International News Desk – At Home: Sneaky Sneakers – Around the World: Oh Henry

At Home: Sneaky Sneakers

Shape-ups, specialty cross trainers, and other advanced shoe technologies: do they really aid athletic performance and prevent injuries, or are they more hype than help?

It might be the latter, according to Dr. Benno Nigg, a biomechanics researcher at the University of Calgary. As the CBC reports, all the fancy bells and whistles on some athletic shoes might be a waste of your money, since ?spending hundreds of dollars to get the latest in running shoe technology isn’t as effective at preventing injury as simply buying a pair That’s comfortable.?

Dr. Nigg, who’s publishing a book on shoe biomechanics, has been studying orthotics and athletic shoe technology for 30 years. He has also ?worked with industry giants such as Nike and Reebok,? but he’s not necessarily a fan of their higher-tech offerings. He feels that the so-called progress in shoe research has done little to improve running injury rates over the years.

In fact, he told reporters that all you get ?with the high prices is the gimmicks,? advising runners to choose shoes that ?feel . . . comfortable.?

Around the World: Oh Henry

Old houses are a delightful source of historical musing. Who lived there? What were their lives like? And did they leave anything behind? Countless owners of historical homes have found antique books, old diaries, yellowed newspaper clippings, and the like?all items that have given clues about homeowners hundreds of years ago. For one British couple, the discovery was historically significant?and pricelessly unique.

As The Daily Telegraph reports, the couple was renovating their home when they uncovered [a] unique medieval mural of Henry VIII.?

The painted mural, which measures 20 by 6 feet, was hidden beneath ?wallpaper and mortar.? It’s believed to have been made ?at the turn of the 15th century.?

At that time, the home was occupied by Thomas Cranmer, who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury and a key pioneer in the early Church of England. It was Cranmer who, as Archbishop, declared the king’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon void, and then married Henry and Anne Boleyn.

Art historians are enthused about the discovery of the mural, which one former professor told reporters was of ?enormous importance and significance.? In fact, since it is the only surviving mural of Henry VIII, it is considered to be ?priceless.?

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