Boxing experience Thrill of the Fight is the toughest game I played, it got my heart rate the highest, and even though the graphics were a bit cheesy I ended up totally immersed. Between rounds of one fight, I nearly sat down on the virtual stool in my corner of the ring.
The hands-on experience begins when you start the app and see the menus explaining how the game works. Instead of pointing your controllers at buttons on the menus (most games have you aim them like laser guns), you walk directly up to the menu screens and touch them with your virtual hands, which are already wearing boxing gloves.
You’re in a small gym with a garage-like feel. A coach stands off to the side, watching you but not speaking. There’s a locker room area, a dummy you can practice punches on, and an elevated boxing ring. Choose an opponent to fight, and suddenly you’re in one corner of the ring with a small crowd gathered around. You throw punches, and try not to get punched. If you do take a hit, the world fades a bit, goes black and white, and you (if you are like me) back away from your opponent for a minute while you try to get your bearings.
I won three rounds against my opponent, but it was exhausting. I hit him when I could, and kept moving toward him, trying to keep the pressure on. I found myself constantly pushing into the far corner of my Guardian, which the game helpfully draws as a red rectangle on the virtual ring’s floor. I needed to punch and punch again and not get punched myself. The audience was watching, my coach judging silently. I didn’t want to fuck this up. I didn’t want to get punched. If you want to get your heart rate up, or just be a little bit terrified for a short interval workout, play Thrill of the Fight.
Sarpatta Parambarai Review: A still from the film. (Image courtesy: YouTube)
Cast: Arya, John Kokken, Kalaiyarasan, Pasupathy
Director: Pa Ranjith
Rating: 3 stars
Pa. Ranjith’s new Tamil film Sarpatta Parambarai, streaming on Amazon Prime Video, comes out all guns blazing. It is a sports drama all right but there is more to the epic narrative than just gloved men trying to outpunch each other in a boxing ring. Despite its struggles with consistency of pace and tone, the film delivers many a punch that finds its mark.
The screenplay, production design and propulsive soundscape serve to create a socio-political and cultural ambience that lends the film’s underdog-fighting-all-odds story the shape and scope of an intriguing and enlightening period chronicle even as it plays out on largely familiar genre lines.
Sarpatta Parambarai vivifies a 1970s North Madras milieu in a strikingly effective manner, in the process transporting the audience back in time to a space and culture with its own unique rhythm. From scene one – a Madras Port loader itches to get away from work because a boxing event is about to get underway and he cannot afford to miss the action – the film plunges into the story of clans who once fought tooth and nail for supremacy.
Sarpatta Parambarai tends to be loud, the drama is out of its hinges at times, and the arc of the principal character, Kabilan (Arya), takes a course that may not be full of surprises. Yet, there is an abundance of riches in Sarpatta Parambarai because Ranjith’s directorial flair and sense of historical context raises the film, when it is at its best, to a level that average Indian sports films rarely attain.
Embedded in the story are the caste dynamics at play in a segregated part of town, the political upheavals of the mid 1970s triggered by the imposition of Emergency and the dissolution of the DMK government in Tamil Nadu, and the historical backdrop of the area’s boxing culture. Neither of these plot elements overshadows the essence of the film, which stems from one man’s quest for glory in the face of an unsettling social churn that affects an entire clan as it fights to live down years of defeat.
The story of Sarpatta Parambarai is located four decades ago but its portrayal of people battling oppression and political overreach has a contemporary resonance. “The Prime Minister’s autocracy is degrading our democracy,” says Rangan (Pasupathy), a revered boxing coach and political activist in an address to his clan, which is down and out in more ways than one. His warning is a call to action at multiple levels – the moral, the personal, the physical and the political – for a people up against acts that are aimed at trampling upon their rights.
The only way the Sarpatta clan – coach Rangan and wannabe boxer Kabilan are a part of it, the former its past and latter its probable future – can claw its way back into the reckoning is if they can find a fighter who can stand up to Vembuli (John Kokken), the star boxer of the rival Idiyappa clan, a man who has been winning for three straight years.
Before the chosen man can earn the right to challenge Vembuli, he has to surmount a series of hurdles. The onus falls on Kabilan, an aspiring boxer that Rangan has little faith in. Kabilan, on his part, worships the very ground that Rangan treads on. The young man bides his time.
