The Anti-Valentine

first_imgSean Faye presents the case for abandoning Valentine’s Day…. and adopting spontaneous romance It’s that tine of year again – Valentine’s Day. My cynically-disposed mind imagines the typical scores of cheating boyfriends presenting their girlfriends with ‘on-offer’ flowers and battered Milk Tray boxes, bought from the Tesco Metro on the way home. The really romantic chaps may even book a table at Pizza Express (set menu, of course). My problem with Valentine’s Day is that it is typifies the smug, yet half-arsed attitude of modern couples. I have often believed that ‘Valentine’s Day’ should be renamed ‘Co-dependence Day,’ not because all couples that choose to celebrate their love on February 14 are necessarily co-dependent, but because the day naturally fosters the co-dependent ideals that surround us throughout the year.I already know what you’re thinking. You have probably guessed that I’m single; I will fill you in further and tell you I have never been in a relationship and never celebrated Valentine’s Day (I never even did that creepily Freudian thing when you make your mum a card instead). So I am clearly an embittered, loveless cynic. That is a view I am not entirely unfamiliar with, having been told so every year by my marauding bands of loved-up friends. Yet often the friends that tell me this one year are the ones who are forcing me to do something with them to avoid Valentine’s Day the next. Valentine’s Day seems like a day set aside for people who like to feel self-indulgent and waste endless hours walking around with their chosen companion, regardless of whether they like them that much or not, and then going for an overpriced meal. Perhaps it’s just me, but that doesn’t seem different to any other day. The only difference on ‘Co-dependence Day’ is that single people are shamed out of bars, cafes and restaurants because instead of ID, you need a partner for entry. What is most troubling, however, is that increasingly the spirit of Valentine’s Day is spreading throughout the year. Television, magazines and, often, our friends work on the mission statement ‘you’re nobody until somebody loves you.’ Anti-gay rhetoric has always considered same-sex relationships as a reprehensible ‘lifestyle choice.’ In fact, all types of relationships are equal in being a lifestyle choice, and for many, being single is too. On Valentine’s Day, however, such a belief is apparently unacceptable. The day makes relationships the norm and those who are not celebrating are excluded by their involuntary and deeply shameful status of ‘single.’ What surprises me most is the fact that so many women tacitly support what is surely one of the most sexist days in the calendar. Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day still works on the presumption that the man buys his partner a gift, arranges a sequence of romantic activities for her and perhaps throws in a bit of perfunctory sex at the end of the day. It is chiefly single women who are made to feel bad that they have no such wooer in mid-February. Being a girl without a guy on Valentine’s Day means you’ve failed in bagging a generous man. Sorry, since when did we all live in a Jane Austen novel? Whatever the circumstances of the pair are throughout the year, there is one day where women are made to feel like they must have a man to care for them and protect them or they’re worthless.Another way in which Valentine’s Day epitomises the modern lifestyle is our complete incapability to have any genuine sense of romance. People are forced to pay their way to assembly-line romance or, perhaps even worse, do-it-yourself expressions of affection. Last year, one of my housemates had a card made for her out of felt. Her admirer had clearly spent a great deal amount of time making it, but resembling as it did a heart after a coronary attack, it earned only ridicule from both her and her friends. Another person I know made a paper rose out of a page of Cherwell. Comically enough, the romantic sentiment was dulled by the fact that a photo of me loomed across the carefully crafted petals. If we are being honest, our ‘aww isn’t that sweet’ response to a couple explaining their romantic treasure trail, or how they serenaded one another, actually masks the more natural ‘that’s fucking embarrassing’ response. Until the 19th Century, Valentine’s Day was marked by the sending of love letters. Handwritten, scented and often poetic, it is hard to imagine modern-day lovers pulling this off without looking disgustingly sentimental. Our generation are just too self-conscious to produce any spontaneous, genuine romance. Indeed, doesn’t a fixed calendar date run against the whole idea of romance anyway? Surely, one of the key ingredients must be spontaneity – I know the same card, flowers and restaurant every year would hardly have me burning in the flames of passion. Even anonymous valentines are slightly menacing on the one day it’s OK to stalk someone without being liable for a restraining order. At the root of most people’s celebration of Valentine’s Day is, above all, a sense of obligation. I have already said how Valentine’s Day stigmatises single people, but (from the outside looking in) it seems to do little for couples’ relationships either. The consumerist pressure on Valentine’s Day has become so great, as with Christmas and New Year, that one is led to believe if you don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, your relationship is worthless. Like December 31st, Valentine’s Day begets such a weight of expectation from both partners that it is impossible to fully live up to it. If most lovers are honest, Valentine’s Day falls slightly flat, perhaps because in post-Reformation England, we lack the greater sensuality and festival culture of our European and South American counterparts. Its lack of inclusivity makes it anti-social for anyone but the couple themselves, who are forced to spend time with just each other, just because that’s what everyone else is doing. The amount of pressure is an unnecessary stress on the relationship. How many of our friends have had spats or even broken up with their boyfriend/girlfriend on Valentine’s Day? Take my advice, shrug off Valentine’s Day and spend quality time with your partner (if you have one) on February 15th instead – it’s a much bolder statement.last_img read more

