Pride for Africa as Spain strike gold

first_img13 July 2010 Only 12 kilometres separate Spain from Africa at their closest point, and they were united in celebration at the finish of a 19th Fifa World Cup™ that sent a fault line of happiness stretching all the way from Bloemfontein to Barcelona. This was Africa’s first Fifa World Cup, and it will live in the memory as much for the spirit and smiles of the host nation as for the success of a Spain team who achieved their own first when Andres Iniesta’s 116th-minute winner against the Netherlands put them into the record books as the eighth country to capture football’s most prized crown. Spain’s concluding triumph in the magnificent “calabash” of Soccer City brought the curtain down on 31 days of football: 64 games at nine venues featuring 599 players from 32 teams who between them scored 145 goals. South Africa’s success the other defining story At the end of it all, Vicente del Bosque’s men held the trophy but South Africa’s success was the other defining story, the “Rainbow Nation” putting on a show of pride and purpose that gave a message of hope to an entire continent. The fact South Africa’s footballers became the first hosts to fall in the first round did nothing to damage the enthusiasm or dim the ubiquitous hum of the vuvuzelas. South Africa 2010 was a tournament not short on surprises, but European title-holders Spain overcame theirs – an opening loss to Switzerland – to win their remaining six matches, the last four all by a 1-0 scoreline.Spain, Holland No side has won the Fifa World Cup with fewer goals than Spain’s eight, but their football still caught the eye – not least the contributions of pass masters Xavi Hernandez and Iniesta, leading scorer David Villa, and Iker Casillas, beaten just twice and whose two one-on-one saves from Arjen Robben in the final underlined why he fully merited the adidas Golden Glove for best goalkeeper. For the Netherlands, the memories of South Africa will be mixed after they completed a hat-trick of final heartbreaks, adding to the defeats in 1974 and ’78. Bert van Marwijk’s Dutchmen won all six games en route to the final, and if this was a more pragmatic Netherlands than some of their forebears, their attacking players still shone in the 4-2-3-1 formation that was the vogue at these finals, Wesley Sneijder helping himself to five goals along the way.Germany Joachim Low’s Germany offered another success story, impressing the watching world with some scintillating counterattacking play when putting four goals past both England and Argentina before their charge ended with a repeat of their Uefa Euro 2008 final defeat by Spain. Bronze medallists as in 2006, they finished as the 16-goal top scorers, and their forward Thomas Muller took home the Hyundai Best Young Player prize together with the adidas Golden Boot – the latter reward for his five goals and three assists. Villa, Sneijder and Diego Forlan also managed five but failed to match Muller – who scored with every shot on target – for assists.Golden Ball The other big individual honour went to Forlan, who earned the adidas Golden Ball for his outstanding displays for the tournament’s biggest surprise package, Uruguay. Oscar Tabarez’s team returned to the semi-finals for the first time in 40 years, their traditional obduracy supplemented by the scoring expertise of Forlan, who arguably mastered the Jabulani better than anybody, and fellow striker Luis Suarez. Up to the quarter-finals, South America’s finest had threatened