Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dateline Copenhagen

There's definitely a lot of electricity -- and nervous energy -- in the air here in Copenhagen as representatives of the four cities vying to host the 2016 Olympics seek to button hole IOC members for last-minute lobbying before the October 2 vote.

Most of the glitterati are already here, with President Obama expected to arrive early Friday morning. It's anybody's guess whether presidents, prime ministers, and even kings, can turn the table on this winner-take-all competition. But in a system where one or two votes can be the difference between winning the gold or going home empty handed, nothing can be left to chance.

Amazingly, the mother of all city-hosting jackpots will come down to the decisions of the hundred or so IOC members, most of whom are faceless and unfamiliar to all but serious Olympicologists and avid IOC vote hunters. This conclave of IOC members comes from just 78 out of 205 countries, with 23 countries having more than one member. Thus, the vast majority of countries are completely disenfranchised in IOC voting.

Another fascinating dynamic is the exorbitant expense. Collectively, bid cities expend hundreds of million dollars -- Chicago reportedly spent USD 50 million -- over a two-year campaign for the right to compete for the chance of possibly hosting an upcoming Olympics. By contrast, the NCAA at a meeting in a hotel room earlier this month awarded the men's basketball championship (Final Four) to three cities for 2011, 2012, ad 2012. Just like that.

Tomorrow's program will consist of finely tuned one-hour presentations, in which each of the four cities will have a final opportunity to persuade IOC members to their cause. Chicago is first up, followed by Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, and Madrid. There are nearly 1,000 accredited media representatives covering this spectacle, and the announcement, which will be made at 6:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. Eastern), is expected to be watched live on television by an estimated one billion people. Stay tuned.

Unhappiness/Practical and Quixotic Pursuits

I am not happy right now. It pains me to say this, but it is true. I wish I could elaborate more on this, but I don't see how. I have been on an almost five year high despite numerous bad things happening along the way during that time. I could point to circumstances in my life currently, but they are the usual mix of good and bad I have had over my run. All things considered, I am probably doing better now than I was this time last year. So, what's the deal?

My mood is directly tied to how I look at the world, and I must admit that this view has become much darker lately. I don't know if it is a result of the Obama Clusterfuck Administration in Washington or the recession or whatnot. What bothers me is a sense that my life is going nowhere and that I am just spinning my wheels.

I have been reluctant to admit this change in my outlook, but I have spent this entire day coming to grips with it. I don't even know what to do about it. I'm just really pissed off. The frustrating thing is that I am at a loss to articulate this anger. I would channel this anger into a constructive endeavor, but I don't know what or who I am even pissed at. I am beginning to think that the person I am pissed at is none other than myself.

My long period of happiness was a result of a few things. The first was an acceptance of myself warts and all. I am remarkably candid to myself and about myself. Self-deprecating wit is very good for one's self-image. Being able to laugh at yourself takes a certain pride and virtue, and the more I do it the more secure I feel in who I am. It is counterintuitive such that people can't tell if I suffer from a poor self-esteem or extreme egotism.

The second thing I did was to quit being prey for the guiltmongers and to learn to be selfish. I don't believe in letting people walk all over me, and I don't walk on others. I have Ayn Rand to thank for this insight, and it has changed my life for the better.

The third thing I did was to busy myself in work and projects and to live in a constant state of flow. That state is now disrupted, and I have turned to navel gazing to fill the void. This is not good. How did this disruption occur?

I can't answer that question. I suspect it is the result of exhausting my current projects and a cutback in work. I watch a lot of DVD's these days. The last sense of accomplishment I had came from cleaning my bathroom. Just today, I wrote a couple of incendiary emails for no other purpose than the deliberate provocation of some leftard shitheads. This was mildly amusing but unsatisfying.

I am bored, restless, and angry. This is not a good state for me to be in. I don't have a specific answer to this dilemma, but I do have a general answer--PROJECTS. I don't know what these projects will be, but the lack of projects seems to be why I am in this state of agitation. I lack new initiative, new ideas, and new life. It absolutely sucks. This is not who I am.

I suspect my present crisis stems from my readings on randomness. If life is largely a crapshoot, it leads to a certain fatalism. I depend on work to keep me going, but if you believe your work is a waste of time such as pursuing political change that will never happen or defying the overwhelming odds to start a business, you throw in the towel. These are Quixotic pursuits. This isn't to say that they aren't worth going after because you do get lucky sometimes. But if they dominate the portfolio of your personal projects, they will lead to discouragement. You should not devote more than 20% of your time or resources to these things. I might even consider 10% a better way to go.

Practical pursuits are those things you can control or where the odds are in your favor. These are things like getting in shape or learning a new skill or establishing a new career in a new field. Most of my pursuits are quixotic. This distinction between the quixotic and the practical is what I need to break out of this logjam.

Nike Brings Back Michael Vick

Interesting news from Liz Mullen of Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal, as excerpted here:

Michael Vick has signed an endorsement deal with Nike, according to Mike Principe, managing director for BEST, the agency that represents Vick.

