Ex-UB football player hopes he set world box jump record

Personal trainer Chris Spell, left, and architect Herb Guenther authenticate one of the two jumps Spell made April 19 at Catalyst Fitness in Cheektowaga in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record box jump of attempt of 63.6 inches. He cleared 64 inches on each of the jumps. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Chris Spell is on a dual track toward two lofty goals.

Play football in the NFL.

Set the world record for the highest standing jump.

Spell will try out next weekend for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, a step that could bring him closer to his biggest goal.

He’s much closer to a Guinness World Record listing.

“I wanted to time the tryout with this box jump record, to kind of springboard my career,” said Spell, a former University at Buffalo football player who has spent the last several months training intensively for both.

Last weekend, the 23-year-old Westchester County native twice leaped more than 64 inches high, atop a collection of mats stacked in the Turf Room at Catalyst Fitness in Cheektowaga.

The world record is 63.6 inches, set in May 2016 by Evan Ungar in Oakville, Ont.

Spell arranged to have both of his jumps videotaped, and observed by three sworn witnesses: a member of the Air Force and two police officers. Clarence architect Herb Guenther measured and confirmed each of the heights.

That Guinness-sanctioned arrangement allowed him to save several thousand dollars it would have cost to bring in world record company representatives to handle those duties, said Spell, who works in a Buffalo youth soccer program.

He expects to hear from Guinness this week if either of his two successful jumps is official.

One measured 64.5 inches; the other, 64.625 inches — nearly 5 feet, 4 inches high.

A crowd gathered behind cones to watch both attempts, and erupted in cheers after Spell stuck the landing on each one.

“He’s in here almost every day,” Catalyst branch manager Antoinette Todaro said. “He’s in good shape.”

It was the second stab the nearly 5-foot-10 Spell took at the record. Several weeks ago, Guinness officials told him the mats in an earlier attempt had too much give, and suggested he better stabilize them.

Spell began box jumping in earnest last August, when he discovered he could do it well.

“People were impressed by what I was doing in the gym,” he said, “and I wondered what the record was. I decided to look on Guinness World Record and it was 63.6 inches. I was getting 61 inches comfortably back then, and I was like, ‘Wait a minute, that’s pretty close. It would be really cool to say I’m the best in the world at something.’ So I started training.”

Cleaner eating — adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to a protein-rich diet — and six-day-a-week workouts have steeled him in his efforts. Spell focuses on legs twice a week, once doing squats, deadlifts and other strengthening exercises, the other drop-down jumps and box jumping drills.

Spell played football at Walter Panas High School in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., then at Hartwick College in Oneonta, before transferring to UB and walking onto the Division 1 football program. The wide receiver — who never caught a pass in a game but was a regular on special teams — played on scholarship his last semester before graduating in late 2017 with a bachelor’s in sociology.

During his school pro day in 2018, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds and broad jumped 10 feet, 10 inches.

Spell credited UB football coach Lance Leipold and strength and conditioning coach Ryan Cidzik for inspiring him to get into the physical condition he hopes will give him a shot at both of his goals.

“All of my training from University of Buffalo really helped even outside of the weight room,” he said.

If pro football doesn’t work out, he and his high school sweetheart, Anna Kelley, a hospitality major at SUNY Buffalo State, plan to return to Westchester County after she graduates next year. Spell, now a certified personal trainer, looks to teach other young athletes how to improve their physical performance.

“I’m super excited about this record,” he said, “but football is my true love, and that’s where my training and my head and all my effort is going to go to after I officially get this.”

He also may look to set other world records. The most obvious? The running vertical jump, which now stands at 73 inches.

[“source=buffalonews”]

ISRO set to launch Chandrayaan-2 in March-April

ISRO has 32 missions lined up this year

Bengaluru: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday said it missed the January-February launch window for the second moon mission,Chandrayaan-2, which is now expected to be carried out around April. The new schedule comes after the ambitious space mission missed two earlier launch windows in 2017 and 2018.

“Because we could not complete a few tests, we are now looking at March-April,” ISRO chairman K.Sivan said in Bengaluru. The mission would be carried out by April end and next in June if this one was also missed, he added.

The space agency has 32 missions lined up this year. It undertook 16 missions last year. The most ambitious among this year’s missions will be to put a human in space.

The agency aims to complete two unmanned missions beginning end of next year before it can actually put a human in space, scheduled for December 2021.

ISRO has opened a Human Spaceflight Centre to better enable the agency to carry out the manned mission. With a budget of Rs 10,000 crore,ISRO is looking to send three humans into space for seven days, though the specific number for its first ‘Gaganyaan’ is yet to be finalised. ISRO will help select the astronauts along with the Indian Air Force (IAF) and other premier agencies. The astronauts will be trained initially at ISRO’s human sciences centre and then travel to Russia for advanced training.