News story: £25 million boost for self-driving technology: apply for funding

first_imgFind out more about investment in driverless technologies. the competition opens on 25 June 2018, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 19 September 2018 projects must be led by a business working with other businesses and researchers we expect projects to have total costs of between £4 million and £20 million and to last between 18 and 30 months businesses could attract up to 70% of their total project costs briefing events will be held in London, Cardiff, Belfast, Glasgow and Sunderland at the end of June and beginning of July 2018 the technologies against a clear user need public acceptance of the technologies the business models that will deliver the service Projects must pilot viable business opportunitiesProjects should aim to test and validate: Find out more about this competition and apply. The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) has up to £25 million to invest in up to 4 pilot schemes for self-driving vehicles.Funding is for pilots of self-driving passenger vehicles which include at least a 6-month trial in a public or semi-controlled setting. Trials should have a clear commercial focus, with potential to become an enduring service.CCAV was set up by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Transport to help ensure the UK is a world leader in developing and testing connected and autonomous vehicles.It is investing £150 million, match-funded by industry over 5 years, into cutting edge technologies. Trials are already under way in Bristol, Coventry, Greenwich and Milton Keynes. They should focus on a viable and sustainable business opportunity that could be introduced as a service from the early 2020s.Competition informationlast_img read more

Northern Health unveils physician recruitment website

first_imgThe website provides physicians with a platform to share stories with other physicians that are interested in living and working in the area. The website also shows the professional lives of physicians and how they enjoy their time off in northern B.C.Also featured are two testimonials from physicians that show their work place and various activities that they enjoy. One of the doctors featured is Dr. Quinton Du Preez. Du Preez says moving to the area has provided him and his family with a great place to live and hopes other physicians follow suit. “When you’re looking for a place to practice, it is not just about finding a suitable place to work. Instead it is about finding a community that embraces your family and offers a range of opportunities for both professional and personal development,” he explains. “Fort St. John has done that for us and I wanted to share that message with other physicians thinking about relocating to northern B.C.” – Advertisement -Mayor of Fort St. John Lori Ackerman was also on hand for the unveiling of the website. She says it will be an important tool in showing off what the area offers to physicians looking for work.“The beauty of creating a website like this is that of course it’s on the world wide web. We’ll be able to get the word out through social media that this website is up and available,” she says. “It’s an initial portal for people to go to take a look at the community as a physician. Having this is vital to reaching out across the globe.”Ackerman adds that Fort St. John can offer a number of things to doctors who move here such as being a great place to raise young ones.Advertisement “We have a very young population so if they are beginning their career and they have young ones this is a place that offers an opportunity to raise their children. We’ve got wonderful sport amenities here. We have a very good group of doctors here already to create that community that they would have as colleagues.”The new website can be seen by clicking here.last_img read more

