Teddies set to tough it out

first_img12 fearless students from St Edmund Hall will brave the infamous “Tough Guy” competition this Sunday.With claims to being the most physically demanding assault course in the world, eight students will be joining 6,900 other competitors from over 25 countries who will head to Stratfordshire to battle it out for the title of “Tough Guy of the Year”.“Tough Guy” has seen the death of two competitors and participants are required to sign an “official death warrant” acknowledging the threat to their lives as they battle to win the ultimate badge of machismo.The race involves running through high-pressure hoses and barbed wire fences, jumping over fire-pits, wading through ice-cold, murky lakes and sewage pipes and running through fields of stinging nettles amongst other feats of bravado.Only a third of competitors complete the race each year but according to Billy Wilson, organiser of the race, no one as ever completed the challenge as per all his regulations.Adam Jordan, a Blues Hockey player at Teddy Hall, will lead a team of 12 Oxford students as well as his brother Michael Jordan. He has undertaken the challenge twice before.“Second time round I was taken off the course by paramedics with hypothermia, so for me it’s a revenge attempt,” he said. “I thought I’d drag a few others along with me to give it a shot.”“We’re not doing it to prove our manhood. We do have one person running with a heart condition, but he is built like an ox and has a mind of steel so I’m confident he’ll do well.“The main risks for us are broken bones. The assault course offers some decent heights and with water involved in the course it becomes slippery, people break or dislocate legs and arms all the time but you’re unlikely to die from this: the main danger for us is hypothermia.”Maria Higson, a third year at Teddy Hall, commented, “I originally had no intention whatsoever of doing ‘Tough Guy’, as it sounds like my idea of absolute hell. But when my friend Adam suggested it to me he used those fatal words ‘it’s for charity’.”Women like Maria make up just one in ten of competitors undertaking Tough Guy. “I think Tough Guy is designed for people who just want a challenge to see how far they can physically push themselves… The women are pretty determined however, and there is definite competition!”The Teddy Hallers have been training hard since last term in order to complete the assault-course challenge. They also did a sponsored ice bath in the College’s front quad.Jordan said, “We have done long runs, circuit training with sand bags, tyres and jerry cans full of water, and most importantly cold water training: wading through the shallows of the punting river and swimming the width of the main river even when ice was building up at the edge!”Higson commented, “I don’t think any of us are thinking about winning… getting to the finishing line would be a huge achievement!”Alex Michie, a friend of the group registered his support. “I think it’s a really admirable endeavour. They are putting in considerable time and effort into training. I hope they all do well and enjoy it and raise lots of money for the RNLI, which is a very worthy cause.”James Appleton, an ex-Cambridge student, won the title in 2009.last_img read more

BREAKING STORY : Vectren Considers Options After Takeover Interest

first_img Published by Bloomberg News ; August 22,2017Vectren Corp., a Midwestern gas and electric utility with a market value of almost $5.1 billion, is considering options including a potential sale after receiving takeover interest, people familiar with the matter said.The Evansville, Indiana-based company has been working with a financial adviser after being approached by at least one potential buyer, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter wasn’t public. Vectren hasn’t formally put itself up for sale and could decide to remain independent, the people said. The identity of the potential suitor couldn’t immediately be learned.A representative for Vectren declined to comment.The U.S. power sector is experiencing a takeover boom as utilities strike deals to counter weak electricity demand and rising costs. High stock prices and access to relatively cheap debt are also driving the trend.Sempra Energy agreed this month to pay $9.45 billion for Texas power distributor Oncor Electric Delivery Co., topping a bid by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Two other utilities, AltaGas Ltd. and Hydro One Ltd., have announced acquisitions of more than $5 billion this year.Vectren owns three utilities that provide electricity and natural gas to 1.2 million customers in Indiana and Ohio, according to an investor presentation in May. It has a non-utility division that offers underground pipeline construction and repair services. That unit also helps municipalities and businesses lower their power costs by outfitting facilities with energy-efficient equipment.This is a developing StoryFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Council Agenda: Free Beach Tags for Vets, $69.8 Million City Budget

first_imgA new measure would offer free beach tags to all U.S. military veterans who visit Ocean City beaches.City Council has a full agenda for its public meeting 7 p.m. Thursday (April 24) in Council Chambers at City Hall.The council meeting returns to City Hall for the first time in 18 months as repairs from Superstorm Sandy damage are now complete (see story).Here are a few agenda items that might be of special interest:Free Beach Tags for Veterans: City Council hold a public hearing and vote on the second and potentially final reading of an ordinance that would eliminate beach tag fees for anybody who has served in the U.S. military for at least 90 days. Council passed the first reading on April 10. Read more about the ordinance.Final Vote on $69.8 Million Budget for 2014: City Council will vote to adopt a 2014 municipal budget that calls for spending a total of $69.8 million and raising $44.8 million from local taxpayers (a 2.57 percent increase). The The owner of a $500,000 home In Ocean City would see an increase of $73 in municipal taxes if the budget is approved. See story (which includes slightly different figures from preliminary draft). See budget file.Zoning Ordinances: City Council will vote on the second readings of ordinances regulating the construction of bulkheads and creating a checklist for minor site plans.Track Resurfacing at Carey Field: City Council will vote to award a $309,000 contract to All Surface Asphalt Paving of Point Pleasant to resurface the track at the city-owned Carey Stadium at Ocean City High School. The project will include drainage work in advance of a potential installation of a artificial turf field at the facility.For full documentation on all items, see the City Council Agenda Packet.last_img read more

