Earthquake Energy: Now that’s alternative

first_imgDear EarthTalk: Can earthquake energy be harnessed for power, particularly in places like Japan? Also, how can Japan, so vulnerable to earthquakes, even have nuclear power?  –– Sasha M., AustraliaWhile it is no doubt theoretically possible to generate electricity by harnessing the kinetic energy of shifting tectonic plates below the Earth’s crust, pulling it off from a practical standpoint would be a real logistical challenge—not to mention prohibitively expensive compared to harnessing other forms of energy, renewable or otherwise.Big earthquakes throw off vast amounts of energy. According to Beth Buczynski of the CrispGreen website, researchers have calculated that the January 2010 magnitude 7.0 earthquake that killed upwards of 220,000 people in Haiti released as much energy as 31 of the atomic bombs the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. And the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck northeast Japan in March 2011 unleashed the equivalent of more than 15,000 Hiroshima bombs. That’s a lot of energy indeed.“The total energy from an earthquake includes energy required to create new cracks in rock, energy dissipated as heat through friction, and energy elastically radiated through the earth,” reports the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program. “Of these, the only quantity that can be measured is that which is radiated through the earth.” Likewise, only this radiated energy—which is what shakes buildings and is recorded by seismographs—could be harnessed given the dedication of enough resources and the proper implementation of the right technologies.Just how to harness tectonic energy is the big question. One way would involve stringing quartz crystals, which can transfer electricity via piezoelectricity, underground along known fault lines. When tectonic plates shift, the crystals could transfer the energy they pick up to a grid-connected storage medium for later use. But this is hardly practical, for one because earthquakes rarely happen in a predictable manner let alone in the exact spots where energy harvesters would have set up their gear. Also, fault lines tend to run deep below the Earth’s surface, so laying down a network of quartz crystals would involve mining out shafts and connecting them underground on a scale way beyond what humans have done to the present.Regarding why Japan is so reliant on nuclear power despite the tectonic risks is a matter of economics. Lacking the rich oil, coal and other energy reserves of many other nations, Japan relies on nuclear power for some 30 percent of its electricity. Prior to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Japan was gearing up to boost its nuclear power reserves to account for half of its electricity needs by 2030. This increased reliance on nuclear power was set to play a big part in the country’s rollback of greenhouse gas emissions.Prior to the earthquake and tsunami, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency had modeled a 54 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2000 levels by 2050, and a 90 percent reduction by 2100, with nuclear energy accounting for upwards of 60 percent of the country’s total energy mix. Now it looks like the country may scale back its nuclear expansion plans, which in the short term will only increase its reliance on fossil fuels which will in turn drastically limit Japan’s ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, one would hope that turning away from nuclear expansion would spur the growth of alternatives such as wind power and other forms of renewable energy.CONTACTS: CrispGreen, www.crispgreen.com; U.S. Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program, www.earthquake.usgs.gov.last_img read more

