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In today’s pictures, a boy receives communion in South Africa, Easter egg hunters go on a spree in Belgium, a rescue worker responds to a mining accident in Tibet, and more.

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SOME HELP CELEBRATING
Shane Perkins of Team Australia celebrated with his son Aidan after winning the Men’s Team Sprint Final at the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne Wednesday. (Daniel Munoz/Reuters)

TORNADO DAMAGE
Mike Enochs, left, and Gary Enochs salvaged a crib from Mike Enochs’s destroyed home Wednesday in Forney, Texas. Multiple tornadoes touched down yesterday across the Dallas/Fort Worth area, causing extensive damage. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

AFGHAN ATTACK
U.S. soldiers lay on the ground at the scene of a suicide attack in Maimanah, Faryab province, Afghanistan, Wednesday. A suicide bomber on a motorcycle at a market killed at least 11 people, including three Americans, according to Afghan and Western officials. (Gul Buddin Elham/Associated Press)

NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Baylor’s Brittney Griner, right, blocked the shot of Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride during the first half of their women’s NCAA championship college basketball game in Denver Tuesday. Baylor won, 80-61. (Mark Leffingwell/Reuters)

BACK AT THE MASTERS
Tiger Woods teed off during a practice round Wednesday before the start of the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

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Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com

AUSTIN, Texas — If you’re a runner and you can’t extend your hip well behind you on your stride, Jay Dicharry has bad news: You’re never going to be a great runner.

SXSW 2012This doesn’t mean you should hang up your shoes. You can still run, and run well, but not everyone can attain the ideal stride needed to be a truly great runner.

Dicharry is the director of the Speed Performance Clinic and the Motion Analysis Lab Coordinator At The University Of Virginia. In discussing the biomechanics of running here at South by Southwest Interactive he recalled his Louisiana roots to emphasize his point.

“I’m from New Orleans, and there’s great food there,” he said, by way of understatement. “But if you have bad shrimp in a dish, you’re doing to have a bad dish. You can’t make a good meal with bad ingredients. Everyone may not have certain attributes that make ideal form possible.”

Most runners don’t extend their hips, Dicharry said. Tight hips might be genetic, or maybe they occur over time after sitting for long stretches. But as you run, you’ll lose the power that propels you forward if your leg doesn’t extend back behind you far enough on your stride before you bring it forward again.

Along with a lack of hip extension, overstriding is one of the biggest sins. If your foot lands ahead of its center of gravity, your stride is too long. Allowing your posture to break down — specifically, arching your back as you strain to squeeze out those final strides — is a killer as well.

Even elite athletes can fall prey to these pitfalls in form, as Dicharry demonstrated with a tape of the mens’ 800-meter finals at the 2011 NCAA outdoor track and field championships. Virginia’s Robby Andrews started at the back of the pack, then made his move in the final 200 meters. Dicharry paused the tape as the runners came down the stretch and noted how each runner was about to fail.

“Look at their gait,” he said. “This one’s head is bobbing up and down. This one’s arm swing is taking him side to side. That one is arching his back.”

Only Andrews maintained textbook form for the whole race, finishing first in 1:44.71, just .01 off the meet record.

“There’s more to it than just running,” Dicharry said of winning.

One common mistake is thinking that piling on the miles will make you faster. It isn’t true, and the added mileage may exacerbate problems, or cause them to come to the fore. Don’t increase your mileage by more than 10 percent per week, Dicharry advises.

“Optimal running adaptations occur when the training stimulus is in the appropriate window,” said Dicharry, who noted that 82 percent of runners will suffer some form of injury from running too much. Trying to run too far, or not running far enough, will actually impede progress.

Good posture matters, Dicharry said, whether that in achieving good form while running or just getting through everyday life. The alignment of your trunk is important, because that affects your center of mass. Get your shoulders back, just like Mom said, but don’t arch your back. Flexibility, strength, and muscle memory are key to good form.

And don’t let all this dire talk make you think you’re doomed. Regardless of your skills or natural constraints, you can improve your form. Dicharry led the audience through some easy exercises to improve balance and form.

First, stand on one foot for 15 to 30 seconds, then stand on the other. Then repeat the process with your eyes closed. This is something you can do anytime, even while brushing your teeth or cooking dinner.

Second, stand with your shins against the front of a chair. Squat to the floor. Keep your shins and back as close to vertical as possible, engaging the major muscle groups at the back of your legs.

Third, kneel on one knee. Ensure your ankle is directly under your knee. Tilt your pelvis forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Don’t arch your back.

Finally, Dicharry said, to become a better runner, make sure your training includes activities that stress stability and balance, like stand-up paddling or longboarding.

“Don’t train for what you know,” he said, quoting surfer Laird Hamilton, “train for what you don’t know.”

