All posts by Dom

Why So Few Schools Have Air Conditioning Service in Toronto

History is repeating itself this back-to-school season as the lack of air conditioning service in Toronto-area schools is again causing anger, frustration and pain among students, teachers and parents.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is the largest board in Canada, comprising 533 elementary and high school facilities. However, a full 160 of these schools have no air conditioning at all, while another 219 have less than 50% AC coverage (which, according to this report, can mean as little as one room air conditioner).

The Toronto Catholic School Board is not in much better shape. Of its 202 schools, only 36 have central air.

Why do so few schools have air conditioning service in Toronto? The reason is twofold: the age of the facilities and their operating budgets.

The majority of TDSB schools were built over 50 years ago. Some are now over a hundred years old. Most predate the proliferation of central air conditioning, meaning they rely on hydronic heating in the winter and have no ductwork to accommodate central air in the summer.

Though it is possible to add ductwork to older buildings, it’s not cheap or easy. Even with the best HVAC installation service, retrofitting central air conditioning to heritage buildings can be costly. Ductless air conditioning systems like Spacepak are an option for smaller buildings, but not for huge school facilities.

But why weren’t these buildings equipped with some form of cooling in the first place? Why not room air conditioners, or passive cooling through smart construction choices?

The fact is extreme temperatures were not a concern back when these schools were built. By the time students returned to school in the fall, the summer highs were over for the most part. Air conditioning simply wasn’t necessary.

Today, the City of Toronto experiences about 20 days per year where the temperature exceeds 30 degrees Celcius, and the stifling heat often drags late into September. An official city report on climate change estimates that number will be 45 days a year by 2050.

The fact that the school buildings are so old leads to the second reasons why air conditioning has been an oversight: budget.

These older school buildings carry massive repair backlogs that always, always take priority over air conditioning installation. The total cost of these necessary repairs exceeds $3.5 billion. The $100 million fund earmarked for school repairs by the previous Liberal government was cancelled by the Progressive Conservative government in July.

Some teachers have offered to shell out the funds for small room air conditioners themselves; however, the school board rejects those offers on the basis that it will consume too much electricity.

Despite these challenges, it’s clear the public wants its schools to have air conditioning. A poll commissioned by Global News found that 84 of people want Ontario schools to be air conditioned.

Pointless Wastes of Cash You Don’t Consider

If you need to meet your budgetary objectives and certain breakthroughs in life, you must be in the know on how you burn through cash. Burning through cash and acting economically could be the distinction between an easy retirement and working hard in later years. It takes just a few acts to be looted of your well-deserved cash. There are sure ways of managing money that could be squandering you a considerable measure of cash, but you don’t know about it. If you need to accomplish your budgetary freedom and be responsible for every dollar, here are some ways of managing your money.

 

  • Eating out

A significant number of us feel that cooking great meals is difficult. For a few of us, we are excessively worn out and tired, making it impossible to cook. However, when you quit eating out, the result can be tremendous. By changing your food habits you could spare hundreds and even thousands of dollars a year.

 

  • Drinking bottled water

You will spend a tremendous amount of money every year by drinking only bottled water. While with tap water, it will cost you close to nothing. You could also refrigerate your water overnight before drinking if your tap has a weird taste.

 

  • Buying coffee

It might appear to be nothing, spending a couple of bucks every day at the neighborhood café. However, would you be able to envision all the cash that is saved if you prepare your own coffee at home? You can make your own coffee and spend so much less than buying coffee every day. Buying at the café is not as practical as it looks.

 

  • Purchasing branded merchandise

Since we are influenced by promoters that brand-name items serve us better, we are encouraged to go after brand-name items while never considering the consequences. Be that as it may, by purchasing nonspecific brands, we unquestionably would spare 20 percent more or even more.

 

  • Making more than one trip to the supermarket every week

A great method to influence yourself to adhere to a basic spending plan is to not enable little excursions to the store if you don’t need to. Odds are you’ll wind up getting something additional. A routine of of one supermarket trip for every week demonstrates that you can follow your basic needs.

 

  • Grocery shopping on an empty stomach

Keep away from these two situations when traveling to the market no matter what. If you grocery shop for goods when you’re hungry, you’re more prone to purchasing additional stuff you don’t need. Do your grocery shopping after you’ve eaten so you’re not temped by all the food when you’re hungry.

The Awesome Way Researchers Test Space-Bound Tech Here On Earth

This post refers to articles from Popular Science and Gizmodo. Visit those links for more on SESL, and check out angstromengineering.com for more information on small-scale space environment simulation.

Human beings were never meant to breach the bounds of our planet’s protective shroud. But in our never-ending pursuit for military superiority, we reached beyond that atmospheric barrier and entered the void of space in 1961. Since then, humankind has made many more trips to outer space – some ending in triumph, others in tragedy.

