The Low Anthem Announces First Album Since 2011

first_imgProvidence, RI psych-folk act The Low Anthem are set to release their first album since 2011’s Smart Flesh. Their latest work, Eyeland, is set for a June 17th release and will see the band tour in support of the album this summer. Official tour dates will be announced in the coming weeks.“It’s hard to detail the narrative without giving away the surprise ending,” explained Ben Knox Miller. “The album exists in the dreamt reality of a few children who experience a traumatic break from innocence when an air hockey table catches fire and burns down one of their houses. The valley that they live in turns into a nightmare of paranoia and then there’s a battle to regain control over their consciousness.”Since we can’t listen to new music yet, might as well enjoy some of the old. Here is “To Ohio” from 2009’s Oh My God Charlie Darwin:[via Jambands]last_img read more

Honduras Curbs Narcotrafficking With US Assistance

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre / Diálogo October 09, 2019 Cooperation efforts between Honduras and the United States enabled the blows dealt to transnational crime.“Besides the drugs seized, several operations helped seize weapons, narco-labs, airstrips, coca crops, and cash that criminal organizations use to fund their illicit businesses,” Honduran Naval Force Captain José Domingo Meza, director of the Armed Forces Public Affairs, told Diálogo. “In addition, we disrupted 39 criminal gangs that engaged in narcotrafficking, murder, theft, and extortion.”One of the operations took place on August 15. After Honduran, U.S., and Colombian intelligence units shared information, Honduran authorities intercepted the Flamingo III vessel in Gracias a Dios department, carrying 1322 pounds of cocaine worth $24 million. Authorities also captured eight alleged criminals on board.According to Capt. Meza, those achievements were possible due to continuous preparation and rigorous training of new military skills, human rights instruction, equipment donations, and joint training exercises provided by partner nations such as the United States and Colombia, in addition to tougher laws and sentences, and an increase in social programs in country.“Honduran judiciary officials, agencies, U.S. forces and all of us who are countering this scourge are making a tangible effort,” Honduran Army General Manuel Aguilera, commander of the Public Order Military Police, told the press.“We carry out maritime patrols, air monitoring surveillance, and ongoing land patrols, especially in the country’s coastal zones where there are cleared areas to open up narcotrafficking routes,” said Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández.On September 13, the United States and Honduras agreed to strengthen information exchanges and law enforcement in border security operations, the Honduran government said. Honduran service members carry out ongoing land patrols, as part of the security strategy to neutralize transnational organized crime. (Photo: Honduran Secretary of National Defense)last_img read more

Unai Emery explains why he benched Nicolas Pepe again for Arsenal’s clash with Burnley

first_imgThe club-record £72million signing is being integrated into the side slowly (Picture: Getty)Unai Emery says Nicolas Pepe still isn’t quite up to speed with the rest of the Arsenal team but was happy with his performance off the bench in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Burnley.The club-record £72million signing from Lille is yet to start a match for the Gunners, playing 19 minutes last weekend at Newcastle before coming on at half-time against Burnley a week later.Emery is in no rush to play Pepe despite the enormous outlay and is prepared to give him time to adjust to his new team, and was happy with his latest cameo at the Emirates. Emery’s priority over the summer was increasing the competition for places (Picture: Getty)‘We have different options with big performances. When every player is good to play then perfect. But the way is long, the season is long. Different issues and circumstances are coming for each player. We need to be competitive.‘Last year we lost some points at moments where we didn’t have different possibilities for some matches. This year I prefer to have important players on the bench with the possibility to have good impact after. The team is going to be more competitive, that’s always my idea.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement Unai Emery explains why he benched Nicolas Pepe again for Arsenal’s clash with Burnley Arsenal’s record signing made his first outing at the Emirates (Picture: Getty)‘Pepe’s impact is very good. 45 minutes, he’s with us only two weeks and he needs more to be fully fit,’ said Emery about the Ivory Coast international at his post-match press conference.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘Also, I spoke with him yesterday about how he’s feeling every day with us, how he’s feeling before the match, and he’s feeling progressively better but he needs more [time] and I think today 45 minutes for him was perfect.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityEmery made three changes to his side, with Dani Ceballos, David Luiz and Alexandre Lacazette all coming in and impressing, and the Spanish coach believes the depth of his squad will be key this season.He continued: ‘One thing we wanted to improve is to be competitive in each position in the squad. For example today Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin are out.center_img Comment Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 17 Aug 2019 3:57 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.4kShares Advertisementlast_img read more