Principe would reveal no other details, but referred other questions to Vick’s personal agent, Joel Segal . . . “Mike has had a great relationship with Nike and is excited to be part of the Nike team again,” said Segal . . .

Vick will wear Nike shoes, gear and apparel. “He has always been a fan of the brand and looks forward to the relationship,” Segal said.

Vick had been a Nike endorser before, but the company dropped him in August 2007, after Vick was indicted on federal dogfighting charges.

For the rest, click here. For previous coverage of Vick and Nike on Sports Law Blog, click here.

Captain of 1980 USA Hockey Team Interview from 2006


I found this interview to be ripe with perspective. You may want to make copies for your players.

God bless, Lou

What makes miracles? Work

"Do you believe in miracles?" sports announcer Al Michaels asked 26 years ago from the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y. The answer came from Mike Eruzione, captain of the U.S. Hockey Team, who scored the winning goal to beat the Soviet team in what may be the biggest upset in sports. The story was retold in the 2004 movie Miracle that was released months after the team's coach, Herb Brooks, died in an auto accident. Memories will no doubt return Tuesday when the U.S. men play Russia in Torino.

By Eileen Blass, USA TODAY, February 20, 2006

As a tuneup, here's what Eruzione, 51, told USA TODAY corporate management reporter Del Jones about how business leaders should respond when facing, not long, but impossible odds.

Q: If your wrist shot 26 years ago had been an inch off the mark your life would be very different. Is that convincing evidence that luck plays a huge role in beating impossible odds?

A: You have to have a little bit of luck in everything. But guess what? The shot wasn't off. It was right where I shot it, and that comes with practice and preparation. When Michael Jordan hits a game winner I don't think that's luck. Now, if it bounced off of somebody's head and went in, that to me is luck.

Q: But going into the 1980 Olympics, wasn't a gold medal beyond the realm of possibility?

A: We knew it was going to be difficult, but not impossible. If you believe you're going to lose, you probably will.

Q: In business, isn't realism key, as opposed to pie-in-the-sky optimism?

A: Like I tell the kids I coach in hockey, when the game's over and you've done your best, that's all you can ask. If you could have worked a little harder to stop a goal or skated one more stride, that's when you should be frustrated and aggravated. If you can walk off the field or out of your office every day knowing that you've given your best, that's all you can ask.

Q: It's not just hard work. Too much risk can lead to failure. Is there a place for prudence?

A: There's a lot more pressure in business than being an athlete. There are mortgages and kids' educations on the line. But my dad told me that if you understand the value of work, at some point in your life you'll be successful. It might not be next month or next year. But what you accomplish will be because of the hard work, not because you were lucky or it was a fluke, or a miracle. It boils down to a work ethic.

Q: And if you fail?

A: You take all the hard work and apply it to something different.

Q: I think of people who dream of becoming actors and work really hard for a one-in-a-million shot. Twenty years later, they could be still waiting tables. If they give up, maybe they will succeed in another field.

A: Peace of mind is important. If you're at peace with yourself and happy waiting tables waiting for that one big break, that's your prerogative and the choice you made in life. If you're miserable doing what you're doing, then you had better get out and move on.

Q: The 1980 team lacked the talent to be playing on the same ice as the Soviets. How do you win in business with less talent?

A: It's about believing in the people you work with. If you think you're less talented and can't win, then you're not going to succeed. The mindset has to be that through preparation and practice and commitment, you will be successful.

Q: Should a company hire top talent or the hard workers?

A: Hard workers. Look at the Detroit Pistons a few years ago. Nobody thought they could beat the Lakers. In business, I like the guy who's willing to spend long hours and when work is over goes out and has a few beers with his co-workers. People get along and work together because they respect each other and want to be a part of the team. You want to work with people who want to be the best.

Q: Some children grow up to overcome long odds, some don't. What sets them apart?

A: It's funny, I had a conversation the other day about two brothers from my hometown. They grew up with the same set of rules, but they were like night and day. One is the nicest guy in the world, the other is off the wall. A lot is inner strength, making the right choices, not giving in to the bad crowd.

Q: Making the right choice seems important even after becoming successful. A lot of CEOs are doing perp walks these days.

A: Absolutely. Don't make excuses. It's your life.

Q: Coach Herb Brooks has been portrayed as a control freak who listened to no one and pushed players to injury. Is there a place for that leadership style?

A: In the late '70s, Herb's style was very common. Most coaches in that era were Vince Lombardi-type coaches. Today it's different. Players want discipline, but they don't need to be screamed at. Herb pushed us to challenge us. He never pushed us to injury. He knew when to stop. Everybody is motivated differently. If he yelled at me I would get mad and work harder. But the team also got motivated because they didn't want to see us being yelled at. In the business world, everybody's different. Some guys are challenged when the boss gets in their face. Others need an arm around them. That's what Herb and great managers do.

Q: You don't see much in the management literature that suggests getting in an employee's face. Are we too soft to make miracles happen in business?

