The Clothes Washer Revolution

first_imgIn the 1980s, when my wife and I were expecting our first child, we decided it was time to give up our weekly adventure at the laundromat and buy our first clothes washer: a used Maytag. It was rugged and generally dependable despite its age, but it had a big drawback: it used about 50 gallons of water to wash a load of laundry. Our house was served by a spring that often ran dry in the late summer, so we had to watch our water use very carefully. It wasn’t too long before we decided to replace that Maytag.Even back then, I was a resource-efficiency fanatic, and I wanted to buy a high-efficiency washer that would use not only significantly less water but also a lot less energy–because most of the energy use of a clothes washer is to heat the water. I had done enough research on laundry appliances to know that front-loading (horizontal-axis or H-axis) washers were much more efficient than top-loading (vertical-axis or V-axis) model. Front-loaders were common in laundromats, and they dominated the market in Europe.In the U.S. residential appliance market, however, only one front-loader was on the market back then. It was made by White-Westinghouse and was far from a best-seller. I did some digging, though, and managed to order one through an appliance dealer in Brattleboro, Vermont.H-axis clothes washers are more efficient than V-axis models because the laundry doesn’t have to be all the way submerged in wash water to be cleaned. In an H-axis machine, the perforated drum holding the clothes sits in a watertight tub holding a relatively small amount of wash water and, as the drum rotates first in one direction then the other, the clothes are dipped into and out of the water. In a standard top-loader with vertical “agitator,” by contrast, to ensure that the clothes are cleaned, the drum has to be nearly full of water.As a result, most top-loading clothes washers use 40-50 gallons of water to wash a load of laundry (some new ones are better), compared with only about 20 gallons for a typical H-axis model–and according to most experts, they do a better job getting clothes clean. If you wash laundry in hot water, the less water you use, the more energy you save. In using less water, H-axis washers also require less laundry detergent, achieving additional savings. Most of them spin much faster, so they remove more moisture and you can save energy on clothes drying. Finally, because you don’t have to access the washer from the top, you can stack a washer and dryer, saving space in your house. The major downside is that you have to bend over to load and unload the washer.We were happy to save water and energy with our White-Westinghouse washer. But it did take some getting used to. It turns out that to support the heavy drum on a single bearing in the back, a large counterweight was required to keep the machine balanced. I mean really heavy!The machine had something like a 200-pound concrete mass built into it, and when it would go into the spin cycle, it sounded like a 737 about to take off. Visitors to our home, upon hearing it, would look around wondering if an airplane was about to crash into our back bathroom where the clothes washer was located.With all the vibration, the washer, despite being weighted down by a dryer sitting on top of it, would gradually “walk” across the bathroom, requiring us to periodically muscle it back into place—no easy task, given its weight. And all the vibration wore it out after not-too-many years.I’m glad to report that today’s H-axis washers are much more common and much better. The market share of H-axis washers in the U.S has grown from about 1% in 1995, to over 30% of sales today. As availability has increased, reliability has improved and costs have dropped.We replaced our old washer with the model that replaced it when Frigidaire acquired White-Westinghouse and infused European H-axis technology to their North American products. We used that washer quite successfully for perhaps a dozen years, and just replaced it a couple years ago with an even better Whirlpool Duet, which we have been highly satisfied with.I invite you to share your comments on this blog. You can also follow my musings on Twitter.last_img read more

Maharashtra to hold competition to promote startups

first_imgThe Maharashtra government will conduct a Business Plan Competition (BPC) to give a boost to industrial and economic growth and promote budding entrepreneurs and startups.Organised by the Maharashtra State Innovation Society (MSInS), the State government on Monday issued guidelines for conducting the BPC. Each district will have one such competition in every financial year. “Any individual, organisation, group or establishment can participate in the competition with an innovative business idea aimed at addressing a problem faced by the district, which can be converted in to a business model,” said the guidelines.In the districts, the BPC will be organised annually by the respective District Innovation Councils. Applications will be invited through the MSInS web portal in various sectors. The competition will be divided into three categories wherein applicants will suggest an innovative solution to an existing problem, or come up with an innovative product/process or service for the growth and betterment of the district.It also aims to provide a platform to schools, colleges and other institutions or individuals to propose innovative business ideas to address issues faced by local communities and society. The Maharashtra State Innovative Start-up Policy, 2018 provides for organising various events and competitions throughout the year to provide global exposure to the startup ecosystem and to further deepen the engagement between the Government of Maharashtra and the startup ecosystem.Participants will have to submit proof of concept and the business plan to participate in the competition. A total of 100 applications will be chosen from the entries in each district, and applicants will be asked to present their ideas on stage. “The winner will get a work order of up to ₹5 lakh from the department that the business model is related to. The district-level innovation society will mentor the winners for six months and they will be invited to participate in the Maharashtra Startup Week,” the guidelines said.last_img read more

