Technique ‘456’. Other specialists, such as the doctor Claudia reardon, from the University of Wisconsin and a member of the IOC, you have a short recipe for fighting depression in elite athletes: communication, self-control and training. “Athletes fight to achieve goals, and that mentality of overcoming is what must be applied.” Paul Wylleman, professor of psychology at the University of Brussels, adds other tips for overcoming confinement: not being over-informed, keeping in touch with family and friends, adjusting to the environment, and practicing mental training. “One technique you can use is 456. Four times a day, you must inhale air deeply for five seconds and then exhale for another six seconds while you slowly relax your shoulders, “he recommends Wylleman. Team up. The International Federation of Professional Soccer Players (FIFPro) published a study five years ago in which it concluded that professional soccer players are at high risk of depression due to the public demand they have. According to the survey, more than 35% had any of these distress problems, especially if they had long-term injuries. As well, the coronavirus has also fully affected the morale of the players. According FIFPro, An upturn in cases of anxiety has been detected since the beginning of confinement, a situation that has affected all athletes, but with a higher incidence among those who practice collective sports, such as soccer players.ERTE. Players are just as sensitive as the rest of the population to the problems generated by the COVID-19. Health is the big concern, but footballers are also not immune to wage cuts, ERTE and the insecurity generated by the crisis. Some unions have started aid programs for their members. One of the first to do so has been the Scottish Professional Footballers Union (PFA Scotland), which has sent its affiliates a series of recommendations to avoid negative thoughts. “Some players are distressed by economic problems and also by uncertainty about the future,” he acknowledges. Michelle Evans, responsible for the welfare of PFA Scotland.
Last week I wrote about sunspaces and how they can be used to deliver passive solar heat to our homes. Another option for passive solar heating is the Trombe wall, or thermal storage wall.While the sunspace is an “isolated-gain” solar system, a Trombe wall is an “indirect-gain” system. Here’s how it works: On the south side of a house you have a high-mass concrete or masonry wall whose exterior surface is painted a dark color. A layer of glass (or some other type of clear or translucent glazing) is held away from the wall surface by a few inches or more. Sunlight shines through the glazing and is absorbed by the dark wall, which heats up. The solar heat conducts into the wall where it is stored, and it gradually moves through the wall to the inner surface, where it radiates its warmth to the room.A short history of Trombe wallsThe Trombe wall is named after a French engineer Félix Trombe, who popularized this heating system in the early 1960s. The idea actually goes back a lot further. A thermal-mass wall was patented in 1881 by Edward Morse. In the U.S., interest in Trombe walls emerged in the 1970s, aided by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.I was fortunate enough to be working in Santa Fe in the late 70s, for the New Mexico Solar Energy Association, and I became particularly interested in Trombe walls. In fact, my first article in a national magazine was on Trombe wall retrofits — in Solar Age magazine in 1979. I also wrote the obscure Thermal Storage Wall Design Manual in 1979 (see photo), which gained some prominence among the small cadre of passive solar designers around that time.Trombe walls are particularly well-suited to sunny climates that have high diurnal (day-night) temperature swings, such as the mountain-west. They don’t work as well in cloudy climates or where there isn’t a large diurnal temperature swing. In New Mexico, where homes have been built out of adobe (dried mud) bricks for hundreds of years, even an unglazed south wall will deliver some heat into the house — if you add a frame and layer of glazing on the outside of the wall the performance improves dramatically.We are used to insulating walls, but with Trombe walls there is no insulation. The system works with a material that is both very heavy (high heat capacity) and fairly conductive (low R-value per inch). The trick is to choose the right material and size the wall thickness so that the solar heat makes it through to the inner surface by nighttime. If it’s too thick, it won’t be as effective at delivering solar heat, and if it’s too thin it will result in too much heat loss at night.Tweaking a Trombe wallAn overhang is typically built that extends out over the Trombe wall above it. This will shade the wall from direct sun during the summer (when the sun is high overhead), but allow full solar exposure in the winter (when the sun is lower in the sky).Top and bottom vents can be installed through the masonry wall to deliver more heat into the house during the daytime hours. Warm air in the space between the glazing and wall surface rises and enters the room, being replaced by air from the house entering through the lower vents in a convective loop. These vents should be closed at night so that the air circulation doesn’t reverse, with air next to the glazing cooling off and pulling in warm air from the room through the upper vents and delivering chilled air to the room through lower vents.Vents through the glazing can also be installed and seasonally opened and closed. In the summer months — when you don’t want the Trombe wall delivering heat into the house — these vents are left open. Screens on the vents keep out insects and other unwanted visitors.Like other passive solar heating systems, Trombe walls don’t require fans or pumps. Part of the house itself is turned into the solar heating system.In addition to this Energy Solutions blog, Alex contributes to the weekly blog BuildingGreen’s Product of the Week, which profiles an interesting new green building product each week.Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News, which is now in its 20th year. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.