A: Once in a while you've got to be aggressive. You don't want to be tough every day. It's more effective when used on rare occasions.

Q: Even today, Lombardi and Brooks would be considered successes if they won. If they lost they would be run out of town. Doesn't acceptable management style boil down to success?

A: Yes. If you get the job done, it works. But today is different than the Lombardi era. And, I don't think there's the intimidation factor in the business world today that there was in that era, either. Today, you must hire people who are different. Their clothes are different, they may have earrings and tattoos. Great coaches and managers change with the times, yet maintain their philosophy and discipline. Years ago it was my way or the highway. That's changed.

Q: How important are miracles? You planned to teach gym before yours. Are you happier than you would have been without a life-changing event?

A: I play in celebrity golf tournaments and I'm a TV commentator. I go to beautiful resorts all over the world to speak to companies. If we had lost I'd be coaching and teaching. I would be as happy. I'd live in the same town. I have three kids, but I'd probably have more because I'd be home more. Peace of mind is very important to me. Celebrity is fun and exciting. I've met the greatest people. I've met every president going back to President Carter except the present President Bush. That's pretty amazing for somebody from Winthrop, Mass.

About Mike Eruzione

* Played hockey at Boston University where he received a degree in education, 1977.
  • Children: Leigh Ann, 22; Michael, 21; and Paul, 17. Wife, Donna
* Makes 100 speeches a year at $20,000-plus each. Plays golf on the Celebrity Players Tour. Handicap: "At times 4, at times 12."
*1980 miracle: USA seeded No. 7 in 12-team field and had lost to Soviets 10-3 two weeks before. Soviets had won 21 straight Olympic contests and had not lost gold since 1960. USA tied game at 8:39 in third period. Eruzione scored the game winner 81 seconds later.

New CSPO-CATF Report on Goverment Role in Energy Innovation

The conclusions of this new report -- Energy Innovation Systems From the Bottom Up: Technology Policies for Confronting Climate Change -- by the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes and the Clean Air Task Force are well worth reading. They focus on how government can help transition the economy onto a low-carbon path. Here is how they describe the project:
Much of what is known about technological innovation and progress has yet to be captured in discussions of climate change mitigation. Successful mitigation of climate change is not about finding "a solution," but developing appropriate institutional and policy options for technological innovation – options that allow experimentation and progress on multiple fronts, tolerate risk, accept that there will be both successes and failures, and focus on creating the initial conditions for progress.
What are those "conditions for progress"? The four headline conclusions for what government can do to accelerate energy innovation: Competition, Public Works, Demonstration and Procurement. Here is the conclusion to the workshop summary:
Like other aspects of U.S. energy and climate policy, the nation’s approach to energy-climate innovation has lacked a clear mission and strategy. Most attention and discussion has focused on advanced research, yet most innovation in the coming decades will depend much less on frontier research than on other available and proven tools. (Indeed, in none of our workshops did “more research” surface as the major concern—not even for air capture, which, though radical in concept, is based on well-understood concepts and processes.) We know what works, based on the past 60 years and more of experience, but so far we have not used what we know to address energy technologies and climate change. We know, for example, that technological advances come largely from industry—but that government can catalyze, and even create, new waves of industrial innovation by supporting the technology base, providing incentives (such as those that have been so effective in expanding the market for PV systems), and deploying its purchasing power. By treating climate mitigation as a public good and GHG reduction as a public works endeavor, the United States can rapidly strengthen the linkages between public investment and private sector innovation, and begin to lead other countries toward building energy-climate technologies into the fabric of their innovation systems, their economies, and their societies.

Has Steve McIntyre Found Something Really Important?

A commenter here asks me to discuss recent goings on over at Climate Audit, where Steve McIntyre thinks he is on to something rather important. I've followed Steve's work for years, and I think I have a pretty good sense of what he is up to and why it might matter for climate science and the nexus of science and political debate. And if you don't know what this is about, good luck catching up to speed (but if you want to try, there will be no better place than Bishop Hill's recounting). Such is the complexity of the issue and its history.

But let me say this: If Steve has indeed come across new information that forces a significant re-evaluation of a major branch of climate science, then there is no excuse for this not to appear in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. I think that Steve can easily separate out the quantitative implications of his work from the messy science-politics part. If Steve has discovered a smoking gun, then I'd expect Nature and Science to both be candidate publications. And I would really hope that some of those members of the relevant expert community who (I know) frequent his blog would join with him, perhaps as co-authors, to help bring the new analysis into the mainstream scientific discussion. That is how science moves forward.

Meantime, all we have is some interesting analyses and speculation on a well-read and thoughtful blog. I'm happy to wait and see what develops, and to let Steve get on with his work in progress.

Derailleur Adjustment: an Illustrated Guide

Thank you once again everybody for the advice on how to adjust a derailleur. I am pleased to announce, that with your help, it is done.