Olympian Michael Phelps loses race against Great White Shark

first_imgRematch? Next time..warmer water. #SW30 @Discovery @SharkWeek— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) July 24, 2017Disappointed fansMeanwhile, viewers expressed their disappointment with the race—not because Phelps lost—but due to the fact that most were expecting the two competitors to swim side-by-side in a pool of some sort.ADVERTISEMENT Several divers were also around during Phelps’ run, to ensure his safety considering he was swimming in shark-infested waters off the coast of South Africa.  Khristian Ibarrola /raSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Michael Phelps. / AFP PHOTO / François-Xavier MARITThe much-anticipated showdown between the world’s most decorated swimmer, Michael Phelps, and perhaps the ocean’s fiercest predator, the Great White Shark, went down over the weekend.READ: Olympian Michael Phelps set to race against Great White SharkADVERTISEMENT Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Billed as “The Great Gold vs. The Great White” by the Discovery Channel ahead of “Shark Week,” Phelps showcased a valiant effort, but fell short of his hope to win the made-for-television race against the dreaded beast.According to Bleacher Report, the unnamed shark bested the 32-year-old Phelps by a mere 2 seconds, finishing the open ocean course in 36.1 seconds, against the Olympian’s 38.1.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsMeanwhile, the 23-time gold medalist, who’s not used to coming in second place in swimming races, is already itching for a rematch.“Rematch? Next time..warmer water,” he wrote on Twitter. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Instead, both the shark and Phelps took turns swimming for 100 meters at different times, even as Discovery imposed an image of the shark on the other side of Phelps to give the appearance of an actual swimming competition.Call me crazy but I thought they were gonna put Phelps up against a real shark not a simulation. I feel robbed. #SharkWeek #PhelpsVsShark pic.twitter.com/XgdEphkl6m— Meg Conley (@MegDownSouth) July 24, 2017 Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress MOST READ Both of my girls have left the room. Disappointed Phelps isn’t side-by-side w/great white. #PhelpsVsShark #SharkWeek @Discovery— T.J. Holmes (@tjholmes) July 24, 2017 Kasey Kahne ends victory drought at marathon Brickyard 400 Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ America’s collective disappointment when we realized that #PhelpsVsShark is all just science and simulations: pic.twitter.com/bTww7dAWm3— Lindsey Barr (@simply_lindsey) July 24, 2017 View commentslast_img read more

Indian cricketer Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman set to retire

first_imgThe sun may soon set on one of the most joyous visuals in world cricket the wristy elegance of Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman.The stylish Hyderabadi cricketer is all set to call it a day after the two-Test series against New Zealand, commencing on August 23, in his home town.Laxman is expected to make the announcement on his retirement in a day or two.The man who has earned the moniker ‘Very Very Special’ for his masterful strokeplay has been out of form for the last two seasons, and reportedly told his close friends and a few sports correspondents on Friday that he had decided to retire from international cricket. He also said he would like to make an announcement to this effect before the commencement of the India-New Zealand Test series, for which he has been picked.”I would take a final call after discussing with my parents, wife, well-wishers, coaches and other friends,” he is learnt to have said.Laxman did not respond to calls and text messages when Mail Today tried to contact him to get confirmation about the reports on his retirement. Sources close to him, however, confirmed that he had made up his mind.Laxman made his Test debut in 1996 against South Africa and has so far played 134 Tests, scoring 8,781 runs including 17 centuries and 56 fifties, at an average of 45.97. He also played 86 ODIs, scoring 2,338 runs with six hundreds.The most disappointing aspect of his glorious career would be his failure of not playing in any of the four World Cup editions during his career span.advertisementSources said Laxman had, in fact, decided to announce his retirement much before the selection of team.”The retirement of Rahul Dravid brought a lot of pressure on him to follow suit, as he had not performed well in both the Test series in England and Australia. Since then, he was toying with the idea of quitting the international cricket,” sources said.In fact, Laxman’s average during the four-Test series against Australia was 19.38 and before that, he had just averaged 22.75 in the series against England.In between these two series, however, he had put up a good show against the West Indies in a three-Test home series by scoring 298 runs with a stupendous average of 99.33.Following the pathetic performance in Australia, Laxman was under pressure to quit, as there was criticism against him that he was blocking the way for youngsters. He was apprehensive that he might not be picked for the series against New Zealand, but the selectors have thought otherwise.They picked him in the squad as they apparently thought a senior cricketer like him would form the backbone of the team in the absence of Dravid. Thus, Laxman decided to play for the last time for the country. “Obviously, he wants to retire with grace by putting up a decent performance in the home series,” sources said.last_img read more

Asian Games: Jwala Gutta pulls out, Ashwini left without partners

first_imgJwala Gutta has pulled out of the Asian Games with an injury.Jwala Gutta has pulled out of the Asian Games following a knee injury while Ashwini Ponnappa faces a crisis of partners for the mega event.Ponnappa will be without her regular partners in both events – women’s doubles and mixed doubles. Tarun Kona, who was to partner Ashwini in mixed doubles, has been dropped from the contingent.Four other shuttlers – Aparna Balan, Rituparna Das, Kona and Arun Vishnu – too have been struck down. Ashwini’s new partners are yet to be finalised. Jwala aggravated her injury in right knee during a training session on Monday.”My physio advised me to take two weeks rest. I was playing with a sprained By Avishek Roy in New Delhi knee and on Monday I aggravated it during training. I have been playing with taping all this while,” said Jwala.”It was a tough decision. The Asian Games is very important to me but there are important events lined up in next couple of years and I cannot afford to take any risk. I spoke to Ashwini and she understood the problem. I will be looking to make a comeback with the European circuit.”Ashwini, meanwhile, is not clear with whom she will play in doubles. “We can’t do much when injury happens. It is a setback. I thought I will, at least, have my regular partner Tarun in mixed doubles. But it was so unfortunate to find that Tarun’s name has been dropped from the contingent. I don’t know how to go about it,” she said. Though Ashwini’s former partner Pradnya Gadre is in the squad, the former will prefer combining with P V Sindhu.advertisement”I am just looking at different possibilities at the moment. The final decision has to be in the interest of the team. I will be comfortable with Sindhu. She has a good smash and she played in doubles in Thomas and Uber Cup recently,” she added.The final decision will rest with chief coach Pullela Gopichand. A top Badminton Association of India (BAI) official said the ministry had asked them to cut down on a few players. “They asked us which players have the possibilities of winning medals. There is no mixed doubles in team event. We can do with the current list.”last_img read more