Madagascar’s natural resources under siege

first_imgScientists are racing to preserve Madagascar’s trove of unique flora and fauna as deforestation threatens the African island’s diverse plant and animal wealth. And these riches keep growing as researches discover more and more endemic species in its rainforests.  Extinction of Madagascar’s lemurs would cause a ‘extinction cascade’ event scientists warn. (Image: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew)Sulaiman PhilipEcological researchers continue to discover new plant and animal species in Madagascar’s forests. In the last 15 years they have discovered 600 new species. According to a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report, 385 plants, 42 invertebrates, 17 fish, 69 amphibians, 61 reptiles and 41 mammals have been discovered on Madagascar.These species are found nowhere else on Earth and now they are under threat as farmers clear-cut the forests to make way for agriculture – or to sell the timber. In a country where most live on less than a dollar a day, the country’s biodiversity comes second to the need to earn a living and feed your family.Saving the island nation’s plant kingdom has become the enterprise of a team of botanists from the Royal Botanic Garden in Kew, England. The team, led by Solofo Eric Rakotoarisoa, trek into the forests, clamber up limestone cliffs and cross submerged roads to collect seeds to be stored in the Millennium Seed Bank at Kew Gardens. Seeds harvested in Madagascar are flown to the temperature controlled seed bank in Kew, England. (Image: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew) The project is a race against extinction. Once the seeds are collected, they are sorted and labelled, and then flown to the UK for safeguarding. In the freezer botanists have already stored 1 800 seeds from Madagascar’s 13 000 plant species.Since 2009, poverty, logging, mining and climate change have speeded up deforestation as the nation became poorer after former president Marc Ravalomanana was deposed and donor funding was suspended. Since the 1950s tavy, a slash and burn technique that clears forests for farming, charcoal production, and illegal logging, has led to four-fifths of the island’s forests being cleared.Rakotoarisoa has sounded the alarm. “It’s getting to the point where it’s really obvious the forests are disappearing. It’s getting worse and worse [the slash and burn clearances]; the poverty in Madagascar is increasing.”The aim of the Kew Gardens botanists is to create a storehouse of seeds that can be used to replace extinct plants. To head off that Armageddon, Madagascar’s population will need to understand the value of protecting the island’s biodiversity.As Mark Wright, a conservation adviser at WWF-UK, points out: “If they have no practical way of making a living, of course they are going to turn to the natural resources sector and see what they can get from that, and who wouldn’t do it?”Discoveries like the new species of wild coffee plant can be cultivated as a cash crop. Coffee, the most traded commodity after oil, would require protection of the remaining habitats while allowing families to earn a living.Love lemurs? Go see them nowKing Julien: “Don’t be alarmed, giant freaks! While you were asleep, we simply took you to our little corner of heaven. Welcome to Madagascar.” ‘Lemur’ means ghost in Latin, with wide-eyed, eerie stares and night time activity, it is easy to see how these spectre-like figures of Madagascar’s forests got their name. (Image: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew) Unlike the lemurs in the movie, Madagascar’s long-tailed primates are in danger of losing their habitat and becoming extinct. The suspension of donor funding after the 2009 coup has sped up the destruction of the country’s forests and the habitats of the fabled wildlife.After the coup, donors and lending agencies suspended or ended all non-humanitarian aid. Madagascar’s national park system received 80% of its budget from donors, and these sanctions devastated their ability to protect the island’s wildlife and plant life.Or, as lemur expert and president of Conservation International Russell A Mittermaier explained: “Madagascar’s real brand, the real competitive advantage, is this unique biodiversity. By cutting the funding, we’re not just hurting Madagascar, we’re hurting the world as a whole.”Lemurs represent Brand Madagascar. They offer the promise of observing rare species in their natural habitat, and experience in Africa – Rwanda and Uganda’s mountain gorilla programmes – show that eco-tourists are prepared to pay a premium for the privilege.Extinction of the lemur population would lead to what primatologist Christoph Schwitzer refers to as an extinction cascade. “Lemurs have important ecological and economic roles, and are essential to maintaining Madagascar’s unique forests through seed dispersal and attracting income through ecotourism.”Co-ordinated conservation is the best solution for Madagascar going forward Schwitzer believes. This would involve engagement with local communities, eco-tourism and long term-field research.Madagascar’s Maromizaha Forest is a model for the preservation of the island’s eco-system. Members of the local community have been trained to be guides for tourists eager to see one of the 13 species of lemur that make the forest home.Researchers have gone into local schools to teach children about the unique environment around them. And they have brought new, less destructive, methods of agriculture to local farmers. In the four years to 2011, the number of visitors to the Maromizaha Forest went from 200 to close to 3 000.The increase in visitors brings with it risks. Schwitzer says: “There’s always a trade-off between the destruction caused by too many tourists and the money they bring to the country that can be used for wildlife conservation. This balance for Madagascar is still very positive for conservation and it’s a long way until it may tip over.” Scientist predict 60% of 57 species unique to Madagascar are likely to find suitable habitat reduced by an average of 59.6% over the next 70 years, entirely due to climate change. (Image: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew)Madagascar, the paradise on EarthOne hundred and sixty million years ago, or thereabouts, Madagascar broke off from continental Africa. Over time the island nation has developed a distinct natural eco-system. Today 95% of its reptiles, 89% of its plant life and 92% of its mammal population exist nowhere else. This diversity has ecologists referring to Madagascar as the eighth continent.This unique menagerie includes more than 700 species of reptiles and amphibians. In Madagascar’s threatened rain forests visitors can find neon green geckos and tiny tree frogs that secrete toxins through their skin. Half of the world’s chameleon varieties have evolved on this speck – Madagascar is less than 0.5% of the Earth’s landmass, in the middle of the Indian Ocean.Mark Wright explained in a 2011 report: “It is a very odd island. In terms of its geography, it helps speciation. There’s a mountain ridge down the middle, so on the east of the island you’ve got rainforest, but everything on the west is a rain shadow. So you get an enormous variety of environments from the very wet to the very dry. It’s a fantastic range of environments into which species can adapt.”last_img read more

