Sunday, July 31, 2011

SUNDAY

1. Just heard they got a debt deal together. This would explain the rectal bleeding I am experiencing.

2. Amy Winehouse supposedly died from alcohol withdrawal. This means that if I had come over with a six pack I could have saved her.

3. I wonder if you could die from a Big Mac withdrawal.

4. I love how the public calls Tea Party people cruel and heartless for pointing out the obvious--WE ARE FUCKING BANKRUPT. Christ Fucking Almighty.

5. I wonder if you can die from welfare check withdrawal.

6. Hugh Hefner says he has sex weekly. So, why does he keep proposing marriage?

7. I wonder if you can die from Viagara withdrawal.

8. You could definitely die from Gisele Bundchen withdrawal:



9. 90% of the music they play on KEXP sucks ass. Sorry, but I had to say it.

10. This does not suck ass:



You may disagree. To each his own.

Reader Mail on In-State Tuition Reform

My column in-state tuition reform was reprinted today in the Dallas Morning News and prompted this response from a former CU parent which came in by email:
I was fortunate to see your article about in-state tuitions in my Sunday Dallas Morning News and wanted to tell you how pleased I was to see a professor actually trying to do something about the college costing paradigm. My daughter was graduated from your Journalism school in December of this past year and while we paid out of state rates--I feel that she/we received a reasonable value for our money; increased academic rigor, and more discussions of economic realities would have probably made her current job search slightly more palatable and productive. Your underlying assertions about needing to drive the University toward greater greatness for the good of all truly resonate, because at some level a rational parent looks at their child and says, "okay, now over the next 4 years I am going to plunk down $160k to get a diploma," is that worth as much as potentially staking the child to ownership of a small business? The answer really is: largely only if the diploma has some resultant training of the mind, some affiliation benefit, and some reputational worth. The balance can be found on the internet or for less cost elsewhere.

Too many college administrators appear to believe that the "wisdom" the professors bring to the classroom by their presence is either of such inestimable value or uniqueness that we should be honored to shower them with money. That isn't to say I begrudge any University what they charge, because for many students especially in the college age range, it is only by bringing the subjects to life that learning and inspiration occur and when they drive and inspire ground-breaking research, lifelong careers, and changed behaviour patterns the educators have effectively altered the course of history. Still the reality remains that students are going to be motivated by something, and 99% of what is taught is readily available through books and the internet so the schools really need to understand and focus on those aspects of the college investment that make one school more valuable than the next--and unless you want to compete on price, I would suggest that your essay is a good start for looking at what continues to make being a "Buff" worth the dollars people are now paying. And pushing this value equation could be the right catalyst for propelling your school to next level.

Regards,

Dave Lapka

Paul Russell Resigns as Glamorgan Cricket Chairman

Glamorgan Cricket today announced that the Chairman of the Club, Paul Russell, has stood down for reasons of ill health.

Barry O’Brien, an existing member of the Club’s Committee and a senior partner at the leading City law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, will now assume the role of Interim Chairman. In light of his continuing business commitments, Nigel Roberts will continue as Deputy Chair.

In his message to the Chief Executive and the Committee, Paul Russell stated: “I have made this decision because I believe it to be in the best interests of Glamorgan Cricket. My choosing to depart earlier than planned facilitates the Club addressing and securing its long term future”.

Mr Russell became Chairman of Glamorgan Cricket in 2003 and, during his tenure as Club Chairman, Cardiff became the first venue outside England or Australia to stage an Ashes Test match. His contribution to Welsh Cricket will be long remembered, and perhaps his greatest legacy will be the construction of the SWALEC Stadium.

Glamorgan Cricket Chief Executive, Alan Hamer, added: “Paul Russell’s contribution to Glamorgan Cricket has been immense. On behalf of the Club, I would like to thank him for his vision, determination and continued commitment. I wish Paul well in his retirement and, as a passionate Glamorgan supporter, I’m sure he’ll be a regular visitor to the stadium.

“In the meantime, the Club’s Committee and Executive Management team look forward to working closely with Barry O’Brien to ensure that there is a smooth transition period, until such time as we announce a successor to Paul.

“Barry is one of the UK’s leading lawyers, has been on the Club’s committee for the past three years and has been a lifelong Glamorgan supporter.”

