His best time ever is 12.94 seconds. It’s also the best time recorded by a Jamaican in the 110m hurdles, but if he has his way, Olympic and World Championships medallist Hansle Parchment will be making some adjustments to that record in the coming months. It’s one of his key ambitions, along with a gold medal, as he floors the pedal towards a new season, with the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro drawing ever closer. Parchment rose from what seemed a lost season at one point to clock 13.03 seconds for second place behind Russian Sergey Shubenkov in the final at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing last August. He simply seems to have a knack for turning up when it matters. Like in London at the 2012 Olympic Games where, out of nowhere, he dropped a then-national record of 13.12 to win a surprise bronze medal, becoming the first Jamaican medallist in the event at this level. His 12.94 was the only bright spark during a miserable year, last year, when injuries and uncertainty were best exhibited in his disappointing fifth-place finish at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It looked like it was going to be another year of ‘What ifs’ for the 25-year-old from Cashew Bush in St Thomas, when, boom, 13.08 at the National Senior Championships showed he was ready before his Beijing run and confirmed his immense ability! Still, Parchment, though pleased with his medal loot to date, is looking to add something a little shinier to his bounty and is hoping that an encouraging start to his background preparations will bring him closer to his aim of lifting Jamaican sprint hurdles to mind-boggling heights in quite the same way another towering Jamaican did in the straight sprints. “My preparations for the coming season have been much better than previous seasons. I have been feeling good so far. My background training has been going pretty well and even my coach is impressed with the work that is being put in at the moment, so I’m quite pleased, and I feel if we can continue like this, we will have a very good season,” Parchment told The Gleaner during a recent sit-down. “I’m looking forward to just going out there and creating a storm in the hurdles. I feel that If I can do what I have in mind, I can somewhat change the view of hurdling worldwide in Jamaica,” added Parchment. “We have a lot of youngsters coming up right now who are doing really well like Jaheel Hyde, Micahel O’Hara, and Omar McLeod, so I am really looking forward to Jamaica on a whole taking charge in hurdling.” Taking charge, for Parchment, also involves taking down his current personal best. He won’t share the time he has in mind, but it’s there as a constant reminder and source of motivation in the back of his head, on a Post-it on his refrigerator and in a note on his cell phone. He wants to go fast in 2016 – really fast. “I have some time objectives. I’m sure my coach (Fitz Coleman) has time objectives in his head as well. I have scribbled it down. I think about it every day: ‘How am I going to get to this time? How much work I need to put in to get there?’ Parchment shared. “I won’t tell you the time right now, but it’s my personal goal, and I am aiming for that.” Perhaps 12.80 seconds? After all, it is the world record. A wry smile was followed by a telling: “I want to do special things, amazing things.” There’s hardly a bigger stage than the Olympic Games. All things being equal, he will be heading to Rio next year with one eye on the top of the medal podium and another on the clock.
Carl Froch says his rematch with Hammersmith’s George Groves will be his biggest fight – as 60,000 tickets for the Wembley showdown are sold within a few hours of going on sale. Video courtesy of iFL TV. See also:Groves vows to avenge ‘stonewall robbery’DeGale eyes world title after joining HearnFroch ‘mentally more switched on’ for rematch, says HearnGroves’ trainer Fitzpatrick convinced Froch wanted to avoid rematchGroves predicts ‘changing of the guard’ in rematch with FrochGroves: My left hook will finish FrochFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
