Cynthia Jele: ‘Look at local novels for films’

first_img22 April 2016She was in such awe that her book was doing well on the movie circuit, she hoped producers would turn more to local novels for their next projects, said Cynthia Jele, author of Happiness is a Four-Letter Word.In celebration of World Book and Copyright Day, which is observed on 23 April, the South African novelist believes any day that honours books and reading should get the thumbs up. “Books are sources of knowledge and inspiration. I wrote Happiness is a Four-Letter Word as a result of reading.“There is a famous quote by a British writer, Neil Gaiman, that sums up my feelings for books. It goes: ‘A book is a dream that you hold in your hands.’”AccoladesJele won first and fourth prizes in the 2008 BTA/Anglo-Platinum Short Story Competition. Three years later, her debut novel, Happiness is a Four-Letter Word, won Best First Book (Africa region) in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2011, as well as the 2011 M-Net Literary Award in the film category. The novel, which celebrates love and female friendships, was also shortlisted for the 2011 Booksellers Choice Award.Earlier in her writing career, in 2006, Jele self-published a guide, So You Wanna Be an Au Pair in the USA: What Your Agency Will Never Tell. It covered the experiences she and others had of au pairing in the United States.Jele was also one of the first Faces of Fundza and her short stories, such as The Big Crush, are published on the Fundza mobi site. Fundza Literacy Trust is a South African non-profit organisation dedicated to improving literacy among teens and young adults, which does through using technology accessible to its target market, such as smartphones.The beginning“I once attended a reading session given by an American author, where towards the end of her talk she took the audience through a short writing exercise: she read out a line from a new short story she was working on and asked the audience to complete the first two paragraphs,” Jele told Fundza about how her writing journey started.“I remember the thrill of trying to put something on a piece of paper. When I got home, I pulled out my computer and wrote a short story. I haven’t stopped since.” That was about 10 years ago.It took her three years to write her debut novel, which she completed in 2009.“I was tired of books that I battled to identify with because most of them were set in different countries with different nationalities,” she explained to Bona magazine about her motivation.“Based on that, I decided to write a book that people could identify with. I was nervous because it was my first. I had no literature qualifications; all I knew was that I wanted to write it. I started writing about the women I know and mirrored the average modern day woman’s life.”And it has resonated with many women:Nandi from Happiness Is A Four Letter Word reminded me of myself so much, so weird.The love of Merlot & Avocado and how she’s so indecisive.— Nasiphi Q. Mvunyiswa (@NasiphiQM) April 17, 2016Happiness Is a Four-letter Word is going international, starting with a theatrical release in Nigeria https://t.co/8I2E44TO11— City Press Online (@City_Press) April 12, 2016Watched Happiness Is A Four Letter Word for the first time today and I actually quite enjoyed it. Good quality South African movie— Innocentia Shole (@InnieShole) April 17, 2016Writing was a solitary exercise, Jele said, that required a lot of discipline and commitment. “I also have a full-time job as a director at Enterpriseroom, an enterprise and supplier development consultancy. It competes with my writing time. It’s easy not to write, except writing is the most fulfilling experience for me.“I love how for that minute, hour, hours, I can get lost in my characters’ world. It’s like living a double life.”World Book and Copyright DayTo Irina Bokova, the director-general of Unesco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, a book is a link between the past and the future. “It is a bridge between generations and across cultures. It is a force for creating and sharing wisdom and knowledge,” she said.According to the United Nations, 23 April is a symbolic date for world literature. “It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejia Vallejo,” says the world organisation.World Book and Copyright Day is held to pay worldwide tribute to books and authors. It is also to encourage everyone to discover the pleasure of reading.last_img read more