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New submitter SocratesJedi writes "Like many technically-minded people, I don't have a lot of time to keep up with sports. Nevertheless, trying to predict the outcome of the NCAA men's basketball tournament is a fun activity to share with friends, family and colleagues. This year, I abandoned my usual strategy of quasi-randomly choosing teams and instead modeled the win-loss history of all Division I teams as a weighted network. The network included information from 5242 games played during the 2011-2012 season. From this, teams came be ranked using tools from graph theory and those rankings can be used to predict tournament outcomes. Without any a priori information, this method accurately identified all the #1 seeds in the top 5 best teams. It also predicts that at least one underdog, Belmont (#14 seed), will reach the Elite Eight. Although the ultimate test will be how well it predicts tournament outcomes, initial benchmarks suggest 70-80% accuracy would not be unreasonable."


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In this post, featuring images from the last quarter of 2011, we remember a tumultuous year of change across the globe, the capture of Khadafi, the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the passing of Apple icon Steve Jobs, fire, famine, flood and protests. A memorable year, indeed. -- Paula Nelson -- Please see part 1 and part 2 from earlier. (EDITOR'S NOTE: We will not post a Big Picture on Monday, December 26, due to the Christmas Holiday ) (51 photos total)
A defaced portrait of fugitive Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in Tripoli on Sept. 1, 2011 as the fallen strongman vowed again not to surrender in a message broadcast on the 42nd anniversary of the coup which brought him to power. (Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images)

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Sri Lankan prisoners prepare to perform a traditional dance at the main Welikada prison in Colombo November 17, 2011. The cultural event is organized by the prisons department as part of the rehabilitation program for convicts, according to officials. Occupy Los Angeles protesters march through downtown during a rally Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011. Occupy Wall [...]

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From Gael Monfils of France reacting to a lost point against Radel Stepanek during the final of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, to San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval celebrating after hitting a home run off Philadelphia Phillies’ Cole Hamels during the ninth inning. These reactions show the level of frustration and joy that athletes and coaches endure in the high pressure world of sports.

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Gael Monfils of France reacts to a lost point against Radel Stepanek of the Czech Republic during the final of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic presented by Geico at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center on August 7, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) #

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Cullen Jenkins #77 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after a sack of quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears in the first half in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. According to reports on July 30, 2011 Jenkins has agreed to a five year deal with $25 million with the Philadelphia Eagles. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) #

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Ana Ivanovic of Serbia reacts to a lost point against Ayumi Morita of Japan during the Bank of the West Classic at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium on July 26, 2011 in Stanford, California. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) #

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Magdalena Neuner of Germany reacts at the finish area after the women's 15km individual race during the IBU Biathlon World Championships at A.V. Philipenko winter sports centre on March 9, 2011 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images) #

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Shelvin Mack #1 of the Butler Bulldogs reacts during their game against the Florida Gators in overtime of the Southeast regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at New Orleans Arena on March 26, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) #

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Italy's Federica Pellegrini reacts after she competed in the final of the women's 200-metre freestyle swimming event in the FINA World Championships at the indoor stadium of the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai on July 27, 2011. She won gold. FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images #

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Vera Zvonareva of Russia reacts during her second round match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix at Porsche Arena on April 20, 2011 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images) #

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Forward Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2011 at Oklahoma City Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Thunder defeated the Grizzlies to advance to the Western Conference Finals. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) #

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Will MacKenzie reacts after missing a chip on the 18th hole during the second round of the Reno-Tahoe Open on August 5, 2011 in Reno, Nevada. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) #

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Donald Young celebrates a point against Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic during the semifinals of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic presented by Geico at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center on August 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) #

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Chris Pontius #13 of D.C. United reacts after missing a shot during a soccer game against the Toronto FC at RFK Stadium on August 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) #

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Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he takes off his glove after hitting into an inning ending double play to end the Dodgers scoring threat against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning of the baseball game at Dodger Stadium on August 8, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) #

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US swimmer Michael Phelps reacts after he competed in the final of the men's 200-metre individual medley swimming event in the FINA World Championships at the indoor stadium of the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai on July 28, 2011. He won silver. FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images #

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Scott Stallings reacts after making birdie on the first playoff hole to win The Greenbrier Classic at The Old White TPC on July 31, 2011 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) #

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Catriona Matthew of Scotland reacts after playing a bad shot to the 18th during the final round of the Women's British open at Carnoustie in Scotland on July 31 2011. ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images #

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Spain's Marcel Granollers celebrates after defeating Spain's Fernado Verdasco 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 during the ATP tennis tournament on July 31, 2011 in Gstaad. SEBASTIEN FEVAL/AFP/Getty Images #

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Feyenoord's coach Ronald Koeman reacts during the Dutch Eredivisie football match Excelsior vs Feyenoord on August 5, 2011 in Rotterdam. ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images #

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Cologne's Moroccan striker Adil Chihi reacts during the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Koeln vs VfL Wolfsburg in the western German city of Cologne on August 6, 2011. PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images #

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Tiger Woods reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 8th hole during the second round of the Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio Friday, Aug. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan) #

