11 February 2014The two hottest teams in test cricket, South Africa and Australia, do battle from Wednesday at SuperSport Park in Centurion, in the first of three tests. The Proteas are ranked number one in the world, while the Aussies are coming off a rampant 5-0 whitewash of England.While South Africa have won successive series Down Under, they have not yet beaten Australia at home since the Proteas were readmitted to world cricket in 1992.‘Motivation’At SuperSport Park on Monday, star batsman Hashim Amla spoke about the Proteas’ home record against Australia. “There is probably some motivation, but in another aspect I don’t think we want to play too much on it,” he said.“In the last few series that we have played against Australia, we have had success, so hopefully we can translate the success into a home series win.”Seeking a return to formWhen the teams last met at the WACA in Perth in December 2012, Amla struck a superb, man of the match-winning 196 in South Africa’s second innings to help the Proteas to a series-clinching 309 run victory. After a poor series against India, he is ranked fourth in the test batting rankings, but will be aiming to return to his established form, especially in the absence of Jacques Kallis.AB de Villiers, meanwhile, returns to the team after being sidelined because of surgery on a hand. He, too, will look to pick up where he left off. De Villiers is currently the number one test batsman in the world.Same approach“We have played against Australia quite a few times over the last few years and against the same bowling attack. I don’t think it will be any different for us in the way we approach this test series,” Amla said of the challenge awaiting the Proteas.“The guys have been going about their business preparing as well as they can.”Number fourOne of the biggest changes to the South African team will not involve a new player, but a new position in the batting line-up, with Faf du Plessis taking over the important number four spot from the great Jacques Kallis.Batting lower down the order, Du Plessis, in only 11 tests, has been superb, scoring 782 runs at an average of 60.15. Already he has played two memorable century knocks, one to save the second test against Australia the last time the teams met in Australia, and the other that almost won South Africa the first test against India earlier this year, when the Proteas were chasing a massive 458 for victory.The question that needs to be answered is whether or not he can be an attacking force higher up the order, if attack is what is needed.Combined what that, how will the all-round contribution of Kallis be accounted for in the bowling attack?ConditionsFor Amla, the conditions will play a vital role in the outcome of the first test. “I think conditions will be the deciding factor,” Amla said. “Regardless of the conditions, every batsman tries to occupy the crease and score as many runs as possible. Both teams are quite attacking, but by the same token conditions will play a large role in deciding how the game goes forward.”
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The conventional wisdom on door undercutsAh, conventional wisdom. It’s often not wisdom at all and you may get different versions of it depending on which convention you believe. That’s certainly the case here. Talk to people in the HVAC industry and you’ll find quite a few who say you never need anything more than a door undercut. The one comment I’ve gotten so far on the video on bedroom pressures I made for my last article was, “Ha, ha — 7 pa is >0.03 inches w.c., so… Very little. It will sweep under the door.” He didn’t identify himself as such, but since he thinks in inches of water column (i.w.c.), I have a strong suspicion that he’s an HVAC guy. (I also think the evidence points to the commenter being male, but woman’s intuition doesn’t always get it right, even for someone in Who’s Who of American Women.)That kind of conventional wisdom is why we have homes like my condo, which had a 7 Pascal (Pa) pressure difference before I installed the Tamarack return air pathway in the door. (Disclosure: Tamarack is an advertiser in the Energy Vanguard Blog.) Mike MacFarland of Energy Docs, a home performance contractor in northern California, says it can be even worse than that. He’s found many homes with bedrooms that get pressurized to over 40 Pa when the bedroom door is closed. Wow!In contrast, the statement I threw out in that last article about the inadequacy of door undercuts represents the conventional wisdom of the building science community. Building Science Corporation has a page about door undercuts as return air pathways and says this: “This approach is acceptable but Building America research has demonstrated that the common technique of undercutting bedroom doors does not provide for enough airflow.”They don’t provide the reference to that Building America research but I think it’s probably a study done by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). Published online as the Return Air Pathway Study, their report shows the air flow through various types of return air pathways, including door undercuts. The first graph below (Image #2) shows the results.They found that a hole the size of a typical one inch door undercut will allow about 60 cubic feet per minute of air flow. In terms of air flow to size of the hole, door undercuts come out on top. They yield about 2 cfm per square inch of hole. (See Table 60 in their report.) But compared to the air flow many bedrooms need, 60 cfm is on the low side. And that’s with a one inch undercut. With a half inch undercut, the number will be reduced