Sevilla confirm Uchenna Kanu’s exit

first_imgSevilla revealed through their official website that the Falcons star, Uchenna Kanu, has left the club alongside other players who no longer want to continue with the club. It would be recalled that Kanu has signed two year deal with Swedish Damallsvenskan side Linkopings FC. The full statement from Sevilla reads: “Sevilla FC has confirmed today several of the footballers who will not continue in the women’s first team for the coming season.Advertisement Counting the already known case of Jeni Morilla, there are other soccer players who will not carry the elastic sevillista in the 2020-2021 exercise.” read also:Uchenna Kanu completes deal with Sevilla “Thus, Aldana Cometti, Yanara Aedo, Sabrina Flores, Uchenna Kanu, Claire Falknor, Nadya Karpova and Olga Carmona are the ones who have joined the Coria del Río soccer player so far, Olga having the express desire to say goodbye in the next dates to through this website after having decided to embark on a new professional path. Sevilla FC wants to thank the services provided and wishes them luck in the future.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Loading…last_img read more

Steelers offense clicks in 38-17 win over Titans

first_imgThe offense put together its best game of the season, maybe its best game in two years, as the Steelers soundly defeated the Tennessee Titans 38-17. Now they face the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend. The Steelers dominated from the very first drive to the finish. They marched down the field to make it 7-0 and increased that to 21-3 at halftime. But unlike the past, instead of faltering in the second half they actually played better. The defense came into the game with one main purpose, to shut down the run. Chris Johnson is one of the five best backs in the game, and the Steelers knew that if they shut him down they beat the Titans. Plus they looked old and slow against the run in the two losses, so they were determined to stop the run, even with their two best linemen, Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton, out. And they did just that as the young players stepped up big time. After a 21 yard opening run by Johnson, they held him to just 30 yards for the rest of the game, while keeping Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in check.Ben Roethlisberger tied a team record with five touchdown passes—including two to Hines Ward —and the Steelers rolled past the Titans.Other than a slight limp when he ran, Roethlisberger appeared to have no issues with his sprained left foot, also hitting Mike Wallace, Heath Miller and David Johnson for scores as the Steelers (3-2) ended Tennessee’s three-game winning streak.The five touchdown passes tied a single-game team record Roethlisberger already shares with Mark Malone and Terry Bradshaw.Tennessee’s Johnson ran for a score but finished with only 51 rushing yards on 14 carries as the Titans hot start came to a screeching halt against Pittsburgh’s rejuvenated defense.Roethlisberger was 24 of 34 for 228 yards, with Wallace and Ward being his primary targets. Wallace had 6 catches for 62 yards and Ward had his best game with 7 catches for 54 yards and two touchdowns. Antonio Brown also was impressive returning kicks, putting the Steelers in good field position on just about every possession. He also had two catches for 23 yards.The coaches and players had made it very clear that they would not be able to stop the run until they were able to establish the run. Well they established the run against one of the better run defenses in the league. The running game was the most impressive it has been all season, even with Rashard Mendenhall on the sidelines with an injury. Isaac Redman was extremely impressive as he pounded through the Titans lines for 49 yards on 15, carries and Jonathan Dwyer, who had not dressed the first four games, had 107 on just 11 carries coming off the bench backing up Redman. This was done with a makeshift offensive line because of all the injuries. Max Starks, who had been cut, was brought back to fill in, however, he didn’t just fill in, he started and ended up playing the entire game.Coach Mike Tomlin voiced his views on the game after the game: “It was a good bounce-back week for us, coming off of a loss. It was an appropriate response. I thought we played together today. We played hard in all three phases. We made the necessary plays. We weren’t perfect by any stretch but under the circumstances, you have to like what you saw. From an injury standpoint, we had a number of in-game injuries, which were insignificant. I think the guys are going to be able to come back. I don’t think this will inhibit them from participating this week. That group is James Farrior with a shoulder injury, Heath Miller with a shoulder injury, Maurkice Pouncey with a right knee injury, he’s fine, Hines Ward has a chest injury, but he’s fine; and Isaac Redman had leg cramps. There was only one worth mentioning, and we will look at moving forward and that’s Marcus Gilbert. We will keep an eye on him and see where he is. Again, the guys played up to the standard. That’s what we expect. It’s a good win for us. Hopefully it will provide momentum for us as we move forward. It was a good football team we played today in the Tennessee Titans. It was good to come back and be victorious against a team such as that.”The Jaguars have lost four in a row and eight of nine dating back to last season, putting Coach Jack Del Rio’s future further in doubt.The win kept the Steelers in a tie for second in the AFC North with the Bengals at 3-2 behind the Baltimore Ravens 3-1 who along with the Cleveland Browns 1-4, had a bye week. ALL SMILES—Hines Ward looks on with approval as the Steelers take care of business. (Courier Photo/ John Pablo Duran) last_img read more