Efficient Windows

first_img9 Steps to A Greener CodeNew homes built using the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) or International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will be more energy efficient than ever. As a consequence, a builder’s world may become a bit more complex and, in some cases, a bit more expensive. STEP 6: EFFICIENT WINDOWSCode: N1102.1 In certain warm climates, the thermal performance of windows has been increased.What it means to you: Heat gain or heat loss from windows causes a significant loss of energy. Windows are rated by U-value, which is the inverse of R-value. The lower the number, the more efficient the window is at blocking heat flow. In climate zones 1 to 4, which are generally hotter in the summer, U-values have decreased, representing an increase in energy efficiency.Solar-heat-gain coefficients (SHGC) measure how well a window blocks heat from sunlight. these standards also have changed. SHGC is expressed by a number between 0 and 1. The smaller the number, the less solar heat is transmitted into a home. In hotter climates (1 to 4), the SHGC requirement has been reduced considerably, which reduces the stress on cooling equipment and overall home operating costs.The 2009 building codes reflect practices that not only increase energy efficiency—air-sealing measures and increased insulation, for example—but also address sustainable building practices, such as moisture control.Other segments of this series:Part 1: Air SealingPart 2: InsulationPart 3: LightingPart 4: Programmable ThermostatsPart 5: Insulating Mass WallsPart 6: Efficient WindowsPart 7: Insulating Mechanical PipesPart 8: Exceeding the Energy CodePart 9: Vapor Retarderslast_img read more

