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Injured Praveen out, Sreesanth in

first_imgPacer Sreesanth was on Tuesday drafted into the Indian team, replacing injured Praveen Kumar, the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Indian board announced. The decision was taken just 11 days before India play Bangladesh in the tournament opener on February 19 in Dhaka.Praveen has an elbow injury and he returned midway from India’s recent tour of South Africa as a precautionary measure to recuperate at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore.In anticipation, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had asked Sreesanth to stand by and reach the NCA. “Praveen Kumar has been ruled out of the World Cup due to an elbow injury. The all- India senior selection committee has picked Sreesanth as Praveen Kumar’s replacement. The ICC has confirmed that Praveen can be replaced by Sreesanth,” BCCI secretary N Srinivasan said in a statement.The 28-year-old Kerala pacer, who bowls with passion, was naturally excited. “It is a great opportunity and a great challenge to be part of Indian team for the World Cup. I am lucky to be a part of it and am looking forward to giving my best in the tournament,” Sreesanth, who will be playing in his second World Cup, told reporters.”I am just looking forward to giving my best in the World Cup. I am absolutely fine with any role given to me. Whatever I would be asked to do, I will perform accordingly.” Sreesanth’s replacement was approved by the ICC’s event technical committee headed by David Richardson (ICC). It also includes Ratnakar Shetty (tournament director), Campbell Jamieson (IDI representative), Anil Kumble ( host nominee), David Lloyd (independent nomination) and Sanjay Manjrekar (independent nomination).advertisementIt would have been Praveen’s first World Cup. But his right elbow failed to respond in time and with the prospects looking bleak, the selectors had no choice but to quickly find a replacement.The Uttar Pradesh bowler from Meerut consulted Dr Andrew Wallace, a London- based surgeon who has treated many Indian players including Sachin Tendulkar, but it seems the injury is more serious than anticipated.It is a huge setback for Praveen, 24, an automatic starter in One- Day Internationals who usually bowls with pace spearhead Zaheer Khan. He has so far taken 57 wickets in 48 ODIs.Praveen Kumar checks out his elbow as Sachin Tendulkar looks on.Sreesanth, who joins Zaheer, Ashish Nehra and Munaf Patel – the other pacers in the 15- member squad – has captured 75 wickets in 51 ODIs.The pacer said he would try to better his economy rate, which he admitted was a concern. “I was worried about that aspect of my game, but in the last couple of years, whatever chances I have got I showed a lot of improvement.With age and experience you learn a lot. I am still learning and, hopefully, will do a good job,” he said.”There are no issues as far as subcontinent pitches are concerned.Zaheer, Ashish and Munaf have all played in World Cups before and have enough experience. We are ready to give our best. We are doing well and are number two in ODIs. Hopefully, by the end of the World Cup, we could be the number one team in the world.” Sreesanth, who composed a song to cheer the team in the World Cup, said: “I was looking forward to cheer the team, but now I am happy to be a part of it.”last_img read more