The young man must work his way up and secure the right to represent his clan in a do-or-die bout. His path his strewn with impediments. For one, his mother Bakkiyam (Anupama Kumar) is dead against Kabilan donning boxing gloves because she believes it was the sport that drove her husband to alcoholism, gang wars and death.
Moreover, Kabilan has to contend with rivals in his own camp – coach Rangan’s son Vetriselvan (Kalaiyarasan) and Raman (Santosh Pratap), who is desperate to reclaim the legacy of a late uncle, who once controlled the Sarpatta clan. What queers the pitch the most is the prospect of being led astray even as success begins to come his way.
The first hour of Sarpatta Parambarai is a breeze – pulsating, pacy and profoundly engaging. This is the part of the film that is devoted to the conflicted Kabilan’s struggle to be accepted as a boxer worth his salt. His progress is slow, the film isn’t. It crackles with raw energy as the male protagonist, tentative and timid to begin with, begins to assert himself and makes headway in a sport that takes a heavy toll on its exponents.
A large part of the second half of the nearly three-hour film is far less convincing as the now-married Kabilan – his wife Mariamma (Dushara Vijayan) is a woman of substance who isn’t going to die wondering what life has in store for her – wrestles with domestic strife and activities that reduce him to an emotional and physical wreck. Mercifully, the final half-hour regains some of the frisson of the film’s first half and helps Sarpatta Parambarai end on a high.
Director Pa. Ranjith, whose focus is on the men in the ring and outside it, but his penchant for creating strong women characters comes to the fore in the portrayal of Mariamma. He takes only a few seconds to tell us what Kabilan’s wife is all about. At the end of a wedding song-and-dance set piece, the newly-wed woman breaks into a wild pirouette before she literally ‘pounces’ on her husband. A honeymoon shot has never been this dramatic: it tells you exactly what to expect from Mariamma. She does not disappoint.
While Arya dominates the show with a performance that aptly combines tough physicality and psychological fragility, Sarpatta Parambarai is filled with characters who do much more than to providing support to the protagonist. They contribute to making the film an effectively composite, vivid tableau.
Among those who stand out in particular are John Vijay as Kevin, a contemporary of Kabilan’s late father and the young boxer’s one-man cheer squad, and Shabeer Kallarakkal as Dancing Rose, a boxer with footwork that could put a ballerina in the shade.
Sarpatta Parambarai centres on gruff men having a go at each other with their fists and tongues, but the handful of women in the story do not take a backseat. In the role of Kabilan’s mother, Anupama Kumar has to contend with a limited bandwidth but she does not let that weigh her down one bit. As the hero’s harried but irrepressible wife, Dushara Vijayan does not put a foot wrong even when the emotional pitching of the character is in danger of going off-key.
The film occasionally meanders a bit but when it goes for the jugular its punches are unfailingly telling. One thing Sarpatta Parambarai certainly isn’t is a boxed-in boxing tale. It soars free – and high.
A new study has found that tennis is the most “euphoric” sport to watch at home but football is the most engaging. It gave another surprising result: gymnastics was placed second on the list, ahead of football, cricket, and athletics. The study was conducted using artificial intelligence (AI) to read the emotions and facial expressions of viewers as they watched different games on their home devices. These emotions were then categorised depending on changes in the eyes, eyebrows, nose, and mouth.
The cameras built into the at-home devices captured the emotions which were decoded using machine learning and analysed to see which sport provoked which response. The study, commissioned by the British TV platform Freeview, was done to celebrate the ‘big four’ sports — Wimbledon, Euro, Tokyo Olympics, and Tokyo Paralympics – and other tournaments returning to the TV screens. Freeview teamed up with ad testing firm RealEyes to run the system and analyse the results.
The study showed tennis was the most “euphoric” sport to watch at home for British viewers, who were 50 percent happier than when watching standard video content, reported Forbes.
Formula 1 (18 percent) was positioned as the most shocking sport. Researchers said the shock was detected by sudden wide eyes and dropped jaw movements. They said football led the way in terms of engagement with 24 percent. However, boxing only managed to engage 15 percent of viewers.
