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Hybrid harvester captures energy from sunlight and raindrops

Post Republished By Alfonso Hilsaca Eljadue (.com)

Turco Hilsaca, del Cristo Hilsaca

Could solar windows harvest energy from the rain?

In recent years, renewables have gone from playing a relatively minor role in the world’s energy landscape, to a central one. Thanks to growing economies of scale, solar, wind and hydroelectric generation is now price competitive with (and often cheaper than) fossil fuel options. Efforts to make these technologies ever more efficient, or to redesign them to suit a wider range of applications continue apace. In the solar sector, silicon-based photovoltaics cells still dominate the market. But there’s a growing interest in transparent and semi-transparent solar cells, thanks to their potential for integration into existing structures, such as windows and glass roofs.

An international team, led by materials engineers at the Ocean University of China, has taken a unique approach to this. Writing in NanoEnergy [DOI: 10.1016/j.nanoen.2022.107776], they report on their development of a proof-of-concept hybrid energy harvesting device. Combining semi-transparent polymer solar cells (ST-PSCs) and liquid−solid triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs), they say it can generate electricity from both sunlight and raindrops. Could ‘rainy day’, see-through solar panels be a step closer?

The team started by making a series of opaque PSCs in both conventional and inverted configurations. The thickness and microstructure of the active layer was varied to optimise the output. From this, they found the best performing blend for the active layer, which was then used to manufacture semi-transparent polymer solar cells (ST-PSCs) on rigid and flexible substrates. These devices demonstrated stable performance under sustained bending, and achieved photovoltaic efficiencies of 17.4% and 15.7% (for rigid and flexible substrates, respectively). A dielectric/metal/dielectric was added to further improve the transmittance and colour-rendering properties of the rigid ST-PSC.

The next step was to add transparent TENGs to the top surface of the two devices. This was done by combining a 130µm-thick layer of fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) and a platinum electrode. Negative charges would be generated on the FEP surface due to the triboelectric effect between water droplets (which are conductive) and FEP, while positive charges would be generated on the PSC top electrode. A continuous stream of water droplets was used to characterise the performance of the TENG. The maximum electrical power output measured under this test was 2.62 W m−2. The authors write that “… one waterdrop (volume: 35 μL, height: 15 cm) can light more than 20 light-emitting diodes” in one of their hybrid devices. The TENG also retained a voltage of ~80V under conditions equivalent to heavy rain.

The TENG’s relatively high effective transmittance (87.75%) for wavelengths of 350−1000 nm allowed light to pass through it and reach the ST-PSC. And while this reduced the light-to-electricity conversion of the solar cell, values of 10.1% and 8.4% under 1 sun were still achieved. The maximum electrical power output was 101 W m−2 on sunny days.

They conclude, “Our work paves an intriguing prospect of developing ST-PSC/TENG hybrid systems for solar and raindrop energy conversion, not merely scaling up the green electricity production under different weather conditions, but also evaluating their integrability, transparency, amenity and sustainability for versatile window-integrated applications.”


Tong Liu, Yang Zheng, Yunxiang  Xu, Xianjie Liu, Chuanfei Wang, Liangmin Yu, Mats Fahlman, Xiaoyi Li, Petri Murto, Junwu Chen, Xiaofeng Xu. “Semitransparent polymer solar cell/triboelectric nanogenerator hybrid systems: Synergistic solar and raindrop energy conversion for window-integrated applications,” Nano Energy, Vol 103 A (2022), 107776. DOI: 10.1016/j.nanoen.2022.107776

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Discover the ICONIC AWARDS 2022: Innovative Interior

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca


Discover the ICONIC AWARDS 2022: Innovative Interior

Sudden lifestyle changes driven by the ongoing pandemic forced many to become well aware that the space they inhabit directly influences their well-being. Living and working spaces have adapted accordingly, incorporating features that promote calmness, health and sensitivity through innovation. Recognizing these new priorities, this year’s ICONIC AWARDS: Innovative Interior honoured the most important international design innovations, focusing on products that have special relevance in the context of the pandemic. The German Design Council’s prestigious award is regarded as the trend barometer of the interior design industry, showcasing outstanding appliances and furnishings that respond to four current concepts: Smart together, Less is more, Homo movens, and Material innovation.

Responding to physical health needs, the first trend addresses the growing demand for smart technologies in the design of sanitary products. Whether through apps, sensors, electronic services or internet-based programmes, these are crucial in enabling social interaction while minimizing infection risks. On an aesthetic level, the minimalistic, ‘less is more’ design trend has continued to gain ground. Products have shown a reduction to the essential, giving way to a new simplicity with muted colours and discreet material surfaces.  

Discover the ICONIC AWARDS 2022: Innovative Interior - Image 2 of 2
Reflect by Reform, in collaboration with Jean Nouvel. Image Courtesy of Reform

Objects are also becoming more hybrid as the demand for mobility and flexibility increases. Under the ‘Homo movens’ (Man on the move) concept, their functions are merged, transportable replaces stationary, and assembly – or disassembly – is easier than ever. Essentially, material innovation is the key driver for all of these trends. Hand in hand with advanced technologies and fabrication methods, it has motivated the emergence of unique objects that, combining new forms and sustainability, have provided previously unknown design solutions.

Based on these contemporary interior design trends, the international jury has selected, from 450 entries, a total of 112 winners: 22 designs for the ‘Best of Best’ award, 75 for the ‘Winner’ award and 15 more for the ‘Selection’ award. These are recognized for their use of colour, simplicity, practicality and aesthetics and include innovative bathroom, kitchen, workplace, furniture and lighting solutions.

Learn more about the winning designs on Architonic.

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How to know if a secondary suite or basement apartment is legal—and a worthwhile investment

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca



What’s required for a legal secondary suite? 

In Canada, the provinces and territories set their own building codes and regulations. The specific rules can vary from one province or territory to another, but most have standards and requirements that cover things like: 

  • Permissible location of the secondary unit
  • Room size, ceiling heights and number of windows
  • Heating and ventilation
  • Plumbing, electrical and lighting systems
  • Fire safety, including smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Number and location of exits and emergency escapes

Although these standards are implemented by the provinces and territories, municipalities enforce zoning and land-use bylaws that allow for secondary suites to be built. This means secondary suites may be legal in some parts of a province or territory but not in others. So if you’re buying a home with a secondary unit, or you’re planning to add one to a property, confirm what is allowed and required with your local government. 

Do you need a permit? 

If you’re building a secondary unit as part of a single-dwelling home, one of the most important steps is obtaining the proper permits. Permits grant you the approval to make changes to the property and certify that the work will be done safely and according to code. It doesn’t matter if you’re not doing major construction—a permit may be needed simply to change the use of the building.

Depending on the scope of the work, you may need to request permits for different components, including the building, plumbing and electrical. 

What happens if you have an illegal secondary suite?

You should never create or maintain a two-unit dwelling without proper authorization. Without a permit, you may be fined, forced to end your tenancy agreement or ordered to stop construction (regardless if the demolition work is already in progress). 

Being found in violation of building codes, such as fire safety standards, can also lead to prosecution and significant fines—even jail time. In Ontario, for example, a fire code violation can result in a fine of up to $25,000 and a prison term of one year. Any income you might receive from renters pales in comparison.

If you plan to buy a property with a secondary unit, you should still have the unit inspected and approved for tenant use by the municipality. If the unit was not previously authorized, and a fire or flood occurs under your ownership, you could be held responsible for building code violations.

And don’t be caught off guard by a surprise inspection. Remember that anyone can inquire and request an inspection of your second unit. It could be a neighbour or tenant, or even a city official inspecting a different unit in the neighbourhood. Protect yourself by ensuring everything is up to code from day one. 

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Whidbey Island Plane crash families ‘hope the recovery effort is successful’

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca



Searchers have recovered some of the nine missing victims from a floatplane that crashed into Mutiny Bay off Whidbey Island on Sept. 4. The crash killed nine adults and a child.

‘Will to live’ is key, Coast Guard says of ongoing Whidbey Island plane crash search and rescue

Recovery crews are working around-the-clock to bring the plane’s wreckage up from the sea floor under challenging currents and conditions.

On the day of the crash, one body was found. It was later identified as that of Gabrielle Hanna, a Seattle-based attorney.

Thursday, Hanna’s parents, David and Marcie von Beck, released a statement about the recovery efforts through their attorney.

“We all hope that the recovery effort is successful and that everybody’s loved ones are recovered and the cause of this horrific crash is determined. We miss our dear Gabby every day, with all of our hearts. She was truly a shining star,” the attorney’s statement read.

The von Becks and family members of passengers Lauren Hilty, her husband Ross Mickel, their toddler Remy Mickel, and unborn child Luca Mickel also commented through their attorneys.

“Words cannot adequately convey the depth of our grief. The past three weeks have been absolute torture as we continue to anxiously await the retrieval of the plane and, more importantly, our loved ones. Our hope is this retrieval process is successful, but we know this is just the first step on our long, painful road ahead,” the attorney’s statement read.

The Seattle law firm of Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender is representing both families. It is not known if any legal actions are planned, but the law firm lists representing injured persons in aviation and wrongful death among their areas of focus.

The National Transportation Safety Board reports 80% of the floatplane wreckage has now been recovered from the bottom of Mutiny Bay, including the engine, gears, and propeller.

NTSB Experts will now begin the process of investigating what happened to cause the DHC-3 Turbine Otter to suddenly dive into Puget Sound.

The plane broke apart and most of the debris ended up about 190 feet deep in the water.

Two barges are anchored close to where sophisticated sonar from the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Lab located the wreckage. An underwater drone, known as the Deep Drone 8000 ROV, which is equipped with sonar and lighting systems, was brought in to help recover the wreckage.

Federal investigators say it may take a year or two to learn the cause of the crash.

All About Lights

Steelite International Announces Acquisition of Walco Stainless

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca



Steelite International Announces Acquisition of Walco Stainless – Lighting Industry News Today – EIN Presswire

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Kelvin Hall production hub launches with STV the first studio residency

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca


BBC Studioworks officially launches Kelvin Hall production hub with STV Studios confirming the first studio residency.

BBC Studioworks has officially launched its new purpose-built studio, set in the heart of Glasgow’s West End in the iconic Kelvin Hall. Co-funded by the Scottish Government, through Screen Scotland and Glasgow City Council, the facility is a major boost to Scotland’s capacity to produce multi-genre TV productions and fuels the growth of Scotland’s creative workforce.

David MortimerManaging Director of STV Studios:

“Having already transformed part of Kelvin Hall – one of Glasgow’s most iconic venues – into a three-storey prison set for our Channel 4 drama Screw last year, we’re thrilled to be the first production company to film at BBC Studioworks’ impressive new purpose-built studio next door. As a Scotland-based production company, it’s important to us that we support the wealth of talent and facilities across Scotland’s creative sector, so it’s a no-brainer that this studio becomes the new home of our quiz show, Bridge of Lies.  We’re delighted to be bringing host Ross Kemp to Kelvin Hall for a busy three weeks of filming”.

Today sees BBC Studioworks facilitate STV Studios as its first client to record in and utilise the new studio, with the second series of BBC One’s quiz show, Bridge of Lies. With three recordings per day, the three-week studio residency will comprise 25 daytime episodes and an additional eight celebrity episodes for primetime. Other production titles have also confirmed residencies and will be announced in the near future.

BBC Studioworks has invested in the latest technology for Kelvin Hall while ensuring consistency with its other studios and the ability to easily adapt as technology continues to evolve. As well as installing HD facilities to ensure the best possible picture quality, Kelvin Hall features high-quality audio equipment for pristine broadcast-grade sound. Resilient internet connectivity together with hardwired and radio communication systems ensures an enhanced level of robustness in production communications, user flexibility and performance.

Covering a large footprint of 10,500 sq. ft, Kelvin Hall can accommodate both long-term residencies and spot bookings for a wide range of entertainment shows across multiple genres. The sound and lighting galleries are the largest that BBC Studioworks has built across its entire UK footprint.

Sustainability has been a key driver in studio design. As part of a wider redevelopment initiative at the site, it repurposes a previously derelict section of a historically important building. The studio has been designed without dimmers to support LED and low-energy lighting technology. The reduced heat generated by the low-energy lighting has enabled the use of air-source heat pump technology for heating and cooling, and the ventilation plant has class-leading efficiency using heat recovery systems. The studio will reduce the carbon footprint of local TV production and fuel the growth of the sector by boosting local employment.

With the launch of the Kelvin Hall studio, alongside the growing demand to make more TV shows in Scotland, the requirement for local production talent will grow significantly. BBC Studioworks, alongside its partners, Screen Scotland and the NFTS, are investing in the development of a skilled, dynamic and diverse pipeline of creative talent to support the expansion in the sector and put Scotland on the map as a major television production destination. Joint investment has already been made as part of a Multi-Camera TV Conversion Programme, to help individuals with some experience in the industry kickstart their careers in studio entertainment production. The intention is for this investment to continue.