Urban havens

first_imgHedonism is not usually a welcome part of Chennai’s social fabric. Keep your knees together, your head down, do your work and go home, can sum up the attitude of the city. Indulgence is a quality that was to be shunned or practised in privacy. Naturally, the concept of spas,,Hedonism is not usually a welcome part of Chennai’s social fabric. Keep your knees together, your head down, do your work and go home, can sum up the attitude of the city. Indulgence is a quality that was to be shunned or practised in privacy. Naturally, the concept of spas, which were perceived as outlets meant for the cream of society, was not popular in the city until recently. Over the last few years there has been a sudden influx of spas and it’s not just the ladies who lunch visit them now. Gyms on the other hand have always been around. You would remember a rudimentary setup at the street corner in your neighbourhood where men used to sweat it out. The growth of premium gyms and fitness centres has happened in the last one decade. The IT boom churned out weary people and their spending power gave rise to fitness centres. The fad for fitness never faded. Our select panel from a cross section of society recommend spas and gyms they have personally tried, tested and loved.Varsha Jain at Influence SpaInfluence SpaInfluence, the wellness group, is owned by Naresh and his wife Varsha Jain, leading builders of Southern India. “I was getting bored sitting at home while he was busy with his construction work. So he gifted me this spa in 2009,” says Varsha Jain. Influence has two branches, one at Egmore, which covers 4,800 sq ft and another in Nungambakkam, which spans over 5,500 sq ft. Unique to the Egmore spa is the Vichy shower, in which large quantities of warm water are poured over a spa guest while he or she lies in a shallow wet bed, similar to a massage table, but with drainage for the water. At Influence the shower has 32 nozzles from where the water flows continuously while the therapist scrubs and massages the body. The interiors are designed according to the healing power of colours. Chroma hydrotherapy is a unique feature offered at this space: lights are flashed during the massage in an attempt to ignite the chakras or the energy centres of the body. Guests are greeted by a foot wash and massage here. All the therapy rooms have separate area for steam. Cross massages (done by the opposite sex) are also performed here. “There is no rule as such against or for it in Chennai. We took precautions by taking permission from the court for a cross massage,” says Jain. Where: House No. 2/3 Wallace Garden Road.Tel: 45038436 www.influencelifestyle.inAmbience: The Egmore outlet is inspired by yingyang and pearls. At Nungambakkam, the design emphasis is on the healing power of colours.Training: The staff is from Indonesia and Bali and all the therapists have undergone a year-long training in international spa massages.What’s good: Vichy shower, chromo hydro therapy and hot bamboo massages.What’s different: Influence signature massage, a combination of Balinese, Thai and Hawaiian techniques.Cost: Rs 2,000 for a body massage and goes up to Rs10,000 for couple massage (inclusive of taxes).advertisementAjit Menon at Kenko SpaKenkoKenko is a Singapore-based chain of foot reflexology and wellness spas founded by Dr. Jimi Tan, a wellness expert, in 1991. The Kenko chain entered India in 2008 and Chennai in November 2010 making it the first international spa in the city. It is located in the luxury section of the premier Express Avenue shopping mall. “Our success lies in the fact that we can convert walk-ins to repeat customers,” says Ajit Menon, COO of the spa. The spa is directed not just at the young but is open to people aged three to 60. A threeyear-old can experience a fish pedicure. There are special reflexology packages for children aged six and above and customised packages for senior citizens. “There are different parts of the feet that govern different organs in the body. With the right technique, a number of ailments can be cured through foot reflexology,” says Menon. There are also scientifically formulated treatments for pregnant women including pre-and-post-natal treatments. The reception area opens to the fish pedicure section where gara rufa fish eat away the dead cells of the feet. Inside is a blue lit area where chairs are separated by sheers. The foot reflexology and head massages, lip treatments, facials take place here. Body massage is conducted in private rooms.Where: Express Avenue Mall, Second Floor, Royapettah.Tel: 28464177, 28464577 www.kenkospachennai.inAmbience: The fragrance of lemongrass wafts all through. The dcor is Oriental.Training: The therapists are trained Kenko, Singapore.What’s good: Kenko foot reflexology, where pressure points on the feet are massaged.What’s different: The treatments for children and senior citizens.Cost: Rs 300 for a 15 minute fish spa and Rs 3,600 for a luxury facial (inclusive of taxes).advertisementVivek Anand at Fitness OneFitness OneFitness One was one of the first gyms with state-of-the-art facilities in Chennai. The Fitness One group was founded by Vivek Anand who was a pilot in the US for 18 years. “We had a very strict fitness regimen and I used to hit the gym everyday. When I came to India I saw there were no standardised gyms but just those local places where men did body-building,” says Anand. He moved back to Chennai and opened Fitness One, the first at Alwarpet was born in 2004. The chain currently has 37 centres across Southern India. The Kilapuk branch is the only stand alone gym in the city to have a swimming pool. Other facilities in the gym include shower and changing rooms, steam room and massage facilities for men and women. Fitness One has also tied up with a number of companies and has facilities in the premises of 110 of these organisations such as Nokia, Royal Bank of Scotland and Cognizant, among others. The chain also has its own brand of fitness machines called Precor with six showrooms in Chennai.Where: The Residency, 133/1, ground Floor, Residency Road.Tel: 43347000 www.zelalife.comAmbience: The gym is done up in shades of neon orange, green and yellow as an effort to infuse energy.Training: All the trainers are certified physiotherapists. The flagship centre has about 30 trainers.What’s good: Physiotherapy rehabilitation and nutrition are core strengths.What’s different: Scientifically designed weight loss programme called