New categories added to Scotch Pie competition

first_imgThe World Scotch Pie Cham-pionships have been revamped and several new categories added, in an effort to give bakers and butchers wider exposure.The 2010 awards, to be announced later this month, will see the reintroduction of the Sausage Roll Category, as well as the addition of five new Speciality Savoury Categories: Hot Savoury; Cold Savoury; Fish; Vegetarian Savoury; and Individual Steak Pie. These will run alongside competitions to find the best Scotch pies and bridies.”We felt it important to include sausage rolls again, as they are one of the most popular products in the savouries sector. There is so much innovation in speciality savouries, it was only right to split them up,” said organiser Alan Stuart, MD of Stuart’s of Buck-haven. “The awards raise public awareness of bakers and but-chers and boost sales and more categories will help do this.”Other changes include a new website and, for the first time, the entries will be judged when both hot and cold. The 11th annual event will be held at Carnegie College, Dunfermline, Scotland, on Tues-day, 10 November.last_img read more

Former Galactic Vocalist Theryl “The Houseman” DeClouet Dies At Age 66

first_imgRest in peace, Houseman. Thank you for sharing your music with us. You will be missed. Last night, news broke that former Galactic lead vocalist, Theryl DeClouet, affectionately known as The Houseman, has died. DeClouet was admitted into hospice on Friday and passed away on Sunday evening at the age of 66.The singer had long faced medical issues, forcing him to quit the band in 2004 given Galactic’s heavy touring schedule. The Houseman met Robert Mercurio and Jeff Raines in 1990 before the duo had started Galactic. The trio’s longstanding friendship continued throughout Galactic’s early career, with DeClouet serving as the band’s primary vocalist.He appeared on the New Orleans funk outfit’s first four studio albums—Coolin’ Off (1996), Crazyhorse Mongoose (1998), Late For The Future (2000), and Ruckus (2003). He also appeared on the band’s 2001 live album We Love ‘Em Tonight: Live At Tipitina’s and 2003 compilation album Vintage Reserve. He also joined Galactic for guest appearances on various occasions in recent years.Galactic w/ Houseman – “Something’s Wrong With This Picture” – 4/10/10[Video: GalacticYakamay]In addition to his work with Galactic, DeClouet also had a fruitful solo career with his side project, Theryl & the Housewreckas, and as a special guest on various projects. DeClouet released his debut solo album, The Houseman Cometh! in 2001, later self-releasing his 2007 sophomore solo album, The Truth Iz Out, after amicably leaving Galactic in 2004. He also collaborated with a number of far-reaching acts, including the Charlie Hunter Quintet.You can read heartfelt remembrances of the Houseman from his former bandmates below:last_img read more