A Plethora of Building Science Conferences

first_imgI love going to conferences. Since I changed my career in 2004, I’ve gone to building science, green building, and home performance conferences nearly every year. (I think I missed 2006, but I had a lot going on then.) Last year I went to eleven of them, but then I’m a bit unusual.You certainly don’t have to go to that many, but if you’re a home builder, home performance contractor, or home energy pro, I do recommend going to one conference a year so you can keep up with the latest trends, talk to your peers, and maybe add some arrows to your quiver.Since we’re at the beginning of the year, I thought I’d give you a roundup of some good conferences you might consider attending. I can’t cover everything, of course, so I’ll highlight the ones I know most about plus some that I’m going to this year for the first time. Let’s take a look.Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA)This is a new one for me. I’m going for the first time this year, and the conference is in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’ve written a fair amount about spray foam insulation here in this blog and am going to the conference to learn more about it and get the industry perspective on it. This is a specialized conference mainly for those who work with spray foam rather than a general building science conference, but spray foam has gotten to be an important part of green building and home performance.The big thing I want to learn there is what’s going on with the California Department of Toxic Substance Control and their profile of spray foam as a toxic substance. I’ll be talking with Rick Duncan, PhD, PE, the technical director of SPFA, and others about the issue while I’m there and will write it up afterward. I’m also looking forward to finding out about SPFA’s new certifications for installers, inspectors, and SPF companies.While I’m in New Mexico next week, I’ll also be spending some time in Santa Fe (gotta get two more days of skiing in!) and will be speaking at the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association Green Building Council lunch next Wednesday, 27 January. The topic will be whether or not photovoltatics have killed solar thermal, as Martin Holladay proclaimed in his recent blog.Dates: January 26-29, 2015Location: Albuquerque, New MexicoConference website: SPFA Convention & ExpoForum on Dry Climate Home PerformanceThis is a small, invitation-only event put on through the volunteer efforts of some of my favorite people in the industry: Mike MacFarland, Gavin Healy, Dan Perunko, Rick Chitwood, and Gary Klein. I went last year for the first time and got so much out of it that I’m returning again for a second dose. And I’m a humid climate guy!Last year I heard and wrote about the Stockton research project, Chitwood’s idea that home builders should pay the energy bills, Mike MacFarland’s work on intelligent defrost for heat pumps, and Dr. Vi Rapp’s takedown of the worst-case depressurization test.Great conference! Great people! Great venue! (It’s at the Tenaya Lodge on the edge of Yosemite National Park.) If you can wrangle an invitation, you won’t be sorry.Dates: February 9-11, 2015Location: Fish Camp, CaliforniaConference website: Forum on Dry Climate Home PerformanceRESNETThe first conference I went to when I jumped into the home energy field was this one. I took the home energy rater class in the fall of 2003 and signed up for the 2004 RESNET conference shortly afterward. It was much smaller then than it is now, but it packed a wallop. I went to talks by some of the same people who are leaders in the HERS rating field, and I heard what may have been the first public talk about the then-under-development LEED for Homes program.I’ve been to the last six RESNET conferences, dating back to New Orleans in 2009, and it’s definitely a big one for anyone involved with HERS ratings. I won’t be there this year, but Jeffrey Sauls, who runs our QA providership, will be.Dates: February 16-18, 2015Location: San Diego, CaliforniaConference website: RESNET ConferenceBuilding Energy (NESEA)This one’s in Boston, and in case you didn’t know, there are a lot of smart people up there. When I lived in the Philadelphia area, I heard this joke: Philly is for people who are too afraid to live in New York and not smart enough to live in Boston. After years of looking at the brochures, I finally went to the Northeast’s premier energy efficiency conference last year and was impressed.My big takeaway from the 2014 BE conference might surprise you. I found out that New Englanders love heat pumps. Well, at least it’s true for those who use them in homes with really good building enclosures. A few of the smart people who present at this conference are Marc Rosenbaum, Andy Shapiro, Michael Blasnik, Suzanne Shelton, and Kohta Ueno. This year, the opening plenary topic is “Rethinking the Grid,” a great topic that fits right into the emphasis on net zero energy homes at this year’s conference.Passive House is also on the schedule, as Adam Cohen and Katrin Klingenberg are doing workshops, and I’m sure PHIUS will have a booth at the trade show again. And speaking of Passive House, another interesting session will be Dr. John Straube presenting on spray foam with two anti-foam guys: Tristan Roberts and Ken Levenson.Dates: March 3-5, 2015Location: Boston, Mass.Conference website: Building Energy 15Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA)I was there two years ago when they were in Tucson, Arizona, and this year they’re back in the same place. It’s a nice little specialty conference for those who work with SIPs. If you want to learn the latest about this building system and talk to people who work with SIPs every day, this is the conference for you.Their 2015 schedule isn’t out yet, but based on my attendance there two years ago, I imagine they’ll again have a well-rounded slate of presentations, from case studies to marketing advice to technical sessions. If you like golf at your conferences (personally, I’d much rather have a conference preceded by two days of skiing, which is exactly what I’m doing next week at the SPFA conference), they’ve got you covered. They host a golf tournament on the first day.Dates: March 30 – April 1, 2015Location: Tucson, ArizonaConference website: SIPA ConferenceAir Barrier Association of America (ABAA)I’m going to this one for the first time this year, primarily because the organization intrigues me. It’s a whole organization devoted to one very important part of the building enclosure — although I can’t see how they avoid getting involved with the other control layers, especially since air barrier materials sometimes serve as water vapor and liquid water control layers as well.At this point, I have no idea what presentations I’ll hear or who will be speaking. As I said, I’m intrigued, but I also want to learn more about materials this year, especially liquid-applied control layers.Dates: April 6-8, 2015Location: Dallas, TexasConference website: ABAA ConferenceAffordable Comfort (ACI)The big two conferences for home energy raters and auditors are RESNET and ACI. I’ve been to both several times. I’ll be back at ACI this year — Are you kidding?! It’s in New Orleans! I wouldn’t miss that.This one focuses more on home performance — assessing and fixing existing homes. Lots of smart folks go to this one, too: Michael Blasnik, John Proctor, Joe Lstiburek (occasionally). It’s also a good one for women in the industry because of their work to promote and help women in home performance. Linda Wigington, Tamasin Sterner, Ann Edminster, and Courtney Moriarta are great examples for women interested in becoming home energy pros.The schedule isn’t out yet, but I hope it will include the session that Kristof Irwin and I proposed: The Fundamentals of Psychrometrics.As if you needed another reason, this year’s conference is the weekend after Jazz Fest, and you can get the conference rate for your hotel room starting on that weekend. You might want to do that sooner