Guru who sparked global yoga craze dies aged 95

Indian yoga exponent BKS Iyengar.
Indian yoga exponent BKS Iyengar.

BKS Iyengar, the Indian yoga guru credited with helping to fuel a global explosion in the popularity of the ancient spiritual practice, died on Wednesday aged 95, his website said.

Iyengar started his yoga school in 1973 in the western city of Pune, developing a unique form of the practice that he said anyone could follow.

He trained hundreds of teachers to disseminate his approach, which uses props such as belts and ropes to help novice practitioners achieve the poses.

He wrote many books on yoga, which has been practised in Asia for more than 2,000 years, and has in recent decades become hugely popular around the world.

His insistence on perfecting the poses – or asanas – won him a huge following, among them celebrity fans ranging from the cricketer Sachin Tendulkar to the writer Aldous Huxley.

It was an encounter with the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, who came across Iyengar during a trip to Mumbai in the 1950s, that prompted his move to take his practice global.

“Perhaps no one has done more than Mr. Iyengar to bring yoga to the West,” said the New York Times in a 2002 profile of the guru.

Source: AFP


Tags: yoga and bks iyengar

Fifa reject Barca appeal on transfer ban

Barcelona have failed in their appeal to lift a transfer ban imposed by Fifa.
Barcelona have failed in their appeal to lift a transfer ban imposed by Fifa.

Barcelona have been banned for two consecutive transfer windows after an appeal was rejected by Fifa.

The Catalans were found guilty of breaching rules regarding the transfer of under-age players in April and banned from the transfer market for 14 months.

While the ban was suspended for the appeal process, football's world governing body have upheld their original ruling and fined Barcelona 450,000 Swiss francs ($616,640) while getting their house in order.

A statement on Fifa's official website read: "The Fifa appeal committee has decided to reject the appeals lodged by Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF) and to confirm in their entirety the decisions rendered by the Fifa disciplinary committee in the respective cases relating to the protection of minors.

"As such, FC Barcelona is to serve a transfer ban which will see the club prevented from registering any players at both national and international level for two complete and consecutive transfer periods, starting with the next registration period (January 2015) given that the appeal of the club had been granted suspensive effect by the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee.

"FC Barcelona has also been ordered to pay a fine of 450,000 Swiss francs and been given a period of 90 days from today in which to regularise the situation of all minor players concerned.

"Meanwhile, the RFEF has been ordered to pay a fine of 500,000 Swiss francs and granted a period of one year in which to regularise their regulatory framework and existing system concerning the international transfer of minors in football.

"The terms of the decisions taken by the Fifa appeal committee were communicated to FC Barcelona and the RFEF today."

Source: Fifa

Watch Sergio Ramos' sly punch on Mandzukic

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos appears to punch Atletico Madrid Mario Mandzukic in the first leg of their Spanish Super Cup tie.
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos appears to punch Atletico Madrid Mario Mandzukic in the first leg of their Spanish Super Cup tie.

Sergio Ramos might be an excellent defender, but discipline hasn't been one of his strong suits.

Having received a club record 19 red cards during his nine-year career at Real Madrid, the 28-year-old was up to his old tricks again during the first leg of Real Madrid's Spanish Super Cup tie with Atletico Madrid.

After being flattened by Mario Mandzukic during an aerial duel, Ramos appeared to exact a little revenge with a sneaky little jab to the Croat's face as he tried to get up.

While the Spaniard tried to brush it off as an accident, it's hard to give Ramos the benefit of the doubt with his history of ill-discipline.

Watch the clip above and see for yourself if Ramos intended to punch Mandzukic or not.

Sources YouTube, 101GreatGoals

Do you think this human barbie is all natural? She claims she is

Lolita Richi is the newest 'human barbie' on the block and claims she got the look without plastic surgery, dieting or photoshop.
Lolita Richi is the newest 'human barbie' on the block and claims she got the look without plastic surgery, dieting or photoshop.

Just like Barbie, she boasts an improbable 20-inch waist and a 32F bra size.

The 16-year-old Lolita Richi also wears contact lenses to emphasise her doll-like beauty.

Not only is she laying claim to being the youngest 'Human Barbie' out there, the Ukrainian teen also says it's all natural.

That's right - she is saying that she was born with such a figure. 

No plastic surgery, no photoshop and no dieting. Sure.