To recap the problem I was having: When downshifting to the lowest gear, there was nothing stopping the chain from going past it and slipping off the cog. Here is how we corrected this:


Assistant Mechanic

The all-important tool

The derailleur. This is a rear SunTour Vx derailleur from the late 1970s. Note the two screws on the left.

A side view of the screws.

And here they are close up. Notice the letters "L" and "H" next to the screws. The "L" indicates low gear (the largest cog). The "H" indicates high gear (smallest cog). To stop the chain from going past the largest cog when downshifting into the lowest gear, tighten the "L" screw.

Here is the screw, being tightened. Conversely, if you find that the chain does not travel sufficiently to reach the largest cog when shifting to your lowest gear, you need to loosen this screw a bit. And if you are having this problem when upshifting to the highest gear, simply do the same thing to the "H" screw.

A close-up of the procedure. This takes very little time.

After the adjustment, test the derailleur: first by manually spinning the pedals as you shift, then by test-riding the bike.

Here I am, having happily shifted into the lowest gear without the chain coming off.

All done, and ready for the steepest hills. A big Thank You again to dukiebiddle, cyclemaniac, somervillain, and all the others who kindly offered advice and posted links. Your support is very much appreciated.

Some classic derailleur adjustment instructions, using more conventional tools:
. Sheldon Brown's thorough article on "derailler" adjustment
. The Bicycle Tutor's instructions and video

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I have been wanting to experiment with a stream of conscious style post here for awhile now, and this is it. Being confined to a topic sucks because I am always able to write, but I don't always have things to write about. SOC is more about asking questions.

The questions I ponder these days all deal with randomness and luck. If we define success in terms of mass appeal, how then do we make people like or want what we have to offer? Why did people become so enthusiastic about Harry Potter? Malcolm Gladwell can't explain that.

That is the real problem I have with Gladwell. His hindsight bias is overwhelming. I haven't read Outliers yet, and I don't think I need to. It will be the same as his last two books. He gives all these great insights that are utterly useless. This brings me to a mental project of mine.

I like my blog here, and I have a few fans. But for my mental project, I try to think up an idea that will lead to the creation of the number one blog/website on the internet. It's more of a mental parlor trick and intended for amusement than actual reality. This is because I think the task is impossible. If the people who think it all boils down to skill are correct, then it should be possible to come up with the idea and make it happen.

It really all boils down to one original killer idea. The internet is creative democracy. The only thing holding you back is your own brain. As it stands, Technorati lists The Huffington Post as the number one blog on the internet. I like to distinguish between this corporate blog as opposed to a blog put out by a single author like Seth Godin or Andrew Sullivan. The term "blog" has been stretched a bit.

If we agree with Napoleon Hill that all we need to do is think and grow rich then creating the number one blog on the internet is really a matter of thinking more than anything else. This is all I know so far about this project in my head I will call the M-Project. (The M stands for "mass appeal.")

1. It has to be non-political.

2. It can't be negative in anyway.

3. The public must find the info there indispensable and useful for their lives or simply very entertaining.

4. Must be devoted to a single topic or area.

That's it. Those four things help explain the success of Zen Habits that cracked the Technorati 100 in less than a year since its creation. The sad thing about Zen Habits is that it is an utterly useless piece of crap website. Basically, you have a guy who decides to quit smoking, get in shape, and quit blowing all his money. This is the sort of thing I mock in my how-to articles here. These are laudable things, but I find it ridiculous that anyone gives advice on any of this shit. I feel a digression coming on.

Personal development boils down to just a few simple things. Quit smoking, drinking, doing drugs, and eating Big Macs. Quit being idle. Quit spending more than you make. Exercise. That's it. You can read all the articles you want on these things, but there is no mystery to it. People have crappy habits. I know I do. I don't lack knowledge of what needs to be done. This is why I can laugh at Zen Habits. That site is nothing more than feeding back to people their own wish fulfillment and good intentions. But I digress. . .

Maybe the M-Project could be a spoof of Zen Habits called Bad Habits. We can have informative articles like How to Shotgun a Beer in Three EZ Steps or How to Cheat on Your Wife and Not Get Caught. But these are simply good jokes I can post here. The sad reality is that I can't shotgun a beer. Very hard to build a blog around shit you don't know.

If there is a website the world does need, it is a comprehensive website to live broadcast non-mainstream sporting events like Texas High School Football or Arena Football or stuff from overseas or what have you. Unfortunately, that project takes a ton of cash which is why it doesn't exist. I call it "microcasting" since we are talking about small audiences for these events. I doubt it would be a profitable venture.

Time to pinch off this turd. More turds to come.


I don't know how the latest chapter in the Polanski saga will play out, and I'm not even sure what opinion I should have on the matter. The simple fact is that a 44-year-old man having sex with a 13-year-old girl is just fucked up. What he did was criminal.

I recognize there are extenuating circumstances in the case involving the judge who was a total media whore. But Polanski was getting a slap on the wrist all things considered. The simple fact is that the rich and famous get a free ride on the shit they do while the rest of us get hard time.

