Yesterday’s Lone Star: In Search of Change

first_imgIt is an incredible truth that Liberian football is in search of a change, and it must be a huge change at that.For starters, with the ravages of Ebola Virus Disease, it has not become necessary for a re-start of the local league that would subsequently benefit the various national teams. The current effort is the assembling together of former football stars that played well abroad and have now retired to lead effective campaign against the virus’ spread and its stigma.At least some of the players who were recently appointed as coaches to handle the various national teams are part, as the accompanying picture, taken by ace cameraman Mozart Dennis, shows being particular of this selected side of the national team.Since membership of national teams is determined on current form, players are brought in together whenever they are requested their coaches from their various clubs abroad to honor their national assignment.As you can see in the above photo, James Debbah and George Weah are not on this team. The line-up of the team standing, from left to right: Goalkeeper Pewou Bestman, James ‘Bodyworks’ Karrow, Alex Theo, Friday Roberts, Barbie Keith Jinlack, Arthur Farh and Solomon Joe.Players kneeling from left are: Thomas Kojo, Ben Saydee (Roberto), Kervin Sebwe, Mass Saar, James Weah and Waka Herron.Out of the number, Thomas Kojo and Kervin Sebwe have reached a level that they can be counted on as leaders or managers to handle and develop players to better Liberian football.This photo is to remind Kojo and Kervin of the challenge before them, since they were once players who were once managed and developed by local coaches, including the Walter Pelham, Manneh Peters and the Wilfred ‘Kiljani’ Lardner, all of glorious memory.Perhaps wherever they may be, Pelham, Peters and Lardner should be congratulating themselves for, they never worked in vain, and so coaches Kojo and Sebwe should remind themselves of what those coaches mentioned imparted into them to be able to impart same into others.That way, and when Kojo and Sebwe are successful, it would indicate that the spirits of the three coaches still live on, and may be in them.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Marseille chief denies Cesar deal

first_imgMarseille president Vincet Labrune has denied reports his club have agreed a deal with Chelsea for full-back Cesar Azpilicueta to move to Stamford Bridge.French media have reported that the player is set to go for 8million euros.But Labrune told the newspaper La Marseillaise: “I do not know who started this story, but they are totally wrong. It surely comes from agents that have an interest in the deal.“Maybe they imagine that by running around making a noise about 8million euros it will make a difference, but it will not. For the moment nothing is happening.”Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo refused to comment on the issue following his team’s 4-2 win over Reading on Tuesday.See also:Boss refuses to confirm Cesar deal is closeFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Latest: Aston Villa 0 Chelsea 0 – Pedro threatens for patient Blues

first_imgPedro had the best chance of a fairly subdued first 20 minutes at Villa Park.The Spaniard collected a headed clearance from a corner 20 yards out and shifted the ball first on to his left and then on to his right before curling an effort inches past the angle of post and bar.Chelsea were content to be patient in possession against a Villa side seemingly destined for relegation, though Blues keeper Thibaut Courtois was called upon twice.He first fielded a Micah Richards header at the second attempt and later pushed away a low drive from Rudy Gestede.At the other end, Pedro had the ball in the net but was a yard offside.With John Terry and Gary Cahill both out, Chelsea gave a debut to January signing Matt Miazga as part of a reshuffled back four.Ruben Loftus-Cheek was also given a start, with Chelsea showing four changes from the side that drew with West Ham.Aston Villa: Guzan; Hutton, Richards, Lescott, Cissokho; Sanchez, Westwood, Gueye; Gil, Gestede, Ayew..Subs: Bunn, Okore, Bacuna, Lyden, Veretout, Grealish, Sinclair.Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Miazga, Baba; Mikel, Fabregas; Pedro, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy; Remy. Subs: Begovic, Clarke-Salter, Matic, Oscar, Traore, Pato, Falcao.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

11 Features to Watch for in Windows 8 (Part 1)

first_img3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#enterprise#Products klint finley IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Last year a Microsoft enthusiast Francisco Martin posted the slides from a presentation on Windows 8. He claimed they came from an HP engineer in charge of vendor relations. Martin’s website has been taken down, but you can still view some of the Neowin and TechRadar.According to the slides addressing multimedia, Windows 8 will include support for 3D. Companies like Lenovo already offer laptops with 3D displays and HTC just announced the EVO3D smartphone with glasses-less 3D support, so this may be old hat by the time the OS actually comes out.3. App StoreMicrosoft will also jump on the desktop app store bandwagon, according to another slide. Microsoft already has a Windows Phone 7 store, so this will likely be an extension. Tech Radar reports that one slide said: “Currently the indication is that app development will move to the Web. There is significant opportunity for Microsoft if