The Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures (CSLC) kicked off a campus-wide Humans vs. Vampires competition Tuesday, which will revamp the popular Humans vs. Zombies game by incorporating foreign language elements. The CSLC version celebrates Bram Stoker’s Dracula, one of literature’s most widely translated texts.Similar to a game of tag, Humans vs. Vampires pits two teams against each other. The humans and vampires, each designated by bandanas, compete as they walk from class to class. Vampires try to tag humans with the ultimate goal of turning every human into a vampire by the end of five days. Humans can defend themselves using Nerf guns or balled up socks to stun vampires.An advertisement for the game invited students to “celebrate the Dracula story and legend, solve riddles in foreign languages and survive a vampire invasion.”Denise Ayo, assistant director for academic programs for the CSLC, said she first had the idea to link the popular game with foreign language studies during a conversation with a fellow faculty member about the many translations of Dracula.“Humans vs. Zombies is a game played at college campuses across the country,” Ayo said. “I knew it was played here on Notre Dame’s campus. I figured [the CSLC] could sponsor this event and shift it a little to suit our language purposes. After all, vampires and zombies aren’t all that different.”Junior Erik Mendoza, one of the moderators for this fall’s game, said he was excited about the new relationship between the CSLC and Humans vs. Vampires and the hope it provides for the game’s future on campus.“Humans vs. Zombies has been around for almost four years now,” Mendoza said. “Through our cooperation with the CSLC, we have access to new resources and a more stable base for the future of the event.”According to the CSLC website, the Humans vs. Vampires game at Notre Dame will last from Tuesday through Sunday. Additionally, there will be games or missions held every night, providing chances for players to win rewards and advantages for their team.According to Ayo, the eight student moderators added foreign language elements to the nightly missions in order to raise awareness of the 13 foreign language majors and minors offered at Notre Dame.“We’re really excited about this event,” Ayo said. “It’s helping to bring attention to the importance of language learning. The College of Arts and Letters is highly committed to making this language learning more central to a student’s education.”The event will conclude with a public reading of Dracula in multiple languages Monday in the LaFortune Ballroom at 5.pm. Awards will be given to the player with the most tags, MVPs from the missions and the players with the best costumes.Mendoza said that he expects there to be about 150 students participating in Humans vs. Vampires.“Humans vs. Vampires is a fun and exhilarating game,” Mendoza said. “I’ve met some of my best friends through it, and I know plenty of people who look forward to this single week for an entire semester. It’s a great time, the community is nice, and we’re always looking for more people to join the undead legion.”Tags: CSLC, Dracula, humans, vampires
We’re all aware that 2021 could be a lean year for earnings, given that loan losses are expected to increase, the low rate environment is expected to continue, and the unknowns seem to outnumber the knowns for the pandemic and the economy.Many organizations are in expense control or cost-cutting mode. One of the challenges, beyond the obvious, is how to get your team on board with the decisions that are being made. Making equal cuts across departments might seem like the best way to avoid “being unfair,” but it’s rarely the best path for the organization as a whole.Strategy and reality are the filters. When making tough decisions, your strategy must be paramount. Think long and hard about any cuts that could chip away at your business model, the ability to generate income, acquire members, cross-sell or the member experience. As you consider, ask how long these decisions will have an impact, and what they might do to your competitive position in the future. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr This post is currently collecting data… This is placeholder text continue reading »
He added that this would lead to further re-distributions of assets from active to retired members, as pension payouts that are already running cannot be adjusted in Switzerland.Zanella said the “mistake” had not revealed itself to date because good returns had helped fill pension funds’ buffers.But now, in a low interest and low-yield environment, he said there was “urgent need for action” – both from pension funds and politicians.A recent pension fund survey by Aon Hewitt found that most Swiss pension funds are still using so-called ‘period mortality tables’, where an unchanging increase in longevity is assumed.At the presentation of the study in Zurich, Marianne Frei, actuarial expert at the consultancy, said only a handful of schemes were using generation mortality tables, allowing for changes in longevity assumptions.Ljudmila Bertschi, pension fund expert at Towers Watson, urged pension funds to adjust their longevity assumptions to better reflect the make-up of their membership.She pointed out that highly qualified males, for example, which have higher pension benefits on average, also had a 20% lower mortality rate than the average Swiss male.Towers Watson argued that reducing the conversion rate and introducing flexible pension payouts would initially burden active members.It has therefore called on the government and pension funds to allow a more flexible approach to asset allocation, enabling a ‘dynamic risk budgeting’ that includes longevity risk.In addition, contributions to pension systems will have to increase to cover the gap, it said. Swiss pension funds are miscalculating their members’ longevity by almost 20 days a year, Towers Watson has warned.According to the consultancy’s calculations, Swiss longevity is increasing by 1.74 months per year – not 1.1 months, as most mortality tables currently estimate.This means a woman aged 65 in 2030, for example, might live for another 32.2 years instead of 25.3 years.Peter Zanella, head of retirement solutions at Towers Watson Zurich, said: “For the delta of almost seven years in this example, Pensionskassen do not have enough accrued assets.”
