Did you know hockey injuries are causing deaths? What do you do with a very small room?

by Tim Broadway

To die at 28 is too high a price to pay
From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Dec. 06, 2011 5:36PM EST
Professional hockey says fighters keep the game honest. Right or wrong, it no longer matters. Not after the accidental overdose of Derek Boogaard of Saskatchewan. To be dead at 28 is too high a price to pay.

This week, we learned that an Alzheimer’s-like disease known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) was found in Mr. Boogaard’s brain, after his death last May, by the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. This disease is linked to depression, substance abuse, behavioural changes and mood disorders.

His cognitive deterioration was not a secret. “In the fall of 2009, a doctor asked Boogaard to name every word he could think of that began with the letter R. He could not come up with any,” John Branch of the New York Times reported in a stunning 16,000-word series on his life and death. A neurologist asked Mr. Boogaard to estimate how many times his mind went dark after being hit on the head – a sign of a concussion. Hundreds, he replied.

Yet teams lined up to bid for his services when his contract with the Minnesota Wild was up. He was 6’8’’ and 257 pounds. Last year, the New York Rangers signed Mr. Boogaard to a four-year, $6.5-million contract. For his physical pain, he was prescribed painkillers. Toward the end, he would sob in his father’s arms. He died accidentally from a combination of booze and painkillers. If he had lived, the medical experts from the centre said, dementia would have overtaken him in middle age.

The National Hockey League’s commissioner, Gary Bettman, says it is premature to reach any conclusions based on Mr. Boogaard’s CTE. He’s wrong. It is a question of risk. Bare-knuckled fighting may lead to concussions, brain damage and CTE. CTE is associated with a sharp decline in brain function.

Why would Canadians allow their boys to grow up to be hockey fighters? (Most fighters are Canadian.) Is it worth the destruction of their brain?

The price of fighting is catastrophic and is borne by the fighters nearly alone. It is too high for his parents who did everything they could to support him in minor hockey because they thought it was good for him. It’s too high for the fans, who loved Mr. Boogaard with that special adulation that fans reserve for the most fearless, willing fighters.

And it’s too high for the game of hockey, from junior through the pros. Hockey was complicit in Mr. Boogaard’s death. The game gave him its dirtiest job, paid him beyond his dreams for it, and allowed it to kill him.




Convert smallest space into snug reading room

Postmedia News Dec 7, 2011 – 10:00 AM ET | Last Updated: Dec 2, 2011 3:59 PM ET

Brian J. Gavriloff/Postmedia News

Cozy up with a comfy chair, bookcases and good lighting.
Put on the kettle! The smallest space can be converted into a snug reading room with the addition of some very easy-to-find decor items

By Leanne Brownoff

How many times have you walked by that guest room in your house and bemoaned the fact that it’s unused? There it sits with a dust-collecting bedpread and two lonely night tables. You may have even thought it’s size — 9×10-feet, say — is too small to be functional.

That is just not true. (Recall, if you will, the cozy sequestered dens that were common in the ’70s and ’80s, which drew the family into one homey huddle.) In many ways, small nooks make ideal reading rooms; they can brim with ambience. Think back to a quaint restaurant, B&B or powder room you have seen.

These memories will provide clues to what you can do with your space. Maybe you loved sitting in the sun at that table by the window. Perhaps you love the crackling of a fire on a cold winter day, or maybe you loved the paint colour or wallpaper design in the space. Take these cues to develop your perfect getaway.

As in all great design, form follows function. If the room doesn’t perform in an efficient and effective manner, it won’t matter how “comfy and charming” it looks.
The basic furnishings you need are:

• A chaise longue or a comfy chair and ottoman.

• Cantilever shelving above or a bookcase that spans no more than three-quarters of the way up the wall. A wall of books from floor to ceiling can be so overwhelming that it can look chaotic rather than relaxing. Another option is to convert any closets into a bookshelf, which will save floor space.

• Add tactile decor items such as an area rug and a basket of blankets or throws.

• If space and building codes permit, consider adding an electric fireplace to the space.

• A floor lamp will be an effective addition, as it takes less floor space than a lamp on a table.

• If you have room, consider an ottoman rather than a side-table, and place a tray on it to support a cup of tea or a glass of wine.

• At the very least, add side panels to your windows for effect — however, functioning drapery will be both practical and visually effective.

Do not be afraid to use bold colours in this small space. Once you have selected your furniture and rug, use their colour palette to inspire the tones you imagine enveloping you while you curl up with a good read.