Grand Forks dumps coach, wins first of the KIJHL season in dramatic style Friday against Columbia Valley

first_imgBreak out the champagne; the Grand Forks Border Bruins won for the first time in the 2011-12 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season.And the Bruins achieved the victory in dramatic style.Five different players scored to rally the Bruins from a 3-1 deficit en route to a 5-4 win over the Columbia Valley Rockies Friday in Invermere.And Grand Forks achieved feat minus popular head coach Brent Batten, relieved of his duties earlier in the week.Behind the bench for the Bruins was Batten’s assistant Matt Zamec.Tyler Wagner pulled the Bruins even and Brendan Jackson scored the winner with 5:34 remaining in the game to seal win number one of the KIJHL season.Grand Forks, winless in 23 previous games, was the only winless team in the KIJHL before Friday’s monumental victory.Mitchell Nishimura, Austin Lee and Nathan Corey also scored for Grand Forks.Jeremy Mandoli was in goal to record the win for Grand Forks.Saturday, the Bruins were brought back down to earth as Fernie routed Grand Forks 9-1 before suffering a 14-3 shellacking Sunday at the hands of the Golden Rockets.The game concluded a three-game road trip through the Eddie Mountain Division for the Boundary City squad.last_img read more

Centinela hospital is bought by chain

first_imgHEALTH: Inglewood center is now owned by a group known for saving troubled hospitals from financial failure. By Melissa Evans Staff Writer A growing hospital chain that has taken heat for its business practices will assume ownership of the financially strapped Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood today – a deal that surprised everyone from union leaders to county officials to patients. A spokeswoman with the California Association of Health Plans, a trade association representing insurance companies, said its members would be happy to negotiate – as long as consumers aren’t put in the middle. “Our goal is to negotiate fair prices on behalf of our members in order to keep health care costs down for the consumer,” said Nicole Evans, who wasn’t aware of the recent sale. Those in the health care industry are familiar, however, with Reddy. He built Victorville’s Desert Valley Hospital, which received much praise for its quality of care, and quickly acquired eight other hospitals, at least two of which were facing bankruptcy. In addition to Desert Valley, Prime Healthcare owns the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital and Chino Valley Medical Center, which it acquired through bankruptcy proceedings. A controversial deal to buy the struggling Anaheim Memorial Medical Center for $50 million was recently nixed by the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, but Reddy said he still plans to pursue the facility. In its promotional material, Prime Healthcare describes itself as an entity that “purchases and salvages failing hospitals, providing critical patient care access and services” to communities. Despite his hard-line approach with insurance companies, Reddy, along with executives from Centinela, said the sale is a positive development for an area of Los Angeles County that has been left with few health care options following several hospital closures. “This is very good news for us and the community,” said Von Crockett, former CEO of Centinela Freeman Health System, who will take over as CEO of Centinela Hospital Medical Center. Prime Healthcare will invest $20 million immediately to make improvements, including reducing emergency room wait times and increasing capacity to handle the fallout from the closure of Robert F. Kennedy Medical Center in Hawthorne and Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor County Hospital in Willowbrook. Centinela also closed its emergency room at Daniel Freeman Memorial Center in December. The sale appears to be “very good news if they follow through,” said Cathy Chidester, acting director of the county’s Emergency Medical Services Agency, who was unaware of the deal. “Every little bit helps.” Reddy said the hospital will absorb as many