By Sarah Pittman, Human Nutrition Graduate Student at the University of IllinoisFood plays a big part in our society today. Food is not only used for nourishment and fuel for our bodies, but we also use it for celebrating, gathering and enjoyment. But the food we put into our bodies has a major impact on our gut-brain axis. Studies have shown that lower grade fuel (more processed and not as healthy food) can contribute to depression and cognitive health in adults. They have found that specifically, the western diet is associated with a smaller hippocampus, the part of the brain that regulates emotion and memory.8Free RadicalsFree radicals are the natural by products of chemical processes like metabolism. Although too many free radicals can cause damage to the body, they are also essential to life. When we eat lower grade fuel excess free radicals form, which can cause damage to cells, proteins and DNA. Free radicals are associated with cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.6Luckily, eating foods that contain antioxidants, like berries, red cabbage and kale, help to lessen or prevent the effects of free radicals by preventing the oxidation of other molecules.4Gut Microbiome and the Gut-Brain AxisThe gut microbiome is composed of over 100 trillion microbes, in which 95% of the bacteria in our bodies live in our GI tract. The gut bacterium has many functions including, digestion, immunity with fighting off infection, production of vitamins (especially vitamins B & K), as well as communication with the brain, hence the correlation to diet and mental health.8The gut-brain axis is a complex network that integrates the gut microbiome with the nervous system in the brain through the vagus nerve.7 This network regulates gastric and intestinal function as well as energy homeostasis.7 This is why an unhealthy digestive system can be linked to mental and physical distress.8How to maintain a healthy gutResearch has shown that we can slightly alter the composition of our gut microbiota (for better or worse) within a matter of 24 hours.8Protein foods contain the building blocks of the body and brain chemicals that influence how we think and feel.8 Therefore, including a lean protein source at each meal can lead to a healthy gut.Omega 3 fatty acids are very beneficial to brain health. Not having omega 3’s in the diet can change the makeup of the microbiome, which can ultimately influence brain health and behavior. A low intake of omega 3’s has been correlated with depression, poor concentration and fatigue.8As mentioned before, eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help fight free radicals in the body. Eating a diet rich in berries, pecans and even dark chocolate can help maintain a healthy microbiome!2,8Staying hydrated is so important for all body functions and processes, including digestion and elimination. Dehydration affects our ability to think clearly and concentrate.3,8Probiotics and fiber can also help to maintain a healthy digestive tract. Probiotics are a type of beneficial bacteria found in the gut.8 But probiotics are also found foods/drinks like yogurt, sauerkraut and kombucha.1,8 Fiber found in fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains can positively impact the gut microbiome by feeding the billions of bacteria in our gut.5Overall eating a healthful diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber, antioxidants and water can help maintain a healthy gut microbiome, which in turn will impact your overall mental and physical health! References:8 Greatest Probiotic Foods You Should Be Eating – Dr Axe. Dr. Axe. https://draxe.com/probiotic-foods/. Published 2019. Accessed May 30, 2019.12 Healthy Foods High in Antioxidants. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-antioxidants. Published 2019. Accessed May 30, 2019.Chris Iliades M. The Importance of Water in Your Diet Plan. EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/weight/the-importance-of-water-in-your-diet-plan.aspx.Debra Rose Wilson C. Free radicals: How do they affect the body?. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318652.php. Published 2019. Accessed May 30, 2019.Fiber Is Good for You. Now Scientists May Know Why. Nytimes.com. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/01/science/food-fiber-microbiome-inflammation.html. Published 2019. Accessed May 30, 2019.https://www.livescience.com/54901-free-radicals.html. Published 2019. Accessed May 30, 2019.The Microbiome-Gut-Brain Axis Relies on Your Vagus Nerve. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201708/the-microbiome-gut-brain-axis-relies-your-vagus-nerve. Published 2019. Accessed May 30, 2019.Smith M, Pate B. Food and Mood. Presentation presented at the: 2019; Rosecrance.