TRIM.Cost: Rs 18,000 per year and Rs 4,000 per month (inclusive of taxes).Jeffry Vardon at O2 Healh StudioO2 Health StudioWith a fitness centre, a gym, an aerobics centre and a dance school, this space is much more than a gym. Opened way back in 2001, the aim was to make women take to fitness and draw men into aerobics. The O2 Health Studio hosts a range of cardio respiratory fitness equipment and strength training machines to train all parts of the body. The trainers are certified in fitness and first aid and they constantly undergo fitness-training programmes. The physiotherapists on the floor take care of fitness screening, posture analysis, exercise prescription and injury management. Says Earnest Vijay, the fitness director of the studio, “Our personal trainers take the members to jog on the beach or for hill climbing.” There are a number of group activities offered at O2: kick boxing, dancersize, step, tabata, body jam, zumba and Latin American dance forms such as salsa, cha cha, jive, rumba, samba and passo doble are taught here. The group activities director, Jeffrey Vardon, is the head of the Hot Shoe Dance Company, Chennai’s premier dance school. “You don’t have to lose those extra kilos just by hitting the gym. You can also lose weight by dancing it off and a lot of people are waking up to this face. It’s definitely more fun than working out alone,” says Vardon. The Latin American dance forms have international certification and once a year an expert from the international committee conducts assessments at the centres and gives certificates to successful dancers. There are also Bollywood dance classes conducted here. O2 currently has four operational branches in the city and is soon opening two more. Where: Wallace Garden 2Nd St, Thousand Lights.Tel: 42323231 www.o2healthstudio.comAmbience: Every branch is in different colours in keeping with the area and the clients.Training: The instructors undergo a six-month programme in rehabilitation and physiotherapy.What’s good: The health studio offers many pre-planned packages. There are also programmes for senior citizens and women.What’s different: A virtual cycle, an indoor jogging track and an e-thinner (a spinning bike with a virtual instructor).Cost: Rs16,500 for annual membership (inclusive of taxes).advertisementLata Mohan at OryzaOryzaOryza was the first stand alone luxury spa in Chennai. Lata Mohan, after successfully running her salons, Bounce and Kanya for 20 years opened Oryza in 2005. A novel concept in at the time, the spa located on Chamiers Road is bang in the lap of luxury. The clientele that walks in here carry monogrammed bags, limited edition Louis Vuittons and Chanels. The 3,000 sq.ft spa houses a salon where regular parlour services are offered. On the menu card are spa facials, body beautifiers, massage therapies including Ayurvedic massages. The foot reflexology introduced recently has become a bestseller. For most part of the day, sunlight streams through the rooms while the spa is beautifully lit up in the evening. All the massage rooms are fitted with washrooms and bath tubs. The spa day package is very popular with mom-daughter duo, friends and even colleagues.Where: 46/1, Chamiers Road.Tel: 42110930 www.oryzadayspa.comAmbience: The exteriors look like a traditional Southern Indian home with terracotta accents but the interiors are completely Southeast Asian.Training: The Bounce certifies therapists here.What’s good: All the products used are made at the spa. The lotus and patchouli scrub is special.What’s different: The Hamami Makrabi, the Turkish bath.A luxurious treatment with a scrub and steam.Cost: Starts at Rs 2,250 for a regular Swedish massage and goes upto Rs 5,000 for a luxury body massage (inclusive of taxes).A nail therapy at Senza; Abhishek D Shah, Sravan Raghunath and Yogita Abhishek at the spaSenzaSenza is the city’s only dry spa. A dry spa is essentially a spa where you don’t have to take a shower after any therapy. Perfect if you’re looking at indulging in some soul-therapy during lunch before heading back to work. The spa is owned and managed by Abhishek D Shah, his wife Yogita and their friend Sravan Raghunath. “All three of us are passionate about the beauty and wellness,” says Abhishek. “We started Senza with the intention of converting our passion into a successful service offering.” Considering the average age of the trio is about thirty, this is a spa with some young ideas. Foot reflexology and nail art is what this spa specialises in. The foot reflexology menu is vast and includes unusual ones such as manual lymphatic drainage massage and a hot volcanic stone foot massage. The nail spa offers gel nails, a fad in the city. Other services offered include head, shoulder and back massages, facials, under-eye treatments and a fish pedicure. The fish pedicure tank gives the customers a view of the Indian Ocean which makes the experience even more soothing.Where: T55-B, 6th Avenue, Elliots Beach Road, Besant Nagar.Tel: 43018888 www.senzaspa.comAmbience: Lawn flooring, translucent curtains and purple-blue light gives it a surreal feel.Training: The therapists were given a three-month training before the spa was opened in March this year.Royal treatment: The only spa to offer over nine types of exotic foot massages. They are the first and only nail spa to use and showcase over 60 shades of OPI nail colourCost: Ranges from Rs 250 for 15 minutes of fish pedicure to Rs 2,750 for a signature facial (inclusive of taxes).Dr Anuradha Mathad at AuraAuraWith nine rooms painted in jewel-tones, Aura Spa is at the 9th floor of The Park hotel. These rooms in the myriad colours of the Navaratna gems are designed with the belief that they exude their own unique sensations. For instance in thepearl room that is intended to cool the senses, there are pearl artifacts in the room and the beige bed covers go with the theme.The spa houses steam, sauna chambers and whirlpools. “We didn’t want to slot ourselves as an Ayurvedic or Thai spa. We offer a wide range of treatments from across the world,” says the Associate Director of the spa, Dr Anuradha Mathad, an Ayurvedic doctor who has worked at spas for the past 12 years. Aura Chennai was the first branch of the chain in the country at, started in 2006. The Chairperson of The Park group, Priya Paul, is an avid spa goer and Aura spas were her brainchild. Today there are five branches across the country. Treatments offered here range from Ayurvedic abhyanagas to Swedish