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Nudging Us Toward an Efficient Future

first_imgI read an article in The New York Times today about the concept of “nudging” people towards better behavior. The story noted that after etching images of flies in the urinals at the Amsterdam airport, “spillage” on the men’s room floor dropped by 80%. An expert in behavioral economics stated “Men evidently like to aim at targets”.This is an example of a “nudge” – a harmless bit of engineering that manages to “attract people’s attention and alter their behavior in a positive way, without actually requiring anyone to do anything at all.” Great little story, and I would probably be similarly influenced were I to pass through the Amsterdam airport.This led me to think about where nudging would be effective in changing our behavior for the better regarding energy efficiency. The article reminded me of one of the first nudges I recall affecting my personal behavior. After buying an SUV several years ago (before I saw the light), I was captivated by the instantaneous and cumulative miles per gallon display on the dashboard. You could watch your mileage drop as you accelerated and increase as you coasted. It became a game for me, and I found myself always striving for the best mileage. Unfortunately, this vehicle barely got over 12 MPG on a good day, making me feel like I was always losing the game. I now drive a Prius, also with live mileage data, and I now enjoy playing the game while driving. On good days I can get over 45 MPG, and it continues to be fun to “win” as well as slightly disappointing when my attention slips and I “lose” a little. I think that every vehicle should have these mileage gauges in them, and people should be trained to drive efficiently. I get (a slightly sadistic) joy out of tooling down the road at or lower than the speed limit, watching people accelerating past me only to have to stop at a traffic light, to which I coast up right behind them as it starts to change, having used little or no fuel to get to the same place they just arrived.Driving is like sitting on the couchI may be (probably am?) different than most people, but I have heard anecdotal evidence that driver’s behavior does change when they have instantaneous feedback on their mileage. Similar evidence exists for home energy use. The July/August issue of Home Energy Magazine reported on a study of homeowners using household energy monitoring devices. They calculated an average energy savings of approximately 10% in homes which monitored their energy usage on a real time basis. Very interested owners saved as much as 13%, while even those who were totally apathetic still reduced their power use by more than 2%. I installed a TED (photo) in a house I built and the clients almost immediately changed their behavior, if only slightly, regarding power usage. While simple versions of these monitors cost less than $150.00, more sophisticated systems can run to many thousands of dollars. Regardless of the price, it seems apparent to me that with just a little nudge, almost anyone will make the changes necessary to lower their consumption. If it is possible to cut power usage by an average of 10% with a simple, inexpensive device installed in every house, what is keeping us from doing it? While there is much debate about the value of mandates, it seem to me that if at the time of sale, every home had a monitor installed, we could save a significant amount of power in a short period of time. I imagine that realtors and builders will jump up and down and start screaming about anything that might raise the cost of a house by a fractional percentage, but we need to ignore those cries and start making the simple choices that will begin to lead us on the path to efficiency (and sanity).last_img read more

How Camera Lenses are Made

first_imgYou may know how to use a lens but do you know how they are made? In this post we share some background on lens construction and videos that show the fascinating process.As a filmmaker you are probably very familiar with how to use a lens to capture awesome images. You likely know how they work, but do you know how lenses are made? Knowing how lenses are created isn’t necessary to be a successful filmmaker, but knowing the fundamentals of their construction can help you better understand how they function.Creating a LensIn the simplest terms, a lens is designed to direct light to a camera sensor or film…but that requires much more than a simple piece of glass. Lenses need to be specially optimized to minimize artifacts and chromatic aberrations. Different waves of light react differently with certain glass shapes so careful design is important. While most consumer grade lenses are spherical in design, professional lenses usually utilize an aspheric shape, making them curved instead of fully rounded.Moreover, lenses almost always need to be able to change focus which makes the process much more complicated. Not only do you need more than one piece of glass to change focus, you also need to be able to move that glass back and forth within the lens body. An added iris also creates many more moving parts within a lens body. If the lens is a zoom then there is most assuredly going to be even more complicated moving parts. Most lenses have over 100 parts that must be put on separately.Photo via PhotoReviewThe ProcessAs stated above, there are a lot of different working parts in any lens so there is no simple way to create one. However, in it’s most basic form the process of creating a lens (Nikon) is:Mix glass powder in a large mixerMelt the powder to a liquidSqueeze a large sheet of glass out into a long glass stripCut small measured squares of glass out of the larger stripPlace the squares in a mold and melt in an ovenPolish the glassAssemble the lens body with the glass inside The following video by Nikon shows the process of creating their lenses. Notice how hands-on the lens making process is; definitely an insight into why lenses are so expensive.Bonus Video! How Leica makes their “luxury” lenses.Share your thoughts on lenses in the comments below!last_img read more