Westhill baseball handles Marcellus, falls to VVS

first_img Tags: BaseballJ_EMarcellusSknaeatelesSolvayWesthill Each of the area’s high school baseball teams within the Onondaga High School League Liberty division has experienced plenty of ups and downs this spring, and consistency has proven elusive.Westhill entered the second half of its regular season at 6-4, but made a loud statement last Wednesday afternoon when it went to Marcellus and whipped the Mustangs 13-2.It didn’t start out lopsided. Despite two runs in the first inning and another in the third, the Warriors were nearly caught when Marcellus scored twice in the bottom of the third, Aiden Shea and Jacob Walters driving in the runs. Aside from Antonio Gonzalez driving home Owen Lansing in the bottom of the fourth, Mustangs pitcher Jack Flynn kept Solvay quiet, holding them to three hits and striking out five while walking four. Gonzalez took the loss.As that went on, Westhill routed Altmar-Parish-Williamstown 18-2, with Nick Bistrovich recording three RBIs as part of a well-balanced lineup. Five others – King, Zollo, Bennett, Herne and Justin Bistrovich – had two RBIs apiece.All three of these teams would lose on Saturday – Westhill shut out 4-0 by Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, all of the Red Devils’ runs coming in the fifth inning, three of them driven home by Blake VanDreason’s double.As that went on, Solvay and Marcellus both lost close decisions to Christian Brothers Academy as the Brothers rallied past the Bearcats 3-2 and topped the Mustangs 5-2Solvay had Alex Gallardo and Carter Lee each get two hits, taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning and then netting a run in the seventh to break out of a 1-1 tie. But CBA answered by tying it again and winning on Kent Wilson’s RBI single.Marcellus had Brody Shanahan and Jack Flynn score first-inning runs, but the 2-0 lead didn’t hold as, again, CBA rallied, tying it with single runs in the third and fifth before Jason Boule’s bases-clearing double in the sixth off Walters, pitching in relief of Jared Sammon, decided the game.Back on Wednesday, Solvay claimed a tough 4-3 win over Homer. A three-run first inning had the Bearcats in front, but the Trojans scored twice in the third and again in the fifth to tie it, 3-3, only to have Solvay regain the lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth.Gallardo and McKyle Sands each hit home runs, combining for three RBIs as Robby Clark also drove in a run. Blaine Franklin and Ethan Bigelow pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief after Sands started.And after the loss to CBA, Solvay went to Jordan-Elbridge and handled the Eagles 12-2, scoring four times in the first time and then breaking it open with an eight-run sixth inning. Gallardo, with three hits, led the way as 10 different Bearcats drove in a run.J-E had returned to action last Monday and lost, 5-1, to Port Byron/Union Springs, who scored twice in the first inning and then added three runs in the third on hits from Kyle Bailey and Caleb Roden.No one had scored a run on PB/US until the Eagles did so in the top of the sixth, Sean Dristle’s double bringing home Nate Melfi. Yet that was all J-E could manage as Carson Ashby pitche 3 1/3 innings and took the loss, with relief help from Dristle and Ryan Rivenburg.In Thursday’s 2-0 defeat to Homer, the Eagles’ Jordan Osborn traded zeroes with Trojans pitcher Jed Brazo until the Trojans scored twice in the bottom of the sixth. Brazo held J-E to five hits, two of them from Rivenburg, and struck out 11. Osborn had six strikeouts.Also on Thursday, Skaneateles returned to action and shut out Hannibal 10-0 in five innings, James Musso and Cregg Scherrer sharing the pitching duties as they combined to strike out 11 Warrior batters.A four-run third inning and five-run fifth inning accounted for most of the Lakers’ production. Jimmy Liberatore had three RBIs, with Jon Niehbuhr driving in a pair of runs as Nate Wellington added an RBI.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story center_img From there, though, Philip Zollo settled down and, along with reliever Jack Knapp, blanked the Mustangs the rest of the way, the help arriving in the form of five-run rallies in the fifth and seventh innings.Ben Coates hit a home run and finished with four RBIs. Nate King and Jake Zawadzki each had three hits, with King, Ryan Bennett and Adam Herne driving in two runs apiece. Zollo scored three runs and Walker Blossey added an RBI.Marcellus recovered from this on Thursday in a big way by defeating Solvay 4-1, getting all the runs it needed when it scored twice in the first and third innings, with Shea scoring twice as he, along with Walters and Ryan Worden, drove in the runs.last_img read more

Companies target college students in sales

first_imgSometimes, USC’s campus can look like a billboard for large companies. Most recently, Nissan LEAF shirts were prevalent across campus after Nissan launched a promotional campaign on Trousdale Parkway.But the company says it and others like it are targeting students for their expansive social networks — which ultimately help companies pad their bottom lines.Big business · Nissan representatives tell a student about the new LEAF. Nissan teamed with a Marshall group to come to campus. – Dieuwertje Kast | Daily Trojan“They are reaching a sweet spot of their target audience, which is 18- to 22-year-olds,” said Ira Kalb, professor of marketing. “That group also talks a lot on social networking. You get this accelerator effect where [students] all start this word- of mouth pyramid through Facebook and other social networking avenues.”But appearing on USC’s campus is not an easy task. To do so, the company must have the sponsorship of a student organization, a university department or USG’s Program Board, according to Heather Larabee, director of campus affairs.The marketing endeavor must also be tied to a special event, such as Conquest. Final approval rests with Campus Activities and the Scheduling Office.Nissan, which was recently on campus to promote the Nissan LEAF — its unreleased zero-emissions car — collaborated with the USC student group Marshall Net Impact, which focuses on ethically responsible business practices. The stop at USC was part of Nissan’s tour focusing on environmental impact. A quarter of the tour’s stops were at university campuses, part of its efforts to pursue a more socially active audience, according to Tim Gallagher, manager of west coast communications.“We know universities are really a bed of social media,” Gallagher said. “When we talk to students it’s kind of like we’re talking to 10 times as many people because they have the ability to socially outreach through electronic means via Twitter or Facebook.Gallagher said the promotional events are not about actually selling the product, but about getting the message out.“We just wanted people to know about the topic, people to know about the products that were coming and to start the dialogue, she said. “Of course we’re going to benefit from showing the car and having the Nissan logo there, but it really sincerely was more about the dialogue.”But companies are not the only ones benefiting from marketing on campus, Kalb said. Advertisers can also help give students interested in marketing an up-close look at how companies promote and market.“The way USC is set up is that students who do well and are successful, after they graduate they give money back to the school,” Kalb said. “Anything that helps students or vendors helps the school. It all works together.”Larabee said letting companies advertise on campus is relatively common at universities. Still, students had mixed reactions. Some said they liked having access to these large companies, but others said the aggressive marketing can be annoying.Austen Courter, a sophomore majoring in vocal performance, said she thinks big brand efforts such as Roxy Clothing, a retail brand that has advertised on campus, are great for students who don’t have cars, because the companies make the products accessible. But she said there are times when it can be too much.“It’s kind of annoying, because I hate having people harass me,” Courter said. “But I guess it’s good for marketing students to learn marketing techniques.”Daren Flam, a sophomore majoring in communication, prefers the public relations-oriented company promotions, such as the recent AT&T tent, as opposed to the sellers along Trousdale.“That’s the way it should be, as long as they aren’t hawking anything,” Flam said. “I’m here to learn, not be heckled by vendors. They should wait for me to approach them.”last_img read more