High drama at the Midmar Mile

first_img12 February 2007There was high drama at the world’s largest open water swimming event on Sunday when the final race, for boys and men aged 14 to 30, was cancelled due to bad weather – the first time in the Midmar Mile’s 34-year history that a race has been called off.Raced over two days, with four races each day, conditions for the Midmar Mile on Saturday were scorching, with the temperatures in the mid-thirties before the discomfort index was taken into consideration. On Sunday, it was a different story altogether.It rained throughout Saturday evening and into the new day. A light sprinkling of rain fell consistently through Sunday’s first race, the girl’s 13 and under and women’s 31 and older. During event two, the boy’s and men’s equivalent, conditions were much the same.By the third race, the women’s 14 to 30 year age group, the rain became heavier and the winds rose, bringing with them a biting cold.Shocked facesThen came an announcement from race organiser Wayne Riddin that only seeded swimmers would be allowed to contest the final race. There were plenty of shocked faces as it filtered through. Shortly afterwards the decision to cancel the race entirely followed.Within minutes it became clear why Riddin pulled the plug as the winds drove from south to north across the west to east course, causing choppy and sizeable waves to form, with a whispery mist blanketing the dam.It was a disappointing conclusion to the weekend, but the primary priority for the organisers is the safety of the competitors and Riddin felt that it couldn’t be guaranteed, thus his decision, which he reckoned was easy to make given the circumstances.For defending champion Troyden Prinsloo, who had flown out from the University of Georgia to attempt to become the first male swimmer to win the Midmar Mile three years in succession, it was a terrible blow. Prinsloo said he would have swum no matter the conditions – but he’s a world class swimmer, unlike the majority of the field.Hungarian successesThe cancellation of the race also brought to an end the ambitions of the Hungarian national open water swimming team, who had enjoyed a fine day, taking victories in the boy’s and girl’s 13 and under categories, as well as in the women’s 31 to 40 age groupA number of the Hungarians, though, will get the opportunity to swim at Midmar Dam, with the holding of the 10-kilometre open water swim on Monday.Hungarian coach Tamas Vadjda validated Riddin’s decision, saying he realised “safety was the first concern”.Open women’s raceIn the open women’s event, victory went to Australia’s Melissa Gorman, who won her ticket to the Midmar Mile by clinching the Gold Coast Mile Down Under. It was a tight race.Through the first three hot spots, at 400 metres, 800 metres, and 1 200 metres, South African international Melissa Corfe led, chased by Gorman and three-time defending champion Keri-Ann Payne of Great Britain.Gorman, though, had chosen the best line into the finish and she crossed the finish line in 19 minutes and 52 seconds, well off the record of 18 minutes and 21 seconds set by Payne in 2006. However, considering the choppy conditions and a testing headwind, it was a fine effort.Corfe followed in second position in just over 20 minutes, with the defending champion relegated to third spot.The Eight-Mile ClubEfforts on behalf of charities were extremely successful. Members of the Eight-Mile Club were responsible for raising over R700 000 and that figure is one that was calculated before the final day’s events.The swimmers taking part in the Eight-Mile Club swim each and every race whilst raising funds for a wide number of charities. Fourteen-year-old Myles Brown was astonishingly successful in both the races and in raising money. In seven races, he was first across the finish line on four occasions, and he also brought in R24 000.Olympic silver medal winner and Deaflympics star Terence Parkin was rather less fortunate. He suffered a bite from a spider and gritted his way through Saturday’s four races. However, that evening he had to be rushed to hospital as a result of the bite. A substitute swimmer, Andrew Campbell, took Parkin’s place to continue raising money for the Fulton School for the Deaf.According to Riddin, this year’s entry was in the region of 16 500 swimmers, although other figures provided lift that number to anywhere from 16 700 to 17 000. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

American Farmland Trust targets soil health through Conservation Innovation Grant

