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Kurtenbach: The Jon Gruden-Derek Carr marriage is off to a bumpy start. Is it growing pains or the beginning of the end?

first_imgALAMEDA — After the Raiders’ Week One loss, Jon Gruden declared that his quarterback, Derek Carr, wasn’t being aggressive enough.The way Gruden saw it, in that Monday night game against the Rams, there were chances to push the ball downfield that the dinking-and-dunking Carr missed. Those were chances that, if taken, might have given the Raiders a chance to win that game.Carr accepted the note in stride and improved in Week Two.But after Sunday’s Week Three loss in South Florida, Gruden was …last_img

World’s Tightest House Is On the Market

first_imgThe house in Dillingham, Alaska, that was crowned the tightest residential building in the world is for sale.Tom Marsik and his wife Kristin Donaldson, who completed the two-bedroom house in 2012, are moving so Marsik can take a new job as director of research at the Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks, 500 miles to the north. They’re offering the house for $299,000.The new owners won’t have to worry about the cost of heating the house, even if it’s located in a climate with about 11,000 heating degree days a year. With a roof insulated to R-140 and 28-inch-thick walls, the all-electric house was designed to be heated mostly with internal gains — appliances, body heat, and lighting — plus a little passive solar heat. But its real claim to fame is a blower-door test that measured its air leakage at an astonishing 0.05 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals. By way of comparison, the Passivhaus standard allows 0.6 ach50.Marsik is an associate professor of sustainable energy at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks’ Bristol Bay Campus who wanted to prove that a combination of a very small footprint and “super-efficient construction technology” could result in extremely low energy use. Still looking for the right buyerThe house has been on the market, off and on, since Labor Day of last year. Although the couple has hosted an open house and quite a number of individual visits from potential buyers, they have yet to get a single offer. They’d prefer selling the house to someone who is as interested in sustainable design as they are.“We want the house to continue being an example of sustainable housing, and so in light of that we are willing to go significantly down on the price,” Marsik said. “But nobody has given us an offer yet.”When they do sell the house and move to Fairbanks, the couple will have to decide whether to build again. “We are going to explore options,” he said. “Building a new home is certainly one of the options on the table, but I don’t want to make a decision yet because we want to get familiar with the local situation first.”Should they build, Marsik says the design would vary little from what they already have. Fairbanks is colder than Dillingham — about 14,000 heating degree days a year — and the basic components of the current house would probably work well there. Whatever adjustments they make in design would most likely be to take advantage of technology that has become available since they originally built six years ago.For example, they have a vented clothes dryer now because unvented heat pump clothes dryers were not available at the time. Now they are.Other than that, Marsik sees little to change. RELATED ARTICLES Meet the Tightest House in the WorldAirtight Wall and Roof SheathingBlower Door BasicsGetting the Biggest Bang for Your Air-Sealing BuckHow Much Air Leakage in Your Home Is Too Much?center_img He’s done that in spades. Although there’s nothing exotic about the building materials the couple used — wood framing, cellulose insulation, Energy Star appliances — the extremely tight building envelope and copious amounts of insulation mean that the house can be heated with about $15 worth of electricity per month.The house, overlooking Scandinavian Creek and an expanse of tundra, has two bedrooms and one bathroom on a 24-foot by 24-foot footprint. It’s built something like a house with double-stud walls except that the distance between the inner and outer walls is much greater, allowing for R-90 worth of cellulose insulation. The depth of the insulation in the roof assembly is about 3 feet.The house has three fiberglass-framed windows with triple glazing, an exterior door that’s mostly glass, and a heat-recovery ventilator.Living in a cozy boxIn an article for Alaska Building Science News, Marsik wrote that from January 1, 2012 through the end of April that year, the house used 1,620 kWh of electricity, or only about 400 kWh a month for heat, lights, hot water, and appliances. Modeling had predicted the house would use 1,520 kWh over the same four-month period. Marsik said the small discrepancy could be explained by an unusually cold winter that year.“It is interesting to point out that our house uses less electricity than an average house in Dillingham,” Marsik’s article said. “This, coupled with the fact that our house uses no heating fuel, results in a significantly lower energy bill.” Marsik calculated savings at $4,000 a year when compared to an average house in town, but it could be even more as energy costs go up in the future.At the time, heat came from a simple electric-resistance heater. That’s since been replaced with a Fujitsu RLS 3H series minisplit with an output of 12,000 Btu per hour.Marsik wrote that his approach to building had pros and cons. Benefits include low energy use, a healthy indoor environment, and the safety of burning no fossil fuels or wood. On the downside, the cost of insulation itself was about $20,000.“A thorough economic analysis hasn’t been done yet,” he wrote, “but the payback period on the extra costs isn’t going to be super short. However, a well built-home is likely going to last for a very long time, and given all extra benefits to society through a reduced consumption of fossil fuels, I think the extra initial investment is well worth it.” (Many details about the house, including photos taken during construction, are available at this page at Alaska Energy Wiki.)Reached by phone, Marsik said this week that he and his wife, who now have a 4-year-old daughter, are sorry to give up the house.“It’s amazing,” he said. “We love it. My wife asked whether he can just get a helicopter and move it.”The owners with their world record certificate for air tightness: 0.05 air changes per hour.Although the house has only three windows, Marsik said they were custom-built and have glass with high visible transmittance of light. That plus the use of brightly painted walls and ceilings give the house excellent day-lighting.The house has a total of about 1,150 square feet when you include the second-story loft bedroom (the total is what an appraiser would call the “gross living area”), Marsik said, and that’s been plenty for the three of them and their dog. “It’s more than we need,” he said.Marsik is a proponent of space efficiency and does not think that people living in much bigger houses are any happier than people living in small ones. In fact, he said, a United Nations happiness report found that in many European countries where apartments and houses are much smaller than in the U.S. people are, on the whole, happier. Smaller houses mean less maintenance and less cleaning, leaving time for intrinsically more rewarding activities. Note: The caption of the first photograph has been edited to clarify the size of the house.last_img read more

