Standing tall: Paul Francis shares his story of courage

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first_imgDania Bogle, Senior Gleaner Writer FANS OF athletics may have heard the name Paul Francis as the master strategist behind Jamaica’s gold medal in the women’s 4x400m at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Beijing, last August. Others know him as the younger brother of MVP Track and Field Club head coach, Stephen Francis and one of the club’s founders. Athletes at the University of Technology (UTech) know Francis as head coach of the women’s track team and for four years between 2010 and 2014 their classmate. Francis was 44 years old when he decided to go back to university. He had started in the 1980s at the University of the West Indies and dropped out after a year. He was accepted to do a degree in Business Administration at UTech in 2005 and opted out; but on February 2, 2010, what started out as a minor car accident, would change Francis’ life forever. While travelling on Highway 2000, he had a minor accident and when he left the vehicle to inspect the damage, was hit by a passing car which crushed his right leg. That exacerbated an injury Francis had suffered in 2008. “One day after training, I was fooling around on the track with a football and twisted my ankle and it just …broke. So I was walking around with a noticeable limp from two years before,” Francis told The Gleaner. After three weeks in hospital he was told his leg had developed an infection, and would have to be amputated. Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association president, Dr Warren Blake, one of the island’s most noted orthopaedic surgeons, conducted the operation. “Of course, I would have felt a deep remorse on hearing that I would have had to lose half of one of my legs and like any normal human being, I buss a bawl,” he shared. NO LOOKING BACK “After that bawl, never again have I looked back and regretted or thought that I am disadvantaged because I have a disability.” Francis, an IAAF Level IV certified sprint and hurdles coach, and Area Technical Official, was fitted with a prosthetic leg that August. The amputation made him reevaluate his position. “I did not see myself being able to demonstrate a high knee drill or a start to any athlete, and I thought that would somehow reduce my premium as a coach, and I thought it would be an excellent idea to ensure I try to expand my knowledge in terms of the administration of the sport because sport is my passion. I didn’t want to be somebody who had to sit down and rely on people,” he said. In 2010, a long-time dream of local track and field icon Dennis Johnson, who was for many years head of sports at UTech, the Bachelor of Science in Sport Science would come to fruition. “So as soon as I heard it was on, I jumped at it,” Francis, who turns 50 in April, said. There were days when Francis, who graduated with a degree in Sports Management, would go to classes on crutches as his prosthetic limb caused soreness. “Each day, I got a little stronger in terms of how to manage my own body. I had years of coaching experience and every sporting event doesn’t need only players, but it also needs strategists who are going to guide or coach the team. So oftentimes I played that role but at no point did I refuse myself from any practical activity because of my disability. I took part in every one of them,” he said. Being a full-time coach and student can be difficult, but Francis said difficulty is relative. “I thought I was blessed. It was simply a thing of managing your time. I have always considered myself a realist. In most situations I prefer to see a bottle as half full rather than half empty, and one of my most dominant philosophies is that no matter how bad a situation you think you are in there are many who are worse and they have survived it, therefore you can too.” Francis works very closely with his brother, and while he is the more celebrated, has nothing but great love and respect for the job his brother is doing. FIRST ATHLETE He was Stephen’s first athlete as he coached him in the discus while he was at Wolmer’s. “I have zero reservation about the kudos and recognition Stephen gets. I am his biggest admirer. He is bright. He is working at his passion and he uses all his available resources to ensure that he keeps improving at what he does. I feel a bit ashamed sometimes when people big me up because I think that he deserves most or all of the praise,” he said. Since graduating, Francis has started his own events planning business and is enthusiastic about his future. “You can either choose to lie down and die or you can choose to get up and live. I chose to live,” he said.last_img read more