to steal the limelight. For the first time all five Conmebol sides advanced from the group stage, four as group winners. Chile, via some open, attractive football, ended a 48-year wait for a finals victory en route to a runners-up spot behind Spain in their section. Maradona’s dreams disintegrate Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay all then marched on to the last eight – a first for the Paraguayans. Argentina’s front men looked formidable, but Diego Maradona’s dreams of another world title disintegrated against Germany. Brazil’s hopes unravelled in a nightmarish second half against the Dutch that left the 2014 hosts to mull over a second consecutive quarter-final reverse. The day the Oranje fought back to down Dunga’s men was arguably the most dramatic, given what unfolded subsequently at Soccer City between Uruguay and Ghana. The Black Stars were a crossbar’s width from becoming Africa’s first semi-finalists; instead Asamoah Gyan’s spot-kick in the last minute of extra time bounced off the woodwork and behind. Gyan converted his next attempt in the shoot-out that followed but Uruguay prevailed.African disappointment Ghana’s run – which included wins over Serbia and USA – provided the high point of African achievement. There was disappointment when Carlos Alberto Parreira’s hosts bowed out despite a victory over France, edged out on goal difference by Mexico. Yet Bafana Bafana could hold their heads high and delivered one of the goals of the tournament with its very first – Siphiwe Tshabalala’s searing left-foot strike against Mexico. Cote d’Ivoire also crashed out with four points, but there were fewer consolations for Africa’s other representatives, Algeria, Cameroon and Nigeria all finishing bottom of their groups.USA, Slovakia, Mexico … There was plenty of other drama – a big slice of it served up by USA, who retrieved a two-goal deficit against Slovenia, then booked a last-16 place as pool winners when Landon Donovan lashed in a last-gasp winner against Algeria. Slovakia’s 3-2 win over Italy was another highlight of the group-stage denouement, Robert Vittek’s double helping dump the holders out and send Vladimir Weiss’s men through to the last 16 on their first appearance since independence. Credit is due elsewhere too. Mexico showcased some exciting young talents as they reached the round of 16 for the fifth finals running. Japan and Korea Republic both advanced for the first time on foreign soil. The minnows of New Zealand, in their first finals since 1982, were the only team to leave South Africa undefeated. Greece and Slovenia recorded their first Fifa World Cup wins. Paul the German octopus supplied an amusing sub-plot with his successful predictions. The most notable disappointments came from Europe, meanwhile. Italy and a squabbling France side, the two finalists in 2006, each exited with their group’s wooden spoon and without a single win between them. England suffered their heaviest Fifa World Cup defeat in crashing out with 4-1 loss to Germany. Europe eventually gave us the winners – for the first time on another continent – although Africa could celebrate too. And arguably nobody more than Nelson Mandela, who delighted the Soccer City crowd with his appearance before the final. As Fifa president Sepp Blatter said of the man who played such a pivotal role in creating the modern South Africa: “This World Cup had a special momentum, linked with a history of freedom and the history of one man.” Source: Fifa.comlast_img read more

