The first season of college football’s playoff era will come to a close Monday night, as the Oregon Ducks face the Ohio State Buckeyes for the national championship.The Ducks come into the contest favored by most sources, including the consensus of sportsbooks in Las Vegas and ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). But there’s disagreement on the degree of Oregon’s edge. The FPI, which includes results from every game of the 2014 season (plus a preseason rating as a prior), thinks Oregon would beat Ohio State by about five points at AT&T Stadium or another neutral field. Vegas, however, spent most of the past week favoring the Ducks by more — as many as 6.5 to seven points, according to the bookmakers listed at VegasInsider.com.This was looking like a sure sign of the markets’ skepticism over the ability of Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones. Jones began the 2014 season third on Ohio State’s QB depth chart, behind Heisman candidate Braxton Miller and touted redshirt freshman backup J.T. Barrett. Then Miller was injured and lost for the season in an August practice, upon which Barrett took the reins and led the Buckeyes to a 11-1 record (on the strength of one of the nation’s best passing performances) before going down with a season-ending injury in late November.Now Jones is at the helm.Jones, a sophomore, was only regarded as the 41st-best QB prospect in his freshman class, according to Phil Steele’s recruiting aggregations, and had thrown just 19 career passes before starting in the Big Ten title game against Wisconsin. But Jones and the Buckeyes were spectacular in that game, winning 59-0, and then upset favored Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinals. (Jones’s numbers were less impressive against Alabama than against Wisconsin — but then again, Alabama also has a slightly tougher pass defense.)It effectively created an interesting Bayesian problem: How do we balance a sample of two great games against the prior assumption that Jones is a lightly regarded third-stringer? The initial discrepancy between Vegas’s Oregon-Ohio State point spread and that generated by season-long power ratings seemed to indicate how much of a downgrade Jones was relative to Barrett: roughly 1.5 to two points by the market consensus. As a point of comparison, this is a smaller margin than the typical gap between a starter and a backup QB in the NFL.Complicating matters now, though, was the news early Saturday that Oregon wide receiver Darren Carrington, the team’s second-leading receiver, failed a drug test and was declared ineligible for the title game. That shrunk Vegas’s consensus edge for Oregon down to about 5.5 points by Saturday morning — nearly the same as the FPI predicts using both teams’ full-season numbers. (The game’s line has since returned to a consensus of 6.5 points favoring Oregon, as of Monday morning.)Even so, it will be worth keeping an eye on which effect is bigger, and whether the market’s implicitly Bayesian assessment of Jones turns out to be on the money or not. It’s no stretch to say the accuracy of that appraisal could determine Ohio State’s fate Monday night.
Minnesota Vikings announced that they will start Matt Cassel over Josh Freeman as quarterback against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.Josh Freeman, who was recently waived by Tampa, signed a one-year deal worth $3 million with the Vikings last week.Coach Leslie Frazier said Friday that it was expected that Cassel would remain in the lineup after he helped the Vikings win their first game of the season in London against Pittsburgh.The Vikings signed ex-Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman to possibly compete for the starting job if needed. The former first round draft pick, Freeman struggled with Tampa before being released. He completed a league-worst, 45.3 percent of his passes, and threw only two touchdowns and two interceptions while with the Buccaneers earlier in the season.
