Balk at the Wild Side

first_imgIt seems extremism in all shapes and forms is permeating so many aspects of our lives these days; aside from the everyday worries of horrendous working hours and fanatical dieting, it has also got something of a stranglehold on entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for one minute your pipe-and-slippers type, but forgive me for thinking that watching pranksters throwing themselves down flights of concrete steps on snowboards and people voluntarily hoisting themselves into small glass boxes and starving themselves for weeks is getting just a little bit wearying. The latest addition to the ranks of those who will seemingly do anything to get on television is the cast of yet another reality show, Channel 4’s Shattered. Bereft of the brain-splattering possibilities of Derren Brown’s Russian Roulette set-piece, the producers obviously thought they still had a cunning gimmick to save this one from mediocrity. Not only were the contestants the usual mixed bag of urban innocents and serial killers in-the-making we have come to expect from such shows, they were also prohibited from sleep for eight days and seven nights. But what could have been an intriguing and informative psychological documentary was dumbed-down into a second-rate game show. As if the likes of Big Brother hadn’t sent us into enough of a stupor, we now got to watch a few lacklustre Joe Publics yawning at each other every night. Hardly extreme enough to grab an audience.Then again, what would? Obvious ethical barriers prevent human subjects from participating in the kinds of experiments conducted on animals that would provide the high-risk hit we’re assumed to crave. One test by scientists from the University of Chicago deprived rats of sleep by placing them on a wheel above a pool of water; if they tried to rat-nap, the wheel was turned and they would have to walk in order to stay on it. After two weeks, the sleep-famished rats mysteriously died. Although two episodes of Shattered later, I felt like doing the same – surely just a strange coincidence. The issue here, though, is not that the multiplying breed of programmes centred on extreme stamina and crazy feats needs to be made more intense to draw audiences; they need to be completely replaced. The format thrives on its ability to offer something unusual, but there has been such a flock to shock in the media recently that people are simply becoming numb to it. As a novelty, people doing crazy stunts for exorbitant cash wasn’t a bad idea; natural human curiosity (or was it voyeurism?) made sure the first batch of these offerings succeeded. But we’ve already seen how the ratings dropped when Big Brotherdecided to cash-in with yet another series, and how badly Jackass: The Movie flopped – the more we see people trying to reach those elusive “extremes,” the more it becomes run-of-the-mill. And for many of us, Fear Factor’s idea of making people hurl themselves between speedboats at full pelt before force-feeding them maggots is hardly great entertainment. Hopefully, plummeting interest in most other TV-endorsed extreme stunts should persuade the hyperactive commissioning bods to can the tedium and take a valium. Would you be content with watching a blue movie instead of doing the real thing? Thought not. So why watch others having all the fun? Snowboarding, parachuting, bungee-jumping; whatever takes your fancy, get the rush firsthand. But better, if you can’t join them, beat them. My award goes to the punter who, having obviously heard of nothing more ridiculous than starving yourself in a box over the Thames, hovered a remote-controlled helicopter/Big Mac combination outside Blaine’s box. In a truly British welcome, our favourite mad magician was made to endure not only this airborne temptation but also the usual projectile eggs, tomatoes, Paul McCartney insults and the lure of a burger van parked directly beneath him, replete with the smell of freshlycooked hotdogs.His girlfriend complained that the New York public “gave Blaine peace” when he pulled a similar stunt in theStates. What can I say? They also lap up Jackass…Archive: 0th week HT 2004last_img read more