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first_img Comment 18 Photos Now playing: Watch this: MIT’s scrappy little Mini Cheetah robot is a cutie-pie of a robotic quadruped. It’s also an accomplished gymnast. MIT says the plucky machine is the first four-legged robot to do a backflip.  The school posted a video on Feb. 28 of Mini Cheetah in action. The highlight reel shows off the robot’s ability to flip, run, scoot sideways, hop and play in a pile of dry leaves like a shiny little headless puppy.Mini Cheetah rocks a modular design with low-cost electric motors built from off-the-shelf parts. “A big part of why we built this robot is that it makes it so easy to experiment and just try crazy things, because the robot is super robust and doesn’t break easily, and if it does break, it’s easy and not very expensive to fix,” says lead developer Benjamin Katz. Watch this robot cheetah do a backflip Robots Mini Mini Cheetah’s design is reminiscent of Boston Dynamics’ famous SpotMini doglike robot. We have yet to see SpotMini try for a backflip, but Boston Dynamics’ two-legged Atlas robot pulled off the feat in 2017.The MIT team is building 10 more Mini Cheetah robots, which they intend to loan out to collaborators to advance the robot’s design and development.While Mini Cheetah is plenty charming thanks to its small size and acrobatic abilities, it can still trot about twice as fast as an average person’s walking speed. Keep that in mind if you ever need to outrun it. Share your voice Sci-Tech Mini Cheetah is the creation of MIT’s Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory, which is also developing the much larger Cheetah 3. The big sibling bot can jump up on your desk. Personally, I’d invite Mini Cheetah to jump up on my lap for some snuggles. The robot weighs just 20 pounds (9 kilograms) but can still recover when someone kicks it around. Even when knocked entirely onto its back, it can roll itself upright. There’s an endearing blooper reel at the end of the video showing some Mini Cheetah fails, but the little robot still endures. Tags Meet Boston Dynamics’ weird and wonderful robot family 1 Originally published Feb. 28.Update, March 4: Added more information from MIT. MIT’s ‘blind’ Cheetah 3 robot can jump up on your desk Boston Dynamics robots rated by Robopocalypse threat level 1:46 Fabulous robotslast_img read more


Tag: 上海千花网新人自荐

first_imgA still from “Masss”.IBTimes IndiaSuriya-Nayanthara starrer “Masss” has enjoyed a fabulous run in its first week at the box office. The sources close to the industry have suggested that film has done well in theatres across the industry with more than 60% theatre occupancy.”Masss”, which was released on 29 May, had opened to positive reviews from critics. The movie had collected ₹17.3 crore in Tamil Nadu with ₹5.35 crore on Friday, ₹4.90 crore on Saturday and ₹7.05 crore on Sunday.The Telugu version also had a good first weekend run with ₹5.2 crore in Andhra Pradesh in the first three days.In Bengaluru, the movie reportedly has collected ₹1 crore in two days. However, the film experienced low run at theatres in Kerala as it faced huge competition from Malayalam movies “Premam” and “Ivide”.Meanwhile, reports from popular film-based website Koimoi, approximate box-office collection of “Masss’ after first weekend are as follows.4th Day (Monday) Collection: ₹6 crore5th Day (Tuesday) Collection: ₹5 crore6th Day (Wednesday) Collection: ₹4.5 crore”Masss”, which is written and directed by Venkat Prabhu, has a versatile star cast comprising of Pranitha Subhash, Premgi Amaren, Parthiban, Samuthirakani, Karunan, Simran, Sanjay Bharathi, Vidyullekha Raman, Riyaz Khan and Ganesh.The cinematography has been handled by RD Rajasekhar, while Praveen KL has edited the movie. It has been jointly produced by Studio Green and 2D Entertainment and will be distributed by Eros International.last_img read more