OTTAWA – A possible clue to how the federal Liberal government will arrive at its annual immigration targets for 2018, to be unveiled Wednesday, can be found in a similar provincial plan unveiled just last week.Quebec — which sets its own immigration targets in connection with the federal government — is aiming to bring in some 51,000 people, a target that is unchanged from 2017.That has observers saying they expect the federal numbers for next year to remain largely in line with the 2017 goal of 300,000 newcomers, though a slight bump is likely.Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen offered no details Monday.“The main priority will be to focus very strongly on the real need of employers, and many sectors of the economy, saying we need immigration,” Hussen said before question period.“We need skilled immigrants to not only come and fill certain jobs, but also create more jobs for everyone else, and prosperity for all of us.”In 2016, the government’s economic advisory council recommended boosting levels to 450,000 over the next five years to address an aging workforce and declining birth rate, both of which are leaving major gaps in Canada’s labour market.But that bumps up against practical considerations, said Kareem El-Assal, a senior researcher with the Conference Board of Canada.“It would require a significant increase in federal government expenditures to hire visa officers to send them overseas and whatnot, and the question is where will the money come from.”The same holds true of a call for the government to set immigration targets for a wider window, not just annually. At the last federal-provincial meetings of ministers responsible for immigration, all emerged united on the need for a multi-year approach. Many eyes are on whether Hussen follows through.Being able to plot out immigration over a longer period of time would lend additional certainty for everyone from employers to refugee settlement agencies, who are among those calling for a three-year planning document.“The challenges and opportunities that immigration provides to this country necessitate a much broader public consultation than one focused on annual levels planning,” said the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance in its briefing note to Hussen on the immigration plan.“We strongly believe that we should be moving beyond annual level plans to multi-year immigration level plans.”Hussen wouldn’t say Monday whether that’s his plan.When the issue was raised with focus groups earlier this year, some respondents said they felt a multi-year approach would give immigrants false hope that if their application wasn’t accepted one year, it might be the next.And backlogs are already plaguing many parts of Canada’s immigration system.For example, the 2017 levels plan called for about 15,000 people to be admitted under the in-Canada asylum system. So far this year, there have been upwards of 35,000 claims filed in Canada, thanks to a surge in asylum seekers at the border — 10,000 of those claims are still pending before the Immigration and Refugee Board.Hussen said Monday that space will be created within the levels plan to address backlogs, but at the same time he also suggested refugee levels will be maintained.That’s sure to be a disappointment to the United Nations, which is also watching the plan closely to see whether Canada increases spaces for resettled refugees. The UN had hoped to see Canada take the lead at a time when the politics in other countries — most notably the U.S. — have led to refugee programs being scaled back.But domestic politics is at play as well, said Jack Jedwab, the executive vice-president of the Association for Canadian Studies.While the same socio-cultural concerns about immigration that dominate political debate around the globe don’t seem to be as much in play in Canada, they still underpin the immigration debate here to an extent, he said, so the government will only go far.“I think they feel that there is still come concern out there about a significant increase and they want to be sensitive to that.”