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  • Ritalin use widespread among students

    first_imgOXFORD students have been taking a ‘dangerous’ prescription drug without medical advice to help them concentrate for exams.Ritalin is usually prescribed for sufferers of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but is being used by undergraduates to increase concentration during study.A number of Oxford students have admitted to taking the drug, which in people without ADHD is said to improve productivity and focus, to help them through stressful and busy terms.Health experts have warned that when using Ritalin without appropriate medical advice, students are exposing themselves to serious health risks associated with other amphetamines. Illegal possession carries a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, while dealing can lead to penalties of up to fourteen years. One undergraduate who has dealt Ritalin to other students said that there was a market for the drug in Oxford. “There’s a huge demand for it. When people found out that I had it, loads of people came up to me and asked me for it. You feel euphoric and have a complete dedication to what you’re doing,” he said.A second year Exeter student claimed that the drug had helped him cope with the stresses of revision in the run up to end of year exams. “I took it a few days before the exam,” he said. “You take it once a day for productivity. I would personally recommend it if you have difficulty concentrating as you can sit there for five hours straight.”He reported feeling no negative side effects. “It doesn’t do anything weird, although you feel a bit tired after,” he added.A Pembroke first year also stated that the drug improved his concentration on his studies. “It was the most productive I’ve ever been. I didn’t notice anything apart from my work and I would definitely take it again if it was freely available.”Many of the students approached said that they had obtained Ritalin from other students.Dr Chris Kenyon, a practising GP for students at 19 Beaumont Street in Oxford, warned that Ritalin has numerous potential side effects, including difficulty sleeping, stomach aches, headaches and loss of appetite. Less common side effects include palpitations, high blood pressure, pulse changes and even clinical depression.”The use of such stimulants for exams is something we would not recommend,” Dr Kenyon said.London GP Dr Anna Lindsay said she was concerned that students using any controlled drug without a prescription could be exposing themselves to serious health risks. “This would not at all be recommended for anyone who has not been prescribed it by a specialist, since it treats very specific conditions,” she said.DrugScope, the UK’s leading charity for drugs information and policy, states on its website that the effects of Ritalin categorise it as an amphetamine, along with the class B drug, Speed. “Heavy, regular use often leads to lack of sleep and food and lowers resistance to disease. Many heavy users become very run down and alternate between periods of feeling good and energetic, then feeling depressed and low.”Delusions, panic attacks, paranoia, a feeling of being ‘wired’ and possibly hallucinations may also follow. Some users experience violent mood swings and can become very aggressive.”The Chief Executive of the ADHD charity Addiss, Andrea Bilbow, believes that the risks associated with taking Ritalin outweigh the potential benefits to students in high pressure situations, such as exam periods. “I cannot stress strongly enough that unless you have a formal diagnosis and Ritalin has been prescribed by a doctor, you should not be taking it,” she said. “You don’t know what dosages to take. If you had any complications you wouldn’t know what they were without safeguards”.OUSU President Alan Strickland sought to reassure students that exams are not so important that they should resort to drugs. “Oxford exams can be uniquely stressful and it’s important that the University and colleges ensure proper support is available,” he said. “Students can only do their best and fulfilling their potential will not be helped by taking drugs like Ritalin. Why risk long-term health problems to achieve a little more concentration?”A University spokesman said there was a wide range of support available to students who were struggling to cope with academic pressures. “We would strongly advise students against the practice of taking drugs that have not been specifically prescribed to them as this is dangerous and can be illegal,” he said. “Students who are struggling to cope personally or academically, or who have any kind of drug problem, will find a range of support at Oxford. They should talk to their tutors, their college welfare officers, OUSU, their GP, or the University Counselling Service.”Divindy Grant, Oriel JCR’s Welfare Officer, blamed the number of exams facing Oxford students for the popularity of Ritalin at the University. “It’s an issue that needs to be addressed,” she said. “I think it’s just because at other universities there’s much more coursework instead of exams all at the end, so there’s less of a problem. Perhaps increasing the amount of time between exams would stop people turning to stimulant drugs during the run up.”last_img read more