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first_imgJournalists form a human chain in front of SAARC Fountain at Karwan Bazar, Dhaka on Tuesday, on 7 July, 2018, demanding immediate arrest of those who attacked some of their colleagues during the ongoing student protest. Photo: UNBJournalists from different media outlets on Tuesday demanded immediate arrest of those who attacked some of their colleagues during the ongoing student demonstration seeking safe roads.The journalists came up with the demand from a human chain at SAARC Fountain in Karwan Bazar area in the morning protesting against the attacks on their colleagues.They also warned to launch tougher programmes if the government fails to arrest the attackers within the next 72 hours.Demanding the arrest by analysing video footages, the journalists said, “It’s not difficult to arrest the attackers as there are video footages.At least eight journalists were injured in attacks by leaders and actvists of ruling party student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League in the capital’s Jhigatola and Science Laboratory areas on Sunday while taking snaps of an attack on protesting students.The injured are Prothom Alo staff correspondent Ahmed Deepto, AM Ahad of international news agency the Associated Press (AP), Zawad of the Daily Janakantha, Palash of the Banik Barta, Rimon of US-based Zuma Press, Sharif of the Dainik Naya Diganta, freelancer Rahat and Enamul Hasan, a photography student of Pathsala South Asian Media Institute.last_img read more


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first_imgSri Lanka`s ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaks during a media conference in Colombo on 13 November. Photo: AFPSri Lanka’s parliament will meet under tight security Wednesday, after the top court ruled its dissolution illegal and opened the door to a vote on which of two rival prime ministers has the support to rule.Sri Lanka has been locked in a power struggle since the president sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on 26 October and replaced him with former strongman president Mahinda Rajapakse.On Tuesday the Supreme Court overruled president Maithripala Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament, and halted preparations for a snap election, in a major boost for the ousted prime minister.Wickremesinghe is confident he can command a majority and wants a vote on the floor of the 225-member assembly to determine the legitimacy of the government installed by presidential diktat.”Speaker Karu Jayasuriya ordered the police to ensure that MPs have free access to parliament,” a spokesman for the Speaker told AFP. “There will be tight security.”Thousands of armed police have been deployed along the key approach roads to parliament, which is located on a man-made lake island, with several anti-riot units on stand by.Parliament officials fear that supporters of Rajapakse’s party may try to stop legislators getting to parliament.However, by early Wednesday there were no large crowds and only small pockets of Wickremesinghe supporters gathered near the parliament complex.Rajapakse’s party was divided Tuesday on facing a test in parliament. His legislator son Namal Rajapakse said they will attend the legislature, but other party seniors said they would not.Sirisena sacked the legislature after his party admitted that they did not have an absolute majority despite engineering the defections of eight legislators from Wickremesinghe’s party.Since then, at least two legislators have ditched Rajapakse and joined Wickremesinghe’s UNP party which insists it has a comfortable majority in the House.Wickremesinghe, who insists he is still the prime minister, has refused to vacate the official Temple Trees residence which is a symbol of state power in the island.The power struggle has crippled the work of the administration, according to lawmakers on both sides.last_img

