Crunch time for five HDN squads

first_imgIt’s do or die time for five local teams today as the North Coast Section playoffs get under way in baseball and softball.And that means there is little room for error and a little more at stake in every pitch and every swing of the bat.Three of those five teams will get to host a game, including Eureka, which is seeded No. 7 in the Division-III baseball bracket.The Loggers have been impressive this spring, winning 21 games, many of them against some big schools out of the area in a …last_img

Brent Burns, Pete DeBoer respond to Drew Doughty’s comments

first_imgSAN JOSE — Neither Sharks coach Pete DeBoer or defenseman Brent Burns wished to extensively respond Tuesday to Drew Doughty’s comments a day earlier on why Burns should not win the Norris Trophy this season.“I just think guys should stick to commenting on their own games,” DeBoer said. “For me, that’s where everybody in this league’s focus should lie.”In an interview Monday in Calgary with The Athletic, Doughty, the Los Angeles Kings’ 2019 All-Star who won the Norris Trophy three years ago, a …last_img

Google’s Battle Against Content Farms Goes Global for English Users

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Google#news#NYT#search#web mike melanson Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market At the end of February, Google announced a “big algorithmic improvement” to its search algorithm that was intended to address much of the criticism the search engine had been garnering for content farms increasingly appearing in its search results. Today, Google has announced that this algorithmic “improvement,” known as “Panda,” has gone global to all English-language Google users.When Google first made the change, it noted that it was “a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries.”“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites–sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful,” the company said on its blog. “At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites–sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”Today, Google said that it has “gotten a lot of positive responses about the change” and decided to roll it out to a much larger audience. In addition, it has incorporated feedback from its Personal Blocklist Chrome extension, which allows users to block certain domains from appearing in their search results. “In some high-confidence situations, we are beginning to incorporate data about the sites that users block into our algorithms. In addition, this change also goes deeper into the ‘long tail’ of low-quality websites to return higher-quality results where the algorithm might not have been able to make an assessment before.”The change should be “smaller in scope,” affecting only 2% of queries as opposed to nearly 12% when it was first implemented. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

