Bad knees through the ages

first_imgThe average American today is twice as likely to be diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis as in the years before World War II, Harvard scientists say. And the reasons are less clear than you might think.Based on a study of more than 2,000 skeletons from cadaveric and archaeological collections across the United States, a Harvard report is the first to definitively show that knee osteoarthritis prevalence has dramatically increased in recent decades.The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also upend the belief that the disease is a wear-and-tear condition widespread today because people live longer and are more likely to be obese.“Before this study, it was assumed without having been tested that the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis has changed over time,” said first author Ian Wallace, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Daniel Lieberman, the Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences and senior author of the study.“We were able to show, for the first time, that this pervasive cause of pain is actually twice as common today than even in the recent past. But the even bigger surprise is that it’s not just because people are living longer or getting fatter, but for other reasons likely related to our modern environments.”Osteoarthritis affects an estimated one-third of Americans over age 60, and is implicated in more disability than almost any other musculoskeletal disorder.“Understanding the origins of knee osteoarthritis is an urgent challenge because the disease is almost entirely untreatable apart from joint replacement, and once someone has knee osteoarthritis, it creates a vicious circle,” Lieberman said. “People become less active, which can lead to a host of other problems, and their health ends up declining at a more rapid rate.”Wallace and Lieberman think that their study has the potential to change the popular perception of knee osteoarthritis as an inevitable consequence of aging, creating momentum behind efforts to prevent the disease — much like we now do with heart disease.“There are a lot of well-understood risk factors for heart disease, so doctors can advise their patients to do certain things to decrease their chances of getting it,” Lieberman said. “We think knee osteoarthritis belongs in the same category because it’s evidently more preventable than commonly assumed. But to prevent the disease more work needs to be done to figure out its causes.”Knee arthritis is twice as common today as in the mid-20th century says first author Ian Wallace. “It’s not just because people are living longer or getting fatter, but for other reasons likely related to our modern environments.” Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe researchers’ initial goal was to determine how old the disease actually is, and whether it is really on the rise.“There are famous examples in the fossil record of individuals, even Neanderthals, with osteoarthritis,” Lieberman said. “But we thought, let’s look at the data, because nobody had really done that in a comprehensive way before.”Wallace crisscrossed the country to examine skeletons spanning more than 6,000 years to search for a telltale sign of osteoarthritis.“When your cartilage erodes away, and two bones that comprise a joint come into direct contact, they rub against each other, causing a glass-like polish to develop,” Wallace said. “That polish, called eburnation, is so clear and obvious that we can use it to very accurately diagnose osteoarthritis in skeletal remains.”The data Wallace collected was combined with analyses from other researchers, creating a large pool of older individuals from three broad time periods — prehistoric times, early industrial times (mainly the 1800s), and the modern post-industrial era.“The most important comparison is between the early industrial and modern samples,” Lieberman said. “Because we had data on each individual’s age, sex, body weight, ethnicity, and in many cases, their occupation and cause of death, we were able to correct for a number of factors that we considered important covariates. So using careful statistical methods, we are able to say that if you were born after World War II you have approximately twice the likelihood of getting knee osteoarthritis at a given age or BMI than if you were born earlier.”Wallace and Lieberman are now working to identify what factors may be behind the increase. An evolutionary approach has been critical, they said.“Epidemiology typically looks at large cohorts of individuals living today to search for associations between a disease and risk factors,” Lieberman said. “That’s a powerful and valuable method, but it has one critical imitation, which is that the world today is different in many ways from the world in the past, hiding important risk factors that are either no longer prevalent or have become ubiquitous. An evolutionary perspective opens new opportunities to test for associations we might not be able to study in populations like modern-day America.”Ultimately, Wallace and Lieberman hope their work inspires new research aimed at preventing knee osteoarthritis.“Knee osteoarthritis is not a necessary consequence of old age,” Lieberman said. “We should think of this as a partly preventable disease. Wouldn’t it be great if people could live to be 60, 70, or 80 and never get knee osteoarthritis in the first place? Right now, our society is barely focusing on prevention in any way, shape, or form, so we need to redirect more interest toward preventing this and other so-called diseases of aging.”The study was supported with funding from the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation and the American School of Prehistoric Research (Harvard University).last_img read more