Major Oxford donors face imminent criminal investigation

first_imgOne of Oxford University’s largest donors are facing mass litigation and probable criminal investigations into their role in the ongoing American opioid crisis.Suffolk County of Long Island, New York, sued the Sackler family last month over the number of overdose deaths and painkiller addictions in the community. The legal action is expected to trigger further cases against the family across the US.The Sacklers are the 20th richest family in America at an estimated collective worth of $14 billion. The majority of their fortune comes from their pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma, which is responsible for the making and prescribing of prescription painkiller and narcotic OxyContin.Purdue Pharma is currently facing legal action from at least 30 states in state court, with the first trial expected to be held next spring.OxyContin is a highly addictive opioid, and its production and distribution is widely regarded as partly responsible for the ongoing opioid epidemic in the US, which is estimated to kill almost 200 people every day. Prosecutors in Connecticut and New York are also understood to be debating bringing criminal fraud and racketeering charges against the family over the alleged manner in which the drug has been dangerously overprescribed and deceptively marketed to doctors, with Purdue Pharma reportedly telling doctors that the drug had minimal addictive effects.In 2006, the company pled guilty in federal court to marketing OxyContin with “the intent to defraud or mislead.”Since 1991, Oxford has received over £11 million in donations from the Sackler family and their trusts.The Sacklers’ donations have contributed towards building the Bodleian Sackler Library and funding the Sackler Keeper of Antiquities at the Ashmolean. Donations from the Sacklers also make up part of the museum’s endowment.The family’s contributions have also supported a University Lecturer and a Teaching Fellowship in Earth Sciences, as well as Paediatric and neuroscience projects. Oxford academics additionally participate in partnerships established by the family, including the Raymond and Beverly Sackler US-UK Scientific Forum. The New York lawyer representing Suffolk County called the Sacklers “essentially a crime family … drug dealers in nice suits and dresses.”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that over 72,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016 – a 10% increase on the year before, which the organisation believes was driven by the ongoing opioid crisis. Opioid addiction kills more Americans than gun violence every year.The Sackler family have been contacted for comment.center_img When contacted for comment, a University spokesperson refused to comment on specific cases, though told Cherwell: “All major prospective donors to the University of Oxford are carefully considered by the University’s Committee to Review Donations under our guidelines for acceptance.“The University monitors significant developments in the public domain and may reconsider a donor in the light of new information.”Earlier this year, the University confirmed that they would continue receiving donations from the family despite their manufacturing of the opioid, telling Cherwell: “At present, there is no intention for the Committee to reconsider the Sackler family and trusts.”last_img read more

Press release: Six year ban for failing to keep company records

first_img Without a full account of transactions it is impossible to determine whether a director has discharged his duties properly, or is using a lack of documentation as a cloak for impropriety. whether outstanding loans totalling £308,725 were collected for the benefit of the company or remained outstanding at liquidation whether debtor sums totalling almost £35,000 and stock/Work in Progress sums totalling over £582,000 were collected for the benefit of the company what the purposes were of transfers totalling £1.8 million and payments totalling £2.5 million related to Directors have a duty to ensure that their companies maintain proper accounting records, and, following insolvency, deliver them to the office-holder in the interests of fairness and transparency. Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.Contact Press OfficeMedia enquiries for this press release – 020 7674 6910 or 020 7596 6187 You can also follow the Insolvency Service on: Twitter LinkedIn YouTube act as a director of a company take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership be a receiver of a company’s property This was aggravated further by Mr Duffy’s failure to ensure that ASL prepared and filed annual accounts with Companies House, for the period to 28 February 2015.Following the Insolvency Service investigation, Mr Duffy signed a six year undertaking, which was accepted on 11 May 2018.The disqualification commenced on 1 June 2018 and is effective until 1 June 2024 and prevents Mr Duffy from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership for the duration of his ban.Robert Clarke, Head of Company Investigation at the Insolvency Service said: Notes to editorsMr Duffy’s date of birth is June 1974. He was appointed as sole director of ASL on 13 June 2012 and remained in office until the date of liquidation.Mr Duffy signed a 6 year Undertaking, which was accepted on 11 May 2018. The disqualification commences on 1 June 2018 and is effective until 1 June 2024.A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot: Office currently closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Email [email protected] Media Manager 0303 003 1743 Press Office This service is for journalists only. For any other queries, please contact the Insolvency Enquiry Line.For all media enquiries outside normal working hours, please contact the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Press Office on 020 7215 1000. David Simpson Duffy was the sole director of Annick Structures Ltd (ASL), which traded as a construction and civil engineering company.ASL was incorporated in 2012 and was ordered into compulsory liquidation in February 2016, following a petition by HMRC.At liquidation, the company had an estimated deficiency to its creditors of over £900,000.The investigation by the Insolvency Service, following the conclusion of the liquidation, found that from March 2014 to February 2016, Mr Duffy failed in his duty as a director to preserve or deliver up to the liquidator adequate accounting records for ASL, as he was required to do by law.The result of which was that it was not possible to verify the true level of income and expenditure to and from the company bank account and specifically:last_img read more