rather than later, though, if you want to take advantage of that deal.Dates: May 5-7, 2015Location: New Orleans, LouisianaConference website: 2015 ACI ConferenceWestford Symposium on Building ScienceHands down, this is my favorite conference of the year. It’s an invitation-only event, but if you can get in, you’re treated to talks by some of the smartest people in the business. This is Joe Lstiburek’s baby, and he started it in 1997 as a small event to get his employees at Building Science Corporation educated by the “old guys” who knew so much: Gus Handegord, Don Onysko, and Don Gatley, to name a few.It’s grown a bit since the early days, when there were a couple dozen people and Joe grilled food for the attendees. Now, there are over 400 attendees, a commercial kitchen headed by Pete Consigli, and the party starts on Saturday and goes through at least Wednesday night. I’ve heard that it continues on Thursday but haven’t had the stamina to go that long.I’ve written about it here each of the past five years, beginning with the article that got me invited, I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Building Science Summer Camp! Dates: August 3-5, 2015Location: Westford, Mass.Conference website: BSC SeminarsNote: Invitation onlyNorth American Passive House ConferenceThe longest-running and largest of the Passive House conferences on this side of the pond, this one is hosted by the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS, for which I serve as a member of the board of directors). I’ve been to the past three, beginning with the conference in Denver in 2012, where I learned about Passive House triple-pane windows, the debate over hygrothermal modeling, and how it’s best not to try to keep up with a certain Scotch whisky lover.This conference has some of the best building science discussions of any that I attend. There’s a reason why Joe Lstiburek said, “Passive House is the only place where real innovation is happening.” With PHIUS now forging its own, climate-specific standard, the innovation continues. This year, the conference goes to Chicago, where PHIUS has its headquarters.Dates: September 9-13, 2015Location: Chicago, IllinoisConference website: NAPHC 2015Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA)I’ve been to EEBA once, back in 2009 when it was in Denver. This year it’s in Denver again. It’s a nice, smaller conference, with more emphasis on green building than home performance. It is a home builders’ group, after all. I think it used to be a bigger deal back the last millennium when it and ACI were the two main conferences.Dates: October 6-8, 2015Location: Denver, ColoradoConference website: EEBA ConferenceAir Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA)ACCA has two conferences for you: their main conference, which is near Dallas, Texas this year, and the smaller, newer Building Performance Forum. I’ve been to both, and they offer different experiences. If you want to find out about the latest HVAC whiz bang trends, go to the main conference. The trade show alone may be worth the price of admission. If you’re an HVAC contractor looking to move into the building performance arena, go to the Building Performance Forum. Both are good.Dates: March 16-18, 2015Location: Grapevine, Texas (near Dallas)Conference website: ACCA Building Performance ForumDates: TBD (usually in October)Conference website: ACCA (Main) ConferenceBuilding Science Corporation’s Experts’ SessionThis is a smaller, winter version of Building Science Summer Camp, sort of. The first year I went (2012), Joe Lstiburek and several others covered the topic of spray foam insulation. The second day, John Straube did a solo performance on the topic of mechanical systems for low-load buildings. That was also when Joe and I made the video about his crazy invention, the Thermo Turbo Encabulator Max (photo below).It used to be in December, but because Joe starts skiing in Colorado at the beginning of December, this one’s now moved up to November. It’s two days, and usually has two separate topics for the two days. Last year it was hygrothermal modeling and leak-testing windows.Dates: TBDLocation: Westford, Mass.Conference website: BSC Experts’ SessionRegional conferencesIn addition to all those conferences, you’ve got a host of regional conferences to choose from. ACI puts on regional home performance conferences in several parts of the country. My friend Peter Troast of Energy Circle goes to all of them.Last year I spoke at the Midwest Residential Energy Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, scheduled for March 9-11. (Yeah, I usually think of Kentucky as southern, too, but evidently they see themselves as part of the Midwest.) That one’s great for a couple of other reasons, too: horses and bourbon. It’s also where I got to see the solar house Richard Levine built in the ’70s.The Energy Center of Wisconsin puts on two great conferences called Better Buildings: Better Business. They do one outside of Madison, Wisconsin (March 11-13) and another near Chicago (February 26-27). I spoke at the latter in 2013 and found it to be a great regional conference with a lot of great speakers: Peter Yost, John Straube, and Scott Pigg, to name a few.Southface puts on the annual Greenprints conference right here in Atlanta. It’s scheduled for March 11-12 this year.The North Carolina Building Performance Association (NCBPA), a brand new organization, held its first conference last November in Asheville. The 2015 NCBPA conference they’re having it in Wilmington on September 1-3.On top of those, utilities sometimes have their conferences. I recently attended Georgia Power’s annual home energy rater conference. If you’re involved with a utility energy efficiency program, check to see if they have something.A plethora of choicesWhew! That’s a lot of conferences. I’ve written quite a bit about conferences in this space before but hadn’t undertaken a somewhat comprehensive writeup until now. No, I haven’t covered them all. With the exception of the ACI regional conferences, I’ve either attended or will be attending this year each of the events above.A few that I haven’t been to yet and don’t have plans to attend this year are the International Builders’ Show (IBS, which was this week in Las Vegas), the U.S. Green Building Council’s GreenBuild, the AHR Expo (which is next week in Chicago), and Habitat X.I will say something about Habitat X here, though, because my friend Dale Sherman is a big fan of that one and said this to me in an e-mail: “HabitatX is where I get hear about, talk about, and dream up innovative ways to push the home performance industry in new directions. Bring your wild and creative ideas and this conference will integrate it with other wild and creative ideas and build the road map for implementation.”ASHRAE meetings are also in the mix, and I’ve been to one of those so far. They seem to be a different animal than any of the others I mentioned above. Based on my limited experience, they seem to be a combination of academic conference and working meeting, with an emphasis on the latter. This is where a lot of ASHRAE’s standards work gets done, as each committee has several meetings over a period of days.Let’s not forget the role building codes play in all this, too. I haven’t been to any of these yet, but my friend Mike Barcik, who is heavily involved in codes, goes regularly. The U.S. Department of Energy is hosting the National Energy Codes Conference this spring (March 23-26) in Nashville, Tennessee, and I’m sure there are others.And then there’s another category related to building science that I haven’t explored at all yet, and that’s the indoor air quality and health-related conferences. Brent Stephens, an IAQ researcher at  recommends the Healthy Buildings Conference in Boulder, Colorado, which happens July 19-22.What else did I miss? What’s your favorite conference and why? Which ones are you going to this year? Tell me in the comments below. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.last_img read more