Protecting P-town

first_img Landscape rehabilitator Handel proposes adapting pragmatically to sea-level rise And now, land may be sinking The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Cohen has met with local officials to share student ideas and hopes to organize an exhibition of their projects in time for town’s 400th birthday celebration next year. He plans to host another studio on Provincetown’s rising seas incorporating landscape engineering questions that consider how environmental forces will affect the land’s shape, and have students consider how political forces might impact townwide efforts.“My goal was to find models to build on the idiosyncrasy and intricacy of the city,” Cohen said. “I hope this can contribute to the discussion and help people to imagine collective solutions that are cognizant of a character of urban life that isn’t so overridingly planned as to neutralize all of that idiosyncrasy.”The students — many of whom had never been to P-town — were asked to see the town through the eyes of the painters who still flock to the area to capture the wondrous natural light, ocean vistas, and ramshackle architectural charm.“Most of the painters in Provincetown have looked at the architecture a lot, and that’s very moving for us architects because they brought all of those issues of the light and the effervescent character of it, the color of the light, the shadows,” he said. “It’s very romantic. That’s why I’m so passionate about rebuilding it the right way. We can’t have it be cold and aloof.  We’ve got to rebuild it so that the [Edward] Hopper of 100 years from now will paint. That’s what I want.” With two-thirds of the town surrounded by federally protected natural seashore, building has long been tightly confined to the narrow crescent of land facing Cape Cod Bay, creating what Cohen calls an “intimacy” and “spontaneity” town-wide that’s felt most acutely on Commercial Street.Cohen started thinking about how the town could fall victim to a catastrophic weather event and, in a misguided attempt to fortify itself physically or hastily rebuild damaged structures with only functionality as a guide, could lose the unique architectural, cultural, and natural elements that make it so special.“I think for me the trauma of imagining it has so much to do with my love for the architectural character, the particular scale of the city, how coherent and close-knit an experience it is, and the ‘land’s end’ nature of it as a city which has this long tradition as a place of artistic culture,” said Cohen.Wanting to find a way to contribute, Cohen led a studio for GSD architecture students last semester to begin studying how Provincetown might ward off the oncoming seas while still retaining its history and the delicate interplay of the natural and human-made environment.“The architecture, the urban form of the way it is laid out in that natural context, is just so exceptional, and if we’re going to look at the future, we have to hold that in our minds as much as we do the practical questions of contending … with the crises that the rising sea will bring,” he said.Student projects took one of three approaches: attack the water by building on piers or lifts that could be raised and lowered; defend against the water by constructing levees or other short-term barriers to keep it at bay; or retreat from the shoreline to higher ground, moving inland or building towers that rise above water levels.“My goal was that we would do two things,” Cohen said. “We’d go way out there and be very speculative … and also push ourselves … into a long-distant future where the water is quite high and the storm events are repeated and too much to deal with in the way we are now.”Students imagined a new reality that locals would accept — one that integrated P-town’s cultural history, the unexpected juxtapositions of beaches, businesses, and private homes packed cheek-to-jowl, the moments of whimsy and natural beauty next to decay and the risqué — “everything that makes it wonderful.” They then came up with ideas that are “realistic enough” that people can see themselves living there.“The thing I found so fascinating in Provincetown [is] there’s a lot of beautiful buildings,” said Ben Hait, M.Arch. II ’19, who proposed repositioning the harbor and floating buildings out over the water. “But the thing I found most beautiful wasn’t any one building, but rather the relationships between the buildings. And so that became a framework from which to change how I was thinking about design up until that point.”,Traditionally, Hait said, architects design site-specific buildings. “But this is a slightly different context,” he continued. “And so, when you’re designing many buildings, it’s the relationships between them that can come together to form something special or something unusual, and that became the genesis of my project.”“The most remarkable feature of the town is a kind of quaint hyperdensity — the intimacy of neighbors looking into each other’s backyards, kitchens, and even bedrooms and bathrooms. I remember walking down the main thoroughfare and being startled to see somebody in their bed through their street-facing window,” said Ian Miley, M.Arch. AP ’20, who proposed tower-like structures rising from the water’s edge. “This kind of unusual social organization was also complemented by the sense of living in harmony with, but also at the mercy of, the sea and the dune system flanking the town. It was quite apparent how vulnerable P-town is to climatic events, but perhaps surprising to see a kind of celebration and embrace of that precarious situation.”Miley said he found the studio “super successful from a pedagogical perspective,” even though it was admittedly experimental and no one, including Cohen, could precisely predict where things were headed. “We collectively imagined that architecture could take a proactive, as opposed to reactive, stance toward climate change.”Hait agreed, noting that some “very exciting” ideas came out of the studio.“It was a fascinating experience for me as a student because it was different scale of design thinking,” he said. “We are obviously exposed to a lot of curriculum around that idea, but there’s a scale to it [in P-town] that is distinctly architectural.” Transforming the ‘coastal squeeze’ from climate change Provincetown, Mass., has long captivated imaginations and lured souls to the tip of Cape Cod — from the Wampanoag people to the Mayflower Pilgrims who docked there before heading to Plymouth, to Henry David Thoreau, playwright Tennessee Williams, and poet Mary Oliver.Surrounded by expansive natural wetlands and beaches, P-town, as it’s commonly known, was a busy commercial fishing port through the 19th century. It became better known as a Bohemian summer enclave and theater/arts colony through the 1940s, before its rebirth in the 1970s as an idyllic LGBTQ summer mecca that today attracts visitors from around the world.Preston Scott Cohen, Gerald M. McCue Professor in Architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design, readily admits he’s been smitten by P-town since the late 1980s, when he first started visiting regularly. Despite its remote location, the town has a rich architectural tradition and an appreciation for its history, with examples of diverse building styles, from tiny fisherman’s shacks to a Walter Gropius home, that date back to the 1700s.Like many, Cohen has grown sentimental and protective of the town over the years. So when Hurricane Sandy flooded cities and towns along the East Coast in 2012, causing more than $70 billion in damage, he said the prospect of the ocean washing away his beloved oasis became too real.“I was really upset to imagine that these buildings that are quite aged and have so much character would someday be replaced by buildings I would not be happy about or by some kind of rebuilding,” he said. “I didn’t want to imagine this loss of these buildings.”,“My goal was to find models to build on the idiosyncrasy and intricacy of the city.” — Preston Scott Cohen (pictured above) Study suggests mid-Atlantic is getting lower, which may exacerbate effects of sea-level rise Relatedlast_img read more