and Balinese massages. The regional treatments offered here, such as the Chennai treatment which comprises a sea salt scrub, a massage and a clean up facial, are unique to the spa.Where: The Park Chennai, 601, Anna Salai.Tel: 42676000 www.theparkhotels.comAmbience: The accents and furniture are contemporary Balinese but there are also Indian touches in the form of kuthuviilakkus.Training: Aura hires only certified therapists who are then trained at the spa.What’s good: The Aura massage is a well balanced treatment between ancient Indian and contemporary massage techniquesCost: Rs 1,550 for a facial to Rs 3,500 for a body massage (inclusive of taxes).Ajit Shetty at Score GymScore GymIf you’re a fitness buff or even glance at the papers once in a while you will be familiar with the name Ajit Shetty, a star trainer. He’s the man behind Suriya’s six packs in Ghajini and had also helped actors Vishal and Priya Anand with their workout regimes. Shetty, 38, has been in the fitness field for over 14 year. He was earlier the fitness director of the city’s biggest fitness chain but quit. “I thought it best to and start my own place,” he says. Score was launched in 2010 and the gym spans over 7,500 sq.ft on the busy TTK road. Entering the gym is quite an MI5 affair with doors that open to a bell that’s tucked away. There is a conscious effort to make the ambience as international as possible. The design is very minimalistic; what meets the eye are just slate floors and an array of machines that spell power. Spread over two floors this place screams testosterone with over 30 cardio machines including cycles, rowers, treadmills. “I wanted to make sure that the equipment is top-notch,” says Shetty. There are no frills added to the gym by way of classes such as swimming or yoga. Where: 265,TTK Road Alwarpet Tel: 43129777-888Ambience: Minimalistic and devoid of colour. Grey is the predominant shade here. There is a lotus pond under the staircase for a cooling effect.Training: All the trainers possess CYQ (Central YMCA Qualifications), are stretch-and-remedial posture trained and ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) certified.What’s good: All the gym equipment has been imported from the US. Hoist, Tuff Stuff, Octave and True are the brands used here.What’s different: It is is run by the city’s most popular celebrity trainer, Ajit Shetty.Cost: Rs 16,000 for an annual package and Rs 6,600 for 12 sessions with a personal trainer (inclusive of taxes).Dr Jyothi Choudhary at AnantaAnantaAnanta Spa is part of Le Waterina hotels and Eminence Ananta Spa is a product of their corroboration with the Eminence spa from Hungary. Only 100 per cent organic Eminence products are used here. The spa opened four months ago. Eminence products are a luxury line used by celebrities such as Madonna and Jennifer Anniston. The draw of the spa is in fact the Jennifer Aniston chocolate facial the actress herself indulges in. The body massages at the spa can be coupled with facials. There are rooms themed after Indian flowers and herbs like jamine and tulsi. “People love the spa because there is a definite shift in the society from chemical to herbal to organic,” says Vandana Sundra, the proprietor of the spa. Dr Jyothi Choudhary, senior educator at Eminence says there is science behind the success of organic products “The products are enriched with vitamins, minerals and bio-flavinoids that repair the skin cells and act as anti-oxidants.”Where: 73/74 Rk Salai.Tel: 9500169996Ambience: Beige and brown dominates the area. The rooms are themed according to flowers, fruits and herbs.Training: The therapists undergo a three-level training by senior educators in Hungarian spa techniques.What’s good: Hungarian detox facial. Hungarian mud and paprika detox the skin expelling toxins and leaving the skin fresh and oil free.What’s different: The city’s only organic spa.Cost: On an average a body massage costs Rs 4,000 and it comes with a complimentary facial (inclusive of taxes).Karti Sekar, Sheela Vishwanath and Yashwant Saran 136.1136.1136.1 is India’s first chain of integrated yoga studios. The ambience is swanky and is frequented by the who’s who of the city. The chain currently has two branches, one in Ispahani Centre and one on TTK road offering spacious practice rooms, ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 sq ft, and also yoga therapy rooms for individuals who can’t participate in the group yoga activity. The yoga studio offers 100 hours of group and personalised yoga every week. The centre was started and is run by Yashwant Saran, Sheela Vishwanath, Karti Sekar and Maitri Shah. Saran was an engineer, Vishwanath, a medical microbiologist, Sekar owned a gym and Shah was an executive. With a common passion for yoga, they began the centre in Janurary this year. At 136.1 there is an open school of thought that embraces all types of Yoga. There are classes in all styles and at all levels from classical Iyengar and Mysore Ashtanga, to Sivananda and Satyanand Yoga tradition and Power Yoga, Hatha Yoga. They currently have 15 teachers on board from reputed yoga schools such as Kaivalyadham, SVYASA (a yoga university in Bengaluru), Bihar School of Yoga, Sivananda ashram, Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram. There are live demonstrations by yoga exponents, concerts, music therapy in an attempt to familiarize the students with the verticals of yoga. Where: 123 anf 124, Ispahani Centre Basement. Tel: 9500037096 www.136point1.comAmbience: There is fusion of tradition with modernity. Clear spaces with emphasis on peace and tranquillity.Training: There are about 15 Indian and foreign teachers. All teachers are certified from recognised institutions and have a minimum of 5 years teaching experience.What’s good: The centre retails merchandise: yoga mats, covers, meditation mats, yoga wear, books, DVDs, organic products.What’s different: It’s India’s first chain of integrated yoga studios. Various styles and forms of yoga are taught under the same roof, having variety in practice. Cost: It costs Rs 9,000 for three months and annual membership is Rs 16,000 (inclusive of taxes). PanelistsMathangi Srinivasamurti, Owner, Chamiers Cafe She hits the gym every day and spa on weekends.Mario, Model A popular model, Mario is an avid gym enthusiast.Paloma Rao, VJ She is a regular at spas and fitness centres.Sharad Forma, CEO, Forma GroupRecuperates from the pressures of his job at spas around the world.last_img read more

