Categories
Fitness

What is MAKE SMTHNG?


The guidelines for this initiative by the Green Peace include cook your own food, share, DIY, upcycle, buy second hand, etc

A Green Peace initiative to promote creative alternatives to consumerism and reduce its effect on the climate, the guidelines for MAKE SMTHNG campaign are simple. Share, DIY, upcycle, go plastic free, fix old electronics, buy second hand, grow your food, cook your food and many other ideas.

The campaign is now online through their Facebook and Instagram pages and it shares hundreds of creations by people around the world. Their website says the idea is, “If you have made something, you will buy more consciously next time, whether it is food, fashion or mobile phones. Your experience of creating an original will lead you to reflect on your consumption patterns and you will be more likely to find a way to repair, care for and share your goods before throwing them out. It is essential that we restore this culture in our communities, and make spaces where skills and knowledge are shared an essential part of our urban life.”

This Christmas, let’s try and create things that are good not only for Nature but also for us. “The process of making something itself is therapeutic. It is also a way of expressing emotions, of using our senses to bring happiness. Being creative is therefore not only good for nature but also great for the overall well-being of a person. Now can be the best time to start, with Christmas right around the corner,” says Thenndral S, psychological counsellor and founder of Eros Psycoun Services, Chennai.

No-cook fig and nut balls

  • Meghna Purandare, a health food blogger (meghnas.com), suggests a healthy alternative to store bought sugar-loaded sweets: a box of no-cook fig and nut balls. “This is a healthy snack. Figs are rich in iron, fibre, vitamins and micro nutrients. Chia seeds contain protein, almond is gluten-free and rich in omega 3. Ginger helps with digestion,” says Vinitha Krishnan, consultant nutritionist, SIMS Hospital, Chennai.

Ingredients

  • 3/4th cup figs, soaked in warm hot water for five minutes, drained
  • 3/4th cup almonds, roughly ground
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp whey protein or pea protein powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp fresh orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 pinch nutmeg powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Method

Soak figs in warm water, drain, and make a rough paste with the coconut oil.

Add all other ingredient to a food processor and blitz.

Make small balls and garnish with desiccated coconut and orange zest.

Makes 10 balls.

In this column, we demystify the buzzwords in wellness.

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Headlines UK

Barbour’s Christmas campaign is a heart-warming tale on sustainability


Shoppers have praised Barbour’s ‘brilliant’ Christmas campaign for its heartwarming tale on sustainability and encouraging repair, rather them always buying new. 

The heritage and lifestyle brand’s 2020 Christmas campaign is inspired by the popular children’s books written and illustrated by Raymond Briggs and the iconic 1991 animated special, Father Christmas, for the second year. 

The film follows a young boy whose dog has chewed his father’s beloved Barbour wax jacket. 

The boy writes to Father Christmas to say that he doesn’t want a present this year, he just needs his help to repair his father’s jacket in time for Christmas. 

Father Christmas realises he can’t mend the jacket himself but has the bright idea of taking it to the Barbour factory in South Shields to see whether they can assist. 

Barbour has launched a new Christmas campaign (pictured) with a heart-warming tale on sustainability and why repairing a much-loved item can mean so much. The film follows a young boy whose dog has chewed his father’s beloved Barbour wax jacket (pictured)

The heritage and lifestyle brand's 2020 Christmas campaign is inspired by the popular children's books written and illustrated by Raymond Briggs and the iconic 1991 animated special, Father Christmas, for the second year. Pictured, the boys receives his father's fixed Barbour jacket

The heritage and lifestyle brand’s 2020 Christmas campaign is inspired by the popular children’s books written and illustrated by Raymond Briggs and the iconic 1991 animated special, Father Christmas, for the second year. Pictured, the boys receives his father’s fixed Barbour jacket

The Barbour customer service team inspect the jacket and reassure him that it can be mended. They set to work repairing the jacket and give it a rewax too, so it looks as good as new. 

Father Christmas then delivers the jacket back to the boy on Christmas Eve to give to his father on Christmas Day. 

The film ends with the family out for a dog walk on Christmas Day, the little boy smiling and happy and the father proudly wearing his newly restored Barbour jacket. 

The film is based on the true story of Dudley the dachshund who chewed his owner’s much adored Barbour jacket. His owner sent it back to Barbour with a note from Dudley to say he was sorry! 