The 9 Ways You Can Fail When Success is Possible

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now It isn’t easy to be a failure. Failing isn’t an identity. However, it is quite possible to fail, and in some cases, failure is the likely outcome. Here are nine things that might cause to fail when success is possible.No Goal: The very first way you might fail is by not having a goal or an outcome you are pursuing. There is no greater failure than failing to reach your full potential, something no one has achieved, regardless of their level of success. Not having goals means failing even to try. The first way you might fail is to failing to decide what you want.No Plan: A goal without a plan to achieve it isn’t much better than not having a goal. A goal is a sort of destination, the outcome you are pursuing. Most people that fail to reach their goal do so as a result of not having developed a plan for achieving it. These first two ways you can fail, No Goal and No Plan, are tightly intertwined and difficult to tease apart. One is impotent without the other.No Effort: You will fail if you don’t execute your plan. Without putting forth the effort, taking action in pursuit of your goal or dream or outcome, you will fail. Success is in large part due to disciplined action over time, and almost always more effort than what you believed necessary, and always a longer time than you imagined or planned.No Focus: Ideas are easy. Focus is difficult. It requires that you give yourself over to something to the exclusion of everything else. The fox that chases two rabbits fails to catch either. It is almost a certainty you fail when you allow your attention to drift and whose you are distracted by every good idea that shows up as an enticing shiny object.No Persistence: Much failure is the result of giving up too soon. There is an old saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” The saying is precisely backward. It should read, “When the going gets tough, the tough gut it out for as long as it takes.” They aren’t going anywhere. The reason people fail is that when the going gets tough, those who fail give up. If you want to something, the way to get it is to persist.No Resourcefulness: The key to not giving up too soon and persisting over a long time it resourcefulness, the ability to try something new, something different, to be creative, and to figure things out. If you only have a Plan A, you increase your odds of failing. You need a Plan B, a Plan C, and as many variations as is necessary. When something doesn’t work, success requires you to change your strategy, change your approach, and make adjustments.No Growth: Competency. When you start something, you may lack the necessary skills to achieve your goal. However, over time, you can improve those skills and gain the competency. Almost any goal you can think if likely to cause you to grow in some way—at least the big meaningful goals that cause you to be more, do more, have more, and contribute more.No Intestinal Fortitude: The words “intestinal fortitude” means the courage to continue in the face of adversity. In pursuit of your goals and dreams, you will face obstacles that appear to be insurmountable. You will have moments of doubt, and the desire to give up will be overwhelming. Your rationalizing mind will give you a list of reasons quitting makes sense. Avoiding failure means having the intestinal fortitude to continue.Listening to Others: There will people who share with you their beliefs that you should give up, choose a different goal, compromise on what you want from your own life, and share with you how they did the same. Listening to these voices causes people to fail. The only voices you need listen to is the voice of your inner coach and all the people who support you in your pursuit.If you are struggling to achieve your goal or generate a specific outcome, you will discover that one or more of these nine ways you can fail is to blame. Success is possible, but it requires you to reverse the causes listed here.last_img read more

10 months agoHuddersfield winger Elias Kachunga: Positives gained from Man Utd defeat

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Huddersfield winger Elias Kachunga: Positives gained from Man Utd defeatby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveHuddersfield Town winger Elias Kachunga insists there’s positives to come from defeat at Manchester United.Kachunga made his first start since the September defeat at Leicester.”I think we played a good game and had our chances to go 1-0 up and even 1-1. We have to take the positives out of this game and move on,” said the winger.”Everyone has to work on putting the ball in the net and to have a good feeling on the pitch. It could’ve been a different game if we went 1-0 up.“We create the chances, now we just have to finish them.”Kachunga added: “I am happy that I am back and that I played against Manchester United, and I hope I can help the team with my fighting spirit and everything that I have.” last_img read more

