Worry over kids’ excessive smartphone use is more justified than ever…

first_img TAGStheconversation.com Previous articleReflections at Christmas: A Homeless friend’s passingNext articleWhy shaming your children on social media may make things worse Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR By Jean Twenge, San Diego State UniversityParents who fear their kids are spending too much time in front of screens now have more reason for concern.New research funded by the National Institutes of Health found brain changes among kids using screens more than seven hours a day and lower cognitive skills among those using screens for more than two hours a day.When studies find links between screen time and negative outcomes, some have argued that this is just the latest moral panic over technology.After all, didn’t the parents of baby boomers and Gen Xers worry that their kids were watching too much TV or talking on the phone too much? Those kids turned out OK, right?So how are portable electronic devices, the chosen technology of today’s kids and teens – a generation I call “iGen” – any different?New research I’ve conducted on the relationship between portable device use and sleep provides some answers.Everywhere, all the timeIt almost goes without saying that today’s portable devices – including smartphones and tablets – are fundamentally different than the living room television sets and rotary phones of the past.Since researchers have been tracking TV watching habits, the average U.S. teen has never spent more than two-and-a-half hours a day watching TV. Yet as of 2016, the average teen spent about six hours a day immersed in digital media – more than twice as much time.This large amount of time spent using digital media is enough to crowd out time once spent on other activities, such as interacting with friends face to face, reading or going out.And unlike the telephone, digital media apps are designed to hook you. As former Silicon Valley executive Tristan Harris said of smartphone apps, “Your telephone in the 1970s didn’t have a thousand engineers … updating the way your telephone worked every day to be more and more persuasive.”Second, unlike TV or landline phones, portable devices can be carried everywhere: to school, where teachers say they are a near-constant distraction, and into social situations, where a conversation can instantly be upended by reaching for a buzzing phone. (There’s even a word for this: phubbing, a portmanteau of “phone” and “snubbing.”)Sure enough, people have reported enjoying a restaurant dinner with friends less when their phones were available, compared to when they weren’t.The sleep factorAcross many studies, kids and teens who spend more time with screens – including both TV and portable devices – also sleep less.That could be because they spend so much time engaged with their devices that it’s coming at the expense of sleep. But there’s also a physiological reason: The blue light emitted by electronic screens tricks our brains into thinking it’s still daytime, and then we don’t produce enough of the sleep hormone melatonin to fall asleep quickly and get high-quality sleep.Once again, some might argue that TV is just as bad: After all, it also takes up time and emits blue light.But in a new paper, my co-authors and I decided to parse the two. We studied links between sleep and TV watching as well as links between sleep and portable device use. Then we compared the results.Drawing from a large survey of parents administered by the U.S. Census Bureau, we found that 2- to 10-year-olds who spent four or more hours a day on portable electronic devices – versus no time – were twice as likely to be significantly sleep deprived. TV time was also connected to less sleep, but not as strongly or consistently.Among teens ages 14 to 17, those who spent four or more hours a day on portable electronic devices – versus no time – were 44 percent more likely to not sleep enough. However, once portable device time was statistically controlled, watching TV or playing video games on a console had little link to sleep time.Why would portable devices be more strongly associated with losing sleep?For one thing, TV is simply not as psychologically stimulating as a portable device like a smartphone, which, unlike a TV, doesn’t exist to simply consume media. Smartphones have also become a huge part of social life, whether it’s texting with friends or interacting with them on social media.And unlike TV, smartphones and tablets can be silently carried into the bedroom or even the bed, resulting in some teens using them throughout the night – what some call “vamping.”That might explain why sleep deprivation among teens spiked after 2012 – just as smartphone use became common.The lesser of two evils?To be clear, we did find that watching many hours of TV was associated with less sleep, especially among elementary-school-age children. Watching over three hours a day of TV is also associated with depression – though more weakly than portable device use.So parents were right to worry about kids watching too much TV in the 1970s and 1980s. But their worries might not have been as justified as today’s parents’ concerns about smartphones.So what is a parent – or anyone who wants to sleep well – to do?First, it’s best for smartphones and tablets to stay out of the bedroom after “lights-out” time. Nor is it a great idea to use the devices within an hour of bedtime, as their blue light influences the brain’s ability to produce melatonin. Finally, as a general rule, two hours a day or less spent on portable devices is a good guideline. These rules apply to parents, too – not only kids.Just don’t binge-watch TV instead. December 15, 2018 at 6:46 pm Worry over kids’ excessive smartphone use is more justified than ever before – Reviewers Pro […] Source link […] Please enter your comment! Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate Jean Twenge is a Professor of Psychology at San Diego State UniversityThis article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. The Anatomy of Fear Please enter your name here Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Reply LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 1 COMMENTlast_img read more

