we’ll see a growing focus on deficit control–and that could well include scaling back on incentives like the solar tax credits. The bottom line is that now’s the time to benefit from the solar tax credit.For most homeowners, installing a solar water heating system will have a more rapid return on investment (ROI) than installing an electricity-generating photovoltaic (PV) system, so I’ll focus on the former. Most solar water heating systems for typical homes have two flat-plate solar collectors. Either water or an antifreeze solution is pumped through the collectors during the day and heat is transferred from the absorber plate to that fluid. A glass cover plate on the collector, insulation behind the absorber plate, and pipe insulation all help to improve efficiency and direct more heat into the circulating fluid.While the collectors sit on your roof (or on a separate rack outside the house), there are also solar water heating components inside the house. Most systems have a separate solar hot water storage tank in the basement or utility room that serves as a preheater for the standard water heater. A heat exchanger in this tank transfers heat from the fluid circulating through the collectors into the storage tank. Rather than a preheater tank, some systems have a single tank containing both the heat exchanger from the solar collectors and a standard heating element.Controls and a pump round out the system. The conventional approach is to have a differential thermostat that senses temperatures both in the collectors and storage tank, and then switches on the circulator pump when the collectors are warmer than the water in the storage tank. Some systems, however, now use a simpler control system: a separate PV module powers the circulating pump, operating only when the sun is shining.Solar water heating systems vary a great deal in their cost, depending on the size, type of system, added features like digital monitoring, and challenges of the installation. The typical price range for a residential system is $5,000 to $8,000, installed. With new construction, costs can be lower, especially if a lot of identical systems are being installed on multiple tract homes.To function efficiently, solar panels must be installed on a good site. The sun traverses the southern sky during the day, rising in the east and setting in the west, so the best site for solar is a south-facing roof. The pitch of the roof isn’t critical. A steeper pitch will be a little better in the winter (when the sun is lower in the sky), while a shallower pitch is better in the summer (when the sun is higher in the sky), but most standard roof pitches will work all right. There should be as few obstructions as possible, so cutting or pruning nearby trees is often an important part of a solar installation.A properly sized and well-sited solar water heating system should satisfy most of your hot water needs during the summer months, but it may provide less than half in the winter, when there is less sunlight. To maximize the percent of hot water provided by the solar system, you should carry out appropriate water conservation efforts, such as installing low-flow showerheads and washing laundry in cold water.Contact a local or regional solar installer for more information and to schedule a site visit. Be sure the contractor you pick is more interested in a quality, reasonably priced installation than on maximizing the tax credit. (Be aware of scams in which roofing or other costs unrelated to the solar system are added into the installation price so that Uncle Sam will pay you more–an indicator that the contractor’s motivations are misplaced.)I invite you to share comments on this blog.Alex Wilson is the executive editor of Environmental Building News and founder of BuildingGreen, LLC. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feeds.last_img read more