Space is as contradictory to human survival as the depths of Earth’s oceans. In many ways, it’s actually more similar to the ocean floor than it is our planet’s atmosphere. It’s certainly colder, reaching temperatures below two hundred degrees Celsius, and it lacks the oxygen that is fundamental to sustaining just about all known forms of life.

We knew this before we went to space. There was never any delusion on the part of NASA or the USSR that the world beyond Earth’s atmosphere was hostile both to humans and human technology. But nor did we know exactly how our tech would fare in the great beyond in the dawn of the Space Race, and that was a problem.

As Andrew Tarantola wrote for Gizmodo, NASA basically made up spaceflight as it went along during those early years. No one knew precisely what it would be like up there. All researchers could do was test, hypothesize, and test again.

That’s where SESL comes in. NASA completed building the Space Environment Simulation Laboratory in 1965 as a way to test spacecraft and other space-bound technology here on Earth. And believe it or not, it worked amazingly well – so well, in fact, that it’s still used over 40 years later.

SESL consists of two test chambers. The larger chamber uses a massive fan to create a near-vacuum environment, lighting systems to simulate sunlight in space, and gaseous helium that can reach bone-chilling temperatures of 262 degrees below. The other chamber simulates the environment inside a craft as it floats in space, with enormous cranes to maneuver the equipment around.

It gets better – you don’t have to travel to Houston to see space simulation in action. On a smaller scale, there are systems like that built by Angstrom Engineering that can test how low-pressure environments impact smaller pieces of tech like solar panels. Angstrom’s vaccum chamber system has both precise pressure control and temperature control to create a miniature space testing environment.

I highly recommend you check out angstromengineering.com for more information on this awesome system.

Common Interventions for Psoriasis

There are different skin conditions people might experience. The causes can be a result of the environment, hereditary, low immune system, diet, unhygienic and contact with people who have skin conditions. Psoriasis is one example of a skin condition where the cells grow at a faster rate than they can be shed. Having this kind of skin condition can cause excess skin to build up and form scaly patches on different parts of the body. You can have it at any age but the condition usually starts as you get older. The skin cracking is like a paper cut on your fingertips. It will begin to die, flake, peel and itch. The area is itchy and it will begin to get red and then it begins to blister like, flake and peels to raw skin. Mostly it appears often on the part of the hands, toes, inside arch of your feet and on you heals. It shows up in callus, by cracking. When you wash your hands, it will have the burning feeling.

There are some common interventions you can do for this type of skin condition. One of them is living in moist humid climate. It helps to delay the condition for appearing. Often  dry arid climates aggravate the condition. Second is when washing your hands, only use soft water. It is much better than hard water. Hard water can worsen the condition in dry climates. Third is to apply Vaseline on the affected areas and wear rubber gloves. It tends to sooth the itchy feeling and the areas get better too. Also by using rubber gloves, your hands will stay moist and out of water. You need to use Vaseline petroleum jelly several times a day while wearing white cotton gloves. As well as wearing white cotton gloves on your hands, you should also wear white socks on your feet to control the itching. You can also take Clobetasol Propionate Ointment and Salicylic Acid Cream as it proven.

It has also been suggested that taking Clobetasol Propionate Ointment and Salicylic Acid Cream can help.

According to Harvard University, you can also use a coconut oil as a topical treatment. Using coconut oil has become popular for beauty treatment such as reducing hair frizziness, stretch marks, moisturizing the skin and removing makeup. They found out that the effect of the coconut oil once applied directly to the skin can reduce inflammation. It relives the dryness and reduces the amount of water lost in the skin. The fatty acids from the coconut oil have a soothing effect and helps soften the skin. The lauric acid has an antimicrobial effect which also help to reduce skin infections and irritations. A good way to treat Psoriasis.

What Is Yoga Effect On Your Blood Pressure?

Yoga is in cooperation of the spiritual and physical state of one’s body or Sanskrit word for union. It claims to improve health and happiness when routinely doing breathing techniques, exercise and meditation. Patanjali was a pioneer of classical yoga that defined yoga as “the cessation of the modification of the mind” or stopping changing the mind. A person performing yoga moves from one posture to another and also called asana. There are 12 poses of asanas and it helps the sense of balance for both body and soul. Yoga is recommended for people experiencing hypertension. As you all know high blood pressure or hypertension have a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. It is diagnosed to have higher on both systolic and diastolic blood pressure using a blood pressure monitor (BP). There is also called a prehypertension whereas the blood pressure is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified in hypertension range.

yoga

To improve and prevent from developing hypertension in long term, people with a prehypertension need to change their lifestyle. By preventing this to happen, they can do Yoga as their alternative exercise. As for the study, yoga has surprising health benefits for people with prehypertension. Yoga helps the person’s blood pressure to decrease and can cause good effect to your body. Aside from lowering your blood pressure, it also reduces insomnia. The physical benefits of yoga include improves your flexibility, builds muscle strength, perfects your posture, prevents cartilage and joint breakdown, protects your spine, betters your bone health and more.