Nation-high 37 seniors, Coker lead UTSA into 4th season in program history

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ It was referred to as the F-word. A joke all along, but some around the athletic offices of the University of Texas at San Antonio couldn’t muster the courage to utter the word that had been a dream in the works for nine years: “Football.”In a movement spearheaded by UTSA athletic director Lynn Hickey and president Ricardo Romo, the football program that was nothing more than a concept five years ago is now rising to national prominence. “They were committed to creating the program here and starting football right,” head coach Larry Coker said, “and I thought it had a chance. “There’s no guarantees, but I thought it had a chance.”Coker, a former national champion head coach at Miami, is at the helm of the team with 37 seniors, the most in the country. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMany of them bought into a dream pitched to them five years ago when there wasn’t a football field to play on. They played well enough to advance the program into Conference USA and turn a projected last-place finish in 2013 into a 6-2 second-place one.That was just the opening act for the seniors’ grand finale. Coker and his veteran team are about to complete a four-year odyssey that started with a single football helmet and, they hope, concludes with more than 80 of them raised in the air celebrating a conference championship.Before Hickey was hired in 2000, she was asked in her interview with Romo if UTSA should have a football team. She rejected the idea. At that time the athletics program had 14 teams and a budget of only $1.2 million. She said adding a football program to that equation would have been outlandish. Not to mention the political, fiscal and social hurdles that would have to be cleared in order for the idea to gain any traction. So she waited.It was only a year later she said that the university experienced an explosion of growth with Romo announcing that UTSA was going to become a tier-one research institution to help fuel an enrollment growth from 16,000 to 32,000.“It became very obvious that (UTSA) had an identity problem,” Hickey said. “The kids wanted campus life.”The best selling T-shirt in the student center was one that read: “UTSA Football, Still Undefeated.” Of course, there was no football team at the time, but the cries for change were becoming louder. It was quite literally a culture shock for the kids who were raised on “Friday Night Lights,” only to come to a school in the heart of Texas and the seventh-largest city in the country and not see a football team.Hickey knew at the very least, Title IX regulations would have to be met before anything. She helped in the formation of the women’s golf and soccer teams, and the athletic department implemented a $20 student fee.Then Hurricane Katrina not only put the city of New Orleans out of commission, but it left an NFL team without a home.The Alamodome was built in 1993 with the intention of luring an NFL team to San Antonio. It was vacant when the storm struck in 2005, so the New Orleans Saints played there in San Antonio.The Saints’ short stay prompted significant business people in the area to rally around the idea of bringing a professional or college football team to San Antonio, Hickey said. The Alamodome being without a permanent resident, things started become all too apparent to Hickey and the UTSA staff, she said.“We always joked,” Hickey said, “that one hurricane blew in the Miami Hurricane, Larry Coker.”In 2006 Coker was ousted at Miami and took an analyst job at ESPN. He heard about the position at UTSA as the school began to publicize the job opening in 2008. He immediately acted upon his first instinct – dialing up good friend and Tulsa offensive line coach Denver Johnson to suggest he apply for the job.Johnson inquired about the position, and returned a phone call. That call went to Coker, and Johnson told his friend that in fact he was the one who should be applying.“I believe all of this was meant to happen,” Hickey said. ‘There’s been too many things that happened when they happened, and it wasn’t a coincidence.“What are the chances of a Larry Coker calling and telling us he was interested in the job?”Coker went through a series of interviews and ended up part of a narrowed-down field of three candidates. There was Northwest Missouri State coach Mel Tjeerdsma, Tulsa defensive coordinator Paul Randolph and Coker.“There was a chance everything could have fallen through,” Coker said, “but the chances of success were greater than the chance of failure.”Coker’s hiring was made official on March 6, 2009, and he’s been in go-mode since day one.Coker and his three newly hired assistant coaches immediately hit the recruiting trail. They sought out to recruit the best athletes regardless of what positions they played.