emergency patients as possible, which has also been part of his business strategy in the past. Without contracts dictating reimbursement rates, the hospital can charge insurance companies full price for services until the patient is transferred or released. Reddy said it costs a minimum of $2,000 per day, per patient to provide care. Depending on the contract, insurance companies can reimburse less than half of that. Patients who are covered by Medi-Cal, Medicare and those who have PPO insurance won’t be affected by the sale; those with PPO will even have their co-pay waived by the hospital, Reddy said. According to the state’s most recent records, Centinela Hospital Medical Center lost $9 million in 2006. The losses, not unique to Centinela, were due to a number of factors, including the high number of uninsured patients in the Hawthorne/Inglewood area, and poorly negotiated contracts, said Deborah Ettinger, vice president of business development for Centinela Freeman Health System. The system was formed in 2004; physicians and other equity partners chipped in to buy the three hospitals from Tenet Healthcare Corp. Centinela officials made changes to cut costs, including closing the emergency room at Daniel Freeman, streamlining services such as obstetrics and gynecology and reducing administrative overhead – measures that “certainly helped,” Ettinger said. “But it wasn’t enough.” Centinela’s financial situation was no secret, but the announcement of the sale came as a shock to stakeholders who were contacted Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the California Nurses Association, one of two unions that are in the midst of contract negotiations with the hospital, was livid. “This is pretty outrageous,” said Jill Furillo, a union leader. Reddy said contract negotiations with the nurses association and the Service Employees International Union will move forward as planned under the new leadership. The hospital, he said, plans to hold meetings this week with union leaders, along with open forums for doctors, nurses and other employees today and Friday. An extensive outreach plan is set for the coming weeks, officials say. Prime Healthcare representatives touted the chain’s record of providing quality care, and said they plan to invest heavily in the local community. They were under no obligation to reveal details of the sale before it was made public because Centinela is a for-profit corporation. Patients, meanwhile, are confused and worried about the future. The constant changes, including closures and acquisitions, have been stressful and traumatic, said Ross Strange, a Centinela patient who has lived in Inglewood since 1968. “All these promises and promises we citizens have listened to, none of them have come true,” Strange said. “It’s very tiring. I’m thinking not only just for myself, but I’m thinking all the people that will be affected by this.” [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The 369-bed hospital was sold to Victorville-based Prime Healthcare Services Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Two other facilities run by Centinela Freeman Health System – a hospital in Marina del Rey and the Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital in Inglewood – won’t be affected, officials said. Centinela patients won’t be affected immediately, either. Prime Healthcare executives, however, say they will scrutinize contracts with five major HMO insurance providers to see whether the reimbursement rate they pay for services can be renegotiated. If not, the contracts may be cut, which means patients with Blue Cross, Blue Shield or other HMO insurance may not be able to use Centinela for non-emergency care in the future. Dr. Prem Reddy, a cardiologist who founded Prime Healthcare six years ago, said health insurers aren’t paying their fair share, a factor in the financial demise of Centinela and other hospitals. “They are trying to undervalue the services we provide,” Reddy said Wednesday. “They are trying to pay less than the cost.” Insurance companies have vehemently opposed the tactics Reddy uses to renegotiate contracts. last_img read more

