Director of elections at the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ), Orette Fisher has rubbished claims that election equipment have been malfunctioning at polling stations across the island. It was reported that many persons across the island, who turned out to cast their votes, had to return home without doing so because lines were too long and election equipment had been malfunctioning. Candidates from both the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People’s National Party (PNP) have also been complaining of the slow voting process and that the electoral machines were malfunctioning. According to reports from the EOJ, as at 1:00p.m. over 500,000 persons had voted, which accounts for 31.54 per cent of the voting population. There are 1,824,412 electors on the voters’ list. Polls opened at 7:00 a.m. and will close at 5:00 p.m. EOJ said special accommodation will be made for voters who were in line before 5:00p.m. This will allow them to cast their vote.
ARCATA >> If there is one thing to know about the Arcata High volleyball team, it is to never count them out if they are down — even by a lot. Arcata, the reigning Big 5 champions opened up league play in its gymnasium after having a bye last week with a straight-set sweep over Eureka, 25-22, 25-10 and 26-24, on Tuesday night.Despite getting their first league win out of the way, the Tigers found themselves in hole at times. But in these times Arcata head coach Laurie Griffith said that is …
Vapor permeanceA very attractive property of ComfortBoard IS is the high permeability to water vapor. A 2-inch layer of the insulation has a permeability of about 30 perms, which means it’s highly breathable. If the ComfortBoard is installed on the outside of the wall, the high permeance will allow excellent drying potential to the exterior. This approach, in which the sheathing layer provides the continuous air barrier, is gaining many fans in the building science community.ComfortBoard IS has a textured outer surface (see photos), which may even aid moderately in the product’s drying potential (acting like a rainscreen). When asked about this, Paraic Lally, the North American Manager for Specifications at Roxul, told me that the texturing is a function of the manufacturing process and not designed to provide a rainscreen; thus, the orientation of installation is not important.Another feature of mineral wool that I hadn’t appreciated before is the very low coefficient of thermal expansion with temperature. According to Roxul, the coefficient of thermal expansion of ComfortBoard is just 5.5 (10–6 m/m°C), compared with 80 for XPS and 120 for polyiso. In applications where temperatures fluctuate significantly (like on the outside of a wall in a cold climate) this could make a significant difference. Enter ComfortBoard mineral wool boardstockWith this context, I was thrilled to learn recently that Roxul, a Canadian manufacturer of mineral wool (or rock wool) insulation and part of the global, Denmark-based Rockwool International, has been gaining traction with their residential ComfortBoard IS in the U.S. Plus, the company has a new, even higher-density boardstock product coming out this month for commercial applications. Commercial ComfortBoard on the wayJust as exciting as the increased availability of ComfortBoard IS is a commercial version that’s about to be introduced: ComfortBoard CIS. It is similar to the residential product, but produced at a higher density of 11 pcf. Like Comfortboard IS, it can be ordered up to 6 inches thick, but standard thicknesses will be only up to 3 inches.While I am pleased to have used Foamglas and cork insulation on my home, I suspect that Roxul’s ComfortBoard will find its way into my next project. Availability and priceI was pleasantly surprised recently when I asked Leader Home Center in Brattleboro, Vermont, to price a number of insulation materials for a BuildingGreen report we’re revising. The contractor pricing for ComfortBoard IS came to $0.64 per board foot, compared to $0.48 per board foot for standard polyiso, $0.75 for fire-rated polyiso (Thermax), and $1.07 for XPS.While pricing will doubtless differ in other regions and for different quantities, the fact that ComfortBoard is in the same ballpark as these other materials is great. Even after correcting for the lower insulating value (you need more thickness of ComfortBoard to achieve R-10 than with the foam plastics), Comfortboard