Richi says: "I had great features to start with and I just improved on them."

She wears special contact lenses that give her a wide-eyed, innocent look that is seen in dolls.

She also adds: "My big breasts are natural although I sometimes wear a push-up bra to enhance them.

"I have a gorgeous figure so I don't even have to diet. I just eat whatever's available in the fridge whether that's sausages or fruit."

What do you think? Natural or not?

Source: Mail Online

Ceremony to honour MH17 victims, as remains arrive in M'sia on Friday

20 Malaysian victims of the tragic MH17 crash will arrive home in an official ceremony in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Friday (Aug 22).

The remains of 20 Malaysian victims of the MH17 tragedy will arrive in Malaysia on Friday (Aug 22).

A ceremony marking the arrival of the remains will be held at the Bunga Raya Complex in Kuala Lumpur International Airport. 

The 20 victims will arrive in Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.

The country will come to standstill as the nation observes a minute of silence at about 10.45am, reported the The Malaysian Insider

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said 17 bodies will be brought back in coffins together with the ashes of the cremated three in urns.

Hishammuddin Hussein also said the federal government would invite all MPs to attend the ceremony marking the arrival of the remains.

The Boeing 777​ aircraft was carrying a total of 298 people before it was struck down while flying over a territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists last month.

The Defence Minister said Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah has agreed to attend the function at which the final salute will given to the victims while the Sultan of Perak Paduka Seri Sultan Nazrin will attend the function in Ipoh where remains of some of the victims will be flown for burial.

Astro Awani revealed that the "full list of the victims to be brought home will be announced tomorrow".

Sources: The Malaysian Insider and Astro Awani

Photos: Reuters

Tags: MH17, victims and malaysia

Landslide buries homes, kills at least 18 people in Japan

This aerial view shows policemen and rescue workers looking for survivors at a landslide site after heavy rains hit the city of Hiroshima, western Japan, on August 20.
This aerial view shows policemen and rescue workers looking for survivors at a landslide site after heavy rains hit the city of Hiroshima, western Japan, on Aug 20.

At least 18 people were killed and another 13 were still missing after a huge landslide engulfed homes in western Japan, the government said on Wednesday.

Dozens of houses were buried when a wall of mud thundered down a hillside in Hiroshima overnight, television pictures showed, as rescuers scoured the scene for any signs of life.

“According to the National Police Department, the death toll has reached 18 while 13 others are unaccounted for,” an official at the disaster management office of the Cabinet Office said.

The number of dead rose rapidly from an initial toll of four, although emergency services said it was too early to tell exactly how many people had lost their lives.

“We haven’t assessed the full extent (of the disaster) yet,” said a spokesman for Hiroshima’s fire department.

Rescuers said the victims included a two-year-old child and a 77-year-old woman.

Another emergency services spokesman said several more people were missing, although the number was not yet confirmed.

There are “several spots where people are supposed to be buried alive, and we still don’t know how many people are missing", he told AFP.

At least two reports said a 53-year old rescue worker died during the operation when the hillside collapsed again.

It was not clear if this man’s death was included in the overall toll and there was no immediate confirmation of the reports.

Aerial footage showed several houses buried by sludge, their wooden frames splintered by the weight of the mud.

Torrents of brown water ran off mountains behind the homes and through the wrecked buildings, hampering rescuers’ efforts as they searched for anyone still trapped.

Japanese troops were deployed in response to a request from the local government.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said there would be a sizeable response.

“I have ordered (government officials) to carry out the rescue operation in an integrated manner, aware of the possibility of further rain,” he told reporters in Tokyo.

“I also ordered them to raise the number of Self-Defense Force (military) personnel to several hundred in order to strengthen rescue operations,” he said, adding he would be sending one of his ministers to the site.

Photos: AFP

Japan’s weather agency warned more heavy rain is on the way to the area, raising the risk of further landslides in places where tonnes of mud have already been displaced.

The archipelago has been battered in recent weeks by unusually heavy rain that has sparked a number of smaller landslides and several floods, some of which have claimed lives.

Despite widespread concreting to shore up hillsides, mountainous and densely populated Japan is prone to this kind of disaster.