Andrew MoultrieCEO BBC Studioworks:

“This is a new and exciting chapter for BBC Studioworks as we expand our footprint across the UK. This is also a new chapter for this historic and much-loved building. Adding to its rich and varied history, Kelvin Hall now boasts a purpose-built studio facility which is futureproofed with cutting edge and industry leading technology.

The fact that we have the production powerhouse, STV Studios as our first client is testament to the world class quality of the facilities and this unique space which now exists as part of Scotland’s rich creative landscape. We are proud to continue Kelvin Hall’s amazing legacy which has spanned many generations, complimenting the creative sector here in Glasgow and helping Scotland’s creative communities thrive.”

Fact File

Cameras, visions mixers and monitors

  • Six Sony HDC-3200 studio cameras. The 3200 is Sony’s latest model which has a native UHD 4K image sensor and can easily be upgraded to UHD.
  • Sony XVS7000 vision switcher, LMD and A9 OLED monitors for control room monitoring.

Hardwired and radio communications systems 

  • 32 Bolero radio beltpacks with the distributed Artist fibre-based intercom platform and for external comms, VOIP codecs. 
  • A SAM Sirius routing platform solution to support the most challenging applications in a live production environment and to ensure easy adoption of future technology innovations.


  • Studer Vista X large-scale audio processing solution that provides pristine sound for broadcast. 
  • Calrec Type R grams mixing desk. A super-sized grams desk provides ample space for the operation of the Type R desk and associated devices, such as Spot On instant replay machines. 
  • A Reaper multi-track recording server.


  • ETC Ion XE20 lighting desk and an ETC DMXLan lighting network.
  • 108 lighting bars with a mix of 16A and 32A outlets (if tungsten is required).
  • 48 Desisti F10 Vari-White Fresnels.
  • 24 ETC Source 4 Series 3 Lustr X8 coming early 2023. 
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US Commercial Buildings Continued To Increase Their Energy Efficiency As Of 2018

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca


According to our recently released 2018 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), the total floorspace in commercial buildings has increased but energy consumption has not, compared with our last survey (2012 CBECS). This difference indicates that the consumption per square foot (energy intensity) has decreased, which means that its efficiency has likely increased.

imageData source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS)
Note: *Change is statistically significant at the 10% significance level. ** Change is statistically significant at the 10% and 5% significance levels.
” data-medium-file=”×195.png” data-large-file=”×390.png” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-277763″ src=”×390.png” alt width=”800″ height=”390″ srcset=”×390.png 800w,×195.png 400w,×374.png 768w, 1536w” sizes=”(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px”>

Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS)

The 2018 data showed a decrease in energy intensity of 12% since 2012, from 80,000 British thermal units (Btu) per square foot to 70,600 Btu per square foot. Between 2012 and 2018, electricity intensity decreased 14%, and natural gas intensity decreased 11%.

Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS)
Note: *Change is statistically significant at the 10% significance level. ** Change is statistically significant at the 10% and 5% significance levels.

The average energy intensity decreased between 2012 and 2018 in inpatient healthcare, office, and education buildings. The 16% decrease in energy intensity in inpatient healthcare buildings was the largest change of any building type. Despite this decrease in energy intensity, inpatient healthcare buildings were still among the most energy-intensive types of buildings, along with food sales and food service. Warehouses — the most common commercial building type as of 2018 — were among the least energy-intensive building types, along with vacant buildings and those used for religious worship.

Decreases in energy intensity are driven by improvements in building operations, materials, and design, as well as heating, cooling, and lighting technologies. Use of highly efficient LED lighting has grown from 9% of commercial buildings in 2012 to 44% in 2018. We plan to release end-use energy consumption estimates by the end of 2022. These estimates will help provide clarity on the largest drivers of the decrease in energy intensity.

The CBECS is the only nationally representative survey that collects information about US building characteristics and energy use in commercial buildings. The CBECS survey process spans four years, from developing the sample frame and survey questionnaire to releasing data to the public. This 2018 CBECS data release includes consumption and expenditures totals and intensities for the United States and its census regions. In late 2021, we released detailed building characteristics information from the 2018 CBECS.

Principal contributors: Laura Gellert, Zack Marohl

Article and data source courtesy of U.S. Energy Information Administration


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Drone Donation #43 Case Closed 9/26/22 Amazing Partners At Autel Robotics, FoxFury, SkyeBrowse & Pilot Institute.

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca



Drone Donation #43 Case Closed 9/26/22 Amazing Partners At Autel Robotics, FoxFury, SkyeBrowse & Pilot Institute. – Lighting Industry News Today – EIN Presswire

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Friday, September 30, 2022


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Taking control of the future of agriculture

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca



Next time you sit down to a crisp, green salad, take a moment to think about where your leafy greens come from.

Traditional agriculture is highly weather dependent, and many producers of high-value crops are shifting over from field production to controlled environment agriculture. That is where the University of Georgia’s Marc van Iersel comes in.

Van Iersel, the Vincent J. Dooley Professor of horticultural physiology in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, defines controlled environment agriculture, or CEA, as both greenhouse production that relies on natural sunlight and vertical farms that use an electrical light source.

Responding to climate challenges

“One of the reasons a shift is happening is that 90% of all leafy greens produced in the United States are produced in California and Arizona. That area is in a megadrought and there is no end in sight. Because of this, they may not really be able to have water available to grow the crops in what is essentially a desert,” van Iersel said. Controlled environment agriculture is appealing to producers who are “looking for production systems that may not use as much water in controlled conditions where you can get predictable, year-long production.”

In his 27 years at CAES, van Iersel’s horticulture research has focused on developing sustainable and cost-effective ways to ensure that crops get the amount of light they need to grow.

“The greenhouse has to respond to weather conditions changing all the time,” he said. “You have shorter fluctuations from morning to afternoon to evening and year-long fluctuation in many parts of the United States in winter. You need to adjust to it.”

Based on his research, van Iersel co-founded Candidus — an agricultural technology company — in 2017 with Erico Mattos, who received his doctorate from UGA in 2013. The company provides lighting control systems that use a compact, powerful industrial microcomputer to monitor light sensors, calculate optimal lighting conditions, and control the lighting in controlled environment systems via a local Wi-Fi network.

“There was no one taking advantage of controlling light precisely in greenhouses,” van Iersel said. “We found we could reduce electricity costs for lighting by 30%, and given that, generally speaking, electricity cost for lighting is between 10 and 20% of operating costs for greenhouses, that can reduce operating costs by nearly half.”

The partners initially developed a system that responded to real-time levels of sunlight, but van Iersel refined the design with electrical engineers. 

Predicting sunlight

“We’re focused on control algorithms where we can now predict the amount of sunlight we will likely get for the rest of the day, which helps us make better decisions on how much light we want to provide,” he said. “We also developed algorithms that allow the lighting system to respond to changing electricity prices. You don’t have the same electricity price over the course of the day. I believe the latest estimate from the Department of Energy has the United States spending about a billion dollars a year on electricity to provide light for crops that are grown in controlled environment agriculture.”

The responsiveness built into the Candidus algorithm has a significant effect on growers’ return on investment. “You make a system that cuts the cost by 20% overall and that makes a critical financial difference,” van Iersel explained.

Among the most challenging parts of the work is convincing growers who have operated in a certain way for decades that a new system can provide real value to them. “Many are reluctant to change things, but some growers love trying new ways,” van Iersel said. “When you see more people doing well from trying something out, then you tend to feel more comfortable.”

All About Lights

Nick Holonyak Jr., Pioneer of LED Lighting, Is Dead at 93

Post Republished By Alfonso Hilsaca Eljadue (.com)

Turco Hilsaca, del Cristo Hilsaca


He invented a visible red-light diode. His 41 patents also included lasers that enabled DVD and CD players.

Nick Holonyak Jr., an electrical engineer who became known as the godfather of the LED lighting that illuminates flat-screen TVs and laptop computers, and who also developed lasers that enabled DVD and CD players, bar code scanners and medical diagnostic devices, died on Sept. 18 in Urbana, Ill. He was 93.

His death, at a nursing home, was announced by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, his alma mater, where he taught from 1963 until he retired in 2013. The day after he died, the campus’s State Farm Center arena was bathed in red to commemorate his invention of the first visible light-emitting diode in 1962.

Professor Holonyak (pronounced huh-LON-yak) was among the first scientists to predict that incandescent bulbs, which heat metal filaments to create energy, and fluorescent lamps, which use ionized gas, would eventually be replaced by LEDs, semiconductor chips the size of a grain of sand that emit photons of light when electric current is applied to them.

Professor Holonyak described the LED as the “ultimate lamp” because, he said, “the current itself is the light.”

LEDs radiate less heat than incandescent bulbs, consume less energy and last longer. They are also environmentally safer than fluorescent lamps, which contain mercury. The Department of Energy has estimated that by the end of the decade, LEDs will account for more than 80 percent of all lighting purchases and will pare Americans’ electric bills by some $30 billion annually.

“Not only did Nick Holonyak invent the first visible LED; he predicted right from the start that the LED would eventually replace all other forms of electric lighting, which it is well on the way to doing,” said Bob Johnstone, a technology journalist and the author of “L.E.D.: A History of the Future of Lighting” (2017).

But in 2014, two other scientists, Hiroshi Amano of Japan and Shuji Nakamura of the University of California, Santa Barbara, won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their successful development in 1993 of a high-brightness blue-light-emitting diode, which was needed to blend with red and green to create white illumination and produce a spectrum of other colors. (Professor Holonyak’s early invention of a diode that emitted red light explains why displays on alarm clocks and calculators were red — and only red — for a long time.)

“Beyond question Holonyak was a pioneer, visionary and a great scientist-educator,” Mr. Johnstone said in an email. “It was a travesty of justice that he did not share in the Nobel, which has everything to do with the narrow criteria by which the prize is awarded (the committee likes to restrict winners to a single discovery) and nothing to do with the indisputable magnitude of his achievement.”

Russell D. Dupuis, director of the Center for Compound Semiconductors at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said that Professor Holonyak was passed over for the physics Nobel Prize twice — not just in 2014 but also in 2000 — although in both cases “the fundamental material contributions were made by Holonyak.”

The German American Herbert Kroemer and the Russian Zhores I. Alferov, collaborators of Professor Holonyak’s, shared in the 2000 prize for discovering semiconductor and low-energy laser technology, which was quickly applied to practical uses like cellphones, fiber optics, CD players and bar code readers.

“Nick Holonyak is a national treasure,” Mary Beth Gotti, manager of the General Electric Lighting & Electrical Institute, said in 2012 on the 50th anniversary of Professor Holonyak’s discovery. “His curiosity and drive to explore and invent have inspired thousands of students and countless innovations.”

Grainger College of Engineering, University of Illinois

Professor Holonyak was born on Nov. 3, 1928, in Zeigler, Ill., to Nick Holonyak Sr. and Anna (Rosoha) Holonyak, immigrants from what is now Western Ukraine. His father, was a coal miner.

Nick Jr., the first in his family to receive a formal education, became fixated on electricity when he helped his godfather repair the spark coils on his Model T Ford. At 15, he went to work laying ties for the Illinois Central Railroad, but he abandoned manual labor after one 30-hour stint repairing flood damage.

“The cheap and reliable semiconductor lasers critical to DVD players, bar code readers and scores of other devices owe their existence in some small way to the demanding workload thrust upon downstate railroad crews decades ago,” Professor Holonyak told The Chicago Tribune in 2003.

As a freshman at the University of Illinois extension campus in Granite City, he declined an instructor’s invitation to switch to chemistry from electrical engineering.

“I told him that chemistry was too much like cookbook learning, too many recipes to learn, and I was more interested in electrical science,” he was quoted as saying by Laura Schmitt in “The Bright Stuff: The LED and Nick Holonyak’s Fantastic Trail of Innovation” (2012).

He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1950, 1951 and 1954. He was the first graduate student of John Bardeen, who went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physics twice.

Professor Holonyak married Katherine Jerger in 1955. She is his only immediate survivor. He completed his military service with the Army Signal Corps in Japan in 1957.

From 1957 to 1963, he conducted research at General Electric’s Advanced Semiconductor Laboratory in Syracuse, N.Y. It was there that he created the gallium arsenide phosphide crystals that emitted a visible red light.

“It’s a good thing I was an engineer and not a chemist,” he said in an interview with General Electric in 2012. “When I went to show them my LED, all the chemists at G.E. said, ‘You can’t do that. If you were a chemist, you’d know that wouldn’t work.’ I said, ‘Well, I just did it, and see, it works!’”