 

The improvement of doing yoga daily will help you increases your blood flow, drains your lymphs and boosts immunity, ups your heart rate and Drops your blood pressure. It’s a good alternative to take medications that will also risk your health and might damage your kidney. As your lifestyle change by the help of Yoga as part as your routine, it will make you happier and gives you peace of mind. Make it a habit to do a combination of asanas, pranayama, and meditation for 1 hour daily to prevent the development of hypertension and give you a sense of well-being.

How To Fight Iron Deficiency Anemia?

Taking iron supplements is the key to fight anemia and rebuild iron stores in our body. Eating iron-rich foods also help to stop lowering your iron levels. That is how important iron supplements to our body. Iron performs a huge benefit for our lives. Without iron, you might end up having iron deficiency anemia. Iron is a vital mineral for your health. Iron create energy from nutrients. Iron also works for the transmission of nerve impulses throughout the body. If you fail to get enough iron to your body, you might experience symptoms of anemia such as fatigue, weakness, dizziness and difficulty concentrating.

anemiaThere are some common causes of anemia that includes, menstruation, mainly if flow is heavy and prolonged, if you have peptic ulcer disease, cancer in the digestive tract, blood loss from trauma or blood donation and gastrointestinal bleeding from prolonged use of medications like ibuprofen and aspirin. You may avoid all of this if you take proper supplement and diet. Most people ask when they experience anemia is what is the best iron supplement? The best iron supplement is what the doctor usually prescribe for patient suffering from iron deficiency anemia. The supplements are can be take in capsules or intravenous iron for faster absorption. Ideally iron supplement is best to take on an empty stomach together with vitamin C which help the absorption of the iron in the body. When taking iron supplement, you need ask your doctor on how long you need to take an iron supplement. To prevent iron toxicity, especially for children.

If you can’t afford the prescribe iron supplement given by your doctor. You may consider an alternative to iron supplements. It is also effective in a way that can sustain your body needs for iron. Make sure you only take the recommended dose of iron.

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Wind as a renewable energy

For centuries, fossil fuels have been the main source of power for the industry and households. Plentiful and comparatively cheap to produce, coal and oil powered the Industrial Revolution and led to the growth of many modern economies. Today, however, we are more and more aware of the harmful effects of these fuel sources. Not only can they be dangerous pollutants, but the supply of fossil fuels is finite. More and more societies and businesses are seeking out sources of energy that won’t run out or cause damage to the environment.

wind power

There are many different types of alternative energy sources, ranging from hydroelectric dams to photovoltaic solar panels. Each of them has its own strengths and weaknesses and can work differently in different environments. One of the most common alternative energy sources is wind power.

As a method of producing energy, the wind has a lot going for it. The wind is completely free, produces no pollution and never runs out. The technology of wind power generation is relatively simple, with some similarities to hydroelectric power.

Like water power, wind power relies on turning the energy of a moving substance — kinetic energy — into electrical energy. It does this by means of a rotating turbine; as the turbine spins, it generates electricity. A wind turbine has blades that resemble a propeller, and as the wind spins the blades, a system of gears rotates the turbine.

Like solar power, wind turbines can work either on a large or a local scale. Large areas of wind turbines, called “wind farms,” harness high winds to channel power to a national or regional power grid, while single wind turbines or small groups can provide power to a home or business. In either case, the key to successful wind power generation is location.

In order for a wind turbine to create a reliable power output, it needs to be in a location where it can have regular access to wind. To further complicate matters, not just any wind will do. Most wind turbines have an optimum wind speed. A wind speed between 7 and 25 meters a second is typical for most heavy wind turbines. If the wind speed is too low, it will not be able to turn the blades; if it is too high, the turbine may shut down in order to avoid being damaged.

A wind turbine therefore has to be placed in a location where the prevailing winds will blow at a steady rate. This usually means a high location such as a hill or a wide, flat area such as a shoreline or plain.

Wind turbines come in a variety of sizes and produce a wide range of different power outputs. A large wind turbine such as might be used in a wind farm might put out up to 4.5 megawatts. By contrast, a smaller wind turbine used in the home or at a business might generate around 1 to 6 kW.