Probing the sleep-deprived brain

first_img Study flags later risks for sleep-deprived kids Everybody loses a night of sleep sometimes — on campus, especially during exams. According to Nora D. Volkow, who gave a talk at Radcliffe’s Knafel Center Thursday titled “The Sleep-Deprived Human Brain,” a single sleepless night is probably harmless. But the cumulative effects of sleep deprivation may be more dangerous than is currently understood.Volkow, now the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health, was a pioneer in positron emission tomography (PET) brain imaging, and helped carry out early studies confirming the toxic effects of cocaine. At Harvard, she reported on two sets of brain-imaging studies that shed light on the way sleep deprivation interferes with cognition, as well as its possible links to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.Her work in drug research, she said, led to an investigation of sleep patterns. One toxic property of cocaine is that it interferes with sleep.“If you give cocaine to an animal, it is the only drug that will cause it to forgo sleep, and the animals ultimately died because they did not survive this,” she said. Yet lack of sleep itself produces some of the same adverse effects that drugs do: It disrupts memory, inhibits alertness, and can contribute to obesity. Insufficient amounts in early childhood tied to cognitive, behavioral problems As daylight saving time looms, researcher sheds light on health effects of not getting enough rest What’s another hour of lost sleep? For some, a hazard “It also results in accidents, and there are more fatalities associated with improper sleep behavior than there are with alcohol,” said Volkow, whose presentation was a 2017–2018 Kim and Judy Davis Dean’s Lecture in the Sciences..Volkow’s work included a look at the effects of sleep deprivation on the dopamine system, which regulates alertness and overall brain function. After running magnetic resonance imaging and PET scans on sleep-deprived human subjects, she found that lack of sleep inhibited certain parts of dopamine transmission: Brain cells were able to release dopamine, but not to receive it.“The decrease in dopamine receptors can be likened to going to an auditorium when nobody is there,” she said.Changes linked to sleep deprivation didn’t necessarily create tiredness, but could potentially lead to more dangerous conditions.“When people are sleep-deprived they are less likely to regulate their desires, and they engage in impulsive behaviors,” Volkow said.,One drug that appears to actually be advantageous — at least in the short term — is caffeine. Drinking coffee, she said, may temporarily increase dopamine receptors, thus countering the effects of sleeplessness.A second, as-yet-unpublished set of studies that Volkow quoted suggests a link between sleep deprivation and dementia. It is known that the brain’s glymphatic system flushes out toxins during sleep. Studies in mice have shown that fluids from blood vessels, the spine, and other parts of the body flow to the brain during sleep, helping to remove a toxic protein called beta amyloid from brain tissue. (These proteins tended to accumulate when the animal was sleep-deprived.) Unlike mice, humans can survive more than a few days without sleep, but beta amyloid buildup has been linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.Volkow decided that similar studies could be done in humans. This research showed that even one night without sleep increased the accumulation of beta amyloids — though Volkow was surprised to find that the increases were found only in the right hippocampus. One night of good sleep could reverse the process, she said, but continued sleeplessness could push the toxins to dangerous levels.“We can document an association between poor sleep quality and a higher beta-amyloid burden in the brain,” she said. “This is consistent with prior reports, and we show that these are independent from the higher burden associated with genetic risks.” This, she suggested, shows a scientific reason why sleep is necessary for a healthy brain.Volkow said clinical research has too often neglected the importance of sleep, for which the evidence is clear, she added, of an important role “in the capacity of the brain to renew itself.” Calculator shows hidden costs of fatigued workforce Related Sleep deficiency in the U.S. estimated at 70 percent, with $410 billion price tag last_img read more

Mexico arrests son of Sinaloa drug cartel boss

first_imgBy Dialogo June 22, 2012 MEXICO CITY— Mexico’s military said June 21 that it had captured a son of Sinaloa drug cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, dealing a major blow against the notorious crime syndicate run by this country’s most wanted man. As billionaire head of the Sinaloa cartel, the elder Guzmán has a US$5 million reward on his head in the United States and has long sparred with U.S. and Mexican authorities. Jesús Alfredo Guzmán is “one of the main leaders of the Sinaloa cartel and a key element of the criminal organization” who was in charge of managing his father’s possessions, said José Luis Vergara, a spokesman for Mexico’s navy, as he presented the suspect to the media. The junior Guzmán was arrested in Zapopan, a municipality near Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city, together with Kevin Daniel Beltrán, 19, another Sinaloa member, following an investigation conducted jointly with U.S. intelligence agencies over months, Vergara added. Jesús Alfredo Guzmán, 26, known as “El Gordo,” is wanted by the United States under an extradition request dating back to 2009. He and his wife, Alejandrina Salazar, were placed on a U.S. list of Sinaloa cartel operatives last year. In May, the U.S. Treasury Department froze the assets of the fugitive druglord’s sons Iván and Ovidio, barring Americans from doing business with them. The Treasury Department said the sons played “a significant role” in their father’s drug trafficking activities. [AFP, 22/06/2012; Elinformador.com.mx (Mexico), 22/06/2012]last_img read more