Rap impresario Jay-Z is changing the sports agent game and scaring the white establishment as he’s doing it. Big-time athletes are breaking ranks, signing with Beyonce’s husband’s agency, Roc Nation, not just because it’s cool to be on his team, but also because his business acumen is producing blockbuster results.People laughed and smirked when Jay-Z announced he was expanding his empire to athlete representation two years ago. Impressively, he leveraged his popularity as an artist to attain some of sports’ top young stars’ attention and is doing right by them in contact negotiations.Jigga Man is laughing now with his latest coup, signing Dallas Cowboys star receiver Dez Bryant, who shunned agent Eugene Parker just as he is up for a new, mega-contract. Bryant’s reasons for the move mirror the thoughts of others who have shunned going with large, white firms for representation.He can relate to Jay-Z.“I feel like it fits me,” Bryant said to ESPNDallas.com. “It fits what I’m trying to do, what I’m trying to accomplish in life. I want to be the best that I can possibly be. It ain’t about a contract. It’s about me branding myself and being an icon for these kids. I love kids and they look up to me.“I come from dirt — point blank, period — and every day I’m writing my story and it’s getting better. I feel like they were the best choice for me. They can help me get to where I want to be. That’s what it is.”One person not laughing is Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who also serves as general manager. He reportedly talked Bryant out of hiring Roc Nation in the summer and was “not happy” when Bryant went against his wishes last week. It is unclear why Jones did not want the receiver to join Jay-Z’s agency. Jones dealt with Parker, who also is Black.Whatever the case, Jay-Z wins, and so his quest to be a mega-player in the agency game climbs another rung, even while many root against him. It will be interesting to see how negotiations between Jones and Roc Nation go, as Bryant has earned the right to a new contact around $12 million a season, which would be commensurate with his status as one of the elite receivers in the NFL.“I’d be highly disappointed,” Bryant said, if he did not get a max deal. Almost any agent could accomplish that; he’s deserving. It’s the outside-football exposure and endorsements where Roc Nation can up the ante for Bryant.Roc Nation has only 12 sports clients for now, and they include some of the athletic world’s top performers. Significantly, Jay-Z and Co. negotiated a 10-year, $240-million deal for Robinson Cano when he left the New York Yankees for the Seattle Mariners—an enormous deal that set Roc Nation in flight.Also on the Roc Nation team is NBA superstar Kevin Durant. Jay-Z earned its most significant deal for the Oklahoma City Thunder forward, an endorsement package with sneaker and athletic apparel giant Nike that could peak at $300 million. How Roc Nation pulled off the bonanza was as impressive as the numbers.It smartly pitted and created a bidding war between Nike and rising Under Armour, which Roc Nation knew was eager to make a splash in the endorsement world by stealing away Durant. The story goes that Nike offered $20 million a year for Durant. Jay-Z took that number to Under Armour, which offered about $26 million, intent on overtaking its competitor.But Nike flexed its muscle and offered $30 million a year, giving Roc Nation a landmark deal that shows other athletes, like Bryant, its negotiating power and legitimacy. Beyond that, there is speculation that Durant never had any intentions of leaving Nike—he took less in his previous contract instead of fleeing to Adidas.Other Roc Nation clients include WNBA star Skylar Diggins, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, Detroit Lion lineman Ndamukon Suh and New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz, among others. Don’t be surprised if that client list rapidly increases.Curtis Bunn is a best-selling novelist and national award-winning sports journalist who has worked at The Washington Times, NY Newsday, The New York Daily News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