Professors explore technology’s impact

first_img The panel discussion, titled “Technology: Boon or Bane?” asked four Notre Dame professors to look at the opinions expressed in Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s book, “The World is Hot, Flat and Crowded,” on how modern technology can be utilized for the purpose of the development.  “Before we didn’t think through all the issues and consequences,” he said. “But now we actually talk about good and bad aspects of our technologies. We ask questions we never would have before … we’re moving parallel and thinking about the ethics.” Wolfgang Porod, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Center for Nano Science and Technology, focused his discussion on the idea presented in “Caritas” about the role of faith in technology and the future of human development. “Most companies today have all their worth tied up in the non-tangible aspects, in their patented ideas,” Crawford said. “Patents drive the economy and entrepreneurship but is there such a thing as a good thing in this instance?” Fernando said a push for honesty in society is one of the running themes of “Caritas in Veritate.”  “The Pope certainly endorses technology in the encyclical,” Porod said. “But we have to make decisions in a responsible way, even if we are fascinated by the technology.” “Everything is interrelated to global warming which becomes one of the biggest social issues in the world today,” Fernando said. “Technology seduces us, but we can choose to use it for good or evil,” Porod said. “It’s not technology itself that is bad, it is how we choose to use it.” The opinions of the two men were selected as the focus of discussion because of their relation to this year’s Forum. Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical is the basis for the Forum’s theme of “The Global Marketplace and the Common Good,” and Friedman will be the speaker at the Forum’s signature event next month.  Notre Dame professors of science and engineering attempted to determine what role the ever-expanding field of technology will play in the advancement of the common good at Tuesday’s Notre Dame Forum event at Washington Hall. Gregory Crawford, Dean of the College of Science, discussed the notion of intellectual property and patents and how it applies to both technology and to human development in line with the ideals laid out in “Caritas.” “The Pope and Friedman are very similar in their views but they have very different paths for moving forward,” said Robert Alworth, associate dean of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the colleges of science and engineering, as well as the moderator for the panel, in his opening remarks. “Tonight we will look at the technological challenges posed by both Benedict and Friedman.” Porod addressed Benedict’s belief that the modern fascination with technology may prevent people from turning toward the spiritual world.  Peter Kilpatrick, McCloskey Dean of the College of Engineering, said Friedman dedicated a great deal of time in his book to the reality of global warming and his belief in the cause of climate change on the globe. Kilpatrick pointed out the irony between balancing the two economic beliefs of the two men would lead to an economic model that is beneficial to sustainability.center_img “If you don’t give at least some indication about the dangers of global warming, than no one will pay attention,” Fernando said. “But one of the current problems is that we need to be more honest.” Joe Fernando, professor of engineering and geosciences, focused his talk on Friedman’s idea of a culture of irresponsibility and how Benedict’s views expressed in “Caritas” can be applied to this scheme. “We need to make responsible decisions, but we also need to remember how to trust others to make responsible decisions,” he said. Fernando said in an effort to make people take notice, many scientists did not always give the most valid information in regards to global warming, which added to the culture of irresponsibility Friedman put forward in his book. “Corporate social responsibility will lead to a greater profit and products such as solar-powered cars that are in demand and sell,” he said. “We just need to build corporate social responsibility into the economic model.” “Friedman insists in the book that price, tax and profits are the only way to get the economy moving again,” Kilpatrick said. “This differs from Benedict’s belief that not all corporate leaders are motivated by the bottom line — Benedict believes some have to be motivated by love, justice and compassion.” “If we are to consider everybody to be created under God, that means we must honor their rights, which implies the common good,” he said. “If the Church can keep pushing for this truth … our work will depend on what Benedict calls the ‘culture of life,’ which will lead to integral human development.” Porod said these choices would be the basis for the future of sustainable growth in relation to technological advances. Kilpatrick said Friedman also focused on the methods he thinks need to be employed to stabilize the global economy.  Crawford said in the technological world, a patent allows businesses to have a certain type of monopoly to market their technology and profit. He said the challenge would be how to use technological intellectual properties and find a way to use them to further global development on a much more basic scale. “Friedman said that climate change is human-induced,” Kilpatrick said. “But he accepts the premise that not all people will accept this view. However, he says that he hopes all agree with him when he says the world can’t maintain our current energy consumption rates forever.” Crawford said he believed modern science and technology was doing a better job at looking at the “bigger picture” when balancing modern technological and scientific developments with ethics.  “How do we balance monetary incentive of patents with the common good?” Crawford asked. “Do we have the right to impose restrictions on intellectual properties that could provide answers to world’s problems concerning basic questions of providing food, water and shelter?”last_img read more