10 months agoJuventus move to trump Bayern Munich for Hudson-Odoi

first_imgJuventus move to trump Bayern Munich for Hudson-Odoiby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveJuventus have moved to trump Bayern Munich for Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi.The Mirror says the Italians are also hoping to launch a last-minute raid for Chelsea wonderkid Hudson-Odoi , to try to steal him from under the noses of the German giants.Juventus have held talks with Hudson-Odoi’s representatives, but the 18-year-old Chelsea starlet is believed to favour Bayern amid his contract stand-off at Stamford Bridge. Bayern’s Bundesliga rivals Red Bull Leipzig are also keen.Hudson-Odoi has seen England age-groups star Jadon Sancho’s success since joining Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City in 2017, which has left him believing Bayern and the Bundesliga would be a good switch. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Photo: Pitt’s “Oakland Zoo” Botched The Tyler Roberson Section Of Its Heckling Cheat Sheet

first_imgOakland Zoo messed up the Tyler Roberson section of its heckling cheap sheet.The Petersen Events Center is one of the hardest places to play in college basketball, and Pitt’s student section, the “Oakland Zoo,” is a big reason why. The Zoo is virtually on top of the court, and like many of the nation’s other top student sections, they get very creative with their heckling. Unfortunately, today doesn’t seem to be their day, at least when it comes to the “cheat sheet” for the game against rival Syracuse.The Oakland Zoo’s cheat sheet on the Syracuse players. Names of players’ girlfriends and moms!— Syracuse Basketball (@syrbasketball) February 7, 2015Including mothers and girlfriends is a bit questionable, but the Zoo is far from the only student section to do that. However, the whole basis for taunts against starting forward Tyler Roberson is a mess.robersonzooIn its cheat sheet, the @OaklandZoo mocked Tyler Roberson for spelling his name wrong on Twitter. Problem is: the Zoo spelled it Robertson— Syracuse Basketball (@syrbasketball) February 7, 2015When making fun of someone for misspelling his own name, you should probably make sure you have it right first.last_img read more

Intensity passion fueled Spielmans fire

From recent stars James Laurinaitis and A.J. Hawk to past greats like Tom Cousineau and Randy Gradishar, Ohio State’s linebacking corps can perennially be discussed as one of the nation’s best.And when it comes to college linebackers past and present, few rival Chris Spielman.“There is no question he is one of the best,” said Jack Park, author of The Official Ohio State Football Encyclopedia. “I can’t imagine anybody picking the top 25 players in football history at Ohio State and not including Chris Spielman in that group.”A Canton, Ohio, native, hype began surrounding Spielman in high school when his play made him the first high school athlete to land his face on a Wheaties box.In 1984, Spielman traded in his Massillon Washington High School uniform for scarlet and gray to begin what would prove to be an illustrious college football career at OSU.Both Park and Jim Karsatos, former OSU quarterback and teammate of Spielman, agreed that Spielman’s intensity set him apart.“Chris Spielman had an intensity as great as probably any football player I have ever studied or known,” Park said. “He had an intensity about him as a player that was almost unequaled.”As a freshman, Spielman wasted little time proving his intensity and passion for the game to his teammates and the Buckeye faithful.“In practice he worked as hard as anybody out there,” Karsatos said. “His intensity was contagious, even as a younger player, and the older guys fed off of that.”By his sophomore year in 1985, Spielman began to establish himself as a household name and a force to be reckoned with on the “silver bullet” defense.The play that sticks out the most in Park’s mind came in a game that year in which Spielman had 19 tackles.It was a game that pinned the Buckeyes against the No. 1-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes in the Horseshoe for what Park called one of the greatest OSU victories of all time.“It was a fourth-down play and Iowa gave it to their tailback,” Park said. “Chris made the tackle and that really started to seal the game.”“Spielman made a lot of big plays when the team needed it the most,” he said.Chris continued to make big plays over the next two seasons, as he finished his college career with 546 tackles, good for third all-time at OSU. He finished in the top 10 in Heisman voting each of his last two years, almost unprecedented at the linebacker position.“On the field, he was all over the place and he had a great nose for the ball,” Karsatos said. “He could make big plays when we needed them and on the sideline he was just as intense and kept everybody up and into the game.”Spielman exhibited his nose for the ball on the grandest of stages, including the 1986 Michigan game. He made 29 tackles that afternoon, the OSU record for most tackles in a game.“They already knew what kind of player Chris was and knew they had to block him,” Karsatos said. “For him to get in on that many tackles in that kind of football game was pretty incredible.”Following his senior season in 1987, Spielman left OSU as one of the most decorated linebackers in program history, receiving the OSU Most Valuable Player and the Lombardi Award, along with being a three-time All-Big Ten honoree and two-time All-American.Retired from a successful NFL career that included four Pro Bowl appearances, Spielman, a recent inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, now co-hosts a Columbus sports talk radio show.Along with his work on the radio, Spielman has continued to write his legacy in the Columbus community through the efforts of him and his late wife Stefanie establishing the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research in 1998.Since its inception, the Stefanie Spielman Fund has raised over $6.5 million for breast cancer research at OSU’s James Cancer Hospital.“He will always be remembered as one of the really great football players,” Park said. “But I think years from now when people look back and say ‘what is the legacy of Chris Spielman,’ it will be what he has done for other people through the James (Cancer Hospital).” read more