“We realized we weren’t going to put Texas out of business with recruiting and competing against all those other schools,” Coker said. “But we said, ‘Hey, let’s just sell what we have, sell our dream, and if kids buy in then hey, we’ve got a chance.’”Nate Leonard was just a junior in high school when Coker dropped by one of his spring football practices. At the time Leonard was a fringe-Division I prospect, unsure if he could get an offer.When he heard about Coker and UTSA, it wasn’t something he was about to let pass up. He was left with an invitation to UTSA’s first-ever senior tryout camp in the Alamodome.“After I met and talked to Coach Coker for the first time at the camp,” Leonard said, “I knew he wanted to get to know more than just me. He wanted to know the people around me.“I knew if he cared that much about my family before he really knew me, how much would he care when he actually knows me and we are family?”Leonard turned his invitation to a 400-person high school senior tryout camp into the only scholarship offer he would receive — much like almost every other player who was recruited in the inaugural class of 18.The team practiced at a San Antonio Northside Independent School District field for a year. There were no facilities at UTSA.Leonard described the period of just practices for a season and holding those on a high school field as playing on “borrowed land.”The jerseys and equipment were also borrowed. The University of Texas and University of Texas-El Paso combined to send over 200 pieces of equipment for the Roadrunners to use.“We were just a rag-tag group of guys,” Leonard said. “What I love to tell people is that we were a group of guys who nobody wanted.“No one.”The players were expected to keep up with the fast pace of information being thrown at them by the coaching staff. Leonard said they were treated like salty veterans and thrown into the furnace. The canvas was blank. There was nothing to build off for Coker and Leonard — only room to create.And for a group of athletes who were playing for the football team that was likely their only shot at Division I football, they created an opportunity.“They told us that us original 18 were forged by fire,” Leonard said. “We were thrown right into the fire and forged.“We prove that every Saturday when we play.”Coker gave Leonard a recruiting pitch built on hopes and dreams, and bedazzled by the national championship ring on his finger.Now, that pitch is reinforced with top-notch facilities and a respectable conference to play in. The national championship ring still makes an occasional appearance, too.“I think he wears it around once in a while to give us an awakening and inspire us a little bit,” senior quarterback Tucker Carter said. “Plus it’s hard to miss that thing when he’s walking around.”The “rag-tag” group of seniors has plenty of reasons to play inspired. In what will be their final hurrah, this is the most complete team UTSA has fielded with five recruiting classes worth of talent. A diehard fan base that set an NCAA record for the largest single-season attendance for a start-up program — 56,743 — backs these players as much as the coaches that recruited them. The Roadrunners are ranked the 51st-best football program out of 128 Football Bowl Subdivision schools on Football Outsider’s F/+ rankings. They’re outperforming storied programs like West Virginia and California, both of which have been around much longer than four years.The motto this year is straight to the point, and might be considered a stretch for a program of any age: rings or bust.“Our dream from the beginning of when we got here was to win,” Leonard said. “That hasn’t changed and will not change. What it means to us this year is to win the conference and a bowl game.” Comments Published on September 11, 2014 at 12:08 am Contact Connor: [email protected] | @connorgrossmanlast_img read more

Nyantakyi: CAF ExCo agreed to conceal 2017 AFCON bid results

first_imgGhana Football Association President Kwesi Nyantakyi has exclusively told Joy Sports the decision to conceal the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations bid results was agreed at a CAF Executive Committee meeting.Caf has been heavily criticized for the lack of transparency in the voting process that saw Gabon who co-hosted the tournament with Equatorial Guinea in 2012 win the bid to host the next Afcon at the expense of Ghana and Algeria.Some officials of the Ghana bid committee have had causes to question the credibility of the voting process over allegations it lacks the requisite transparency.But Ghana FA President Kwesi Nyantakyi who serves on CAF’s Executive Committee says the decision to of not declaring the voting results cannot be an index in classifying the process as radically flawed and unfair. “It was agreed at a CAF Executive Committee meeting that the results of the votes [for AFCON hosting rights] is not published,” said Nyantakyi.“There is a feeling that reveal the results will cause some acrimony and therefore this issue was discussed at the meeting and majority of the membership agreed that the results are not revealed.” –last_img read more