10North Carolina State94.6%48.5%+46.2 WKOPPONENTMAKES PLAYOFFDOESN’T MAKE PLAYOFFDIFF. Which other games need to go right for Clemson and Washington?The non-Tigers, non-Huskies matchups that have the most leverage on each team’s playoff chances WKOPPONENTMAKES PLAYOFFDOESN’T MAKE PLAYOFFDIFF. 13Washington State98.073.4+24.7 Each week in this space, we examine all the things a certain contending team needs to have happen in order for it to make the College Football Playoff. This week’s edition is a double feature starring the Clemson Tigers and Washington Huskies, each of which fell out of the AP Top 5 after suffering upset losses last week.Current situations: After Clemson and Washington lost to Syracuse and Arizona State, respectively, the two teams’ College Football Playoff odds were dented pretty badly. According to FiveThirtyEight’s prediction model, the Tigers now have just a 29 percent chance of making the playoff (down from 55 percent going into the weekend), and the Huskies are at 24 percent (down from 43 percent). Six teams are currently ahead of the Tigers and Huskies in our CFP probabilities, and Clemson isn’t even the favorite to win its conference anymore. (Miami has slightly higher odds of winning the ACC.) The relatively straightforward paths for both teams to return to the CFP have now run into major complications.What the Tigers and Huskies can do: As always, winning out is paramount to getting into the playoff. If Clemson runs the table — which our model gives a 20 percent chance of happening — it will have a 97 percent probability of making the CFP, a near-lock. The Tigers’ trip to NC State on Nov. 4 is easily their biggest obstacle to that; they win that game in 95 percent of our simulations that have them going to the playoff, while they only win it 49 percent of the time in sims where they don’t make the CFP. (That 46 percentage point difference makes it the highest-leverage game left in Clemson’s season.) It should also be noted that these numbers assume that Clemson’s star QB Kelly Bryant is healthy; he was knocked out of the Syracuse loss but seems to be progressing quickly in his recovery.For Washington, the odds of winning all its remaining games are a bit higher (21 percent), although the Huskies also have a less guaranteed playoff path — only 87 percent CFP odds — even if they do win out. Washington’s most important game comes at Stanford on Nov. 10, a matchup the Huskies win 96 percent of the time in their playoff-bound simulations but only 40 percent of the time in universes where they don’t make the playoff. 11Notre Dame def. Miami49.546.5+3.0 9Georgia Tech93.675.0+18.6 Washington:PROBABILITY BY WASHINGTON OUTCOME Washington gamesWASHINGTON WIN % BY OUTCOME 10Virginia Tech def. Miami36.832.5+4.3 13South Carolina90.167.3+22.8 8Notre Dame def. USC66.563.9+2.6 12California def. Stanford17.9%14.3%+3.6 13South Carolina def. Clemson28.225.5+2.8 9UCLA95.282.0+13.2 Differences may not add up exactly because of rounding. 9Arizona State def. USC34.531.7+2.9 12Citadel100.099.9+0.1 10Washington St. def. Stanford40.537.8+2.7 10Arizona def. USC28.225.6+2.6 12Wake Forest def. N.C. State44.6%38.2%+6.4 13North Carolina def. N.C. State18.114.5+3.6 10Oregon94.578.4+16.0 11Stanford95.6%39.5%+56.1 WKRESULTMAKES PLAYOFFDOESN’T MAKE PLAYOFFDIFF. 13Notre Dame def. Stanford48.946.2+2.7 11Auburn def. Georgia47.844.4+3.5 12Michigan def. Wisconsin28.325.7+2.6 WKRESULTMAKES PLAYOFFDOESN’T MAKE PLAYOFFDIFF. 11Boston College def. N.C. State26.622.3+4.3 Which of Clemson and Washington’s remaining games hold the most weight?Remaining 2017 matchups, ranked by the amount of leverage on each team’s playoff chances. Based on two sets of simulations: one where the team makes the playoff and one where it doesn’t. 11Florida State93.562.3+31.2 Differences may not add up exactly because of rounding. 12Utah96.782.0+14.7 12Virginia def. Miami17.214.4+2.8 13Georgia Tech def. Georgia30.227.2+3.0 Clemson:PROBABILITY BY CLEMSON OUTCOME Clemson gamesCLEMSON WIN % BY OUTCOME Where they need help: As mentioned above, Clemson doesn’t need much in the way of outside help — as long as the Tigers win, they’re still almost guaranteed to make the playoff. They could benefit slightly from anything that boosts their odds of winning the ACC, however, including losses by NC State and Miami. And any wins by Auburn will automatically help Clemson because of its head-to-head victory against those other Tigers in September.Washington, on the other hand, could use more of an assist from afar. There are two categories for these kinds of games: Some — like Stanford losing to Cal in Week 12 — tend to be entangled with implications