a month ago​Barcelona fined £265 for Griezmann signing

first_img​Barcelona fined £265 for Griezmann signingby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona have been fined only 300 euros (£265) by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for their approach to Antoine Griezmann while he was at La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid, reports BBC Sport.Spanish champions Barcelona signed Griezmann after paying his 120m-euro (£107m) buyout clause on 1 July.But the federation said Barca broke its rules by negotiating with Griezmann without Atletico’s permission.Atletico believed his buyout clause should have been 200m euros (£179m).They claimed that Barca began talking to the player in March, when that was the size of his buyout clause.His cost then dropped to 120m euros at the start of July, which was when he signed for Barca, but Atletico claimed the “commitment of the player and Barcelona was closed” prior to the clause reducing.The player was absolved of any responsibility by the federation. TagsSpanish Football NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Euroseas Takes Discounted Ultramax from Dayang

first_imgzoom Nasdaq-listed owner and operator of drybulk and container carrier vessels Euroseas has taken delivery of a bulker newbuilding from Dayang shipyard in China.The newbuilding Hull DY 160, to be renamed Alexandros P, is a 63,500 dwt Ultramax dry bulk carrier built in January 2017.Alexandros P is one of two Ultramax bulkers ordered by Euroseas at Dayang shipyard in December 2013.Euroseas subsequently cancelled the orders for the vessels in August and September of 2016, citing excessive construction delays. The two Ultramaxes were initially scheduled for delivery in late 2015, early 2016.At the time, Euroseas demanded the return of its progress payments and other expenses as specified in the newbuilding contract and secured by refund guaranties.Following the cancellations, the two parties  referred the case to arbitration. In December 2016, Euroseas agreed to re- acquire Alexandros P from Dayang for 62% of the original price. The second vessel in the series, Hull DY 161, has reportedly been cancelled.Aristides Pittas, Chairman and CEO of Euroseas, said: “We are very pleased to complete the acquisition of Alexandros P, an Ultramax drybulk carrier the construction of which we have supervised over the last two years. The delivery of Alexandros P settles our claim against the yard and positions us to take advantage of any recovery in the drybulk market.”Euroseas has a fleet of 14 vessels, including one Kamsarmax , three Panamaxes, one Ultramax , and one Handymax dry bulk carrier. The fleet also includes eight feeder containerships.Euroseas six dry bulk carriers have a total cargo capacity of 417,753 dwt, its eight containerships have a cargo capacity of 13,170 TEU.The company has also signed a contract for the construction of one Kamsarmax (82,000 dwt) dry bulk carrier with Dayang. Including the new-building Kamsarmax, the total cargo capacity of the company’s dry bulk vessels will be 499,753 dwt.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