IS locally was more affordable than XPS: roughly $1.59 per square foot at R-10 for ComfortBoard vs. $2.14/sf @ R-10 for XPS. Rigid boardstock mineral wool has been available in the U.S. for decades from at least four manufacturers, and it is widely used in commercial construction. But it’s never been widely available for home building.That is changing as Roxul ramps up national distribution of ComfortBoard IS, which was first introduced about a year ago. (A few years earlier the company began national distribution of their ComfortBatt product for cavity-fill applications.)Manufactured at Roxul’s Milton, Ontario, factory, ComfortBoard IS is third-party-certified to have a minimum recycled content of 75%, and the product can be specified with recycled content up to 93%.ComfortBoard IS, the residential product, has a density of 8 pounds per cubic foot (pcf) and is available in four thicknesses: 1 1/4 inch, 1 1/2 inch, 2 inches, and 3 inches. The company has the capability to produce the product up to 6 inches thick — which could offer an attractive option for Passivhaus builders and those interested in deep-energy retrofits — but because thicker panels requires a special production run, those options are only available in truckload quantities.The insulating value of ComfortBoard IS is a very respectable R-4.0 per inch. That’s lower than XPS (R-5 per inch) and polyiso (about R-6.0 per inch), but there will be no “R-value drift” (reduction in R-value over time), which occurs with foam insulation materials that rely on lower-conductivity blowing agents that slowly leak out or allow air to leak in. Readers of this Energy Solutions blog may be aware that I’ve been critical of some of our foam-plastic insulation materials. I’ve come down hardest on extruded polystyrene (XPS), which is made both with a blowing agent that contributes significantly to global warming and with a brominated flame retardant, HBCD, that’s slated for international phaseout as a persistent organic pollutant.So I’m always keeping an eye out for alternatives. I’ve written here about two of those alternatives that I’ve used in our own home: a cellular glass material called Foamglas with high compressive strength that works very well below-grade; and a boutique, all-natural rigid insulation material made from expanded cork.I like both of those materials a lot, but they have two big problems: high cost and limited availability. They just won’t be able to enter the mainstream home building industry since they cost more than twice as much as XPS and polyisocyanurate and are hard to get hold of. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. In 2012 he founded the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. RELATED ARTICLES Wrapping an Older House with Rock Wool InsulationInstalling Roxul Mineral Wool on Exterior Walls Installing Mineral Wool Insulation Over Exterior Wall SheathingGBA Product Guide: Roxul Mineral Wool Insulation Batts Insulating Sheathing for Residential Constructionby John StraubeQ&A: Fastening methods for Roxul ComfortBoard IS Q&A: Installing outie windows with 2-inch exterior Roxul board Q&A: Mineral wool exterior insulation, humidity, and windwashing Dimensions and installationAlthough Roxul literature shows ComfortBoard IS being available in three sizes — 24″ x 48″, 36″ x 48″, and 48″ x 96″ — it is most commonly stocked in the smaller sizes. This may be because the larger panels will be fairly heavy. At 8 pcf, a 3-inch-thick, 4′ by 8′ panel weighs 64 pounds — not an insignificant weight to wrestle into place.To achieve a reasonably thick, 4- to 6-inch layer of exterior insulation for a deep-energy retrofit or Passivhaus wall system will require a double layer (unless you have the ability to order by the truckload). This can be an advantage because is allows overlapping the panel joints (only square-edge product is produced), but it will likely increase labor costs.Rigid mineral wool may also take some getting used to from an installation standpoint. It can be cut with a hand saw, though I can’t (yet) report on cutting the product from personal experience. Minimum 1-inch-diameter washers or nail/screw heads are recommended for attachment, and when strapping is installed on the outside to produce a rainscreen, that strapping has to be screwed into wood studs through the insulation. Because it is mineral-fiber product, a dust mask and gloves should be used when working with it.