Shoppers have taken to Twitter to praise Barbour's focus on sustainability rather than always buying new (pictured)

Shoppers have taken to Twitter to praise Barbour’s focus on sustainability rather than always buying new (pictured)

The boy writes to Father Christmas to say that he doesn't want a present this year, he just needs his help to repair his father's jacket in time for Christmas (pictured)

The boy writes to Father Christmas to say that he doesn’t want a present this year, he just needs his help to repair his father’s jacket in time for Christmas (pictured)

Father Christmas realises he can't mend the jacket himself but has the bright idea of taking it to the Barbour factory in South Shields to see whether they can assist (pictured)

Father Christmas realises he can’t mend the jacket himself but has the bright idea of taking it to the Barbour factory in South Shields to see whether they can assist (pictured)

And many were quick to take to Twitter to praise Barbour for its focus on sustainability.

‘Stop all the Christmas ads, Barbour have nailed it. They know their audience are dog people, they’re promoting sustainability over buying new presents and it gives you that warm feeling,’ wrote one, while a second enthused:

‘Barbour’s brilliant Christmas advert is a tale on sustainability & repairing precious gifts! It’s also the wonderful Raymond Briggs Father Christmas! Definitely our new favourite!’

Paul Wilkinson, Global Marketing and Commercial Director, Barbour commented: ‘This is a very special Christmas campaign for us as it’s based on a true story from one of our customers. 

The film highlights how much our Barbour jackets are loved and become an important part of the family. 

Barbour wax jackets are made to last – they’re very sustainable and if you rewax your jacket at least once a year, it could last you a lifetime even if a naughty dachshund does decide to get his teeth into it!’ 

Award winning 2D animation studio, Illuminated Films, produced the animation for the film using computer assisted animation, compositing and special effects software TV Paint. 

The Barbour customer service team inspect the jacket and reassure him that it can be mended (pictured)

The Barbour customer service team inspect the jacket and reassure him that it can be mended (pictured)

Father Christmas then delivers the jacket back to the boy on Christmas Eve to give to his father on Christmas Day (pictured)

Father Christmas then delivers the jacket back to the boy on Christmas Eve to give to his father on Christmas Day (pictured)

‘Father Christmas to the Rescue’ was written and directed by Dave Unwin, along with Art Director Loraine Marshall and a number of leading British animators. 

Working closely with the production team at Illuminated Films, Barbour’s integrated creative agency, 

Thinking Juice one of the UK’s top ten independents, came up with the narrative of ‘Father Christmas to the Rescue’ and the creative elements of the campaign. 

The voice of Father Christmas for the second year running is actor Colin McFarlane. The agreement was brokered by The Copyrights Group, a Vivendi Company, who have been the licensing agents for Father Christmas for nearly 30 years. 

Rachel Clarke, SVP of Licensing and Retail UK at The Copyrights Group said: ‘We are thrilled to be partnering with Barbour for the second year running with this new Father Christmas campaign and are really looking forward to seeing it come to life.’ 

Iain Harvey, Producer at Illuminated Films, added: ‘Working with Barbour and their team is always inspiring as they fully understand the wonderful character Raymond Briggs created, making the production great fun and a nice challenge to the animators.’ 



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Categories
The Buzz

Economic recovery stronger than expected, need to be watchful of demand sustainability, says RBI governor


Mumbai, November 26

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das on Thursday said the country’s economy had recovered stronger than expected from the initial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but there is a need to be watchful of demand sustainability after the end of festivities.

Speaking at the annual day event of Foreign Exchange Dealers’ Association of India (FEDAI), Das said there are downside risks to growth across the world and also in India.

It can be noted that the Indian economy contracted by 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of the fiscal year, and the RBI expects the economy to shrink by 9.5 per cent in FY21. However, there has been recovery after the opening up of the lockdown restrictions, especially during the festive season.

“After witnessing a sharp contraction in the economy by 23.9 per cent in Q1 and a multi-speed normalisation of activity in Q2, the Indian economy has exhibited stronger than expected pick-up in momentum of recovery,” Das said.

Even as growth outlook had improved, downside risks to growth continued due to recent surge in infections in parts of Europe and also in parts of India, he said.