greatly. (Unfortunately, they didn’t include half inch undercuts in their study.)The wisdom of data from real housesBuilding Science Corporation and FSEC are right in calling out door undercuts. As I mentioned above, many in the HVAC industry believe wholeheartedly in door undercuts. In many homes they don’t work. Look at the article I wrote last week about what happens in my condo without the Tamarack return air pathways I installed in the doors.But we also need to understand the bounds of this new understanding about door undercuts. And it’s helpful to know what that FSEC study did not show. Maybe door undercuts work just fine for some houses.That’s what John Semmelhack of Think Little has found. He commented in my last article, writing, “We design and balance systems all the time with central returns and without transfer grilles or jumper ducts for most bedrooms.” He finds that a half inch door undercut works just fine in most of the homes he tests.So, are we back to saying the HVAC folks are right? No, not really. Semmelhack works on high-performance homes. He certifies homes for Energy Star and Passive House and also does some net-zero-energy homes and deep energy retrofits. That’s the first thing the building science conventional wisdom doesn’t include. When a house is really efficient, the bedrooms won’t need as much supply air delivered.The other thing neglected by the building science conventional wisdom is the other paths for air flow. When you close a bedroom door, the undercut isn’t the only pathway for return air. Walk over to a bedroom (or other interior) door and close it. Look at the gaps on the sides and top. Grab the handle and see how much movement there is.The door undercut gets all the attention, but the sides and top of the door also allow a good amount of air to flow through. Semmelhack believes the air flow through the sides and top of the door is equal to the air flow through the undercut. So if you can get 60 cfm under the door, you can get about 120 cfm total.And that’s what the FSEC study seems to have missed. They don’t discuss it in their report, but it appears from the photos that their only pathway for air flow was the hole they cut. They built a little test hut out of foam board, which I imagine was airtight except for the holes being tested. They didn’t discuss the airtightness of the hut in their report.Semmelhack is one of the people in our industry who goes out and tests things to make sure they work. It’s required, of course, for Energy Star and Passive House, but he goes further than is required. The second graph below shows his data for the pressure difference in bedrooms as a function of the conditioned air supplied to the bedroom.It’s not a tremendous amount of data, but it’s enough to see that door undercuts work. For supply air up to about 80 cfm, the pressure stays below the Energy Star threshold of 3 Pascals (Pa). All of the bedrooms being tested here have only half inch door undercuts as return air pathways. No return vents, jumper ducts, or transfer grilles. And the vast majority meet the Energy Star requirement of <3 pa pressure difference between the bedroom and hall. only twice has semmelhack had a problem getting bedrooms under 3 threshold with 75 cfm of supply air. in both cases, door was installed really tightly.The new building science conventional wisdomAs is so often the case, the truth is found between the extremes. Door undercuts are neither always adequate nor always inadequate. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t. With low-load homes, the lower air flow required in bedrooms means that half-inch door undercuts — along with the flow around the sides and top of the door — might well be sufficient. The more air required for a bedroom, the more likely it is you’ll need to put in an additional return air pathway.Of course, it’s pretty easy to get this right. All we need is proper commissioning. If every home were tested for bedroom pressure differences and held to a maximum of 3 Pa, we wouldn’t need to have this discussion. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. Bathroom_fan_makeup_air-Joe_Nagan.pdf Most people don’t know that simply closing a door in their home can make them sick, increase their energy bills, or reduce their comfort. We live in this invisible stuff called air. We pull many pounds of it into our lungs each day. A typical air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace easily moves 20 tons of air a day. (Yes, I’m talking about 40,000 pounds! We’ll save that calculation for another day, though.) And the simple act of closing a door changes the dynamics of a house in ways that can have profound impacts on the people inside the home.Last week I wrote about the problem of bedroom doors getting closed, the consequences of that action, and one way to alleviate the problem. In that article I mentioned the issue of undercutting the bedroom doors as the standard method many homes used as a return air pathway. The air pumped into a bedroom needs to find its way back to the air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace. Door undercuts are one such return air pathway. But, I wrote, “Door undercuts typically won’t allow enough air to get out of the bedroom unless you leave a gap bigger than most people want under their doors.” RELATED ARTICLESReturn-Air ProblemsReturn to Sender – HVAC Return Pathway OptionsPerfect Balance Makes the CutNew Green Building Products — March 2011An Easy Retrofit for Return AirThis New Door Design Solves an Old ProblemAll About Furnaces and Duct SystemsResidential CommissioningIs It OK to Close Air Conditioner Vents in Unused Rooms?