ISRO plans to set up ground stations in countries such as Russia and Japan for other programmes, according to Sivan.

Other major plans for 2019 include the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), one of the smallest launches for ISRO. Sivan said it will have a payload of only 500 kilograms, integrate within 72 hours and requires only six people to be part of the mission compared to other big programmes. The cost of the mission would be around Rs 30 crore, he added.

ISRO will also launch its second reusable vehicle later this year, which could pave the way for further cost reductions.

[“source=livemint”]

Probe Agency Order In Tech Mahindra Money Laundering Case, Set Aside

Probe Agency Order In Tech Mahindra Money Laundering Case, Set Aside

The agency provisionally attached the amount alleging that it was ill-gotten proceeds of Satyam Computers

Hyderabad: 

The Hyderabad High Court today set aside an Enforcement Directorate order provisionally attaching Rs. 822 crore worth of fixed deposits belonging to Satyam Computer Services Ltd, which was acquired by Tech Mahindra.

In 2012, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had issued provisional attachment orders freezing fixed deposits of Satyam (now merged into Tech Mahindra) in connection with its probe in the money laundering case.

The agency provisionally attached the amount alleging that it was ill-gotten proceeds of Satyam Computers.

A bench of Justices V Ramasubramanian and J Uma Devi today set aside the ED’s orders.

Vivek Reddy, counsel for Tech Mahindra, told PTI they argued that there was no money when the Tech Mahindra took over the fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services Ltd (SCCL) in 2009 and on the other hand, the Mahindra group company had to infuse money to revive the B Ramalinga Raju-founded company.

“Our argument was that there was no proceeds of money when Tech Mahindra (TechM) took over the company (SCSL). There was no money in the company then and they (TechM) had to infuse money into the company.

“So where is the question of any ill-gotten money when the company had negative balance?” he said.

P V P Suresh Kumar, representing the ED, said the agency might approach the Supreme Court challenging the high court’s order.

“One of the strongest grounds (for an appeal in the top court) was that the CBI special court had earlier convicted Ramalinga Raju and brothers.”

“In view of that conviction, it clearly shows that there was a contravention of the Money Laundering Act and IPC provisions. In such a situation, the attachment order passed by the Enforcement Directorate was valid and correct, according to the contravention,” Mr Kumar said.

“The ED will approach the Supreme Court after going through the order copy,” he said.

Earlier, a single bench judge had stayed all further proceedings pursuant to the ED’s attachment order.

Challenging the single judge order, the probe agency had filed a writ appeal before a division bench.

The bench had in 2014 issued orders dismissing the ED’s appeal, saying the act of the agency was contrary to rules.

Tech Mahindra argued that it was a victim of fraud and no proceedings could go under the provisions of the PMLA against “victims of fraud”.

The ED had attached the accounts of SCCL as its probe claimed to have found that B Ramalinga Raju and his associates “wrongfully” offloaded inflated shares of the company by way of sale or pledging of shares.

[“source-ndtv”]

Facebook Stories Set to Get Ads as User Base Touches 300 Million

Facebook Stories Set to Get Ads as User Base Touches 300 Million

Facebook Stories and Messenger Stories now have more than 300 million users, the social networking company announced in post. More importantly, Facebook announced ads are coming to Stories on both its main app and Messenger. This comes about a year after ads were rolled out for Instagram Stories. The company has announced WhatsApp Status, the app’s version of Stories, will be getting ads next year. The Facebook, Messenger and Instagram Stories – along with WhatsApp Status – are clones of Snapchat Stories but have far more users than the pioneer of the feature.

In a post on the Facebook Business page, the company said “To help businesses reach more people, we’re now making Facebook Stories ads available to all advertisers around the world. Soon, you’ll be able to extend the reach [of ads] and improve the performance of your stories ad campaigns in Messenger.”

Facebook Stories ads will support tracking metrics such as reach, brand awareness, video views, app install, conversion, traffic, and lead generation. Brands such as iHeartRadio, Kettle Chips and KFC are among the advertisers who were part of the testing phase for Facebook Stories. The social media company claimed these brands have seen a “lift from their Facebook Stories ad campaigns.”

Citing an Ipsos survey, Facebook said, “More than half of people surveyed said they’re making more online purchases as a result of seeing Stories. In addition, 38 percent of people said that after seeing a product or service in a story they talked to someone about it, and 34% said they went to a store to look for it.”

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]