Durant ‘about 50-50’ on playing overseas


TULSA, Okla. (AP)—Kevin Durant says he is “about 50-50” on playing overseas if the NBA lockout lasts.

The league scoring champion from the Oklahoma City Thunder hopes the work stoppage is settled in time for a full season, but says he’ll “have to think about” playing elsewhere if that doesn’t happen.

Durant says he has been working on his game during his time off, but took a break from that to attend the WNBA game between Tulsa and Chicago on Thursday night. Speaking at halftime, he called himself a “basketball fanatic” who enjoys watching the women’s game.

Jimenez traded to Indians


 Rockies right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez was traded to the Indians. Jimenez was pulled last night from his start after pitching one inning against the Padres. Jimemez says he was surprised. “Everybody knew it, even me,” he said after his outing.

"I was surprised I pitched," ... "When I got to the bullpen, it was, I'm not sure why I'm here ...... I got to the mound and I couldn't throw a strike. I didn't have my mind on the game."

Quotable Quotes

A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.
J.P. MORGAN

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.
STEVE JOBS

Doing is a quantum leap from imagining.
BARBARA SHER

Everyone who's ever taken a shower has an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.
NOLAN BUSHNELL

He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.
SUN TZU

[U.] Upocalypse 2012

boom boom shake the room. can you feel the u-quake? K-BOMBS RAINING DOWN. u-man is dropping the knowledge on you bitches. IN DA HOUSE.

crazy shit is coming. nibiru is on the way. SCIENTISTS don't want want you to know. but they know. and you will know too. get the gold and the spam and the bullets ready. THINGS ARE COMING TO AN END.

jesse ventura has the Special K on 2012:



shit is coming DOWN!! grab your nuts and butts and get ready!

alex jones has some Extra K on ufo's:



shit is REAL!

time to put some cheese on this burger. randy gage has some extreme cheddar to lay on them BRAINS:



the u-man is balls deep in your SWEATHOLE. time to bust that nut and cut.

SHIT ON THE HATERS. mother fuckers. ain't nothing but a bunch of hatin' BITCHES. take a mouthful of some U-ASS!!! peace to the u-fans. KEEPING IT REAL. u-man OUT.

u-bonus:




Saturday, July 30, 2011

Brennan's first ride since 26 June

Not sure where the time has gone but the weather over the last month has been very uncooperative so Brennan has had a holiday! I think he has been getting quite bored tho and is certainly feeling very full of his own self importance! Today we trundled off to Becky's place so that Karen could take him for a spin in the all weather and see if the buttons we had installed earlier were all still in working order. I can thankfully say that, yes, they are.

He had a bit thrown at him today (loose pony running around in float parking paddock whilst unloading, ponies all around the arena in paddocks, pony being re-covered at gate right next to where float was parked when time came to go home etc.) and whilst he was certainly far from perfect (fidget bum) before and after his ride, he did nothing out of the ordinary for a young stallion feeling a bit fresh and distracted - He was very good when it counted though and that is what ultimately matters.

Here are some photos from today:





















Fear and Loathing of the City Bus

MBTA Bus in the Night
As a cyclist, I doubt that I am alone in my strong dislike of city buses. They are enormous. They make frequent stops and wide turns. They have sizable blind spots. And their operators - overwhelmed with countless stimuli and the stress of keeping to a schedule - don't always notice cyclists in their path. All in all, it seems reasonable to be wary of these vehicles, and prudent to keep away from them whenever possible.

But as most fears, mine is not based on such rational ideas. What frightens me are things like the "heavy breathing." I will be riding along, when suddenly there is the sound of a most horrific heaving inches behind me, and I realise that a bus is dreadfully, unacceptably near. What exactly is responsible for the sound that buses make when they are braking I do not know, but it sends shivers through my body and makes me want to jump up on the curb in panic. A couple of times the bus stopped and "heaved" so closely behind me, that I could feel the heat of its terrifying dragon breath against my left calf.

My fear of buses can border on paranoia, and sometimes I am convinced that the driver is playing "chicken" with me. I can tell that they see me - they will sometimes look straight at me - yet they seem to intentionally try to squeeze me out in order to make their stop, or make the green light, or make a high-speed left turn as I am attempting to cycle straight through an intersection - figuring I'll stop out of sheer terror. I've been assured by bike messengers that the driver will yield if I don't give into them. But I lack the courage to play that game, and allow them to win every time.