hardware capabilities, and OS services and Web could be integrated into a hobbyist developer toolset.”4. ARM support (Meaning: Tablet Support)Microsoft officially announced ARM support earlier this year. That might sound boring, but what it really means is that Windows 8 will run on tablet computers, and maybe even smart phones. Tablets were also pictured in the slides.5. Facial Recognitioncenter_img Related Posts Another one from the slides is facial recognition for logging in. Apparently, the OS will be able to switch user profiles automatically based on who is looking at the screen. This is another feature already available for Windows through third-parties.6. Faster Startup TimeAccording to the slides, Microsoft is working boosting its startup speed. It will accomplish this with a new feature called “Log-off and hibernate,” which will cache system components but still shut down applications and reload the desktop. This seems like a must-do, considering the startup speed of ChromeOS, OSX on the Macbook Air and “instant-on” operating systems like Splashtop (see our coverage).Next: Kinect, multiple desktops, and more. No one knows what exactly the next version of Windows will look like, or even what it will be called. Internally it’s called Windows.Next, but Microsoft developers refer to it as Windows 8 on LinkedIn. The details we have come from LinkedIn, the portfolio of a developer at Microsoft India R&D, a official statements and presentations by Microsoft and slides supposedly leaked by an HP engineer responsible for OEM relations. Together, these pieces begin to form a picture of what the next generation of Microsoft’s operating system will look like.Let’s take a look at some of what may be in the next version.1. 128-Bit SupportIn 2009, PCPro reported that a Microsoft developer mentioned on his LinkedIn profile that he was working on 128-bit compatibility for Windows 8 and 9. Considering how slow the adoption of 64-bit operating systems has been, we doubt 128-bit support will be a game changer for anyone but those needing high-end computing resources.2. 3D Support Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Frugal Happy: We Have a Floor on Our Ceiling

first_imgEditor’s Note: This post is one of a series by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee, a husband-and-wife team living in the Los Angeles area who are turning their 1963 suburban house into an all-electric, zero-net energy home. They chronicle their attempts at a low-carbon, low-cost, and joyful lifestyle on their blog Frugal Happy. This post was written by Chris.   When considering what materials to use for the interior of the common area, we wanted at least one surface to have some character. Drywall is great in many ways. It’s durable, inexpensive, fire-resistant, versatile, and you can cover walls and ceilings quickly, especially if you know what you’re doing.RELATED ARTICLESReclaimed Wood is Beautiful and GreenSelling Reclaimed Snow Fence Boards For SidingUsing Reclaimed Wood for Porch DeckingThe ‘Wally’ Bed: Accessorizing with Salvage But drywall can be a little boring. When discussing this project at the outset with my construction-experienced friend Sunil, I asked him about using tongue-and-groove (T&G) pine paneling for the ceiling, and he suggested the possibility of using reclaimed flooring. At the time I tucked the idea away, since I was then far away from the interior ceiling surface stage and had no ready prospect of where to get reclaimed flooring. The first step is to salvage the wood Fast forward a year or so, and it was finally time to think about what to use for the ceiling. Wen asked around and discovered that her friend Henry from high school is now a real estate developer who would soon be gutting a home in a nearby city! I must say, Wen’s social capital really is incredible. We approached Henry asking if he would be removing the oak floor, and if so, could we salvage it? After checking with his contractor, he very generously agreed to let us take up the old flooring as long we cleaned up after ourselves and didn’t damage the subfloor. Deal! The salvaging process involved prying up each piece with small pry bars and a mini sledgehammer, assisted occasionally by an oscillating multitool for the more recalcitrant pieces. After the pieces were removed, all the nails had to be pulled out by hand. My brother-in-law Bin helped a lot with the harvesting. Even Wen came out for a day to do some labor! After the flooring was removed from its first home, it had to be prepped for its second. That included removing nails. [Image credit: Chris Stratton] I was very grateful, but was wondering why the developer was taking out a perfectly intact hardwood floor. We soon discovered one possible explanation: cats! In particular, cat pee. Some significant fraction — maybe 20% — of the pieces were saturated with cat urine and emanated its most distinctive odor. If we wanted our newly renovated ceiling not to smell like cat piss we would need to sort out the offending 20%. And that would have to be done by individually sniffing each redolent piece and determining its fate. Since my sense of smell is considerably better than Wen’s or Bin’s, the tedious olfactory task unenviably fell to me and my soon-saturated nostrils. Ew. [Note: the ceiling has been installed for several months now, and no hint of any cat smell. So “sniff sorting” was successful!] Estimating quantities We had to estimate how much wood we would need to cover the ceiling. It was important to have enough, because there would be some time between when we