about the strength of a team’s own opponents.1For instance, consider a situation in which Team A and Team B are conference rivals. Team B might be less likely to win an unrelated game in a simulation where Team A makes the playoff, because Team B is also likely to be weaker in a universe where Team A beats them head-to-head. (Arizona State beating USC also fits this category, because it makes Washington’s loss to the Sun Devils look less bad.) But the more interesting ones come where the connection isn’t obvious: Georgia Tech beating Georgia, for instance, helps Washington because it hurts an undefeated Bulldogs team that currently sits ahead of the Huskies in our playoff odds. One good piece of news for both Clemson and Washington is that, of the six teams ahead of them in the CFP probabilities, all but likely Big 12 winner TCU hail from just two conferences: the Big Ten and SEC. Since the playoff selection committee puts an emphasis on conference championships, some of those teams will by definition see their odds plummet before the Final Four is chosen — we just don’t know which ones yet. So there aren’t many universes where both, say, Alabama and Georgia make the playoff, or both Ohio State and Penn State (to say nothing of Wisconsin).But Washington and Clemson may also find themselves as enemies down the season’s final stretch; with one loss apiece, they could very likely be competing for the same CFP slot. Indeed, Clemson only makes the playoff in 23 percent of the simulations where Washington is in, versus 31 percent of the sims where Washington misses out. (That same split is 18 percent versus 25 percent from Washington’s perspective.) With only four teams standing at the end of the season, every loss counts — a lesson the Tigers and Huskies might have learned the hard way last weekend.Check out our latest college football predictions.
Members of the OSU women’s volleyball team during a game against Michigan on Nov. 14 at St. John Arena. OSU lost 3-0. Credit: Lantern file photoA third-set Buckeye effort wasn’t enough to stop the Indiana Hoosiers from swiping a win from the Ohio State women’s volleyball team on Saturday. Indiana took home the 3-1 victory on their home court, while No. 22 OSU fell to 15-11 overall on the season and 5-9 in the Big Ten. The loss tallies two in a row for the Buckeyes, dropping a match to Wisconsin prior to their faceoff with the Hoosiers. OSU has just six remaining matches in the regular season. The Buckeyes will see three of those teams for the first time this season. A week ago, junior outside hitter Luisa Schirmer said that allowing teams to go on three or four-point runs is ruinous for the Buckeyes. In the first set alone, the Hoosiers went on three three-point runs and created a hole for OSU. Near the conclusion of the first set, the Buckeyes pulled within two points but it was the deadly three-point deficit that came back to haunt them. The Hoosiers took the first set, 25-22. The second set was anchored offensively by sophomore outside hitter Audra Appold, who swung for 10 kills. Even with impressive statistics, the Buckeyes were doomed to play catch-up nearly the entire set. However, OSU rallied and tied the score at 23-23. Then, Indiana’s Deyshia Lofton secured a kill and an assisted block for the second Indiana set win. By the third set, the Buckeyes had had enough, and jumped out to an 8-0 lead, assisted by multiple attacking errors from the Hoosiers. It wasn’t long before sophomore setter Taylor Hughes set foot on the service line and led the team on another three-point run to make the score 14-4. The OSU kills kept rolling, as senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe racked up three in a row, and junior outside hitter Ashley Wenz led the set-winning attack. The Buckeyes headed into the fourth set trailing 2-1. Down for nearly the entire set, OSU gained its first lead at 14-13. The advantage changed hands briefly before the score was mirrored at 22 each. It was the Hoosiers’ Allison Hammond who slammed down two attacks in the final minutes to take the match, 25-23. Appold and Sandbothe combined for 37 kills during the match, while freshman Madison Smeathers assisted with five blocks. OSU will have a chance to redeem its loss to the Hoosiers at the final match of the regular season in front of a home crowd. Before then, the team will first face Rutgers at 7 p.m. on Friday at St. John Arena.