He returned to the University of Illinois in 1963 and had a professorship there endowed in the name of Professor Bardeen, his doctoral adviser. Professor Holonyak and Milton Feng ran a transistor laser research center at the university.

He held 41 patents and won many awards for engineering and technology, including the Global Energy Prize, the National Medals of both Science and Technology, and the Draper Prize, from the National Academy of Engineering.

He worked side by side with graduate students in a windowless office and lab, shunning computers and calculators and parrying the theoretical abstractions that often dominate the world of physics. Instead, he tinkered with practical solutions to everyday challenges.

“I didn’t take a sabbatical,” he told Moira Gunn, the host of NPR’s “Tech Nation,” in 2012, “because I’m living in the playground where I go to play — to play with an idea and see if I can make something.”

Craig Mellow contributed reporting.

All About Lights

Drone News of the Week, September 30: All the DRONELIFE Headlines in One Place to Read or Listen

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca


Skydio data security, Skydio US Army, Dominion SkydioRead or listen to all of the headlines in one place: excerpts from the DRONELIFE drone news of the week, September 30.  Click on the titles below for the full story.

Continue reading below, or listen: 

Skydio Data Security Earns SOC 2 Type II Compliance

Earlier this week, Skydio announced a major inclusion to its data security compliance in the form of a SOC 2 (System and Organization Controls) Type II report, an internal audit that provides insight into the way a company stores and handles customer data based upon a set of standards and restrictions put in place by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Gremsy Introduces T3V3, 2-Axis Gimbal Solution for Enterprise [VIDEO]

Gremsy has introduced the T3V3, a 2-axis gimbal solution for the enterprise, offering a smaller, lightweight solution with longer flight times.  Weighing just 750 grams (about 26 ounces) with a payload capacity of 1700 grams (about 3.75 pounds) the T3V3 offers the image quality needed for industrial applications, with the longer flight times that a smaller form factor enables.

US drone manufacturing, Public safety drone program, BRINC and Global SOF Foundation, BRINC donations, BRINC donated, Brinc CEO DRONERESPONDERS sponsor, SWAT team drones, BRINC drones, LemurFrom the BRINC Factory in Las Vegas: What US Drone Manufacturing Looks Like

During Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas earlier this month, BRINC Drones – the makers of the LEMUR aircraft for SWAT missions – hosted a small gathering at their offices and manufacturing center in Las Vegas.  The tour of the manufacturing floor provided an inside look at what drone manufacturing in the US can look like.  BRINC’s manufacturing shows how US drone manufacturing can and is being done – and how nimble smaller, US-based companies can be in building to meet customer needs.

Oklahoma State Counter UAS Center of Excellence Will Support Homeland Security

Oklahoma State University’s Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (OAIRE) has launched a Counter-UAS Center of Excellence (CUAS COE), as well as a new partnership agreement seeking to fortify national defense through the development of counter-measures to disable malicious Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The partnership was announced during a launch event celebrating the CUAS COE on Friday at the Hamm Institute for American Energy at OSU in the Oklahoma City Innovation District.

NPS-DDP, Autel Donate Drone Solution for Public Safety in New Jersey

The National Public Safety Drone Donation Program (NPS-DDP) has teamed up with Autel Robotics, Foxfury Lighting Solutions, SkyeBrowse and Pilot Institute for the donation of a drone to the Seaside Park Police Department in New Jersey. The donation comes complete with a lighting kit, FAA pilot class & 3D modeling reality software.

Drone Industry Insights (DRONEII) has published their annual flagship product, the Drone Market Report.  This year, the forecast goes out 8 years to 2030 – and gives new insight about where drone industry growth will be fastest, by region and by application… According to DRONEII’s Drone Market Report, the global drone market is worth an estimated US$30.6 billion in 2022.  It’s a stunning number  – but one poised for steady growth.  DRONEII forecasts that the commercial drone market will experience a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 8.3% until 2030.  “Overall, our drone market analysis shows that the market as a whole (commercial + recreational) will be worth US$55.8 billion by the year 2030,” writes Alvarado.

D-Fend on Dawn of Drones This Week! Counter UAS Solutions

Join Dawn and special guest Gabriel Bendheim, Pre-Sales Team Leader at D-Fend Solutionsas they discuss the counter-drone tales from the trenches to help inform and protect the various environments including military, infrastructure, urban and other sensitive sites.

new DJI headquarters, drone news of the week September 30New DJI Headquarters Mark Beginning of a New Era says Frank Wang

Drone and camera technology leader DJIhas opened its new company headquarters in Shenzhen, China.  This new building, dubbed DJI Sky City, features architectural structures not yet seen in large-scale high-rise buildings. Designed by leading architectural team Foster + Partners, the two 44 and 40 story towers are 200 meters high, with a 90 meter long suspension skybridge linking them at 105 meters. This new building brings the company’s employees together in one location, after previously being based in offices scattered across Shenzhen.

AUVSI Works with DIU on Trusted Cyber Program: Cybersecurity Certification for Commercial Drones

The Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), leading trade association for uncrewed vehicle systems, announced the AUVSI Trusted Cyber Program – a collaboration with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to establish a cybersecurity certification for commercial drones. The resulting shared standard, which AUVSI describes as “like the one used to develop the DIU’s Blue UAS ‘Cleared List’” will hopefully allow faster processing so that more qualifying commercial drone platforms can be added to the list.

portable commercial droneDJI Mavic 3 Enterprise Series: 2 New Portable Commercial Drones, for a Wide Range of Applications

Today, drone and camera technology leader DJI unveiled its new DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise Series. The series’ two new portable commercial drones, the DJI Mavic 3E and DJI Mavic 3T,  are based on DJI’s flagship Mavic 3 series and are designed to fulfill a wide range of use cases. The highly compact drones can be carried in one hand and rapidly deployed, and boast a flight time of 45 minutes.

SkyDrive Funding: Japanese Flying Car and Cargo Drone Company Scores More than $66 Million

Japanese flying car and cargo drone developer SkyDrive Inc. announced its acquisition of 9.6 billion yen in its Series C funding round, bringing the company’s total to roughly 14.7 billion yen.

Charleys Philly Steaks by Drone: Flytrex Delivers in North Carolina

Today, Charleys Philly Steaks announced a partnership with ultrafast drone delivery leader Flytrex. The partnership will see the delivery of freshly grilled cheesesteaks by drone in Durham, North Carolina, with orders placed using the Flytrex app and delivered directly to residents’ yards with an average flight time of only three minutes.

drone for disaster response, drone news of the week September 30Verizon Frontlines THOR: a Superhero with a Drone for Disaster Response

As Hurricane Ian bears down on Florida, DRONELIFE got an inside look at Verizon Frontline’s newest tool to support public safety and first responders.  Verizon’s THOR – Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response – is a superhero with a drone for disaster response, one of Verizon Frontline’s hundreds of deployable assets that stand ready to assist first responders and public safety teams.

Wingcopter Delivery Drones, Electric Cargo Bikes Will Provide Emissions-Free, Fast Service to Rural Germany

Today, drone manufacturer Wingcopter and the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences(Frankfurt UAS) received funding certificates for their joint project in Berlin. Known as “DroLEx – Drohnen-Lastenrad-Express-Belieferung“ (“Drone Cargo Bike Express Delivery”), the project will conduct tests to evaluate the potential of on-demand transport of consumer goods in improving local supply in rural communities. The first project of its kind in Germany, DroLEx is funded with nearly 500,000 euros by the German Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport as part of the “Innovative Air Mobility” funding program.

Unauthorized Drones Bring Football Games to a Halt: New cUAS Technology Could Solve the Problem

Twice this week, football games in the U.S. were abruptly halted while stadium security teams attempted to deal with rogue drones over the field.  In a crowded stadium, “just shooting them down” is not only illegal and unlikely to be effectively, it’s also extremely dangerous.  DRONELIFE gets the inside view on new cUAS technology that could help protect sporting events from unwanted drone incursions.  September 25, a University of Washington Huskies game was interrupted late in the fourth quarter when Stanford coach David Shaw alerted security of an unauthorized drone flying over the field.  One day later, on September 26, a Seattle Seahawks game against the Atlanta Falcons was halted in the fourth quarter as NFL security cleared all players off the field when an unauthorized drone was spotted “over or near” the stadium.

All About Lights

Indoor high-precision visible light positioning system using non-line-of-sight method

Post Republished By Alfonso Hilsaca Eljadue (.com)

Turco Hilsaca, del Cristo Hilsaca

Optics Express (2022). DOI: 10.1364/OE.470391″>

Indoor high-precision visible light positioning system using non-line-of-sight methodOptics Express (2022). DOI: 10.1364/OE.470391″ width=”800″ height=”486″>
The model of binocular stereo vision. Credit: Optics Express (2022). DOI: 10.1364/OE.470391

Location-based services are becoming increasingly important in indoor environments with the development of Internet-of-thing (IoT) technologies. The visible light positioning (VLP) system offers great potential because of its immunity to radio frequency-induced electromagnetic interference, a free and unrestricted spectrum, and a much higher level of security.

Recently, a lot of research work on line-of sight (LOS) VLP have been demonstrated with high accuracy at very low costs. However, for LOS VLP, blocking and shadowing is a major problem; and there is the requirement for large numbers of LEDs. Few methods to solve this problem have been investigated.

In a study published in Optics Express, Dr. Lin Bangjiang’s group from the Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter of the Chinese Academy of Sciences proposed a non-line-of sight (NLOS) VLP system using a binocular camera and a single light-emitting diode (LED). It can realize 3D high-precision positioning of an arbitrary posture by the reflected lights from the floor.

The researchers proposed a system model which consists of two function modules: a NLOS optical camera communication (OCC) module and a binocular stereo vision module. The former uses the reflections to receive the coordinate information of the LED by an improved OCC signal recovery model. And the later estimates the camera’s position by a proposed binocular position estimation algorithm, which is based on the principles of binocular stereo vision.

They then proposed an error compensation algorithm to optimize the error of the system on the z-axis, which is the key problem about depth estimation for the binocular camera that the error on the z-axis is far greater than that on the x and y axes.

Additionally, the researchers designed an experimental testbed and chose a STM32 microcontroller unit to driver a LED. At the receiver, they used a binocular camera to capture the reflected lights from the ground at two different exposure modes (one long and one short).

They gained the LED position by the NLOS OCC module using the short exposure image, and got the pixel coordinates of the projection of the LED reflected by the ground in the long exposure image. An inertial measurement unit is fixed together with the binocular camera to measure its pose.

Using this information, the researchers calculated the error between the estimation value and the measured value of the ‘s position.

This study overcomes the challenge of the shadowing/blocking of the LOS links, realizes 3D arbitrary attitude positioning with the minimum number of beacons (only single LED), and greatly improves the practicability of VLP.

Explore further

Binocular vision-based UAVs autonomous aerial refueling platform—pilots are no longer needed

More information:
Tianming Huang et al, Indoor 3D NLOS VLP using a binocular camera and a single LED, Optics Express (2022). DOI: 10.1364/OE.470391

Indoor high-precision visible light positioning system using non-line-of-sight method (2022, September 30)
retrieved 30 September 2022

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

All About Lights

Keeping It Light

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca


With the cooler months comes less daylight. These pros offer their top lighting tips for extending outdoor fun after dark.


“Our bodies follow natural circadian rhythms, which is why the ‘winter blues’ can be so common. Luckily, we have some great technologies available that can really help with these issues. Starfish smart bulbs by SATCO can be adjusted to mimic natural light, and even set on timers to mimic the action of the sun, bringing ‘outdoor’ light in when you need it during the winter,” says Laura Levy, lighting consultant at Pace Lighting. “You can also set these LED bulbs to have a soft, warm glow for the evening hours, which many of us like while we unwind from our busy days.” 

For an even richer glow, Charles Camacho, Lighting Design Manager at Circa Lighting, loves natural gas lanterns and wall-mounted sconces in glimmering copper and patinaed brass. “For longevity and corrosion resistance, a brass-based fixture will last the longest,” says Camacho.


The unsung hero of the backyard, stringed lights are ideal for bathing an outdoor patio or screened porch in a cheery glow. Better still, you can tie low-voltage string lights into your electrical system, and they are energy efficient, says Donald Wendling, owner and designer of Lowcountry Landscape Lighting. “We attach the lights to stainless steel cables, so they don’t sag over time,” says Wendling. “The 2700 Kelvin, one-watt LED [bulbs] are the perfect lighting for operating the grill. You don’t want bright-white, grocery-store lights.”

