Rosberg aims to strike back in Monaco

January 28th, 2019 / / categories: 深圳桑拿网 /

Rosberg’s fourth successive second place, after winning the Australian season-opener, left him three points behind Hamilton and ‘gutted’ at the loss of the overall Formula One lead for the first time this year.


One more lap at the Circuit de Catalunya might have seen the German pass Hamilton, who took the chequered flag just 0.6 of a second ahead after being chased to the line, but he was more concerned about the start than the finish.

“It’s a bit of a weakness that we have at the moment,” Rosberg said of his getaway from second place on the grid with Hamilton on pole.

“Just inconsistent and now I’ve had a couple of bad starts in a row. Actually, three bad starts in three races. And that’s costly…need to work on that.”

Qualifying and a quick start is even more crucial in Monaco, where overtaking is extremely tricky on the tight and twisting streets – particularly if the man in front is your team mate with the same equipment.

Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff, who again assured the fans that his two drivers would be allowed to race freely, said the team were working hard to resolve Rosberg’s problem.

“It seems to be a problem related to the clutch,” he told reporters.

“That is a special project of ours. We expected some improvement for Barcelona which didn’t kick in as expected and we just need to sort it out for Monaco because that’s crucial there. We discussed it in the debrief right now.”


Rosberg won in Monaco last year and the German knows every kink, kerb and corner of what amounts to a home race in a principality he grew up in as son of 1982 champion Keke.

“Lewis did a great job the whole weekend and was just that little bit ahead,” he said on Sunday. “But there’s a lot of positives for me to take out of it.

“I’m fully motivated to just try to get that little bit extra and to edge him out next time – and it’s do-able.”

Hamilton’s failure to finish in Australia cost the 2008 champion heavily and consistency has been Rosberg’s ace, with the pair still barely apart in the standings despite the Briton’s four wins to the German’s one.

With double points on offer for the final race in Abu Dhabi, a first that has not gone down well with fans who decry the change as a gimmick, there is everything to play for.

Even if no driver has ever won four races in a row and not gone on to take the title that year, there is always a first time for everything.

While ‘gutted’ to lose out again in Spain, Rosberg left no doubt he had the mental fortitude to battle against a rival he has known and raced against since they were teenage team mates in go-karts.

“Break me down mentally ? I think he will struggle with that one,” he said. “He has the momentum. There is no way round that. I have to try to break it.”

Wolff, who introduced a sports psychologist to the team last month, agreed Rosberg was completely focused.

“We have seen in the past that you can win championships with three wins if you just keep scoring and I guess he knows that,” said the Austrian. “He’s such a competitive and tough personality who has no problems with coping with that situation.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Julien Pretot)


Honeymoon murder case postponed

January 28th, 2019 / / categories: 深圳桑拿网 /

British millionaire businessman Shrien Dewani has appeared briefly in a South African court, where his lawyers successfully argued he was not yet fit to stand trial for the murder of his Swedish bride.


Dewani, 34, wearing a dark suit and tie, glanced nervously around in the dock on Monday as his lawyers said psychiatrists had told them Dewani had been co-operative but lacked the ability to concentrate for any length of time.

“I am informed that he has been fully co-operative and that his condition has improved,” lawyer Francois van Zyl told the court.

“We have been told by treating psychiatrists not to consult with him for longer than 30 minutes at a time.”

He said they hoped further improvement would mean that Dewani would be able to “instruct us properly”.

The judge president of the Western Cape high Court, John Hlope, ordered Dewani to appear in court again on June 20.

He was remanded in custody at the Valkenberg psychiatric hospital, where he has been receiving treatment since being extradited from Britain last month.

Dewani, who returned to Britain shortly after his wife’s murder, had fought his extradition for three years, claiming he had mental health problems including depression and post-traumatic stress.

If he is not found fit to face trial within 18 months, he will be returned to Britain under the terms of his extradition.

Dewani denies ordering the killing of his 28-year-old bride Anni in Cape Town in November 2010.

He claims the couple were hijacked at gunpoint during their honeymoon as they drove through the Gugulethu township in a taxi.

Dewani escaped unharmed, but his wife’s body was found in the abandoned car the next day. She had been shot dead.

Prosecutors allege Dewani hired South African Xolile Mngeni to kill Anni. Mngeni was jailed for life for the murder in December 2012.