ESPN FOX Sports And NBC Sports Group Join Together For Womens Sports

first_imgThe Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) — the leading authority on the participation of women and girls in sports — today announced the collective contribution of over $2 million from NBC Sports Group, ESPN and FOX Sports.The pledge, a powerful testimony on the importance of women in broadcast and company leadership; helps fulfill the Foundation’s mission to ensure opportunities for girls and women of all abilities by providing access to sports.The funding will help drive the Foundation’s national efforts to close the 1.4 million participation gap in athletic opportunities for high school girls and collegiate women, provide grants to amateur and professional athletes in the pursuit of athletic excellence and sustain the Foundation’s longstanding commitment to the health and future success of girls across the United States.The unprecedented, joint effort by FOX Sports, ESPN, and NBC Sports Group, speaks to the media’s critical role in creating, covering and shaping the stories of female athletes in sports. Further, it aligns with the companies’ efforts to grow women’s leadership in senior-level positions within the industry, and help former athletes transition from the field to the boardroom.“It is truly amazing to see three giants in the sports industry coming together on mutual ground to benefit girls and women,” stated WSF Founder Billie Jean King. “Together, we’ll take a stand to ensure girls and women stay in the game.”“As a long-time supporter of the Foundation, ESPN and Disney have invested nearly a half million dollars over the last three years,” said ESPN President John Skipper. “We know that WSF is a proven organization with great potential to expand access to sports for women and girls and we are proud to join the other two media companies in support of their continued work.”“Playing sports and celebrating the importance of its roles in our society is a key part of the culture at FOX Sports. Our partnerships at the grassroots level with AYSO to the highest competitive level with collegiate sports and the FIFA Women’s World Cup signify our commitment to growing women’s sports, said Eric Shanks, President, COO, and Executive Producer of FOX Sports. From lessons on teamwork, determination and self-belief, FOX Sports is proud to support the Women’s Sports Foundation and their dedication to developing America’s girls into the next leaders of our corporations, and our society at large.”NBC is known for its first-class coverage of numerous sporting events including the Olympics. “As a company, we believe in showcasing the stories of male and female athletes alike,” said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. “Our investment in the Women’s Sports Foundation provides female athletes with the opportunity to pursue their athletic aspirations. It also underscores the Olympic spirit which is rooted in fair play, equality and peace.”The Women’s Sports Foundation’s mission to create leaders by ensuring all girls access to sports is driven by years of evidence-based research that demonstrates the profound impact of sports participation. A girl who participates in sports is healthier, has higher self-esteem and shows greater achievement in higher education and employment. In fact, 80% of female business executives attribute their career success to having played sports. To that end, the Foundation advocates for equal opportunities for girls and women at all levels, and supports physically and emotionally healthy lifestyles. The Foundation also builds capacities for organizations that get girls active, particularly in underserved communities.As part of their commitment, the media groups join Gatorade as presenting sponsors at the upcoming Salute to Women in Sports (October 15 in New York City), the Foundation’s annual fundraising gala that celebrates the most accomplished women in sports and the girls they inspire.“The Women’s Sports Foundation drives access to sport for all girls. We help communities to harness sport as a tool to empower girls to be the next generation of healthy, successful leaders,” said Kathryn Olson, Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation. “With help from ESPN, FOX Sports and NBC Sports Group, our combined efforts will expand sport and participation for future generations and showcase powerful female role models through the coverage of women’s sports in the media.”Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Protein supplement Lnorvaline may lead to neurodegenerative diseases

first_img Source:https://www.uts.edu.au/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 8 2019People taking the protein supplement L-norvaline should be aware of its potential for harm, scientists say. L-norvaline is an ingredient widely used in body building supplements and is promoted as a compound that can boost workouts and aid recovery. Similar compounds have been linked to neurodegenerative diseases and a study on human cells, by scientists from the University of Technology Sydney, suggests L-norvaline may also cause damage to brain cells.The study, published in Toxicology in Vitro showed that even at relatively low concentrations the amino acid L-norvaline could make cells unhealthy and eventually kill them.Proteins in our diet contain amino acids that are released in our gut and then used by our bodies to build new proteins. L-norvaline is one of hundreds of amino acids that are not normally used to make proteins in humans. In recent years the popularity of dietary supplements to enhance body strength and muscle performance has meant that many now contain lots of unusual amino acids that can do harm.Related StoriesRush University Medical Center offers new FDA-approved treatment for brain aneurysmsNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaLead author of the study Kate Samardzic said that the highest consumption of amino acids is among athletes and bodybuilders.”Protein requirements are higher in very active individuals and proteins are considered to improve and increase performance. The demand for amino acids in supplements has expanded but in addition to the normal protein-building amino acids other ‘non-protein’ amino acids are being taken”, the UTS School of Life Sciences PhD candidate said.”Some non-protein amino acids are toxic because they can mimic protein amino acids and deceive the body into making faulty proteins; a property used by some plants to kill predators.”Some plants can even release non-protein amino acids into the soil to kill other plants so that they can have access to all the nutrients. Chemical warfare among plants is a well known phenomenon. Since there was evidence that L-norvaline has antimicrobial and herbicidal activity we examined its toxicity in human cells,” Samardzic said.This is the first study that investigates the toxicity of L-norvaline in human cells, specifically testing its effect on the health of brain cells arising from its ability to mimic protein amino acids.Associate Professor Ken Rodgers who led the research said the study revealed that L-norvaline while, it might initially allow cells to produce more energy, after a while the machinery of the cell that generates the energy is damaged. People are taking supplements such as this without really knowing much about what the long-term consequences might be.last_img read more