ACO Marine Introduces New Wastewater Mgmt System for Yachts

first_imgzoom ACO Marine, part of German ACO Group, has unveiled a new Clarimar MF wastewater management system for yachts operating with no more than 12 passengers.Using the same technology applied to the larger models used in the commercial, offshore and military sectors, the new Clarimar MF (LY3) is designed specifically to meet the requirements of yachts built to comply with the Large Commercial Yacht (LY3) Code, the company said.The LY3 Code applies to yachts which are 24m and over in load line length, are in commercial use for sport or pleasure, but do not carry cargo or more than 12 passengers.“Many technologies currently in use on these yachts typically depend on dilution and chemical sterilisation to achieve effluent standards. The introduction of the biological-type Clarimar MF (LY3) means all segments of the global yacht sector now have access to a more effective and reliable wastewater treatment process,” Mark Beavis, ACO Marine Managing Director, said.As explained, the system applies to yachts where compliance with Section 4.2 of the revised IMO MEPC 227 (64) rules relating to nitrogen and phosphorous removal is not required.“A biological treatment system is fast becoming the industry standard for the 50m plus yacht and recognised as a viable and practical alternative to physical/chemical and dilution technologies,” Beavis added.last_img read more

HydroQuebec says US export deal will keep local power rates below inflation

first_imgMONTREAL – Quebecers won’t get a break on already low hydroelectricity rates but a massive export deal with Massachusetts will give the public utility flexibility to keep increases below inflation, Hydro-Quebec’s CEO said Friday.“It relieves some pressure,” Eric Martel said at a news conference. “It gives us a certain flexibility for things to come.”The biggest export contract in Hydro-Quebec’s history, run by Hydro-Quebec and U.S. partner Eversource Energy, would bring up to 9.45 terawatt hours of electricity per year from Quebec’s hydroelectric plants to Massachusetts.Hydro-Quebec promised several years ago to keep domestic power rates below inflation and to increase the utility’s profitability.It kept the rate promise over the last three years with annual increases of 0.7 per cent while the $10-billion deal over 20 years with the New England state will generate higher returns, he told reporters.Martel wouldn’t provide the rate Massachusetts would pay but said it is above the three cents per kilowatthour cost to produce and transport the energy.He told reporters Friday that the contract will be profitable, largely because electricity prices are stable and it already has the available production capacity.That’s good news for all Quebecers because the government will receive a larger dividend from the Crown corporation, added Energy Minister Pierre Moreau.“Whenever the profit goes up it’s good news for the shareholders, which is the government of Quebec and basically all Quebecers,” he added.The contract expected to be signed in March could generate up to $500 million in annual revenues for Hydro-Quebec.In 2016, Hydro-Quebec’s exports represented $803 million of its $2.86-billion profit.The contract will also help the utility achieve its goal of doubling revenues to about $27 billion by 2030.Massachusetts officially selected Northern Pass on Thursday out of 46 submissions presented to the state last year, including six by Hydro-Quebec and partners.The project has faced intense opposition in New Hampshire, but Moreau and Martel said that has mostly been resolved after Hydro-Quebec and Evercore agreed to put more than 100 km of the transmission line underground in environmentally sensitive areas.“Social acceptability is always a challenge for that kind of project but now it seems that it’s not a problem anymore,” said Moreau.Despite the size of the deal, Martel said Hydro-Quebec still has room for one or possibly two more deals of such size.He said the contract could put pressure on neighbouring jurisdictions like New York and Ontario to decide if they want more of the province’s hydroelectricity.“The impact of this signature will stimulate people because it’s sure that our energy capacity isn’t infinite.”Ontario currently has a surplus of power but could use Quebec’s clean power to replace other sources along its current interprovincial transmission line, Martel said.He said there is a risk for Ontario if it waits too long to decide but Moreau said in an interview that he believes Quebec has the capacity “to answer their needs.”Even though the project received approval from former president Barack Obama, Martel doesn’t foresee any objections from the current administration because the $2 billion that will be spent in the United States will create thousands of engineering and construction jobs.Spending in Quebec is forecast to be more than $680 million.“The president is very favourable to infrastructure investments and this is a significant investment in infrastructure.”The project still needs to be approved by New Hampshire as well as by Canada’s National Energy Board. Construction of the line is expected to start this fall with electricity flowing in 2020.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.last_img read more