Lightning strikes twice Moeller out for second straight season

Tyler Moeller is no stranger to bad luck. Perhaps that’s how he knew more of it was coming when he suited up to play Illinois on Saturday. While the senior defensive back was pulling up his uniform pants, he could feel a tweak on the left side of his chest that had bothered him since partially tearing his left pectoral muscle in 2008. By his own count, he’s partially torn the muscle 10 to 12 times during the last two-and-a-half years. Those injuries never fully healed, and Moeller could sense that it was only a matter of time before it would cost him. “I kind of thought it was a ticking time bomb,” Moeller said. “Something big was going to happen eventually.” Sure enough, something did happen. During Illinois’ opening drive, Moeller tried to wrap up Illini running back Mikel Leshoure. Moeller’s left arm was pulled back violently as the hard-charging Leshoure burst through his arm tackle. Before hitting the turf, he could feel the muscle rip from the bone. As he got up and rushed toward the sidelines, Moeller knew his fate. “I knew it was totally torn when it happened,” Moeller said. “I ran off the field, and the trainers didn’t even have to tell me what was wrong. I knew what was wrong.” Moeller had completely torn his left pectoral muscle, finishing his season and possibly his career at Ohio State. The NCAA must grant him a medical redshirt and a sixth year of eligibility for him to return. But none of that news could dim the radiant smile Moeller wore on his face as he addressed the media on the eve of his surgery Tuesday night, accepting his latest misfortune. “Bad things happen,” Moeller said. “You have to keep your head up and you have to work hard. Then you can overcome everything.” Moeller, who missed all of last season with head injuries he sustained during an attack in Florida, will have to overcome another setback. “It’s really sad for a guy to be able to put so much work into something and have it taken away twice in a row,” defensive tackle Dexter Larimore said. “It is kind of tough for everybody on the team, especially since he was a great player for us and did some great things.” The injury comes just as his career was finally taking off. Before Moeller came to OSU in 2006, he was a relentless pass rusher at Colerain High School in Cincinnati. He spent his Friday nights wreaking havoc in the offensive backfield, recording 15.5 sacks and 29 tackles for loss as a senior. But questions regarding his 6-foot-1-inch, 210-pound stature clouded the outlook of his future. Seen as too big to play safety but too small to play linebacker, Moeller developed into a solid defender on special teams during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. “I wanted to be a linebacker,” Moeller said. “I always had the mentality. I wish I had the mentality to play safety because linebacker kind of beat me up.” During the summer of 2008, Moeller partially tore his left pectoral muscle for the first time. Unable to fix the injury with surgery and too focused on the season to bother with rehab, Moeller essentially played 2008 with only one functioning arm. “I was younger then, so I wasn’t as intelligent as I am now,” Moeller said. “If I could do it again, I would definitely rehab it a lot more.” He made his first career start at linebacker, strangely enough, against Illinois in 2008. He recorded seven tackles, including two for a loss and forced a fumble. Before the 2009 season, Moeller was expected to win a starting linebacker job, even though doubts about his chest problems and size still lingered. But those issues would prove to be the least of his troubles. On July 26, 2009, Moeller was with his family in Florida to celebrate his grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. He doesn’t remember much else from that night. While eating at Gators Cafe and Saloon in Treasure Island, Moeller was punched in the face by Ralph Gray Decker, 28, of Kenneth City, Fla., in what was described as an “unprovoked” attack by an assistant state attorney. The back of Moeller’s head smacked against the ground as he fell, leaving him to spend the coming days fighting for his life in a Florida intensive care unit. Details of the altercation with Decker remain murky because of legal issues, but on June 3, Decker pleaded guilty to assaulting Moeller and in August was sentenced to two years of probation. He’s paid the Moeller family more than $11,000 in medical expenses. After the attack, Moeller had severe memory loss and trouble speaking. Doctors learned there was bleeding in his brain and had to drill two dime-sized holes into his skull, which now has a metal plate. Moeller said the surgery had him worried for his life, even if only for a little bit. “I was worried in the beginning, going into surgery,” Moeller said. “But after surgery I knew I was fine and was going to be OK.” Even though some doctors suggested he should’ve ended his football career, Moeller’s passion for the game wouldn’t let him stop. “Why would I want to keep playing? Because I love it,” Moeller said. “I love the game of football.” He spent the next few months preparing for his return to the football field. Unable to train for more than seven months, he spent most of his time away from the football team, focusing on his school work. He couldn’t participate in any contact drills until summer practice, but by the time the season started, coach Jim Tressel had a spot for him that would maximize the speed and physicality of the undersized Moeller. Inserted at the “star” position, which is a hybrid between a linebacker and a defensive back, Moeller’s tenacity resurfaced immediately during the season-opener against Marshall as he registered seven tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. It was good enough to earn him Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. Moeller would spend the next three games harassing the offensive backfield unlike any time since high school, recording 12 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss during that span. But his comeback would be cut short after his season-ending injury against Illinois. And even though the injury isn’t comparable to the one he suffered at the hands of Decker, the two injuries are related. Because of the brain surgery, Moeller was unable to exert himself physically enough to treat the lingering pectoral damage he suffered in 2008, leaving him vulnerable to more damage. He hasn’t bench pressed in two years. The Moeller family has forgiven Decker for his crime. Tyler, who no longer suffers from short-term memory loss, said he’s moved on from the attack. “I don’t really think about it anymore,” Moeller said. “If he’s sorry or not, I don’t really care. I wish him all the best. I hope he controls his inner demons.” The Buckeyes’ loss of Moeller can’t be understated. As one of the most effective pass rushers and leaders on the team, Tressel knows he won’t be easy to replace. “You just feel sick for him because you saw the pain he was in last year not being able to help his teammates and now he was, and now he was having fun,” Tressel said. “So, yeah, it’s very disappointing and obviously it hurts us.” Moeller won’t be able to train for the next three months but he expects to be much more involved with the team this year and help freshman Christian Bryant take over his role at the “star” position. Regardless of whether his career as a Buckeye is over, the ever-resilient Moeller expects to play football again at an even greater level. “I know I can play at that caliber level, and if I can get a medical redshirt, I’ll be better than ever,” Moeller said. “I’ll have a chest to work with and my legs will be stronger.” As unlucky as Moeller has been for the last two years, he refuses to let bitterness consume him. Moeller thrives on confidence, even while on the road to recovery. It’s a road he knows very well. read more