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest American Farmland Trust was awarded a highly competitive 2018 Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Authorized by the 2002 Farm Bill, CIG helps develop the tools, technologies and strategies to support next-generation conservation efforts on working lands.“Through programs like the Conservation Innovation Grants Program, we’re fueling the development of new and exciting tools and technologies, helping farmers improve their agricultural and conservation outcomes,” said Leonard Jordan, NRCS Acting Chief.The grant will fund a new AFT project called “Accelerating Soil Health Adoption by Quantifying Economic and Environmental Outcomes & Overcoming Barriers on Rented Land” that is designed to give farmers and landowners the quantitative evidence they need to make better conservation decisions.One barrier to wider use of soil health practices that improve water, save soil, protect climate, and often increase profit has been limited quantitative data proving their benefits.AFT will work in six watersheds across five states (California, Illinois, Ohio, New York and Virginia) to quantify the benefits experienced by 24 farmers who have already implemented soil health practices like reduced tillage, cover crops, nutrient management, crop rotation and more.The data collected will be used to produce economic case studies that include soil health, water quality and greenhouse gas outcomes experienced by the successful soil health farmers. The case studies will be used to encourage other farmers and non-operating landowners to implement environmentally sound farming practices more quickly and in greater numbers. The project also aims to foster better conversations and lease arrangements between farmers and non-operating landowners to better share in the risk and rewards of investing in soil health practices.“We are thrilled and honored to have been chosen to receive the NRCS CIG grant. At AFT, we hope this new quantitative evidence helps farmers and landowners agree to adopt soil health practices on more land sooner, and with that decision, to reap the benefits of greater productivity, increased profitability and environmental improvement,” said Michelle Perez, director of AFT’s water initiative.last_img read more

Better chemistry propels Ginebra to next level, says Brownlee

first_imgBREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast “Last (Governors’ Cup), we got a lot of time and it was great. There’s a lot of chemistry in the team and this conference, we definitely built and took it to another level,” he said. “It’s no different from the last time I was here. We just want to play the same way, use the fundamentals that coach Tim (Cone) is teaching us, and we just go out there and play hard and hopefully, get a championship.“Though only in his second tour of duty for the Gin Kings, Brownlee has already etched his name among the list of great Ginebra reinforcements.READ: Brownlee stars as Ginebra snares top seedAfter all, his booming three in Game 6 of the 2016 Governors’ Cup ended years of heartbreak for the franchise as it finally lifted a title that has been eluding them for eight long years.Brownlee is looking to follow it up this conference with another championship, and hopefully, more in the conferences to come.ADVERTISEMENT Brownlee had a lot to do with the Gin Kings’ ascent to the top of the rankings, averaging 28.3 points, 11.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 2.2 blocks, and 1.9 steals so far.READ: With Ginebra on top, Cone aware of how tough it is to be no. 1FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHe capped off his superb showing this in the elimination round with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in Ginebra’s 94-80 win on Friday to help his team finish its schedule with a 9-2 record.The 6-foot-7 forward, though, believes that chemistry has a lot to do with the great run Ginebra has trotted out this season. “I love to be here. I love Ginebra. I think I’m pretty sure they love me too. I hope to continue this relationship for a while, for a long time,” he said, as the Gin Kings now gear up for the playoffs against either Alaska or Phoenix.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR With Ginebra on top, Cone aware of how tough it is to be no. 1 BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netFor Justin Brownlee, Ginebra finishing number one in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup is just the first step.“It feels great, but were not satisfied. It’s a great accomplishment to finish the eliminations as the top seed, especially with a twice-to-beat advantage, so we just want to come in there, play strong. But we still have a lot of work to do,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast MOST READ Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIVlast_img read more

Spinal anatomy

first_imgThe vertebral column provides structural support for the trunk and surrounds and protects the spinal cord. The vertebral column also provides attachment points for the muscles of the back and ribs. The vertebral disks serve as shock absorbers during activities such as walking, running, and jumping. They also allow the spine to flex and extend.Review Date:4/16/2013Reviewed By:C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.last_img read more

US Charge dAffaires Pays Courtesy Call on the Minister of Health

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, June 14, 2017 – Nassau – U.S. Charge d’Affaires Lisa Johnson paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands, at the Ministry’s offices on Thursday, June 1, 2017.   (BIS Photo/Raymond A. Bethel, Sr.)last_img