Two other men also jailed over the killing allege that Dewani ordered the hit.

The prosecution is expected to argue that Dewani is gay and plotted to have his wife killed to escape an arranged marriage that he was pushed into by his family.

The South African Sunday Times quoted sources close to the investigation as saying that one of the prosecution’s main witnesses would be a “master” in sado-masochism from Britain who will claim that Dewani paid him for sex.

The case sparked outrage among South Africans who accuse Dewani of callously using the country’s reputation for violent crime to murder his wife in the belief that he would get away with it.


Hayne lifts Eels to impressive victory

January 28th, 2019 / / categories: 深圳桑拿网 /

Jarryd Hayne and Chris Sandow have inspired Parramatta to a 42-24 win over Cronulla in an action-packed NRL clash at Pirtek Stadium on Monday.


The pair scored three tries between them, with one of Hayne’s a contender for the season’s best as the Eels secured their fifth win of the season – matching their total for last year.

Cronulla’s disappointing evening was compounded by an early injury to Andrew Fifita with the NSW prop limping off with ankle syndesmosis early in the game which could potentially rule him out of the NSW side for the State of Origin opener on May 28.

Eels winger Semi Radradra opened the scoring after four minutes when he latched on to a bullet-like pass from Hayne.

But the Sharks hit back immediately with a Sosaia Feki try converted by Michael Gordon.

Wade Graham then showed some brilliant soccer skills by chipping Jeff Robson’s grubber-kick over the head of two Eels defenders then regathered to score.

However, that moment of magic was eclipsed by Hayne midway through the opening stanza with the superstar fullback stepping past five players to power his way over the line.

Will Hopoate appeared to have restored the Eels’ lead but the video referee backed the decision of the on-field officials to deny the try despite the centre looking to have grounded the ball.

But the Eels’ dismay was short-lived with Sandow hauling in his own chip and chase to score under the posts before winger Ken Sio increased the hosts’ advantage before half time.

The Sharks were much improved in the second period despite Hopoate’s try for the Eels just after the restart.

Graham looked to have scored his second when he drove his way to the line following a Robson pass, but the video referee infuriated the Sharks by denying his effort, deeming he’d lost control of the ball.

Inspired by a brilliant run and pass from skipper Paul Gallen, Isaac De Gois did get on the scoresheet for the visitors with Gordon’s kick closing the gap to 28-18.

However their hopes of a come-from-behind win were ended by Willie Tonga’s 90 metre intercept try in the 63rd minute. And despite Gordon keeping his side in touch with a four-pointer, Sio grabbed his second following some good work from the impressive Hopoate.

Fittingly, Hayne had the final word, racing almost the length of the field after a sloppy Blake Ayshford pass went to ground.

Despite the win, Eels coach Brad Arthur was upset at the manner of his side’s defending and said they have little chance of progressing to the finals this year unless they tighten up.

“Defence wasn’t good enough and moving forward if we want to be taken seriously we’ve got to be better,” Arthur said.

“We were ordinary through the middle, we did some good things with the ball but we have to learn to play for 80 minutes.”

However, Arthur was pleased with the contribution of Hayne and said his performance was his best of the year.

“He showed a lot of leadership qualities tonight,” Arthur said.

“His shoulder’s not 100 per cent … but he’s got to play with pain.

“He played tough tonight and he got the footy and ran and that’s what we need him to do.”

Sharks coach Peter Sharp said his side let themselves down with their first half effort and had no complaints with the loss.

“Parra were good tonight, but we made too many errors to compete at this level,” Sharp said.

“We kicked poorly and made poor decisions with or without the footy.”

A string of doping cases, headed by last month’s positive EPO test returned by Boston and Chicago marathon winner Rita Jeptoo, has raised questions about the level of testing in the country that has dominated distance running for decades.


An ideal physiology, training at altitude, running to school and a desperate motivation to escape poverty through athletics success are routinely trotted out as some of the reasons behind Kenya’s astonishing performances.

But now, particularly in the wake of Jeptoo’s positive test, people are looking with new eyes.

For Bedford, London Marathon’s head of international relations and a former 10,000 metres world record holder, it is a sad state of affairs but one with a brighter side.

He held a media conference call on Thursday to discuss the first race between world record holder Kimetto and Kipsang, the man whose mark he smashed last September and the reigning London marathon champion.