harvested the wood and when it would be used. If we underestimated, it might not be possible to get more wood, because it might not be available. To calculate the amount needed, I measured the area of the ceiling: about 600 square feet. I then determined how much each square foot of T&G flooring weighed: about 1.4 lbs. I then multiplied the two to determine the total weight needed: about 850 lb. I rounded up to 900 lb. to account for losses. It turns out I should have rounded up even more, to perhaps 1000 lb., but — oh well. The process of salvaging 900 lb. of wood needed took about 10 days spread over the course of three weeks. I almost always had a helper. It was a lot of work! Calculating the amount of flooring we had by weight: Each square foot weighed about 1.4 pounds. I weighed the wood in 25-pound bundles, and laid it out, marking each increment with blue masking tape. Soon much of the available floor and interior wall space of our house was covered in T&G flooring laid on end. Reclaimed oak flooring soon filled the living space. Preparing the flooring Now that we had the wood needed, we had to prep it. I wanted a light-colored ceiling and the flooring was stained a rather dark brown. I decided to remove the top layer of the wood to expose the natural oak color and then pre-finish it (as opposed to finishing it once it’s installed) with a clear varnish. But how do you efficiently remove the stain on 900 lb. of oak flooring? Any kind of manual sanding or planing would be out of the question. When I was at my friend John’s workshop some weeks earlier, I noticed that he had a self-feeding power planer. This tool came to mind as a potential solution to my problem. I asked John about borrowing his planer and he generously agreed, provided that I return it in the same condition I found it. Deal! Social capital to the rescue, yet again. By the way, southern California really needs to have a tool library for these kinds of expensive tools. They are really great to have when you need them, but you don’t need them very often and you can’t justify buying them or just can’t afford them. In the Bay Area, we lived between two such tool libraries (one in Oakland, one in Berkeley) and we used them all the time. Tool libraries should be everywhere! If you want to learn how to start your own, watch this video of a webinar that Wen helped organize. A piece of flooring before and after planing. We just fed the brown wood in one end of the planer and it magically came out a light natural oak color from the other. Even with a fancy planer, planing over 3800 linear feet of flooring took a long time, but it took much less time than it would have using almost any other method. After the flooring was planed, it needed to be varnished. This would be much easier to do before it was up on the ceiling, because gravity would be on our side. We laid the flooring outside on the patio and driveway and brushed on two coats of varnish. We initially tried using a paint sprayer, but the area we could spray at one time didn’t justify it, and we were going through the expensive varnish too quickly, so we just went back to the brush. Brushing varnish on the flooring while it was on the ground proved much easier than trying to finish it in place. Installing the ceiling Finally the prep work was done and it was time to begin installing our new oak ceiling. This T&G paneling has to be installed bottom to top, left to right, so that the tongue from the last piece would support the next piece. At first I tried installing a few partial rows at once in the same area, but soon found that to be unworkable because the lengths of the pieces varied. I ended up taking down those first few partial trial rows and switched instead to installing one complete row — all the way from the wall to the ridge — at a time. This worked much better, so this was how I proceeded from then on, even though it meant constantly moving the ladders and myself as the roof sloped upward. Each piece of paneling had to be tapped into place with a rubber mallet before being fastened to the 2×3-inch furring strips spaced every 2 feet. I used a pneumatic nailer to drive 16 gauge brads into the corner of the tongues at a 45(ish) degree angle. The pressure on the air compressor has to be set high enough that the brad head did not protrude at all once driven in, but not so high that the brad went all the way through the paneling. It’s crucial that the brad head not protrude, because it otherwise it will create an unsightly gap for the next row of paneling — and innumerable headaches. If everything goes smoothly, you’ll end up with a gap-less surface with no visible fasteners holding down (er, up) the paneling. This process is called “blind nailing.” I did a fair amount of the installation alone, but it was noticeably more than twice as fast when I had an assistant because it meant I didn’t have to climb up and down the ladders so often. Bin and our friend Sang helped out a lot with both the varnishing and the installation. We sorted all the salvaged pieces into four categories, depending on which of the T&G ends were still intact: tops, bottoms, middles, alternates. Each T&G piece is not supported just from the side by the previously installed row, but also from the piece below it. The bottom pieces went next to the walls, the tops went at the ridge, the middles went in between, and the alternate pieces were set aside in case we ran out. [Spoiler: we did run out and had to use them.] Installing the ceiling required a good deal of running up and down ladders. The major downside of