Over the past two years I've overcome most of my fears about cycling in city traffic. Taxi cabs, large trucks - I am more or less okay with them. But the city bus continues to terrify me. Oh enormous, heaving metal beast... Some day, I will learn how to deal with you and my fears will be conquered.

WALES SQUAD v ENGLAND

Members of the Wales preliminary RWC-training squad
who have invited fans to watch them for free at the Millennium Stadium next Tuesday,
 pictured at the team headquarters, the WRU National Centre of Excellence, Vale Resort, Hensol)

Wales coach Warren Gatland has named the 39-man squad which will meet at the WRU National Centre of Excellence on Monday in preparation for the Rugby World Cup warm-up clash against England at Twickenham on Saturday, 6 August.
Gatland and his coaching team will select the match-day 22 from this squad and announce the side for the first of three RWC-warm up matches this summer on Thursday, 4 August.
After facing England at Twickenham Wales will host the old enemy in the return fixture at the Millennium Stadium seven days later.
Argentina provide the final opposition on home soil on Saturday, 20 August, before a 30-man Wales squad for the 2011 RWC in New Zealand is named two days later.
Ospreys flanker Jonathan Thomas, Sale Sharks back row Andy Powell, Blues prop Scott Andrews and Scarlets hooker Ken Owens, who all took part in Wales’ first pre-RWC training camp in Poland, but not the second, have all returned to put themselves in contention for selection against England.
The rest of the 35-man squad which made the second trip to Poland, including Melbourne Rebels flanker Gareth Delve who joined up late, have all been retained - with the exception of Rob McCusker who has struggled with back problems.
Gatland and his coaches will name the side to face England, based on this squad, but players who remain outside it may still be involved in future warm-up matches and could still be a part of the 2011 RWC campaign.
“The team to face England at Twickenham will be selected from this training squad,” said Gatland.
“We have established a nucleus of players who will form our RWC squad based on their performances in training over recent weeks, but it is now time to translate those efforts onto the field. The players have worked hard, but places in that final World Cup squad are still very much up for grabs and a lot will depend on what we see over the course of these next three games.
“We have not shied away from facing the top quality opposition in preparation for this World Cup and it doesn’t come much tougher than facing the 2003 World Cup winners and 2007 finalists on their home patch. The warm-up fixtures will be tough, but we are in a really tough group at the World Cup and replicating those conditions can, ultimately, only be of benefit to us.”
Fans can watch the squad in action as soon as next Tuesday, 2 August, when the Millennium Stadium doors will be thrown open for a ‘free to enter’ training session from 2.30pm – for more information and to register to attend visit www.wru.co.uk/watchwales4free.
Tickets for Wales’ clash with England at the Millennium Stadium are priced £30 and tickets to the Wales versus Argentina game (both kick-offs 2.30pm), which are on a ‘buy one get one free’ promotion, are priced at £25 and all are available online at www.wru.co.uk/tickets or by calling the ticket hotlines 08442 777 888 or 02920 230130 or at local Tesco stores.

RWC 2011 Preliminary 39-Man Squad:

Scott Andrews, Gethin Jenkins (Blues), Lloyd Burns (Dragons), Huw Bennett, Ryan Bevington, Adam Jones, Paul James (Ospreys), Ken Owens, Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Craig Mitchell (Exeter Chiefs).
Bradley Davies, Sam Warburton, Martyn Williams (Blues), Luke Charteris, Danny Lydiate, Toby Faletau (Dragons), Ryan Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Jonathan Thomas, Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Josh Turnbull, (Scarlets),Gareth Delve (Melbourne Rebels), Andy Powell (Sale Sharks)
Michael Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Blues), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets)
Jamie Roberts (Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), Jonathan Davies, Stephen Jones, Rhys Priestland, Scott Williams (Scarlets) Gavin Henson (unattached)
Leigh Halfpenny (Blues), Lee Byrne (Clermont Auvergne), Aled Brew (Dragons), Shane Williams (Ospreys), George North, Morgan Stoddart (Scarlets).

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. SPORADIC BLOGGING

One of the things I have learned about being a blogger is to be consistent. You don't have to post every day. It could be just once a week. But no matter how frequently or infrequently you post, you always post on this schedule. This is because readers have expectations. A good blogger is a consistent blogger. (I am working on a post about being a good blogger, so I will have more of these nuggets of wisdom.)