Bellone to Try Again Next Year on Treasurer-Comptroller Merger

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is regrouping after New York State’s highest court nixed his referendum this fall.Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone plans to reintroduce legislation that would allow voters to decide in a referendum whether to merge the elected offices of the county treasurer and comptroller.Bellone and his fellow Democrats that control the county legislature are announcing Thursday in Hauppauge that they will try again to get the referendum on the ballot next year after New York State’s highest court struck down a measure designed to have the public vote on it next month.The state Court of Appeals blocked Bellone’s attempt to have the referendum on the ballots for Election Day on Nov. 5 after Angie Carpenter, the Republican county treasurer running for re-election who lost to Bellone for county exec in 2011, sued to block the proposal.The court ruled that the legislature improperly changed the language of the referendum, which would have created a chief financial officer for the county starting next year, if voters passed the measure.Bellone has said he would make term-limited Republican County Comptroller Steve Sawicki the interim CFO for the first year until elections could be held, which would allow Sawicki to run for the new office.Carpenter has called the plan misguided and said it would eliminate a layer of checks and balances in local government. Bellone maintains that it would save more than $833,000, although critics have disputed that estimate.Across the county line, Former Nassau County Comptroller Howard Weitzman, a Democrat running against Republican Comptroller George Maragos who unseated Weitzman four years ago, proposed Wednesday that, if returned to office, he would merge the comptroller’s office with the treasurer’s office, which is an appointed position in Nassau. Weitzman, too, said the merger would save an estimated $1 million.last_img read more

Cairns townhouses offer plenty of options in the city

first_img“Townhouses appeal to a wide audience for three major reasons being value for money, location and low-maintenance living,” he said. “A popular opinion is to stray away from the M suburbs – Manoora, Manunda and Mooroobool – however given the proximity to the city in a rising market, these will be some of the first places to see capital growth. More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days agoTownhouse 9 is for sale at 13 Le Grande St, Freshwater for $249,000 with Cairns Property Office.“Growth can also be found in blue chip areas such as Edge Hill and Whitfield.“When looking to buy a townhouse you want to get something that is low maintenance and has a proactive body corporate with a healthy sinking fund amount saved.”With the ever growing trend of minimalism and downsizing, townhouses are becoming more and more popular with a wider range of buyers, according to Thomas Baldwin Boutique Real Estate’s Morganne Baldwin. “There are so many clever ways to design smaller spaces these days and many people are looking to reduce their living costs so they can experience life more and have the option to lock up and leave or rent without the fuss of too much garden maintenance,” she said. “As Cairns develops we are already seeing innovative companies designing practical and stylish spaces to suit this growing market and they are achieving some incredible results. “Having lived in and renovated a townhouse before, my tips and tricks when looking to buy either a townhouse or an apartment would be to check the Body Corporate Disclosure Statement and drive past the complex at different hours of the day, for example 8am and 5.30pm, to get a feel of the neighbours. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:22Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:22 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels576p576p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenAndrew Winter’s spring selling tips01:23WHETHER you’re a first homebuyer, have a family or are looking to downsize, townhouses offer a plethora of styles and options.They can come with two to four bedrooms, could have room for pets and often have a small courtyard or patch of space to grow vegies or soak up the sun.Low maintenance, townhouses will often be mana Townhouse at 2/20-28 Sandwich St, Kamerunga is for sale for offers over $340,000 with Belle Property.ged by a third party and offer security and community.For young families, townhouse developments are often located close to employment hubs and public transport and offer the ability to get into better school catchments at a lower entry price.They can also offer easy access to lifestyle and entertainment precincts.Similar traits appeal to retirees who are seeking to downsize the big family home once the children have left. Often these people want to stay in the same blue chip suburbs where they’ve owned big properties.RE/MAX Cairns agent Ray Murphy said the hot spots for townhouses were Cairns North, Edge Hill and Freshwater. 5/16-18 Corkill St, Freshwater will go to auction on August 13 with RE/MAX Cairns.“And make sure that you can incorporate some clever storage options so you can make the smaller space stylish and easily liveable.”A townhouse is a strata-titled property and often operates in the same way as an apartment block. The title grants ownership of a section of a larger development with shared walls, floors, ceilings, facilities and common areas and as owner you can participate in the management of the overall property.last_img read more