Ohio State mens basketballs Deshaun Thomas determined to shoot his way out

You didn’t think he would stop shooting, did you? Deshaun Thomas is in a slump. During Ohio State’s final two games of the Big Ten Tournament – wins against Michigan State and Wisconsin – the junior forward shot a combined 12-38 from the field. How does the Big Ten’s regular season scoring champion plan on getting himself out of his recent funk? By doing what nearly everyone who knows Thomas expects him to do: keep on shooting. “I do shoot my way out (of slumps). Just keep shooting. I want one to go down so bad,” a noticeably frustrated Thomas said Wednesday. At this time of the season, though, in a lose-and-go-home situation, can No. 2 seed OSU afford to have a potentially cold Thomas take the majority of the team’s shots? Well, yes and no. Yes if Thomas improves his shot selection. No if he jacks up jumpers similar to the ones he was taking at the United Center this past weekend. “The shots I’ve taken, they’re questionable. Well, some of them,” Thomas said. “(OSU’s coaches said) the bad shots you’ve taken, they’re killing your percentage.” Thomas averaged 17.3 points per game in Chicago and was named to the tournament’s first team alongside junior guard Aaron Craft, the Most Outstanding Player. But he shot 17-47 (36 percent) and 3-20 (15 percent) from 3-point range, well below his season averages of 44 percent and 34 percent, respectively. Tuesday, coach Thad Matta and his assistants began to break down film from their recent conference tournament run. One aspect of their review was trying to figure out what Thomas could improve on to better his shooting percentage. Their solution was fairly simple: for Thomas to stop forcing the issue. “The coaches have told me when a defender flies out, put it on the floor, pump fake, then shoot it,” Thomas said. “I’ve been really working on the percentage because the bad shots are killing my percentage.” Thomas’ teammates haven’t lost any confidence in their go-to scoring weapon. Following OSU’s 50-43 victory against Wisconsin in the tournament championship, in which Thomas shot 6-for-19, redshirt senior forward Evan Ravenel quickly brushed off any doubts surrounding his teammate. Ravenel said Thomas could just as easily “been 18 of 19.” Matta points to the critical shot of the game against MSU in the conference tournament’s semifinal as evidence for reason to be confident in his junior star. With OSU up two points, Thomas hit a jumper from the left elbow with 25 seconds remaining in the contest to all but secure a Buckeye victory. “When we needed one, he got it,” Matta said. It was NCAA Tournament time last season, after all, when Thomas skyrocketed from a capable scoring option to one of the country’s premier offensive players. During OSU’s Final Four run last year, Thomas averaged 19.2 points per game in five NCAA Tournament contests. He was named to the tournament’s All-East Region team following big games against Cincinnati and Syracuse. Thomas’ play vaulted him into NBA Draft talk before the Indiana native decided to return to Columbus for his junior year. Matta said he expects the experience Thomas and his team gained last March and April to pay dividends in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. “We talked about that as well,” Matta said. “Last year doesn’t give you a point, doesn’t give you a rebound, but it heightens your awareness a little bit of what it takes.” Thomas wasn’t the focus of opposing team’s defenses last season, however. Former OSU forward and two-time all-American Jared Sullinger received the majority of the attention from the defenses the Buckeyes faced. Thomas benefited greatly from it, often being on the receiving end of a kick-out pass from a double-teamed Sullinger. “Me and Jared, we played well together, two (big men), we read the defense, we knew when to pass it to each other,” Thomas said. “It was pretty much, pretty easy to score last year because everybody was focusing on him. I was just sitting back, being patient.” It’s different for Thomas now, who has become the player opposing teams like to double down on. “I try to be as patient as I can … Then again, I’m just trying to win,” Thomas said. He’s handled the pressure all season, leading the Buckeyes, and the Big Ten, in scoring at 19.5 points a game. Despite recent less-than-usual performances, Thomas said he is ready as ever to help propel OSU to a second Final Four in as many years. “I feel locked in. I’m just going to be ready. Whatever play is drawn up for me, I’m going to be ready to shoot,” he said. Thomas had, not surprisingly, just finished doing one of his favorite things. “I just got done putting shots up, they were going in. I’m just going to continue with my routine,” he said. OSU is set to take on No. 15 seed Iona at 7:15 p.m. in Dayton Friday. If the Buckeyes can get past the Gaels, they will take on the winner of the game between No. 7 seed Notre Dame and No. 10 seed Iowa State Sunday. With two wins, OSU will advance to the West Region semifinal, and possible final, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. read more