Film school is a controversial topic amongst filmmakers. While some of the best filmmakers are formally trained, others skipped film school and got their education on-set. I would argue that for creatively minded individuals, film school simply isn’t the best option.From a very young age the importance of receiving a formal post-secondary education is ingrained in us. We’re told that by going to school and specializing in something, we’re going to land better jobs and make more money. Unfortunately though, most of the time this type of advice is coming from people that aren’t even remotely in touch with the entertainment industry, and don’t necessarily understand the benefits of not going down that path.With filmmaking, your level of formal education may have no bearing on your level of success. In fact some of the most successful filmmakers I know either didn’t attend film school, or dropped out early on and were able to get a head start in the industry by working from a very young age. Count James Cameron and Christopher Nolan as two of the greats that never sat in a film school class.That said, there are some personality types that benefit from a more structured creative environment and who are best served by going to film school. I would say they are the exception, not the rule. I would argue that the majority of creatively minded people tend to learn best on their own terms – by actually getting their hands dirty and learning the ropes in a real world environment.Probably the biggest benefit of going to film school is the fact that you are able to meet peers who may later be your collaborators. Outside of that, anything that you can learn in film school you can learn on a film set (and then some). Even if you’re volunteering on a film set, you’re a heck of a lot better off financially than you would be if you were spending thousands of dollars in tuition fees. The reality is that film school will not get you a job – networking will. If you want to reap the benefits of film school as a means to network, then certainly go for it. But if you’re on the fence about film school in general, be sure to read through these three reasons why film school may not be the right path for you.1. Film school can give you a false sense of confidence.In film school, you can truly be led to feel that you can do no wrong. This obviously differs from school to school (and is largely dependent on your instructors), but for the most part recent grads often have a hard time adjusting to the real world of filmmaking based on confidence alone. While in film school, you’re going to be writing/directing your own projects all the time, and although this may sound great it doesn’t represent what real life is going to be like.The real trouble with film school is that the people teaching are so far out of the industry that they don’t give the students an idea of what’s happening.-Brian De Palma, Director of Scarface, Mission: Impossible, The Untouchables, CarrieIt’s a harsh reality check when you go from directing your own work consistently to becoming a PA on a large set, where your opinion is not typically welcomed. I can’t tell you how many filmmakers I’ve met over the years that had a really tough time in their first working year after graduating film school as a result of the false confidence that they developed in themselves. This isn’t always going to be the case, but it is a fairly common issue for those filmmakers that want to take a more traditional path by trying their hand at climbing the ladder on large scale productions.2. On-set experience is far more valuable than in-class training.Some film programs offer some really great in-class training with regards to directing, cinematography, editing, and other aspects of the craft. That said, no matter how good the training may be in any given school, it will likely never come close to the training that you will pick up on a real film set. There are so many intangible skills that you learn on a real set (including how to deal with people and how to handle problem situations), that you simply won’t be exposed to in a controlled environment.When I was in film school, I was learning more theory than practice.-Louis Leterrier, Director of The Incredible Hulk, The TransporterDon’t think that just because any given film school might simulate film sets for you that it comes close to the real thing… it doesn’t. One way or another you are going to need to learn by doing, and by making mistakes on a real set. It’s up to you whether or not you jump in with both feet right away, or give yourself the buffer of film school before playing in the big leagues.3. You can spend that money making a movie.Many film directors (Quentin Tarantino included) have stated that there is something to be said about skipping out on film school, and using that money to make a film with.When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, ‘no, I went to films.’ – TarantinoIt’s not uncommon for a film school to cost $20,000 per year (or more), plus the cost of room and board if you’re living out of town. Assuming you are in a 3 – 4 year program, you may be talking about $50k – $100k in overall cost, which may just land you a PA job at the end of that process. Imagine what would be possible if you were able to spend that money on a film instead. In a far shorter amount of time you would be able to learn by doing – and would actually end up with a finished product (which you would be able to use as an asset for your career). There is no substitute for making your own movie as a means to develop your craft at storytelling. When you do it in the real world, as opposed to within the comfortable confines of a film school, you might just be able to do it a whole lot better.