Existential threats to Caribbean even more compelling, says former Guyana president

first_img Tweet 10 Views   no discussions Share Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img NewsRegional Existential threats to Caribbean even more compelling, says former Guyana president by: – April 18, 2012 Share Bharrat JagdeoGEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA) — Impediments to sustainable development within the Caribbean region were brought to the fore by former president of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo, as delegates gathered on day two of the 13th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development.Jagdeo, because of official duties overseas, was unable to attend the conference on Monday, where he was scheduled to deliver a keynote address; however, he spoke to the gathering via a video message, expressing hope that it leads to a strong focus on solutions to climate change.Given the concomitant consequences of natural disasters on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a World Bank study which places the Caribbean in the 10 or 15 regions most vulnerable to climate conditions, Jagdeo said awareness of the existential threats to the region is even more compelling. With apparent indifference at the international level to reach consensus on capping greenhouse gas emissions, despite predictions by the intergovernmental panel on climate change that global temperature must be limited to two degrees Celsius above green industrial level by 2050 and, evidence of a four degrees rise in global temperature above pre-industrial level, Jagdeo said loss of forests and corals and sea rises will be inevitable.“It is incumbent that tourism officials, many of who are very influential, help governments to be aware of the problem because we have too many governments that are sleep walking on this issue and to raise awareness in our societies about the threat to our way of life in the Caribbean and also the threat to the product we offer because we never have sustainable tourism if we observe those consequences without a sound global agreement to limit greenhouse gases. So I hope this point would be considered in the conference,” Jagdeo said.The former Guyanese head of state, who holds the title of earth and environmental specialist on sustainable development, is at present with a delegation of ministers from the Congo promoting an agreement which it is hoped will preserve the rainforest of the world and allow developing countries to take greater ownership of their forests.He told the delegates on Monday that the purpose of the agreement is to use the forest to create wealth by striking a balance between forest preservation and economic development. Guyana has proven that such a notion can be realised when it secured funding from the government of Norway through climate services arrangement that is regarded the second largest in the world.The agreement will enable Guyana to realise its low carbon development strategy that evolved out of Jagdeo’s Initiative on avoided deforestation launched in December 2008. But as the delegates brainstorm these ideas, Jagdeo brought to their attention the variations likely to take place in the tourism sector and the new wave of tourists likely to emerge as a result of the economic crisis in the developed world.He made reference to the Chinese, Brazilian and Indian populations, which he said are often not perceived differently to those from Europe and as such have not been targeted as potential tourists.“So too many of our immigration officials think that they have to keep people from China and Brazil and India out of our markets. Our whole entire immigration policies are dedicated to keeping out people from these regions rather than encouraging them to come in. Many of our tourism institutes and structures are not training people to deal with those tourists. Our language training, training on culture and food and customs, practices are lagging way behind those tourism markets,” he said.In this regard, he expressed the hope that the conference would examine specific plans for the entire Caribbean, such as direct flights, which can ease the procedure that allows for an intake of this new category of potential tourists.He did not rule out the fact that the region’s tourism product has made significant progress but, believes that the strategy should be continuously reviewed to make it more attractive to tourists from across the world.“I think we have to do this by combining our natural beauty, the sun, sand, sea, the forest with a range of other services that you tourists are travelling for. Take for example health service, because of the cost of health care in North America and in Europe,” Jagdeo said.Caribbean News Nowlast_img read more