Georgetown 22 inch Yoke Ceiling Lantern by The CopperSmith, Circa Lighting // photo courtesy of CIRCA LIGHTING 
The Great Outdoors City Streets 8-inch-wide, Dark Sky LED Outdoor Wall Sconce, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery // photo courtesy of FERGUSON BATH, KITCHEN & LIGHTING GALLERY

“Exterior lighting provides the best source of safety and security for your home after dark.” – Laura Levy, lighting consultant, Pace Lighting


Besides amping up your home’s curb appeal and charm, layered spotlights and landscape fixtures make the most of architectural details and plantings by illuminating their best features. Plus, they add a layer of protection. “Exterior lighting provides the best source of safety and security for your home after dark — welcoming guests, preventing accidental slips or falls by illuminating your footing and deterring  would-be home intruders,” says Levy.

To help distinguish your home, while also making the exterior feel more inviting and secure, the experts at NiteLites Outdoor Lighting can provide customized lighting solutions, including LED flood and spotlights for trees and dormers, well lights for columns and spread lights for walls and shrubs. For island ambiance, consider torches with both LEDs and lit flames.


Did you know light pollution affects more than just the humans who create it? Animals and even plants need dark hours to thrive. To coexist with the natural flora and fauna around you in the winter months, invest in Dark Sky-rated outdoor light fixtures. “Making the move is easy and has substantial benefits,” said Denise Vaughn, vice president of Environmental, Social and Governance at Ferguson Enterprises. 

“It can mean the difference between being able to enjoy the stars at night and not.” To keep things cool and bug-free on early fall evenings, the experts at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery suggest buying an outdoor ceiling fan without a light and pairing it with a Dark Sky-rated recessed ceiling light or pair of wall sconces.   

All About Lights

Lumax-DK Jain Group opens technology centre for auto lighting in Czech Republic

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca


LETC will also be involved in enhancing engineering competencies like activities related to engineering development processes, the creation of custom engineering tools and software, and training and skill development, the release said.
LETC will also be involved in enhancing engineering competencies like activities related to engineering development processes, the creation of custom engineering tools and software, and training and skill development, the release said.

Lumax Industries Limited, a leading manufacturer of automotive lighting systems having equity partnership with Stanley Electric Co., Japan, has inaugurated an advanced lighting technical centre in the Czech Republic through its wholly-owned subsidiary Lumax Industries Czech s.r.o., located in the CTPark industrial zone in Ostrava-Hrabová, Czech Republic. This is the company’s first Technology Centre in Europe.

The aim of the Lumax European Technical Centre (LETC) is to provide future and advanced technological development of automotive lighting solutions for the Indian market, the company said in a media release.

Deepak Jain, Chairman & MD, Lumax Industries Limited, said, “The main purpose of LETC will be to develop leading edge automotive lighting technologies and adapt them for the Indian market. We have found Czech Republic to be an ideal ecosystem for innovation and new technology development.”

Vineet Sahni, CEO and Senior Executive Director, Lumax Industries Limited, said, “In India, OEMs are collaborating with design centres in Europe, so LETC will be a gateway for them to help in communication and in accelerating the vehicle development process.”

Lumax-DK Jain Group opens technology centre for auto lighting in Czech Republic

LETC will also be involved in enhancing engineering competencies like activities related to engineering development processes, the creation of custom engineering tools and software, and training and skill development, the release said.

“Specifically, this includes the design of optics, electronic hardware or software for automotive lighting, including various CAE analyses and simulations. We will be particularly focused on electronics and software development, which are clearly the main building blocks of future automotive lighting technologies,” Todd C. Morgan, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Lumax Industries Limited, said.

LETC has 15 employees, which will be further strengthened over time with mainly highly-skilled engineers, designers and programmers.

Anmol Jain, Joint MD, Lumax Industries Limited, said, “New business opportunities may bring further expansion of the Czech Republic team. Ostrava and its surroundings are important places for us to find new talent in the automotive lighting industry. There is a great and renowned technical university VŠB-TU Ostrava, with which we plan to establish closer cooperation, for example in the area of thesis assignments or internships for students.”

All About Lights

Global Reef Aquarium Market Growth Trajectory

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca



Global Reef Aquarium Market Growth Trajectory – Lighting Industry News Today – EIN Presswire

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Archbishop’s Palace opens doors for Notte Bianca

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca


The Archbishop’s Palace in Valletta will be opening its doors again for Notte Bianca on October 1.

Visitors will be able to visit various halls in the palace, including the Throne Room on the piano nobile, as well as the Tribunal Chancery with its historic cabinets and ceiling painting.

The garden with citrus trees, as well as the historic vault with freshwater springs, will also be open to the public.

A collection of antique paintings will be on display, including the portrait of Bishop Paul Alpheran de Bussan by Francesco Zahra. This magnificent portrait was restored in 2017 and has embellished the Throne Room since.

The 17th-century palace is situated on the lower part of Archbishop Street next to Independence Square and will be open between 6.30 and 10.30pm. Entrance is free of charge.

Holders of a disability card can skip the queue.

Performaces in churches

The Jesuits’ Church in St Paul’s Street will host the concert L-Orkestra Għand il-Ġiżwiti between 7 and 9pm. The Valletta Recitals will be held at the church of St James in Melita Street at 7.30pm in Maltese and at 9pm in English, with performers Jacob Portelli, Dorothy Bezzina and Dorothy Baldacchino.

The church of St Catherine of Italy, in South Street, will be the venue for the performance of Barokk għall-Kwiet at 7pm and 9pm.

In the church of Our Lady of Pilar in West Street, in collaboration with Heritage Malta, theatrical performances of X-VOTO will be staged at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm and 10pm.

A one-hour concert of classical music by soprano Rosabelle Bianchi, accompanied by Romina Morrow on the keyboard and Alex Abela on the violin, will be held at 8.45 p.m. in the oratory of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Charity, next to the church of St Paul’s Shipwreck in St Paul’s Street. The oratory will be open between 8 and 10.30pm. The public will be able to appreciate the restoration of the paintings, as well as the modern lighting system.

Mass and other activities during Notte Bianca

In St John’s Co-Cathedral, guided tours will be held every half hour between 7 and 11.30pm. These will provide information about Caravaggio’s The Beheading of St John, the painted nave by Mattia Preti and the side-chapels. Entrance through the main door. The activity is aimed at adults, but children can attend.

In the church of St Paul’s Shipwreck in St Paul’s Street, mass will be celebrated at 6pm, while adoration, organised by the Kenosis Foundation, will take place at 8.30pm and a youth mass, organised by Youth Fellowship, will be celebrated at 9.30pm. The parish museum, Domus Pauli, will be open to the public between 8 and 10pm.

In the church of St Mary of Jesus (Ta’ Ġieżu), in St Paul’s Street, a mass will be celebrated at 6.15pm. The church is currently decorated for the feast of St Francis. After the mass, the church will remain open till 11pm and the public can visit the miraculous crucifix and the tomb of the Blessed Nazju Falzon.

Mass will be held in the church of Our Lady of Ta’ Liesse in Ta’ Liesse Hill at 5.30pm.

In the parish church of St Augustine in Bakery Street, a mass will be celebrated at 7.15pm., following which the church will remain open till 10.30pm.

In the basilica of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, in Archbishop Street, the rosary will be recited at 6pm and a mass will be held at 6.30pm. From 7.30 pm onward, Iċ-Ċkejkna Festa, an exhibition of statues used in children’s feasts in various Maltese localities, can be viewed in the church’s portico. The exhibition is organised by Għaqda Festa tal-Madonna tal-Karmnu in collaboration with several parishes, band clubs, and feast committees.

There will also be an exhibition in the Oratory of the archconfraternity of Our Lady of Mt Carmel commemorating the 400th anniversary of its foundation.

The church of the Monastery of St Catherine, in Republic Street, will be open for prayers between 7 and 9.30pm.

Mass will be held at the church of St Francis, in Republic Street, at 5.30pm.

The church of Our Lady of Victory, in South Street, will be open to the public between 6 and 10pm.

The Greek-Catholic Church of Our Lady of Damascus, in Archbishop’s Street, will be open between 6 and 11pm. The public will be able to worship two icons brought to Malta in 1530 by the Knights of the Order of St John. These are the 12th-century icon of Our Lady of Damascus, which has just been restored, and that of Our Lady Mary of Mercy (Eleimonitria) from the 12th-13th centuries.

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All About Lights

Seoul Semiconductor Participates in the World's Biggest Lighting Expo Held in Germany to Showcase its High-Efficiency & Performance LED Lighting Systems

Post Republished By Alfonso Hilsaca Eljadue (.com)

Turco Hilsaca, del Cristo Hilsaca

Seoul Semiconductor Participates in the World’s Biggest Lighting Expo Held in Germany to Showcase its High-Efficiency & Performance LED Lighting Systems – Energy Industry Today – EIN Presswire

Trusted News Since 1995

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Friday, September 30, 2022


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IDF Policy Change: ‘Illegal Outpost’ to Receive Equal Protection

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca


Photo Credit: Yaakov

The Givat Assaf outpost near Beit El, October 28, 2011.

Against the background of security tensions in Judea and Samaria and the fear of terrorist attacks on the roads and inside Jewish settlements, the IDF Central Command has radically changed its policy that’s been in place since 2005 and conducted an extensive reassessment, the main point of which is the allocation of new security measures for all the settlements in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley – including outposts that were established in violation of the law and whose status was not regulated (“the young settlements”), Israeli news media reported on Thursday. The changes are expected to be implemented in the coming days.

The IDF does not intervene in regulating settlements or outposts and concentrates on protecting the Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria by using technological means and deploying soldiers. And so, the policy change will allow the IDF to secure the “illegal” outposts that have not yet been regulated.


In seeking to protect remote outposts, the IDF will employ mobile information gathering and warning systems, mobile lighting systems, public address systems, and mobile fire extinguishing equipment.

According to the IDF, the policy change includes using the latest surveillance and other equipment, spreading these resources over a much broader area, and as a result, freeing up soldiers who would otherwise be patrolling the outposts seeking the same information.

Lt. Col. Elitzur Trabelsi, Central Command’s territorial defense officer, said that “the role of the IDF is to protect wherever the residents and citizens of the State of Israel are. This vital change will enable the strengthening of the defense circles in the area, and I welcome it. We will continue to do everything we can at the command center to continue to strengthen the elements of defense and security.”

The Young Settlements Forum issued a statement saying the IDF’s decision is “another important step on the way to full regulation. We are happy that two years after touring the Young Settlements and following our hard work and repeated appeals, Defense Minister Benny Gantz has finally decided that it is no longer acceptable to put our lives and the lives of our children in jeopardy.”


All About Lights

Sarpang dzong construction to miss 2023 deadline 

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca


60 percent of works complete 

Choki Wangmo | Tsirang

The construction of the Sarpang dzong will be delayed by about a year. As of today,  only 60 percent of the construction is complete.

A total of 220 workers — 200 local and 20 foreign workers — are busy at the construction site in Sarpang Tar. Two teams engaged in FRP (fibre reinforced plastic) and GRFC (glass fibre reinforced concrete) are working on contract.

The dzong construction started in 2017 and was expected to be completed next year.

However, project manager Sangay Kinga, said that the project could miss the deadline next year and would be completed by June 2024.

He said that due to budget and time constraint, some construction activities such as Tendrelthang and Neykhang construction with about five structures were phased out according to the revised project period.

Sarpang dzong construction, which began in 2017, is now likely to complete only in 2024

“Although the pandemic hindered our progress,  work continued during the period in a containment mode,” he said.

The project also faced shortage of skilled workers during the pandemic. The construction works picked up after the Covid-19 relaxations.

“We have now skilled local workers, trained by foreign labourers who stayed in the country during the lockdowns,” Sangay Kinga said.

Constructed over more than three acres, the dzong is a blend of traditional designs with modern amenities. The outside structures are disabled-friendly.

The special feature of the dzong is the natural lighting system and the 250-capacity conference hall in the administrative block.

The physical construction of administrative blocks is completed and workers are currently building the utse, and 150-capacity rabdey building, among others.

Local workers are carrying out carpentry and masonry work. Local labourers also built three out of 13 blocks as a part of the capacity building initiative of the project. This is expected to help local labourers gain skills required to work in reinforced concrete structures, especially the steelworks.

Sangay Kinga said that to retain skilled labourers, the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs had revised 80 percent of the pay. In the past, they were paid Nu 215 to Nu 486 per day with a Zorig Chusum allowances for the skilled labourers.

“The basic pay of the workers was low in the past. We want to attract more local workers with increased pay,” he said.

The project has spent 72 percent of the total budget. The estimated budget of the project is Nu 1 billion.

All About Lights

Floatplane recovery continues

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca


National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and US Navy continue recovery operations for the Sept. 4 crash of a DHC-3 Turbine Otter off Whidbey Island, WA. The floatplane had departed Friday Harbor and was headed to Renton airport when it crashed into Mutiny Bay. All ten people aboard, plus an unborn baby, perished in the crash.

NTSB investigators look at the recovered engine of the DHC-3 Turbine Otter. It, along with several other pieces, was recovered on September 29. 