Brian Sheehan on Why Love Works in the Sales Process – Episode #21

first_imgPodcast: Play in new window | Download (8.6MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSIn a day when we are repeatedly told that people are buying products based on financial value and economy, it’s a strange thing to hear a sales professional (a professor) speak about injecting love into the sales process. Brian Sheehan is lobbying for a different approach to sales, a relational approach that taps into the emotions and desires of customers rather than the utilitarian purpose of a product. It’s a refreshing perspective and one that Anthony loves, and you can hear all about it on this episode of In The Arena.In sales, the difference between love and utility are huge, with Brian Sheehan on this episodeClick To TweetHow consumers really make buying decisions.The statistics don’t lie. Buying decisions in today’s marketplace are made according to a 50/50 split. 50% of the time the decision is made on facts alone. 50% of the time it’s based in emotion or an emotional response. With such ambiguous stats why would Brian Sheehan, a professor in a business school, come down so strongly on the side of emotion? Because he’s seen the power it can have in building not only a powerful sales force, but also customer loyalty over the long haul. You can hear more of Brian’s insights on this episode.An example of what happens when consumers love the brand.Brian Sheehan conducted a hidden experiment in his classroom once to drive home the point that love of a brand really works. He announced that the University (Syracuse) had struck a deal with Dell computer and was going to refit the entire campus, including all student computers, with Dell equipment. As he looked over the lecture hall he saw at least 100 glowing Apple icons staring back at him. Some students responded so strongly that they were ready to move to another school simply because their favorite computer brand was no longer supported at the school. Brian effectively showed that love for a brand is a powerful force and that those brands that can leverage that have a distinct advantage.Building customer loyalty through the #LoveWorks approach, on this episodeClick To TweetThe difficult task of discovering the meaning consumers want from your brand.Brands like Apple, Harley Davidson, and Volvo have rabid followings of loyal fans. But it didn’t just happen. Those brands have worked very hard to discover the desires and needs of their customers as well as communicating their company philosophy in a way that resonates clearly with those consumers. It’s a strategy that develops an “Us” mentality about the brand and fosters a community surrounding the company and its ethos. How do you get that kind of buy-in from your customers? It’s a very difficult process, which Brian Sheehan explains on this episode.Is the Love Works approach to sales really worth it?The degree of difficulty it takes to discover the consumer’s preferences and mindsets in order to position a brand to be in sympathy with those things is very high. What’s more, it’s not something that is easily communicated by the brand. There’s an art to it. So is the effort involved really worth it? Can’t sales continue to be done as they always have? Sure, you can do that – but you are missing out on the power of community and customer loyalty that is only enjoyed by a rare number of companies. Anthony recommends everyone grab a copy of Biran Sheehan’s new book, “Love Works” to learn how to move your company in that direction, and you can find out where to get it on this episode.Is the #LoveWorks approach to #sales really worth it? Find out on this episodeClick To TweetOutline of this great episode Anthony’s introduction to the episode. Who is Brian Sheehan? How people really make buying decisions. How big brands can utilize love and intimacy in sales. The ways digital media is being used by big brands to build on love. How to find the meaning consumers are seeking and delivering the message effectively. Why you should get a copy of Brian’s book, “Love Works.”Resources & Links mentioned in this episodewww.LoveWorksTheBook.com157687270X0310335671 The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYoutube: Plus: you can use to share this episodeIf your brand makes a mistake, the consumer will forgive you if they love you ~ Brian SheehanClick To TweetThe real reasons consumers make buying decisions, on this episodeClick To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address belowlast_img read more