  • UK in sight for Irish coffee retailer Insomnia

    first_imgIrish coffee chain Insomnia will open its first UK outlet early in 2015.Headed up and co-owned by businessman Bobby Kerr, the circa 100-strong Insomnia has run 10 trial self-serve coffee machines in Spar shops over the past two months to test its chances in Britain, according to the Irish Independent.It is a service it successfully offers in Ireland and early feedback indicates it has been popular in the UK, with a further roll-out planned. However, the first complete Insomnia store in the UK should open in the first quarter of next year, though sites have yet to be confirmed.Kerr told the Independent that Insomnia’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) this year are likely to hit €2.5m – around 20% higher compared to 2013.The coffee chain is owned by three businessmen – Kerr, Spar magnate John Clohisey and Harry O’Kelly.As well as opening in the UK and “scoping out” Dubai and Abu Dhabi, 13 new sites will open in Ireland before the end of the year, representing an investment of more than €1m (£785,430) and including the new locations of Galway, Cork and Dublin. The openings will bring the chain to more than 100 sites – half of which are franchises.last_img read more

  • Mountain Mama: Getting Started in Trail Running

    first_imgDear Mountain Mama,I want to start trail running, but I’m hesitant. Swapping roads for trails seems like an invitation for a sprained ankle. Besides, I’m not sure if I have the technique required to run in the mountains.What advice do you have for a beginner trail runner?Thanks, Pavement PlodderDear Pavement Plodder,Trail running will change your life – I guarantee it. John Muir nailed my experience running in the woods. “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” Perhaps you’re not seeking a life-changing-universe-glimpsing experience, but just looking to get away from the traffic. Or maybe you want to ditch the pavement to save your joints. As the Kenyans say, “hard roads kill fresh legs.” Trail running delivers on those fronts too. Below are the five tips I found most useful for rocking out my first few trail runs.1. Plan Your Route. Chose an appropriate trail for your first run and pick the flattest trail you can find. Trail running typically involves more hills than you may be used to running and uneven surfaces work leg muscles and ankle joints harder than roads. Ease your body into it by reducing your distance and choosing a relatively flat surface.To avoid getting lost, consider the number of cross-trail junctions. What may look straightforward while studying a map in the comfort of your living room will be less obvious once you’re out on the trail. Nothing puts more of a damper on a trail run that getting turned around in the woods for hours longer than you expected. Start by planning conservative, straight-forward routes.For trail suggestions, ask at your local running store or experienced trail runners in your running club.2. Wait to Buy New Shoes. Most runners trail run in regular shoes and find that their road shoes are suitable for the trail. Trail-specific shoes are designed to improve traction, which is great on particularly rocky or slippery routes, but chances are the surfaces you’ll start out running on will be much more forgiving and you’ll have no need to rush out and buy new shoes.3. Start Slow. Trail running and road running should be considered completely different sports when thinking about pace. Comparing your mile splits when you’re on the track to your trail pace is like apples to oranges. Leave your GPS watch at home and don’t be afraid to walk – many trail runners walk steep inclines. Recognize that trail running involves hazards like rocks, logs, holes, roots, and streams and going slower will help spot and maneuver around such obstacles.4. Consider Your Stride. Gain stability by shortening your stride. You’ll encounter more obstacles on the trail, and keeping your center of balance underneath you will help you to remain nimble and maneuver around rocks and roots. Also, on the trail think about lifting your feet higher than you would on pavement to clear uneven terrain.5. Get Dirty. There’s no surer way of twisting an ankle than a last minute shuffle to avoid a puddle. Instead of dodging mud, splatter through it. Getting dirty is part of the fun so embrace it!Happy Trails,Mountain Mamalast_img read more