He wasn’t on the ice when his Washington Capitals won the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup, but he was in the hearts of the fans who’d waited a while for Ted Leonsis, grandson of Greek immigrant parents, to deliver a championship in the nation’s Capital.(Ted Leonsis is 21st at TNH’s 50 WealthiestGreek-Americans 2018 List)Leonsis was born to a family of modest means in Brooklyn, and spent his early years there before moving back to his mother’s hometown of Lowell, Mass. a city that decades before had been one of the biggest Greek immigrant enclaves in the country, packed with coffeehouses and Greek families in a neighborhood called The Acre.He was graduated from Lowell High in 1973 – where a guidance counselor thought the young man’s future was to work in a grocery store and from Georgetown – in Washington – in 1977, moving back to Lowell to work as a communications manager for Wang Labs, one of the first major computer companies that flourished while he was there. He already had the touch of a skilled face-off hockey player and the mental toughness of Gordie Howe.In 1980, Leonsis started his own company, which grew quickly, and sold it to International Thompson for $60 million in 1981. He then started Redgate, a major media communications company which he sold to AOL in 1993, becoming its President.Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis watches as his team warms up before Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and the Vegas Golden Knights, Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)None of that came close to not happening. He survived a small plane crash in 1983 and drew up a list of 101 goals he wanted to accomplish and said he’s gone through 82 of them – without saying if the Stanley Cup can now be added.Greek-American sports teams owners have tried before. Peter Angelos has owned the Baltimore Orioles since 1993. George Argyros owned the Seattle Mariners from 1980-89. Alex Spanos owns the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, moving the team there in 2017 after 56 years in San Diego. They had begun in LA in 1960 and reached the Super Bowl in 1995 only to be crushed 49-26 by the San Francisco 49’ers.Leonsis, 61, also owns the Washington Wizards basketball team and other sports franchises under the umbrella of his Monumental Sports and Entertainment, as well as the arena in which the major league teams play.He bought the Capitals in 1999 and when they won the cup, beating the expansion team Vegas Golden Knights, he stood on the ice alone, remembering the journey perhaps that led from Lowell to the top of the hockey world, after seeing photos in Washington of streets packed with happy fans, the Washington Post said before a parade that was, well, Monumental.Washington Capitals NHL hockey team owner Ted Leonsis, left, and Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, from Russia, pose for picture with the Stanley Cup on the ice at Capital One Arena, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)“I’ve always believed nothing brings a city closer together than a winning sports team,” Leonsis said. But there was a lot of angst and anguish before they did, repeatedly being sent packing in the playoffs although he had built a star-studded team around Russian superstar Alex Ovechkin.“It’s much, much sweeter to go through all of the pain and suffering to get to the top of the mountain. That’s the way life is. That’s the way great businesses get built. It’s never easy,” he told the paper.“Never lost confidence in the group and the core,” Leonsis said. “To be honest, I never lost confidence in myself and our leadership group. I just think if you attack things with integrity and you have stick-with-it-ness, then good things will happen.”TweetPinShare0 Shares
Last season Eden Hazard observed that the main difference between José Mourinho and Antonio Conte was that Mourinho does not practise “automisations”. He does not have players practise set moves they can perform almost unconsciously that can be deployed at great pace when the situation demands. He organises his defence and leaves his forwards to improvise. That has been taken by some as evidence that Mourinho is no longer at the forefront of coaching – and perhaps it is – but it is also a detail that explains his entire methodology.While studying at the Instituto Superior de Educação Física in Lisbon Mourinho came under the influence of Prof Manuel Sérgio, who believed that football knowledge was not enough for a coach, that he also had to be a psychologist, a public speaker and have a grasp of the sciences. Specifically he gave lectures on emotions and how they