They head an April 26 field including eight men who have run under two hours five minutes — six of them Kenyan — yet Bedford was forced to discuss the way that doping has emerged in the country and in marathon running after previously largely being restricted to the track.

“We have been aware through rumour for a little while that there were problems in Kenya and I suppose the most shocking thing we’ve seen is the Rita Jeptoo situation,” Bedford said.

“As an event we’ve had quite an extended period of being relatively unaffected by this scourge in comparison to other events.

“But London Marathon and the Marathon Majors are at the centre of ensuring that there is adequate testing and that anyone who is found cheating will not be welcome back at any of our events.

“I believe that a lot of this is about a lack of education in Kenya, with athletes not fully understanding the implications, and in some ways I actually feel heartened that we are on the verge of an opportunity for increased testing with elite marathon runners and increased penalties for those who are caught.”

(Editing by Justin Palmer)

The Portuguese was furious with Taylor after he booked Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas for diving in the Dec.


28 match.

Mourinho said the referee’s failure to award a penalty was a scandal and that he should be ashamed.

He added that his team were being unfairly targeted in a campaign waged against them after Fabregas became the fifth Chelsea player to become involved in a row over diving in a matter of weeks.

The Spaniard, though, appeared to be tripped by Southampton defender Matt Targett in the penalty area.

“In other countries where I have worked, tomorrow in the sports papers it would be a front-page scandal because it is a scandal,” said Mourinho.

“It is not a small penalty, it is a penalty like Big Ben. In this country, and I am happy with that, more than happy with that, we will just say that it was a big mistake with a big influence on the result.

“I will go to the referee and wish him a good year and tell him he will be ashamed,” added Mourinho.

In a statement, the FA said his remarks constituted improper conduct in that they allege and/or imply bias on the part of a referee or referees and/or bring the game into disrepute.

Mourinho has until 1800 GMT on Jan. 13 to respond to the charge.

The FA will not take any action against him following the comments he made before the game against Stoke City on Dec. 19 but gave him a formal warning as managers and players are banned from making pre-match media comments about officials.

Before the game Mourinho said he hoped referee Neil Swarbrick “does his job”.

“I like these matches,” added the Chelsea manager. “It’s no problem with a good referee that can understand what is aggressivity or when aggressivity finishes and when the rules of the game start.

“I know it is difficult for every team to play this kind of match but again I’m not worried. The referee is there exactly to judge what is aggressivity. And aggressivity I always welcome, it makes the game much more beautiful and difficult.”

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)


Spanish second seed Feliciano Lopez crashed out of the ATP Chennai Open on Thursday in a stunning second-round loss to qualifier Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia.


The world No.14 looked rusty in his first match of the season as he tamely went down 6-4 6-4 to the 156th-ranked Bedene in an hour and 25 minutes at the Nungambakkam tennis stadium.

“He played a great match and he was a better player than me in this match,” Lopez said of his unfancied opponent.

“I know it is always tough to play the first match of the season because you are not confident, you need to adjust. But credit to him because he was very consistent.”

Lopez, 33, revealed he had been sick last week but refused to use that as an excuse.

“Nothing worked for me today,” he said. “My serve and volley was not working and I was also not moving well from the baseline. I need to work on my game. Hopefully I will be ready for the (Australian) Open.”

Bedene was excited after winning what he said was “the best match of my career.”

“I have never beaten such a high-ranked player before, so obviously this was very special,” the 25-year-old said.

“I was more solid on the baseline and I read his serves well. I was also feeling good with my serves.”

Bedene felt that coming through the qualifying round gave him an advantage against Lopez, who took to the court for the first time after being handed a bye into the second round.

“It always helps to be familiar with the conditions,” he said.

Two other Spaniards, third seed Roberto Bautista-Agut and No.5 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, advanced to the quarter-finals.

The 15th-ranked Bautista-Agut proved too strong for No.102 Peter Gojowczyk of Germany, cruising to a 6-3 6-2 win in an hour and 10 minutes.

The 31-year-old Garcia-Lopez fought back after losing the first set to oust Tatsuma Ito of Japan 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 6-0 in two hours on an outside court.

“My game picked up as the match went on, so I am happy the way it went in the end,” said Garcia-Lopez, who finished 36th last year.

In Friday’s quarter-finals, Garcia-Lopez will take on Bedene.