Surrey land use review set to address concerns of small firms

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Saudi Arabia asks Muslims to put hajj plans on hold amid virus

first_imgTopics : The country has put the holy cities Mecca and Medina on lockdown to prevent the virus from spreading. The hajj is due begin in late July.Mecca, birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, is home to Islam’s holiest site inside the Grand Mosque. Medina is where Islam’s founder is buried. The umrah pilgrimage alone brought almost 7 million visitors from October 2018 to May 2019, according to government data.The hajj is obligatory for all able-bodied adult Muslim’s once in a lifetime Saudi Arabia asked Muslims to put on hold plans to perform the obligatory annual hajj pilgrimage this year as the kingdom grapples with the coronavirus.“We have asked our Muslim brothers around the world to wait” on making hajj plans “until there is clarity,” Mohammad Benten, the ninister of hajj and umrah, told state-run Al Ekhbariya TV.Saudi Arabia reported 110 cases of the virus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,563, including 10 deaths. Halting the hajj, which attracts millions of pilgrims to Islam’s birthplace, would be unprecedented in recent history. The kingdom suspended the lesser, non-obligatory umrah pilgrimage last month.last_img read more

Emiliano Martinez or Bernd Leno? Kevin Campbell picks who should be Arsenal’s No.1 for the upcoming Premier League season

first_imgAdvertisement Comment Emiliano Martinez or Bernd Leno? Kevin Campbell picks who should be Arsenal’s No.1 for the upcoming Premier League season Arsenal v Liverpool Mikel Arteta post match press conferenceTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 5:43FullscreenArsenal v Liverpool Mikel Arteta post match press conferencehttps://metro.co.uk/video/arsenal-v-liverpool-mikel-arteta-post-match-press-conference-2239392/This is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.When asked who should start in goal for the upcoming campaign, Campbell told Stadium Astro: ‘What I’ve seen from Martinez, I would go with Martinez, because I think he makes that defence a lot more settled.‘They don’t panic when he’s behind them. I’ve seen them panic when Leno’s there.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘This is a potential banana skin for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta,’ Campbell added. ‘Martinez obviously has been at the club a long time, never really got his chance.‘Leno they brought him in, paid big money to Leverkusen, he’s come in and done fantastic.‘But at the end of last season when Martinez came in, he looked the part he performed. He’s now won two bits of silverware, Leno’s won no silverware. ‘He’s made some key decisions, his handling is very good, he comes out and makes people feel comfortable from crosses.’MORE: Kevin Campbell explains why Arsenal should keep Ainsley Maitland-NilesMORE: Amadou Diawara’s agent confirms Arsenal ‘like’ Roma midfielder amid Lucas Torreira swap deal speculationFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramFor more stories like this, check our sport page Arteta has a tough decision to make (Picture: Getty Images)Arsenal hero Kevin Campbell backs Emiliano Martinez to hold onto his starting berth ahead of Bernd Leno when the Premier League resumes next month.Martinez has been at the Emirates for almost 10 years, struggling for game time at the north London club getting shipped out on six loan spells.That all changed when Leno got injured in the defeat to Brighton in June and his deputy was forced to step up into the limelight.The 27-year-old enjoyed an excellent run of form all the way through until the end of the campaign and helped fire the club to their record 14th FA Cup win.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTNow, Mikel Arteta has one of the toughest choices of his managerial career to make in picking between the now fit Leno and in-form Martinez.Martinez got the nod in the Community Shield win over Liverpool on Saturday, but it remains to be seen who will be between the sticks for the Gunners’ Premier League opener against Fulham on September 12. Metro Sport ReporterSunday 30 Aug 2020 8:00 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link23Shares Advertisementlast_img read more