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High Humidity in the Attic

first_imgJason Advani thought he was on the right track when he insulated the bottom of the roof deck in his walk-up attic with closed-cell spray foam. As planned, the R-40 worth of insulation has drastically reduced his heating bill, but now he faces another, unexpected problem. “Since then, the space has been plagued with very high humidity,” he writes in a Q&A post. “It’s at 60% to 70%, maybe higher. I’m forced to run a dehumidifier up there. I’m spending more money on running the dehumidifier year-round than I previously was to heat the house!” With outside temperatures ranging between -5°F and 95°F, attic temperatures range between 48°F and 92°F. Only about 10% of the hip roof is shaded, so it gets plenty of direct sunlight.RELATED ARTICLESMeasuring (and Understanding) HumidityAir Sealing an AtticAir Leaks From Your Home To Your Attic Need To Be SealedHow to Air-Seal Ductwork in an AtticAir Leaks in Homes Insulated With Spray Foam Advani hopes to finish the attic and install a minisplit, although he’s not sure that will lower the humidity. Most of the house is heated and cooled with a conventional gas-fired furnace and air conditioning system. But there is no effective way to circulate the air between the attic and the remainder of the house. Advani says he runs a dehumidifier in the basement during the summer and a whole-house humidifier in the winter. “What do I do?” he asks. “Bath exhausts do go outside … all that typical stuff has been considered / examined.” That’s where we start this Q&A Spotlight. Sealing air leaks would help Charlie Sullivan suggests that finding and sealing air leaks would improve conditions in the attic. Air leaks in the lower part of the house — in the basement, for example — allow outside air with low humidity to get into the house. Advani is adding moisture to the air with a humidifier, and that hot air rises, finding ways of getting into the attic, Sullivan says. The air then leaks out of the attic to the outdoors. “If you found and sealed those leaks, you would have much less cool air coming in, so you’d have much less need for a humidifier,” he says. “Even much further north, people who think they need humidifiers likely actually need air leaks sealed. A house that is well air sealed will tend to stabilize at a reasonable wintertime humidity level.” In that scenario, Advani could still run the dehumidifier in the attic, but it would have to run less. In the main part of the house, humidity would probably be high enough for comfort without running the humidifier at all. “In the summer, the problem is humid outside air leaking into the attic,” Sullivan adds. “The air sealing you do for winter will also help that problem. You probably will want dehumidification in the summer — high temperatures plus humidity are worse for mold, etc. growth than are low temperatures plus humidity.” Calculating dew points Sullivan had predicted that during the winter the air in the attic probably has about the same dew point as the air in the house. The relative humidity would be higher because the air in the attic is cooler. But even a relative humidity of 70% in the attic isn’t going to cause a problem in cold temperatures. Advani seems to have confirmed Sullivan’s guess. With a weather station in the attic to collect data on temperature and relative humidity, Advani finds the dew point is about 42°. In the main living area of the house, the temperature is higher and the relative humidity is lower — but the dew point is 43°. “So, if I understand this correctly,” Advani says, “the attic is actually slightly dryer than the house. Right?” Peter Yost points out that it is “notoriously difficult” to measure humidity accurately and inexpensively. “If indeed your attic humidity is running at that high of levels, next we identify the source(s) of that moisture,” Yost writes. “I am not quite sure why you would run a humidifier in the winter at the same time you run a dehumidifier.” Get conditioned air into the attic In Walter Ahlgrim’s view, Advani did “half the job” of creating a conditioned attic. “You have sealed and insulated it, now you need to condition the attic by adding supply and return registers in the attic,” he says. “When done correctly the attic will have almost the same temperature and humidity as the rest of the house.” Right you are, replies Advani, and at some point in the future, the attic will be fully conditioned. “Having the same temperature and humidity is certainly the goal.” Our expert weighs in GBA Technical Director Peter Yost has already posted one comment, but he had these additional points to make about Advani’s situation: Jason has been really responsive regarding the issues he has with his conditioned attic. Here, in order of priority and timing, is what I would recommend: Identify moisture source(s): We are assuming that the big culprit is the forced-air system humidifier (more on this issue below). But there may be others. Take a look at this resource and make sure that you don’t have other sources of moisture. For example, many of my building investigations are for homes with propane or natural gas cooktops/ovens. If these are used regularly, about 1 pound of water is released for each 90,000 BTU burned (and that does not include moisture coming from what is being heated). I seriously doubt that your moisture problem is being driven by bulk water leakage, but I can’t assume that and neither should you. Check penetrations and flashings to rule out this moisture source. Test/remediate vermiculite insulation: Jason really needs a blower door test to identify air leaks in his building. He reports that he has not conducted a blower door test because of the potential asbestos content in the vermiculite insulation. So, either test the vermiculite insulation for asbestos content or jump to remediate this health hazard as part of renovating the home. Turn off your whole-house humidifier after air sealing based on guidance from blower door work. See what happens to your house and attic relative humidity (RH). There are two primary humidifier types — scroll wheel and steam. Jason has a scroll wheel system, as shown in the drawing below. One key to the proper operation of either type is the quality and location of the controlling humidistat. Since warm, moist air is less dense than warm dry, air, you can end up with a bubble of warm, moist air in an attic that has no air-mixing, such as Jason’s. We don’t know where Jason’s humidistat is located but I bet it is not in the attic. That disconnect (between where the moisture and sensor are) could be part of moisture issues in Jason’s attic. Ventilate your conditioned attic: Get some air flow and movement up in the attic space. Building Science Corporation recommends 50 cfm per 100 square feet of attic floor area.last_img read more

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Some MLB Teams Will Rise Some Will Fall But You Shouldnt Predict