  • Pirate Mama: Sailing with Her Little Boy

    first_imgJanuary 2016 Mountain Mama will sail around the Virgin Islands with her four-year-old son and write about their adventures (and misadventures).The idea to sail around the Virgin Islands to debunk the stereotypes rolling around –even in my own mind – about single mamas started two weeks before Christmas. I was stressing over whether to pay my bills or buy presents. I graded myself a C- in the parenting department, depriving my son of everything from regular playdates to swim lessons. Back-to-back bronchitis, strep throat, and the flu kept me horizontal.Stuck in bed, I read about pirates and came across a tale about a female pirate, Anne Bonny. After the law seizes her pirate ship, she lands in jail. At five months pregnant, she avoids the noose by “pleading her belly.” She escapes from her cell, gives birth at sea, and sails to the Caribbean with her baby.I bolted upright, realizing I’d bought into the victimized view of my parenting situation, focusing on the challenges instead of the possibilities. Back in college I lived on a sailboat with my then-boyfriend and later I raced yachts in Chicago. I daydreamed of taking my son sailing.  While I’d sailed plenty, I considered myself along for the ride, comfortable on the water but not competent enough to be in charge. In the back of my mind I was waiting for a guy to come along, my very own captain to appear.Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 11.29.49 AMThen I remembered Anne Bonny.  I took sailing courses and over the course of a year, earning the certification to skipper a sailboat anywhere in the world. I was finally taking the helm, sailing a boat all by myself.My son and I have gone on outdoor excursions from day one and he’s become my favorite adventure partner.  An up-for-anything attitude coupled with a goofy sense of humor makes him a joy to be around. For an almost- four-year old, he’s turned out to be a competent outdoors person. But we couldn’t sail alone.When I told my friends about wanting to take my son sailing in the Caribbean and write about our experiences, they wanted to join us. I realized the incredible community who has supported me as a single mama will be the same friends who help us trim the sails. Meghan Rolfe, a professional photographer, offered to document the trip with her camera and Sarah Thomas, an experienced sailor, wanted to lend her boating expertise to the team.I’m a modern-day-pirate-mama who wants to give to the community instead of plundering , and in the process teach my son what it means to be a steward for the environment. I’m working with contacts in St. Thomas at the Family Resource Center to take grade-school kids on the water with a sea kayaking outfitter, giving them a glimpse of why their fragile island ecosystem is worth protecting.Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 11.30.06 AMI’ve reserved a boat in Tortola (a British Virgin Island) and the itinerary is shaping up to include circumnavigating St. John’s Island (national park status protects two-thirds of the island). Tagging along with park officials will inform us about local best conservation practices. Other destinations include British Virgin Island National Parks such as Peter Island, Dead Chest, Salt Island, Great Dog, and Virgin Gorda.If Anne Bonny could escape from her cell and sail alone, I can become a badass single parent who pursues her passions too. Through this project, I hope to share my love for water with my son and nurture my writer’s voice. My writing will focus on my relationship with my son as we explore the Virgin Islands and connect other kids with their own watery backyards. Throughout the journey, we’ll be taking photos, recording voice and video interviews, and journaling the trip itself. Highlights from each day will be shared as snippets and the stories will be woven into a narrative at the end.I’m launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds. Kickstarter campaigns operate under an “all-or-nothing” funding model so if the Pirate Mama project doesn’t reach its goal at the end of 30 days then we won’t leave the dock this winter. To watch our video and to donate, go to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1435241906/pirate-mama-setting-sail-with-her-little-boy.Be sure to follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/piratemamakickstarter to track our progress and spread the word to your social networks. Consider donating as little as $5 to help our project come to life. If you decide to donate more, you might be among the first to read the story of our journey.last_img read more