Would-be dads: Go for the ice cream

first_imgTHE ICE CREAM DIET: A serving of full-fat ice cream a day not only delights the palate but appears to boost fertility, according to a new book from the Harvard School of Public Health. “The Fertility Diet” says “good” carbs like brown rice and pasta are linked to higher fertility levels, while cold cereal, white rice, potatoes and other “bad” carbs are linked to infertility. Also, that old wives’ tale about eliminating exercise to get pregnant? It’s a myth (but you already knew that). See thefertilitydiet.com. MYSPACE WITH TRAINING WHEELS: Imbee.com (for in-between?) claims to be the first free social network for kids ages 8 to 14. It’s the picture of innocence, with links to videos of a Build-A-Bear Workshop and scenes from the animal kingdom. But its emphasis on celebrity – Hilary Duff is the topic of one dedicated online group – may be a turnoff to some parents. EBAY FOR PARENTS: File this one in the category of brilliant ideas I wish I’d had. It’s called Zwaggle.com and it’s basically eBay without any purchase prices, targeted at parents with too much outgrown kid stuff. Zwaggle users earn points for shipping their stuff to someone who wants it, then use those points to redeem stuff they do need or want. The only money that changes hands is for shipping. It sounds crazy, but the highchairs, baby swings and toys that your child drooled on, pooped on, played with, bit and laughed at are saturated in sentimental value, and it’s hard to just leave them on the sidewalk outside a secondhand store. I love this idea of finding loving homes for well-used baby gear. NANNY CAUGHT ON TAPE: Ouch. This nanny got caught on tape getting abusive when one of her 2-year-old twin charges resisted going down for her nap. Angry dad Brad Roth started NannyAbuse.com to create a forum for parents to get more information. Watch this clip from NBC: http://video.knbc.com/player/?id=192803. Be sure to catch two other inventive nanny watch sites I wrote about last month: LAnannywatch.blogspot.com/ and ISawYourNanny.blogspot.com. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champTOYS AND GENDER: The ladies of “The View” had a fascinating discussion last week about giving feminine toys to boys and masculine toys to girls. That line of talk disintegrated into a shoutfest about children with transgender tendencies, but it brought up some interesting topics. Whoopi and Sherri Shepard really get into over whether a boy should be allowed to dress up in princess garb. See the clip at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=78ND3vqPz90 FOR LAST-MINUTE SHOPPERS: For helpful info for last-minute Christmas shopping, see www.drtoy.com for product-safety tips and holiday gift advice; http://toyinfo.org for toy safety, recent toy recalls and toy use advice; www.toytips.com for product reviews and gift suggestions; and www.cpsc.gov for the latest recall information. For more on work, family and parenting in L.A., go to www.insidesocal.com/momspace/ 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Doubts About Climate Consensus