Graysen DeJarnett qualifies for second consecutive Class 4A state tournament

first_img4.Andale – AND172181————353 3.Augusta – AUG172175————347 8.Mulvane – MUL227207————434 22T.Majors, Sam – TRI4745————92 5.Trinity – TRI179178————357 2.Collegiate – COL168164————332 4A Regional Wellington individual scores: 6.Wellington – WEL180188————368 7.Winfield – WIN182189————371 – Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comment (1) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. 0 Vote up Vote down Glenda Wright · 220 weeks ago Congratulations, Graysen! Good luck at State!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 220 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentscenter_img 1.Rose Hill – ROS162163————325 Pos.SchoolRd 1Rd 2Rd 3Rd 4Rd 5Rd 6TOTAL 19T.Luna, Jonah – WEL4348————91 24T.Gartner, Conner – COL4746————93 24T.Crittenden, Skyler – WEL4350————93 Sumner Newscow report — Graysen DeJarnett, a Wellington High School senior, qualified for the 2016 Class 4A State Championships at Bentwood Golf Course in Ulysses, Monday. DeJarnett shot an 85, tying him for 11th place. The team placed sixth overall with a score of 368. “I am very proud of this team as well as a number of individuals who continued to improve throughout the season,” said James Ginter, Wellington High School golf coach. “Congratulations to Graysen for qualifying for a second straight year to the state tournament. We had a lot of young players who worked very hard and improve throughout the year. That will continue to be a key to our success in the future.” Rose Hill and Collegiate qualified their entire teams.  The individuals who qualified from the Winfield Regional were: Pete Carney, Andale; Martin Nuessen, Augusta; Aaron Meyer Andale; Jake Becker, Augusta; Graysen DeJarnett, Wellington, and Andy Burger, Winfield. The results are as follows:  22T.Uhrmacher, Jacob – AUG4646————92 9.Kingman – KIN263252————515   Follow us on Twitter.last_img read more

All regions get more slots in 2026 World Cup – FIFA plan

first_img“We feel that UEFA will be fairly represented with a total of 16 national associations competing in the new format of the World Cup,” he said.“We look forward to this proposal being ratified by the FIFA Council in Bahrain on May 9.”The January 10 decision to expand the World Cup marked a major victory for FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who has been on the job for just over a year.He boasted at the time that under the new format more countries “will have the chance to dream” and that a larger tournament will reflect “the World Cup of the 21st Century”.FIFA’s decision to expand the tournament infuriated many in the football world, with some branding it a money grab and a blatant bid by Infantino to win favour among developing world federations who helped elect him. Zurich, Switzerland | AFP | All football regions will see their World Cup slots increased when the tournament expands to 48 teams in 2026, with Africa the biggest winner, according to FIFA recommendations released Thursday.The plan to expand the competition beyond its current 32-team format, which is subject to approval at FIFA’s May Congress in Bahrain, guarantees Africa nine places, marking an increase of four.Asia, currently guaranteed between four and five World Cup entries, will get eight slots, while European confederation UEFA gets a boost from 13 to 16.The confederation for North, Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) will have six places, above its current level of between three and four.South America (CONMEBOL), which now has between four and five slots, will get six, according to the recommendations from FIFA’s ruling council.Oceana, which has not been guaranteed an entry in past World Cups, will be assured one spot.UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin declared his federation “satisfied” with the plan. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