Brain imaging lie detector can be beaten by people who use mental

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 3 2019People have certain physical ‘tells’ when they conceal information – and studies show that good liars can prevent these ‘tells’ being detected by displaying physical red herrings of their own.But scientists have now shown that even a brain imaging technique called fMRI, which in theory is much harder to trick, can be beaten by people who use two particular mental countermeasures.The work was led by Drs Chun-Wei Hsu and Giorgio Ganis at the University of Plymouth, in collaboration with the University of Padova, Italy, and published in the journal Human Brain Mapping.This research is the first to explore the effects of mental countermeasures on brain activity in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) – and it showed that when people used the countermeasures, the test proved to be 20% less accurate.How do concealed information tests work?Concealed information tests work because a person who is hiding something will ‘give away’ what they are concealing when faced with it in a list. For example, if a thief has stolen a diamond ring, the ring will be more striking to the thief than similar control items such as necklaces and bracelets – and the thief will show physiological signs (e.g. sweating) that reveal their guilt.However, these tests based on physiological signs are easy to beat as perpetrators can artificially alter them when seeing a control item, therefore confusing the test. To overcome this problem, researchers moved to methods that look directly at brain activation using fMRI.An fMRI machine tracks blood flow to activated brain areas. The assumption in concealed information detection is that the brain will show signs of recognition when presented with the concealed items while exerting extra effort to conceal signs of such recognition, and so the brain regions that do more work will get more blood. Such regions light up in scans, and they are primarily involved in directing attention and in decision making.What did the study show?In the new study, participants were asked to conceal information about a ‘secret’ digit they saw inside an envelope.Related StoriesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpResearchers taught 20 participants two mental countermeasures. The first was to associate meaningful memories to the control items, making them more significant. The second was to focus on the superficial aspects of the item they were trying to conceal, rather than on the experience of familiarity it evokes, in order to make it less significant.The results showed that these countermeasures lowered the accuracy of the test by about 20% because it was more difficult for fMRI to find any differences in brain activity. Thus, participants were more likely to be able to hide their concealed information item when using the mental countermeasures.The research team concluded that in order to improve the robustness of the test, future work needed to identify a way of detecting mental countermeasures, and potentially look at conducting whole-brain analyses, rather than just examining regions of interest.Lead author Dr Chun-Wei Hsu, a researcher in the CogNovo research programme at the University of Plymouth, said: “fMRI tests are not currently used by law enforcement in the same way as polygraph tests, but they have been considered for scientific and criminal use as a way of detecting when someone is concealing information. This study shows that the process can be manipulated if someone associates meaningful memories to the control items, or focuses on the aesthetics, rather than the memory, of the item they’re trying to hide.”None of our participants were seasoned liars or criminals, they were just everyday people, so before this test can even be considered for forensic use, there must be further studies carried out to help identify when someone is using mental countermeasures.”Deception is a really challenging area of psychology, and the more we can find out about the techniques used to detect it, the better.”Dr Ganis is one of the lead researchers at the upcoming Brain Research & Imaging Centre, which will open in 2020 as the most advanced multi-modal brain imaging facility in the South West. Source:https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/last_img read more

Study suggests more work is needed on health equity in the United

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 29 2019A survey study based on 25 years of data from more than 5.4 million people in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System suggests more work is needed on health equity in the United States.The study assessed health equity for healthy days and self-reported health, using a novel measure of health equity as well as the disparities gap between black and white individuals, income disparities and health justice (a measure of how health outcomes correlate with income, race/ethnicity and sex). National estimates of change from 1993 to 2017 suggest downward movement in average health; improvement in the disparities gap between black and white individuals; a decline in other measures of health equity and health justice; and worsening income disparities. The study has limitations in its data. Study authors suggest more or different approaches are needed to improve health equity. Source:JAMA Network Openlast_img read more

Robot created to monitor key wine vineyard parameters

first_img 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. A robot to help improve wine production Explore further “This prevents the vine-grower and winemaker from having access to complete and reliable information during the grape’s growth and maturation cycles on a regular basis and in real time. Thus, a majority of producers don’t use data that could help them optimise the handling of their vineyard and, ultimately, influence the quality of the wine they produce,” explains Francisco Rovira, head of the Laboratory of Agricultural Robotics (ARL) of Valencia’s Polytechnic University (UPV).To solve this deficiency, a European research consortium headed by the UPV is working on an automated robot for vineyard monitoring in the framework of the VINESCOUT project. The end goal is to help wine producers measure key parameters of their vineyards, including water availability, the temperature of the leaves and plant robustness.After almost two years of work, they showed off the newest prototype in Portugal in late August. “Our robot enables intensive sampling, going from the 20 measurements per hour that the traditional method allows, to more than 3,000 pieces of data per hour without the user having to make an effort to get these measurements. At the end, the producer obtains a map of his plot of land with data that gives them an idea of when to activate the watering systems if they have one installed, or of the harvest date, as well as the most productive plant distribution for their vineyard,” says professor Francisco Rovira, coordinator of the European project.As well as the UPV, the Televitis research group from the Universidad de La Rioja (televitis.unirioja.es/) is taking part, as well as French company Wall-Ye SARL, the British Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Ltd and the Portuguese Symington Family Estates.Among the novelties of the new prototype are an improvement in autonomous navigation, which makes the system more robust by combining 3-D with LiDAR and ultrasound sensors (sonar). The built-in artificial intelligence has also been improved, resulting in more accurate handling when guiding it through the vineyard and turning to change row.”The autonomous navigation system has improved a lot, which means the vehicle can move faster and more safely through the vineyard rows, while maintaining the same data collection ability,” says Verónica Saiz, researcher of the Laboratory of Agricultural Robotics of the UPB and project manager of this project.The robot can also generate maps at night, thus broadening its work capacity. This option, automated nighttime navigation, was tested this summer during field tests in the Portuguese vineyard. “We have verified that the robot operates the same at night and during the day, and is able to generate automated maps of the thermal status,” says Saiz. Furthermore, the robot also includes a multispectral camera to measure robustness through various vegetative indicators.More compact, agile and with more energyThe external appearance has also been modified compared to the previous prototype. “Now, the robot is more compact and agile, and has more protection from a hostile environment such as these fields. Furthermore, it has lithium batteries instead of lead, like the previous model, which are lighter and therefore more easily interchangeable, and guarantee enough energy for an entire working day,” explains Andrés Cuenca, fellow researcher at the UPV’s ARL.”We already have the first automated temperature and plant robustness maps; they are generated by the robot in real time with an infrared sensor and a multispectral camera. The next step is to check whether these maps have good correlations with those obtained with manual methods; if this is so, we will have a much more effective and practical automated monitoring system for vine-producers and winemakers,” adds Francisco Rovira. Grapes must be picked at the exact point of maturation, and its plant must have the appropriate intake of water during development so that the wine ends up with desired properties. Controlling those parameters is complicated and expensive, and few can afford to use pressure chambers that measure water potential.center_img Citation: Robot created to monitor key wine vineyard parameters (2018, September 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-robot-key-wine-vineyard-parameters.html Provided by Asociacion RUVID VineScout day and night. Credit: Asociación RUVIDlast_img read more