Professors implement mindfulness, meditation practices in classrooms

first_imgCommunication studies professors Marne Austin and Terri Russ are redefining learning through their implementation of mindfulness in their classroom setting.Professor Austin said she defined mindfulness as a commitment to always being present in the current moment.“Mindfulness is a practice of presence and of radical presence with each other,” she said. “It means that we must strive to be present to ourselves in our own lives. This requires purposefully slowing down to be here entirely in each moment.”After noticing the negative effects that many cultural trends have had on learning, Austin said she chose to implement mindfulness in her classes.“So often in our culture and society we pride ourselves on business and like to pretend that we are very good at multitasking,” she said. “Studies are showing more and more is that multitasking can’t actually happen effectively. If we are doing multiple things at once it means it’s only getting a fraction of our attention. It’s no wonder that we are losing our connections with each other and the things that we’re doing if we’re only partly present.”Austin uses two main mindfulness practices in her classes: breathing exercises and compassionate listening. These practices allow students to slow down and open themselves up to endless educational possibilities, she said.“In class we start by pausing,” Austin said. “The idea is that there’s nowhere else we’d rather be, nothing else we need to do, except be here and we can trust that we have this inherent brilliance and that we all matter and have something to offer.”Austin said she has noticed a great change in the classroom as a result of these small enhancements.“Students have more courage and feel safe to ask questions,” she said. “The energy shifted. When we were able to divorce our being from the things we said and the questions we asked, then anything could be said and learned.”Russ said she begins classes with what she calls a “mindfulness moment,” often employing use of freewriting.“Just write for the next 10 minutes,” she tells students. “Don’t stop writing. If you don’t know what to write, [then] write ‘I don’t know what to write.’”Professors tend to feel crunched for time to teach everything they need to during class time, so the idea of giving up a few minutes for a mindfulness exercise can seem risky, Russ said. However, Russ said she finds this to be a worthwhile use of class time.“It allows not only for more focused discussion, but also deeper discussion,” she said. “So the cost-benefit analysis of that is that I end up gaining some class time by taking away some class time.”Implementing mindfulness into their daily lives helps students focus outside the classroom as well, Russ said, so long as it doesn’t become another item on an increasingly long to-do list. She said she has even given a keynote address titled “I’m Too Busy to Be Mindful.”“We’re very task-oriented as a society,” she said. “We like our checklists. We like to know exactly what we’re going to do [and] how to get things done. Mindfulness, then, becomes another task. By making it another task, we think ‘I’m too busy to be mindful.’”Mindfulness is said to improve focus and productivity, but Austin and Russ agree that it goes beyond this.Mindfulness‘ positive effects go beyond simply improving one’s focus and productivity, Austin said.“When you start practicing mindfulness, you do it personally because it’s this self-care, but it’s through this that you transform the world around you,” Austin said.Tags: classroom practices, meditation, mindfulness, teaching methodslast_img read more