first_imgSeveral papers make it hard to believe that humans are to blame for climate change, or that scientists even know what is going on.The political hot potato of climate change—held to dogmatically by Big Science but questioned by others—only relates to creation and evolution in terms of the politics of consensus in science. Insights into the thinking of scientists on one can illuminate thinking on the other, because both incur charges of “Denier!” to those who dare to question the consensus. Yet how solid is the consensus on human-caused climate change? Consider some recent news:Angkor Wat’s Collapse From Climate Change Has Lessons for Today (National Geographic). “The powerful civilization was hammered into oblivion by drought and floods, underscoring the connections between climate and people,” this article says. Yet the extensive civilization at Angkor Wat, Cambodia, collapsed long before humans were pumping carbon dioxide into the air, implying that the “connection” is one-way: climate causes people to move. Similar climate collapses are believed to explain the abandonment of many Indian dwellings in the southwestern United States. So how can National Geographic say that today’s civilizations are at fault?“The medieval Khmer were confronted with a period of climatic instability that they had no experience of, and which fully changed the rules of the game that they had been playing for hundreds of years,” said Penny.“A similar scale of challenge is now confronting contemporary communities, as the climate begins to change.”This has led to large uncertainties in modelled estimates of terrestrial carbon storage and carbon cycle–climate feedbacks.Biogeochemistry: Large rise in carbon uptake by land plants (Nature). A team came up with a new proxy for estimating global production of plant life due to warming, an important measure because it involves a feedback loop. Author Dan Yakir is glad, because such measurements can only be taken indirectly. “The potential growth in terrestrial gross primary production (GPP) as a result of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations remains poorly understood,” the Editors say. “This has led to large uncertainties in modelled estimates of terrestrial carbon storage and carbon cycle–climate feedbacks.” How, then, can important measures with such large uncertainties provide any confidence about temperature predictions for the future? And what does this new method imply about the accuracy of previous measures? Those formed the basis for international treaties, like the Paris Climate Accords.Tectonic controls on the long-term carbon isotope mass balance (PNAS). A statement on the Significance of this paper should give one pause. How confident are climate scientists about their numbers?The carbon isotope record has played a major role in reconstructing the oxygen and carbon dioxide content of the ancient atmosphere. However, known oxygenation events are not always reflected in the isotopic record of marine carbonate rocks, while conventional interpretations imply that less organic matter is buried when erosion rates are high, which is hard to explain. Here we show that both issues can be resolved if limestone weathering makes up a proportionately greater fraction of the global carbon cycle at high erosion rates. We argue that the link between carbon isotopes and oxygenation is more tenuous than commonly assumed, and propose a case-by-case reexamination of earth’s oxygenation history.Increased scrutiny of climate-change models should be welcomed (Nature). The Editors of Nature are not waffling on climate change, but they agree that members of the consensus should welcome criticism. A case in point is the so-called climate ‘hiatus’ that caused a bit of “hysteria” when it was announced (see another Nature paper about how a team found a way to ‘reconcile’ the conflicting data within the consensus). The Editors offer this advice from that episode:In the end, the hiatus controversy led to reinvigorated explorations of many mossy crevasses of climate science. This is not a bad thing, and might not have happened without the public (and political) firestorm. The next time something looks odd in climate science — as it surely will — researchers should once again denounce the inevitable and risible attacks for what they are, while welcoming the opportunity to question their own assumptions, sharpen data sets and revisit collective understanding of the underlying processes.Climate skeptics will undoubtedly claim that Nature‘s pompous suggestions here have not been followed, because anyone who asks questions gets shouted down as a science denier.Is it possible for thousands of scientists to be wrong? Absolutely. We don’t take a position on their rightness or wrongness about climate change, but we need to remember that scientists are only fallible people. They are subject to the same foibles as the rest of us: peer pressure, groupthink, the need for money. For a complex subject like climate, there are way too many variables to keep track of. Our contention is that it is not even philosophically possible to interpret climate change trends and predictions without bias – certainly not to the precision the consensus dumps on the public with finger-wagging authority. How much less an even more complex subject as evolution! The ones who should be dubbed ‘anti-science’ are those who make science a god instead of a tool.(Visited 583 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Health meets recreation in a trend that sees gyms giving way to lifestyle centres