‘I want to visit India’

first_imgMumbai: Actor Paul Rudd says he wants to visit India, and hopes to come to the country soon. “Hi India, I really wish I could be here. I want to go to India but until I do so Joe has to do some extra celebrating for me,” Rudd said. “So have fun and see you guys in the theatres,” added Rudd, who essays role of superhero Ant-Man. Rudd expressed his wish through a video message, which was played at a fan-event here recenly. The event was held as part of the promotion activity of Avengers: Endgame in presence of the film’s co-director Joe Russo. It was a moment of loud cheer when Joe revealed about the video messages, which turned out to be ‘Avengers assemble’ time but virtually. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaActor Chris Hemsworth, popular for his role as Thor, expressed his admiration for the country. He said: “Our director Joe Russo have come to the beautiful country. I have come myself. It is one of the best places on the planet. Sorry couldn’t be there. He thinks he can handle some spicy food and I have told him to try some rogan josh and some butter chicken .. see if he can handle the heat. Lot of love guys and hope to see you soon.” Along with superheros, there was a message from super villain Thanos as well.last_img read more

269 FIRs/DD entries lodged

first_imgNEW DELHI: As many as 269 FIRs/DD entries have been lodged by the poll authorities under violation of model code of conduct till Friday.Out of 269, 32 is against AAP (18 FIRs and 14 DD entries), 40 against BJP (19 FIRs and 21 DD entries), 23 against Congress (six FIRs and 17 DD entries), three against BSP (two FIRs and one DD entry) and one against SP (1 DD entry), five against CPI (M) (two FIRs and three DD entries) and 165 (161 FIRs and four DD entries) are against under the head of others/non-political. Similarly, till date, a total of 3,53,633 hoardings/banners/posters have been removed in all over Delhi out of which 30,533 are removed from New Delhi Municipal Council, 43,075 from East Delhi Municipal Corporation, 2,411 from Delhi Cantonment Board, 1,58,448 from South Delhi Municipal Corporation, and 1,19,166 from North Delhi Municipal Corporation respectively.last_img read more

India-US shared vision opens way for future opportunities: US Navy

first_imgWashington/New Delhi: US Navy chief Admiral John Richardson has said that his recent visit to India was a “critical opportunity” to strengthen ties between the two navies and sharing views on a multilateral approach in maintaining maritime domain awareness in the strategic Indo-Pacific region. Richardson, who was on a three-day visit to India, met his Indian counterpart Admiral Sunil Lanba and other senior officers and discussed joint exercises between the two navies amid rising Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region. “This visit provided a critical opportunity to strengthen the partnership between the Indian Navy and the US Navy,” a US Navy press release quoted him as saying after his visit ended on Tuesday. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh”The two heads of navy also discussed the strategic importance of growing the two navies’ partnership and the need to focus on information sharing and exchange. They also discussed their shared view on a multilateral approach in maintaining maritime domain awareness in the Indo-Pacific region,”the release said. “Our mutual commitment and shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific enables even more opportunities for the future. We took the opportunity during the visit to discuss specific steps that will set the stage for further cooperation between our two navies,” he said. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadChina has been trying to spread its influence in the resource-rich Indo-Pacific region. To counter Beijing, the US has been pushing for a broader role by India in the strategically important region. India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military maneuvering in the region, which is a large swathe of land and sea stretching all the way from the west coast of the US to the shores of east Africa.last_img read more

Morsi’s son to face trial in Egypt drugs case

first_imgCAIRO – A son of deposed Islamist president Mohammad Morsi will face trial for alleged possession and use of hashish, judicial sources said on Monday, but no date has yet been fixed. Abdullah Morsi, 19, was arrested on March 1 along with a friend for allegedly possessing two joints while they were in a car parked by the roadside in Qalyubia province north of Cairo. The two were freed the next day pending investigation after agreeing to give urine samples which the prosecution says tested positive. Morsi’s other son Osama has denied the charges against Abdullah, saying the authorities were “fabricating the case” and that his brother’s arrest was an attempt to “defame the family”. Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood have been the target of a relentless government crackdown since the Islamist was ousted last July after just a year in office. Amnesty International says that more than 1,400 people have been killed, mostly Morsi supporters, in street clashes since his ouster. Morsi himself and several Brotherhood leaders have been put on trial on charges that could lead to the death penalty.last_img read more

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