PENSIONER TELLS COURT NOT TO MENTION DAUGHTER’S NAME DURING FARM DISPUTE

first_imgAn 89 year old woman told a court she didn’t want her daughter’s name mentioned during a court battle over a farm left in a contested will.89 yr old Nora Gildea at Letterkenny courthouse yesterday.Pensioner Nora Gildea became involved in heated exchanges with barrister Peter Nolan during the case which is being heard at Donegal Circuit Civil Court in Letterkenny. At one stage Mrs Gildea was asked about her daughter whom he has not spoken to for a number of years.Mrs Gildea replied “Don’t f****** talk to me about that woman. I don’t want to hear her f******* name.”The case has divided the Gildea and Kelly families who have sat on opposite sides of the courtroom during the hearing.Mrs Gildea is contesting land left to her daughter Nora Kelly by her brother William John Kennedy when he died in 2007.In total there are four people claiming the 12 hectare farm located at Correnagh, just 5kms outside Letterkenny.Mrs Kelly is seeking to establish ownership of the farm while Mrs Gildea is claiming some of the lands.Mrs Gildea’s sons are also claiming some of the land – Christopher is claiming the entire farm while Daniel is claiming ownership to a shed and some land around it.Nora KellyMrs Gildea had to be helped into the witness box yesterday (WED) to give her evidence.The mother of nine claimed she worked on the farm for her brother while also rearing her children and that is why she is claiming the land.“That land never belonged to Willie John Kennedy, it was owned by John Kennedy. That was a forced will,” she said.Barrister Peter Nolan put to Mrs Gildea she never worked the land but was only making claim to it after Willie John Kennedy died in 2007 and it was left to her daughter.“Are you seriously telling me that you had nine children under ten years of age and you worked the land as well. I put it to you that it was impossible to do that.“I suggest after Willie John died you got advise from some fireside lawyer that you had a right to this land and this is why you are here today,” said Mr Nolan.Christopher Gildea, 65, a brother of Mrs Kelly and son of Mrs Gildea, claimed he was only seeking grazing for his sheep despite looking to claim ownership of the entire parcel of land.He said he has been grazing his sheep on the land since 1971 and admitted he also owned and rented another 110 acres of land.Barrister Peter Nolan said “So what – you were grazing it? Does that entitle you to own the land?“You used the land for your now benefits and got free grazing and were very happy with that.“When Nora Kelly came along and said she wanted the land after getting an injunction you wrongly claimed it,” he said.James McMonagle, a son-in-law of Mrs Gildea, admitted he went onto lands where his mother-in-law had horses to feed the animals.He then claimed he was approached by members of the Kelly family who hit him with a torch.But barrister Peter Nolan replied “It was you who attacked Ms Fiona Kelly and scratched her in the face. It was you who threw her to the ground.“I put it to you that you are telling a pack of lies. You were on land that you should not have been on because there was an injunction against you going onto the land.”The case has been adjourned until today for summing up before Judge Mary Faherty when a decision is then expected.PENSIONER TELLS COURT NOT TO MENTION DAUGHTER’S NAME DURING FARM DISPUTE was last modified: November 15th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Christopher GlideaCOURT BATTLEDaniel GildeafarmNora Gildealast_img read more

Mack out, Eureka in Lakin tourney after Del Norte sweeps Panthers

first_imgCrescent City >> Allison Douglas allowed just four hits in 12 innings pitched as the Del Norte Warriors finished their Big 5 schedule with a doubleheader sweep of the McKinleyville Panthers Monday afternoon at Del Norte High School.The Warriors used the long ball to defeat the Panthers 11-1 in the opener that was decided via the 10-run rule. Del Norte then eked out a 2-1 victory in the nightcap as Douglas outdueled McKinleyville pitcher McKenzie Gonsalves.The Warrior bats got going early in …last_img