After we broke down the voting data on ESPN’s MLB Forecast results last week, an alert FiveThirtyEight reader, Andrew Jondahl, pointed out something weird in the panel’s predictions. Andrew noticed that — from last season to this one — no team was projected to move more than one spot in its division.Such little movement would be highly unusual in the real world. Since 1998, when baseball moved to its current divisional format, nearly 30 percent of teams moved up or down by two or more spots from one season to the next. So why does the 2014 ESPN MLB Forecast panel call for so little movement? Is this a bug or a feature?If we assume the panelists are trying to maximize predictive accuracy, then it’s a feature. This is true for the same reason it’s better to predict no more than, say, 35 home runs for any player in a given season, even though we know the majors’ leader typically hits at least 45 homers (if not 50 or more).Why? We have no way of knowing which player will stray into the HR stratosphere, so it’s best to make regressive predictions for each of the dozen or so guys who could make a credible case for being the outlier; roughly half of the group will exceed their forecast, and half will fall short.The same goes for division forecasts. From 1999 to 2012, an average of 11 MLB teams per season moved zero spots within their division, 10 moved a single spot, six moved two spots, two moved three spots and one moved four spots. But if we tried to parcel out specific teams into each category, the odds are we’d be less accurate than if we just predicted no movement for any team.A great illustration of this principle comes every year around this time. In the NCAA basketball tournament, certain first-round upset combinations (like a No. 12 seed beating a No. 5 seed) are very likely each year. However, there’s a big difference between knowing that fact and being able to capitalize on it by identifying the matchup in which an upset will occur. It’s just as easy to wreck a bracket by chasing false positives — upset picks that don’t happen — as it is to pick a favorite who loses.A No. 12 seed has won roughly 1.5 times in the round of 64 in each tournament since the NCAA field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. But if we took the most likely No. 12 vs. No. 5 upset in the field (according to the teams’ pre-tournament Simple Ratings) and flipped a coin over whether to pick the second-most likely upset, we’d pick winners at a rate 9 percent lower than if we just picked the No. 5 seed to win no matter what.Now, maybe your NCAA tournament pool sweetens the deal by rewarding upsets enough to make chasing those No. 12 seeds a viable strategy, but the overall point stands. Just because we know the overall frequency of an event happening, it doesn’t mean we know whether it will happen in any specific case. The best we can do is be regressive in our forecasts, accepting that some will be wrong, but that the overall prediction will be more accurate in the long run for it. read more

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Significant Digits For Wednesday Oct 7 2015

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news.2.5 metersThat’s the standard height for a crocodile pit in Ratchaburi province, Thailand. Is that an esoteric figure? Sure. But believe me, if you lived in Ratchaburi, you’d want to be damn sure the pits used by farmers to raise crocodiles were up to code. Crocs are kept by area pig farmers, who feed the crocodiles meat they can’t otherwise sell at market and then eventually sell the crocs’ skin and meat — a solid business venture. But “several” baby crocodiles recently escaped a farm and set off a panic, so Big Government is stepping in over the next couple of days to make sure the Crocodile Industrial Complex isn’t playing fast and loose with the regulations. Thank god I live in America, where (I assume) the Second Amendment protects my right to raise unlicensed crocodiles for the protection of my apartment without such government intrusion. [Bangkok Post]2.8 percentCigarette shipments are set to rise for the first time since 2006, with deliveries in the U.S. growing 2.8 percent in the first six months of the year compared to the first six months of 2014. [Bloomberg]25 percentThe Energy Information Administration expects fuel bills to be substantially lower this year than last winter, with homes heated by oil seeing a 25 percent decrease in fuel bills and those heated with natural gas seeing a 10 percent drop. Even if this winter is 10 percent colder than the forecast, all major heating fuels will see either lower or neutral costs compared to last year. [EIA]43 percentPlanned Parenthood, which angers the right, and the N.R.A., which needles the left, are both really popular all things considered, with approval ratings of 45 percent and 43 percent, respectively. Be sure to bring this up at Thanksgiving dinner — I’m sure it’ll go over great. [The Washington Post]70 yearsWhile the vast majority of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is still under wraps, New Zealand let it slip Tuesday that the pact will require the nation to increase the length of its copyright protections from 50 years after the death of a work’s creator to 70 years, matching U.S. copyright law. [BoingBoing]$5,000Rory McIlroy tossed his 3-iron into a lake earlier this year, drawing a fine from the PGA. The golfer recently revealed that the PGA reduced the fine for the offense from $25,000 to $5,000 because he apologized on television immediately afterward. [ESPN]6,000 inmatesThe Department of Justice will release roughly 6,000 federally incarcerated drug offenders in order to cut overcrowding. A third are foreign citizens set to be deported, and the rest will go through halfway houses and back into society. It’s the largest one-time release of federal inmates. [The Washington Post]20,000 to 40,000There’s life on Mars, probably — the issue is that we may have put it there. At the 2011 launch of the Curiosity rover, there were an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 heat-resistant bacterial spores on the robot, and NASA has to do a lot of work to make sure that any analysis to ascertain the presence of life on Mars isn’t influenced by the germs the rover brought with it. [The New York Times]$73.8 millionThe Houston Astros had the lowest payroll of any playoff-bound Major League Baseball team at the start of the season at $73.8 million. Last night, the Astros felled the New York Yankees in the one-game AL Wildcard playoff, shutting out New York 3-0. [The Associated Press]$99.7 billionAnheuser-Busch InBev, the company that makes swill like Budweiser, Busch, Michelob and the stalwart Natty Light, has offered to buy rival beer manufacturer SABMiller, the empire behind Miller and the beer responsible for my substantial senior-year weight gain, Miller High Life. SABMiller previously rejected two offers, so we’ll see how this unholy proposal pans out. The companies are the two largest in the beer market. [Bloomberg]If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news. read more