Budget a mixed bag for courts, PDs, and state attorneys

first_img Budget a mixed bag for courts, PDs, and state attorneys Senior Editor With final budget estimates being received shortly after the 2004 Florida Legislature convened, state court system officials have begun getting preliminary 2004-05 budget figures from the House and Senate.It’s a very mixed picture.Sixth Circuit Judge Susan Schaeffer, chair of the Trial Court Budget Commission, said the Senate budget writers have come up with a good budget for circuit and county courts. But the House, she said, has done an outstanding job.Second Circuit Public Defender Nancy Daniels, president of the Florida Public Defender Association, has the opposite sensation. She’s happy with the Senate budget proposal, but the House version makes deep cuts in public defenders’ personnel and due process costs.Second Circuit State Attorney Willie Meggs, president of the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, said the prosecutors are disappointed that none of the $19 million they wanted to improve staff pay is in either House or Senate budgets. “It’s kind of frustrating when they find $1.2 billion dollars [in unexpected state revenues] and they come out with their budgets and the state attorneys of Florida get nothing,” he said.This is a critical budget year for court-related agencies as the legislature complies with the Revision 7 constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1998. The amendment requires the state to assume much more funding of the trial court system — including for prosecutors and public defenders — from counties, no later than July 1.The amendment envisioned the legislature would phase in the budget changes, but because of tight fiscal years and other priorities, virtually all of the funding shift has been left until this year.The Trial Court Budget Commission estimated because of Revision 7, the state would have to come up with $170 million to replace county expenditures and to meet the amendment’s goal of having equal services throughout the state.Schaeffer said Gov. Jeb Bush proposed about $103 million extra; the initial Senate draft has about $113.5 million; and the House Budget has $141 million. The main difference between the TCBC request and the House proposal is $28.8 million for additional law clerks for circuit court judges. The courts are willing to concede that while the extra clerks would be nice, it’s not necessarily a strict Revision 7 issue and can be addressed in future years, Schaeffer said.If the budget transition had actually occurred over six years, the governor’s budget is at about year two; the Senate is between year three and four, while the House is at the finished product, she said.“I want to thank Speaker [Johnnie] Byrd, R-Lakeland, Rep. [Bruce] Kyle, R-Ft. Myers [chair of the Appropriations Committee], and Rep. [Joe] Negron, R-Stuart, [chair of the subcommittee that oversees judicial appropriations]. This was put together in that chain of command,” Schaeffer said. “I think those leaders had the vision to understand what the amendment to the constitution said and they did what it said.”The Senate Subcommittee on Article V Implementation and Judiciary did the best it could with the money allocated to it by Senate President Jim King, R-Jacksonville, Schaeffer said. The main difference between the House and Senate budgets, she said, is the Senate has little money for mediation, arbitration, hearing officers and masters, and ensuring equity between services among the various circuits.Daniels said priorities were getting state funding for 132 positions in public defender offices that had been funded by counties and paying for due process costs, which were figured at around $22 million.The Senate budget picks up those county-paid positions and has $22 million for due process, she said. The governor’s budget also picked up the county-paid employees and had $7 million for due process, although officials conceded that number would need to be raised when final figures were in.The House budget, however, has much less money.Daniels said the House has only $14 million for due process costs, which might mean that money would run out before the end of the budget year.Of the 132 county-paid positions, the House fiscal plan envisions only picking up 50 of those posts. Plus it would cut 58 administrative positions — mostly receptionists — and 48 technology support jobs.“That’s 172 less people that we would have on our staffs statewide. That’s not a pretty picture,” Daniels said. “The House budget really cuts us to shreds.”Overall, the Senate budget picks up $38 million in costs from the counties, while the House picks up only $21 million.“At this point, unless there’s substantial movement on the House budget and the [budget] conference brings us some relief in due process and excessive caseload positions and administration and technology, we would be devastated,” Daniels said.Meggs said state attorneys think figures have ranged between $20 and $33 million on the costs the state must pick up from the counties for state attorney operations. The best guess is $22 million and it looks like most of that has been included.What has state attorneys disappointed is their priority package of improvements, which carry a $19 million price tag. That would accomplish three things, Meggs said: Replace $7 million in cuts made because of tight budgets in the wake of 9/11; add $9 million to equalize pay among assistant state attorneys; and provide better pay for support personnel.“What we got in the Senate budget was nothing, and what we got in the House budget was equal to the Senate budget,” he said. “We’re working with them and they tell us they may come up with something.”The pay issue, he said, is to address inequities that resulted from a recent law mandating that new assistant state attorneys be paid at least $36,900. The problem is prosecutors hired in the years before the change are at substantially lower salaries, and even with raises these prosecutors still are not up to $36,900. That means more experienced prosecutors are making less than new hires, and that only adds to the turnover problems brought about by low pay, Meggs said.“We lose people to private practice, we lose our people here in Tallahassee to state government. . . we lose people to the legislature,” he said. “Why can they pay more than we pay to retain good lawyers?”The pay incentives for support staff were for the same reason, Meggs said. Secretaries, investigators, and others have had little but minimal annual raises and often leave for better paying jobs elsewhere.At Bar News deadline, there was no indication when each chamber would take up their final budgets. April 1, 2004 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Budget a mixed bag for courts, PDs, and state attorneyslast_img read more