Taiwanese veteran Yen Hsun-Lu rode past Pablo Carreno-Busta of Spain 6-4 6-4 in 73 minutes to set up a quarter-final against Bautista-Agut.


France, UK boost security after attack

August 30th, 2019 / / categories: 深圳桑拿网 /

France has extended the highest security alert level already in place in greater Paris to the northern Picardy region where police have zoned in on two suspects in the magazine massacre.


“The prime minister has decided to extend the attack alert level to Picardy,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ office said on Thursday afternoon

The security step-up came after two brothers sought for the attack against the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were spotted in the region, resulting in a massive deployment of security forces.

Britain, meanwhile, has stepped up security at ports serving France following the attack in Paris, as the MI5 intelligence agency offered French counterparts its “full support”.

The terror threat level in Britain remains at “severe” and officials said the measures were a precautionary measure following the slaying of 12 people at Charlie Hebdo.

In rare public comments, MI5 Director General Andrew Parker said the attack was a “terrible reminder” of the threat facing Western nations.

He confirmed the national spy agency was offering its French colleagues their “full support as they respond”.

“It is too early for us to come to judgments about the precise details or origin of the attack but it is a terrible reminder of the intentions of those who wish us harm,” Parker said.

Home Secretary Theresa May, the interior minister, held a meeting of the COBRA crisis committee to consider Britain’s response to the attacks and its own preparedness for a similar assault.

She said the government had offered France “every assistance necessary”.

Searches have been stepped up on cars and trucks crossing the English Channel to British ports, while armed patrols have increased at the Eurostar terminal at London’s St Pancras station.


Boko Haram’s seizure of a key town and military base in Nigeria’s far northeast has tightened its grip on the region, undermining efforts to tackle the insurgency, experts say.


The capture of Baga and the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) now means the Islamists control all three of Borno state’s borders with Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Analysts said that as a result, the militants were in a better position to launch fresh attacks both within Nigeria, including against the key city of Maiduguri, and across borders.

“The capture of Baga is of enormous significance,” Abdullahi Bawa Wase, a Nigerian security analyst who tracks the Boko Haram conflict, told AFP.

“It has put a lie to the Nigerian government claim that it is on top of the situation. It is a serious symptom of defeat on the side of the government.”

Boko Haram has had Baga in its sights for months, as it was said to be one of the last towns in northern Borno under federal government control.

The militants have seized more than two dozen towns in northeast Nigeria in the last six months in their quest to establish a hardline Islamic state.

With Baga the latest to fall, Boko Haram has effectively encircled the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, where it was founded in 2002 and which has been repeatedly attacked.

Analysts assessed that the group’s control of border areas potentially secures it important supply lines for weapons as well as a wider recruitment base to replenish its ranks.

“Their next move is predictable, which is expanding their territory southwards,” said Wase.

Nigeria’s highest ranking military officer, Chief of Defence Staff Alex Badeh, told reporters on Tuesday that Baga can be recaptured, although he refused to give a time frame for any counter-offensive.

Asked whether the town can be retaken, he said only: “Why not?”

But getting it back could be a struggle, with Boko Haram likely to be boosted by a victory against a multi-national force.


Four-time Dakar motorcycling winner and defending champion Marc Coma claimed his first stage victory of the 2015 edition on Thursday, finishing the run to Antofagasta in Chile ahead of compatriot and overall leader Joan Barreda.


Just as he had done on Wednesday’s fourth stage, which crossed the Atacama desert, the driest place on earth, Chile’s Pablo Quintanilla took third spot.

On Thursday’s 458km fifth stage to the Pacific Ocean stop of Antofagasta, KTM rider Coma took 2min 16sec out of Honda rider Barreda’s overall lead.

But Barreda still boasts a lead of more than 10 minutes while Portugal’s Paulo Goncalves, also on a Honda, remains third in the standings after finishing fifth on the stage.

Spain’s Laia Sanz, the leading female rider, was 20th on the stage to stand at 12th overall after losing 26 minutes.

In the race for the title on four wheels, 2010 champion Carlos Sainz was virtually ruled out of contention after he lost more than nine hours on a disastrous stage on Wednesday which crossed the Andes from Argentina into Chile.

The two-time world rally champion suffered mechanical failure on his Peugeot buggy as the French team, making its Dakar return after 25 years, endured another rollercoaster day.

Sainz was forced to pull off the track and wait for his support truck to repair the fault.