Abraham Freedberg

first_imgAbraham Freedberg had a long and illustrious medical career at Harvard.  He was outstanding in all the metrics of academic excellence.  In addition to his research, teaching and patient care, Al (Freedberg preferred to be called Al or A. Stone) had a multidimensional fourth quality that set him apart. Colleagues and students who crossed the threshold of his open door always met a compassionate man with a sympathetic ear extending a helping hand and offering the gift of wise advice.  His open-door policy was modeled after the habit of Herrman L. Blumgart (Beth Israel’s Director of Medical Research 1938, Chair of Medicine 1946-1964) whose office Al entered in 1938 and exited to start a continuous 65-year career at Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School.Abraham Freedberg was born in Salem, Massachusetts on May 30, 1908.  That is where his Eastern European immigrant parents settled and were to raise six children – all boys. Early interests were sports and the violin.  Learning was easy because of a life-long exceptional memory.  At Harvard College, he was a violinist in the school orchestra and developed an interest in science through the inspirational teaching of zoology professor Leigh Harley.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then governor of New York, spoke at graduation, the same year as the 1929 stock market crash and harbinger of the Great Depression.  The social and economic turmoil that followed compelled Al to defer medical school in favor of earning enough money to launch a postgraduate education.  An earlier career consideration was that of a rabbi, the calling of his maternal grandfather.  Following advice to take a different course because each congregant would be his boss, Al chose medicine and with a smile recounted that “each patient became my boss.”After graduating from Rush Medical College of the University of Chicago, completing two years of post-graduate training in Chicago and a pathology residency at Rhode Island Hospital, he returned to his roots hoping to establish a medical practice in Salem.  Dr. Freedberg quickly recognized that his religion was a barrier to obtaining hospital privileges when  the director of the local establishment advised him to go to Boston where there was a “more suitable hospital.”  Recalling that his grandfather was an early patient at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital, Al applied in person, found open door access to Dr. Blumgart, and became a staff member.  During the following 62 years, he authored approximately 126 papers most of which related to cardiac reflexes, hemodynamics, coronary circulation, arrhythmias, and pharmacology.  Thyrocardiac disease became a fruitful field of inquiry, as did the clinical effects of radioactive iodine.  Classic studies were performed with Drs. Blumgart, Milton Hamolsky and George Kurland on radioactive ablation of the thyroid gland in patients with angina or congestive heart failure. Although a leader in cardiology, thyroidology and nuclear medicine, Dr. Freedberg’s first independent research study became a pioneering landmark in understanding peptic ulcer disease.  In 1940, he asked, “Is there a relationship between microorganisms and gastric ulcers?”  Spirochete-like organisms were identified in fresh surgical specimens of resected gastric tissue. After four frustrating months failing to culture the organisms, Al took Dr. Blumgart’s advice to terminate the study in favor of other questions begging to be answered.  Forty-two years later, the organisms were identified as Helicobacter pylori by Australia’s Robin Warren and Barry Marshall who shared the Nobel Prize in 2005.  They, like Freedberg, had difficulty culturing the organism.  Marshall invited his predecessor to recount the circumstances of his 1940 discovery for a compilation of pioneering efforts which defined the pathophysiology of peptic ulcer disease.  That publication, in the year 2002, was Dr. Freedberg’s last. The man and his research effort were not forgotten; each was mentioned in Barry Marshall’s Nobel lecture.Freedberg had a broad array of medical interests and held leadership positions in some.  He was Director of the Cardiac Unit (1964-1969) and was acting Physician and Chair at Beth Israel Hospital (1973); Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (1969-1974); President, Massachusetts Heart Association (1963-1965); President, New England Cardiovascular Society (1971-1972); consultant and member of the thyroid uptake calibration committee medical division of Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies (1955-1956); editorial board, Circulation (1956-1960) and (1962-1967), and Vice President, American Thyroid Association (1962-1963). Other memberships included the American Society of Clinical Investigation; American Physiological Society; Association of American Physicians and the Royal Society of Medicine, London.Dr. Freedberg directly served Harvard as a member of the committee on admissions starting in 1969 and in 1978 established a fund to encourage student research.  He derived enormous pleasure from weekly luncheon meetings at the medical center with his grandson, Daniel (HMS 2008).  