Poor Ivory Coast pupils ray of hope solar backpacks

first_imgChildren in poor communities with no electricity are at a disadvantage, said inventor Evariste Akoumian. ‘We must give them light so they can study’ Last year, 13-year-old Lucienne, shown here walking to school with Marie-France, could not go to school at all because their mother was off work with an illness “At the same time, children were returning home from school,” he recalls. “I said to myself, ‘We must give them light so they can study. It’s not normal for rural children to be unable to do so.”The Ivorian government has set a target of ensuring electricity to 80 percent of the country.”These rural children are poor. They use rice sacks or plastic bags to take their things to school,” Akoumian said. “The idea was to kill two birds with one stone: give them a backpack with a light to go with it.”The entrepreneur stressed that the solar backpacks belong to the children: “So Dad or Mum can’t come and take the light from them… to use while they are cooking or doing housework.”Sales are brisk and have reached 55,000. Akoumian’s company Solarpak already sells the backpacks in Gabon, Madagascar and Burkina Faso, as well as to charities in France and Germany. Back home in the evening, eight-year-old Marie-France Amoandji Ngbessoo does her homework by the light of her backpack’s LED—captured by solar panels on her way to and from school. The light can run for three hours. With insects flitting overhead, Marie-France points to the pictures in her textbook, identifying them: “Orange, plane…”Allepilla, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of the West African country’s economic capital Abidjan, is a rural community centred on cocoa and coffee production.A single pump supplies water to the village of around 400 inhabitants including 150 children, and, as is the case for thousands of villages and hamlets across the country—there is no electricity.Instead, oil-burning storm lanterns and battery-powered torches are the only sources of light.An Ivorian charity that promotes education for rural girls, Yiwo Zone, has raised funds to provide the backpacks—which cost 13,000 CFA francs (20 euros, $23) apiece—to schoolchildren across Africa.Computer salesman Evariste Akoumian had the idea for the solar backpack in 2015 when his car broke down as night was falling near Soubre, in the southwest of the country. Sales are brisk. Akoumian’s company Solarpak already sells the backpacks in Gabon, Madagascar and Burkina Faso, as well as to charities in France and Germany The equatorial sun has been up for about an hour as a gaggle of children set off from the Ivorian village of Allepilla on their hour-long trek to school. Citation: Poor Ivory Coast pupils’ ray of hope: solar backpacks (2018, October 26) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-poor-ivory-coast-pupils-ray.html Striving to keep up with demand, Akoumian seeking aid or loans so that he can set up an assembly plant in Abidjan and boost production. 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. © 2018 AFP Explore further ‘Better marks'”It may seem cheap, but these are large sums that the villagers don’t have,” said Anna Corinne Menet Ezinlin, head of Ywo Zone. “Here in this village some people can’t afford the school fees or even notebooks. Usually school is free, but there are always registration fees or (other) payments.”Last year, Marie-France’s 13-year-old sister Lucienne could not attend school at all because their mother was off work with an illness.”It’s hard for the children,” said village chief Jean-Baptiste Kotchi Okoma, whose seven-year-old daughter Nethania received a solar backpack. “There’s not enough money here.” Backpack smarts from a pro He added: “I hope their marks will be better. Children are disadvantaged here. With the backpack, I hope they will all progress.”Lucienne, flipping through a book, said: “I am happy. Before it was more difficult. It’s easier now, with the backpack.” “These rural children are poor. They use rice sacks or plastic bags to take their things to school,” Akoumian said. “The idea was to kill two birds with one stone: give them a backpack with a light to go with it”last_img read more