Category Archives: 1

school bullying in the news in MA

2 sad bullying stories in the news this week in MA:

$35M lawsuit: Lynn failed to protect bullied kid

South Hadley: Prosecutors: 9 teens charged in Phoebe Prince death

To these communities and families and friends of all involved, my heart goes out to you.

ObComment: Many of our schools are broken. Bullying is a symptom of deeper problems. Not just with our schools, but with our communities, families, society. Schools are just a mirror. But still a good place to start!

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Bode Miller on the Olympics

Bode Miller: “The Olympics is definitely, in my mind, a two-sided coin,” he said. “It has all the best things of sport. It has amazing energy, enthusiasm, passion, inspiration. It’s what changes lives. In that sense, it’s the pinnacle of what sports and camaraderie and all that stuff is.

“On the flip side of that is the opposite, and that’s the corruption and the abuse and the money. I’m not pointing fingers, but that’s what was bothering me [in Turin 2006], and being thrust in the middle of that, and being the poster boy for that, when it’s the absolute thing I despise the most in the world was really draining on my inspiration, my level of passion. . . . I just had the plug pulled out on my most important fuel source, and it had been happening for a year, and it was just too much.”

LINK

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PHPP / On Passive House (passivhaus) sub-slab insulation

“Alas if the space heating limit is 15 kWh per m2 per year you have only a few options to tweak. One of those is sub slab insulation.
Once you have maximized the cost benefit of wall insulation (which is the most expensive because it increases roof area and fastening costs) and the attic is full to 120 how else do you meet the heating? Well even though sub slab is not that effective it is an available option to meet that unyielding target.”

John Straube, BuildingScience.com

“… PH software assumes too low of a ground temperature versus what has been measured in cold climate housing with decent sub slab insulation.”

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Installment 1 of the subtle (and usually not so subtle) mentions of how school is not fun, not supposed to be fun, and everyone knows it and that’s just how it is and has to be

1. A 30 sec(?) NPR promo (heard summer and fall 2009, at ~8am) for “All Things Considered” is drawing an analogy between ATC and school (because you can learn all sorts of things.) It ends simply with “Like school…. but fun”. Nice.

2. In the trailer for the movie “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” (2009) A giant pancake falls on a school and smashes it.
A crowd of onlooking kids jumps for joy yelling “No School!!!!”

OK, that’s enough for today.

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Filed under 1, alternative education, contrarian, education, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

On Solar-Powered Attic Fans…

Joe Lstiburek of Building Science Corporation puts it this way:

“In order for the fan to work the air needs to come from the outside and not be pulled from the house so this means that the attic ceiling needs to be airtight. If the attic ceiling is airtight you don’t need the fan. Your money is better spent on something else.”

LINK

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Thermal Efficiencies of Power Plants

Did you know that the thermal efficiency of power plants is basically ~33%? This is for oil, coal, natural-gas. I had no idea it was THIS low. I find this horrifying. Our propane furnace at our last house was AFUE of ~94%. LINK

In other words, it does seem a little silly to heat with electricity (at least quite indirect!), even if you are using an air-source heat pump with a COP of over 3 like the Fujitsu 9RLQ. This is essentially just getting you back to 1.00 (.33 * 3 = 1) And minus the losses due to transmission I suppose.

I should look at those plug-in hybrid calculations again. I suppose the issue there is maybe that internal combustion engines kinda stink too, in comparison to electric motors, so it more than makes up for the hopeless electricity generation.

And of course, there is always PVs and GreenUp type options thru the grid. But still. Something seems a little fishy?

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Newsflash (not): “Energy use is the most important aspect of green building”

Amen! LINK

and “It’s the energy, stupid!” — a rant about LEED

“You want to save serious energy and serious money?
Easy, use less glass.”

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