To keep current, Al occasionally joined Daniel at an HMS basic science class and with unrestrained curiosity, he kept up to date with medical issues in depth and breadth. His knowledge, powers of observation, deductive logic and inductive insight often led to diagnosis of uncommon illness. There is a legendary story of Al and his medical student going to a Boston hotel room to treat a traveling visitor with complaints of disabling muscular pains. In the hotel, without any laboratory data, they correctly made a diagnosis of trichinosis, a parasitic invasion of muscle from eating undercooked infected pork.The quintessential professor was serious about his role in educating the younger generations of doctors and aspiring doctors.  Al must have smiled when he read the accolade “…he has longbeen a favorite teacher at the hospital” which appears in the Beecher and Altschule volume “Medicine at Harvard: The First 300 Years”.  Many family members were encouraged and inspired by their role model to enter the medical field. There were ten physicians, four of which he taught at HMS.  On an occasional pleasant summer day, Al walked with his students to the Red Sox baseball game at nearby Fenway Park.  Between innings, they discussed the morning’s clinical cases.When Dr. Freedberg was subject to mandatory retirement in 1973 at age 65, he followed in Herrman Blumgart’s footsteps and became a full-time physician at Harvard University Health Services with assignment to the Longwood Medical Area. He served Harvard well, remaining active in that role for an unprecedented 32 years until relinquishing responsibilities in 2005 at age 97 years.  Many physicians throughout the Harvard system remain grateful for his care during a personal illness.  A strong doctor/patient relationship was essential to his healing mission.  He was constantly aware of the weighty charge to maintain the health of his flock.  Al felt responsible for the outcomes of his own and his consultant’s decisions and actions, often accompanying a patient to the x-ray department with a syringe of epinephrine in his shirt pocket to treat the possibility of an allergic reaction from contrast material.  He would appear in the operating room or by his patient’s side during a consultation.  Even after retirement, an unofficial role was to reassure some closely bonded patients that they were receiving state-of-the-art care.Al developed several methods to reduce stress, the constant companion of a totally committed physician.  As an inveterate Red Sox fan, he often attended the opening day and other games. He enjoyed playing golf and watching the major tournaments.  Although shoulder bursitis ended his violin play at age 40, Al’s love of music was constant with a frequent presence at concerts and as a distant appreciator. Classical music from an extensive library resounded in his home. He was a long-term subscriber to the Boston Symphony where friends and family fittingly gathered for a private recital and celebration to mark his 100th birthday.  Dr. Freedberg was a connoisseur of fine art.  A physician colleague brought him to a friend’s gallery which led to a deep appreciation of art, knowledge of the contemporary art scene and establishment of long term friendships with artists. One such friendship was with Hyman Bloom, a local artist of international repute.  A recently released documentary about Bloom is dedicated to A. Stone Freedberg’s memory.Dr. Freedberg and Beatrice Gordon, a Bostonian, knew each other for seven years before they married when Al was graduated from medical school.  The couple returned to Boston to launch his career and start their family.  They had two sons, Richard followed by Leonard.  Richard became a teacher and left for Europe to work in The Hague, Leonard became a psychiatrist in suburban Boston. The couple traveled to visit Richard twice a year.  They also spent a full year at Oxford when Al was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship to study thyrocardiac disease in the world famous laboratory of E.M. Vaughn Williams.  Free time was spent visiting Richard’s family and former trainees who had settled in Europe, many who with time had grown in academic stature.  The Guggenheim sponsored research resulted in two publications.  European travel ended with retirement at age 95.Bea was the central figure and love of Al’s life. After her death in 1999, Al was comforted by family and the joy of being a grandfather to four children and great-grandfather to three. He kept up to date in science, medicine, the arts and sports.  Music was constant, home-made reproductions of works from his recording collection were sent to friends for their continued pleasure. He followed the progress of the art world and frequently met with friends and colleagues.Montaigne wrote “The utility of living consists not in the length of days, but in the use of time…”  Abraham Freedberg used his time well charting an extraordinary journey of extraordinary length while maintaining extraordinary memory, perspective, alertness and control at the helm to the very end.Respectfully submitted,Stafford I. Cohen, chairpersonMark H. CooleyLeonard E. FreedbergSusumo ItoMitchel T. RabkinWilliam Silenlast_img read more