Popular and calmer Olympic sports like equestrian (29 percent), synchronised swimming (28 percent) and gymnastics (25 percent) turned out to be the most tense sports.
According to the study, these were the top sports to generate emotion — Tennis, Gymnastics, Football, Cricket, and Athletics (held most attention)/
“From Wimbledon to the Olympics, the Euros to Formula One, we’re extremely proud to be able to offer coverage of so many fantastic sporting events this summer, all free to watch without any paywalls or subscription fees,” Freeview’s Owen Jenkinson was quoted as saying by Mirror.
For the study, the video content was standardised to ensure each viewer was shown the same format of low, medium and high-intensity clips.
If you do a lot of deadlifts or other grip-exhausting exercises like pull-ups, you’ve probably developed some calluses on your hands. And if you don’t take care of those calluses, sooner or later one of them is going to rip. Fortunately, you don’t have to stop lifting while you wait for it to heal.
Why do calluses tear?
A callus is a thickening of the skin that occurs in response to pressure. While a callus is somewhat protective, the crusty layers of skin that can build up on a callus can cause more trouble if you keep them around than if you don’t. As a surgeon explained in our article on calluses, too much crusty, dead skin leaves a callus vulnerable to ripping, cracking, or causing further irritation (for example, on anything done for lots of reps).
To prevent this, take care of your calluses before they get to that stage using a file or pumice stone as needed, or even a callus shaver (as long as you’re careful not to cut into living skin). You can do this maintenance in the bath or after a shower; or you can do it after a workout when your skin is dry and covered in chalk. Both ways work, although you may prefer different tools for each scenario.
How to protect a ripped callus
First, clean the area and carefully trim off any dead skin. You can apply a bandage or tape if it’s on an area of your hand where you think the bandage will stay on, but often that isn’t possible.
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Anecdotally, gymnasts and rock climbers often protect their ripped hands by applying a balm that keeps the raw skin moist. There are various brands, like Joshua Tree Healing Salve or Ript Quick Fix. Something like Vaseline would probably work just as well.
But that’s just skincare. What do you do when you show up to the gym and you have a callus at the top of your palm where you can’t apply tape and it hurts to even pick up a barbell? That’s when it’s time to make a tape grip.
How to make the best tape grip
You’ll use athletic tape for this—the cloth stuff you can find in any drugstore—but you are not going to stick it to your skin.
Cut a long piece of tape, and fold it in half lengthwise, sticky sides together.
Use your scissors to make a cut in the shape of the plus sign about an inch from the folded end. This becomes a hole you can put your finger through.
Lay the length of the folded tape down your palm, and anchor it to your wrist by wrapping more tape around your wrist. The only tape that is sticking to your skin is the stuff at your wrist.
The resulting tape grip is loose enough to allow your hand to bend and flex as needed, but it keeps your sensitive callus from coming into contact with the deadlift bar (or pull-up bar, or kettlebell). Give it a try next time you’re dealing with a ripped up hand—and then invest in some callus-filing tools so it doesn’t happen again.
Ms. Vikander, 30 years old, is a professional snowboarder who competes on the Freeride World Tour, descending steep mountain faces while jumping cliffs and crevasses. Mr. Smalley, 37, has a photography and graphic-design business.
The couple lives in Hood River, Ore., and would like to buy a home in the area over the next three to five years for no more than $225,000.
Mr. Smalley earns about $50,000 a year. His annual earnings have been steady for the past two years, though his monthly income fluctuates. Ms. Vikander earns about $30,000 a year from prize money, sponsorships and promotions on social media. Most of her income comes at the start of snowboarding season.
She has $5,000 in a savings account and $6,000 in her checking account. Mr. Smalley has $5,000 in his business account and $4,000 in a Roth IRA.
Earlier this year, Mr. Smalley invested $15,000 in his business and borrowed $36,000 from his family, to be repaid within 60 months at 8% interest. He is currently paying his family $2,000 a month, and recently used $3,200 he received from the federal Covid-19 relief bill to repay the debt faster. The couple’s only other debt is Ms. Vikander’s car lease with $5,500 outstanding. Mr. Smalley also owns a 2014 pickup truck.