Sister Act

first_imgThese sisters are not only doing it for themselves and their country but someone very special as well. By Julian Buckmaster – @JulianTFAAh, siblings. Everyone knows the blood-line connection and the love that flows and the loathing and conflict that grows that only a family best knows and delivers. And all usually under the same roof and the same protagonists looking for a different result doing the same thing. Sound familiar?Domestic bliss, hey? The competitions, the agreements the disagreements, the indiscretions. The bonds and ties that bind. The fights and frights and shared highs and lows. The equal part harmony and hegemony that makes up the fabric of the modern household. The rivalry.And in the middle of it all you have the parents. You have to love the lot of a parent – referee, judge, jury, provider, decider and pacifier. Somehow seemingly keeping it all together and with a referees whistle always on the ready and the smile behind gritted teeth to keep the peace.Now, for the purposes of this piece let’s quietly ask the boys to slip outside and perhaps, go climb a tree, hit the back shed or better still, run amok with the Touch Football in the backyard as we focus on the important ones. The girls.History is seemingly littered with successful Australian female siblings.In the literary world you have the famous Bronte sisters; in music, the Minogue’s and the Veronicas’ sisters have it sussed and before all them the Andrews sisters from another time and age. In modelling it’s the Hart’s captivating the world’s catwalks and gaze. Even the tourism landmarks/landforms get a gig with the famous three sisters in the Blue Mountains…but that’s another story entirely.However, it’s in the Australian sporting world that something particularly curious is emerging and warrants examination. The Campbell sisters are probably the most prominent from the Australian public’s view; certainly capturing the imagination and most of the headlines in their quest for gold in Rio later this year. Cate Campbell said it best in a recent SMH report: “So special. So special. To compete in a relay with Bronte; that was always our dream, because it’s the only time we can swim together instead of against each other.”But at the elite Touch Football level, there is, as they say in our sport’s vernacular, certainly a pattern developing here.What it is exactly that runs through the Touch Football family tree that is breeding success in the female format, we can’t be sure – nurture? Nature? Combination of both?Something we do know is that a very rich and rare commodity seems to run in the veins of those successful siblings representing their country; which probably needs bottling and a good deal of explaining.As opposed to other sporting codes, for the Australian Women’s Open team, this would require a major enquiry to get to the bottom and foundation of this gene pool genius.Consider the conga line of sisters doing it not only for themselves but their younger/older siblings on the current stage, seeking International titles and Test honours.In the 2016 set-up we turn to the Davis sisters of Manly in Sydney; Danni and Shellie that currently carry the family flame and a burning desire to succeed together. With Danni establishing herself in the side and now regarded as a senior team member competing at several Australian campaigns, it is Shellie who is making her debut alongside her elder sis in the green and gold this week and revelling in the team alongside sister, Danni. “Having Danni at every step and watching her pathway has made me feel inspired and made my Touch career more exciting. Being able to learn and watch her has really assisted me and I hope the both of us,” she said with Danni not for the first time, by her side at the team hotel in Auckland, on the eve of the tournament.Naturally this all brings a knowing smile and perhaps a glint of a tear to older sister Danni.“Playing for Australian women’s has always been a tremendous honour and goal for me and always amazing. But once Shellie started making her way through state and youth national teams I knew she wouldn’t be far away from cracking the women’s team.“We train a lot together and do a lot of one-on-ones. We always talk about the little things like winning the rucks and talk; but now it’s actually happening [representing together] it’s just…unbelievable.“We play in a local competition as well with a lot of younger girls coming through; so we spend a fair bit of time together with reps across the board and wouldn’t want it any other way. When quizzed on her knowledge of the sisterhood preceding her in the national team, she was as quick in response as one of her snipes on the field careering towards the tryline.“We look at and are inspired by those before us: the Judds, the Winchesters and Hopkin girls and it is something really special to be a part of this special group of sisters competing at the highest level.“I consider everyone from Touch Football as special and family so it just all goes with the territory I guess.”The Davis girls’ teammate, Sammy Hopkin continues her great form of late but is doing so without her older sister and wife of superstar, Dylan Hennessey, Emily Hennessey (nee Hopkin) this week in Auckland. A superstar duo this pair. The sisters that is.And, not to be outdone and also from the Peninsula, only one half of the Peattie sisters feature this week with Laura representing her national colours and family crest. Sister, Sarah meanwhile is on the comeback from injury but already has a decorated career and we look forward to seeing her back in the green and gold soon. Now, cast your mind back further as we reflect back on this roll-call of Touch royalty that spans the generations past and carried through to the present.The Winchester sisters, Captain Louise and Canterbury colleague, Claire who represented Australia together on numerous occasions, dating back to the 2007 World Cup, were two of the most recognisable sisters in the game. Before them came the Judd twins who marched triumphantly across the globe up until recently – Kristy and Amanda. And, before them it was the Maher’s of Cronulla – Gaby, Kitty and Dom Maher who dominated proceedings in the late-80s and early 90’s (with Fiona an honourable mention making State Mixed teams) and setting the bar at a lofty height with a near team of sisters.Shifting focus to the millennium past, perhaps very fittingly, it was the wife of recently retired Australian Women’s Coach, Peter Bell, Catherine Bell (nee Barr and her sister Angela), who represented their country with aplomb and along with the McWhirter sisters (Susan and Maria), who set the tone as forbearers of things to come.And long may their reign in the green and gold continue and we can only hope for many sequels of these ‘Sisters Acts’, long into in the future.  We’ll be keeping you up-to-date with all of the latest news, information and results from the series on our website and social media channels, so you won’t miss any of the action:Website: – search for ‘TFAofficial’Be sure to use the hashtags #transtasman2016, #oneteam and #teamaustralia across all of our social media platforms.To watch Touch New Zealand’s live streaming, please click here.Related LinksSister Actlast_img read more

We Ranked College Football’s 15 Hardest Schedules For The 2016 Season

first_imgA general view of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 16: General View of the game between the California Golden Bears and the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 16, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) There will be some surrender cobras this year.There will be some surrender cobras this year.The 2016 college football season may seem far off in the future, but in reality, it’s less than four months away. Coaches and players, of course, are already preparing for the 12 opponents on their schedules. The teams on the list you’re about to read are likely preparing a little harder than the rest, however.Every year, due to both conference affiliation and scheduling, some teams wind up having way more difficult schedules than their peers. It can be both a blessing and a curse. If you run through a tough schedule, you’ll likely be rewarded when bowl season comes around. If you struggle, you might not even qualify for the postseason.We’ve gone through and put together a list of what we think are the 15 hardest schedules in college football this upcoming season. No. 1 isn’t even debatable – you’ll see why.Get Started: The 15 Hardest Schedules For 2016 >>>Pages: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16last_img read more