Getting the brain’s attention

first_imgToday, the internet is a sensory free-for-all: Pop-up ads burst into articles every few paragraphs, stealing the screen with lollipop colors and music, shouting product information from unseen corners. The human body is not so different. Every fingernail, elbow, nostril, and eyebrow is constantly vying for the brain’s attention.“Right now, your little toe is sending signals up to your brain, as is every square inch of your body,” said Adam Cohen, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology, and of physics, “but most of it is not interesting. Your brain has to ignore all that stuff and only pay attention to the very few things that are actually relevant.”Now, in a paper published in Cell, Cohen and colleagues report new evidence that could help researchers understand how the brain ignores or acts on different information, knowledge that could offer crucial data on how neuronal circuits function and, one day, help researchers understand and treat neurological disease.Cohen didn’t set out to investigate attention. Recently, his lab invented technology that makes electrical impulses flowing through neurons in a live animal brain observable for the first time. “The next step is to actually do something with it,” he said, “to actually learn something about how the brain works.”First, a Ph.D. student in his lab, Linlin Fan, trained their tech on the top layer of the brain. Since the optical tool uses light to record when neurons fire, they could only study this layer for now. “It’s like looking at your hand,” Cohen said. “You can only see the surface because the light only goes a short way into the tissue.” Still, some scientists call layer one a “crowning mystery.” It’s notoriously difficult to study.Traditionally, scientists stick ultrathin glass probes into brain tissue at random, hoping to “harpoon” neurons so they can record individual signals. In layer one, cells are too sparse for this technique to be efficient; it’s like fishing in an ocean that has just a handful of fish. Because Cohen’s technology shines light on each neuron — like using sonar to see each fish — he can locate and analyze several at a time. “The next step is to actually do something with [technology], to actually learn something about how the brain works.” — Adam Cohen As their optogenetic tool recorded neural signals in live mice, Cohen and his team added stimuli based on the two main types of attention. First, they flicked a mouse’s whisker, provoking a “bottom-up” signal that reports new sensory information. Then, they blew a puff of air on the mouse’s face, activating a “top-down” signal in which existing knowledge shapes perception of a stimuli. “Think of it like a wake-up call,” Cohen explained.In the whisker-flick experiment, the stimulus caused the expected result: a neuron spike. But when the team artificially excited the same neuron using a laser, and then added a whisker flick, the neuron went quiet. Why? The team discovered that neurons in layer one maintain a careful balance between excitation and inhibition. If too many neurons are firing at once, they suppress others from firing. “The circuit acts like a novelty detector,” Cohen said. Sudden inputs can spark most neurons to fire, but with long-lasting inputs, most of the neurons inhibit each other and cause the circuit to turn almost completely off.The air puff — a wake-up call for the mouse — added more evidence to this theory. In response to the puff, the few neurons that fired the fastest ended up suppressing their neighbors. If the stimulus is forceful enough, the neurons all spike, competing for dominance, before the winners force the others to quiet down. Finding may shed light on changes in motivation, focus, and behavior Helping to uncover the mechanism controlling brain states Based on their data, the team designed a mathematical model of the circuit, which suggested an intriguing connection to a century-old theory about attention. The so-called Yerkes-Dodson law proposes that a little stress can help increase performance, but it declines when stress increases too much. “Everyone who’s ever taken a test knows this,” Cohen said. His model showed that layer one neurons behaved in a similar way: A little top-down activation wakes them up so they are more responsive to sensory inputs, but too much activation makes the circuit freeze and ignore incoming information.Cohen and his team will continue to explore how the layer one circuit works to regulate attention, hoping more data can provide critical information on how neural circuits work.“If we can understand how the whisker response works,” Cohen said, “we’ll then be in a much better position to understand much more complicated things like vision or hearing.” New hope for sensory calmcenter_img Experiments reveal how visual cues reorganize course-sensing neurons in fruit flies Where we get our sense of direction Novel approach to treating tactile hypersensitivity in patients with autism-spectrum disorders Relatedlast_img read more

Professor publishes book

first_imgFollowing years of work, Dr. Vera Profit, professor of German and Comparative Literature, released her book “The Devil Next Door” on Aug. 8. Profit, who said the book explores the problem of evil, described her writing as an attempt to “help people live better and more efficient lives.”“The basic premise is how do you recognize an evil person?” she said. “Evil is hard to recognize. Evil is a progression, and we tend not to see the first, second, third steps, but the final.”Profit said she was inspired by M. Scott Peck’s book “People of the Lie.”“In 1984, I read ‘People of the Lie,’ which so changed the way I looked at life, that not only did I read the text, I read all the material that was listed in the footnotes because I wanted the complete context,” she said. “[Peck] can state complex ideas in a totally approachable manner.“This book was so fascinating that I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The book was about the hope for healing human evil. What he did was blend theology and science.”Profit said Peck’s book inspired her to teach a course on the subject.“I then created a course called Evil and the Lie in Modern European Prose right after reading this book,” she said. “It has always been extremely well received. You study goodness from the other side when you study evil. Because the course was so well received and many students told me it was a life-changing course, I decided to write the book after the course.”The book looks at the problem of individual evil for the most part, Profit said.“I took some of the questions that Peck raises, used his clinical experience, read copious amounts of ancillary material and formulated eight characteristics which define individual evil,” she said. “There are two types of evil – group and individual – which are both discreet and a blended phenomenon. I name the eight characteristics of evil and trace them though two novels, one written by a Swiss writer and one Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey.’ I also propose eight characteristics of group evil.”Profit said her book is meant to help other people.“I am trying to help other people not waste their life trying to reinvent the wheel,” she said. “We can learn a lot from other people’s examples. We can save ourselves and other people a lot of trouble.“Writing a book is a scary position because you have no control over how it will be received. You can give it your best shot and let it go. You have to do it despite your misgivings. The person who learns the most is not the person who reads the book, but the person who writes it. It was worth it to me because I learned so much. If it makes you look at life just a little differently than before, then it was worth it.”Tags: evil, M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie, The Devil Next Door, Vera Profitlast_img read more