first_imgHigh on life: Dancing to Bollywood songs is the zingy way to reduce inchesFor a dank, sweaty place stacked randomly with treadmills, cross trainers and weights, the gym of the early 1990s was an unlikely hotspot for the emerging breed of the health-conscious yuppie.But with the craze showing scant signs,High on life: Dancing to Bollywood songs is the zingy way to reduce inchesFor a dank, sweaty place stacked randomly with treadmills, cross trainers and weights, the gym of the early 1990s was an unlikely hotspot for the emerging breed of the health-conscious yuppie.But with the craze showing scant signs of dying out, the health centres were forced into a facelift – sauna, massage and steam rooms. Even jacuzzis were crammed in to stretch the salubrious experience.It was an expansion that never stalled. In a transition that has edged out its predecessor much like an extinct species, today’s gym is embellished with a flurry of accoutrements designed to lure the laziest of gym rats. So after the workout, one can have a shampoo, blow dry or a hair cut, sip a decaf with wholegrain muffins in the cafe, chill out in the spa, get an oxygen hit, even buy a few paintings while leaving. Gym rat? More like a pampered poodle.Take Moksh in south Mumbai. A beauty salon, cafe, an exercise studio and a spa all rolled into one in 11,000 sq ft of space, it shies away from being the quintessential gym. It also offers pre-film screenings and displays affordable art by famous Indian painters for its members, besides ante-natal and post-natal exercise classes, salsa, Art of Living, yoga and jazz ballet. For those who want an energy boost, there is an oxygen bar.De-stress zone: Relaxing at Moksh in Mumbai can mean time spent at the oxygen bar as much as at yoga, salsa or jazz ballet classesThe new recreation-cum-fitness urge is making gym owners across the metros sit up and herald changes. In cities where distances limit recreation, it is becoming a fad among entrepreneurs to throw in that extra something to attract the fitness-conscious and the uninitiated.Says Swati Bhargava, sales and marketing team, Jay Wellness Centre (JWC) in Kailash Colony, Delhi: “These are no longer just gyms. They are lifestyle centres that address your needs round the clock, operating on flexi-time.” Which means you can walk in for a workout, a breakfast, even a visit to the doctor any time of the day.advertisementIt’s clearly an idea whose time has come. Darshana Gupta, 45, gets restless if she can’t squeeze in her workout every three days, but till only eight months ago, the housewife, unlike most fitness buffs, had not set foot inside a gym. Today, she’s dancing the salsa and shimmying to the latest Bollywood tracks in her Filmy Fit class in order to reduce. She is one of the 3,000 members at Exert, Mumbai, which houses a spa, a salon and a cafe, Injest, under the same roof.Says Anuradha Yusuf, proprietor of Exert: “There is a lot of spillover. Members like to indulge themselves after a workout with a spa package. They also spend time buying sports accessories from the pro shop as much as they enjoy sipping coffee in the cafe.” Gupta, who spends 10-15 hours a week at Exert, says, “I come to the gym to exercise to the Hindi film songs and practise my salsa moves.” She chose from a variety of speciality classes like kickboxing, tae bo, taekwando, kung fu, spinning and power punch on offer in her gym.Health drink: Coffee after a workout is a cool way to unwind at Inch by Inch, MumbaiIn Delhi, 26-year-old businessman Ravish Kapoor spends a good part of his mornings at the JWC, “a gym five minutes from my workplace”. So practically every weekday, Kapoor carries his work clothes and shaving kit to the gym for dressing up after the workout. “I have moved my bathroom in here,” he jests. The centre is conveniently equipped with a salon, sauna, jacuzzi, health cafe, even an underwater gym.The routine also gives him time to catch up with his “buddies” who are also members. To cater to surging desire to be fit more and more gyms and health centres are propping up. So, Inch by Inch – The Body Temple on Mumbai’s Marine Drive has a low-cal cafe with several extra services thrown in, while Qiuses Dynamix, an exercise studio, to offer classes ranging from kickboxing to taekwando. A swimming pool on its multilevel gym for aqua aerobics is the latest lure offered by Zaf in Mumbai, and 02 in Chennai, which started with a gym and a dance floor last year, now has two exercise and dance studios, a health bar and a gallery for art shows.The mushrooming of fitness centres has given rise to a new trend – gym hopping. For Mumbaikar Zarina Mittal, 31, who has changed three gyms in the past nine months, being seen at the latest fitness destination is also an ego massage. “The gym you go to is a style statement. So at Moksh, I am not just exercising but also gossiping, going on shopping sprees, partying at the in-house restaurant and going out with friends formed here.”advertisementSuch luxury does not come cheap. The annual membership at Moksh varies from Rs 30,000 to Rs 60,000 depending on peak/non-peak hours, with free sessions at the oxygen bar and discounts thrown in. The rates are similar at the JWC, and membership includes yoga, aerobics, aqua aerobics classes and “recreational events”. But as Kapoor says, it helps relieve stress and more important, it’s fun. Which seems to be the latest credo fitness centres are living by.-with Methil Renuka in Delhi and Arun Ram in Chennailast_img read more