The wreckage of the plane was located at a depth of 190 feet on September 12.  NTSB coordinated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory to use side scan sonar, multibeam sonar, and 3D instruments to locate the wreckage. The University of Washington’s vessel scanned the area identified from the NOAA multibeam data.

Deep Drone 8000 ROV is pictured on the barge during recovery operations.

The ROV is being used to place smaller sections of the wreckage into baskets to be lifted. The Deep Drone 8000 ROV has two multifunction manipulator arms, video cameras and is equipped with sonar and lighting systems. The ROV requires a team of four specialists to operate the equipment. There is a navigator and an operator for each manipulator arm while the unit is underwater.  

There are two barges anchored in proximity to the aircraft wreckage. One is outfitted with a crane which will be used in the lifting operation and the other barge holds the remotely operated vehicle, or ROV.

The recovery crews are working in 12 hour shifts. 

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Roccat Vulcan II Mini Review: So Pretty, Colorful, and Bright I can Almost Overlook the Software

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca


Deskspace comes at a premium these days — at least, that’s what you might think with the way gaming companies are dropping mini keyboards left and right. Gamers looking for the best gaming keyboard aren’t usually considering ultra-compact 60 or 65 percent form factors, but maybe they should be as companies are packing these mini-boards with features.

Roccat’s new Vulcan II Mini is a 65 percent wired keyboard with bright, eye-catching per-key RGB, which it shows off with unique Dual-LED smart switches and Roccat’s attractive “organic” Aimo lighting experience. The Vulcan II Mini features the company’s Titan II optical red (linear) switches which have n-key rollover (NKRO) with 100% anti-ghosting, as well as an anodized aluminum top plate. The keyboard comes in both black and white (we requested our review model in white — just to mix it up), and is available now for $150.

Design and Construction of the Vulcan II Mini

The Vulcan II Mini is a 65 percent keyboard — it’s ultra-compact, but it’s not ultra-compact. Unlike a keyboard with a 60 percent layout, such as the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini or the Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless, the Vulcan II Mini’s layout retains arrow keys and a handful of navigation keys (delete, home, page up, and page down). This makes it slightly longer than a 60 percent board, but at 12.75 inches long by 4.57 inches deep, the Vulcan II Mini is still pretty tiny. It’s also slimmer than both of the aforementioned 60 percent boards (1.22 inches thick vs the Apex Pro Mini/K70 Pro Mini Wireless’ 1.59 inches) and lighter (1.1lbs vs the Apex Pro Mini’s 1.2lbs and the K70 Pro Mini Wireless’ 1.42lbs), so it feels pretty lightweight overall. 

The Vulcan II Mini is housed in a lightweight plastic chassis topped with an anodized aluminum backplate. The underside of the chassis features dual flip-out feet for angle adjustment, as well as long rubber strips for grip — allowing the keyboard to stay put (despite its relatively light weight) through aggressive bouts of typing and gaming.

The Vulcan II Mini comes in both black and white colorways; I requested a review model in white because all of the black mini keyboards are starting to blend together at this point. However, I don’t think even the black version of the Vulcan II Mini would look like recent competitor drops, as Roccat’s slim keycaps and exposed switches definitely make this keyboard stand out visually. 

The keyboard features white ABS keycaps with translucent legends — including translucent secondary legends for the board’s 30 multi-function keys with preset secondary functions. Secondary functions are a must on an ultra-compact keyboard, but a couple of this keyboard’s secondary functions used symbols that weren’t immediately intuitive 

According to Roccat, this keyboard features the world’s first Dual-LED smart switches, which is…basically what it sounds like: Two LEDs in one switch. Is it revolutionary? Not really. Does it work? Yes — each Dual-LED smart switch can display two different LED colors (north and south). This causes the primary legend (north) and secondary legend (south) to light up in different colors (or at different brightness levels), so you can quickly see which secondary functions are active. 

It’s not totally seamless, however: Because the Vulcan II Mini’s switches are exposed, the south-facing LEDs are very visible to the user. This isn’t an issue if those LEDs are turned off/down, but it does make for a somewhat jarring aesthetic if they’re set to a different color. This is a pretty minor overall concern, but it was jarring enough that I initially thought some of the keys were experiencing a hardware malfunction.

The keyboard’s per-key RGB is otherwise very attractive, assuming you are an RGB enthusiast. The RGB is bright and vibrant, and the keyboard’s exposed switches let you basically bathe in it. It ships with Roccat’s Aimo lighting profile, which is a “state-of-the-art intelligent lighting system” that allegedly reacts “organically” to your behavior as well as the apps and devices you use. I didn’t necessarily see it reacting to my behavior beyond animations that followed my keystrokes (which doesn’t seem particularly intelligent), but the colorful, non-uniform patterns were pretty regardless. 

The Vulcan II Mini is a wired keyboard and has a USB-C port at its top-center. It comes with a six-foot braided USB-C to USB-A cable which has a couple of nice touches — an attached velcro cable tie, and its USB-A connector is labeled with a keyboard icon for easy cable identification.


Switches Roccat Titan II Optical Red Linear Switches
Lighting Per-key RGB
Onboard Storage Yes, 5 profiles
Media Keys No
Game Mode Yes
Connectivity Wired (USB-C, detachable)
Additional Ports None
Keycaps ABS
Construction Plastic, Aluminum top plate
Software Roccat Swarm
Dimensions (LxWxH) 12.75 x 4.57 x 1.22 inches / 324 x 116 x 31mm
Weight 1.1lbs / 500g (without cable)

Typing Experience and Gaming Experience on the Vulcan II Mini

The Vulcan II Mini sports Roccat’s Titan II Optical Red linear switches; optical means they’re actuated by light (not force), while linear means there’s no click or tactile bump — just a smooth, uniform keypress. The switches are rated for 100 million keystrokes, and have an actuation point of 1.4mm and a travel distance of 3.6mm.

Typing on the Vulcan II Mini was a little better than expected, but this isn’t a keyboard I’d recommend for overall typing experience. The keyboard’s thin ABS keycaps are a little too lightweight and fluttery for the type of loud, decisive typing I’m prone to, and as a result my speed took a hit (104 wpm, down from 120 wpm — similar to my typing speed on the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini). My accuracy remained pretty high, however (97.1%, which is typical for me), and I think it’s because the space between the keys — which is slightly larger than average — managed to prevent my fingers from hitting adjacent keys even as they slipped. 

The Vulcan II Mini’s Titan II Optical Red linear switches are much better-suited to gaming. The linear lack of resistance and snappy optical responsiveness — even the speedy bounceback of the lightweight keycaps — allows you to make lightning-quick keypresses and fly around the keyboard without missing a stroke. Speed and (relative) accuracy are especially important on keyboards like the Vulcan II Mini if you play any games that require more than what the ultra-compact layout allows for — you need to be able to zip in and out of the first and second (and third) layers of functionality. 

The only small complaint I had regarding gaming on the Vulcan II Mini is with its keycap material. The keycaps themselves are very lightly dished — enough to keep your fingers comfortable while typing — but caps’ ABS surface is pretty slick to begin with and only gets slicker as gaming ramps up. I actually sweat very little (in gaming, and also in general), and the Vulcan II Mini’s keycaps were frustratingly slippery during fast-paced action. If you sweat at all, this may not be the keyboard (or, well, these may not be the keycaps) for you.

Features and Software of the Vulcan II Mini

The Vulcan II Mini ships with a number of preset secondary functions (as indicated by the secondary legends) and Roccat’s Aimo RGB lighting profile. But because some of the secondary legends aren’t inherently intuitive, most people will probably want to dig a little deeper and download Roccat’s companion app, Swarm. Swarm is Roccat’s universal peripherals app for remapping keys, setting up onboard profiles, checking for firmware and driver updates, and customizing your device’s RGB lighting.

Like most peripheral apps, Swarm is not the most straightforward or intuitive piece of software you’ll ever use. The Vulcan II Mini does have onboard storage (five profiles), however, so you don’t need to use Swarm for anything past initial configuration. Swarm has some general features you probably won’t use, such as sound feedback — including typing sounds (yes, through your PC) that you can turn on if you…really want to.

But for the most part, you’ll want to turn to Swarm to program (and decipher) the Vulcan II Mini’s many secondary functions. I say “many,” because there are…many — too many. The Vulcan II Mini has three types of secondary keybinds — Fn keys, Game Mode, and Easy-Shift — and yes, they overlap and yet are all still somehow…secondary.

For the keyboard’s default secondary functions (the ones labeled on the keys), you’ll use the Fn key. These keys’ secondary functions can be remapped, though the legends will obviously remain the same. There are 30 Fn keys, all of which have Dual-LED lighting and secondary legends. Only 27 can have their secondary functions remapped (the the three that cannot be changed are the Windows key, which toggle Game Mode; the tab key, which switches onboard profiles; and the right Ctrl key, which turns off the keyboard’s RGB lighting.

Pressing the Fn key plus the Windows key toggles Game Mode. Game Mode is something you’ll find on a lot of gaming keyboards. There’s no universal standard, but Game Mode usually disables keys that, if accidentally pressed, would disrupt your gaming experience. This almost always includes the Windows key, and may also include combinations such as Alt + F4 or Alt + Tab. Roccat’s Game Mode disables the Windows key but is otherwise customizable — you can program almost all of the Vulcan II Mini’s keys in Game Mode, though there are some limitations — non-Fn keys can only be remapped with single keys. Your Game Mode keybindings will be primary while Game Mode is toggled on.

While Game Mode is toggled on, you can access Roccat’s Easy-Shift, which is a second…secondary layer of functionality. You can use Easy-Shift to add a secondary keybind to any non-Fn key, and you can access that secondary keybind using the Easy-Shift key, which is the Caps Lock key by default (you can disable this but you can’t change it, except to swap Easy-Shift for an Easy-Shift toggle). Again, this only works for non-Fn keys — you can still access secondary Fn functionality, you’ll just need to use the Fn key.

Does this sound incredibly confusing? Yes, it’s incredibly confusing and completely unintuitive, all to end up with essentially the same features and programmability competitors offer. SteelSeries’ Apex Pro Mini, for example, lets you remap almost all primary and secondary keybinds (all secondary keybinds are accessed with just one “SS” (Fn) key). The Vulcan II Mini lets you remap almost all primary keybinds — but only in Game Mode, and with limitations on non-Fn keys — and almost all secondary keybinds — but splits it into approximately half with the Fn key, and half with the Easy-Shift key, which is only accessible in Game Mode.

The Bottom Line

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Software-based frustrations aside, the Roccat Vulcan II Mini is unexpectedly appealing. It doesn’t look quite as, I don’t know, business-chic as the all-black minimalist bricks we’ve been seeing from other companies, but I kind of like the Vulcan II Mini’s slim, lightweight design, exposed switches, and pretty but admittedly ostentatious RGB lighting. I understand there’s not a lot of room for design creativity in an ultra-compact 60 or 65 percent layout, but you can’t tell me the Apex Pro Mini (and the recently-launched Apex 9 Mini), K70 Pro Wireless, HyperX Alloy Origins 65, and Asus ROG Falchion NX (to name a few) are easily distinguishable.

In addition to being slightly different-looking and very well-lit, the Vulcan II Mini is comfortable for typing, speedy and responsive for gaming, and while its keycaps might be a little too slick, they can always be swapped out. Also, while I found Roccat Swarm to be clunky and convoluted, I can’t say I’m a big fan of any other company’s peripheral software. If you’re looking for an ultra-compact keyboard, the Vulcan II Mini is pretty and a solid performer — for something more unique-looking, you’ll probably need to move onto a custom kit such as the IRISLabs Jris65.

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Outfitting the Toolbox

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca


People, programs and partnerships build Georgia’s workforce pipeline.
Georgia Trend October 2022 Workforce Needs Barbara Wall pg052
Connecting to Business Needs: Barbara Wall, deputy superintendent of CTAE
Photo: Kevin Garrett

You don’t have to leave the community to have a job. Getting that message out is part of the workforce education mission in each of Georgia’s 159 counties, says Anna Chafin, CEO of the Development Authority of Bryan County. And as the state prepares for unprecedented new investments in manufacturing, “we want to do a better job of explaining what the opportunities are, earlier, to our students and their parents,” she says. Chafin and her counterparts in the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority are preparing to address the workforce needs of the state’s largest economic development project to date — construction of Hyundai’s $5.5 billion electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturing facility, expected to create 8,100 new jobs.

A state’s postsecondary education system — comprising technical colleges and the traditional four-year college and university system — is typically viewed as the primary partner in the mission of workforce education. Indeed, workforce education is listed among the primary missions of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). It works hand-in-glove with Georgia’s Department of Economic Development to develop successful programs like Quick Start, which provides Georgia employers with customized workforce training. And preparing students for professional life has long been the mission of academia.

