Warm weather wakes snakes

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – Spring promises warmer days and budding blooms, but beware: Unseasonable weather has awakened rattlesnakes early from their winter snooze. The local nature center has documented several sightings. “When you have strange, erratic weather patterns, you have strange, erratic emergence of animals,” said Ian Swift, director of the Placerita Canyon Nature Center and supervisor of the 350-acre park. “Things like temperature, rainfall, humidity are all these cues they respond to when it’s time to emerge.” Gauges at the nature center measured just 2inches of rainfall since July, one-tenth of the norm. Experts caution against handling rattlesnakes and urge people to call the department of animal control for removal. If you are bitten, call 911, immediately lower the area of the bite below your heart and remove any jewelry or clothing that might constrict blood flow. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! During winter, rattlers become inactive, imbedding themselves deep underground in abandoned animal burrows where the thermostat is pretty constant. Snakes are cold-blooded and unable to control their inner warmth. “Warm temperatures and extended daylight causes reptiles to become active,” said Russ Smith, general curator of reptiles at the Los Angeles Zoo. “They start crawling around looking for food, and in early spring they start looking for a mate. This month, we’ve already had 90-degree weather, and that’s gotten the little guys active.” Winter days when temperatures rise above the low 70s are considered warm. November tallied 10 such days; December had eight; January had five; and February had eight, said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service. Southern Pacific rattlesnakes are the species indigenous to Southern California. About 200 snakebites are reported each year statewide. This month, a sixth-grader at Leona H. Cox Elementary School in Canyon Country was bitten by a juvenile rattlesnake that found its way into a classroom. last_img read more

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Arsenal line-up v Besiktas: Gunners to go for it in Champions League?

first_imgArsenal fans, what do you think of this line-up? Let us know below… 1 It’s that time again. With the domestic season barely under way Arsenal are forced to face the Champions League playoffs once more, and while probably not the toughest possible opponents out of the teams the English side could have drawn, Besiktas are no pushovers. The Gunners can’t take anything for granted therefore, so with Champions League football at stake, talkSPORT takes a look at how they are likely to line up…Tough test for ChambersArsene Wenger has surprised observers by using Calum Chambers at centre back, despite the former Southampton man previously playing at full back for the majority of his senior career. So far the 19-year-old has came through the new challenge with flying colours, but the Champions League is a further step up and should give a real measure of his composure in the middle. Fitness concerns surrounding Laurent Koscielny means Per Mertesacker may be forced to return to action early, should the Frenchman prove unable to play.Attacking midfield threeThough Arsenal struggled to excite in their Premier League opener against Crystal Palace it wasn’t due to a lack of attacking intent. Arsene Wenger opted for an extremely attack-minded midfield three against Palace, so it will be intriguing to see if he goes for more of the same against Besiktas. Should the Gunners boss look for a more conservative approach, Jack Wilshere could be dropped in favour of Mathieu Flamini, who would add more defensive solidity alongside Mikel Arteta.An upgrade on Sanogo?Yaya Sanogo’s injury issues mean Olivier Giroud will probably occupy the middle of Arsenal’s front three tonight, and the Frenchman won’t have to do much to prove an upgrade, considering his team mate’s lacklustre showing last weekend. Alexis Sanchez is a certainty to keep his place in the team, while Santi Cazorla’s ability to drop back and provide more control in the middle of the pitch will be an asset in a tough away trip. Alexis Sanchez is likely to start for Arsenal against Besiktas 1last_img read more

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Spurs bring coaching programme to SA

