Raiders’ Warren Wells: Did a scary cult derail his career?

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceWhatever happened to Warren Wells?That question haunted Oakland Raiders fans throughout the 1970s, after the dynamic wide receiver wowed everyone with his electrifying talent, only to vanish from sight. It wasn’t until last month, when Wells died at the age of 76 in his hometown of Beaumont, Texas, that his name sadly resurfaced in national headlines.“Split End: The Curious Case of Warren Wells” is a revelatory — and …last_img

The New Congress vs. Green

first_imgPolitical theater is never in short supply in Washington D.C., but the new majority in the House of Representatives has been staging particularly exuberant – if, at this point, largely symbolic – displays of Republican policymaking, and Senate Republicans, though still outnumbered by Democrats, have been cheerfully pitching bills aimed at undoing many of the energy policies implemented over the past two years, including weatherization efforts and the Energy Star program.After the House majority voted to repeal the “jobs killing” health care law, conservatives in both branches prepared to roll out legislative proposals they say are grounded in tough-love fiscal prudence and a sensible aversion to burdensome regulations.Last month, for example, Senate Republicans unveiled legislation intended to thwart the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions – a set of regulations whose enforcement, the senators say, would hurt the economy. As noted in a recent story published by The Hill, the bill is designed to prevent the EPA from regulating the gases under the Clean Air Act and would prevent federal agencies from considering climate change when enforcing the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.“Washington agencies are now trying a backdoor approach to regulate our climate by abusing existing laws. Congress must step in and stand up for the American people. My bill will shrink Washington’s job crushing agenda and grow America’s economy,” Sen. John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming and the vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, told The Hill.Cutting, slashing, burningEarlier last month, a group of conservative House Republicans known as the Republican Study Committee presented a proposal to cut federal spending by $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years – substantially more than the approximately $800 billion the House majority originally pledged. Some of those cuts would affect programs tied to the housing industry, including the government’s Energy Star program and its Weatherization Assistance Program. The committee is led by Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio.The Energy Star budget, for instance, would be cut by about $52 million annually, while the Department of Energy’s weatherization grants to states would be cut by $530 million annually. The Davis-Bacon Act, which requires payment of prevailing wages for public works projects, including the current, stimulus-funded edition of the Weatherization Assistance Program, would be repealed. Also, federal control of mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be eliminated, for a total savings of $30 billion, according to RSC calculations.As we said, a lot of this partisan arm-flapping, although no one should be surprised to see funding cut for a variety of useful programs as budget pressures grow ever more intense. We should note, though, that so far military spending, the mortgage interest tax deduction, and the major entitlement programs – Medicare and Social Security – have yet to be addressed with a major initiative by a House committee or by a conservative caucus in the House or Senate. But there’s still plenty of time, if not political will, for that.last_img read more