The victim in the case expresses no desire for justice because we are talking about someone who is now well into her 40's and simply doesn't give a fuck about the matter anymore. I doubt she was all that traumatized in the first place since it was her mom that flipped out and wanted to press charges.

The resolution to this affair comes down to a trial and whether or not the victim cares to press charges. We already know she is ready to settle the matter, and this case will most likely be dismissed. But Polanski drags it out by remaining a fugitive. He needs to come back to the US and deal with it.

2009 Olympic Congress

By way of background, the Olympic Congress is a periodic gathering of the "Olympic Family" -- IOC members; representatives of the National Olympic Committees, International Sport Federations, and Organizing Committees for the Olympic Games; athletes, coaches, referees, judges, and technical officials; Olympic sponsors; and the media -- and is not otherwise open to the general public. I am attending as a guest of the IOC President, Jacques Rogge. My short essay, "IOC Structural Reform: A Proposal for Universal Suffrage," is published in the proceedings of the XIII Olympic Congress.

All Eyes on Copenhagen

Copenhagen will host a veritable Who's Who at the 121st IOC Session on Friday, with the four cities vying to host the 2016 Olympic Games -- Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo
-- loaded for bear with all their big guns in tow. President Obama's last-minute decision to attend in person rather than via video ratcheted up the stakes in this winner-take-all contest. Yesterday's announcement of Obama's cameo appearance drew immediate criticism from some quarters over the President's priorities at this moment of foreign and domestic exigencies (see AP story below).

I will be in Copenhagen from Thursday and will report on the lead up to Friday's vote at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Above is one of Denmark's iconic symbols: The Little Mermaid immortaliized in Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale by the same name.

Do you Understand my Language

He just smiled and gave me an Isnack 2.0 Sandwich.

Doesn't have the same ring to it, does it.

People here in New Zealand and over in Australia, the home of Vegemite are fuming.

Some marketing company, was paid by Krafts food to come up
with a name for the new vegetime product that contains extra Cheese.

So what name did they come up with????

These mega brains of the advertising world, who are play huge salaries, came up with the name,
Isnack 2.0

Now I'm not sure if Apple will sue, but millions of New Zealanders and Australian's are probably hoping they do, anti Isnack 2.0 websites have pop up overnight, begging Krafts not to use this name.

IMHO someone needs to be fired, if this was a task on the Apprentice, Donald Trump would be pulling off his hair piece in frustration.

Worst Product Name Ever.

The $500,000 Diet Seems to Work: Glen "Big Baby" Davis shows up to camp in shape

Last month, I blogged about Celtics forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis' new two-year, $5 million contract with the Celtics and the contract's inclusion of an annual bonus of $500,000 if Davis can avoid getting too heavy, which in the past has been a major problem for him.

Davis showed up to Celtics' training camp yesterday and it appears that he's in very good shape. Here's Rich Levine of Comcast Sportsnet:
We all have a good time making fun of Big Baby’s weight, but the truth is that it was a serious problem. Sure, he might be one of those naturally big-boned kind of guys, but he also loves to eat, and while the Celtics never voiced this publicly, the potential of Davis eventually eating himself out of the league was something that most definitely crossed their mind.

With this new deal, Davis will earn an additional $500K a year if he meets certain weight clauses, and from the looks of him Monday, Baby’s well on his way to scoring an extra half mil in the bank account.

I know this is hard to believe, but he looks cut. Yeah, there’s still a little of that Big Baby fat lingering around, but the weight loss is significant, and easily apparent.

“I’ve been working hard, man,” Davis said. “I picked up mixed martial arts; jujitsu, wrestling, boxing…. And it’s not only working out. I changed my diet a lot."
It appears that financial incentives--at least very, very lucrative ones--really can encourage people to eat better and exercise etc.

Interestingly, Davis isn't the only Celtic with weight issues, as Jeff Clark of Celtics Blog reports that the team signed former New York Knick and Chicago Bull forward Mike Sweetney to a non-guaranteed contract. Sweetney, who was a phenomenal player at Georgetown University and the ninth overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, has been out of the game for the last couple of years due to weight problems.

Resolve: Father/Son Jersey Night


A SportsLeader coach held his father/son jersey night last week. His opening words are below.

God bless, Lou


Here on our team our mission is “resolve”or convictions. The crux of manhood, and the deficiency in our youth is just that. I don’t feel that our kids, in this society, are put into situations where a “personal stand” has to be made. Or where a boy has to call himself out, face his fears, find his courage, and witness a success that he otherwise would not have had to do. Generally speaking, our kids don’t have their PHD’s, and I don’t mean doctorates. They’re not poor, hungry, and determined because of being poor and hungry.

Life today isn’t as provoking as it was when I was a kid. I played and fought in the streets daily, from sun up to down.

I couldn’t press the clear button, or “restart” in my games on the street. I won or I lost. And everyone knew it. It was my name, my family name vs. his and his family. And when I won. I reported it back to my father, and when I lost, well if my brother was mad at me for some reason, he would tell my father. My mother was the worst. She couldn’t stand a loser, a pouter, a whiner. If I lost, I better be bleeding.