A number of city-based NGOs under the umbrella of Nagrik Kriti Samiti (NKS) have demanded that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) scrap the tender floated earlier this year for the controversial 36-km High Capacity Mass Transit Route (HCMTR) project.The NKS has alleged that the bids for the project were grossly inflated and that the lowest bid received by the PMC on this project was 44% higher than the estimated project cost.“There is a significant discrepancy in the estimated project cost and the bid quotation, which raises questions on the financial feasibility of the project and merits a re-evaluation of the costing by third party. The lowest bid for the HCMTR tender was ₹7,535 crore, 44 % higher than the estimated project cost of ₹5,192 crore,” the NKS said a recent statement.Members of the NKS have further contended that the tender, floated in February, could not be considered valid as 40% of the project alignment was through private land and that the land acquisition process had yet not started.The project, as proposed in the city’s 1987 Development Plan (DP), was a rail and bus public transport solution to bypass the city as it was more than 30 years ago. However, the city has dramatically changed since.A number of noted activists have pointed out that the initial objective of the project, meant to improve access-controlled public transport, has ended up facilitating private vehicles.“Large sections of areas in the HCMTR plan, which was based on the 1987 DP, will now have to be elevated as the city’s topography has changed. It is anybody’s guess from where will the PMC get such fantastic sums for this project at a time when they cannot fund basic hygiene and sanitation projects. The authorities have not taken the new alignment into consideration at all,” Major Gen. (retd.) S.N. Jatar of the Nagrik Chetana Manch told The Hindu.Major Gen. Jatar said the PMC must not be permitted to acquire land on a piecemeal basis until a detailed project report (DPR) is prepared to study the project’s viability.Vivek Velankar of the Sajag Nagrik Manch said, “When the DPR is yet to be completed, how did the HCMTR project come up for tendering? The new DPR would certainly bring out the manifold flaws in this project. Further, on what grounds has the PMC arrived at the ₹5,000 crore project estimation cost without any fresh preliminary study in more than 35 years? The face of the city has changed completely since 1987.” Road activist Sujit Patwardhan, founder of the NGO Parisar, said the basic objective of the HCMTR project — as proposed in the draft DP of 1982 and sanctioned in the final DP in 1987 — was to substantially enhance the level of public transport in the city and give public transport a dedicated route to connect with the congested parts of the city and its newly developing localities. While saying the concept was sound, Mr. Patwardhan has demanded a “complete re-look” by the municipal and State administrations on how they proposed to execute big projects like these.“In contrast to the project in the original development plan, the HCMTR as being currently envisioned has only two lanes for Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) with the remaining six being left for private vehicles. This will only encourage more cars instead of improving Pune’s public transport system, which is in a shambles,” Mr. Patwardhan said.In July, Pune residents started an online campaign clamouring for the project to be scrapped. The petition contended that the project was a misguided attempt by the PMC at development that would destroy the city’s green spots.
Micromax has been off its game of lately. Sure, it launched the Micromax Bharat 5 Infinity Edition and Bharat 4 Diwali Edition Android Go smartphones earlier this year. It even renewed its sub-brand, Yu, by introducing Yu Ace. But these efforts, these phones, were peripheral. They didn’t look like the devices that would compete with the likes of Asus Zenfone Max M2, Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro and Moto E5 Plus in the under Rs 10,000 smartphone segment. This changes now. On Tuesday, the company launched two new phones called Infinity N12 and the Infinity N11 and both with prices that are under Rs 10,000.The Indian smartphone company, which used to be No. 1 once upon a time, not only aims to regain some mojo in the market with the Infinity N12 and the Infinity N11 but also hopes to signal a new beginning for the brand by embracing the popular trends.Both the phones, Infinity N12 and Infinity N11, feature an attractive design and come with a display notch. In this quick review I take a better look at the Micromax Infinity N12, which is priced at Rs 9,999, and which I have in front of me on my work table.In the limited time I have spent with the Micromax Infinity N12, I found that it has enough in it to be a fairly decent option to the likes of the Redmi 6 Pro in the Indian market. It fits well in hands, handles well– it is pleasantly light– and its glossy design that, even if it collects smudges within seconds, is attractive. The phone also comes with a fat battery, which offer good battery backup though this is something I will say with more surety in my review.advertisementNow, before I get into the nitty-gritties of the device, let’s see what the Micromax Infinity N12 has to offer.SpecificationsScreen: 6.19-inch HD+ displayProcessor: 2GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P22 processorRAM: 3GB