Unai Emery explains why fit-again trio didn’t feature during Arsenal’s 1-0 win against Bournemouth

first_img Comment Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin have both recovered from long-term injuries (Picture: Getty)Emery insisted that Holding and Tierney are fit enough to play in the Premier League after being named on the bench on Sunday but Bellerin needs a little more time to get up to speed.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘Kieran and Rob are closer to playing,’ Emery said after David Luiz had won the game for Arsenal. ‘I think Rob Holding can play 90 minutes with a good performance.‘Now we are also working with David Luiz and Sokratis, but really, I am very happy. He is going to have a chance to play a lot of matches.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‘Kieran Tierney is closer to us, he played on Thursday and today he was on the bench if we needed him. Hector Bellerin needs a little more time, more matches and more training.‘This international break is going to be important for him. I think he will be closer to starting for us in the next matches in the Premier League.’Arsenal fans have been desperate to see more of Holding, Tierney and Bellerin in the first-team, particularly after their impressive outings in the Carabao Cup and Europa League. David Luiz was Arsenal’s match-winner against Bournemouth (Picture: Getty)As well as helping Arsenal keep two clean sheets in their appearances, both Tierney and Bellerin have provided assists while Holding scored in the win against Nottingham Forest.Although Arsenal were not at their best during their victory over Bournemouth, Emery will have been delighted to see his side keep only a second league clean sheet this season.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 City Advertisement Advertisementcenter_img Kieran Tierney was named on the substitutes bench during Arsenal’s win over Bournemouth (Picture: Getty)Unai Emery believes that Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin are all close to featuring in the Premier League after Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Bournemouth at the Emirates.Holding and Bellerin have both been long-term absentees after suffering knee injuries last season while Tierney arrived from Celtic in the summer after having a hernia operation.The trio have all featured in Arsenal’s 5-0 and 4-0 victories over Nottingham Forest and Standard Liege respectively but were not called upon for the visit of Bournemouth. Unai Emery explains why fit-again trio didn’t feature during Arsenal’s 1-0 win against Bournemouth Metro Sport ReporterSunday 6 Oct 2019 6:34 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link7kShareslast_img read more

What is Unai Emery’s best Arsenal XI and why isn’t he playing it?