could be manipulated. Mourinho followed them with a rapacious curiosity. “He looked,” Manuel Sérgio said, “like a cat catching birds.”His studies in psychology drew Mourinho to many of the conclusions reached by the Portuguese neurologist António Damásio, who has since written the introduction to a study about Mourinho’s methods by four Portuguese researchers. In his 1994 book, Descartes’s Error, Damásio argues that emotions are more rational than is commonly believed and that decisions are more influenced by emotional factors. features Topics Reuse this content Share on Facebook Share on Messenger Share on Pinterest Manchester United Share via Email Share on LinkedIn “For us to say that this or that player is in great physical shape is a mistake,” Mourinho said during his time at Porto. “The player is either fit or not. And what do we mean by being fit? It is to be physically well and to be part of a game plan which a player knows inside out. With regard to the psychological side, which is essential to play at the highest level, a fit player feels confident, cooperates with and believes in his team-mates, and shows solidarity towards them. All of this put together means a player is fit and it is reflected in playing well.”This is the basis of the theory of periodisation, as preached by Vítor Frade, the Portuguese academic who has been a huge influence over a generation of Portuguese coaches and worked as Mourinho’s director of methodology at Porto.It means no drills to improve stamina or discrete skills; it means no gym work unless a player is recovering from injury; and it means no automisations.“When he started as a head coach there were very few people coaching like he was coaching,” said the former Wolves midfielder Silas, who played under Mourinho at União de Leiria, “but now we see a lot of coaches doing the same. It’s a kind of training that’s completely focused on game situations, all game situations, all really specific.”Mourinho’s approach is “guided discovery”. Players are not taught moves by rote which, for him, offers a false sense of virtuosity that unravels against a better organised or more aggressive opponent. They are essentially persuaded by example of the efficacy of the Mourinho model until they instinctively reach for a Mourinho solution.“It is not easy to put this theory into practice, especially with top players who are not prepared to accept everything they are told just because it comes from you, the authority …” Mourinho said. “I will arrange the training sessions to lead along a certain path, they will begin feeling it … all together, we reach a conclusion.”The players are made to feel they own the conclusions Mourinho wants them to reach. It is a form of brainwashing, which perhaps explains the air of cultishness that so often characterises his relationship with his squad – and, indeed, with fans and certain journalists. It is an emotional as well as a technical process, one rooted in his “charismatic authority”, to use the term employed by the sociologist Max Weber in his 1919 lecture “Politics as a Vocation”, which addresses the issue of personality cults.The identification of both an external enemy – the football authorities, referees, pundits, whoever – and “rats”, club figures who for offences real or imagined find themselves outside the inner circle, helps strengthen those bonds.Mourinho’s mastery of psychology allows him to secure a buy-in that, for instance, can persuade Samuel Eto’o to operate as an auxiliary full-back or Xabi Alonso to turn against some of his Spain team-mates – as he did when Madrid played Barcelona four times in 18 days in 2011. But there is a problem. Weber argued that instances of charismatic authority “cannot remain stable; they will become either traditionalised or rationalised, or a combination of both”. It is that, perhaps, that best explains why Mourinho has only ever been successful in short bursts; in time the impact of his charisma wears off and players kick against an authority that has become habitual.In the past that is when third-season syndrome has set in, which is what makes reports of a new five-year contract so extraordinary. There have been signs this season at Old Trafford that the process has been accelerated. Mourinho’s problem may be less that his rejection of automisation is old hat than that the methodology to which it is integral is undermined by a familiarity with his techniques that erodes the charismatic authority on which they are based.• Sign up to our weekly email, The Recap, here, showcasing a selection of our sport features from the past seven days. 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