Losing just wasn’t acceptable to us in those games. I thought ,” Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to accept losing”, “when I needed that time to figure out how to win”. “There is only so much time”, and I needed to care of my time and space.

Everybody gets a participation medal today, everyone gets a medal, so who won? Who lost? Who needs to look inside of himself and find something new? Who’s jubilant about how much incredible potential he has just found because of his incredible hard work? Let winners be winners, they will work to keep the ecstasy. Let losers be losers, it will help define them, make them hungry, make them great. The truth is the truth.

Anyone can enter a race! Fear of losing is the best motivation for winning! Isn’t fear of hell a great motivator to not sin?

So I believe it is in “resolve” that we find our manhood. What do you stand up for? Is there a mission that you would fight for? Die for? Is there anything in your life that you just won’t tolerate? Is there something in your life that you need to take action in right now?

We have asked our players, Have you reflected on the almost incomprehensible concept of eternity? Do you know that there is a reason that humans have the ability to understand eternity?

It’s because your creator wants you to. He wants you to know that you have the gift of eternal life with a joy that you could not withstand nor even have a whiff of here on earth, or the tragic eternal death, with pain and suffering that no human has witnessed on earth. And because he created us to know, love and serve him, He wants you to go to him, so we can win this battle. But we need to gain the most important skill of all, “resolve”. Without resolve we are men without armour, we will take the arrows and they will penetrate our skin, and weaken us. Resolve is our armour and our weapon.

“I will.” Not “I can”, or ‘I’ll try”, but “I will”. That’s’ the type of incredible strength and focus that it takes to go to heaven. Whatever it takes, no excuses, no explanations, and God is the only one who can give you that kind of strength. So we need to be humble enough to go to Him, therefore there is humility in strength, the more humble we are, the more we clear the way for strength. His strength.

This is what our football program is about. We pray for humility. It sweeps the floor, it moves the furniture out of the way. It puts God in our lives.

We mentor your sons eye to eye in these virtues. They resolve to specific actions. They are called out to them. Our Coaches resolve to make them men of specific actions. Men of “change”, action, growth. So that they can see that they have the ability to succeed and achieve. This will lead to men of a mission, a mission that walks in the shadow of resolve.

When boys see that they can become men of action, they can change their culture instead of being victims of one, that through the strength of God, they can “achieve” by flexing their very own will, the muscle of their own souls, that’s when we really start to live. And then when you put a helmet on that very same young men, you find that this game called football sheds light upon and exposes his character. Football exposes resolve, it doesn’t build character, character builds football. Resolve builds character.

Football is a game that sheds light on the truth. How resolute can a young man be? Football will show him. How tough, physically and mentally can a young man be? How much can a young man find about himself, who he is, where is he going, how will he get there? Football will show that to him.

So tonight we celebrate our manhood and our cherished families, our ability to resolve and to find strength amongst ourselves with each other to continue to grow with the men of our lives.

Our beloved sons, the father, the leader of our children and wives, the future fathers, the protectors and providers of and for our children and women., and the sages, the grandfathers, the coaches and all the sacrificial mentors of our youth.

We take this moment now to allow senior dads to speak openly about their sons and symbolically hand their jerseys to them as they hand the keys to manhood.

Ett par Coach-filmer

Påskas tillbringade jag med träningssemester i Tammerfors hos min kompis Antti. Antti, FKA, är en duktig tränare och tävlande i girevoy eller kettlebell sport.

Han hittade ett par gamla filmsnuttar på sin dator från ett träningspass. Jag ville spela in för att inte glömma en del tips som jag fick. Sedan föll filmerna i glömska tills Antti hittade dom häromdagen.

För er som är fanatiska kettlebelllyftare så tror jag att dom kan vara intressanta. Inte för min teknik, men däremot för dom kommentarer jag får.

Först stöt:

Sedan ryck:

Lite bättre ryck:

Det var bra att se dom här igen och komma ihåg en del saker. Detta med den förstenade högerarmen är ju bara konstigt, jobbar fortfarande på det varje snatchpass - skam den som ger sig :-). Kloten jag lyfter är för övrigt Leoko, dom vitmålade är irreguljära vikter, jag tror att dessa var 18, eller möjligen 21kg.

Sports Law Blog Bowl II: Toledo 41, FIU 31

Provincetown Cycle Yum

I have received a couple of messages asking to recommend "cyclist-friendly" places to eat in Provincetown. This is a tricky one - First, because everyone's taste in this sort of thing is different. And second, because there is really no divide in Provincetown between regular places and "cyclist-friendly": Most restaurants and cafes have racks either right out front, or else the nearest one is half a block down the street. Having said this, here are some of our favourite places:

Spiritus: This magnificent establishment serves pizza, coffee and ice-cream, offers free wireless internet, has cozy indoor seating and an outside garden, and is open until 2:00am year round. Their pizza is some of the best I have ever had, especially the Greek (spinach, olives and fetta on an ultra-thin wheat crust). Heavenly and a great all-around hangout.