Ag Teacher, Manufacturing Training Leader Join Ivy Tech Regional Board

first_imgLAWRENCEBURG, Ind. — An agriculture teacher and a manufacturing training leader have been appointed to the Southeast Regional Board of Trustees for Ivy Tech Community College, filling vacancies created with the retirements of two long-serving board members.Amanda Briggs, the agriculture teacher and FFA Advisor at Madison Consolidated High School, and Brett Hofer, the Safety and Training Coordinator at Batesville Tool & Die, join a seven-member board that guides the college, which includes approving the college’s regional budget and serving as student and community advocates.Briggs and Hofer will each serve three-year terms. Ivy Tech’s state board appoints regional trustees with the aim of keeping the region in touch with local needs. Members represent various economic sectors, including commerce, manufacturing, agriculture, and education.last_img read more

Costa on target again for Blues

first_img Costa, who had opened his account in the 3-1 victory at Burnley on Monday night, was on hand to convert from close range just after the hour, which ended the brave resistance of the Foxes. Eden Hazard stroked in a second for Jose Mourinho’s men on 77 minutes. Press Association Oscar was unfortunate not to give Chelsea the lead at the start of the second half when his curling 20-yard effort came back off the inside of the far post. Ivanovic’s header was palmed away by Schmeichel from the follow-up attack. Schurrle was then flattened by a sliding challenge from Dean Hammond on the far touchline – which had the Chelsea bench remonstrating with the fourth official, but referee Mason produced only a yellow card. Leicester closed down the free-kick and broke quickly, with the ball eventually worked out to Nugent on the left side of the Chelsea penalty area. His low shot was deflcted goalwards and kicked away by Courtois. As the match opened up, Ivanovic was denied by another fine save from the Leicester keeper, this time an angled drive touched over. The visitors could have taken the lead on 55 minutes when Nugent beat the offside trap to run clear on goal, but Courtois made a smart save to push the ball wide. Almost straight away and Chelsea were in at the other end, as Cesc Fabrgeas ghosted into the right side of the Leicester penalty area, where his angled chip was palmed behind by Schmeichel. The breakthrough finally came on 63 minutes. Oscar played Ivanovic into the right side of the area, and his cutback was chested down by Costa, before the Brazil-born Spain international, signed from Atletico Madrid, drilled it past Schmeichel from six yards. Chelsea immediately made a change as Schurrle was replaced by Ramires. On 68 minutes, Leciester sent on Marc Albrighton to make his debut after joining from Aston Villa, with Mahrez coming off. Hammond was then also substituted, hobbling into the away dugout as Gary Taylor-Fletcher came on. Chelsea looked to have wrapped things up with 13 minutes left when Hazard collected the ball on the left, cut inside before drilling a low shot past Schmeichel into the corner. Stamford Bridge was soon rocking again when Didier Drogba was sent on for a cameo, the veteran striker having rejoined the club in the summer – with owner Roman Abramovich leading the applause. With two minutes left , Schmeichel tipped a 25-yard drive from substitute Willian over the crossbar. Chelsea’s £32million striker Diego Costa scored again as the Blues maintained their 100 per cent start to the Barclays Premier League season with a 2-0 win over Leicester. Leciester, back in the top flight for the first time since 2003/2004, had proved hard to break down and could have taken the lead when David Nugent was put clean through, but Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois – again picked ahead of Petr Cech – made a smart save. Both sides were positive during the opening stages, and Leicester, playing in red and having made a couple of changes from their opening-day 2-2 draw with Everton, were not looking in awe of a side expected to contest the Premier League championship once again. A deflected shot from Brazil midfielder Oscar looped up over Kasper Schmeichel and onto the roof of the net before World Cup winner Andre Schurrle drove his 20-yard effort high into the Shed End. Leicester, last season’s Championship winners, offered some threat on the break themselves. On 17 minutes, a dangerous cross from Ritchie De Laet on the overlap down the right had to be headed behind by Branislav Ivanovic. Algerian Riyad Mahrez forced a decent save from Courtois with a low strike after weaving into space at the edge of the Chelsea penalty area. Chelsea looked to step up a gear as Costa pulled the trigger from 18 yards, but Foxes captain Wes Morgan flung himself in the way to deflect the ball over. Blues boss Mourinho was out of his technical area claiming a penalty moments later when Costa went down under a strong challenge from the defender, but referee Lee Mason was unmoved, which on replays looked the correct call. last_img read more