Follow the Career Pathway

The recent double whammy of low unemployment and high job creation is driving the mission of educating for job attainment deeper into the education system – into K-12 – with remarkable results. At the Georgia Department of Education that mission is called Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE). According to the 2020-2021 annual report, more than 664,000 middle and high school students enrolled in CTAE courses and almost 97% of students who earned at least one unit of credit in a CTAE pathway graduated from high school.

“Whatever the pathway, they all connect business needs to what we’re offering in our schools,” says Barbara Wall, deputy superintendent of CTAE. “With our Work-Based Learning Program, when students go into the workforce and work part of the day, they get paid and get course credit. With the workforce shortage right now, we see [companies] more interested in our students than ever.”

Wall cites a recent labor situation in coastal Georgia where local CTAE directors, in partnership with area schools, helped Jekyll Island hoteliers address the shortage of hospitality workers. As a result, the state department of education is developing a unique summer Work-Based Learning Program for credit, which it will pilot next year.

Georgia organizes its CTAE program into 17 career clusters, then further separates the clusters into career pathways. These pathways are designed in response to requests from the local community, with at least 51% input from local business and industry partners. Currently, there are 141 career pathways offered, ranging from film production to health services, FinTech to a commercial fishing program in coastal McIntosh County. The most recently completed Career Pathway was a request from the Toombs County School System and other industry partners to establish a heavy equipment operations curriculum, which was approved in December 2021.

Once a career pathway curriculum is developed and approved, any school system in the state can use it. In July, the CTAE division began working on an electric vehicle curriculum to address workforce needs for the burgeoning EV industry. Students will receive training in manufacturing to serve EV manufacturers and suppliers and to work as EV service technicians. The need for future workers will be substantial. In addition to Hyundai’s anticipated jobs, Rivian, the electric truck and SUV manufacturer investing $5 billion in Walton County, expects to employ 7,500 workers in manufacturing alone. Andy Lindman is a program director of the MOPAR Career Automotive Program and the diesel program at Gwinnett Technical College. (MOPAR is the parts and services division for Chrysler vehicles.) Despite the training differences between combustion and electric vehicles, Lindman says technical colleges are prepared to fill the needs of the state for technicians.

“We can be pretty nimble,” he says. “We added EV stuff into our programs easily over the years, and now we’re working on a separate advanced driver systems certificate and EV certificate.”

“We invited CTAE directors from school systems that neighbor Morgan County – Newton County, where the Rivian plant will be located, as well as down in Bryan County, Bulloch, Chatham, Liberty and so forth – with the Hyundai plant,” says Roger Ivey, program manager for CTAE program delivery at the department of education. “We’ve also invited representatives with SK Battery in Jackson [and] Ascend Elements in Newton County. We have people from Newton County’s economic development board [and] representatives from engineering schools at the University of Georgia, Kennesaw State University and Georgia Southern University. This meeting will ask what the actual needs are. We’ll look at our existing curriculum and courses in the engineering and manufacturing, mechatronics and energy pathways to see if there’s something we currently have that can be incorporated or can be completely used in this new pathway.”

At the Bryan County megasite where the Hyundai plant will be built, Chafin says things the county already does – focusing on upskilling workers at the Lanier Learning Center to obtain jobs with existing industries – will help them prepare for what’s to come when the plant is completed in two years. She anticipates CTAE offerings at the county’s two high schools will expand. The Development Authority is also focused on its future labor force.

“We have an event called Industry Day,” says Chafin. “We host about 150 middle school students who visit two different industries before lunch, then hear from an industry executive. It’s a way to build awareness about local industry in Bryan County.”

Regionally, the four counties comprising the joint development authority –Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham and Effingham – are reaching out to existing industries and other partners (the Georgia Ports Authority, for example) to develop a workforce strategy that supports the entire region, not just Hyundai.

Creating Community Allies

In 2017, the Georgia Department of Education launched a pilot program for school systems interested in building a culture of support and promotion for local business and industry partners. Dubbed the Economic Development Partnership (EDP), the five-year certification (endorsed by the Georgia Economic Developers Association) recognizes district-wide performance of best practices and behaviors that assist economic development, support programs and align education with local industries. For students, the program encourages work-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities, CTAE pathways and exposure to local business and industry.

Five school districts – Marietta City, Muscogee County, Newton County, Wayne County and Whitfield County –participated in the pilot year and earned the EDP designation in 2018. Since then, 10 more county school systems earned the certification: Barrow, Bibb, Bulloch, Dawson, Fannin, Floyd, Gordon, Hall, Savannah-Chatham and Troup counties. Seven more are currently pursuing it. In practice, an EDP example is Newton County’s Connect Newton Teacher Externship: a one-week summer program taking 20 to 25 educators out of the classroom and into local industry to expose them to the opportunities for high-paying, in-demand careers outside the traditional college pathway. The program is a partnership among the Newton County Industrial Development Authority (NCIDA), the Newton County School System and local business and industry.

“We start with an overview of the state of economic development, the state of careers in the region, and then divide [the teachers] up into teams,” says Asher Dozier, vice president of economic development for NCIDA. “Those teams spend three days out with industry learning about the industry — what it does, careers in the industry. They come back that Friday and present what they’ve learned, how it’s changed their paradigm and how they’ll apply what they’ve learned in the classroom.”

Most importantly, teacher externships create industry and economic development allies in the classroom who are aware of the local job market and aware of students who might be a good fit, particularly those who might not be looking to go to college.

“We’ve found this [program] to be super impactful, even on this small scale, because we’ve got teachers in the classroom who have knowledge to help students who either don’t love school or may not have the support systems in place to be successful in college,” says Dozier. “They can show them how they can be highly successful and have high-paying careers right here in Newton County. Through very minimal upskilling or post-secondary training, students can make $60,000 to $90,000 a year in our local industries. It’s really changed those teachers’ perspectives from being ‘It’s not if you go to college, but where,’ to ‘It’s not if you get success, but how.’”

Dozier says they’re looking to roll out middle school summer camps to drill down deeper into the educational ecosystem to introduce local manufacturing opportunities even earlier.

“We’ll ask, ‘Who knows Bridgestone golf balls are made here in Newton County?’ Or they know what General Mills makes but half of them don’t know there’s a General Mills factory here,” he says. “We’ve done an incredible job of recruiting industry to Newton County but not the best job of making sure our citizens were aware of or prepared for the high-demand careers.”

Newton County extends its collaborative reach beyond the county line to work with partners like Dessa Morris, workforce development director with the Development Authority of Walton County. The two counties, development partners in the Rivian project, have hosted a regional job fair for the past few years, and like Newton County, Walton County hosts annual teacher externships.

“Our partner at the school level is a local group called the Student Success Alliance,” says Morris. “They’re looking to remove any barriers to success, helping students not just to graduate from high school but also trying to set students up to have success in their careers.”

Morris says there’s an emphasis on developing the soft skills employers are desperate for: punctuality, diligence and initiative.

“These are just regular adulting skills,” says Morris. “So even if I don’t know too much about the specifics of engineering and all that, I can help you learn to show up on time every day.”

Applying Resources

Georgia’s technical colleges are thriving as local business and industry partners recognize the value of investing in this educational resource. Case in point: Augusta Technical College (ATC) recently announced its largest gifts ever: $1 million from Augusta National Golf Club and $1 million from the Jim Hudson Automotive Group. The two combined gifts will fund a new Automotive Service Training Center to meet demand for automotive technicians. The gifts enable Augusta Tech to purchase a former car dealership to create a unique teaching and training model that will include instruction in everything from automotive business – the front office of a dealership – to vehicle maintenance and repair. There’s even teaching space for motorsports training – the type of work done on NASCAR-type vehicles. The new 65,000-square-foot facility will open this year.

“I’m very interested in doing things that have not been done before,” says. Jermaine Whirl, president of ATC. “For students to come into an environment where they’re learning the hands-on component, learning the business side of it, and actually able to see how a fully functioning dealership operates from start to end is a pretty unique opportunity.”

Irvin T. Clark, recently named president at Southern Crescent Technical College and formerly the vice president of economic development at Georgia Piedmont Technical College in Newton County, is laser-focused on addressing workforce needs, especially in core programs of allied health, information and industrial technology, and transportation and logistics. But Southern Crescent Tech also serves the community where Rivian is located. “We’re going to be able to support Rivian, particularly in mechatronics and EV technology,” he adds. “They gave us feedback recently on things that they want to see with EV-related programs. We’re going to take that feedback and put together a program that aligns with their specific workforce needs.”

Meanwhile, on the Metro Atlanta end of I-20, Tavarez Holston, Georgia Piedmont Tech president, is managing development of a $2 million commercial driver’s license range in Newton County and an even larger regional transportation training center in Lithonia. The center, which is being built with $11.9 million in local, state and federal funds, will train workers in commercial driving, logistics and distribution in a region where fulfillment and distribution warehouses are proliferating.

“Our college is trying to position itself as being the premier transportation and logistics training hub for the metro and the region,” Holston says. “How do companies in the region have access to trained workers? This is our response.”

Reclaiming the Narrative

But responding to data-driven needs of the community doesn’t just happen at the secondary and technical college level. Nexus degrees are University System of Georgia credentials specifically aimed at meeting workforce needs in high-demand career fields. The degrees emphasize applied learning through internships and apprenticeships. In fall 2022, the University of North Georgia introduced a nexus degree in applied gerontology, based in part on data that found the 60-plus population in North Georgia is growing at a rate faster than the state as a whole.

“With the nexus degree in applied gerontology, we will work with department of education and the Chamber [of Commerce] to build a workforce to meet the diverse, multifaceted needs of the rapidly growing older adult population in Fannin County,” says Pamela Elfenbein, director of University of North Georgia’s Institute for Healthy Aging. “Students will apply their academic learning in real time. In the three semesters that they’ll be taking upper-division courses, they’ll also be working in the field.”

Meanwhile, four nexus degrees were added at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC), as the need for trained workers in Georgia’s film and entertainment industry grows. Beginning in the fall of 2022, the college is offering nexus degrees in professional editing in film/television, motion picture set lighting, production for film and television and production design. In spring 2022, GGC began offering a nexus degree in professional sound design for film and television.

Education plays an invaluable role in the successful efforts to recruit companies to the state, but not enough students know how that translates into jobs for them. Patrick Ledford, economic development liaison for CTAE at the state department of education, says it’s time for educators at every level to reclaim the narrative.

“Now more than ever, CTAE is for all students, whether your goal is direct-to-work or whether you’re going to postsecondary [education],” he says. “We should always tell our story and market our programs and successes. You should ask, ‘When was the last time our stakeholders toured our CTAE lab?’ Little things like that. I think it would be great for every parent to tour the local CTAE lab to understand the offerings that are available. Our programs, along with the other great resources in our state like the technical colleges and university system, are driving a big part of the workforce development engine for the state of Georgia. We all work together.”

This story was produced as part of the Higher Education Media Fellowship at the Institute for Citizens & Scholars. The fellowship supports new reporting on issues related to postsecondary career and technical education.

Categories: Business Industry, Features
All About Lights

Illegal outposts to begin receiving security assistance from IDF, Defense Ministry

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca


Dozens of illegal settlements and settlement neighborhoods, which were built without explicit government approval, will for the first time receive security assistance from the Defense Ministry and the Israel Defense Forces.

As many as 70 such settlements, neighborhoods, and outposts will benefit from the decision and be eligible to receive security equipment, including mobile information collection and warning systems, mobile lighting systems, announcement systems, firefighting equipment, and other components.

The decision was announced Thursday by the IDF following “staff work conducted over the last year by the IDF’s Central Command in cooperation with the Defense Ministry.”

Settler organizations welcomed the decision, saying that Israelis living in such areas are entitled to security provisions just like any other citizens.

Left-wing politicians and organizations denounced the new policy, however, saying that illegal settlements should be demolished, not protected.

Many West Bank settlements were established in the 1990s and early 2000s, with the assistance of different ministries, including the housing and construction ministry, defense ministry, and energy ministry, but without formal approval from the government.

A woman walks in the unauthorized Israeli settlement of Mevo’ot Yericho, in the Jordan Valley near the Palestinian city of Jericho, on February 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit/File)

A large proportion of these unauthorized settlements are now well-established communities, but have been ineligible for security assistance, or to be connected to water, electricity, and other infrastructure, since they never received formal authorization from the government.

The Forum for Young Settlements, an organization representing unauthorized settlements, estimates there are some 25,000 residents of such outposts.

Until now, many of these illegal outposts have relied on the municipal and regional authorities of nearby authorized settlements to obtain their security services to the unauthorized outposts.

The Forum for Young Settlements described Thursday’s decision as “an important step towards full authorization,” although it added that such provisions should have been afforded long ago.