The Squealing Pig: Best raw oysters we have had on the Cape so far, and in a non-touristy atmosphere at that. In addition: a fine selection of unusual beers and local wines on tap, and very fresh, delicious food including fishburgers, and french fries that are "hand cut daily". There are always lots of locals eating at this place, and we like the atmosphere better than the seafood places that cater to tourists, such as The Lobster Pot or Betsey's. If you are looking for a higher-end dining experience though, try the delicate and creative menu at The Mews.

The Purple Feather: Very yummy gelato and the best hot chocolate ever, made to order to your specifications. You will recognise this place by the stuffed bear standing at the door, wearing a blond wig and purple lingerie. This is the best place if you want to get an ice cream or hot chocolate to walk around the streets with. For the best indoor atmosphere though, I prefer the dim coziness of the Art House Cafe.

As mentioned in an earlier post, Provincetown is the most bicycle-friendly town I have experienced in the U.S. The infrastructure accommodates cyclists and plenty of bicycle parking is available if you want to stop and eat in town.

Politics Trumping Policy in the U.S. Emissions Bill

When the primary issues involved in the U.S. climate bill ares about how much subsidies are going to be devoted to fossil fuel interests such as coal and petroleum, then you can guess that the bill is not going to do much to decarbonize the U.S. economy. From The Hill:

The climate bill coming this week from Sens. Barbara Boxer and John Kerry will likely leave some big questions unanswered, including the biggest: how to divvy up carbon allowances.

Allowances are permission slips to release emissions, and they function as a currency in the market the cap-and-trade legislation would create. For Boxer (D-Calif.) and Kerry (D-Mass.), they are chits to use to negotiate support for their bill as they attempt to form a winning coalition.
How are those "chits" being used?
The draft is also expected to have “placeholders” for some additional subsidies for coal and nuclear power. . .

Most energy lobbyists expect the bill to pass Boxer’s committee but not get much further this year.

That would give President Barack Obama some progress on climate to show off in Copenhagen, Denmark, where world leaders will discuss what to do about global warming, but leave a final push in the Senate for early 2010.

Several Democratic senators are already on record as being uneasy about the climate bill. The distribution of the allowances is one way to ease those concerns.

Some sectors, namely the oil and gas industry, feel like they weren’t treated fairly under the allowance system Waxman and Markey eventually settled on. Jack Gerard, the president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, said the sector was seeking more “equitable” treatment.

Refiners got 2 percent of the allowances to cover emissions at their own facilities. But the sector is also responsible for the emissions that come from the use of their products — in total, around 44 percent emitted by human activity in the United States.

The Institute is flying in Hispanic workers this week as part of its grassroots push to change its image from that of the corporate fat cat. The group was preceded by a group of women and African-Americans who work in the industry, and will lobby on taxes and access issues beyond climate.

“We want to show the human face of the oil and gas industry in the United States,” Gerard said.
An analysis of the implications of the Waxman-Markey Bill from two scholars at MIT, Richard Lester and Ashley Finan, places the scale of the challenge into clear focus (here in PDF). Lester and Finan use an approach very similar to that I employ in my critique of the UK and Japanese climate policies, based on decomposing decarbonization using the Kaya Identity. (Thanks DC for the pointer). The study starts with several scenarios to 2050. Here is the first scenario:
Solar and wind each provide 20% of total electricity supply; nuclear capacity is tripled, and the technology for coal plant carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is assumed to be available without constraint. Geothermal provides 100 GWe (compared with about 2 GWe today). Reliability issues stemming from the heavy dependence on intermittent wind and solar energy resources are assumed to be resolved with economic electricity storage and other advanced grid technologies that are not available today. Hydroelectric plants continue to contribute at their current, relatively modest level.
The authors comment of this scenario that:
These are generally very ambitious goals. Some observers would likely regard them as being at or even beyond the bounds of plausibility.
But assume that the US legislative process actually results in the achievement of all of these accomplishments. What would it imply in terms of economic growth consistent with hitting an 80% reduction target by 2050? The authors give the answer, writing that this scenario,
with its highly optimistic assumptions about the future availability of renewables, nuclear, and CCS, the mid-century carbon emission reduction goal could only be achieved if the annual growth in GDP per capita between now and 2050 were to slow to a rate of 1% per year. It is worth noting that in no decade since the 1930s has this broad measure of the nation’s economic growth performance been as low.
What about the implications of a more realistic scenario? The authors describe a second scenario as follows:
Wind accounts for 15% of total electricity supply, and solar another 5% – both many times larger than their current contributions, but well below today’s most optimistic projections. No new nuclear plants are built, and all currently operating plants are phased out. Carbon capture and sequestration technology is assumed not to become available, and no new coal plants are built. The balance of electricity supply is provided by a combination of hydroelectricity (unchanged from today), geothermal (100 GWe), and biofuels.
What are the implications for economic growth in the context of the reduction target?
. . . per capita economic output would actually have to contract[by 0.85% per year] in order to achieve the mid-century carbon emission reduction goal.
The authors conclude:
Uncompromising environmental advocates assert that the risks of climate change are so great that carbon emission reductions must be achieved regardless of what this would mean for economic growth. But that view is not widely shared and as a practical matter national policy is unlikely to privilege the emission reduction goal in this way. Certainly many people would regard the prospect of weak or even negative economic growth in the service of avoiding global climate change as unacceptable. But it is an inescapable fact that even with extraordinary measures to adopt low-carbon energy supply technologies on a large scale it will be mathematically impossible for the country to enjoy even moderate economic growth in the absence of much stronger energy efficiency gains than in the past. Equally, strong economic growth will be impossible even with rapid gains in energy efficiency if these are not accompanied by much more aggressive rates of decarbonization.
Remarkably, in all that I have read and heard in the public debate on Waxman-Markey and its Sentae follow-on, aside from a few academic papers and discussions, the phrase "rate of decarbonization" is all but absent from the debate. In its place we see plenty of discussion of "allocation of emissions allowances." This fact alone is a clear sign that politics is trumping policy in the U.S. climate bill. No one should be surprised if rates of decarbonization are not substantially influenced by the legislation, if it ever passes, which right now looks questionable.