“We need to be watchful about the sustainability of demand after the festivals and a possible reassessment of market expectations surrounding the vaccine,” he said.

Das said regulatory reforms had moved the financial markets to the next trajectory amid the pandemic and affirmed RBI’s commitment to ensure an orderly conduct in the markets.

He said that India would continue to approach capital account convertibility “as a process, rather than as an event” within a broad macroeconomic framework. PTI





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Technology US

Fairphone 3 Plus review: sustainability comes with compromises


It’s hard not to be charmed by a smartphone that comes with a screwdriver in the box, especially when it’s as small and dinky as the one that comes with the Fairphone 3 Plus. In fact, that’s the only accessory you get with the phone. There’s no USB cable, no wall charger, and definitely no earbuds in the box.

This little screwdriver is an important indication of what you’re getting with the latest device from sustainable smartphone manufacturer Fairphone. For starters, the phone is designed to be as repairable as possible. It’s an upgraded version of last year’s Fairphone 3, one of only two devices to have earned a perfect repairability score from iFixit. Beyond repairs, Fairphone also attempts to use ethically sourced materials where possible and offer good working conditions for the people making its phones.

These are all noble aims, and it’s hard not to want Fairphone to succeed. But wanting a smartphone manufacturer to succeed means holding its devices to a high standard because that’s how it can attract the biggest audience and create the biggest positive impact.

Holding the Fairphone 3 Plus to these higher standards can be frustrating, though. At €469 / £425 (the Fairphone 3 Plus isn’t available for purchase in the US, but that converts to roughly $550), it’s competing in price with the likes of the Pixel 4A (€349 / £349) and this year’s iPhone SE (€489 / £399). It’s a crowded price point, one that the Fairphone 3 Plus struggles to be competitive at.

Before we get into talking about the phone itself, it’s worth taking a moment to talk about how it’s made. For starters, 40 percent of the plastic used in its construction is recycled, as is some copper. It uses gold from Fairtrade certified mines, tin from conflict-free mines, and Fairphone also has initiatives to improve conditions for factory workers in China. It’s a lot of stuff you probably don’t think about with other phones, but Fairphone is making an effort to be ethical across its supply chain.

When it comes to the final product, however, the Fairphone 3 Plus’ design is basic. This isn’t a phone that’s designed to hide its technology inside of a sleek slab of glass or metal. Repairability dictates a design that’s slightly bulkier, as Fairphone makes space for all of the user-accessible screws and plastic clasps this requires. The phone also isn’t dust or water resistant because this would require using seals or glue that would get in the way of repairs.

You’re exposed to these repairability features just by setting up the phone. There’s no SIM tray accessible from the outside of the phone, so instead, you have to pull off its plastic back, take out the removable battery, and then slide your SIM card into an internal slot. Personally, this was a nostalgic process that reminded me of what it was like to use feature phones in the ‘90s, but for others, it might come across as a bit dated.

Take off the phone’s back, and you’ll find a removable battery and a set of easily accessible screws.

Once you’ve got the back off of the phone, you can see all of the design features that contributed to that perfect repairability score. There’s no awkward glue or proprietary screws holding the phone together, just a series of plastic clasps and standard Phillips head screws.

It’s charming in its simplicity, but it also makes for an old-fashioned-looking device. Compared to most modern smartphones the Fairphone 3 Plus is a bulky slab of plastic. It’s got big fat bezels above and below the screen and an oddly prominent earpiece and selfie camera. If you like technology that looks like technology, then you’ll appreciate it, but it’s far from sleek.

Functionally, this design can also be a bit awkward. I found the Fairphone 3 Plus has an annoying design quirk where the location of the rear fingerprint sensor is just too high up the back of the phone, forcing me to readjust my grip to unlock the phone. As a right-handed person, it also felt a little weird having both the volume and power buttons on its left side. Then again, my left-handed roommate loved it. Make of that what you will.

There’s a rear fingerprint sensor, but it’s uncomfortably high up.

Yep, there’s a headphone jack.

Design gripes aside, the rest of the Fairphone 3 Plus’ appearance is unexceptional. It has a 1080p LCD display that doesn’t get very bright with colors that look a little washed out. Its single speaker is average, and unlike a lot of other phones, it’s placed on the left side of the device rather than the bottom. The location meant I accidentally covered it slightly less while holding the phone landscape to watch videos but more when I held it in portrait. Regardless, you’re going to want to use headphones here, so thankfully, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack to make that easier for you.