Eleven-time champion Stephane Peterhansel fared slightly better, ending the stage in fifth to move to 12th overall and keep Peugeot hopes alive even if the Frenchman was more than an hour behind race leader Nasser Al-Attiyah in the all-conquering Mini.

By Baden Eunson, Monash University

American comedian Taylor Mali in his YouTube sketch “Totally like whatever, you know?” attacks inarticulateness in the US, describing new language trends as making the current generation of Americans the most “aggressively inarticulate generation”.


He despises the rise of discourse particles or “fillers” such as “like”, “you know” and the tools of vagueness, “approximators” such as “sort of” and “and that”.

Take the transmutation of the verb “go”. Time was, this simply meant “to move”, but it has evolved into a synonym for “say”. For many the most known example of this evolved in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s in The Comedy Company’s character Kylie Mole.



Yet, strangely enough, the first instance we have of “go” in this new sense is not new at all – it’s from The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens in 1836, according to the Oxford Dictionary.

We can track the “new” meaning of “like” back even further, from the novel Evelina by Fanny Burney, published in 1778, where the word in a sentence meant “as it were” or “so to speak”, which may be derived from the Old English gelīc, from which we get adverbs (quickly = quick-like) and adjectives (friendly = friend-like).

Yeah, no

Another major language trend to have emerged is that of “yeah, no”. That too appears to have Australian origins. It is first analysed in a 2002 issue of the Australian Journal of Linguistics by linguists Kate Burridge and Margaret Florey in a paper called Yeah-no He’s a Good Kid: A Discourse Analysis of Yeah-No in Australian English.

“Yeah-no” can be a politeness strategy, especially where conflict might occur – as, for example, if a shop assistant recommends a cheese/coat/lipstick that the customer really doesn’t want, but rather than potentially offend with a straight-out “no”, the customer might say “yeah-no, I was looking for something a bit more…”

It can be a self-effacing downtoner; when a person is embarrassed by a compliment. As Burridge and Florey point out, it is often heard in sporting contexts. They give the following example from the 1999 Coolangatta Iron Man contest:


And with me is one champion, a phenomenal effort, Ky Hurst. You said you felt buoyant today, you proved that. Some of the best bodysurfing we’ve ever seen.

Ky Hurst:

Yeah-no, that was pretty incredible I think. It was, you know, in one of the swims, I think it was the first swim leg and also the second swim leg, I picked up some really nice waves coming through.

Yeah-no, is certainly spreading, and not just within the world of sport: even Bill Clinton seems to have succumbed to this bad habit.

The character from the TV show Little Britain, Vicky Pollard, won a British Award in 2010 for her “yeah but no but yeah” catch phrase. Even though many people love the Pollard character, her main characteristic, according to her creators David Walliams and Matt Smith, is her inarticulateness. Walliams remarks that:

people didn’t talk like that ten years ago […] people constructed sentences, and now it’s getting rarer and rarer.

So what does it all matter?

Is inarticulateness a hanging offence? What’s wrong with these apparently minor weaknesses in expression? Well, articulateness will get you a job, or at least be the first thing an employer will consider. Graduate Careers Australia, in its reports for the past five years, has listed the top ten selection criteria for recruiting graduates. Work experience usually comes sixth; calibre of academic results, in spite of the propaganda of the education industry, comes fourth; while interpersonal and communication skills (written and oral) always come first.

Languages are studied by linguists, who tend to be either descriptivists who prefer to scientifically observe and record language without making any value judgements, or prescriptivists who try to prescribe or lay down rules of usage.

Flickr/Jay Denhart, CC BY

Most linguists are descriptivists, but, to return to Vicki Pollard et al, it’s obvious that David Walliams, Matt Smith and Taylor Mali are prescriptivists – they argue strongly for articulateness, and recommend changes in the way we speak and write. Burridge and Florey’s interesting analysis notwithstanding, as a closet prescriptivist I think we have a problem with our articulateness.

If Taylor Mali refers to this generation of Americans as the most aggressively inarticulate one in yonks, then we might just be the most passively inarticulate generation of Australians in yonks. If so, what do we do?

It seems fairly simple, according to Walliams and Mali – think before you speak, and then speak in complete, declarative sentences, and say “yes” or “no”, but not both. If Australians started this stuff, let’s finish it.

Baden Eunson does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.


Reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson tops a field of 34 players at this week’s US PGA Tournament of Champions in the first event of 2015 after a seven-week holiday break.


Seven events have already been completed in the 2014-2015 program, the second such wrap-around schedule in US tour history, but players open the calendar year on Friday on Kapalua’s 7,452-yard, par-73 Plantation Course for the 17th time in a row.

Watson has won three times since playing in last year’s event, including a world Golf Championships victory last November at Shanghai that has helped him stand fourth in the world rankings, the best of the entrants in the $US5.7 million ($A6.17 million) tournament, which has a Monday finish.

South Korean Bae Sang-Moon, Canada’s Nick Taylor and Americans Robert Streb and Ben Martin have already won in the start to this season to book their first berths in Hawaii.

Also among the 13 first timers at Kapalua is Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who won the Japan Tour’s Dunlop Phoenix event last November.

Australian Geoff Ogilvy, paired with Matsuyama on day one, won his two prior Kapalua starts in 2009 and 2010 but an injured finger thwarted his bid for three titles in a row.

The 2006 US Open winner returns this year, thanks to a victory last August at Reno, Nevada.

An Ogilvy victory would give him the most money from the event of any player and match him for the most titles with countryman Stuart Appleby, who has $US3.52 million ($A3.81 million) in eight appearances to $US2.44m ($A2.64m) for Ogilvy in four prior starts.

“People can say what they want about the schedule but the tour season starts at Kapalua,” Ogilvy said. “It’s such a good feeling there and a great reward.”

Aussie Jason Day shared ninth in 2011 in his only prior start in the event while countryman John Senden is at Kapalua for the first time since 2007.

American Matt Kuchar has finished no worse than ninth in his past four trips to Kapalua but has yet to walk away with the title.

Billy Horschel, the 2014 US PGA playoff winner, and defending champion Zach Johnson are paired for the first round.

By Tim Olds, University of South Australia

January is the month of fat-phobia, when you regret that you allowed the gym membership you took out in August (the most popular month for gym sign-ons) to lapse in September.


You’re not alone: 67% of people with gym memberships no longer use them.

So let’s cut to the bone on this fat business: How do we measure fatness? What is this BMI thing, and is it all it’s cracked up to be? Is life just one long slide into adiposity, and what can I do about it?

Epidemiologists most commonly use body mass index (BMI) as a measure of fatness. BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in metres.

Take me, for example. I weigh 81kg, and am 1.8m tall, so my BMI is exactly 25. BMIs less than 18.5 are considered to be dangerously low, 18.5-25 in the “normal” or “healthy” range (so I just scrape in, fasted, nude, fairly dehydrated, on a good day), 25-30 is considered overweight, and greater than 30 obese.

These cut-offs came from studies of relationships between BMI and all-cause mortality in non-smokers in the 1950s, when the risk of dying was lowest for BMIs of 20-25.

Now the limitations of BMI should be obvious to anyone. What if I’ve got a lot of muscle and not much fat? Michael Hooper (the current Wallabies’ captain), boxing champion Mike Tyson and Rugby League great Mal Meninga in their prime would all be classified as obese, but I wouldn’t describe them as fat, and certainly not to their faces.


Michael Hooper (centre) would have a high BMI but isn’t fat. EPA/Gerry Penny


What about Samoans and Fijians, who have a very large muscle mass, or Asians who tend to be much more lightly muscled? Some researchers recommend higher or lower cut-offs for specific ethnic groups.

There’s some evidence that adults are getting fatter at the same BMI — that is, someone with a BMI of 25 today is fatter than someone with a BMI of 25 a few decades ago. BMI is probably also biased against taller people due to some inappropriate scaling assumptions.

Some rather more surprising difficulties with BMI have emerged recently. While the risk of death may indeed have been lowest in the normal range in the 1950s, it certainly isn’t now. A slew of recent studies have shown that the risk is now lowest for people right in the middle of the overweight range, with a BMI of about 27.

The problem is that BMI measures relative weight, at best a poor proxy for fatness, which may be the real metabolic culprit. Fatness may be better estimated from skinfolds (pinches of fat at embarrassing sites on the body), which the Exercise and Sports Science Australia-accredited exercise professional at your local gym should be able to measure for you.