  • Trail Mix | November 2016

    first_img 5:09 3:32 3:41 2:12 Audio PlayerDarlingsideWhippoorwillUse Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.00:000:00 / 4:39 This month’s featured artist, married couple Adrian Krygowski and Meredith Brownski, who perform and record under the moniker Adrian + Meredith, traveled disparate paths to their musical matrimony. He grew up on punk rock and guitar, she on old time fiddle. Together, they blend the two into a progressive, rough and tumble approach to traditional American music.Featured this month on Trail Mix is the title track from Adrian + Meredith’s debut release, More Than A Little. Featuring a cadre of musicians who travel with the likes of Jack White and The Legendary Shack Shakers, this first offering from Adrian + Meredith, like any good marriage, is a work even greater than the sum of its notably splendid parts.Another highlight from this month’s mix is “Girl With The Dirty Hair,” performed by noted singer/songwriter Hayes Carll, on Highway Prayer: A Tribute to Adam Carroll. Carroll, a longtime songwriting Texan, is celebrated on this compilation by the likes of James McMurtry, Slaid Cleaves, Aaron Lee Tasjan, and Tim Easton, who went so far as to note that the 42 year old Carroll, young by any standard to be receiving a tribute record, is ” . . . East Texas’ own Shakespeare of song.” High praise, certainly, but well warranted by the songs featured on this tribute.A tune that really made my ears perk up this month is “Whipporwill,” the title track of the EP released by Cambridge, Massachusetts’ own Darlingside. A collection of unreleased takes from the sessions that produced last year’s Birds Say, this new EP served as motivation to dig a bit deeper into the Darlingside catalog. I cannot say that I have been disappointed with what I have found.Make sure you dig deep into this month’s Trail Mix and checck out brand new tunes from Driftwood, Josh Farrow, Silas Lowe, The Royal Hounds, Jack Grelle, The Vandoliers, Soft Pyramids, 3hattrio, Suntrodden, The Flat Five, The Legal Matters, and The Nth Power.And stay tuned to the Trail Mix blog this month. There will be a video premiere from Aryk Crowder, a ticket giveaway to the Elle King/Paul Cauthen show in Raleigh on November 14th, and chats with Lawrence Morrill Glass and Kristoffer & The Harbour Heads coming your way.So, what are you waiting for? If you have been following Trail Mix, you know that it is time to dig into this music, pick out some artists that you dig, and get out and buy a few records. Go catch one of these bands in concert. Give back to them, since they have so willing given their music to share with you via Trail Mix.Photo by Lauren Hanson. This Is Your Night Flat Five 3:14 Brooklyn Aryk Crowder 3:49 I’m Sorry Love The Legal Matters Nervous In Berlin Kristoffer and The Harbour Heads Planes Soft Pyramids 3:59 3:00 Joy Ride Vandoliers 2:46 Should I 3hattrio Tina Fey Lawrence Morrill Glass 3:32 4:39 Burning Bride Silas Lowe 3:28 3:40 4:43 Whippoorwill Darlingside All We Are Suntrodden More Than A Little Adrian + Meredith Lemonade Driftwood Girl With The Dirty Hair Hayes Carll Copy and paste this code to your site to embed. Make it Hail The Royal Hounds 4:28 Time Ain’t No Friend Of Mine Josh Farrow 3:33 Embed Truth The Nth Power Got Dressed Up To Be Let Down Jack Grelle 2:59 4:18last_img read more

  • Ecuadorean Police Dismantle Cocaine Laboratory On Border With Peru

    first_imgBy Dialogo March 03, 2011 The Ecuadorean police have dismantled a laboratory for processing cocaine of Peruvian origin, in an operation on the border with the latter country in which five Colombians were detained, an official spokesperson announced on 1 March. The production center was located on a rural property in the town of La Joya de los Sachas, in the border province of Orellana (in eastern Ecuador), Col. Carlos Pozo, the regional police commander, told reporters. The ranch “was used by an international drug-trafficking organization as a laboratory for converting controlled substances,” the officer indicated. Hidden storage capable of holding up to three tons of drugs, suspected to have been brought from Peru, was also found at the location, an agent who participated in the operation, and who avoided revealing his identity, indicated for his part. At the same time, five Colombians were detained, and 20.5 kg of cocaine were confiscated.last_img read more