Performance-wise, the Fairphone 3 Plus chugs. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 632 with 4GB of RAM, which translates into a two-year-old chip with an amount of RAM that only budget Android handsets try to get away with these days. Stutters are a fact of life with the Fairphone 3 Plus, whether you’re activating Google Assistant to perform a quick task, flicking between apps, or opening the app drawer.

I also encountered a couple of annoying bugs during my time with the phone. Most annoying was that I couldn’t find a way to import my WhatsApp contacts or chat backup. Every time I tried to do so, the app got stuck in a loading loop, which didn’t end after even leaving it to run for half an hour. I’m running WhatsApp’s Android beta software, but even so, I’ve never experienced this on other devices. After switching Android to gesture navigation, I also found that UI elements on the home screen would overlap with one another. It makes the phone feel a little cheap.

Turn on gesture controls, and the phone’s UI elements can sometimes overlap.

The Fairphone’s bezels are big.

The battery life of the Fairphone 3 Plus is nothing exceptional. Most days, I’d end the day with around 40 percent of charge, but that’s me working from home, so I’m not doing anything battery-intensive like navigation. Screen-on time varied massively between a low of three and a high of five and a half hours. In normal use, I think this is a phone that’ll just about last you a day, but not much more.

At least part of this dated hardware can be blamed on the fact that the Fairphone 3 Plus is fundamentally the same phone as last year’s Fairphone 3. That’s by design since it means that any Fairphone 3 owners who want to benefit from the Fairphone 3 Plus’ upgraded cameras can buy these separately as upgrade modules for their existing handset rather than buying a whole new phone. It’s an interesting response to the criticism companies like Apple face for bringing out new phones every year, which critics say encourages unnecessary yearly upgrades. It’s an admirable design feature, but it creates unfortunate compromises for the final device.

These specific camera upgrades in the Fairphone 3 Plus are focused on its new higher-resolution sensors. The rear camera has increased from 12 to 48 megapixels, while the selfie camera is now 16 megapixels up from 8 megapixels last year. You still only get one rear camera, but considering how low-resolution and unnecessary a lot of secondary cameras are, that’s probably an acceptable trade-off.

Despite the resolution improvements, however, the overall quality of the photographs taken by the Fairphone 3 Plus only ends up being okay. It might not be priced like a flagship, but it’s still £75 more expensive than the Pixel 4A, a midrange phone that offers very similar performance to its more expensive siblings.

In daylight, the Fairphone 3 Plus tends toward producing detailed images with lots of contrast. They have punch, but this can sometimes come at the expense of shadow detail, and images can sometimes look overly sharp. The combination can create some noisy photographs.

This is especially apparent in low-light situations, where detail can end up being crushed out of darker areas of an image. This means that when things get really dark, you can lose detail entirely.

I generally liked the photos I got out of the Fairphone 3 Plus’ selfie camera, however.

Despite the camera improvements, the Fairphone 3 Plus still offers an average smartphone camera. It’s fine in daylight, but you don’t get much flexibility, and in low-light images can end up looking grainy and lacking in detail.

The phone’s upgraded camera modules only deliver average photos.

It feels wrong to criticize the Fairphone 3 Plus by the same metrics we use to rank other smartphones because it makes such an effort in areas that a lot of other manufacturers aren’t interested in. It really is remarkable just how easy it is to take this phone apart, and Fairphone’s efforts to source its materials ethically should be applauded.

But all of these efforts, no matter how worthwhile, come at a cost. In terms of the device that sits in your hands at the end of the day, you’re paying more for less functionality. Performance can be buggy and slow, and battery life and camera performance are average. It’s a phone with charm, but it’s far from stylish, sleek, or any of the other compliments we throw around about phones from other manufacturers.

If you are someone who wants a more ethical and sustainable alternative to a budget £200 device, then the Fairphone 3 Plus delivers. It’ll serve your needs in the same way as a budget smartphone will in 2020 but at a price premium that reflects its ethically sourced materials and repairability. But don’t expect this to compete with other similarly priced phones. Fairphone has different priorities, and in order to buy one of its phones, you need to share them.

Photography by Jon Porter / The Verge



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