Their monthly expenses include: $1,150 for rent, $1,000 for groceries, $300 for gas, $280 for car insurance, $245 for car payment, $225 for utilities, $200 for food takeout, $140 for phone and $58 for dental insurance. The couple doesn’t have health insurance. Ms. Vikander hasn’t been regularly contributing to savings and Mr. Smalley has been investing any additional money he has at the end of the month into his business.
Advice from a pro
a financial adviser and founder of Wealth Logic LLC in Colorado Springs, Colo., applauds the couple for having so little debt outside of Mr. Smalley’s business. He says their first priority should be buying health insurance.
“Health is more important than wealth,” Mr. Roth says, adding they are taking a big gamble, especially because backcountry snowboarding can be hazardous. He recommends the couple, who live together as domestic partners and so should qualify for joint health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, investigate all options including buying policies separately. For a government-sponsored silver plan after subsidies, he says, the couple could pay roughly $550 a month. They also should consult a licensed insurance broker.
Mr. Roth urges the couple to review their expenses. Any additional funds could be used to pay for health insurance and pay off debt. He suspects they might have underestimated or left out some key expenditures, like clothing, entertainment, medications or the cost of car maintenance. But with their current list of expenses, he figures they should have a surplus of about $35,000 a year to repay debt or save. They should look at their bank account and credit-card statements to help identify what discretionary spending could easily be cut out. Mr. Roth also suggests that Mr. Smalley look closely at his business investments to see which ones paid off and which ones are not worth repeating.
Their next priority should be paying off the business debt. If Mr. Smalley can continue to pay $2,000 a month for his loan, Mr. Roth says, it should be paid off in about a year and a half, including the interest.
Ms. Vikander, meanwhile, should start setting aside some of her earnings each month. She should maintain her $11,000 cash cushion and save enough additional money to buy her current car, priced at $13,000, or another used car once her lease is up in November 2022. Her last car payment is due around the same time as Mr. Smalley’s last loan payment, assuming he continues his current payment schedule and amount.
If the couple can continue setting aside $2,000 monthly once the loan is repaid, Mr. Roth says, they would have $48,000 in two years, which is more than enough for a 20% down payment on a home. If Ms. Vikander spends less on her car, they could save even more.
Because the couple currently lack access to an employer-sponsored 401(k), which would mean free money from employer-matched contributions, Mr. Roth contends that, for now, paying down debt should take precedence over retirement savings. Certainly, after buying a house, they should prioritize tax-advantaged saving for retirement, Mr. Roth says.
“The house can be enjoyed and, generally, should appreciate in price,” he says.
rose 12.5% in their market debut, capping off a two-year effort by the entertainment firm to go public.
Endeavor’s stock began trading at $27, compared with its initial public offering price of $24. More recently, shares traded at $24.29, giving the company a valuation of $10.44 billion.
The company, known for representing Hollywood’s biggest talents such as Dwayne Johnson and Charlize Theron, also owns the giant sports and modeling agency IMG Worldwide Inc. and the Miss Universe pageant. In 2016, Endeavor bought part of Zuffa LLC, owner and operator of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“As far as where the world is going, we’re in every right sector right now,” Endeavor’s Chief Executive
said in an interview Thursday. He said the company is well positioned to attract investors interested in stocks that stand to benefit from a global economy that is reopening.
and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, had been nominated to the company’s board.
Alongside the public offering, Endeavor has engaged in a separate private placement that includes a mix of high-profile investors such as Fidelity Management & Research Co., Dragoneer Investment Group LLC and Elliott Management Corp. That funding will go toward buying out the 49.9% it doesn’t already own of UFC.
Mr. Emanuel said that securing the financing outside of the IPO took about six months, but doing so took some of the risks out of the IPO process. After their attempt at a public offering in 2019, he said: “We decided to take a big chunk of the variability of that process out.”
Endeavor expects $1.8 billion in proceeds from the offering and concurrent private placements.
The company, along with other major Hollywood agencies, has begun producing content because the entertainment industry looks much different than at the company’s founding in 1995, when the power wielded by agencies was more pronounced than now.
Endeavor’s biggest source of revenue now is its entertainment and sports division, which negotiates media-distribution deals on behalf of more than 150 clients, including the International Olympic Committee and the National Football League.