Senior forward Elizabeth Eddy was selected by Sky Blue FC in the fourth round of the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League draft last Friday, becoming the seventh USC player in program history to join a women’s professional league.Doing it all · Elizabeth Eddy scored 16 goals over four seasons for the USC women’s soccer team at forward and midfielder. Eddy also started nine times for the Women of Troy’s lacrosse team last year. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanEddy’s elite athleticism helped her serve as a jackknife of sorts for the Women of Troy, as the Newport Beach, Calif. native played defender, midfielder and forward throughout her collegiate career. But no matter where she played, Eddy was always an integral part of USC’s rotation, starting 69 games in 76 appearances.“I would not be surprised if she was the greatest athlete at USC,” former USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said in an interview with the Daily Trojan before the 2013 season began. “I never have to worry about her being fit or strong enough to perform.”USC’s season didn’t go according to plan — the Women of Troy finished 8-10-2 to miss the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season, resulting in the firing of Khosroshahin. Still, Eddy showed she had a killer scoring instinct after transitioning back from the defensive side of the ball.Eddy was USC’s top scorer (six goals) in her senior season, ending her career with 16 goals and nine assists. After scoring three goals in the Women of Troy’s first two games, she became the first USC player to be named the Pac-12 Player of the Week since 2010.After graduation, the No. 33 overall pick will join USC graduate Ashley Nick on Sky Blue FC. Another former Woman of Troy, U.S. Olympian Amy Rodriguez, was drafted No. 1 by the Boston Breakers in 2009 and now suits up for FC Kansas City.Upon joining Sky Blue FC in Piscataway Township, N.J., Eddy will become the fourth USC alumna to join a NWSL team — former USC forward Rosa Anna Tantillo played briefly for FC Gold Pride in 2010 to follow in the footsteps of Rodriguez and Nick. Three other Women of Troy participated in the now-defunct Women’s United Soccer Association.But Eddy’s athletic career at USC isn’t finished quite yet. She joined the lacrosse team in its first year of Division 1 play last year. That team starts its season on Feb. 28 with a home match against Marist.
Published on November 19, 2018 at 1:04 pm Contact Billy: [email protected] | @Wheyen3 Comments Last season, a shutdown defense and NCAA Tournament run masked how bad SU’s offense was. With the additions Syracuse made for this season, progression should have followed. Two early wins seemed to show improvements.But at Madison Square Garden last week, Syracuse faced Connecticut and a top-tier backcourt, followed by then-No. 13 Oregon and 7-foot-2 phenom Bol Bol. Those teams made their open 3s, took advantage of Syracuse turnovers and crashed the glass hard. They also stifled an SU offense that still wasn’t up to par. The step up in competition exposed SU’s issues. But it wasn’t just a two-game blip. “We’ve gotta play much better offensively if we’re gonna be successful,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “Our defense is nowhere near what it was last year … The only thing good about this time of the year is getting these things happen to you, we’ve got a long road to do, we’re a long ways away.”In their surprise run to the Sweet 16 a year ago, Syracuse embraced an identity as the team that did things right everywhere but on offense to make up for inefficiencies at that end. Winning can disguise problems, and that’s exactly what Syracuse’s season-opening two-game win streak did. Now, the offense has underwhelmed despite additions, and the defense and other aspects of the game have taken steps back. It’d be tough for the Orange to elevate all the aspects of their game. But for SU to avoid losses like its two at Madison Square Garden, it needs to embrace one as an identity. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It’s only our fourth game of the season and everybody’s acting like we lost, like we’re not in the Tournament or anything,” SU sophomore Oshae Brissett said. “We still have a shot, we just gotta win. Go back, practice harder, play harder and just be a better team.”Syracuse added the pieces to make an offensive leap: a college-ready shooter in Buddy Boeheim, a dynamic scorer in Elijah Hughes and positive improvements in Brissett’s jump shot. Added depth and a speedy freshman point guard, Jalen Carey, had Jim Boeheim expecting the team to play faster, allowing for transition points that were so limited when SU played six-deep down the stretch of last season.Yes, Frank Howard’s absence has limited that, but the Orange haven’t shied away from playing fast when the opportunity presents itself. They’ve still shown limitations there, as a lack of shooting allows teams to pack the paint in transition and restrict easy opportunities. When junior Tyus Battle saw an opportunity to push the pace off rebounds, he did. But against UConn and Oregon, the recovering defenders awaited him at the rim and made what could’ve been easy chances difficult.