In October last year, dozens of people were killed when the torrential rains of a passing typhoon triggered large landslides on the island of Oshima, south of Tokyo. - AFP


Tags: Japan, lanslide and rescue

Game of Thrones 'The Mountain' crowned the strongest man in Europe

Screenshot of man-mountain, Hafthor Bjornsson, celebrating after the Atlas stones event.

The actor who plays the Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane in HBO's Game of Throne is not only the strongest man in fictional Westeros, he was recently also given the title of strongest man in Europe.

Hafthor Bjornsson, 25, vanquished his other competitors to emerged victorious at the 2014 Europe's Strongest Man competition earlier this month in Leeds..

Not only that, the man who is able to deadlift 450kg, gave a post-match interview to end all post-match interviews.

When the reporter approached him right after the Atlas stone event, she was in for a surprise.

He avoided her question on how the event was different from other Atlas stone events and declared his rule over all stones. 

If you did not get that, this is what he said: "I am the future of strength and I am King of the stones! ARGGH!"

What it actually means is that he is probably really happy that he won the competition. 

We're guessing.

Anyway, congratulations, Mountain!

Source: Vine, Uproxx, YouTube

Want a healthier heart? Be nice to your neighbours

A research study found that having good relations with your neighbours will lead to a reduced risk of a heart attack.
A research study found that having good relations with your neighbours will lead to a reduced risk of a heart attack.

If you needed another reason to be friendly to your neighbours, here's a pretty good one.

A study found that those who know and trust their neighbours are less likely to have heart attacks.

Researchers found that people have a reduced risk of a heart attack if they are more socially acquainted with the neighbourhood.

The participants of the study, which was published earlier this week, were asked questions that gauged their sense of belonging in the neighbourhood.

They were also asked if there were people in the neighbourhood who would help them if they were in trouble.

It was soon apparent that those who trusted the people in their area more would experience the positive health effects.

"Greater perceived social support - one's perception of access to social support - has been linked with better cariovascular health," wrote researchers.

So next time you decide not to flash a smile at your neighbour, or hold the elevator door for them... think twice. 

Source: Huffington Post

GALLERY: Rope jumping in Greece for the adrenaline junkies

Lukas Michul, a member of the 'dream walker' group jumps from atop the rugged rocks overlooking the azure waters of Navagio beach in Greece.
Lukas Michul, a member of the 'dream walker' group jumps from atop the rugged rocks overlooking the azure waters of Navagio beach in Greece.

Rope jumping is probably one of the more scarier activities to do.

And yet a certain group of daredevils have made it their mission to climb and jump at some of the most beautiful places in the world.

Rope jumping is part diving, part rock climbing, with a touch of engineering.

Dream Walker, is a project where people dream jump in 80 places with the most ravishing nature and architecture.

They've already been to the Navagio Beach, one of the Greece's most renowned leisure spots on the popular tourist island of Zakynthos on June 23.

They plan to stage their next leaps at a cave complex in Croatia, a French viaduct, skyscrapers in Las Vegas and Johannesburg, and the Grand Canyon.

Photos: AFP

Sources: AFP, Metro

Tags: greece, rope, jump, climb and travel

Hitch-hiking robot survives trip across Canada

hitchBot sitting on the shoulder of Highway 102 during its 6,000 km cross country journey.

The talking robot, hitchBot  that set out to travel across Canada one hitchhike at a time has completed its journey last Saturday (Aug 16).

HitchBot , assembled from household odds and ends, is part of a social experiment to see if humans trust robots.

Tracked by GPS, he was left by the side of the road near Halifax airport, by his co-creators Dr David Smith from McMaster University and Dr Frauke Zeller from Ryerson University and he was offered his first ride moments later and thus began his epic journey across Canada, reported Canadian media outlet, The Star.

Throughout the 6,000 km travelled, hitchBot relied only on the kindness of strangers to complete the journey which eventually ended in Victoria, in the Western part of Canada.

"Our aim is to further discussion in society about our relationship with technology and robots, and notions of safety and trust," said Dr Zeller

She said: "It cannot achieve its task of hitchhiking across Canada without the help of people, because it cannot move by itself."

Judging from the pictures being shared online, hitchBot has shown that not only can robots can trust humans but they can also be fast friends.






How is he going to celebrate completing the journey?

By thanking all of "hosting" an event to thank his fans on Thursday (Aug 21).

Congratulations,​ hitchBot.

Source: AFP, The Star

Tags: Canada and Hitchbot