Vermont is open for business

first_imgThe town of Grafton and the Vermont Country Store in Chester are open for business in the wake of Hurricane Irene. Vermont, which sustained infrastructure damage in the millions from Tropical Storm Irene, has made a remarkable and unprecedented three-week ‘comeback’ in time to host an estimated 3 million leaf peepers for fall foliage season, which begins next week. This is an incredible story of overcoming adversity, of communities, private businesses and individuals coming together to put this area back together.The video below includes footage of the Old Tavern at Grafton Inn, Grafton Village Cheese, Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center and other businesses in the village.On September 16, Governor Peter Shumlin and other state officials celebrated the re-opening of picturesque Route 4, one of the state’s major leaf peeping corridors to provide full east-west access for a narrow season that generates $300+ million each year, a quarter of Vermont’s annual tourism revenue. Vermont’s tourism-driven businesses (resorts, inns/b&bs and restaurants) will share in the celebration too, as a large majority were unaffected or sustained little damage from Tropical Storm Irene.‘I toured the road and infrastructure repair areas yesterday with Doug and John Casella, owners of Casella Construction, and was amazed by the determination, hard work and progress made by road repair crews,’ said Bill Shouldice, president & CEO of The Vermont Country Store. ‘It made me proud to be a Vermonter. Thanks to the commitment and selflessness of construction companies like Belden, Casella, Markowski, Mosher, Wilk and many others all working together, Vermont is now open for business and ready to serve the millions of visitors that come to our great state during the fall. Their efforts and those of countless others will help Vermont avoid economic disaster!’Among those ready is The Vermont Country Store, a landmark that attracts nearly 300,000 fall foliage visitors. The business’ two retail locations ‘ the Weston store on Route 100 and the Rockingham store just off exit 6 of I-91 ‘ experienced no storm-related disruption in its operations. Store owners, brothers Cabot, Eliot and Gardner Orton, have seen traffic and sales gradually increasing and are optimistic as visitors have begun returning for the fall. ‘Vermont is open for business and The Vermont Country Store has remained ready to serve the needs of its customers, especially those making the trip to see peak foliage,’ said Eliot. ‘Vermonters are a resourceful and determined people, and we are committed to making this fall’s visitor experience better than ever.’ About The Vermont Country StoreIn 1946, Vrest and Ellen Orton printed their first catalogue’just 12 pages and 36 products’and mailed it to the folks on their Christmas card list and sixty-five years later continues to be Orton family owned. As Purveyors of The Practical and Hard to Find, The Vermont Country Store operates as a multichannel merchant through its mailed catalogs, e-commerce web site and two retail stores in Weston and Rockingham, Vermont. For more information, visit is external).The Grafton video shows the world know that Grafton is open for business and is ready to welcome visitors far and wide to the amazing fall foliage season here in Southern Vermont. All main roads to enter Grafton are fully functional; via I-91 through Chester; from the south via Route 30 in Townshend.; and from the East & West via Route 121 from Bellows Fallsand Londonderry. Source: MANCHESTER CENTER, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE) Vermont Country Store. Windham Foundation.last_img read more