“If we score points, if our guys score that we think can score, we’ll be alright,” Boeheim said after the loss to Oregon. “If they don’t, we will not be alright. Pretty simple.”Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerIn the regular season opener, SU’s vaunted defense picked up right where it left off a season ago. The Orange held Eastern Washington to 34 points, an opposition low in Carrier Dome history. It even looked like Syracuse had added a frequent full-court press to the arsenal, as it racked up steals that led to easy buckets. The Orange shot 38.7 percent against EWU, but their defense made it a blowout. The same was true against Michigan State in March, when SU shot 35.7 percent, but their defense made another bad offensive night irrelevant. Facing both low-major and high-major opponents, Syracuse has proven that doing one thing extremely well can win it games.But then against Morehead State, a team KenPom.com ranks 212th in the country, nearly the same as EWU, Syracuse allowed 70 points. SU regained production from last year’s leading scorer, Tyus Battle, who put up 23 after shooting 3-for-10 in game one. But the defense suffered, leaving the short guards of Morehead State space to operate outside. And the Eagles broke SU’s pressure enough that Boeheim called it off. By the time MSG rolled around, Syracuse’s defense was all out of sorts. Four UConn players hit multiple 3s, and the Orange allowed Eric Cobb to score 13 points and grab 13 rebounds. Cobb stands at 6-foot-9 and averaged 1.7 points a season ago, yet he had no problem making SU’s centers look “like kids,” Boeheim said. The Huskies finished with 83. Syracuse is the second-tallest team in the nation, but it hasn’t had a strong rebounding game all year.“We got crushed on the boards, crushed inside,” Boeheim said after UConn. “When that happens your missed shots come into play. We scored 76 points. We got crushed inside. Our bigs guys have to come up and play, or we’re going to have a problem.” A night later, Oregon put up 80 of its own and shot 50 percent from the floor. It was a far cry from the Syracuse defense that held a three-seeded Michigan State team to 53 points on 25.8 percent shooting last March. “We just need to pride ourselves more on the defensive end, go back to our schemes (from) last year,” Brissett said.As Boeheim has said time and again, it’s difficult to get everything down when SU’s “quarterback” and senior point guard Howard remains out with an injury. But even without him, four of the Orange’s starters from a season ago are healthy. In Buddy, Carey and Hughes, they’ve added three new rotation pieces and weapons on the perimeter. An identity might not matter against Colgate on Wednesday. But in Columbus against Ohio State, or at home against a ranked Buffalo team, or all through ACC play, it’ll be the difference between Syracuse’s ability to regain its preseason hype or crumble within its own lack of definition. So Syracuse better figure out what it is. And soon.Billy Heyen is an assistant sports editor for The Daily Orange where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at [email protected] or @Wheyen3 Facebook Twitter Google+
A former sugar estate worker, who lost his job when the Skeldon Estate closed, has now lost his home. The Sunday afternoon blaze completely destroyed the Lot 9 Number 75 Village, Corentyne, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) home leaving Rajendra Ramnauth and his family homeless.The building at Number 75 Village, Corentyne, was reduced to ashes The 39-year-old security guard told this publication that he was at a nearby supermarket with his wife and daughter.He said while shopping, they received a message stating that their house was on fire.According to the father of one, when he arrived on the scene, he saw flames engulfing his entire house.“When you are poor and you have to start from scratch it will be hard. It is everything we had…” the former sugar worker explained.A unit from the Corriverton Fire Service responded in a timely manner and was able to prevent a second building from total destruction. The exterior of that building received extensive damage.Meanwhile, Ramnauth’s wife, Normattie Chinoppah, a domestic worker, said that all appliances in the home were off when they left for the supermarket.