Making the Best PEX Connections

first_imgCharacteristics vary by typeThere are actually three types of PEX, as a reference article supplied by GBA senior editor Martin Holladay explains (see the “Related articles” sidebar below). Types A, B, and C are manufactured differently, which affects characteristics such as flexibility, resistance to chlorine and oxidation, coil memory, and cost. The lettered designations aren’t grades, just references to the manufacturing process.For Richard McGrath, PEX-A is at the top of the heap. “PEX-A is produced with a better manufacturing process than PEX-B as the crosslinking takes place during the extrusion process,” McGrath writes. “PEX-A products usually achieve an 85% crosslinking while PEX-B products average a 65-70%.” Our expert’s opinionHere’s how GBA technical director Peter Yost sees it:I think you can collect just about as many opinions and recommendations on PEX tubing and fittings as there are types of tubing and fittings. When I asked around, I could not come up with a clear “winner” for either.So, let me add these two options to consider:Aquatherm polypropylene pipe. It’s inert, doesn’t react with chemicals, and withstands high pressure and temperatures, and the pipes are heat-fused — so the fitting is thicker and stronger than the base pipe. If you are looking for “forever” pipe — and are willing to pay for it — this is the way to go. I have seen this in many commercial buildings of late. When I ask, “Why polypropylene?”, the response is: it’s forever pipe, and can handle the widest range of temperatures and stuff dissolved in the water. (See Image #4, below.)Legend HyperPure pipe. A newer and therefore less proven candidate for those interested in a 100% recyclable alternative to PEX, this is a bi-modal polyethylene raised temperature (PE-RT) tubing. The resin for this tubing comes from Dow, and it’s called bi-modal because there are both high-molecular weight elements for strength and low-molecular weight elements for flexibility. Neither Legend nor Dow are exactly newcomers to piping and chemical formulations respectively, so while this piping solution may be less proven, it’s not the type of “high-risk” product we might associate with lesser-known start-up companies. PEX-A is more resistant to the chemicals commonly found in plumbing and heating systems than what it has replaced, he adds, and long-term testing by Uponor, one of the manufacturers of PEX-A, is very encouraging. The company holds an unofficial record for resisting high temperature and pressure, McGrath says, holding up to 175 pounds per square inch and 203°F between 1973 and 2009 — a stretch of 36 years.“There is not another manufacturer that can make that claim,” he says. From PexUniverse: Choosing the right type and brand for your projectHow Safe is PEX Tubing?Q&A: Can PEX pipe be reused after a fitting is removed? Q&A: Is it reasonable to use 3/8-inch PEX supply lines to all fixtures?Green Basics: Efficient Plumbing Supply Layouts Comparing methods for connecting tubing and fittingsPEX is often connected to a fitting with a metal band that is tightened with a dedicated crimping tool. The pressure of the ring is designed to permanently and reliably seal the connection against leaks. The crimping rings are made from stainless steel, copper, or brass.Uponor, however, uses a different type of connection. As demonstrated in this video, a plastic ring is fitted over the end of the tubing, and then an expansion tool is used to enlarge the tubing so it can fit over the end of the fitting. Very shortly after the two parts are brought together, the PEX tries to return to its original shape and as it does it tightens itself around the end of the fitting (see Images #2 and #3, below).The tubing, says McGrath, is always tightening around the fitting, unlike with a crimped connection in which the tubing is pushing back against the crimping ring and trying to loosen.“You cannot crimp Uponor PEX,” McGrath says. “A few years ago I was called to a group of modular homes to determine why the Uponor piping was leaking. Long story short, it was not the tubing leaking; the manufacturer of the home thought it would be OK to save on some fittings and used crimp rings and fittings made for other pipe, which are much smaller in diameter.“PEX always wants to get back to its original size and form (due to its ‘memory’),” he continues. “If you use other than Uponor fittings and crimp it, it will leak, and there will be no warranty for you.”Uponor frequently gets calls from plumbers who grow “argumentative” when told they can’t use crimping rings the plumbers already have on their trucks, McGrath says.“Those folks are always told that you can use them but there will be no warranty coverage,” he says. “What does that tell you? It clearly tells me that you cannot do it and expect any sort of system integrity. Uponor does not make a crimp ring fitting nor will a crimp ring fit over Uponor tubing when a Uponor fitting is used.” Mixing and matching doesn’t workMcGrath also warns against trying to use Uponor fittings with PEX-B tubing, or using incompatible fittings with PEX-A tubing made by Uponor or someone else.“Uponor’s fittings with PEX-B is quite entertaining,” he says. “One would have to expand the PEX-B and you can, but the tubing will probably eventually leak because the molecular linking is of such a low percentage and, again, why would one do it?”Results are equally disappointing when improperly sized fittings are used on Uponor’s or another brand of PEX-A, he continues.“The fact that PEX-B and C use a crimp shows their inferiority since they are warranted to not leak all the while the product should be attempting to reach its original dimension,” he says. “Remember, this tubing has memory. Turns out that PEX-B and C have less memory, apparently, since they are willing to stay in the constrained size, whereas the PEX-A products will push out against the crimp ring, whether stainless steel or copper, and a leak path will form every time.”center_img Actually, there are alternativesRick Van Handel doesn’t argue the quality of the Uponor fitting system. But, he says, that has more to do with its unrestricted flow rate than anything.“Whereas barbed fittings are placed inside the tubing, the already smaller inside diameter of PEX (compared to copper) becomes even smaller with these fittings,” he says. “As you know, the Uponor expansion fittings are full flow. However, by your logic, wouldn’t the PEX-A, which was expanded over the barb fitting, want to return to its original size and therefore tighten itself onto the barbed fitting in the same manner it would on an expanded fitting?“I’ve used a lot of PEX-A with stainless cinch clamps on barbed fittings and I’ve never had one leak,” Van Handel continues. “I’ve hydro-tested these to 200 psi with no issues. Also, many people use the same combination for compressed air, which is even harder to seal, with no issues.”Despite McGrath’s protestations, Van Handel says he’s had excellent luck with Uponor tubing and brass fittings.“Personally, I’ve used mostly Nibco brass fittings and I use only Uponor tubing,” Van Handel says. “I haven’t had any leaks. That being said, I haven’t seen a rough-in my area with anything other than PEX-A and barbed fittings and stainless cinch clamps in a few years. It’s what almost all plumbers have gravitated towards in residential installs. In some commercial applications I still see expansion style fittings used or ProPress.“I still agree with you that expansion fittings are likely superior, but to say that cinch clamps will certainly leak is a gross exaggeration,” he adds. “There are millions of these connections in place that are not leaking.”Malcolm Taylor agrees. “For at least a decade, almost every building in British Columbia has been plumbed with PEX and crimp rings,” he says. “I’ve plumbed a half-dozen that way myself and have never had a leak.” Dealing with chlorine and chemical odorSandbo’s water source is a well, and well water is not typically chlorinated. That, says Nate G, removes one potential source of worry with PEX tubing.“PEX in a ‘forever house’ … should be downstream of a water filtration system that removes chlorine,” Nate writes. “The reason is that chlorine eventually oxidizes and embrittles the pipe over time as the sacrificial anti-oxidizing agents are, well, sacrificed. With no chlorine in the water, this risk disappears. You also want high-quality low-zinc fittings. Don’t cheap out.”Charlie Sullivan raises another issue: the unwelcome chemical taste that PEX tubing added to the water in his house.“I’ll put in a vote for PEX-B,” Sullivan says. “I got my kitchen sink changed over from lead-soldered copper to Uponor PEX-A about a year and a half ago, and I found the taste terrible in the first few months — a strong plastic taste. I still flush the pipe before drawing a gallon of drinking water to save in a pitcher, even though I probably don’t need to. I haven’t done a controlled comparison to PEX-B, but given the comparison Martin linked to, I’d expect it to be significantly better in that regard.” Building his “forever house,” Dean Sandbo is mulling what type of tubing to use for his plumbing supply lines. He has narrowed the choice to one of two types of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX): PEX-A or PEX-B.Key issues, Sandbo notes in his Q&A post at GBA, are how long the tubing will last, and whether there are safety concerns — that is, will the PEX tubing leach chemicals into his drinking water?“I am on a well,” he writes. “Any input as to the longevity and safety of these two different types of pipes?”Although that’s where the discussion starts, GBA readers quickly turn to another potential issue: What’s the best way of achieving a leak-free connection between tubing and fittings?That’s the topic for this Q&A Spotlight. RELATED ARTICLES last_img read more