Major news in the world of deals and deal-makers.
Endeavor’s shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EDR.
Endeavor diversified the scope of its business beyond traditional Hollywood deal-making as A-list stars’ salaries have contracted in recent years—reducing agency revenue. However, the decision to expand into sports, music and live events has hurt the company amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has entailed the cancellation or postponement of large public gatherings.
Skateboarding has never followed a rulebook, which means that on some level, a piece about learning how to skate probably defies its countercultural roots. And though it’s fostered the growth of a global community, skating is a solitary sport, which is probably why it’s become a newfound pastime for adults during the pandemic.
As someone who grew up skating, I’ve been amused by a few recent stories written by guys who’ve taken their first trips to the skatepark in their 30s as a means of escaping pandemic-striken solitude. Watching adults learn how to kick turn, ollie, and drop in on ramps is a funny lens into society’s collective restlessness during COVID, but I salute anyone who’s hopped on a board because they correctly thought skateboarding would be an adventurous outlet.
Here’s how you might go about learning to skate as an adult. Just don’t be surprised when you head to the skatepark and are surrounded by kids who shred infinitely harder than we ever will.
Buy an actual board
A complete skateboard consists of multiple parts: A grip-taped skate deck, trucks, wheels, bearings, and maybe risers to pad the impact of your metal trucks hitting the board. There’s also eight bolts and lock nuts to attach your trucks to you wooden deck.
Don’t skimp on buying a real board—you really don’t want something from Walmart (or another big box retailer) made from crappy wood, with trucks made from weak metal. Unlike with learning how to play drums or another instrument, you’re not looking for lower-end equipment when you start out, because the cheap stuff can make it easier for you to hurt yourself.
I’d recommend masking up and heading to your local skate shop and asking whoever works there what you should get. But in reality, as long as you’re buying a board and accessories from legit manufacturers, you’re in good shape. There’s a lot of great—even iconic—legacy companies to choose from when you’re buying your board: Flip, Baker, Element, Girl, Toy Machine, and Enjoi (among so many others) are all great options.
It’s the same deal when it comes to trucks and wheels. Companies like Independent, Venture, and Tensor (among others) are good options for trucks, while wheels made by Spitfire, Pig, Bones, and many other companies should get you rolling. You’ll find some crossover when it comes to companies that make skateboards as well as other products—sometimes companies that make boards also make wheels, but usually companies that make trucks focus solely on that.
The overall point I’m trying to make is to trust the name brands. Companies that make legit boards and products will almost always sponsor professional skaters, make skate videos, and produce their own apparel. You can tell a real skateboard apart from an imitation pretty quickly once you’ve familiarized yourself with authentic skate products.
Find an easy place to skate, then move on from there
Don’t expect to careen down the hills like an animal just yet (but if you’d like to glean inspiration from someone who does exactly that, look no further). What you should do is find a nice, forgiving environment to collect your first bruises. I was lucky that I grew up on a cul-de-sac that allowed me to roam around without fear of getting flattened by a car, but you probably don’t have that luxury.
Find an open tennis or basketball court to learn how to push, kick-turn, and ollie. You need a smooth surface that will be easy to push around on. Familiarize yourself with the feel of the board beneath your feet and trust your instincts when it comes to learning new tricks. Once you’ve gotten a bit more comfortable and can trust your balance, you’ll probably start to develop your own taste in tricks and obstacles.
The writer Steve Rousseau, who got started in skateboarding during the pandemic, recommends setting low expectations and forgiving yourself for the steep learning curve that comes with the sport.
“Just go at your own pace,” he says. “Celebrate whenever you learn something new, no matter how minor or unimpressive you might think it is compared to ‘real’ skateboarders.”
So much of the sport’s creative impetus comes from feeding off of the energy of other skaters. Skate videos present a vast canon of styles to identify with, and also present great history lessons in the sport’s evolution. When it comes to gleaning inspiration, Rousseau puts it this way:
Just watch a lot of skate videos! There are so many different styles and vibes and ways to skate — find one that resonates with you. Don’t look at skating as like a progression of tricks you want to learn, but more like a style you want to emulate.