How New Technologies Are Shrinking Wastewater’s Hefty Carbon Footprint

first_imgAmmonia breakdownAnother way that MRWD is reducing its energy use is with a bacterium called anammox. Ammonia, a pollutant found in wastewater, has been challenging to neutralize in wastewater treatment. It is normally broken down by bacteria during the aeration process in secondary treatment but requires more energy to deal with it than any other pollutant. “Ammonia is your highest air demand in your aeration process,” says MWRD executive director David St. Pierre.Krüger, a subsidiary of Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, has trademarked a process called ANITA Mox to better deal with ammonia. It sells plastic carriers that looks a little like Honeycomb cereal, with myriad surfaces to host anammox and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. Both types of bacteria are needed to remove most of the ammonia — about 80% to 85%. MWRD is using the ANITA Mox to break down ammonia in liquid sludge before putting it into the aeration step.“If you can break down that ammonia in an anaerobic process, your demand for air significantly decreases,” says St. Pierre. “It has the promise to reduce your electrical uses by 60% in your plant. So it’s huge.”MWRD was inspired by Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant in Denmark, says St. Pierre, which in 2015 was able to generate 153% of the energy it used, thanks to ANITA Mox and other efficiency measures as well as biogas generation. ANITA Mox is also being used at another plant in Denmark; two in Sweden; and in Newport News, Virginia; and Durham, North Carolina.Combined with other energy generation efforts, including solar panels on one plant, MWRD expects to soon be generating 90% of the energy it uses.“We’re trying to shift from running a waste plant to a resource recovery facility,” St. Pierre says. Bring the bubblesWastewater treatment in developed countries often involves four main steps: primary treatment, which separates solids from liquid waste; secondary treatment, in which bacteria break down dissolved waste that contains ammonia and other pollutants and remaining solids are separated from the treated liquid; an anaerobic step, in which solids from the primary and secondary steps are digested by microorganisms in a sealed tank without oxygen; and, finally, a disinfection phase.Bacteria play a key role in breaking down our sewage and industrial wastewater by consuming organic pollutants and inorganic nutrients such as ammonia. But keeping them happy isn’t easy. They require particular conditions to thrive: optimal temperature, food, and oxygen. Getting bacteria the oxygen they need accounts for one-quarter to more than half of the energy used by a wastewater treatment plant. So plant operators are focused on reducing energy use in this step to boost energy efficiency.Traditional plants pump air into the tank where the bacteria do their work, diffusing it through small holes to create little oxygen bubbles that the bacteria can easily access. This process wastes a lot of energy because most of the bubbles rise to the top and pop without the bacteria using them.The industry has been trying to reduce this energy drain for decades. One of the most promising approaches is something called a membrane aerated biofilm reactor, or MABR.Instead of forcing air into the bacteria tank, operators insert massive cubes full of porous membrane tubes. A blower moves low-pressure air into the tubes. Bacteria congregate on the outside of the tubes, sucking up the oxygen that passes through them and creating an oxygen concentration differential that helps more oxygen diffuse.“Bacteria are actually demanding the oxygen and causing the gradient,” says Glenn Vicevic, executive of product management for General Electric’s Water & Process Technologies, which makes a version of the technology, ZeeLung, that MWRD tested at its O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant in Skokie, Illinois. GE estimates that, depending upon existing plant design and operation, ZeeLung is four times more energy-efficient than conventional forced-draft aeration. Erica Gies is an independent reporter. This article originally appeared at the website Ensia. Boost from biogasCapturing energy from waste in wastewater is now standard practice at large plants, which use tanks called anaerobic digesters or biogas digesters to break organic solids from the primary and secondary steps into methane gas and carbon dioxide. Bacteria do the work again, but this time without oxygen. The resulting methane can be captured and burned in a biogas engine to produce electricity and heat that can be used in the plant’s operation. Or it can be upgraded to natural gas quality and put into a pipeline.Only 35% of U.S. plants generate electricity from biogas, in part because most wastewater treatment facilities in the United States are relatively small. “In order to be cost-effective, you have to be a fairly large facility, at least 5 million gallons a day of wastewater treatment,” says Virginia Lew, manager of the Energy Efficiency Research Office at the California Energy Commission.Plants that do not produce enough gas to bother generating electricity often burn it off instead. Adding battery storage could allow them to store enough energy to make using it worthwhile, Lew says. “I think there’s going to be greater emphasis on trying to utilize as much biogas in the future as possible to offset any purchased electricity and to reduce their carbon footprint.” RELATED ARTICLES Wastewater treatment plants are energy hogs. A 2013 study by the Electric Power Research Institute and Water Research Foundation reported that they consumed about 30 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, or about 0.8 percent of the total electricity used in the United States.Wastewater treatment’s high energy footprint is ironic because the organic matter in wastewater contains up to five times as much energy as the treatment plants use, according to the American Biogas Council. Reducing treatment plants’ energy footprints through energy efficiency and using the currently wasted energy could save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Despite all that energy seemingly there for the taking, reducing the fossil fuel demand of treatment plants is challenging and requires myriad approaches. Around the world, the industry is experimenting with new technologies, evaluating them for not just energy benefits but also cost and unintended consequences, such as additional waste streams to be managed.The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago — MWRD — has set a target to be energy-neutral by 2023, following the lead of plants in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and the East Bay Municipal Utility District in Oakland, California, which has moved beyond net-zero energy to actually selling energy back to the grid. These innovators are using a variety of technologies to reduce the electricity they use through energy efficiency and generating electricity onsite to offset what they do use. Strategies & Details: Choose Sites that Have On-Site Wastewater System PotentialStrategies & Details: Integrate Wastewater Treatment with Landscape DesignStudy Finds EPA Lax in Protecting California WaterGreen Basics: Gray WaterVäxjö, Sweden, is a Model of Sustainability Saving Energy by Saving WaterDoes a Composting Toilet Stink Up Your House?last_img read more

Three, including infant, missing in several boat incidents in Assam

first_imgAn 18-month-old infant girl has been missing after a reportedly overcrowded boat capsized in Rakhaldubi river in western Assam’s Goalpara district on Monday evening, while two more boat incidents occurred across the State on Tuesday evening. The Rakhaldubi mishap is the third boat capsize in the State in the last one week after a mechanised country boat sank in the Brahmaputra off Guwahati killing four. Officials in Goalpara district said the unregistered row-boat had 15 people on board when it sank in the river. All other passengers were rescued by locals.Around the same time, a mechanised country boat also capsized in the Beki river near Kalgachia in Barpeta district. The boat drifted after its engine failed and hit the pillar of a bridge across the river. Around 30 people on board managed to either swim ashore or were rescued.In another incident on Tuesday, a rowboat sank in western Assam’s Goalpara district around dusk, the fourth such incident since a mechanised country boat capsized in the Brahmaputra off Guwahati on September 5. According to initial reports from the district, two people — Bilal Hussain, 26 and Amina Khatun, 7 — were missing after the boat with at least four people on board sank at Khankhowa Char near Goalpara town.These mishaps involving unregistered boats happened on non-notified routes. We have registered cases against the operators,” Bharat Bhushan Dev Choudhury, director of the State’s Inland Water Transport Department, said.On Monday, Assam Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said no mechanised country boats would be allowed to operate in the entire river system of the State. After a review meeting with IWT officials, he ordered all single-engine ferries to be converted into double-engine ones with reversible gears.“As per the safety norms, there must be one life jacket for each passenger in the vessel and it will be mandatory for each passenger to put on the life jacket while boarding the vessel. The deputy commissioners shall conduct a safety audit of the ferry vessels within their respective districts,” Mr. Patowary said.last_img read more