The goal here at the C-blog is to post daily. This would be easy if I just tossed out some crap, but that doesn't cut it. So, I block off time to put together material, and most of this material is actually scheduled in advance to be published later in an act of time shifting. For instance, today I will write a couple of essays that won't hit the blog until Tuesday or Wednesday. This gives you, Gentle Reader, the illusion that I am a Superblogger who can work a 12 hour day, maintain my life, and also churn out two or three essays and commentary on a daily basis. But this isn't the reality. This was discovered this week when the boss gave me a call because he had a little bit of a crisis. This shattered the illusion as my writing schedule suddenly took a back seat to my first love which is work.

I think I can take things up a notch here, so I am going to try and do that. I feel a certain robustness lately along with a sense of daring. Things have felt stagnant for me for the last year or so. I am breaking out of this. Change is good. You need to mix things up once in awhile. Maybe take some LSD and make something psychedelic. Or end up like Syd Barrett with a smoking crater where your brain used to be.

I wouldn't expect the White Album here, but I am going to try and get more work done. The debate I have is this. Is writing work? Or is it a hobby? Should I treat it as fun or as a second job? Whether I get paid or not, I think it would help to treat this gig like a job.

2. THOSE DAMN REPUBLICANS

The debt limit stalemate continues with everyone blaming Republicans for not compromising and being more bipartisan. I have to shake my head and laugh. We have a President who has made no proposals of his own. We have the Democrats in the Senate who propose smaller cuts. Obama only seems to care about raising taxes which no Republican will go along with. Why? Because this was done before. The reason we are at this impasse is taxes.

Here's the deal. The government is going to default on its debt because of a political game. Democrats know that if they can get Republicans to agree to "revenue enhancements" they have won the game. The Dems know they have to cut spending, and the tax hikes are just a drop in the bucket in the big scheme of things. But, politically, those tax hikes demoralize the base of the Republican party. It infuriates those Tea Partiers. So, for the sake of trying to win valuable political points, Obama is willing to let the country default. By now, even Senate Democrats have caved on the tax issue. But not Obama.

What many Republicans have learned is that compromise is bullshit. It only comes back to bite you in the ass later. Stick to your principles and take the flak. As I write this, the House has passed a bill. The Senate merely needs to pass that bill as written, send it to the POTUS, and the crisis is ended. Democrats need to compromise on spending. They merely need to choose to spend less instead of more. When you consider that the government is bankrupt, this is a good idea. But they won't do it. Fuck reality. Obama has one more election to go, and he intends to win it. So, the Republicans are going to bear the blame for his veto. Amazing shit.

MEMO TO REPUBLICANS: Call that fucker's bluff.

3. NORWEGIAN NUTCASE

I have grown sick of reading all of the commentary about Anders Behring Breivik, the psycho who went on a murderous rampage in Norway. Everyone seems to be spending their time trying to understand his politics and his motivations. The most telling thing is how the guy plagiarized the Unabomber who was an extremist left winger. Breivik is some sort of extremist right winger. Naturally, left wingers try and make political points out of this. It is a tragedy turned into spin, and I am sick of it.

Here's the deal. This may shock you, but here it is. For almost any ideology or worldview you care to name--racism, Islam, Christianity, libertarianism, Luddism, veganism, environmentalism, animal rights, etc.--there are is some nutcase who thinks that violent acts are the way to accomplish the goal of getting others on board. Nevermind that these actions generate virtually zero sympathy for the cause. They actually undermine the cause.

There are some snarky types who like to lift passages verbatim from the Unabomber's manifesto and post them to lefty forums. Naturally, these passages get accolades from folks who don't realize they are praising the thoughts of a psycopath. But I could do the same thing with right wingers by lifting passages from Mein Kempf. Ultimately, ideas exist separate from these people. To support or refute these ideas based on the actions of these respective nutjobs is to fall into the ad hominem fallacy.

What is at issue here is terrorism or what I prefer to call "political violence." Political violence is distinct from criminal violence because criminal violence usually has its goal the acquisition of money, material, or pleasure at the expense of others. Political violence has as its goal the acquisition of political change at the expense of others. As such, the government is the greatest perpetrator of political violence as witnessed in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. When terrorists engage in political violence, they are seeking to be like the government.