South Africa’s HIV/Aids battle plan

first_imgPrevention is at the heart of the government’s bold plan to fight the HIV/Aids epidemic, aiming to reduce the rate of new infections by at least 50%. Its holistic approach includes fighting tuberculosis, a massive HIV testing campaign, and extending South Africa’s ARV programme, which is already the biggest of its kind in the world.Prevention is at the heart of the new National Strategic Plan for HIV, sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) and TB. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterA bold plan to scale-up South Africa’s fight against HIV/Aids, integrating tuberculosis into its efforts against the epidemic for the first time, was announced by President Jacob Zuma on World Aids Day, 1 December 2011.Prevention is at the heart of the new National Strategic Plan for HIV, sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) and TB 2012-2016, which aims to reduce new infections by 50% by taking a holistic approach.The plan also promises to do much more in tackling related issues of violence against women.The NSP, which represents the country’s multisectoral response to the challenges of HIV, draws on the lessons of the previous NSP of 2007-2011, guides the development of provincial and sector implementation plans.Five goals, four objectivesThe plan brings together five goals and four strategic objectives, which combine to effectively prevent or treat HIV and TB infections.The five goals are:To reduce new infections by at least 50% by using a combination of prevention approaches.To ensure that at least 80% of people who are eligible for treatment for HIV are receiving it, with at least 70% being alive and still on treatment after five years.To reduce new TB infections and deaths from TB by 50%.To ensure an enabling and accessible legal framework that protects and promotes human rights to support implementation of the plan.To reduce the self-reported stigma related to HIV and TB by at least 50%.The NSP has identified four strategic objectives that will help South Africa reach these goals:Address the social and structural factors across all sectors that drive these epidemics, influence their impact, and affect the way we care for affected people.Prevent new HIV, STIs and TB infections through a combination of biomedical, behavioural, social and structural interventions.Sustain health and wellness, primarily by access to quality treatment, care and support services, and to develop programmes that focus on wellness.Protect the human rights of people living with HIV, primarily through ending stigma, discrimination, human rights violations and gender inequality.Vision – four zeroesThe NSP is based on a 20-year vision for reversing the burden of disease from HIV, STIs and TB in South Africa.Adopting the United Nations’ “three zeroes” agreed to at the UN high level meeting on Aids in New York in June 2011, South Africa has added a fourth, which aims to eliminate HIV transmission from mother to child.South Africa’s four zeroes are: zero new HIV and TB infection; zero new infections due to mother-to-child transmission; zero preventable deaths associated with HIV and TB; and zero discrimination associated with HIV and TB.Health profileSouth Africa has a generalised epidemic of HIV, driven largely by sexual transmission. There are large differences in HIV prevalence across age groups, gender, geographical area and socioeconomic status.According to Statistics South Africa, in 2011 16,6% of the adult population (aged 15- 49) years was living with HIV. There are an estimated 5,38-million people living with HIV, including about one-fifth of South African women in their reproductive ages.South Africa has the third highest level of TB in the world, after India and China. New infections have increased by 400% over the past 15 years, reaching 970 new infections per 100 000 people in 2009.About 1% of the South African population develops TB every year. In addition, more than 70% of patients are co-infected with both HIV and TB.The highest prevalence of TB infection is among people aged 30-39 years and living in townships and informal settlements.Violence against womenResearch shows that South Africa could often prevent HIV infections in young women if they were not subjected to violence and intimidation by their partners.“Government is prioritising the fight against the abuse of women and children through law enforcement as well as education and awareness,” Zuma said at the launch. “We must also enhance our socioeconomic interventions to deal with poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, and inequality . These either contribute to the spread of HIV or worsen the impact of the epidemic.”HIV Counselling and Testing campaignIn April 2010, the government launched its HIV Counselling and Testing campaign, which offers free testing to all patients at public hospitals and clinics across the country.The campaign seeks to promote voluntary HIV counselling and testing, encouraging all South Africans to know their HIV status and to be screened for TB at the same time.While providing people with the information and interventions they need to manage their health and to prevent further HIV transmission, the campaign aims to ensure that people in need are fast-tracked onto the treatment programme.It also seeks to raise awareness of the issues around HIV/Aids, foster a culture of collective responsibility among South Africans, and remove the social stigma attached to HIV/Aids.By mid-2012, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced that almost 20-million South Africans had been tested knew their status. Millions were also screened for TB.TreatmentThe re-engineering of South Africa’s primary health care places a special emphasis on community-based services. These have a critical role to play in expanding the quality and reach of health and wellness services, including early diagnosis, follow- up, support to adherence and retention in care.The HIV/Aids prevention and treatment plan aims to reduce the rate of infection in the country by 50 percent, while providing free antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to 80 percent of those who need it by 2016, a major extension to an ARV programme that is already the biggest of its kind in the world.In 2004, 47 000 people were on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment; by mid-2011 this had increased to 1,79-million people.An increase in ARV treatment has seen a reduction in the number of people dying as a result of HIV infection. By 2010, deaths in Gauteng, where life expectancy is 57 years, had dropped by 20% in 2010.The new NSP recommends that all HIV-positive TB patients should irrespective of their CD4 count, and that all infants under 24 months who test positive for HIV should be placed on ARVs. Infant children of HIV-positive mothers are treated regardless of their CD4 count.Other HIV/Aids treatment protocols, which have been in place since April 2010, include:HIV-positive pregnant women, and people co-infected with TB and HIV, receive free antiretroviral (ARV) treatment at CD4 counts of 350 or less.Antitretroviral treatment for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV starts at 14 weeks into pregnancy, instead of only during the last term of pregnancy.All public TB treatment sites in South Africa also have to test and treat for HIV, and vice-versa – recognition of the fact the high rate of TB in South Africa, as well as the 70% co-infection rate between TB and HIV.There is am emphasis on reducing the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/Aids. The government now integrates all aspects of its HIV programme with its maternal and child health programmes, and campaigns vigorously for women to report for ante- natal visits as soon as they suspect that they are pregnant in order to do the necessary tests on time.Male medical circumcisionAccording to the World Health Organisation, there is compelling evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by up to 60 percent.South Africa first launched its ongoing campaign to promote and conduct medical circumcision in April 2010. Since then, about 250 000 men have been circumcised. The target for 2016 is to have more than 4,3-million men circumcised.The Health Department will continue to promote the use of condoms, especially among older age groups, where HIV infections are increasing.Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has said that the campaign has many added benefits: “A lot of counselling of the young men takes place there, with traditional advice imparted to the young people, together with the technical aspect of HIV/Aids on male and female sexuality.”One the points strongly emphasised is that condoms should be used regardless of circumcision, with the Health Department continually increasing access to free condoms at public health facilities and other public centres.Multisectoral solutionThe NSP was developed by the South African National Aids Council, which represents all national and provincial government departments, civil-society organisations, trade unions, private-sector bodies and faith-based organisations that are working to reverse these epidemics. SANAC structures also include the country’s top researchers and experts on HIV, STIs and TB, as well as international development partners.See the South African National Aids Council for moreReviewed: 17 June 2012Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