High-Performance Dehumidification

first_imgThe basement of our well-insulated and air-sealed 100+ year old home is dry, but enough moisture (as vapor) makes its way through our concrete walls and slab that dehumidification is a must from about April through October. Dehumidification comes with a pretty big energy penalty, so I am proactive in managing this load: when I see that the weather and forecast is for a dry day, I start the day by opening up our half-dozen basement hopper windows, and then close them up at the end of the day (see Image #1 at the top of the page). This just takes a couple of minutes, and Mother Nature manages our basement humidity. But there are many non-heating-season days when we manage the basement humidity with our off-the-shelf 50-pint Whirlpool dehumidifier (see Image #2 in the image gallery). It has done a fine job, but I got to wondering just how old the unit was, and how its efficiency was faring. The unit also seemed quite noisy (but honestly, maybe it was always that way).RELATED ARTICLESAll About DehumidifiersThe Pros and Cons of Running a DehumidifierDo Humidifiers Create IAQ Problems?Preventing Water Entry Into a Home I took the housing off the face of the dehumidifier unit to inspect the coils (see Image #3) and to check out the specs (see Image #4). The coils were a bit dirty, but easily cleaned. What really surprised me was that the unit was quite a bit older than I thought (manufactured in 2003, since the “P” in the serial number stands for a manufacturing date of 2003; see Whirlpool Date Codes) and its Energy Factor was just 1.35 (L/kWh: liters per kilowatt-hour) — not even Energy Star. How has this unit’s efficiency held up over the many years? Benchtop measurement of a dehumidifier’s Energy Factor There is of course a standard test for Energy Factor; it used to be ASTM C 749 (as cited on the Whirlpool unit’s spec label — Image #4) but now is ANSI/AHAM DH-1 (as detailed in Appendix X to Subpart B of Part 430 – Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Dehumidifiers). My version of the test was to hook up a Kill A Watt meter to the dehumidifier, and collect the condensate over a 24-hour period. I did that for the Whirlpool unit in our basement under these conditions: Initial basement temperature and relative humidity: 78°F/68% (as measured by a HOBO datalogger; see Image #5) Intermittent operation over the 24 hours, with constant operation “setting” Average operating power: 590 watts (see Image #6) Test period: 6 a.m. August 14 through 6 a.m. August 15 Output: 6.3 liters Input: 4.32 kWh Conclusion: The benchtop Energy Factor is 1.47 L/kWh. Wow – pretty impressive efficiency considering the unit’s age. But it started out as pretty unimpressive. (A current version of this same Whirlpool dehumidifier would be the Whirlpool WHAD501AW. It’s EF is 2.0 and it retails for about $200.) There is a long list of conditions that make my benchtop test different than a laboratory test done to all the specifications of a standard. The most meaningful comparison will be to the new high-performance dehumidifier, coming up next. High-performance dehumidifier For the last twenty years at least, the U.S. company Thermastor has been a key contributor to the Building America program, quietly but steadily educating builders about the importance of managing latent load, particularly in efficient homes with longer shoulder seasons. As part of my work with Hanley Wood University’s Homebuilding Crossroads workshops , I have been doing a lot of tech-talk with Nikki Krueger at Thermastor. When she asked how I was keeping my own basement dry and I described my aged Whirlpool unit, she said, “Want to give our new Santa Fe Advance 100 a try?” I could see GBA benchtop testing written all over this offer. So, earlier this week I installed the Santa Fe Advance 100 (a dehumidifier that retails for $1,799) in our basement (see Image #7). I did an identical benchtop Energy Factor test with the Advance 100: Initial basement temperature and relative humidity: 78F/68% (as measured by a HOBO datalogger; see Image #8) Intermittent operation over the 24 hours, with setting RH = 60% Average operating power: 660 watts (see Image 9) Test period: 6 a.m. August 15 through 6 a.m. August 16 Output: 13.5 liters Input: 5.04 kWh Conclusion: The benchtop Energy Factor is 2.68 L/kWh. Pretty impressive efficiency. And pretty much inline with the EF reported on the SF Advance 100 spec sheet (see Image #10). But how else is the Advance 100 different or better than an off-the-shelf standard dehumidifier, such as the Whirlpool I had in my basement for all those years? Beyond straight dehumidification You can go to the Santa Fe website and get their version of the differences, but here is what I found: Much quieter operation – the fan motors are higher quality, with less vibration; Made mostly of metal, not plastic – the Advance 100 is a sturdier (and heavier) unit; Includes air filtration – MERV 8 pleated filter is very easy to change out; Includes “circulation” mode – a mode that pushes the fan to high speed to increase mixing and to even out the space’s relative humidity and temperature; Can be ducted – the unit is designed for and capable of being ducted so that the unit can be in a different space than the space it serves; Accurate sensors – the LED readout-panel on the Advance 100 was always within 1°F and 1% RH of the Hobo data logger in my basement; Remote internet-based operation (more on this below); Made in U.S.A. – pretty rare these days, and for me it translates into very responsive technical service. As with most modern new appliances, the Advance 100 is tied to the internet. You download the Santa Fe Connect app, and from your phone you can see and set the operation of your Advance 100. Every half hour it updates weather conditions for your zip code, and the app sends alerts if there is anything awry regarding your setpoint and current RH (see Images #11 and #12). Very cool! Now if I can just get an app that will open and close my basement windows when the weather is nice and dry…last_img read more

NIA questions three Kashmiri separatists

first_imgThree Kashmiri separatists were questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) at its Delhi office on Monday in connection with a case related to funding terrorist and subversive activities in Jammu and Kashmir.An NIA official said Farooq Ahmad Dar, alias ‘Bitta Karate’, Nayeem Khan and Javed Ahmed Baba, alias ‘Gazi’, of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat were questioned on Monday and they had been asked to appear again on Tuesday. Dar, Ahmed and Khan were asked to bring certain bank and property documents, besides other papers, before the NIA team that had questioned them in Srinagar few days ago.Sting operationKhan, National Front chief, was seen on television during a sting operation by a televison channel, confessing to have allegedly received money from Pakistan-based terror groups.Inquiry initiatedThe NIA has initiated a preliminary inquiry against separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, for allegedly receiving funds from Hafiz Saeed to carry out subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley, including throwing stones at security forces, damaging public property and burning schools and other government establishments.Khan has since been suspended from the Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference.last_img read more

CWG 2014: Indian flag shown upside down in official video song

first_imgThe Indian tricolour was shown upside down in the official CWG video songIndia has hit the headlines for reasons other than sporting in the just-begun Commonwealth Games here after it came to light that the country’s flag was shown upside down in the official song for the 11-day event.The official song titled “Let the Games Begin” is also the Glasgow Children’s 2014 anthem for Unicef.The song features the flags of all the participating countries but the makers have blundered while showcasing the tricolour.India, who finished second in the medals in the previous edition of the event in Delhi, has sent a 215-strong contingent this time.The Games kicked off yesterday with a colourful opening ceremony here.last_img