Political violence does not work. It changes things but almost never in the way it was intended. This is true for both individuals and government. I am reminded of the animal rights activist who said that people who wear fur should have their heads bashed in with a brick. Statements like this make you look stupid. Carried into action, it makes you look like what you are--a psychopath.

Violence doesn't work. Gandhi and Martin Luther King proved this with their non-violent actions. By being peaceful, they made their overlords look like the psychopaths. This is an amazingly effective tactic. As such, I categorically reject violence except in cases of self-defense from the violence of others. If you want to affect change, give peaceful resistance a try. This is because it works at changing people's minds and gaining sympathy for your cause. It works way better than bombs and guns. This is something governments should consider as well when it comes to their foreign policy.

As for Anders Brehing Breivik, the only thing he accomplished is to make Muslims look civilized and rational.

4. FACEBOOK DOES SOMETHING RIGHT

Facebook is paying people $500 for each flaw they find in the company's infrastructure. This is an amazing stroke of genius. The fact is that many people and white hat hackers find these vulnerabilities and report them. The problem is they get ignored. Grey hats go the next step by exploiting these flaws for the "Lulz." It is embarrassing for the company, but it gets the message across to the shitheads in corporate that NEVER FUCKING LISTEN. The last resort are the black hats who actively exploit the flaws for the sake of Russian mobsters who will have much fun with your private data.

Facebook has made a bold move in recognizing how valuable the white hats are to what they do. I think others will follow their lead. Pure fucking genius.

5. HOOTERS



I've been going to Hooters each week now. This is usually Friday after work. I eat chicken wings mostly. Shit is good. But I admit that I go to ogle tits and ass. Plus, they have sports on multiple TV sets. In short, Hooters is the ultimate man cave.

Hooters has also given a boost to the concept people call the "breastaurant." There are other chains like Twin Peaks and Mugs 'N Jugs that are competing in this space. But Hooters is the king for now. What is the appeal? Hot chicks. What else? That is a dumb question.

Hooters isn't like a strip club though. It's more like a sports bar with better looking bartenders and waitresses. The food isn't the greatest, but it is cheap. For a blue collar guy like me after work, it is heaven on earth.


MONDRIAN, Windmill

England v India 2nd Test Preview

By Zaheer Haque
The Second Test of this Series starts on Friday 29th July at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
England goes into this Test Match in very confident mood after their wonderful win at Lords.
England has an injury worry with Chris Tremlett who may miss out and if so more than likely Tim Bresnan will replace him in the starting eleven.
The other concern is the form of England Captain Andrew Strauss who needs a substantial score in this Test Match but due to his leadership his place isn’t under threat.
England also needs to improve their slip catching as they dropped few easy chances at Lords which was very uncharacteristic of them.
India has major problems in their bowling line-up with spearhead of their attack Zaheer khan ruled out of the whole Test Match. Also collectively they struggled in large parts of the Test Match and with Harbajan Singh having a very poor test match is also a major concern. I think India will make the one change and replace Zaheer khan with Munaf Patel.
Their batting line-up wasn’t in great form either and I think collectively they will struggle in this Test Match as they did at Lords.
I believe that it will be very difficult for this Test Match to live up to the intrigue and excitement that took place at Lords. England needs to maintain their intensity and energy and I can see them winning this match easily and go 2-0 up in the four match series.

RFL pledge to support Rugby League in Wales

RFL Chairman Richard Lewis today gave an assurance that the sport’s governing body will do as much as possible to maintain the momentum that has seen thousands of people experience Rugby League in Wales at first hand for the first time in recent years.
The decision earlier this week by the Directors of Crusaders to withdraw their application for a Super League licence has raised doubts over the sport’s future viability in Wales but Lewis insists all is not lost.
“The developments at Crusaders are undoubtedly a setback but we are speaking to the club about the possibility of them having a presence in the Co-operative Championships next season as well as exploring other options,” said Lewis.
“Rugby League in Wales has made massive strides in recent years and I am confident we can build on that burgeoning popularity, both in North Wales and South Wales.
“For all the well-documented problems the Crusaders have experienced, the sport has gone from strength to strength at community level and the health of those grass roots bodes well for the future.
“Our commitment to the sport in Wales has not diminished and I am sure the people of Wales will continue to respond in massive numbers to the opportunities they have to play and watch Rugby League.”
The popularity of Rugby League in Wales is supported by the progress made by South Wales Scorpionswho take on Rochdale Hornets at The Gnoll in Neath this Sunday (kick-off 3pm),and is expected to increase with a growing international flavour over the next few years.
In November a Four Nations fixture between Wales and Australia will be staged at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham whilst Wales will co-host the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
The rise of Rugby League in Wales over the last few years is illustrated by the statistics: in 2009 the sport had around 2,000 active participants but that figure has now increased to over 7,000; there are currently 53 junior teams in Wales, 41 more than just three years ago, during which period the number of Welsh schools in the Carnegie Champions Schools tournament has risen from 60 to 158.