The Ohio State field hockey team will now be waiting on the edge of its seat Tuesday night when it will be finding out if it claimed one of the at-large bids into the 2011 NCAA Championships. The Buckeyes (12-8, 4-2) fell to the host-school, Penn State, 1-0 in a defensive battle on Friday afternoon. By losing in the semifinals of the 2011 Big Ten tournament, the Buckeyes will now need their season resume to make their case as they now stand on the bubble of being a tournament team. The Scarlet and Gray advanced to the semifinals after they defeated Michigan State, 2-1, just the day before when they scored two second-half goals against the Spartans to pave their road to their eventual loss to the Nittany Lions in the next round. The Buckeyes’ play was hindered by the strong Nittany Lions defense, which ranks at the top of the conference. “It’s tough when you are going against a goalie like theirs (Ayla Halus), who was just selected as First Team All-Big Ten this season,” senior captain Ally Tunitis said. “They are a really good team, but we played to the best of our ability.” It was clear heading into the Big Ten tournament that the team truly needed to capture the title as the No. 2 seed and a frontrunner to make it a lock to be in the NCAA Championships. “The automatic bid is what we are going for,” head coach Anne Wilkinson said prior to the tournament. All the Buckeyes can do now is sit and wait as they will be unsure of the future of their season until the selection show, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday, with a live stream on NCAA.com. “It was unfortunate it had to end on one stroke,” Tunitis said. “If we don’t get the bid to the tournament, we will still be proud of how we played.” Penn State will now face top-seeded Michigan at 2 p.m. Sunday in the championship game as the Buckeyes will await their destiny.
In 2014 the Big Ten will welcome Rutgers University into the conference, in a move that, unfortunately, will also bring Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice and athletic director Tim Pernetti.An ESPN “Outside the Lines” segment that aired Tuesday showed Rice bullying players during basketball practices from 2010-2012. The coach was shown shoving players, throwing basketballs at them while they were not looking, insulting players with expletives and perhaps most offensive of all, using derogatory slurs regarding sexual orientation.According to “OTL,” tapes of the harsh practices were brought to the attention of Pernetti last summer, but nothing was done. Months later, in December 2012, an internal investigation was launched into the allegations. The investigation only resulted in a $50,000 fine and an unpaid three-game suspension for Rice. Pernetti is also on record saying he never considered firing Rice, who finished the season with a losing 15-16 record.To never even consider firing a coach who physically and emotionally abuses his athletes is outrageous.To call athletes fa–ots and keep Rice at his job is unbelievable, and furthermore, that the athletic director knew about it and let Rice stay makes the situation that much worse. Clearly neither of them has a proper understanding of how to treat individuals, let alone the young minds of those players they have been trusted to care for.To allow Rice to continue to coach seemingly condones the violent behavior toward students and the negative slurs often used toward the gay community that were hurled at his players.Perhaps most troubling, Rutgers is no stranger to dealing with acceptance, or lack thereof, of gay individuals. In September 2010, Rutgers student Tyler Clementi committed suicide, and it is believed he did so due to bullying from others about his homosexuality. The case drew national attention and even resulted in criminal charges being filed against Clementi’s roommate for invasion of privacy.Clearly the athletics department at Rutgers did not learn a lesson from this incident.The Big Ten, or at the very least Ohio State athletics, has higher standards than the way these two men have behaved and have been allowed to behave.Both OSU athletic director Gene Smith and President E. Gordon Gee have talked, before the Rutgers incident, about inclusion and acceptance of all athletes and students at OSU.“Inclusion is something I’ve always believed in,” Smith said in an exclusive interview with The Lantern on March 12. “I’ve always believed that a diverse environment allows you to have different thoughts and different views and ultimately you get the best out of that environment.”Gee agreed.“I believe that athletes, non-athletes (whatever), we want to be a university that is very friendly to all of our students and our faculty and staff,” Gee said while visiting The Lantern on March 25.Rutgers needs to let Pernetti and Rice go. A three-game suspension in December means nothing to a basketball program and is insulting to the memory of Clementi. Their behavior is not the kind that should be allowed into Big Ten athletics.
