BALTIMORE — The list of A’s starting pitchers currently rehabbing from injuries is enough to construct a starting rotation you would feel good about giving a strong outing every night. They are not all ready to get back just yet, but returns are getting closer.Jharel Cotton began throwing to hitters for the first time earlier this week, with A.J. Puk expected to join him in doing so in the coming days. Both pitchers underwent Tommy John surgery less than a month apart from each other before …
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We finished planting a full 44 days ahead of last year and that includes sitting a week waiting on them to finish ditching. What a difference a year makes.We are hoping to finish sidedressing this morning if we don’t get rained out and I think we have a good shot at it. We have not been dry. We have actually had to scout to see where it was fit to sidedress.Weed control has been pretty good. We did spot spray one field but there is nothing that has been too urgent. That will be the next thing we get ready for.We do have a few acres of beans to replant and that ground is not fit yet. The replanting seems to be a variety specific problem and not a planting date problem. It is not a lot of acres — less than 50. We have a seedling disease in there. There are two main diseases — one likes it warm and wet and one likes it cool and wet. We’ve had both conditions. They were beans that were up and on their way and then they died. We didn’t push to replant right before this rain because we would be planting right back into a field full of the pathogen.When it comes to replanting, sometimes I root for a complete failure so you can just make one decision to go in and replant it all rather than making 1,000 decisions. I hate replanting, but it won’t take long to knock it out because it is not a widespread problem. It is better than a lot of years and a lot better than last year.Overall, there is a field here and there we’d like to have looking a little better, but things look pretty good so far.
Most parents of teenagers end up wondering if their teen was a mutant alien. How did their sweet, cheerful, obedient child mutate into a rude, argumentative stranger, communicating in grunts, prone to mood swings and recklessness? While traditionally the raging hormones of puberty have been blamed, recent studies using magnetic resonance imaging reveal that these changes may be a consequence of the normal growth of the brain. Having spent the past 20 years studying the developing brains of children, I know that the brain grows and changes continually in young people-and is only about 80% developed in adolescents.Areas of the brain that are fairly well-developed early on is the nucleus accumbens, or the area that seeks pleasure and reward, and the amygdale, responsible for emotional and impulsive responses as well as social interaction. While impulsive actions like snatching someone else’s food may be acceptable amongst alligators, it is not amongst adult humans. So, with evolution humans have developed other parts of the brain to appropriately control and direct primitive drives and desires. Foremost among these areas is the prefrontal cortex, a section of the brain that controls impulses and emotions, weighs outcomes and forms reasoned judgements. If you take the brain to be a car, the limbic system is the engine and the prefrontal lobe the brakes. Another area which helps us distinguish between right and wrong and change the course of our actions based on previous experiences is the anterior cingulate lobe, in the front of the brain.Research has consistently shown that in the teen years, the limbic system is fairly well-developed whereas the prefrontal lobe and the anterior cingulate remain relatively immature, until 25 years. This is what makes teenagers impulsive, susceptible to peer pressure and prone to emotional outbursts. For most adults, their prefrontal cortex prevents them from taking risks like doing wheelies in traffic without a helmet. But the teen’s underdeveloped prefrontal cortex can’t register this and they do it for the thrill of it. When a teenager spends an hour on the Internet instead of focussing on homework, it’s because the teenage brain doesn’t register delayed gratifi-cation. Also, having an immature anterior cingulate means that teenagers find it difficult to stop behaviours that may have been rewarding once but are no longer so.While a little bit of risk taking in the teen years may be an evolutionary necessity; it is important that parents use their growing understanding of their teenagers’ brain developments to help them develop into centred, responsible adults.advertisementBe your child’s surrogate frontal cortex. Since teens find it difficult to make good decisions in risky or emotional situations, step in to help with planning, processing information and problem solving.Anticipate high risk situations such as drinking/smoking, sex, etc. and discuss them honestly. The teen brain needs rehearsals. Set house rules so your teen will have a blueprint to follow when faced with a situation. The teen brain craves structure and is more comfortable with protective rules. Teens who say their parents warned them about drug use are less likely to use them.Encourage positive risk taking. Encourage your teen to take part in adventure sports, volunteering for social change or mentoring disadvantaged children. The thrill of it will keep him going.Dr Vivek Benegal has specialised for the last 20 years in treating young people with addictions. He is additional professor of psychiatry, Deaddiction Centre, NIMHANS, Bengaluru.