first_img27 November 2012Leading English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday announced a partnership with sponsor Investec to bring its highly regarded global coaching programme to South Africa in 2012/13.Courses will take place in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town and provide 3 200 places for boys and girls between the ages of eight and 17 for coaching by some of the club’s leading youth coaches.The coaches have all previously worked with the club’s academy that has, over the past few years, been responsible for the development of first-team players such as Steven Caulker, Jake Livermore and Andros Townsend.Entertaining and attackingSpurs are renowned for playing an entertaining and attacking style of football, and the club’s coaching programme shares that philosophy, coaching players to play the game with the same style and approach as superstars such as Gareth Bale, Mousa Dembele and Emmanuel Adebayor.Commenting on the announcement of the partnership Mark Jones, head of Spur’s global coaching programme, said in a statement: “The club has a long association with South Africa, and through our ongoing relationship with SuperSport United we are aware of the huge amount of talent and passion for football that exists across the country.Goal“Our goal is to deliver the best learning environment possible to encourage and develop the skills and techniques of all those players that attend the courses, whatever their level,” Jones said.Janet Larsen, Investec South Africa’s head of marketing, said the partnership was “an extension of an already strong relationship we have with Tottenham Hotspur. The development of talent, combined with a passionate team spirit, makes this a great association for Investec.‘A wealth of football talent’“This programme will be beneficial to young South African soccer players, who will be exposed to a wealth of football talent and greats of the game, who will share their skill and knowledge with these aspiring youngsters,” Larsen said.The first course will take place at St David’s School, Johannesburg from 10 to 14 December and will be attended by Tottenham Hotspur ambassador and former club captain Ledley King.Each course will be run by four professional full-time coaches from the club’s coaching programme, who be assisted by several South African coaches, to ensure all those attending have the chance to learn how to play “the Tottenham Hotspur way”.InformationMore information on the courses taking place across Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town can be found at www.tottenhamhotspur.com/coaching-sa.Tottenham Hotspur has enjoyed a long relationship with South Africa, and toured the country in 2003, 2007 and 2011.In addition to Investec’s association with the club, which is now in its third season, Spurs also has an established relationship with Supersport United, partnering with the South African club to deliver an elite youth development academy.For the past six, Spurs have also worked with SOS Children’s Home, the world’s largest orphan charity, to finance the construction and upkeep of an orphan house in Rustenburg.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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What You Need to Know about 3D Technology & Vision Problems

first_img5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout sarah perez As the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2011) kicks into high gear this week in Las Vegas, we’re again seeing a number of 3D-enabled products from TVs to tablets to mobile devices. It’s the second (or is it third?) coming of 3D, it seems, and this time around it’s often glasses-free.Much of the development around the technology is concerned with bringing 3D to your living room, such as is the case with the 3D-enabled TVs from LG and Toshiba, for example, Samsung’s 3D LED monitors, or the addition of 3D movies to the streaming service VUDU, which can pipe Hollywood entertainment directly into your living room. But 3D is showing up on other screens, too – mobile phonesand tablets, gaming devices and mobile 3D DTV devices – although still in early forms.But before you go all in, early-adopting this new craze, there’s a little tidbit of not-inconsequential data you need to know first.3D Impacts Vision Development, Says Toshiba Related Posts 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#Analysis#Multimedia#news#NYT#Real World#Trends#Video Services#web Apparently, viewing 3D images, even the glasses-free kind, can negatively impact the vision development in small children. According to a report from The Wall St. Journal, both Nintendo and Toshiba have recently issued warnings about the vision damage that could occur when children under six view 3D video images. To quote, Toshiba’s warning says that “due to the possibility of impact on vision development, viewers of 3D video images should be aged 6 or older.”?Outside the U.S., a Japanese 3D consortium with members like Samsung and LG for example, has issued similar warnings, the WSJ reported.That sounds serious, right?Engadget recently downplayed the dangers though, specifically referencing Nintendo CEO Reggie Fils-Aime’s statement from six months prior that his company’s warning is only in place because children, especially young children, have eyes that are not fully-formed. In other words, it’s no big deal.But the warnings, you should know, aren’t just your run-of-the-mill precautions (do not eat silica gel packets, do not leave child alone with plastic bag) – they’re based on the recommendations of an electronics industry group’s recommendations, Toshiba says. The company’s TV marketing chief, Yuji Motomura declined to tell the WSJ which one, however.We think we may have an idea. The unnamed group could be the well-known [email protected] Consortium, especially considering it recently held a meeting on an oddly related topic: using 3D to diagnose vision problems in young children.Wait: 3D Identifies Vision Problems in Children? Doesn’t Cause It? 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App According to [email protected]’s website, the group met on Dec. 7 in San Diego to discuss several topics relating to vision standards, including the “promotion of the benefits of utilizing stereo viewing for diagnosing and improving vision in children and adults.” In fact, reads the article, “early research by experts has shown that binocular vision issues, which inhibit successful perception of 3D images, are often linked with reading and comprehension issues in children.”Or, more simply put, vision issues mean other developmental problems may be present. And 3D technology could help identify these problems.Well now, that sounds great, right?On the conference’s home page, a session regarding “special issues related to 3D and children” was held mid-day on the 7th. Included in this session was a presentation by Dr. Maureen Powers of the Gemstone Foundation, a research institute in California. You can read through it for yourself here. In it, she described several issues related to viewing 3D images. To save you time, the conclusion is that a large number of school-aged children have binocular vision problems and a relatively large number have binocular dysfunction.What This MeansWhat this means, says Dr. Powers, is that while most children will be fine viewing 3D, but some children will not be comfortable – in fact, the group experiencing discomfort may be as high as 25%. Some of the children will complain, some will not and some will be so uncomfortable that they will not watch 3D video images at all or play games. The best guess at this time is that latter group will be about 5% to 10% of school-age children. This early research has clearly resulted in the “recommendations” to warn against 3D viewing by small children by the hardware manufacturers like Toshiba, we would guess, as it’s believed that these types of problems fade as children age. (Dr. Powers notes that it’s expected that children will “differ from adults” in terms of discomfort and related issues).At the end of the day, what this really means is that tech enthusiast or not, it may be unwise to plop your smallest children in front of 3D movies like Avatar or Toy Story, for example, and it may be unwise for you to do the same. There’s actually very little research in the effects of long-term 3D viewing on children and adults.Until now, 3D video viewing has been a somewhat isolated experience – a movie here and there, where you wear silly shades for a couple of hours. But with the advancements in the technology, there’s an industry-wide push to 3D-enable all your screens, before the research on what happens by doing so is even complete.And for that reason, manufacturers are prescribing caution, at least for children. What 3D-related warning labels will crop up in the future for the rest of us is still unknown.Image credits: plant – Callipygian, phone – PocketLint, TV – Toshiba 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