Even more to the point is the distribution of body fat: being fat in the wrong places (around the abdomen) is worse than being fat in the right places (hips and thighs). In fact, thigh fat appears to be protective, leading to a healthier blood fat profile, but unfortunately less chance of attracting the desirable targets on the beach.

A simple measure is waist girth — measure it with a tape half-way between the bottom of the ribs and the top of the hip bones. The Australian government recommends cut-offs of 94 cm (bad) and 102 cm (very bad) for men, and 80 cm and 88 cm for women.


When it comes to disease risk, getting fat is worse than being fat. Ed Yourdon/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA


If you’ve really got some time and money to spare, universities and some radiologists can give you a DXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan, pretty much the gold standard these days, which will tell you just how much fat you have and where it is.

Does getting older inevitably mean getting fatter? Just about every longitudinal study shows weight gain with age. American and Australian studies report weight gains of 0.2 to 1.0 kg/year in adults aged 20 to 60, with slower rates of gain for people who are physically active, and richer.

There are good physiological reasons to expect increasing body fat with age: anabolic hormones responsible for converting excess calories into muscle rather than fat — testosterone, human growth hormone — decline rapidly with age, and physical activity becomes harder with age-related musculoskeletal and joint problems.

There’s bad news on the weight gain front, I’m afraid: getting fat is worse than being fat. In a 16 year follow-up of almost 10,000 Americans aged 51 or more, those least likely to die were overweight people who remained overweight, while gaining weight led to higher risk.

Certain life events can trigger rapid weight gain. There is a sudden weight gain of a few kilograms when women move in with a partner — perhaps it’s the “I’m no longer on the market” effect. But there’s still hope: divorce will reverse it.

Mothers’ weight increases permanently by up to 4 kg after the birth of their first child, for reasons which any mother will be happy to tell you about. After about age 60, weight starts to fall, usually marking the beginning of the slow decline to frailty and death.


Avoiding weight gain comes down to good diet and exercise. Ed Yourdon/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA


So what can you do to avoid weight creep, or at least minimise its effects? I have nothing new to offer in this department: eat lots of fruit and veges and wholegrains, get lots of exercise, get a good sleep, get rich.

Remember that being lean and unfit is worse than being fat and fit. In one study, men who were lean but unfit had almost twice the risk of dying compared to men who were overweight but fit. And all the rest, from crossfit to core training, from carbs to quinoa, all the rest, as Verlaine says, is just literature.

Tim Olds receives funding from the NHMRC and ARC.


Several hundred fans have braved freezing cold to join Elvis Presley’s family in Memphis, Tennessee on what would have been the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s 80th birthday.


Cheers went up as Presley’s former wife Priscilla and their only child Lisa Marie sliced an eight-tier cake frozen by the minus nine degrees Celsius temperature on Thursday.

Fans got a chance to get a bite of the cake at a diner across the street from Graceland, the Presley residence that has become a shrine to his life, work and rich musical legacy.

“My gosh, I’m in total shock. So many of you here!” said Priscilla Presley, 69, adding that Elvis “would have been amazed” to see so many fans come out for his birthday.

“There’s really no where else we’d rather be,” added Lisa Marie, 46, accompanied by her four children — Riley and Benjamin Keough and twins Harper and Finley Lockwood.

An American pop culture icon like few others, Presley rode high in the rock music charts in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s before his untimely death in August 1977 at the age of 42.

His legacy includes 108 songs on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 pop music chart as well as 129 records in the Billboard 200 album chart — most recently in 2002 with a greatest hits set.

Other birthday events Thursday include an auction of authenticated Elvis memorabilia including his first driver’s licence and the jacket he wore in the movie “Viva Las Vegas.”

Also up for grabs is the first recording Presley ever made — an acetate disc from Sun Studios on which he sang the 1940s chestnut “My Happiness” for his mother. He was 18 at the time.

Fans with deeper pockets can meanwhile bid in a separate auction on Presley’s two private jets, which have been on display since the 1980s across the street from Graceland.

Their owners say they are under an April deadline to remove the Lockheed JetStar and Convair 880 after Presley’s estate said it would not renew a joint venture agreement to exhibit them.

But on social media, both Priscilla and Lisa Marie have signaled they are unhappy with the sale, which is being handled by a Los Angeles auction house.

“It is the owners who are doing all of this to try and get more money,” wrote singer-songwriter Lisa Marie on her Twitter feed, to which she added the hashtag: “#Greed.”