Softball Ohio State travels to take on struggling Pittsburgh

Ohio State senior shortstop Lilli Piper (22) fires the ball to first during a double play against Indiana on March 24 at Buckeye Field. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternAfter two wins and a loss against Maryland, the Ohio State softball team will head to Vartabedian Field to take on Pittsburgh at 4 p.m. this Wednesday. The Buckeyes recorded their 20th win of the season against the Terrapins, and sit at a 20-10 record, going 5-1 in the Big Ten. Pitt, on the other hand, has a 5-28 season record and is 2-10 during conference play. Ohio State has defeated the Panthers the past two seasons, including a 5-1 victory in 2018. The Buckeyes hold a 14-4 advantage in the all-time series against the Panthers.Pitt comes in as the winner of its most recent game, defeating North Carolina 14-5 in five innings. The Panthers had lost their past seven games prior to the matchup, scoring a combined 22 runs over the stretch, nine of which came against Ohio on March 19.Panthers sophomore outfielder/infielder Hunter Levesque is having a strong season despite the tough record, recording a team-leading .276 batting average and 16 RBI this season. A strength for Pitt comes with its power. The Panthers have hit 26 home runs this season, four more than Ohio State. Freshman outfielder/infielder Katelyn Pavlick leads the team with six home runs.The major difference between the two teams comes from the pitching. While Ohio State has maintained a 1.81 team ERA this season, Pitt has not had the same success, combining for a 6.92 ERA so far this year.Redshirt sophomore pitcher/infielder Brittany Knight has the most starts for the Panthers with 13, but holds a 2-14 record with a 6.39 ERA, allowing 91 earned runs in 99.2 innings of work.Pitt’s pitching rotation has allowed 39 home runs on the season, while Ohio State’s has allowed seven.Senior shortstop Lilli Piper has begun to heat up for the Buckeyes as of late, coming into the matchup against the Panthers with a nine-game on-base streak. Piper holds a .355 batting average, highest among players on the team with more than five at-bats, and a team-leading 11 stolen bases.Piper currently ranks tied for No. 3 in program history with 41 home runs, No. 8 with 129 RBI and No. 2 with a .403 batting average over her four years with Ohio State.Ohio State goes on the road to take on Pittsburgh at 4 p.m. Wednesday. read more

Emery praises Arsenal teenage star Bukayo Saka

first_imgArsenal manager Unai Emery was full of praise for Bukayo Saka’s “big personality” after their 1-0 Europa League win against Qarabag FKThe 17-year-old winger made his full debut for the Arsenal senior team on Thursday night and impressed greatly in the second-half at the Emirates Stadium.In fact, Saka nearly capped off a superb performance by becoming the club’s youngest goalscorer in Europe after shooting the ball into Qarabag goalkeeper Vagner’s face in the dying moments.“Every young player, we have the responsibility to give them chances, first to train with us and to be demanding with their performances,” said Emery on“We give them these chances in the games like today, when we can do that. They show us in every match positive things.“Today Saka also played with a good performance, with a very big personality and we were speaking at half-time.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“His personality is very important for us to continue trying to go 1v1 and break lines with his quality.“He played with a very big personality and sometimes with a very good performance.“It’s very important for his confidence and for us also, because we can look at this player and see quality to help us.”Alexandre Lacazette scored the only goal of the game as Arsenal finished as Group E winners with 16 points from six games.The Gunners will next take a trip to St Mary’s to face Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.last_img read more