However, so long as climate policy is focused on magical solutions the fact that "rate of decarbonization" isn't considered to be important will probably not trouble too many people in the debate.

Going without breakfast and coffee is a bad idea. Almost as bad as TARP.

Monday, September 28, 2009

To Go or Not to Go....

President Obama's decision to attend the Olympic meeting in Copenhagen on Friday, October 2, to personally pitch Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games could be a game changer, because it gives Chicago's candidacy a rocket boost that no other bid city -- Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, or Tokyo -- can match. But it is also a tremendous risk to his political capital, because if Chicago does not win, a lot will be written and said about the President's reputed charisma, sphere of influence, and force of personality.

The President's no show likely would have sealed Chicago's fate as an also ran, but his appearance will not guarantee a Chicago victory either.

Chicago's rivals -- Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro -- previously announced that their teams will be headed by a king, crown prince, and president, respectively.

At the 2005 IOC Session in Singapore, three candidate cities had their heads of government appear in person: London had PM Tony Blair, Paris had President Jacques Chirac, and Madrid had PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero; while Moscow and New York sent video messages from Presidents Vladimir Putin and George Bush. At the 2007 meeting to pick the 2014 Olympic Winter Games site, Putin appeared in Guatemala City in person and secured the bid for Sochi.

The IOC poo bahs can only be marveling at their fortuity in, in effect, summoning a command performance from the President of the United States.


Up was the first 3D movie I have seen since Jaws 3 in the mid 80's.

It was visually beautiful the effects were great, and more importantly the story and the moral of the movie was sweet.

It was also damn funny.

The visuals 3D effects were so crystal clear, the humor was aimed at both a kids and adult audience, and their was some genuine touching sad moments, if you have any little relatives, take them to see this movie they and you wont be disappointed.

This was the movie that they said, would make or break the 3D genre, if this had of failed, then a lot of future projects would of been pulled, and even the much hyped Avatar due for release in December may of not have had the massive support from the studio that it is had so far in the build up to it's release.

So hats off to the creators of UP, for not only making a sweet movie, but taking 3D into the 21st century, my only hope now is that Avatar takes 3D into the 22nd century.

Climate Policy Can Decrease Tropical Cyclone Disasters?

It is silly season for climate policy debate. UN FCCC Chief Yvo de Boer points to flooding in the Philippines from Tropical Storm Ketsana and says that an agreement in December can reduce such disasters. Apparently no one has told him that global tropical cyclones are at a 30-year low.

"Time is not just pressing, it has almost run out," said UN climate head Yvo de Boer, who broke down in tears of frustration at talks in Bali two years ago, when world governments drew up the "road map" to the Copenhagen deadline.

After two years of haggling, the world is still trying to thrash out a draft text for December's talks, with major disagreements on the two key issues of cutting carbon emissions and meeting the associated costs.

"There is no plan B, and if we do not realise plan A the future will hold us to account for it," de Boer said in his opening speech to around 2,500 government delegates and representatives from business and environment groups.

De Boer said that devastating floods in the Philippines at the weekend which have killed at least 140 people further highlighted the need for action.

"One of the reasons why countries have gathered here is to ensure the frequency and severity of those kinds of extreme weather events decreases as a result of ambitious climate change policy," de Boer said.

Here is data from Ryan Maue's Tripcal Cyclone page at FSU which shows that the frequency of hurricanes is at a very low level:
Maue observes that " the number of tropical cyclones with intensity greater than 34-knots has remained at the 30-year average (83 storms per year)." So it is hard to understand de Boer's invocation of Tropical Storm Ketsana as a reason for an agreement on emissions other than a crass effort to exploit some political advantage from the misfortune of those who suffered tragedy this week, such as those pictured above.