With all of this said, there really is no “right” way to learn how to stake. Just understand that you’ll fall often, but that’s part of the process, even for the most seasoned skaters. The bottom line is, if you’ve got a board, put it on the pavement, and go from there.
Lets’a go! Super Mario 3D All-Stars is down to $50 at Walmart today, a familiar price for anyone who grew up playing the games included in the collection. Back in 2002, I remember getting $50 from my mom so I could go to the mall and gleefully pick up a copy of Super Mario Sunshine. Then there was 2007’s Super Mario Galaxy, one of the first games I bought on my own when I went off to college. At the time $50 seemed like a real investment. Seeing that price tag on these classic games is kind of nostalgic, isn’t it? Okay, I’m reaching. It’s a little bizarre that the collection was $60 to begin with, but the price reduction here is a welcome one. Super Mario 3D All-Stars will literally vanish from shelves starting today, so if you’ve been hoping for a discount, this is your last chance.
This deal was originally published by Giovanni Colantonio on 11/26/20 and updated with new information on 03/29/21.
Apple Watch could get a new rugged variant aimed at athletes and extreme sports enthusiasts, says a new report citing people familiar with its development. Apple typically refreshes its Apple Watch lineup every year in September. In 2020, it launched a cheaper Apple Watch SE along with the Apple Watch Series 6. The report says that Apple could add a new rugged variant to the existing models in 2021 or latest by 2022. The rumoured Apple Watch is speculated to only differ in design and build, and could have the same specifications as the Apple Watch models that launch alongside.
Sometimes called the “Explorer Edition” inside Apple, the rugged variant of the Apple Watch is speculated to have an impact-resistant casing, similar to the ones seen on Casio G-Shock models, reports Bloomberg. It is speculated to have a rubberised exterior, which is better suited for extreme environments than the stainless steel, aluminium, or titanium casings currently on offer with the existing Apple Watch models. Apple has not commented on the speculations of a rugged smartwatch and the report says that the wearable could also be delayed or ultimately cancelled.
Besides the news of a rugged smartwatch in the works, the report also says that Apple is working on a new swim-tracking feature for the Apple Watch. This could enhance the capability of the swim-tracking activity modes on the current models, but the report does not say if this will be a hardware or a software improvement.
Apple led the global wearable shipments in Q4 2020 with a market share of 36.2 percent, according to data from market research firm IDC. As per another report from IDC on India’s burgeoning wearables market, the Cupertino-based company led the sub-category of smartwatches with a 51 percent market share in 2020.
Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, has a double bill this week: the OnePlus 9 series, and Justice League Snyder Cut (starting at 25:32). Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.
Fortnite’s next big in-game concert features Grammy-nominated DJ and producer Kaskade, who will perform his new Reset EP in full multiple times between Friday, March 26 and Saturday, March 27.The shows will happen live in Fortnite’s PartyRoyale game mode.
Kaskade’s concert is part of Fortnite’s upcoming “Llama-Rama” event, running March 25 – April 9. During those weeks, players can complete limited-time challenges and purchase limited-time gear from Fortnite’s shop, much of which is cross-over items from the popular vehicle-based soccer game Rocket League (Kaskade also provided music for Rocket League’s Season 2 update).
One of the promo items is a special emote that gives your Fortnite character a tiny Rocket League car to ride on. You’ll find all the challenges and special rewards in Epic’s official Llama-Rama announcement.
You can also expect Rocket League-themed elements to show up in Kaskade’s performances. Prior to showtime, the artist’s in-game avatar will ride around the map on Rocket League vehicles, and players can also catch a preview trailer for Rocket League Season 3 immediately following each performance.
How to watch Kaskade’s Fornite concert
Kaskade is holding three performances throughout the weekend, so you have multiple opportunities to watch:
Friday, March 26, at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET
Saturday, March 27, at 6 a.m. PT/9 a.m. ET
Saturday, March 27, at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET
Epic is also offering players multiple viewing options. Fortnite players can watch:
At the Main Stage area in Fortnite’s Party Royale mode. (Here’s a guide on how to find your way to the stage if you’re new to Party Royale.)
Use the Picture-in-Picture (PIP)modewhile playingstandard Battle Royale matches, that way you can catch Kaskade’s show and get those Victory Royale.