What “The Righteous Gemstones” Teaches About Directing Styles

first_imgRotating roles — an intimate lesson in how multiple directors can use multiple filmmaking styles to create one vision.In the roughly two decades since Danny McBride, Jody Hill, and David Gordon Green all attended The University of North Carolina School of the Arts together, the three filmmaking writers, actors, and directors have cemented themselves as some of the brightest minds in high-minded dude-comedy.From some of their early indies like The Foot Fist Way to big budget features like Pineapple Express, the trio — who each have successful careers of their own — have stayed close, collaborating on several HBO series, including Eastbound & Down, Vice Principals (excluding Green), and their latest: The Righteous Gemstones.For those who haven’t caught the first season of The Righteous Gemstones, the HBO comedy series following a dysfunctional family behind a televangelical megachurch empire (which was just picked up for a second season) is perhaps the trio’s greatest work, yet. Originally conceived by McBride, he, Hill, and Green all co-executive produce the series, as well as share directing duties across episodes.Hill and Green have rotated directing roles in the past on Eastbound & Down; however, for Gemstones, Danny McBride was given credit for directing the pilot of the project he created. It’s interesting to watch Gemstones from a filmmaking/directing perspective for many reasons, but this story-behind-the-story of rotating directors, and their individual styles, is pretty fascinating — very informative for aspiring comedy filmmakers.Trust and FamiliarityIn an interview with McBride, Hill, Green, and frequent collaborator, writer, and star Edi Patterson (who plays Judy Gemstone), Green talks about how much trust must go into a collaborative project — and how they’ve been able to keep a core group together to keep things familiar and focused. Green states the following:Beyond just the core group, in talking about the show, there are so many people that have been with us for these years, who are incredible — from the production sound mixer to so many people behind the scenes. There are probably twenty-five people that went to film school with us that are working on this show, either as a writer or in any number of capacities.This is especially true when taking on the directorial role in regards to an episodic series like Gemstones, where the director is ultimately just one cog in a much bigger machine, tasked with realizing the full vision of a nine-episode series.Decision-Making in DirectingThis still is a good example of the single-camera cinematic style.When you watch Gemstones, it’s possible to reverse engineer some of the directorial decisions that clearly had to be made episode to episode. First off, the show looks to be in the same single-camera cinematic style of their earlier works like Eastbound & Down and tracing back to The Foot Fist Way, which becomes almost quasi-documentary at times.This means decisions about which shots to shoot steady on a tripod, or more loose and free-roaming — whether on a Steadicam, a gimbal, or handheld. The camera and shot decisions also tend to change as the narrative calls for it, staying wider and stationary for some of the big sets and megachurch services to more close-up and intimate in the more raw moments between family members. (Here’s a good article on the best options for smooth — and not so smooth — “handheld” options.)McBride’s pilot episode feels much more like a movie with big camera moves, as it sets the world and reveals the spectacle contained in the Gemstones’s megachurch and lavish compound. Meanwhile, once Green takes over for the second and third episodes, we start to get more shaky and intimate, as the camera moves around like a character (at times) in scenes between family members to build the narrative tension of the series.Directing Comedy and ActionHill’s direction — he has the distinction of directing McBride the most in his career — comedy and action quickly come into play, requiring a deft touch. Similar to HBO’s other hit Barry, there are plenty of high-octane sequences thrown in that spur much of the comedy. From gunshots to car crashes, Gemstones finds a good balance as all three directors are left to film complicated stunt sequences, as well as choreograph elaborate stage productions and dance numbers.The Challenges of EpisodicThis Gemstone family portrait illustrates the complexity of each character involved in the show.It’d be fair to say that the majority of television shows, or other episodic content, rely on multiple directors. The directing role is a difficult, laborious task, so it makes sense to spread the work around. However, this creates challenges.As Hill, Green, and McBride would undoubtedly tell you, it really comes down to having a strong vision, a solid team, and great trust and communication. Directors may have license to bring in their own styles and decision-making processes, but overall, they’re there because they’ve subscribed to a bigger vision — one they’re trying to remain faithful to.Gemstones is a show that feels much more epic than the trio’s previous collaborations, with a big HBO budget, and exploring important themes such as family, friendship, and religion. However, while the episodes may vary stylistically, they each do a great job of building a show that has already proven itself a success among critics and audiences alike.Looking for more on the film industry? Check these out.Costume Designer Ginger Martini on Sync on Set, Production Prep and Post ProcessHow Hollywood Gets the “Film Look” Using Digital CamerasIndustry Insights: Bernie Su on his Emmy Winning Interactive Series, ArtificialRecreating Roger Deakins’ ‘Cove Light’Industry Insights: Makeup Artist Kaela Dobson on Wu-Tang, Marvel and Morelast_img read more