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France's Gregory Mallet (C) reacts as his team-mates compete in the final of the men's 4x200-metre freestyle relay swimming event in the FINA World Championships at the indoor stadium of the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai on July 29, 2011. France won silver. FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images #

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Kansas City Royals' Melky Cabrera (53) reacts to being tagged out by Detroit Tigers second baseman Carlos Guillen (9) during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Aug. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) #

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AC Milan's Thiago Silva, right, reacts after tackled by Inter Milan's Thiago Motta, left, during Italian Super Cup held at China's National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", in Beijing, China, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. AC Milan defeated Inter Milan 2-1. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

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Bayfield High School's John Cusick reacts in dismay after finishing second in the 3A boys' 1600-meter run at the CHSAA State Track and Field Championships at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood, Colo., on Saturday, May 21, 2011. (Daniel Petty, The Denver Post) #

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San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell reacts after getting the final out in the Padres' 8-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies in the ninth of a baseball game Sunday, July 31, 2011 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi) #

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Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Ervin Santana reacts after being taken out by manager Mike Scioscia during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011. Santana (8-8) held the Mariners to seven hits and won his duel with Mariners' Felix Hernandez (10-10), whose 12 strikeouts were one shy of his career high as the Angels won the game 2-1. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo) #

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Boston University head coach Patrick Chambers reacts to play against the Kansas in the first half of a Southwest Regional NCAA tournament second round college basketball game, Friday, March 18, 2011 in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

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Kentucky's Stacey Poole Jr. (2) reacts to a three point basket during the second half of an an East regional semifinal game against Ohio State in the NCAA college basketball tournament Friday, March 25, 2011, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) #

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Colorado Rapids forward Quincy Amarikwa (12) reacts to a call for Toronto FC during a 0-0 tie match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City on Sunday, May 22, 2011. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post #

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D.A. Points reacts to a short second shot to the 8th green during the opening round at the 2011 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club on Thursday, August 4, 2011, in Akron, Ohio. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal/MCT) #

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Relief pitcher Jose Valverde #46 of the Detroit Tigers celebrate after they beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 in 10 innings at Kauffman Stadium on August 5, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) #

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Serena Williams, of the United States, reacts after defeating Marion Bartoli, of France, 7-5, 6-1 in the final of the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament, Sunday, July 31, 2011, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/George Nikitin) #

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New York Yankees' Russell Martin, left, looks up as Boston Red Sox's Jacoby Ellsbury, right, reacts to his pop out with bases loaded to end the sixth inning of a baseball game in Boston, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) #

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North Korea's Mun Hyok reacts during a U-20 World Cup group F soccer match against Argentina in Medellin, Colombia, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides) #

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Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova reacts during her 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 loss to Romania's Simona Halep in the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Toronto on Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young) #

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Sri Lankan Ajantha Mendis celebrates after dismissing Australian Shaun Marsh during the second Twenty20 match between Sri Lanka and Australia at The Pallekele Interntional Cricket Stadium in Pallekelle on August 8, 2011. Sri Lanka defeated Australia by eight runs in the second and final Twenty20 match at the Pallekele International Stadium on Monday to clinch the series 2-0. LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images #

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Stuttgart's headcoach Bruno Labbadia (C) celebrates as Stuttgart's Japanese forward Shinji Okazaki (not seen) scores during the German first division Bundesliga football match VfB Stuttgart vs Schalke 04 in the southern German city of Stuttgart on August 6, 2011. Stuttgart won 3-0. THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images #

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Julia Georges of Germany celebrates her win against Jelena Jankovic of Serbia during the Rogers Cup tennis tournament on Monday, August 8, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Tyler Anderson/National Post/Postmedia News/MCT) #

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Sking Superpipe Men's Finals. Aspen/Snowmass Thursday, January 27, 2011 Kevin Rolland reacts after he captures gold in the skiing superpipe. Photo by AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post #

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Jacoby Ellsbury #2 of the Boston Red Sox and Josh Reddick #16 celebrate the win over the New York Yankees on August 6, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.The Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees 10-4. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) #

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Netherlands Robin Haase celebrates after winning his final match against Spain's Albert Montanes at the ATP-tournament in Kitzbuehel, Austria, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. Haase won the match with 6-4, 4-6 and 6-1. (AP Photo/ Kerstin Joensson) #

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San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval celebrates after hitting a home run off Philadelphia Phillies' Cole Hamels during the ninth inning of a baseball game on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in San Francisco. Sandoval had the sole Giant run of the game in a 2-1 defeat. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) #

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Spain's Alvaro Vazquez (R) celebrates his goal during the FIFA U-20 World Cup football tournament match against Australia held at Palo Grande stadium in Manizales, Colombia on August 6, 2011. RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images #

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New York Yankees' Brett Gardner (11) breaks his bat in frustration after striking out to end a baseball game with two men on base against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium in New York, Friday, July 29, 2011. Baltimore won 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill) #

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