“We are happy that two years after Defense Minister Benny Gantz toured ‘young settlements’ and after our hard work and repeated requests, he has finally decided that it is not possible to endanger our lives and the lives of our children any longer,” the forum said in response to the decision.

Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz speaks to reporters near the West Bank settlement on Migdal Oz, after yeshiva student Dvir Yehuda was killed in a terror attack, on August 8, 2019. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90/File)

Shlomo Vaknin, the security coordinator for the Yesha Council umbrella organization of settlement authorities, also described the measure as “an important change which will amend a historic injustice that has been done to the residents of young settlements which deserve protection just like any other citizen in the State of Israel.”

Vaknin thanked the commander of IDF’s Central Command, Maj.-Gen. Yehuda Fuchs, and the head of the Defense Ministry’s Settlements Department Nochi Mandel for accepting the Yesha Council’s requests for security assistance for unauthorized settlements.

Meretz MK Mossi Raz denounced the decision however, tweeting: “The IDF’s job is not to defend those who break the law by establishing illegal outposts.”

And the anti-settlements Peace Now organization said similarly: “Illegal outposts need to be dismantled, not secured.”

All About Lights

On The Town // Best Of 2022

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca


Bar-Bar (Top 5)

Readers’ Choice: (tie) Lola’s Fort Worth, 2000 W Berry St, 817-759-9100 • Nickel City, 212 S Main St, Ste 100, @NickelCityFWTX

Critic’s Choices: Celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, The Boiled Owl Tavern (909 W Magnolia Av, 817-920-9616) has become the closest thing to Cheers for the local indie-rock set. It’s a place where everyone knows your name, your face, and what band(s) you’re in. Interspersed among all the musos, however, is a diverse amalgam of young folks from all sorts of backgrounds. The great craft beer selection and super-lighthearted atmosphere are draws no matter how you spend your waking/working hours. … As one of the earliest spots to open after the development of the Fairmount Historic District began, The Chat Room Pub (1263 W Magnolia Av, 817-922-8319) quickly morphed from an internet cafe into a comfy dive adopted as the home bar for many Near Southsiders. Over the years, several competing spots have opened along or near Magnolia, and while we patronize all of them still, deep down, we’re always Chat Rats for Life. … Brother bar to the Arlington hipster homebase of Caves Lounge, the rustic, under-the-radar, grown-up dive Ozzie Rabbit Lodge (6463 E Lancaster Av, 817-446-9010) offers a clean, calm environment to enjoy a drink. The one feature it does borrow from Caves is a killer jukebox stuffed with great tuneage. Anything from punk rock to classic country makes for a great soundtrack to drinking with friends. … Sequestered on Camp Bowie, away from many of the social hot spots in town, Showdown II (4907 Camp Bowie Blvd, 817-738-4051) is a well-kept secret for dive bar enthusiasts. The country charm is reminiscent of the first bars your dad tried to sneak you into when you were a kid. It’s a classic, no-frills, basic-domestic-drafts, and plenty-of-darts-and-pool kinda dive. Other places need $15 craft cocktails or funnily named, small-batch, juicy-hazy-unfiltered-trippel-IPAs to draw customers, but you won’t find those things here — and you won’t need ’em. Just an ice-cold Yellowbelly, a straight cue, and a well-worn bartop to lean on, thank ya very much. … The second location of the popular Deep Ellum watering hole, Twilite Lounge (212 Lipscomb St, 817-720-5483) opened five years ago by former Ticket producer Danny Balis and his longtime business partner Jess Barr and has since become another quaint and colorful drinking establishment in which to “pass a good time” on the Near Southside. The bar’s concept is loosely based on a New Orleans-style speakeasy, and the vintage-vibed vertical neon corner sign, crimson damask wallpaper, and comfy booths do a great job at recreating that sensuous, luxuriant Big Easy feel.

Bar Service

Critic’s Choice: Grand Cru Wine Bar, 1257 W Magnolia Av, 817-923-1717

For many of us, wine is intimidating. Which ones are sweet, and which are dry? Which ones go well with pasta, and which ones can be paired with meat or fish? What’s the difference between an $11.99 bottle and one that costs $60? Never fear, walking into Grand Cru. At this Magnolia Avenue mainstay, the employees know their stuff, and they’re friendly and unobtrusive, too, a great combo.

Deven Kampenhout has been behind a bar for 13 years, and now our critic’s choice for best bartender is creating new cocktails at Curfew.
Courtesy Facebook


Readers’ Choice: Dusty Smith, The Abbey Pub, 2710 W 7th St, 817-810-9930

Critic’s Choice: Deven Kampenhout, Curfew Bar, 350 W 5th St, 817-725-7534

After 13 years in the biz, Deven Kampenhout considers himself both a mixologist and a bartender, and as a general manager now at Curfew, he’s really digging crafting menus. Creating unique cocktails is a big part of the fun, he says.

Beer Selection

Readers’ Choice: The Bearded Lady, 300 S Main St, 817-349-9832

Critic’s Choice: The Radler, 1229 7th Av, 682-250-6926

The venue that formerly housed The Bearded Lady finally found itself a worthy successor with this German-style beer garden. We’ve always been partial to the blend of beer and fruit juice that the place is named after, but there are plenty of other brews available for consumption. Right now, the Radler’s menu is heavy on wheat beers and pilsners, but expect it to change when the weather turns cooler.

Bloody Mary

Readers’ Choice: Hunter Lucus, The Boiled Owl Tavern, 909 W Magnolia Av, @TheBoiledOwlTavern

Critic’s Choice: Café Modern, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St, 817-840-2157

Fans of the Modern’s bar know that, while the food is generally good and the view of the reflecting pool amazing, the libations that flow from the cafe’s bar are equally wonderful. Brunch screams for a Bloody Mary, but you don’t actually need brunch to enjoy the concoction here. The original recipes for the drink (circa the 1920s or ’30s, depending on your source) featured a 50/50 combo of vodka and tomato juice, spiced with a little pepper. Unlike a lot of the tomato juice-and-vodka eye-openers in town, Café Modern’s version is spiced not with a chile-based seasoning or a prepackaged mix but a generous serving of horseradish and a dash of lemon. The spice isn’t enough to cause your nose to run and your eyes to weep, but it’s enough to make you sit up straight. The slightly lime-spicy rim adds a little salt and a little Texican to the beverage.

Gather ’round with some buds and raise a pint (or three) at our critic’s choice for best brewery, Second Rodeo Brewing, in the Stockyards.

Brewery (Top 5)

Readers’ Top 5: HopFusion Ale Works, 200 E Broadway Av, 682-841-1721 • Maple Branch Craft Brewery, 2628 Whitmore St, 817-862-7007 • Martin House Brewing Company, 220 S Sylvania Av, Ste 209, 817-222-0177 • Panther Island Brewing, 501 N Main St, 817-882-8121 • Rahr & Sons, 701 Galveston Av, 817- 810-9266

Critic’s Choice: Second Rodeo Brewing, 122 E Exchange Av, 817-240-4959

Fort Worth breweries continue to release amazingly inventive and delicious brews. Whether it’s Martin House literally pushing the limits on what can conceptually be considered a beer — Cheetos, really? — or Rahr & Sons refining their offerings while expanding outside German-style beers, Fort Worthians are awash in local craft suds. Competition for this category grows tighter every year, but for sheer overall experience, we’re giving this year’s award to Second Rodeo Brewing. Boss Dennis Wehrmann is a fifth-generation brewmaster who’s crafted tasty ales and lagers that blend Texas and German influences. The Big Buckle IPA is bold enough for hopheads yet accessible for those who don’t normally stray too far from Currs Laght, while the Oktoberfest is malty, bready, and clean. Beer is just part of the draw at this Mule Alley hotspot. With three live music acts a day and a menu that’s heavy on chicken wings, sammies, and scrumptious nachos, patrons can enjoyably start and end their galivanting at this sprawling beer garden and bar.

Comedy Club

Readers’ Choice: Four Day Weekend, 312 Houston St, Ste 7404, 817-226-4329

Critic’s Choice: Hyena’s Comedy Nightclub, 425 Commerce St, 817-877-5233

Looking for a fun date night idea or a fun weekend outing with your friends? Hyena’s Comedy Night Club won’t gouge you on drink prices, and the comedic talent at this Sundance Square hotspot runs deep, from regional stalwarts to nationally renowned jokesters. Show up early and stay late. Before and after the big show, customers have access to two full bars, karaoke lounges, and pool tables.

Our readers and critic agree: Claws Out Comedy (@ClawsOutComedy) is the best comedy open-mic in town.
Courtesy Facebook

Comedy Open-Mic Night

Readers’ Choice: Claws Out Comedy, @ClawsOutComedy

Critic’s Choice: Claws Out Comedy’s STFU Wednesdays, Twilite Lounge, 212 Lipscomb St, 817-720-5483

Though they now host a second open-mic night, on Tuesdays at Funky Picnic Brewery, the unapologetically diverse Claws Out Comedy collective started their open-mic nights at Twilite Lounge, so we’ll go with the first location first. You’ll see a lot of newcomers sweating under the spotlight as they work their five-minute slots, but plenty of up-and-comers and seasoned vets also show up to sweat and woodshed their acts. What sets these comedy nights apart is that you feel like you’re watching a show run by pros — which you are!

Craft Cocktail (Top 5)

Readers’ Choice: Thompson’s Bookstore, 900 Houston St, 817-882-8003

Critic’s Choices: Recommending a cocktail is a challenge because everyone’s palate is different. One man’s Mai Tai is another man’s Malört Sour, and bars that take their mixology seriously have expansive menus of balanced, delicious drinks, so picking the best is almost like putting their names in a hat. Nevertheless, some of our favorites are the following.

The mezcal-fueled From Dusk Till Dawn (also with espresso, ginger, ancho chile-mole, and bitters) at Thompson’s Bookstore is as wild and smoky as its namesake midnight movie. … If your vibe is more Christopher Cross than Robert Rodriguez, however, sip on a Sand & Sea from The Usual (1408 W Magnolia Av, 817-810-0114) — the drink’s silky orgeat sweetness is balanced with lemon juice and floral notes from the Dimmi and gin. And speaking of gin, the mix-and-match gin and tonic menu at Blackland Distillery (2626 Weisenberger St, 682-268-5333) is a fun way to find out what your favorite aromatic is. Then there’s the Hi Hat at Sugarman’s (Hotel Revel, 1165 8th Av, Ste 137, 817-886-4141) — the melange of dark rum, sloe gin, apricot brandy, and lime juice is a funky jam session that lives up to the legendary blues bar it’s named after. Finally, should you go to Proper (409 W Magnolia Av, 817-984-1133) and get pleasantly lost in their regularly rotating menu of themed drinks and classic concoctions, break your decision paralysis with the traditional absinthe service.

Dance Club

Readers’ Choice: Studio 80, 500 Taylor St, 817-332-4833

Critic’s Choice: Curfew Bar, 350 W 5th St, 817-725-7534

Curfew is the epicenter of Fort Worth’s dance music scene, throwing dance parties at least four nights a week, starting every Monday night with Meet Me Underground, the weekly deep house banger. From disco and throwback hip-hop to Top 40 hits, Curfew’s rotating cast of DJs will make sure your night is pumped full of high-energy fun.


Readers’ Choice: Blackland Distilling, 2616 Weisenberger St, 682-268-5333

Critic’s Choice: Blackland Distillery

Fort Worthian Markus Kypreos established a high standard when he founded his Foundry District-based distillery in 2018. He invested heavily in it and paired his spirits operation with one of the swankiest tasting rooms in the region. Every batch of bourbon, whiskey, and gin is fermented using locally sourced grain through a partnership with Fort Worth-based TexMalt. Local grains matter because North Texas is home to rich Blackland Prairie soil that imbues every sip of Kypreos’ fine liquor with the land’s terroir. Local bars and cocktail lounges are catching on and stocking Blackland spirits for a growing base of fans who are snatching up the distillery’s bottles as fast as Kypreos and distiller Ezra Cox can produce them.

Dog-Friendly Patio

Readers’ Choice: MUTTS Canine Cantina, 5317 Clearfork Main St, 817-377-0151

Critic’s Choice: Caves Lounge, 900 W Division St, 817-460-5510

All doggos are welcome at Caves while on a leash and accompanied by their owners at all times on the back patio. Speaking of said patio, it’s decorated with fun art pieces and has comfy seating. Caves is great anytime, but if you’ve never been, because it’s a 20-minute drive from downtown, bringing along Fido might be a great way to get in with the hip regulars.