She told Mr Marsh’s partner that Gabriela would not be allowed back to her school – and said she would advise other dance schools to beware of accepting her.The email war of words between the two led to each of them making a complaint against the other to the police. A Gloucestershire Police spokesman confirmed they had received the complaints.He added: “An officer has now spoken with both parties at length and given suitable words of advice. Both parties have been told not to contact the other under any circumstances.“There will be no further police involvement in this case. This wouldn’t be classed as harassment as both parties are replying to each other.” An extraordinary row over a four-year-old girl’s ballet classes has led to her father and a dance school principal reporting each other to police.The bitter wrangle began when plumber Neil Marsh, 30, asked to attend one of daughter Gabriela’s classes at the Danceworks Studios in Cheltenham because he was not happy with the progress she was making.He wanted to see for himself that Gabriela’s dancing was improving after 20 months of twice-weekly lessons at the school.But the principal, Whanita La Bouchardiere, refused – telling him she had a strict policy of allowing parents to attend only the last class of each term. Neil Marsh, daughter Gabriela and her mother Paulina BorowiecCredit:Picasa Mr Marsh said: “If I am working in someone’s house as a plumber I am happy if they want to watch what I’m doing… I would have thought the same should apply when you are paying for your child to have dance lessons.”Ms La Bouchardiere said Mr Marsh was annoyed she would only let him attend an open class. “He then took it to a whole new level and I consider he has harassed me with bad reviews – the only bad review we’ve had in 18 years.”She added: “It was in the heat of the moment that I said ‘stupid, stupid little man’.” I never expected that my simple request to attend a lesson would lead to Whanita being so hostile and abusiveNeil Marsh Mr Marsh, of Cheltenham, said he could not go to the next open class because of a pre-booked family holiday.When Ms La Bouchardiere refused to relax her rule to let him attend a lesson Mr Marsh posted an uncomplimentary review of the dance school on social media – and then received an email from Ms La Bouchardiere calling him a “stupid, stupid little man”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
He added: “That manoeuvre was not a safe one. The prosecution says she created the situation.”Chair of the bench Michael Sandeman said the prosecution had proved Campbell’s driving “fell below the standard”. She was given a conditional discharge, three points on her license and ordered to pay £680 in costsCampbell, from near Worthing, had pleaded not guilty to driving without due care and attention.The I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! star smiled for photographers as she arrived at court supported by her son Dima.The other Audi driver, Harry Court, told the hearing he had been travelling home from work when the collision happened. Prosecutors said there was no reason for the way Campbell pulled out into the road, calling it an “error of judgement”. Paul Edwards said: “At 4.15pm on May 6 2016, the defendant was driving her vehicle, an Audi A6, near her home at Castle Goring.”The defendant reached the junction of the A27 and attempted to turn left on to the A27. The prosecution says that the defendant failed to give way and pulled out into the path of an Audi A3.”Alcohol and drug tests of all those involved in the collision proved negative, and only minor injuries were sustained, Mr Edwards said. Socialite Lady Colin Campbell has been found guilty of causing a three-car crash by pulling on to a dual carriageway into traffic.Campbell, 67, is said to have performed the unsafe manoeuvre when she pulled out in her Audi A6 estate on to the A27 near Worthing, West Sussex, on May 6 last year.A trial at Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard that as Campbell pulled out, an Audi A3 hit her car and was “catapulted” into a Ford Focus travelling in the opposite direction. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Lady Colin Campbell in I’m a CelebrityCredit:ITV/REX Shutterstock I have made that manoeuvre literally tens of thousands of times… without a problemLady Colin Campbell He denied suggestions by Campbell’s lawyer Miles Bennett that he was driving dangerously fast, saying he was doing just under the 70mph speed limit.Mr Court said: “I tried to go round it and that’s all I can remember. I hit the side of the car and that was it.”I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t brake. All I could do was turn my wheel to avoid the car.”Witness Nicholas Ward said he saw the Audi A3 speed by him before the crash, adding: “I thought, ‘What a t–t’. I could see what was going to happen and it did.”Teacher Tessa Millington said she saw a “flash of blue” before Mr Court’s car crashed into her’s as she headed towards Brighton.Campbell sprang to fame on the 2015 series of I’m A Celebrity with her cutting put-downs, but left the show early on medical grounds.Outside court, Campbell laid the blame for the crash on Mr Court as she undermined the authority of the magistrates.She said: “Had this been in the Crown Court, this would have most likely been not guilty.”She added: “Had Mr Court not been going at the speed he was going, none of this would have happened.”I have made that manoeuvre literally tens of thousands of times in my life, not at that exact place, but hundreds if not thousands of times without a problem.” Lady Colin Campbell arrives with her son at Brighton and Hove Magistrates’ Court in SussexCredit: Christopher Pledger
Employees should be allowed ‘breathing breaks’ throughout the day to increase their productivity and happiness, a leading expert has said.Author and happiness guru Max Strom, who offers lunchtime breathing workshops for office workers in central London, claims that calming the breath can have a huge impact on well-being. International Day of Happiness was founded following the UN Conference on Happiness in 2012. It is a campaign cooridinated by Action for Happiness, which brings together groups for, 160 different countries to improve well-being. Max Strom “The problem is 90 per cent of human communication is not done through words, it’s visual,” he added.“You can’t tell tone of voice, or see facial expressions. So when you communicate using text or email, you’re having 10 per cent of a relationship. We now have to rely on emoticons to get the true meaning across.“The internet is the new white sugar. The more you use it, the more you want to use it, and the worse it is for you. People waste so much time on technology and what they don’t realise is that time is lifespan. When you kill time, you are killing yourself.” Max Strom teaching “In the western world there are probably around 40 per cent of people who are suffering from anxiety or depression, because happiness is plummeting. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Ahead of the United Nations International Day of Happiness day he argues that while smokers are allowed regular breaks outdoors, non-smokers are often forced to sit at their desks for long periods of time when they should be having regular trips into the fresh air.“Pregnant women are taught to breathe because it is so beneficial when coping with physical and emotional distress, but nobody else is,” he said.“So when smokers go out for their break, the rest of the workforce should be allowed to follow them out, to go and breathe in the fresh air. It would have such a big impact.“Happiness is something we all want, and yet nobody is educated about how to achieve it. Nobody really thinks what makes them happy, they just think about what gives them pleasure. It’s not the same thing. We should teach happiness in schools. Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness said: “We urgently need a change in priorities.“Ultimately we want to help create a society that puts people’s overall happiness first, rather than focusing just on economic growth. We want to encourage people away from self-obsessed materialistic and unfulfilling behaviour towards a more collaborative and loving way of living.”Mr Strom said people could take the first step by demanding that technology simplifies life, not complicates it. He also suggests working out what makes them happy, and then telling family and friends.“Some technology is good. The washing machine has hugely freed up time for people, for example” he said.“But it’s important to define happiness at the deepest level. If you never go on this journey and learn what makes you happy, you will never find it.” Max teaching delegates at the World Government Summit in Dubai his Inner Axis breathing technique Max Strom teaching yoga in LondonCredit:Karen Yeomans “And it’s largely driven by the rise of technology. People are more connected than ever, and yet they have never been more isolated. People are now starving for intimacy.”Mr Strom, author of the book ‘There Is No App For Happiness’, claims the advent of air conditioning, the television and the internet are the three worst technological culprits for breeding loneliness.Air conditioning or central heating has allowed people to feel far more comfortable in their own homes, meaning they need to venture out less. Likewise, television and the internet have allowed people to communicate without ever meeting.