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first_imgPeople walk around the courtyard in front of the courthouse in Ankara on 8 January 2019 where opens today the trial of twenty-eight suspects over the assassination of the Russian ambassador two years ago, including a US-based Muslim preacher blamed by Ankara for a failed coup the same year. Photo: AFPA trial into the 2016 murder of a Russian ambassador opened in Ankara on Tuesday with the first two of 28 defendants to be heard denying any links to the assassin.Andrei Karlov, 62, was shot dead by an off-duty Turkish policeman at a photo exhibition in Ankara on 19 December 2016, in a shock attack that was captured on camera by photographers attending the event.The 22-year-old gunman, Mevlut Mert Altintas, shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) and “Don’t forget Aleppo”, vowing that those responsible for events in Syria would be held accountable.Turkish special forces killed Altintas shortly afterwards.Karlov’s widow Marina Karlova said Monday that the murder was aimed at damaging relations between Russia and Turkey. She did not attend Tuesday’s hearing.On Tuesday the two defendants denied any links to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Islamic preacher seen as an arch-foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and whom Ankara blames for a July 2016 coup attempt.The pair, who had attended the same police academy as Altintas, denied being friends with him.They are accused of belonging to a terror group.Bilal Dereli, 26, told the court he had never been in the same class as Altintas and knew him only by sight, while Oguzhan Ozturk, 28, also denied being friends with the killer.”I got into police school on the third attempt. If I had a link (to Gulen), I would have immediately been successful,” Dereli added.Dogukan Soylemez, a 26-year-old classmate of Altintas and a former security officer for the health minister, insisted he had no links with Gulen either while at school or in his working life.Gulen denies murder linkThe Ankara prosecutor has charged 16 defendants with “premeditated murder with the intention of causing terror”, according to the indictment. Another 12 have been charged with “belonging to a terror organisation”.Thirteen are currently in pre-trial detention, while five suspects are on conditional release and appeared in court Tuesday. Six others are being tried in absentia.Four suspects appeared in court via video conference while nine were under gendarmerie protection in the courtroom.Gulen, who has denied links to both the failed coup and the murder, was among those not in attendance.Turkey refers to Gulen’s organisation as the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO), but followers say it is peaceful, promoting secular education.’Hot war’ riskPenalties sought by the prosecution include aggravated life sentences, which have replaced the death penalty in Turkey and carry harsher conditions than normal life imprisonment convictions.The indictment says the Gulen movement plotted the murder of Karlov, who had been appointed as ambassador in 2013, to “break off bilateral relations” between Turkey and Russia and bring them to the brink of “hot war”.”This murder took place on the eve of a meeting of Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers on the topic of discussing a peace settlement in Syria,” Karlov’s wife Marina said.”I think that the aim of this murder was to wreck those talks and worsen relations between Russia and Turkey,” she told Rossiya-24 television.Turkey and Russia had a dramatic falling out in November 2015 after a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian warplane along the Syrian border.But by the summer of 2016 relations had improved, with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Erdogan keen to show they are working together to find a solution to the Syrian conflict despite being on opposite sides of the war.Tens of thousands of people have been arrested over alleged links to Gulen since 2016 in a crackdown criticised by human rights groups and Ankara’s Western allies.last_img read more


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first_imgBy JULIET LINDERMAN, Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — Two federal reports released this month blast the Department of Housing and Urban Development for failing to have procedures to adequately protect children in subsidized housing against lead paint exposure.The reports, from the Government Accountability Office and HUD’s Office of Inspector General, paint a portrait of an agency without a clear set of policies for local authorities to follow when reporting cases of children with elevated blood lead levels in public housing units and properties occupied by voucher holders.(Courtesy Photo/HUD.gov)They also say HUD also lacks an adequate system of communication with the thousands of housing authorities it’s tasked with overseeing, with reports on such matters often incomplete or missing entirely. HUD has no uniform way of keeping track of the cases or ensuring that housing authorities are completing required inspections and fixing hazardous conditions, according to the audits.“HUD lacked assurance that public housing agencies properly identified and mitigated lead hazards, thus increasing the potential for exposing children to lead poisoning due to unsafe living conditions,” the inspector general’s office said.On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed changes to standards for lead-contaminated dust on floors and window sills, aimed at reducing exposure among children.The agency said the standards apply to most housing built before 1978 and “child-occupied facilities, such as day care centers and kindergarten facilities.”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says “no safe blood lead level in children has been identified.”The audit also found that instead of reporting cases of possible lead exposure to HUD headquarters, housing agencies sent reports to local offices. Of the 45 field offices, 24 of them don’t have established policies in place for handling such cases.The inspector general also criticized HUD for not requiring public housing agencies to report and mitigate lead paint cases in public housing built after 1977, effectively failing “to determine the risk of lead paint exposure to children” living in those buildings.“These weaknesses,” the audit said, “occurred because HUD lacked adequate policies, procedures and controls for monitoring public housing agencies for compliance with its lead requirements.”In its response to the audit, HUD noted that the agency revised its rule for handling lead paint cases in 2017, when it adopted a lower threshold for lead levels in children’s blood that would trigger action. But the agency pledged to review its processes and “follow up on all past incidences identified in the OIG’s audit, obtain missing documentation, and ensure that any remaining lead hazards are controlled.”The GAO report to Congress also criticized HUD for lacking a detailed or streamlined procedure to evaluate whether housing authorities are in compliance with lead paint regulations and enforcement. It also blasted HUD for taking only limited steps to evaluate its own lead reduction efforts; the agency hasn’t released an annual report on its efforts since 1997.last_img read more