“We will be glad if people can help us because we are very poor,” she pleaded.Persons wishing to make contact with Ramnauth or his wife can do so on telephone number (592) 335-4210.Rajendra Ramnauth and his wife Normattie Chinoppah Sunday’s fire was the third to be recorded in Berbice in two days.On Sunday morning, a fire of unknown origin completely destroyed a flat building at D’Edward, West Coast Berbice, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), leaving two homeless.Fifty-eight-year-old Alvin Spencer, who occupied the house with his 16-year-old son was asleep when the fire started. It was his son, Osborne, who woke him up.The teenager lost everything including his School Based Assessments (SBA), he was working on for CSEC next year.Textbooks, notebooks and a laptop are just a part of the list of school items destroyed.The flat building was burnt to ashes. The family is pleading for assistance and can be contacted on telephone number (592) 671-5476.Meanwhile, on Saturday a fire believed to be an act of arson destroyed a two-story building at Number 29 Village, West Coast Berbice, also in Region Five.The building was owned by retired teacher and community worker Marsha Gouveia.The 56-year-old former teacher, in relating the incident, said she was not at home when the incident occurred.According to her, her husband, James Adams, threatened to kill her and she grabbed her great-nephew and ran out of the house.Adams, she said, came to her friend’s house where she was and demanded that she give him back $15,000, which he had given to her.She promised that he would get it the following day. However, he was not satisfied with the offer and promised to burn the house.Minutes later, flames were seen coming from the building and Adams was seen running away.
ANAHEIM Yeah, they’re back. Looking all that. You’re going to have to deal with this. Did you seriously believe they were just going to fade away, act like that $200 million was fool’s money, that they were ready to walk among baseball mortality? These are the Yankees, the most hated and loved team in all of American sport. Mostly, they are beloved by New Yorkers and ex-New Yorkers, which is apparently about half the continental United States. And despised by everyone else. It’s all that winning. All that money spent. All that attitude. All that George Steinbrenner. Sorry lover/haters of the Lakers, Notre Dame football, the Raiders but it is the Yankees who inspire more passion than any team in any sport that calls America home. Either wear pin-striped undies or burn Steinbrenner in effigy, the Yankees inspire a reaction. So those tired of all things Yankees had to be feeling pretty good when George’s Boys got off to a surprisingly dismal start, falling to 11-19 and nine games behind the Red Sox in the American League East. There was even that brief moment of unmitigated joy when the Yankees fell into last place behind the Tampa Bay Somekinda Rays, and George was having emergency meetings back in Florida. Get this: They were playing with you, toying with you, just plain teasing you. An inside joke on you. A 10-game win streak here, a six-game win streak there, and they were back in the game. Then they showed up at Angel Stadium Thursday having won 14 of their past 19 to pull within a half-game of the Red Sox in the ultra-competitive AL East. “We think pretty highly of ourselves right now,” said Yankees manager Joe Torre. And the world is round. The Yankees have managed most of this turnaround while three-fourths of their rotation has been on the disabled list. Managed it while leading the majors in runs scored. Of course, when you have a record $200 million payroll, you should be able to do something well. No one in baseball history has done more right than the Yankees, who have won a record 26 World Series. Which, truth be told, would be the main reason everyone East of New Jersey would rather get a call from the IRS than suffer through another Yankees world championship. On the road, they are a remarkably consistent draw. Yankee fans are traditionally almost as vocal in Anaheim as Angels fans. If fans aren’t cheering them, they’re mentioning something unpleasant about a family member. Yankees always hear something. “I enjoy it,” said shortstop Derek Jeter. “You see it when you’re at home, and the people love you. And when you’re on the road, you can feel people don’t like you.” Sometimes at “the cathedral” the fans can be so enamored with the local heroes as to make it difficult even for others in pinstripes. Angels broadcaster Rex Hudler, Steinbrenner’s first bonus baby, remembers the devotion Yankees fans had for second baseman Willie Randolph. When Hudler, also a second baseman, was called up and first walked into Yankee Stadium, he was greeted by a fan who screamed: “Hey, Hudler, you bum, you’ll never take Willie’s job.” Alex Rodriguez, generally considered the best overall player in the game, had a strong first season with the Yankees last year (.286, 36, 106). Yet he owns a record $252 million contract, and because his season wasn’t absolutely staggering, he heard his share of New York criticism. Some whispered the greatest of insults, that he