first_img Comment Advertisement Oliver Young-MylesTuesday 22 Oct 2019 4:31 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.7kShares What is Unai Emery’s best Arsenal XI and why isn’t he playing it? Arsenal suffered their second Premier League defeat of the season against Sheffield United (Picture: Getty)A crisis always seems to be lurking just around the corner for Arsenal and Unai Emery.Had Emery managed to inspire his team to victory at Bramall Lane, Arsenal would have been sitting pretty in third place in the Premier League, just a point back from arguably the most complete team in the competition’s history Manchester City.Alas, just when it looks like Arsenal might just be getting somewhere, a crushing defeat arrives to serve a timely reminder that this team is a long way from the finished article. Sheffield United inflicted a second loss of the campaign on the Gunners and were worthy winners too.AdvertisementAdvertisementIn an era of fan-owned YouTube channels and sack race betting markets, Premier League managers are under more pressure than ever before. Mass hysteria inevitably awaits any defeat, particularly in games such as Arsenal’s on Monday night.ADVERTISEMENT Alexandre Lacazette’s return as a substitute was the one bright spot from Arsenal’s defeat to Sheffield United (Picture: Getty)Although Lacazette’s return to fitness means Aubameyang is more likely to be deployed on the left flank as opposed to through the middle, the Frenchman has the ability to fashion chances for his strike partner and create more room for him by occupying opposition centre-backs.Nicolas Pepe’s form has attracted criticism and a gilt-edged miss against Sheffield United hasn’t done much to dissuade his detractors. The Ivorian’s overall performance at Bramall Lane was actually pretty impressive, though, as he ranked top in Arsenal’s side for dribbles, shots and tackles.Due to Lacazette’s injury problems, Emery hasn’t been able to field Arsenal’s three-most expensive recruits in tandem too frequently. He will hope that now all three are fit and available, Arsenal’s attacking unit might finally click into gear.AdvertisementHow Emery should line Arsenal upMORE: The stats that show Unai Emery is taking Arsenal backwards after dismal Sheffield United defeatIs Unai Emery the right man for Arsenal?Yes0%No0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultscenter_img Advertisement Kieran Tierney was an unused substitute at Bramall Lane on Monday night (Picture: Getty)Arsenal’s best right-back has also not been involved in the league yet, with Hector Bellerin being eased back in gently after rupturing his ACL in January. Bellerin did come through 90 minutes against Standard Liege unscathed, though, and unlike Calum Chambers (a centre-back) and Ainsley Maitland-Niles (a midfielder) is a natural right-back.In the middle, meanwhile, the clamour for Rob Holding’s inclusion is also growing louder. Holding has played alongside Tierney and Bellerin against Forest and Standard Liege but has also been held back for Premier League matches, being named on the bench for the last three matches.AdvertisementAdvertisementAlthough David Luiz has shown signs of improvement following a shaky start, Sokratis Papastathopolous has been even less convincing this season than he was during his debut campaign and Holding warrants a run in the side at his expense.The Granit Xhaka conundrumArsenal possess a number of talented midfield players but so far this season, Emery has struggled to strike the right balance. Part of the problem is the continued use of Granit Xhaka who, rather confusingly, is both ill-suited to Emery’s tactical demands and an ever-present fixture in the team.Xhaka’s leadership qualities are reportedly excellent and he clearly holds sway in the dressing room after being voted captain at the start of the season, but he has never fully convinced in Arsenal’s midfield due to his lack of mobility and maddening tendency to gift goals to opposition teams. Arsenal fans are starting to turn on Unai Emery following the defeat to Sheffield United on Monday (Picture: Getty)Emery has teetered on the brink a few times during his Arsenal career but the loss at Bramall Lane seemed to be a watershed moment with more supporters than ever before seemingly boarding the #EmeryOut bandwagon.Chief complaints about Emery among Arsenal’s increasingly discontented supporters are in regards to his muddled tactics and surprising team selections, such as regularly fielding three defensive-minded central midfielders and not using his fully-fit £25m left-back.The continued omission of Mesut Ozil has also split opinion but with Emery now having a fully-fit squad to choose from – aside from Reiss Nelson who is out with a knee injury – what is Arsenal’s best available starting line-up?Time for Tierney?A long-term problem area for the Gunners. Arsenal have kept only two clean sheets in the Premier League this season and showcased their age-old vulnerability from set-pieces against Sheffield United in their previous outing.Emery has stuck with a back-four throughout his second season so far but his decisions over personnel have been increasingly scrutinised. Kieran Tierney, a deadline day signing from Celtic, is yet to feature in the Premier League despite making his Arsenal debut a month ago against Nottingham Forest.The Spaniard hinted that Tierney would be involved against Sheffield United, but instead, he went with Sead Kolasinac on the rationale that the Bosnian hasn’t warranted being dropped. Be that as it may, Tierney is the better long-term option at left-back and integrating him sooner rather than later should be high on Emery’s to-do list. Granit Xhaka is Arsenal’s captain but his recent form but he has struggled for form so far this season (Picture: Getty)Another of Emery’s favourites is Matteo Guendouzi with the 20-year-old Frenchman clocking up the fourth-highest number of minutes in Arsenal’s squad this season. Unlike Xhaka, Guendouzi has been in excellent form and is fast-becoming Arsenal’s most influential man in the middle.One player who seems to have fallen way down the pecking order is Lucas Torreira, who has faded following an exceptionally bright start to life in north London. The battling Fray Bentos native has been used in an unfamiliar advanced role during his cameo displays thus far, but a deeper position certainly suits him far more.Although Emery has predominantly fielded a 4-3-3 formation this season, Arsenal’s creativity vacuum from central midfield means a switch to a more attacking 4-2-3-1 system must soon be on the cards, with either the out-of-favour Ozil recalled or Dani Ceballos instated in the No.10 position.AdvertisementLacazette’s timely return to fitnessOne thing that has been painfully obvious at the start of this season is how reliant Arsenal are on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabonese striker has returned a healthy seven goals from his nine Premier League outings, contributing towards 54 per cent of Arsenal’s overall tally.That Aubameyang is only just behind Sergio Aguero and Tammy Abraham in the top scorer stakes is remarkable given how starved of service he has been most matches, as was painfully highlighted against Sheffield United when he mustered just one blocked shot in 90 minutes.Emery needs to discover a way to get the ball to Aubameyang in dangerous areas and the inclusion of either Ozil or Ceballos should help in that regard. So too should the return to fitness of Alexandre Lacazette after his run-out as a substitute against Sheffield United.last_img read more