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Football KJ Hill electrifies in careerhigh performance against Minnesota

Ohio State redshirt junior wide receiver K.J. Hill (14) scores a touchdown in the second quarter of the game against Minnesota on Oct. 13. Ohio State won. 30-14. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorK.J. Hill has been Mr. Consistent all season long.The redshirt junior wide receiver came into the game against Minnesota with at least four receptions in every game, and at least 45 yards in five of the six matchups, but never more than 95, which he had against then-No. 15 TCU.This consistency has been the main approach for Hill throughout his collegiate career as he extended his streak of 27-straight games with at least one reception. On Saturday, Hill broke that consistency, igniting for a career-high 187 yards on nine catches, including two touchdowns in No. 3 Ohio State’s 30-14 win over Minnesota.Even with the career day, there will be one play that Hill’s performance will be remembered for — a one-handed grab on a 36-yard touchdown that he caught while facing away from redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins in the second quarter.Haskins said he was originally upset at Hill for not turning around fast enough.“At first, I was kind of mad because that play we’ve been working on all week in practice, and it happens a lot faster,” Haskins said. “I wanted him to get his head around, so when he looked the ball was already there, and it was a little behind him. But he made a crazy play. Of course, K.J. is a little character. He was pretty hyped up.”Hill made his way to the endzone untouched, and had a memorable celebration to boot, pretending that the ball was stuck to his hand, which Hill said was necessary after a catch of that caliber.“I guess I caught a little sticker, I stuck it, and it’s something I never did before,” Hill said. “You got to do something extra when you make a play like that.”Redshirt senior wide receiver Terry McLaurin said head coach Urban Meyer may not be happy about the celebration because there wasn’t any “hugging the big guy,” but there was a valid reason for the celebration: he didn’t want anyone touching Hill on the play.“I just remember turning around, I heard the crowd go ‘Oooo’ and I just saw him go up for the ball with one hand,” McLaurin said. “I just wanted to make sure nobody touched that hand because he stuck that ball, so it was pretty cool.”Aside from the potential catch of the year for the Buckeyes, Hill remained a main threat for the Ohio State offense, and eventually scored again late in the fourth quarter to put a dagger through Minnesota’s hopes of a major upset.McLaurin said his consistency allows the offense to have full trust in Hill no matter the situation.“It’s third and short, fourth down, there’s really no doubt in everybody’s mind that he’s going to make the play,” McLaurin said. “The way he catches the ball is different from anybody in our room, and I’m happy for the type of day he had, he works really hard.”Hill’s game helped Haskins reach his second 400-yard passing game in a row, the first Ohio State quarterback to have two 400-yard passing games, or to do it in back-to-back games. With the struggles in the run game and on the defensive end, the passing game remained a bright spot.For Hill, even with his part of the offense firing on all cylinders through seven games, he said the passing game has a lot of room to grow.“We still got a long way to go, you know in the passing game, we haven’t reached our ceiling yet,” Hill said. “We just gotta keep improving on the little things … on gameday got us just to 400, I feel like we could of had more.” read more

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