What Architects Need to Know About Attic Kneewalls

first_imgHow to design an attic kneewall correctlyThe diagram below comes from the Georgia state energy code supplements and amendments (pdf), which has a lot of nice building enclosure details created by Southface. Notice that the diagram below calls for blocking at the bottom of the vaulted ceiling insulation, attic-side sheathing for the kneewall, and blocking between the floor joists under the kneewall. This should be standard fare for any architect working on homes with these details.The advice in this article doesn’t apply to all architects, of course. I know many who know how to do this correctly. Some even specify the building enclosure at the roofline to avoid having the problems cited here. Martin Holladay wrote a nice little piece for Fine Homebuilding a while back showing the two ways to insulate an attic kneewall.For you architects and building designers still drawing sections as shown at the top of this article, however, it’s time to change. If you’re going to specify a building with attic kneewalls and vaulted ceilings, these details matter. If you don’t get them right, the builders probably won’t build them right, and evidence of the problems will be plain for all to see. Not to mention that the rooms surrounded by these defects will be the most uncomfortable rooms in the house. One man I know even abandoned his man-cave because of these flaws. We were working on a project, so we got a set of plans to get started. It includes the attic kneewall and vaulted ceiling section you see at right. This is typical of plans that architects draw, and builders build houses this way all the time. Unfortunately, it contains several errors. Can you spot them?I’ve written about attic kneewalls and vaulted ceilings a few times before because they often create problems. This may be a regional thing because my friends in the Northeast are often surprised that builders don’t just move the building enclosure to the roofline with spray foam insulation, structural insulated panels, or foamboard on top of the roof deck. RELATED ARTICLES Solving Comfort Problems Caused by Attic KneewallsCape Cod Style Homes Are Difficult to HeatKeeping Cool in a Two-Story HouseGBA Encyclopedia: Vented or Unvented Attic?Q&A: I need help insulating a kneewall Two Ways to Insulate Attic Kneewalls What’s wrong with this section?Nevertheless, I’ve been in a lot of homes that have been built to the architectural specifications above, so let me point out the problems with the section you see in that diagram.Vaulted ceiling. Although there is a line, the designer has not called out that there should be blocking at the base of the insulation in the vaulted ceiling. Fiberglass, the insulation usually installed here, is air permeable, so ventilation air is as likely to flow through the insulation as above the baffle.Attic kneewall sheathing. Without sheathing on the attic-side of the kneewall, hot (or cold) attic air can get into the air-permeable fiberglass insulation most often used here. Even worse, the fiberglass batts often fall out, as shown in the photo below.Attic kneewall insulation. The section above calls for R-19 insulation. Fiberglass batts that meet that specification are typically 6 inches thick. Home builders usually build 2×4 kneewalls that are 3.5″ thick. The diagram shows the insulation sticking out beyond the kneewall framing. That extra bit of insulation hanging out in space will have little to no effect because attic air can easily move right through it.Floor joist blocking. The floor joists that go under the kneewall are often a source of comfort and energy performance problems. If the attic air can move through unimpeded — and fiberglass insulation offers little resistance — that floor can be a heat source in summer and can rob heat from the room in winter. 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