The great Aussie dunny lives on

first_imgQUU’s Michelle Cull inside one of the restored dunnies. Picture: SuppliedMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours agoQUU, which has been shortlisted for a PRIA award for its Great Australian Dunny Search, has found a way to ensure the humble outdoor dunny continues to be celebrated, creating a special Looseum at the Luggage Point Sewage Treatment Plant in Brisbane.“The backyard dunny is such a great Aussie icon and we wanted to preserve this important piece of history before it disappeared.” Kids playing cricket with a 100-year-old backyard dunny used as wickets. Delilah Williams bowls to Finn Crawford-Clayton as Dexter Williams and Ida Mellows do the fielding. Picture: AAP Image/Mark Calleja.ITS occupants have been spooked by redback spiders, snakes and even canetoads springing out of nowhere, but the humble outdoor dunny has found a way to live on.According to Queensland Urban Utilities, Brisbane homes were still using outside dunnies right through until the early 1970s.Spokeswoman Michelle Cull told The Courier-Mail that it was an important reminder of just how far Brisbane had come in the past 40 years.“Brisbane was sewered quite late compared to other major cities,” she said. “We still had thunderboxes up until late 1960s and early 1970s.” On the market for $220,000 is 33 Hodgson St, Maryvale which has an outside septic loo set up in the traditional dunny style building.“I think most people are quite happy to see a flushing inside toilet. The vast majority now are indoors and people that do still have them have converted them to toolsheds and the like. Some people are just keeping them because they love them. It’s a piece of history.”QUU has about 500,000 properties in its service region stretching from Brisbane to Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley and Somerset, though the number of actual flushing toilets may be much more. “A lot of homes have two or three toilets,” Ms Cull said. A 2.91ha backyard built for entertaining atSouth Isis near Childers is on the market for $690,000 complete with an entertainment house and its own separate outdoor dunny.“We had lots of really funny dunny stories about night soil men, we heard about pranks paid on parents, scary trips to the dunny in the middle of the night. We then set about rescuing an restoring a number of dunnies, three in particular that we restored through the Men’s Shed at Wynnum-Manly.”Despite all the goodwill, Ms Cull does not believe backyard dunnies in their old form will ever make a comeback. Follow Sophie Foster on Twitter Stunning picture of dunnies lined up in backyards of housing commission houses at Norman Park in Brisbane.circa 1950. Picture: Supplied“In those days people had to walk right down the backyard, they often used old newspaper for toilet paper, put sawdust in after they did their business and then once a week the pans would be collected by the nightsoil men. Someone had to do it. It’s really not that long ago.”center_img MORE: Lounge aquatica Three dunnies restored as part of the Great Backyard Dunny Search now sitting pretty at Australia’s first Looseum. Picture: SuppliedThey launched a nationwide appeal, and received over 200 submissions from across the country of dunnies surviving in backyards.“We flushed out lots of dunny history. We uncovered more than 120 still standing across Australia. Some of them are still being used, but as tool sheds, chicken coops, though there was also the rare dunny still in use.” QLD home built into the mountain Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:51Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:51 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p432p432p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenStarting your hunt for a dream home00:51last_img read more

U.S. judge approves Fieldwood’s plan to exit bankruptcy

first_imgA judge at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston has approved Fieldwood Energy’s prepackaged reorganization plan aimed at reducing the company’s debt by $1.6 billion and raising funds to take over Noble Energy’s deepwater Gulf of Mexico assets.Fieldwood and its subsidiaries on February 15 filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas as part of a “prepackaged” chapter 11 case.The oil company’s unique restructuring plan entails reducing debt by approximately $1.6 billion, raising capital of approximately $525 million through an equity rights offering, and acquiring all deepwater oil and gas assets of Noble Energy for a total value of $710 million.The proceeds from the rights offering will be used to fund the acquisition, fund the costs and expenses of the Chapter 11 cases, and for general working capital after emergence from Chapter 11.On February 16 the court scheduled a combined hearing to consider the approval of the company’s reorganization plan for April 2, 2018.Come April 2 and the Bankruptcy Court held the confirmation hearing where Judge David R. Jones confirmed and approved Fieldwood’s reorganization plan.All objections to confirmation of the plan have been withdrawn, waived, or otherwise resolved.Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Fieldwood seeking comment and further details about the company’s next step in restructuring. Matt McCarroll, Fieldwood’s President and CEO, commented: “Our goal going into this process was to fix our leverage and liquidity issues while continuing to honor commitments to all of our business partners, vendors, employees, government agencies, and other stakeholders. The Plan of Reorganization confirmed by the Court yesterday achieves all of those objectives, and the fact that only 45 days elapsed from filing to confirmation is a testament to the incredible commitment and effort by all parties involved to achieve that result.”Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more