Internet Sales Tax: Will It Level The Playing Field… Or Destroy It? [Poll]

first_imgTags:#Amazon#e-commerce#ebay#small business nick statt A bill that would allow states to collect sales tax from Internet companies like Amazon and eBay passed the Senate on Monday by a wide margin of 69-27, in a largely bipartisan push to help level the playing field for brick and mortar stores vis-a-vis their online competitors.The Marketplace Fairness Act, sponsored by Democratic Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois and Republican Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming, would, for the first time, force Internet retailers to collect state and local sales tax. (Many states already force some retailers to collect sales taxes, though their rules don’t apply equally to all online merchants.) It would also create a streamlined way for those companies to collect sales tax across 9,600 state and local jurisdictions.Companies like eBay and anti-tax activists like Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform complain that the bill is just too complicated, although both have other reasons for opposing the measure — chief among them being the way it would formally end the Internet’s (admittedly somewhat frayed) status as a tax haven.The bill’s detractors claim it will create massive confusion. The bill exempts online retailers who earn less than $1 million in annual out-of-state sales, although retailers like eBay are pushing to raise that cap to $10 million. EBay also complains that the bill’s collection mechanism — which would require states to provide companies with software to help them calculate taxes in various jurisdictions — will significantly injure its many retailers and, by extension, eBay itself.Amazon, by contrast, has thrown its support behind the bill. Since it already collects sales tax in many of the states where it maintains warehouses, the e-commerce giant would benefit if its competitors had to do likewise. The measure would also reduce any competitive disadvantage Amazon might face as it builds out its distribution network in pursuit of same-day delivery to major urban centers.The bill now moves to the Republican-dominated House for an inevitable battle. But as the New York Times‘ Jonathan Weisman notes, “…the bill would now go to the House Judiciary Committee, not the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. That itself could ease the bill’s passage.”Is an Internet sales tax an idea whose time has come, or just more government overreach? Take our poll above, and let us know your thoughts in comments. Related Posts How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culturecenter_img What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … How to Get Started in China and Have Successlast_img read more

Sepak takraw targeting 2 golds

first_imgCEU halts Flying V’s perfect run, forces Game 3 Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES “It had a great effect on the morale of the team that’s why we wanted to move them out of Metro Manila for a change,” said Rueda in Filipino.The Philippines could only win a silver and a bronze two years ago in Singapore.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingBut this time the men’s team is shooting for two golds with the bulk of expectations on the shoulders of Emmanuel Escote, Rheyjey Ortouste, and Jason Huerte who won silver in team event in 2015.Also in the field are last SEA Games’ bronze winners like John Jeffrey Morcillos, Regie Reznan Pabriga, Rhemwil Catana, John-John Bobier, Ronsited Gabayeron, Alvin Pangan, Joeart Jumawan, John Carlo Lee and Mark Joseph Gonzales. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR FILE — Rheyjey Ortouste, Mark Gonzales and Jason Huerte celebrate their first international gold with Karen Tanchanco-Caballero (front row, left), president of the Philippine Amateur Sepak Takraw Association and vice president of the Asian Sepak Takraw Federation. —NONGLUCK MATVANGSAENG TITI TUKKUALA LUMPUR—The Philippines’ sepak takraw men’s team is shooting for two golds when competition starts Wednesday at Titiwangs A-indoor stadium here.The coaching staff, including Romulo Rueda, said the 17-member men’s and women’s teams are in high spirits after undergoing a two-month training camp in Iloilo City.ADVERTISEMENT The women’s team, which is hoping for at least a bronze finish, is composed of Kristel Carloman, Lhaina Lhiell Mangubat, Mary Ann Lopez, Rizzalyn Amolacion and Jean Marie Sucalit.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments MOST READlast_img read more