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Buyer Interest in a Net-Zero Home Sags in Survey of Architects

first_imgA quarterly survey by The American Institute of Architects shows rising interest in solar panels and docking stations for electric vehicles but declining interest over time in the number of people who say they want net-zero energy or superinsulated houses. The findings for the third quarter of the year represent information that AIA member architects who design single-family homes gather in their dealings with clients. The survey, which measured changes in interest from 2018 to 2019, focused on a variety of home features. Other quarterly reports look at kitchens and baths, home and property design, and neighborhood and community design. Many of the subject areas probably aren’t of particular interest to designers and builders who specialize in high-performance houses or sustainable design. But there are a few topics that relate directly to that type of construction.RELATED ARTICLESA New Guide for Net Zero BuildersMy Net Zero ConundrumA New Net-Zero CommunityThe Evolution of SuperinsulationMaking Room for a PV Array As AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker explained in a telephone call, the survey calculates the net difference between architects who report rising interest in a particular topic minus those who report declining interest. Here’s what participating architects reported in the last survey: Interest in net zero and superinsulated houses is going down: In the most recent survey, the net interest level was about 23%, the same as it was last year. But the four-year trend is off sharply. In 2016, a net of 43.9% reported increased interest in net-zero building. That dropped to 31.1% in 2017. By way of contrast, there was twice as much interest in two other features—accommodations for multiple generations and ramps/elevators. Interest in electric car docking stations is going up: Interest was up slightly this year, growing from 57% in 2018 to 61% this year. In 2016, it was 47.7%, which rose to 54.1% the following year. Solar panels are gaining ground: Up from 41% last year to 52% this year. What’s just as interesting is the proportion of architects who reported that interest was declining—13% in 2018, down to just 6% this year. Energy management: Down slightly, from 63% a year ago to 62% this year. Interest among prospective home buyers for technology friendly features—including extra outlet capacity and charging stations, wireless mobile charging docks, and USB wall outlets—dropped by five percentage points but remains strong at 64%. The AIA has been conducting the surveys since 2005, Baker said, with the purpose being to learn “what’s hot and what’s not.” In the area of solar panels and net-zero energy and superinsulated homes, Baker said trends could be partly explained by relatively low energy prices. “Solar panels make a lot of sense if energy prices are high,” he said, “not that much if energy prices are low.” Ditto with net-zero construction, and interest could surge rapidly with a spike in energy prices. Baker said the survey should not be viewed as a personal wish list from single-family architects. “It’s not designed to be, ‘What do you think is going to be popular in five years, or what should be popular five years from now,’ ” he said. “It’s very much, ‘What are you seeing in your current practice and projects you’re working on.’ ” What millennials don’t want Over at realtor.com, another survey charts home upgrades that millennials say they don’t care about. There’s no mention of energy efficiency, air tightness, or indoor air quality either way. But we do learn that there are five things that actively repel potential homebuyers. They include: “Over-the-top” landscaping: Out with tidy, well fertilized lawns. Instead, millennials are said to prefer growing plants indoors and having an outdoor space that doesn’t require too much maintenance. Formal dining rooms. Let’s cook up a storm and eat in or near the kitchen. Rigid floor plans: Millennials would rather have open floor plans and rooms that can be used for a variety of functions. Brand new carpeting: Bare floors with “statement rugs” are more appealing and better for their pets. Memorabilia and game rooms: These are areas where you put a pool table or show off stuff you’ve accumulated, like golfing trophies. Millennials are more taken with digital things, so a big screen TV or media room is more likely to please, according to the report. Realtor.com wasn’t specific on exactly when and how it gathered the information. -Scott Gibson is a contributing writer at Green Building Advisor and Fine Homebuilding magazine.last_img read more

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