wasn’t a true Yankee. That Yankees’ love/hate thing? “I fit right in,” Rodriguez said. “I think my contract was great preparation for anything.” This season he leads the AL in home runs (27), is third in RBI (78) and sixth in batting average (.311). This is far from a perfect Yankees team. Starter Carl Pavano remains out, starter Jaret Wright could be out for the year and ex-Dodger Happy Boy Kevin Brown is back but struggling (4-6, 5.91 ERA). Middle relief, as witnessed in the Angels’ 6-5 comeback Thursday, looms as a potential Achilles’ heel. But it should be painfully clear to the haters that the Yankees also one game back of the Twins for the AL wild card are not going to suddenly roll over and become the Kansas City Royals. Those struggles from the beginning of the season are becoming smaller in the rear-view mirror. “When you have high-profile players, like we do, they’re used to performing well,” Torre said. “You nudge them along. We had more meetings in the first few months than we’ve had in most entire seasons.” Abhor them or adore them, with the Yankees, it seems you can never simply dismiss them. Steve Dilbeck’s column appears in the Daily News four times a week. He can be reached at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
SAN FRANCISCO — Golden State Warriors fans from the East Bay and North Bay who want to cruise past drivers stuck on congested bridges and gridlocked city streets on their way to the new Chase Center can now take ferries to attend games and concerts at the venue.San Francisco Bay Ferry and Golden Gate Ferry announced the details this week of their ferry services to the arena, starting with Saturday’s exhibition game between the Warriors and Lakers, and next week’s concerts by the Jonas …
Editor’s Note: This post is one of a series by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee, a husband-and-wife team living in the Los Angeles area who are turning their 1963 suburban house into an all-electric, zero-net-energy home. They chronicle their attempts at a low-carbon, low-cost, and joyful lifestyle on their blog Frugal Happy. This post was written by Wen. All photos courtesy of the authors. Okay everyone, it’s been seven months since our last post, and we were already months behind then. Now our blog is woefully, embarrassingly out of date. Our apologies! So, here’s our attempt at a massive catch up to bring our posts up to the present. While each of these topics deserves its own detailed post, we unfortunately don’t have time to do them all justice right now. We are happy to answer detailed questions so feel free to leave a comment or send us a message about anything you see here. You can learn about our skylight installation and wiring at our website.RELATED ARTICLESBuilding an Unvented CrawlspaceDetails for a Closed CrawlspaceA New Encyclopedia Article on Ductless MinisplitsDuctless Minisplits for DIYersInstalling a Ductless Minisplit System Crawlspace retrofit is one nasty job This was probably the dirtiest work of the whole renovation project. Where we live in southern California, crawlspaces are very common. They are typically nasty, dirty, drafty, and neglected. Our crawlspace was uninsulated and vented to the outside, which meant that outdoor air could leak into our house through the floors. It was also unprotected from moisture that may seep in from external sources like rain, which in turn might result in mold and unhealthy air leaking into the house through the floor. The former was a particularly big concern, because Chris put in a ton of effort installing superinsulation in our walls and roof. What was the point of all that effort if the floor was completely uninsulated? Chris decided to encapsulate the crawlspace. This entailed installing a vapor barrier on the crawlspace floor that wraps up the walls and the piers, and then installing insulation around the perimeter. But first, he had to clean out the crawl space. Turns out there was a lot of crap down there, like huge chunks of old concrete from when we redid the footings to vault the ceiling. To seal the crawlspace, we used a 15-mil Stego Wrap vapor barrier, Stego tape, and cans of spray polyurethane spray foam. First, Chris wrapped up all the footings under the house. Wrapping up the footings was the first job. The roll of Stego Wrap was big. My brother Bin and our friend Johnny helped lay it out on our driveway and cut long strips that they could manage to pull into the crawl space. We unrolled the plastic in the driveway and cut strips to be taken below. Below you can see Chris taping together a seam to ensure that it’s completely sealed. Doesn’t he look like he’s having fun? The crawlspace has 8 inches to 13 inches of clearance and is full of ancient dirt and decomposing spiders, so you know he’s got to be extremely comfortable, dragging his stomach along the ground in dusty darkness for hours. (On the plus side, he says it’s an