  • Bachelet Calls for Release of Prisoners in Venezuela

    first_imgBy Yolima Dussán / Diálogo April 27, 2020 Amid the pandemic the world faces due to the spread of COVID-19, United Nations (U.N.) High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called for the unconditional release of all political prisoners in Venezuela.Bachelet reported more than 130 cases of alleged human rights violations against people imprisoned for disagreeing with the Nicolás Maduro regime.“I reiterate my call for the unconditional release of all persons detained for political reasons,” Bachelet told the Maduro dictatorship. The first appeal came in her June 2019 report, after she visited various Venezuelan cities. The latest took place during the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, in late February.Representatives of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) visited three prisons in Venezuela, where they interviewed 28 people without the presence of military authorities. “My office was able to document that there are people who require an urgent response because of health reasons, legal delays, and failure to execute release orders, among others,” Bachelet said. Her team analyzed, among others, the reasons for the prisoners’ detention and their confinement conditions, and found violations of the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s guidelines.That call became more urgent at the end of March, following Bachelet’s official statement on the human rights situation amid the pandemic that spreads in the region and is likely to get worse. “It’s crucial to avoid the collapse of national health systems, considering the explosive impact that this could have in terms of death tolls, human suffering, and virus spread,” Bachelet said in a statement. “I urge more cooperation from Venezuelan authorities and reiterate the request for access to intelligence services’ detention centers.”Organizations like Foro Penal, a Venezuelan nongovernmental organization dedicated to monitoring the prison population, challenge the OHCHR figures, saying that the Maduro dictatorship has “at least 328 political prisoners in the country: 208 civilians and 120 service members. More than 90 percent have not had the chance to defend themselves in court.” The organization urged Bachelet to be more forceful in her demand for release.“It’s unacceptable that OHCHR representatives are here and that the situation is not pressed on every day […]. I understand that diplomacy prevails on many occasions; I really do. But this is not about diplomacy; this is about human beings who are being unfairly deprived of their freedom, and their families [suffer] every day,” Alfredo Romero, head of Foro Penal, told Voice of America in March.In March 2019, the Maduro regime detained Roberto Marrero, chief of staff of Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó, in an operation with heavily armed, hooded men, with the support of the Venezuelan police.The regime accused Marrero of being part of a terrorist cell that was ready to attack electrical facilities, the subway, or judges. Marrero was able to send a message from his cell phone in which he describes how units of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service hid weapons in his yard to frame him.The Maduro dictatorship has not yet responded to the OHCHR regarding the release of political prisoners, neither does it allow access to information on the existence of detainees infected with COVID-19.last_img read more

  • Medford Woman, 89, Dies in Coram Crash

    first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An 89-year-old Medford woman died Monday in a crash that left another driver injured, Suffolk County police said.Detectives are investigating the crash that occurred on Route 112 in Coram just after 6 p.m. on Monday. Police said Betty Lincon was driving her 2001 Chevrolet south when she “apparently lost control of her vehicle” south on Pauls Path, police said. The car crossed over the double yellow lines and into the northbound lane and struck a 2011 Nissan head-on, police said.Lincon was pronounced dead at the scene by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office, police said. The other driver, 45-year-old Tanya Sydnor-Holmes of Bay Shore, was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.Both cars were impounded for a safety check.Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding the crash to call the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652.last_img read more

  • Do you show these 7 signs of trustworthiness?

    first_img continue reading » A fundamental component of being a great leader is trust. This trait instills a sense of respect and loyalty among employees, which ultimately strengthens your team’s bond and drives successful outcomes. But just because you are in an executive role doesn’t mean you are entitled to trust – it requires intentional effort and reflection to ensure your actions align with what it means to be “trustworthy.”Leadership guru Lolly Daskal offers seven signs of a trustworthy leader, a person who demonstrates that their title enables them to make other people’s lives better:They stand on principle even when they have to stand alone. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. In business, the desire for growth and success can put us in situations where we have to balance staying true to our mission and character against taking a financial hit. But great leaders act with integrity and “in the interest of the greater good, even if that means going against the prevailing trend,” Daskal writes. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

  • Sweet resignation

    first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img