The main challenges to wind power as an energy alternative relate to the construction of wind farms. In some regions, the positioning of wind farms in areas of scenic beauty has attracted criticism from conservationists who feel that they spoil the natural balance of the affected areas. Additionally, large wind turbines can be expensive to construct, meaning that they take some years to recoup their costs in energy savings, although smaller domestic-scale turbines can actually be surprisingly affordable as renewable energy sources.

Going Green: Using Reusable Bags and Seed Paper

There are different steps that you can do if you want to help preserve the natural resources of the planet and reduce your own carbon footprints. This can be as simple as using energy efficient appliances and devices in your home or perhaps using solar or wind power.

recycled-paper-bagsAnother simple yet great way to helping preserve the environment is by using reusable bags when shopping. These bags are usually made from recycled materials and can be disposed of in a manner that is safe to the environment as well. Instead of using plastic or paper bags that can be potentially harmful to nature, choose to use a reusable bag instead. This not only allows you to reduce the number of plastics that pollute the environment but also allows you to make your contribution towards a greener earth as well.

One way to help preserve the environment is by using recycled paper instead of the traditional milled paper that comes from trees. Along the lines of recycled paper products is seed paper that can actually be planted after usage. As its name implies, this type of paper contains different kinds of seeds that can be grown once the paper is planted and taken care of.

 

seed paper

There are various craft shops and supply stores that offer this type of recyclable paper, and you may want to take a look at several designs and sizes depending on what you need. You can even start your own garden from the sheets that you have collected.

Deep sea mining in South West Pacific to affect the environment?

Mining irresponsibly on land and strip mining to exploit natural resources has left many natural ecosystems teetering on the brink of complete destruction and while companies across the planet are taking full advantage of mineral deposits available on land, it seems like they have now turned their attention to a whole new horizon.

plume of hot water and minerals venting through the seabedThis is in no way to say that all mining process need to be stopped, but responsible use of these finite natural resources is imperative at this point of time and with growing demand in world market for metals and various minerals, this is a task that is easier said than done.

The latest avenue that mining companies are eyeing is deep sea mineral (DSM) mining and the first venture of this type was scheduled to kick start in the Bismarck Sea off the northern coast of Papua New Guinea in the southwest Pacific.

But that has hit a snag already as various leading environmental groups have expressed grave concerns over going ahead with the process without completely investigating the pros and cons that are related to it.

For those still in the dark, deep sea mineral mining involves tapping into the mineral resources that are deposited on sea beds at depths of more than 1000 feet thanks to high geothermal and volcanic activity. Metals from within the earth are transported through geothermal tunnels that are highly active onto the ocean floor and these include rich deposits of gold, copper, silver, manganese, cobalt and zinc.

Considered as the next frontier in metallurgy, the technology is supposed to help meet the growing global demand for these metals that are becoming harder to find with each passing day. The DSM mining venture in the Bismarck Sea alone was expected to yield 783 million dollars in copper, which is a huge gain considering the soaring copper prices and the demand for the metal in global markets.

275 million dollars in gold was also expected to be dug out, but with leading scientists expressing fear that mining process in the ocean would destroy marine ecosystems beyond repair and hence effect global weather patterns as well, for the moment it seems like there needs to be plenty more research in the field before one can think of the metallic treasures hidden in the ocean bed.

London eco service provider Agent Orange chooses Ctrack for vehicle tracking

One of the biggest advantages of a vehicle tracking system is that it cuts down on fuel consumption and while most companies obviously look at the fiscal side of this aspect, there are other advantages as well. The environmental benefits that are acquired by installing a vehicle tracking system and efficient fleet management are often go unnoticed.

But Agent Orange, the fast-growing environmental services provider for Greater London and the Home Counties has identified this aspect of vehicle tracking systems and working in tandem with the leading vehicle tracking system provider, Ctrack, are now installing tracking systems along with adopting a new driver behavior that will help in the fleet management.

The new vehicle tracking system that will be installed by Ctrack in 71 vans over a five year period will help not just the fleet costs, but will also cut down vehicle fuel costs specifically by whole 10 percent while vehicle accidents will be cut down hopefully by a good 20 percent, if not more. The Ctrack vehicle tracking system will help in planning of routes and relaying real-time information about vehicle location to fleet managers while a specially designed Driver Behavior Indicator (DBI) will help drivers keep in line and drive with the right technique on road.

All the information relayed back to the fleet managers in the headquarters will be aided with the complete charts and graphs that will be provided by the Ctrack software and with the latest Mobi2 application launched by the firm, those in office can track vehicles and relay information even while they are away from the desk.

The use of smartphones and tablets will enable those managing the entire fleet to be always in control. And while the fuel costs will be cut down and driver safety enhanced, there will also be an improvement in emission standards and reduction in pollution as well. A system in which everyone ends up a winner!