excellent ab workout.) Stego Tape helps make a good seal. Installing rigid foam insulation is tedious enough above ground, but try doing it in a cramped, nasty crawl space. Chris installed 2 inches of rigid polyisocyanurate foam on the stem walls, and 3 inches at the rim joists. He then air-sealed the perimeter of the rigid foam using canned spray foam. This effectively brought the entire crawlspace into the conditioned space of our house (insulating it from outside temperatures). Below is a photo of the nearly-complete encapsulated crawlspace. Now the crawlspace is no longer vented to the outside, and it’s protected from outside temperatures (which means our house is fully insulated in all directions) and also protected from external moisture issues (which means minimizing the potential for mold and rot). The nearly completed project. We live in a very dry climate, so this is fine as is. In a more humid climate, though, it might be necessary to install a dehumidifier or exhaust fan in the crawlspace to make sure that moisture does not build up. What a nasty, difficult process and not recommended for claustrophobic people. Luckily, Chris had lots of help from Bin, Johnny, and Lac, who all courageously entered the abyss of the crawlspace with him. A new heating and cooling system We used to heat and cool our house with an old gas furnace and a loud, inefficient central air conditioner. Chris tore these things out and replaced them with a single system: a minisplit heat pump. Minisplits provide both heating and cooling, and they are much more energy efficient than our old equipment. Specifically, we installed a two-zone minisplit heat pump made by Mitsubishi. The system consists of an outdoor unit (which you can see below) and two indoor units (zones)—one ductless wall unit for the common area, and one ducted ceiling unit for the bedrooms. Each indoor unit has its own thermostat that can be controlled separately. Chris, Bin, and Johnny with the new outdoor unit. Our neighbor Albert is a HVAC specialist and helped Chris install and test the new system (e.g. making sure there were no refrigerant leaks). Chris and Johnny installed the ducted unit in the hallway ceiling between the bedrooms. Since we have three bedrooms, we needed three ducts to come out of this unit. Instead of ordering special parts (custom work is expensive), Chris decided to make his own branch transition. He bought three boots from an HVAC store and fit them into his creation. Instead of paying for expensive ductwork, Chris built his own splitter. It fits the unit that’s installed in the ceiling. Each duct will serve a separate room. Below is the wall unit, which is ductless and way less complicated. It conditions the common area which includes our living room, dining room, and kitchen. This ductless fan unit serves an open common area. Chris ran the refrigerant lines and electrical wiring from the wall unit to the outdoor unit along the outside of the house. It’s not the prettiest arrangement, but it allows us to avoid the risk of moisture (from condensation) inside our walls. Unfortunately, we had a bit of an electrical snafu with the outdoor unit. Somehow, while pulling the electrical wires through the wall, some wire insulation got stripped. So when Chris tried to turn on the outdoor unit for the first time, there was a short circuit and we heard a small pop inside the outdoor unit. The unit refused to turn on. Chris spent many hours attempting to troubleshoot and fix the problem. Our friend Gavin, who has a degree in electrical engineering, even came over to try to help. But alas, it was not fixable. Below you can see the burn marks in the circuit board of the outdoor unit. It was totally fried. We had to order a new circuit board. Once we put in the new one, though, everything worked like a charm. A scorched area on the circuit board tells the story. Below is a photo showing the repaired outdoor unit, which powers the two indoor units: And here again is the wall unit, which heats/cools the common area of the house: We now have a functional minisplit heating and cooling system. Due to the improved insulation in our house and the greater efficiency of the minisplit, we are consuming way less energy to heat and cool our home than before. For example, the house’s AC system dropped from a capacity of 3.5 tons of cooling to just 1.75 tons of cooling. That means our AC electricity use has been cut in half. And it’s much quieter. We no longer burn fossil fuels for heating, and we can also adjust the temperatures for different rooms. It’s pretty sweet. Use these links to read more posts by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee: An Introduction A Car-Free Experiment Demolition Our House Becomes a Giant Foam Box, Part 1 Giant Foam Box, Part 2 Let’s Kill the Lawn Vaulting the Ceiling Our First Year With Solar Panels Introducing the Share Shed We Have a Floor on Our Ceiling