Clocking up a difference

first_imgHere’s one for the clock-watchers out there: a rare automaton mahogany longcase (grandfather) clock has come up for sale, which features a moving figure carrying a sack of flour or wheat. The bakery scene in the arch is engraved with ’The Large Bread Warehouse’. The clock was almost certainly specially made for a baker by clock-maker Thomas Bullock of Bath and dates from about the 1790s. It’s for sale at £5,850. Interested? Then call Paul Kembery on 0117 9565281.last_img

Prue Leith in the running to become The Great British Bake Off judge

first_imgChef and author Prue Leith is a contender to replace Mary Berry as a judge for The Great British Bake Off (GBBO).Leith’s agent, Hilary Knight Management Ltd, has confirmed to British Baker that she is among those being considered for the role on the show when it relaunches on Channel 4 this year.“She is a contender, but no way have we been given the green light that it is happening and we know that there are various others being considered as well,” Hilary Knight, MD and owner of the company told British Baker.“I think that she has been slightly under the radar compared to some of the bigger names that had been spotted as they went for their shoot, but that’s all I know.”Knight added that Leith was currently on a long-planned week’s holiday.Leith co-founded and later sold the Leith’s School of Food and Wine, and is the author of cookery books and novels. She has experience of judging culinary shows after appearing on the BBC series of the Great British Menu followed by Best of British.GBBO is seeking a new judge after Mary Berry stepped down from her role following the announcement in September 2016 of the show’s move from the BBC to Channel 4.The show is also looking to replace presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, who also stepped down.British Baker has contacted GBBO producer Love Productions, which has yet to comment.last_img read more

Pretty Lights Confirms Final Mini-Festival With Insane Special Guests For Two Nights In Nashville

first_imgBeloved DJ Pretty Lights has been rolling out announcement videos for his traveling PL Festival throughout this week, bringing his famed production and a live band to hotspots across the country. With special guests and dates announced at four locations on each of the four previous days of this week, Pretty Lights brings it home today with a two-night run announced at the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, TN.Pretty Lights will hit the Nashville venue from October 7-8, bringing along special guests like Atmosphere, Emancipator, G Jones, LTJ Bukem DJ, Big Wild, Brasstracks, and Marvel Years. The crew will be celebrating in style, all weekend long! Check out the announcement video below.With all five festival dates confirmed, let’s check out the full schedule below.Pretty Lights’ PL Festival Tour Dates8/5-6: Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion – Gilford, NH w/ Atmosphere, Tipper, Big Wild, G Jones, Brasstracks, and Marvel Years8/12-13: Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO w/ SuperVision, Marvel Years, Chris Karns, and Maddy O’Neal8/26-27: Telluride Town Park – Telluride, CO w/ Pretty Lights Family9/23-24: Northerly Island – Chicago, IL w/ Tipper, Emancipator, The Grouch and Eligh, Manic Focus, G Jones and SunSquabi,10/7-8: Municipal Auditorium – Nashville, TN w/ Atmosphere, Emancipator, G Jones, LTJ Bukem DJ, Big Wild, Brasstracks, and Marvel Yearslast_img read more