United States Donates Four Helicopters to Costa Rica to Strengthen Fight against Transnational Threats in Central America

first_imgBy Lorena Baires / Diálogo September 20, 2019 The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), through the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica, donated four Bell UH-1ST helicopters to the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security’s Air Vigilance Service (SVA, in Spanish), in the first half of 2019. The aircraft will extend by two more years the Air Training Program, which INL leads since 2009 to counter narcotrafficking and air and maritime criminal activities and to provide assistance in natural disasters and humanitarian crises.“The helicopters will cover the whole territory and will combat narcotrafficking and transnational organized crime. These will also have the opportunity to offer services in emergencies and other situations,” Richard Glenn, INL Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, told the press. “Year after year, we see the efficiency with which they handle the tools and training that we provide. Costa Rica shares with the United States the willpower and sense of collective mission to confront regional problems.”The U.S. investment is valued at $48 million and includes the four helicopters; their refurbishing, maintenance, and spare parts, in addition to training for SVA members. “The training program started with 25 SVA officers, including pilots, co-pilots, and maintenance and logistics technicians,” Captain Juan Luis Vargas, SVA commander, told Diálogo. “We will start a four-month module with the flight crews. When our crew is ready, we will begin executing operations to counter organized crime. The idea is for crews of both countries to merge during the missions.”The program seeks to have SVA fully manage the units after the two years of training. “These capabilities will promote and strengthen state security institutions. We will count on support from both the U.S. and Colombian Armed Forces’ instructors,” said Major Patrick Beville, U.S. Air Force Foreign Affairs officer in Costa Rica.U.S. subject matter experts inspect the donated aircraft. After two years of training, the Costa Rican Air Vigilance Service will manage the units. (Photo: U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica)The helicopters hold 15 people, three crew members and 12 passengers. They have two engines and can reach speeds of up to 127 miles per hour. With a load capacity of 7,303 pounds, they have a coverage range of 209 miles. Another advantage is that they can operate in mountainous terrain and variable conditions, ideal for the country’s geography.“It’s a functional aircraft that will give us great autonomy; we won’t have to ask other countries for help, since its load cabin allows for two configurations: one to carry passengers, and another to transport up to a ton of cargo,” Capt. Vargas said. “If we have to provide emergency assistance, the cabin can become a medical area, where we can put up to six stretchers and arrange a space for medical personnel. They come equipped with cranes for vertical rescue or humanitarian airdrops.”The aircraft cabins are armored on the sides and under the pilots’ seats. They also allow pilots to conduct instrument flights and use night goggles. With this technology, SVA will be able to execute strategies to counter organized crime together with the National Coast Guard Service and the National Police.According to INL, Costa Rica ranked third in drug seizures among Latin American countries in 2018. “In 2018, we seized 33 tons of marijuana, and so far this year [2019], we’ve seized nine,” said Miguel Soto, Costa Rican minister of security. “As this is one of the first stops to smuggle U.S.-bound cocaine, we counter speedboats that operate hundreds of miles off the Pacific coast.”Costa Rica is one of the main and strongest U.S. partners in the fight against transnational threats in the region. “For many years, our countries have been close operational and strategic partners in a variety of security cooperation activities,” said Hakim Hasan, information officer at the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica. “With this combined work, our partnership transforms the country’s capabilities to secure its borders, improve security, and address the causes of crime.”last_img read more

Ex-CEO enters plea deal over $40 million theft

first_imgThe former CEO of the now-defunct C B S Employees FCU has agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors in which he admits to stealing more than $40 million over the past 20 years.As has reported extensively here, here, and here, Edward Rostohar managed to embezzle more than $40-million from a credit union that had just $21 million in assets at the time it was shuttered and merged into University Credit Union.Prosecutors said the funds were used to pay for expensive cars and watches, private jet travel, gambling, and a number of properties, including his own 4,300-square-foot home in Studio City.  According to court documents, Rostohar has agreed to forfeit millions of dollars in assets, as well as properties in California, a café in Reno, Nev., other properties in Nevada, and a resort property in Mexico. The values of those properties was not included in court filings, although his home is valued by Zillow as worth approximately $2.3 million. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