Skid-busting win over FEU shows Lady Maroons’ ‘step by step’ improvement

first_imgOil plant explodes in Pampanga town LATEST STORIES Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next UP hadn’t beaten Far Eastern U in their last eight meetings but that changed Wednesday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.The Lady Maroons were able to secure their first victory against the Lady Tamaraws in five years, 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 25-20, in another milestone moment.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesUP head coach Godfrey Okumu said the Lady Maroons’ latest victory is a sign that the team is headed in the right direction.“Everything comes with change, our team is changing,” said Okumu. “It’s now how we used to play before, every day we keep on changing and we’re trying to improve step by step.” Panelo on Albayalde stepping down: He has had enough PLAY LIST 01:28Panelo on Albayalde stepping down: He has had enough01:283 Maguindanao cops nabbed in drug bust facing dismissal01:14Albayalde says no hand in 2013 Pampanga buy-bust02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MANILA, Philippines—University of the Philippines has slowly started to rise to prominence in the women’s volleyball landscape for the past three years, but there are still teams that the Lady Maroons have yet to beat well until now.ADVERTISEMENT Work in progress: Lady Eagles still working on maturity, consistency PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostingcenter_img Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte “It’s a good thing that we’re able to achieve this first win after so many years.”For a bit of perspective, the Lady Maroons still had Kathy Bersola, Nicole Tiamzon, Pia Gaiser, and Angeli Araneta the last time they owned FEU.Bersola led the Lady Maroons in that victory with 20 points and Tiamzon, who was known as one of the better spikers in her last years with UP, dished out 32 excellent sets as the Lady Maroons’ setter.FEU had a rookie Bernadeth Pons score 22 points for the Lady Tamaraws who still had Marie Toni Basas, the older sister of Toni Rose, Gizelle Sy, and Geneveve Casugod.“This is something we’ll take home and celebrate over,” said Okumu. “I hope when we meet them again the results would be the same.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more