Drag Show

Readers’ Choice: Drag-With-Me! The Show, @DragWithMe.TheShow

Critic’s Choice: 1851 Club, 931 W Division St, 817-642-5554

Friday and Saturday nights are hoppin’ at 1851 Club, Arlington’s only gay retreat. Grab a Ms. Sherry (vodka, orange juice, lemonade) or an 1851 (Tennessee Apple, ginger ale, cranberry juice) and mosey up to the front of the main stage. Owner Dalton Haynes is always on hand to greet guests before, during, and after the lively shows. Haynes bought the venue in early 2021 and has invested in revamping the interior and upgrading the sound and lighting systems. The results deliver an ideal space for drag queen stalwarts like Kolby Jack Davenport and Rochelle Roulette to literally bend over backward for your entertainment (and spare dollar bills).

Happy Hour

Readers’ Choice: The Abbey Pub, 2710 W 7th St, 817-810-9930

Critic’s Choice: Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, 3100 W 7th St, 817-336-8000

Sometimes we aren’t feeling a PBR pounder and smokes. Sometimes we want a sophisticated Old Fashioned and two succulent, melt-in-your-mouth center-cut filet mignon sliders (with blue cheese and onion jam) or some black truffle tartare (hand-chopped filet with Grana Padano and toasted baguettes). Sometimes after work we just wanna chill at Eddie V’s. The Cultural District staple is pretty tricky, because as soon as happy hour is about to end (6:30pm from 4pm Sun-Thu), the jazz musos pile in and begin warming up. Uh, barkeep. I’ll have another.

It’s ultra-slick, it’s swanky, it’s … on the Near Southside? Critic’s choice for best hotel bar, Hotel Revel’s speakeasy Sugarman’s is down to earth and makes for a great escape.
Courtesy Facebook

Hotel Bar

Readers’ Choice: The Lobby Bar, Hotel Dryce, 3621 Byers Av, 817-330-9886

Critic’s Choice: Sugarman’s, Hotel Revel, 1165 8th Av, 817-928-3688

Let’s face it. Hotels gonna hotel, and no matter where you put them, they’re going to emit a certain level of swank. Now, you would think the refined classiness of Hotel Revel’s speakeasy would be at odds with its gritty, hip Near Southside environs, but thanks to the bartenders and the regulars — and the perfectly whipped-up, shaken, and/or stirred cocktails — Sugarman’s fits quite nicely.

Karaoke Night

Readers’ Choice: The Boiled Owl Tavern, 909 W Magnolia Av, @TheBoiledOwlTavern

Late-Night Food

Readers’ Choice: Ol’ South Pancake House, 509 S University Dr, 817-336-0311

Critic’s Choice: Nickel City, 212 S Main St, Ste 100, @NickelCityFWTX

If you haven’t had a Nickel City slider, you’re in luck, because these magically delicious mini-burgers are available every night until 1:30am, along with other bar-snack favorites like Coney Dogs, fried cheese curds, pizza logs, tots, wings, and even a fried bologna sandwich. The South Main bar-bar’s food truck is a reliable dispensary of the perfect grub to pad a night of drinking, and Nickel City’s late-night last call will save you from waiting in that interminable 2am drive-thru queue.

Winning both readers’ and critic’s choices for best LBGTQ+ Bar, Liberty Lounge on the Near Southside defines what it means to be inclusive and safe and to fight against all the hate.
Courtesy Facebook


Readers’ Choice: (tie) Liberty Lounge, 515 S Jennings Av, @Liberty.Lounge.FW • Urban Cowboy Saloon, 2620 E Lancaster Av, 682-707-5663

Critic’s Choice: Liberty Lounge

Jenna Hill-Higgs opened Liberty Lounge in 2020 with the aim of offering the Near Southside community a watering hole where locals could rest, unwind, and feel comfortable and safe. With a U.S. Supreme Court hellbent on turning back the clock on progress and state leaders openly attacking and undeservedly vilifying members of the LGBTQ+ community, these are dark days. Hill-Higgs, a.k.a. #BigLoveJenna, openly supports progressive causes by hosting events and fundraisers that aim to peacefully subvert bigotry in all its form. The bar owner is that rare soul who is empathetic with everyone’s journey. She also knows how to sling some of the stiffest drinks in town.

Margarita (Top 5)

Readers’ Choice: Mesquite Pit, 1201 Fort Worth Hwy, Weatherford, 817-596-7046

Critic’s Choices: Any self-respecting person from around these parts will argue all day long about this or that place being the best Mexican restaurant in the city, but everyone will agree that sipping a margarita on the lovely patio at Joe T. Garcia’s (2201 N Commerce St, 817-626-4356) is peak Fort Worth and a must-do for visitors. With its large central fountain and plethora of well-cared for plants (even in summer), the patio has to be a good 15 degrees cooler than anywhere else in town. And the margarita menu hits all the highlights, from house to top shelf. So get sippin’. … Picture this: Sitting on the rooftop patio, gazing down at Sundance Square, glancing up at all the other tall skyscrapers, sipping on a Billionaire Margarita made with tippity-top-shelf tequila and Grand Marnier to justify its $50 price tag. Reata (310 Houston St, 817-336-1009) delivers on luxury moments like this. Feeling less spendy? The Margarita Fresca may be less memorable but is still pretty dang tasty. Reata uses lime and simple syrup, not mixes, in all of their margaritas for that fresh, tangy flavor. … Skeptical that an izakaya can have one of the best margaritas in town? Well, Shinjuku Station (711 W Magnolia Av, 817-923-2695) won’t let you down. Sure, their version won’t impress purists, but set aside those notions and order the Shinjuku-rita. The citrus-forward sipper is a mix of tequila with freshly squeezed orange juice, yuzu, and agave nectar instead of orange liqueur, lime, and sugar. The result? A bright, distinctive drink that pairs exceptionally well with the small plate menu. … Do the margaritas at Taco Heads (1812 Montgomery St, 817-662-4064; 2349 N Main St, 817-420-6299) live up to their “Best in Texas” claim? Impossible to know for sure, but they are definitely among the best in Fort Worth. Go for one on the rocks if you want, but the taco joint has nailed down the perfect creamy, slushy texture for frozen versions. Both locations have cute patios, and make sure to check out the $5 margarita Monday special to chase away any back-to-work blues. … The key to a good margarita? Good ingredients and good ambience to soak up along with the tequila. Sweet little Tinie’s (113 S Main St, 682-255-5425) has high marks on both. For the house margarita, available both frozen and on the rocks, the bartenders use a housemade citrus syrup for a little extra pizazz. It’s a great margarita — fresh, bright, and potent. But why not try one of the many variations, like the Ay Papi, featuring orange and mole bitters? If you’re really feeling yourself, Tinie’s has an extensive list of specialty hard-to-find tequilas and mezcal.


Readers’ Choice: Lucille’s Stateside Bistro, 4700 Camp Bowie Blvd, 817-738-4761

Critic’s Choice: T&P Tavern, 221 W Lancaster Av, Ste 1000, 817-885-8878

Choose from a plethora of train-themed ’tinis here. For purists, enjoy the Station Master, your preferred level of dusky and a couple of olives. For fans of Sex and the City, the T&P version of the Cosmo is the Train Whistle, with citrus liqueur, lime, and cranberry. The Conductor is also Cosmo-like with gin, simple syrup, rosewater, and cranberry. We’re not sure what to make of the sweet, frothy Lunar White (with vanilla vodka, coconut rum, amaretto, and cream) or the whiskey-and-cola-based Engine Engine No. 7, which the menu calls a “man-tini.” But what’s better than drinking a martini in Fort Worth’s only 1930s-era rail station pub? Answer: drinking one on Mondays when they’re only $5 apiece all day.


Readers’ Choice: Victoria Foster and Zak Reynolds, Refinery 714, Kimpton Harper Hotel, 714 Main St, 817- 332-7200

Critic’s Choice: Julian Weddington, Fixe Southern House, 5282 Marathon Av, 682-707-3965

Even after almost five years, the bar at Clearfork’s Fixe is still one of the best-kept secrets in town, but for those in the know, chances are you’ve seen Julian working his magic. The head bartender/mixologist has been serving up cocktails both classic and inventive since the place opened. More than that, you may have had a conversation with him about anything from rare whiskeys to movies and music to motorcycles. Julian is a master of his craft whether he’s serving you a spectacular classic martini, a modern take on a whiskey sour, or something he invented on the spot for you indecisive and/or adventurous drinkers.

Patios (Top Five)

Readers’ Choice: Joe T. Garcia’s, 2201 N Commerce St, 817-626-4356

Critic’s Choices: At Atico (2315 N Main St, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, 682-255-5112), the tapas are good and the views even better — the restaurant is nestled atop the tall, dark, and handsome SpringHill Suites in the Stockyards. … Situated high on the Frost Tower downtown, Branch & Bird (640 Taylor St, 682-785-8888) offers a splendid view of Sundance Square and environs while serving up quality cocktails and often live music. … Lot 12 (2512 W Berry St, 817-353-2344) isn’t downtown, but the sunset over the TCU area sure looks amazing from both the covered and uncovered patio areas. This space is always busy during TCU away games (and sometimes during the home tilts, too). … Press Café (4801 Edwards Ranch Rd, 817-570-6002) has an official patio to the side of the restaurant, but there’s a large space with fire pits and relatively comfortable seating where you can have a drink while you’re waiting for your table (especially if you were unwise and did not make reservations). … For the next 18 months or so at least, you’ll be able to enjoy the three glorious rooftop patios at Reata Restaurant (310 Houston St, 817-336-1009). Disputes with property managers in Sundance Square have sent the ownership looking elsewhere for space. It’s impossible to think of Fort Worth without this landmark rooftop patio.

Restaurant Bar

Readers’ Choice: Mesquite Pit, 1201 Fort Worth Hwy, Weatherford, 817-596-7046

Critic’s Choice: Jane, 1151 E Southlake Blvd, Southlake, 817-424-JANE

The creative cocktails are good enough to upstage the food at this upscale bistro. The drink menu rotates with the seasons, but regardless of the time of year, you can find well-judged blends of flavors in Jane’s margaritas, martinis, mules, and nonalcoholic drinks. If you’re not in a playful mood and just want a straight chardonnay or malbec, the wine selection can accommodate you, too. That’s worth raising a glass to.

Shot List

Readers’ Choice: The Shot Cellar, 931 Foch St, 817-386-3561

Critic’s Choice: The Shot Cellar

With more than 300 shots to choose from, you can’t go wrong at The Shot Cellar. West 7th revelers know that the best place to pregame, mid-game, or top off a fun night out is here. Try the, um, Lactating Cowboy (Jack Daniels, milk) or a classic Lemon Drop (vodka, sugar, lemon juice). Whatever your liquor of choice, the bartenders at this popular bar can fix you up with a 2-ounce libation that goes down easy. #DrinkResponsibly

Sports Bar

Readers’ Choice: Buffalo Bros, 3015 S University Dr, 817-386-9601

Critic’s Choice: Flips, 6613 Fossil Bluff Dr, 817-847-4424

This venerable cavern near Alliance is the best for dining on top-quality pub fare and imbibing reasonably priced suds and cocktails while taking in pretty much every sport on the planet at the same time — there are more TVs here than at every Best Buy in town put together. The staff is friendly and professional, so if you’re looking for fit young servers in thongs and tight tops, go elsewhere. Disclaimer: The facts that Flips transforms into a Steelers-watching spot on Sundays and our Pittsburgher editor lives nearby have nothing to do with this selection. #HereWeGo

Strong Drinks

Critic’s Choice: Tarantula Tiki Lounge, 117 S Main St, 817-920-9616

And we mean this in the nicest way possible. As booze enthusiasts, if we’re paying in the $12-14 range for a craft cocktail (which seems to be the average in this town), we’re going to want our money’s worth, and not only does Tarantula check that box, the dark, colorfully lit, groovy, Polynesian-themed retreat keeps flavor Priority No. 1. In every drink. Whether it’s an old standard like a Mai Tai, Painkiller, Zombie, or daquiri or an original devised by Tarantula’s mixologists, like the Black Flamingo (coffee, rum, banana, Macadamia, pineapple, lemon, bitters) and the Pink Pearl Diver (Guyanese rum, vanilla, vodka, wild cherry guava, lemon, house-made cinnamon syrup), the alcohol never overpowers your taste buds. We all need to be able to appreciate the art of blending so many ingredients and making them taste divine. Cheers, Tarantula.

Wine Bar

Readers’ Choice: The Holly, 305 W Daggett Av, Ste 101, 817-420-6446

Critic’s Choice: Thirty Eight & Vine, 212 Carroll St, Ste 130, 682-703-1887

Dessert wines are so hard to find even in the places that supposedly specialize in wine, so cheers to this elegant Foundry District hangout for offering Tokaji, moscato (the good stuff, not the supermarket swill that passes for dessert wine), and Japanese umeshu. If your tastes don’t run sweet, you can still find exotic numbers like Spanish txakolina and Greek assyrtiko, rosés that can redeem that wine’s good name, and even some local craft beer. Tarrant County has no shortage of wine bars, but this place is unique enough to stand out.