Tag: 上海千花网新人自荐

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Journal of Systematic Palaeontology © 2013 Phys.org More information: The oldest known metriorhynchid super-predator: a new genus and species from the Middle Jurassic of England, with implications for serration and mandibular evolution in predacious clades, DOI:10.1080/14772019.2012.704948AbstractThe Oxford Clay Formation of England has yielded numerous sympatric species of metriorhynchid crocodylomorphs, although disagreement has persisted regarding the number of valid species. For over 140 years teeth reminiscent of the genus Dakosaurus have been known from the Oxford Clay Formation but these have never been properly described and their taxonomy and systematic affinity remain contentious. Furthermore, an enigmatic mandible and associated postcranial skeleton discovered by Alfred Leeds in the Fletton brick pits near Peterborough also remains undescribed. We show that this specimen, and several isolated teeth, represents the oldest known remains of a large-bodied predatory metriorhynchid. This material is described herein and referred to Tyrannoneustes lythrodectikos gen. et sp. nov. This species has a unique occlusal pattern: the dentition was arranged so that the posterior maxillodentary teeth interlock in the same plane and occlude mesiodistally. It is the first described crocodylomorph with microscopic denticles that are not contiguous along the carinae (forming short series of up to 10 denticles) and do not noticeably alter the height of the keel. Additionally, the dorsally expanded and curved posterior region of the mandible ventrally displaced the dentary tooth row relative to the jaw joint facilitating the enlargement of the dentition and increasing optimum gape. Therefore, Tyrannoneustes would have been a large-bodied marine predator that was well-suited to feed on larger prey than other contemporaneous metriorhynchids. A new phylogenetic analysis finds Tyrannoneustes to be the sister taxon to the subclade Geosaurini. An isolated tooth, humerus, and well-preserved mandible suggest a second species of metriorhynchid super-predator may also have lived in the Oxford Clay sea. Finally, we revise the diagnoses and descriptions of the other Oxford Clay metriorhynchid species, providing a guide for differentiating the many contemporaneous taxa from this exceptional fossil assemblage. Father of flying fish found in China, palaeontologists say Explore furthercenter_img Tyrannoneustes lythrodectikos, meaning “tyrant swimmer that bites” in Latin, was found in 1919 in a clay pit near the British town of Peterborough (the Oxford Clay Formation) by an amateur bone collector. Since that time it has resided, hidden away in Glasgow’s Hunterian museum. The skeletal remains include a jawbone with serrated teeth that the researchers, from the University of Edinburgh describe as an indication that the creature was a super-predator – one that preys on animals that are as big as it is, or even bigger.The research team, led by Mark Young, says the time period during which the tyrant swimmer lived would have had it swimming in the shallow seas that covered much of Europe and England – along with other large marine predators. At the time, the area consisted of a chain of islands. They believe T. lythrodectikos would have been a very strong swimmer – it had a fluked tail and forelimbs that resembled flippers and was able to open its mouth very wide to allow for biting into large prey. It would have been both a formidable hunter and an elusive target for other larger marine animals. But if caught, would not have been difficult to eat as it lacked the bony armor of other species of the time.The Middle Jurassic period, as has been glamorized by Hollywood, was a time during which many very large animals existed, many of them predatory. Their existence, scientists say, indicates a time when there was a very healthy food chain.The team adds that the species is the oldest known super-predator, and notes that little research had been done on the skeletal remains over the near century since it was brought to the museum. They also report that no stomach contents were found, thus they can’t say for sure what the animal ate. (Phys.org)—Researchers examining a fossil specimen discovered in a museum storage bin have found it to be the remains of a super-predator that lived during the Jurassic Period, around 165 million years ago. They describe the specimen, named Tyrannoneustes lythrodectikos, in their paper published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, as looking like a cross between a modern dolphin and a shark or crocodile. Credit: University of Edinburgh Citation: Fossil remains in museum found to be 165 million year old marine super-predator (2013, January 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-fossil-museum-million-year-marine.htmllast_img read more