RAMStorage: 32GB memoryOperating System: Android Oreo 8.1Camera: 13MP + 5MP dual-rear camera setup, 16MP front cameraBattery: 4,000mAhConnectivity: Dual SIM 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3.5mm jackLooks good and comfortable to holdThe Micromax Infinity N12 comes with a 6.19-inch HD+ IPS display with a screen aspect ratio of 18.9:9, which is a slight diversion from the industry standard of 18:9. What these bizarre number translate to is that the phone looks more aesthetically balanced and is comfortable to hold in hands, even when I am using it with single hand. At the back, the phone sports with a plastic cover that comes in a glossy metallic finish, quite similar to the Yu Ace that was launched back in September this year. Sadly, this metallic finish also makes the phone more susceptible to smudges. The screen, on the other hand, is extremely bright, something that is a rarity under Rs 10,000. Even more surprising is just how good is the quality of the screen. It seems Micromax really wants this phone to live up to its Infinity monicker. The Infinity N12 screen shows brilliant colours and its viewing angles are extremely wide. Do keep in mind one thing though: so far I haven’t used the phone outdoor, under the direct sun. But my impression of the screen during indoor use is very positive.Like many other phones launched in the last couple of months, the Infinity N12 has a notch on top of the screen. Overall, the bezels around the screen are thin, and given the quality of the display, I believe that the Infinity N12 looks great. Or at least, unlike many other Micromax phones, it doesn’t look out of the place when compared to the Redmis and ZenFones.Average camerasThe Infinity N12 is designed for the millennials who love to click selfies. The phone, besides coming with a flash-powered cameras at the front and at the back, also uses special features that utilise the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to click better images.The phone does a decent job while clicking images with the default mode. But images clicked using the AI mode certainly look better. When I used the phone’s rear camera to click photos in the indoor light, it produced moderately sharp images that were both bright and clear. Using the bokeh mode added decent depth to the background. Sadly, I didn’t notice any major difference in quality when I switched to the AI photography mode.With the selfie camera, the differences in the regular mode and the AI mode seem more apparent. I clicked some selfies indoors to try the camera. These were just a few photos, I wouldn’t call this the camera review of the Infinity N12. Yet, first impression counts for something and my first impression is that the front camera of the Infinity N12 is strictly average. At least in low light, indoor settings it is. The selfies that I clicked showed mushy details and lack the right amount of contrast. Using the AI mode helps, as it improves the exposure and amount of light that is captured. But photos still don’t have enough details or colour contrast.advertisement Having said that, I will have more on the performance of the Infinity N12 camera later.Clean softwareThe Infinity N12 comes with Android 8.1 Oreo. Micromax has said that it will release a software update to upgrade the phone to Android 9.0 Pie soon. Just like its Yu Ace, Micromax has mostly kept the look and feel of stock Android intact in the Infinity N12.The app icons rounded edges with a white background. As far as the apps are concerned, the phone comes pre-loaded with all the important apps such as Amazon, Paytm, Facebook etc that users may need. If you are going to use these apps, you will appreciate you don’t have to download. If you don’t use them, they are bloatware for you. Micromax also bundles its own browser app called M! Browser in the phone.In the brief time I spent with the phone, I found the performance of the device smooth. There was no lag while opening apps or switching between apps. Scrolling through the app launcher was smooth. But I am yet to play a game or two on this phone, or yet to use it for going through photo-heavy Facebook feed, or scroll through YouTube videos, so for now I am going to reserve my verdict on the performance of the phone. Stay tuned for more.As far as the battery is concerned, the Micromax Infinity N12 comes with a 4,000mAh battery and the company says that the phone provides talk-time of 30 hours on a single charge. Battery will be fully tested in the review.Micromax Infinity N12 availabilityIn case you are wondering when you will be able to get your hands on the phone, the answer is simple: just after Christmas. The newly launched Micromax Infinity N12 smartphone will be available across all Micromax retail stores starting December 26 at a price of Rs 9,999.While a detailed review of the Infinity N12 will come later, for now I like what I see. The display on this phone is particularly good and the software seems decent. That gives me an impression that this is a phone that could be a viable choice for many consumers in India who are looking to spend less than Rs 9,999 on their new phone.ALSO READ: | Micromax Infinity N12, N11: Full specifications, top features, India price and everything you need to knowALSO READ: | Micromax launches Infinity N12, N11 series smartphones, starting at Rs 8,999ALSO READ: | Micromax set to launch notched phone, with price under Rs 15,000 it may compete with Redmi Note 6 Proadvertisement