the alternate pieces is that they have to end in the middle of a furring strip. The intact pieces (tops, bottoms, middles) can end in between furring strips because the tongue from the piece below supports them (keeping them from moving in and out relative to the plane of the ceiling). But alternate pieces, having neither the tongue nor the groove end intact, have to be supported from behind by one of the 2×3 furring strips. This meant every single alternate piece had to be custom cut to fall in the middle of a furring strip. What a pain in the ass. Because of several factors — the non-uniformity of the planing, the furring strips perhaps not being perfectly in the same plane, and the difficulty of working overhead — it was impossible to avoid some gaps in the paneling. By necessity, I began to regard these irregularities as a feature, not a bug. “It has character” became our refrain. This layer is not part of the thermal envelope, so it doesn’t have to be airtight, so gaps weren’t a functional problem either. Whether or not gaps are an aesthetic problem depends on your perspective. Gradually we started to get the hang of it and slowly the new ceiling began taking shape. Best of all, given the amount of effort involved, it looked pretty good! Eventually we got into a decent rhythm, and were installing up to 20 or so rows a day by the end. Below is a time lapse video of Sang and me. Finally we got to the last row and the ceiling was done. It was the end of a long journey. All told, the preparation and installation of the ceiling took about a month. A month! Conclusions Was it worth it? I suppose there are differing ways to think about the “worth” of using salvaged oak flooring for our ceiling. I definitely prefer the distinctive look of it to a drywall ceiling. A purchased pine T&G ceiling with wider, longer pieces would have gone up much more quickly and looked more uniform. The smaller, varied pieces of our ceiling give it its character, but they are also what made it so incredibly labor-intensive. It’s not perfectly uniform, but the ceiling has character, and it kept a lot of oak out of the landfill. From a broader perspective, surely there is some value to all of us collectively when we are able to repurpose perfectly functional oak flooring that would have otherwise gone to a landfill. The small stand of trees that would have been cut down to supply new paneling can instead keep doing their beautiful thing, regulating temperature, providing habitat, absorbing CO2, and releasing oxygen — in short, helping to keep us and other living creatures alive. A thing that helps keep us alive surely has value, right? What about from a strictly financial perspective? The price of lower end pre-finished T&G pine paneling is about $3/square foot, including tax and delivery. Our ceiling ended up at around 660 square feet, so materials cost would have been around $2,000. My approximation is that 135 person-hours were spent harvesting sorting, planing, and varnishing the wood. The zero VOC varnish that we used to seal the wood cost about $250. So at $1,750/135 person-hours, our time is valued at about $13/hour. If our time is worth more than that (and it definitely is), then it’s not a great deal. This number would decrease further if I factored in how much less time it would take to cover the same area with uniform 6-inch-wide pieces rather than non-uniform 2-inch-wide pieces. But, but! We’re not comparing it to a pine ceiling, we’re comparing it to an oak ceiling (something that no one in their right mind would install, but still!). That would make materials closer to $5/square foot, making our labor worth more like $22.50/hour. Still not great, but better. The return would have been marginally better had I used a cheaper varnish. Another point to consider: now I know how to salvage, prep, and install T&G flooring. What is acquiring that skill worth? In thinking about this I’m reminding myself of the priorities for the project I established at the beginning. The number-one priority was (and is) to learn, and in this case that goal was definitely achieved. I think it’s a beautiful ceiling. I’m glad we did it. I learned a ton in the process of salvaging, prepping, and installing the wood. But one of the things I learned is that I’m not sure if I would do this again. If I did do another salvaged floor-ceiling, at least I now have a good sense of what I’d be getting into. A footnote It’s been a few months now since we finished the ceiling, and other progress has been made on the space, including walls that have been sheetrocked and painted. Installing drywall was yet another learning curve for me, but I probably won’t do a dedicated write-up of that process. Suffice it to say that instead of the usual three-stage drywall process, mine was more like five or so. The end result looks fine, it just took me a long time. Noticing a trend? My great fear that our new ceiling would smell of cat piss has proven mercifully unfounded. And beyond that the end result turned out — dare I say it — lovely. It’s definitely quirky and eye-catching, and it’s nearly always the first thing people comment on when entering the space for the first time. I see its flaws, but I’m happy with it. Not a bad approach for life in general, I suppose. Other posts by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee An Introduction A Car-Free Experiment Demolition Our House Becomes a Giant Foam Box, Part 1 Giant Foam Box, Part 2 Let’s Kill the Lawn Vaulting the Ceiling Our First Year With Solar Panels Introducing the Share Shedlast_img read more