‘Exercise helps me to reduce stress’: Pandemic sparks interest in home workouts

first_imgIf there had to be just one silver lining to the pandemic that has swept through most of the world, most people stuck at home would point to an increased awareness of their personal health.Eager to stay fit during these difficult times, millions of people have decided to exercise from the comfort of their own homes.Sports physician Andi Kurniawan said the COVID-19 outbreak had raised people’s awareness of health, as more and more people understand the importance of strengthening their immune system. “People are more aware that it is so important to maintain our immune system so we can’t be easily infected,” he said.For people like Ratna Puspitasari and Marco Puli Sandy, who have been using their spare time sheltering at home for the past two months to get into the habit of exercise, the quarantine has triggered a significant change in their pursuit of health.“Before the quarantine started, I always felt tired of making time to exercise during the weekday. So I just spend 15 to 20 minutes on the weekend to exercise,” said 26-year-old Ratna, who works for a start-up in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.“And now as I work from home, I can exercise every day.” Inspiration doesn’t even have to begin with the individual.After poring through Youtube, Ratna said she found a variety of workout channels that helped her set up a personal exercise regimen to do from the comfort of her rooming house.She even designed a detailed workout program for every day of the week, combining simple and short workouts during the weekdays with longer and more intense workouts on the weekends – all geared to help her stay fit throughout quarantine.“On the weekdays, I do exercises that aren’t too time-consuming, like a 15-minute full body stretch or morning yoga. Whereas on the weekends, I do a combination of practices from yoga to HIIT,” she said, referring to High Intensity Interval Training.“The motivation comes from within. In the beginning, it was more like I forced myself to exercise because I wasn’t feeling healthy,” she said.“Additionally, I started a clean eating program at the end of last year, so I needed to accompany it with exercise.”While Ratna takes pleasure in exercising in her own room, Marco said he likes to jog around his housing complex and play some basketball with his brother once in a while to add some variety into his exercise routine.On the weekdays, the private company employee said he liked to do a 7-minute cardio workout which he combines with strength exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups.“I almost have no social life nowadays because I cannot go anywhere [due to the pandemic]. It’s quite stressful actually. Before the pandemic, I used to go to the cinema or hang out with my friends to destress,” he said.“[Since I can’t do any of those things], I feel like exercising helps me to manage [that stress]. Now I’m used to exercising almost every day.”With millions of people worldwide going into quarantine for months, sheltering in place from COVID-19 has resulted in its own health crisis, as people are forced to stave off social engagement.The uncertainty still lingers for both Marco and Ratna, who admitted that they had been left with nothing to do about creeping anxiety other than to keep a positive mental attitude.“Now, if I feel stressed out I am willing to admit that I’m not in a good condition. But then I am able to focus on resolving [the issues] one at a time,” Marco said.“We do whatever it takes to stay sane.”Both Marco and Ratna have also promised themselves that they would maintain their exercise habits even when the pandemic ends.“I need and must maintain this habit. I used to wake up at 7 a.m. and immediately prepare for work, but now with regular exercise, I can adjust my sleeping time and wake up earlier,” Ratna said.“Without realizing it, exercise has become a habit, even if I just do it for 5 to 15 minutes during weekdays.”As for the current large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in place, they have limited the number of options to exercise at gyms and other sporting facilities are closed.But Andi suggested that people should not be tempted to just lie in bed or sit in isolation for long hours.“The thing with isolation is people are more likely to lie in bed. But we have to stay active. For instance, every one hour when we sit, we need to stretch for five minutes.“A little stretching or moving our body while in isolation is enough as calories continue to burn. Cleaning the house or following a Youtube tutorial on exercise are also good for beginners,” he said.Topics :last_img read more

‘Late bloomer’ lingerie thief jailed for breaching Singapore lockdown

first_imgA serial underwear thief was sentenced to nearly six months in jail Monday for breaching Singapore’s strict coronavirus lockdown to sneak into a backyard and steal women’s lingerie.    Lee Chee Kin was on bail on similar charges when he snuck out of home last month and climbed into a backyard on the hunt for more underwear.    The 39-year-old had stolen underwear from homes on at least 30 occasions since 2018, according to court documents, and police found more than 100 bras during a raid on his home last year. He admitted last month to breaking lockdown rules by leaving his residence without good reason, and failing to wear a mask outside.    He also pleaded guilty to theft and criminal trespass, and was sentenced to 23 weeks in jail.Lee’s lawyer told the court that the former part-time actor was a “late bloomer”.A prosecutor previously told the court that Lee “would select bras and panties to steal based on their appearance”, and that he used them “for his own sexual gratification.”   Singapore authorities imposed a partial lockdown in early April, with schools and most workplaces told to close, and people only allowed to leave home for essential purposes.    Topics :last_img read more