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We're renovating our kitchen and I'd like to add some downlighters to create atmosphere. What type of light is the most energy-efficient? Melissa Davidson of The Lighting Warehouse replies Although a successful kitchen lighting design need not be complex, we always recommend `layered lighting' to create a warm and inviting space that can multi-task as a cooking area, practical workspace and appealing entertainment or dining area. Downlighters are a great source of both general and task lighting for kitchens, and LED ones are the most energy-efficient on the market. Compared to traditional incandescent downlighters, LED downlighters offer about 90% energy saving. The Lighting Warehouse has a new 10W LED downlighter (about R299.95) that provides light output of 800 lumen. It's 110mm in diameter, has an opal diffuser to block out any glare, comes complete with an electronic driver and boasts an incredible lifespan of 30 000 hours. Our cool white LED downlighter is now also dimmable. Just buy our dimmer module (R299.95) and add it to your existing press switch dimmer. If you have an open-plan kitchen and dining area, you can simply dim your downlighters to change the mood in the room. Did you know? Lumen is a unit that measures the level of brightness that radiates from a light source and it defines `luminous flux', which is energy within the range of frequencies that we perceive as light. I have an imbuia dining suite with a buffet table that I'd like to paint white. How do I prepare the wood and what should I use as an undercoat and topcoat? It's been oiled over the years so I need advice on how to do it right! Ashley Stemmett of Atmosphere Design replies It's fairly easy to achieve a good result, if you're patient. Follow these guidelines: Preparation is vital The surfaces first need to be scrubbed with a sugar soap solution and steel wool to rid them of any oil/wax build-up. Wipe down well with a cloth and water to rinse off the sugar soap. Allow to dry thoroughly (not in the sun, but under cover in a well-ventilated area). Test the surface Brush a touch of paint (Plascon Velvaglo, Plascon Double Velvet or Dulux PearlGlo) onto a small area (5 x 5cm) to test whether the oil/wax build-up has been adequately removed. If the paint seems to separate, you could do a second sugar soap scrub prior to sanding. If the test still leaves the paint separating, you'll have to do some sanding to provide a better bond. If the paint doesn't separate, you can move to the priming stage. Sanding Give the units a good sanding with 180-grit followed by 220-grit sandpaper, then wipe down with a damp cloth and allow to dry. Test again. Priming Plascon Multi-Surface Primer and Dulux Supergrip are both white and will provide a good base. Allow to dry. Painting Apply the final two coats of Plascon Velvaglo, Plascon Double Velvet or Dulux PearlGlo. Allow adequate drying time between coats and, for better results, lightly sand the surfaces with fine sandpaper (220-grit) between coats. I really like the limewashed floor in the kitchen on your August 2012 cover; how do I get this look? Silvia Miles of Milestone Kitchens replies The floor is SA pine and it takes well to this look; this effect can't be achieved with synthetic products. Sand the raw pine then apply one coat of undiluted imbuia penetrating stain such as Plascon's Imbuia Stain. Then apply two coats of white PVA, waiting for the first coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next coat. Once the floor is completely dry, sand with an orbital sander fitted with 80-grit sandpaper. Lastly, sweep the floor and wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove excess dust before finishing it with two coats of sealer; I used water-based Dekade Glazecoat in clear matte (dekadepaints.co.za), which isn't actually a floor sealer but it worked well.

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Freeing football of the `Scrooge' factor
Sounders, while winning the MLS title, didn't even get a single shot on goal! You could even be forgiven for believing that this is what football actually wants as it is a sport that quite deliberately makes scoring a rarity. Now we can see, thanks to the goal-line technology graphics, the absurdity of denying a goal even when 99.9 per cent of the ball is over the goal line. That is the Scrooge mentality. But to get rid of it does not require rule changes. It needs the sport, and particularly referees, to banish the pro-defence bias under which the benefit of doubt is always given to defenders. This bias ­ a bias with no justification at all ­ is seen at its most blatant in the way that referees consistently ignore goalkeeper fouls. Goalkeepers, the ultra-defensive players, are allowed to jump, knee raised, into opponents (specifically forbidden in the rules) or to throw themselves at an opponent's feet (clearly "playing in a dangerous manner", in which the danger is to the goalkeeper himself). These are dangerous and obvious fouls. Yet the calls are virtually never made. More often than not it is the attacking player who gets penalised ­ a ludicrous outcome that emphasises just how much the mean-spirited Scrooge mentality distorts the sport. Anti-goal Scrooge football feeds off itself. A low-scoring sport puts pressure on referees, in particular it explains why referees ­ not wanting to "decide" the game with a single penalty ­ turn down so many penalty appeals. I have been wondering for well over a decade, in this column and elsewhere, whether there is anyone in an authoritative position in football who actually cares about the game? Well, suddenly, it seems that there is. The usually not-too-voluble Marco Van Basten has broken the silence, arguing: "We must keep looking for ways to improve the game, to make it more honest, more dynamic, more interesting, so that what we offer is attractive enough." As Van Basten is now FIFA's chief officer for technical development, the statement is of the highest significance. At last, someone who matters is paying attention to the state of the game. "The spectators," he says, "want to see action, goals, tackles." Having stepped into the limelight as a rather unlikely pioneer, Van Basten then fluffs his lines by presenting a list of rule changes that he considers worth looking at. Sad to say, the list is a grab bag of "cures" that have either already been tried and found wanting (abolishing offside; shoot-outs to replace regular penalty kicks) or have built-in weaknesses (the sin bin; more substitutions). More promising were his suggestions to

counter time-wasting in the final 10 minutes of a game and copying basketball's system of allowing players only a certain number of fouls after which they must be replaced. I think there is a common theme to Van Basten's suggested rule changes: low-scoring games.

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Yesterday we made this wordpress page and added some new reviews

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