Unlocking fat

first_imgHave you ever wondered why it’s so tough to put down that last slice of bacon? Part of the answer is that humans are evolutionarily programmed to crave fatty foods, which offer the biggest bang for the buck, nutritionally speaking, with more than twice the calorie density of protein- or starch-rich food.But a new Harvard study suggests that it’s a uniquely human practice — cooking — that allows humans to more fully access that energy.The research was conducted by Emily Groopman ’14 as part of her senior thesis. Among mice used in the study, those that ate a diet of cooked fat-rich foods weighed, on average, significantly more than those that ate the same amount of a raw diet. The study was described in a paper in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.“It’s been very well established that cooking starch- and protein-rich foods does increase the available calories you can get out of them,” said Groopman, now an M.D.-Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University. “But when I began looking at the literature, no one had really examined the third major macronutrient, which is fat.“Fat-rich foods provide more than twice the calories, per gram, than carbs or proteins. So you can imagine that, for early humans, who were often in a limited food environment, consuming more calorie-dense foods would allow them to eat less and still maintain the same weight, or eat the same amount and gain weight.”To understand the effect of cooking on fatty foods, Groopman devised a simple experiment.She prepared four diets of peanuts ― raw and whole, raw and blended, roasted and whole, and roasted and blended — and fed each to 20 mice over the course of several weeks. By tracking the weight, consumption, and exercise of each mouse, she was able to show that the cooked peanuts provided more energy than the raw.“What we found was that the mice experienced similar changes in body weight, although they ate more of the raw peanuts,” Groopman said. “That meant they were able to extract more calories from the same amount of food if the peanuts were roasted than if they were raw.”Part of the reason for the difference, she said, is related to the cellular structure of the nuts.“Nuts provide an interesting model, not only because they have been eaten by humans and our ancestors for a very long time, but also because their cellular structure is very much a barrier to accessing the calories they contain. Peanuts are, on average, about 50 percent fat, but they have very tough cell walls, and the fat itself is stored in structures called oil bodies, which are coated with proteins called oleosins that hinder the digestive process.”In addition to helping break down the cellulose that makes up cell walls, the heat of cooking alters the oleosins, Groopman found.“When the nuts are raw, the oil bodies are fully covered by the proteins. But after cooking what we find is that there are just fragments of oleosins on the surface, which we hypothesize makes it far easier to get at the lipids.”Aside from the insights it offers into the role cooking has played in allowing humans to get the most from their diets, the study hints at a potential future of food processing ― using cooking and other processes to adjust calorie content.“Cooking … is a process that enables us to increase the calorie density of our food, so it’s almost as if you’re making calories out of nothing,” Groopman said. “Today we struggle with this paradoxical double burden of both under- and over-nutrition. But by changing how we process foods and how much we process those foods, we can potentially modulate the calories we get out of them to fit whatever energy needs a person might have. I think that’s a really exciting direction for future research.”last_img read more

2 journalists win prizes for work on underrepresented people

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) — Two freelance journalists are recipients of the American Mosaic Journalism Prize, which comes with $100,000 awards. The California-based Heising-Simons Foundation honors journalists for excellence in long-form or narrative work reporting on underrepresented or misrepresented people and cultures in the United States. Atlanta-based David Dennis, Jr., who writes about intersections of race, politics, civil rights, sports and entertainment, is one award winner. Dennis also teaches journalism at Morehouse College. Michelle Garcia, who splits time between New York City and Texas, is being honored for work that focuses on people living in limbo at the U.S.-Mexico border. She’s writing a book about borders and their influence shaping U.S. identity.last_img

Dominion sets closure date for Chesterfield coal units

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Richmond Times-Dispatch:Dominion Energy is planning to permanently retire 10 of its energy-producing power plant units — most of which were built to burn coal — by the end of the month.A Dominion spokesman said the units had been placed on reserve last year with the possibility of coming back online. Retiring the units, he said, negates that possibility.The move marks a significant step for the utility, which once relied heavily on coal for energy production.“It’s all part of us moving to a greener and less carbon-centered energy mix,” said spokesman Dan Genest. “We have lots of inexpensive natural gas, increasingly more competitive solar, so older smaller and less efficient units just could not compete.”Two of the units that will be permanently retired are in Chesterfield County. The units, built in 1952 and 1960, burned coal until they were placed on reserve in December.The other units are at the Bellemeade Power Station in Richmond, the Bremo Power Station in Fluvanna County, the Mecklenburg Power Station in Mecklenburg County, the Pittsylvania Power Station in Pittsylvania County, and the Possum Point Power Station in Dumfries in Prince William County.More: Dominion to retire old, coal-burning power units Dominion sets closure date for Chesterfield coal unitslast_img read more

Weekend Pick: Wilderness Wildlife Week

first_imgThough Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee has technically been running for several days, it’s not too late to catch the tail end of this celebrated outdoor immersion experience! Take a trip to the Smokies this weekend to participate in the 25th anniversary. There will be workshops, lectures, discussions, presentations, and adventures all in honor of the great outdoors.Wilderness Wildlife Week began in 1990 under the influence of photographer Ken Jenkins, and has skyrocketed in popularity ever since. Today, over 25,000 people travel to Pigeon Forge every year to take part in this unique getaway tradition. Jenkins himself remains surprised at just how successful the event has become, but loves to see his own enthusiasm for the outdoors spread so far.“I really believed in the idea that the more that we can let people know about these mountains, and the things that are so wonderful about coming here,” he says, “the more they will fall in love with mountains and the more they will want to take care of things.”Join in on Jenkins’ project and see all that the Smokies have to offer this winter season. Wilderness Wildlife Week packs each day full of exciting outdoor fun, and the events continue through the whole weekend. You can expect lessons on wilderness navigation, Leave No Trace, animal interaction, photography, food sources, music, and even moonshine-making. Plus, there will be plenty of opportunities to explore the trails, rivers, rocks, and forests of the area with your fellow outdoorsmen and women. Check out the full schedule to plan your trip.The event will use the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge as its headquarters, where participants can register for sessions, get more information, and view photography exhibits. Don’t miss this chance to get outside, even in these colder months, and escape into the wild!last_img read more