Baber looks ahead to new season

Gareth Baber aims to challenge the Blues players ahead of the new season.

Speaking at the Vale of Glamorgan Training Centre, Cardiff Blues Backs Coach Gareth Baber, who along with Justin Burnell the Forwards Coach will lead the team into the forthcoming season said,

“Obviously the early part of any pre season is trying to get the players physically in the condition to be able to play the game we want to play, and certainly the first three or four weeks of pre season this summer was all about conditioning.”

“We’ve now pushed on more and more from the conditioning to the rugby side of things so when we are back in on Monday it will be a majority of rugby sessions followed by a training game against Cardiff RFC, before the pre season friendly matches against Pontypridd and Bath,” added Baber.

“This period of transition in the training is always a good time of the season because the players do so much work in the gym and field based conditioning that they want to get on and play.

“They tend to be addicts to playing the game, so a lot of our training has reflected that to get them up to the conditioning levels and the intensity that we want to play at.”

“We’ve welcomed back the Under 20’s from the Junior World Cup. They’ve reacted well coming back into the group and they’ve cracked on with our pre-season preperations.”

With a number of Blues players expected to be included in Warren Gatland’s Rugby World Cup squad, the friendly matches are an ideal chance for youngsters to impress the new coaching team.

“For the friendly matches we are obviously missing the international players but we have a healthy squad and in both friendly games we will be looking at different combinations and different players and seeing how they fit in to the style of rugby we want to play.”

“That will incorporate a lot of younger players as well who we will be relying on heavily during the start of the season. Post Rugby World Cup we want to be going into the League and Heineken Cup games in a good position and with a lot of momentum.”

Cardiff Blues Coaches Gareth Baber and Justin Burnell now have the chance to put their own stamp on the Blues side and Baber added,

“Obviously Dai has moved on and Justin and I have a slightly different view in the way we want to play the game, there are slightly different methods in ways of achieving the aims we want to.”

“We’re looking to challenge the players in other ways to improve their skills and decision making ability and we feel as coaches it’s our responsibility to challenge them and make sure they play a slightly different game.”

“Everybody thinks you can throw caution to wind and play a nice expansive game but you have to also balance that with constructing a game that is physical and direct.”

“We analyse a lot of teams and if you look at a team like Toulouse, they’ve got a big physical pack that create a lot of space for their backs by hammering down doors.”

“That will be part of our game as well but we will be challenging our players to find more width on the field and score more tries. We want to play with an element of flair and risk as well.”

Cardiff Blues supporters can now purchase tickets for the first home match of the 2010/11 season, when the Blues take on Bath, on Friday 19 August, 7.30pm kick off.

Tickets for the Cardiff Blues v Bath match cost only £10 for adults and £5 for juniors and seniors with family tickets, two adults and two juniors, costing only £12 in the Family stand.

The Cardiff Blues versus Bath match is included as part of the 2011/12 season ticket package which costs from as little as £165 for adults in the Family Stand. Supporters have until midnight on Sunday 31 July to purchase their season tickets and take advantage of the early bird discount.

Tim Tebow: Making a Wish Come True




Adam Hubbs' wish was to spend a day with Broncos QB Tim Tebow.

"When Adam played sports, he was a very hard worker and always played hard," said Peggy Hubbs, Adam's mother. "But there was never any celebration or what he thought was showboating. He just tried to win. And I think what he really liked about Tim was that he approached it the same way."

When Adam needed a bone marrow transplant in 2010, no living donors were found to be a perfect match. He had to wait for blood from an umbilical cord to be shipped in, and the delay was substantial. He had to wear a mask everywhere to avoid potentially deadly germs. Then came the chemotherapy.

Adam missed his friends and his pet corgi, Dash. And he missed playing sports. And that wasn't even the worst of it.

This January, Adam suffered a stroke, which completely paralyzed the left side of his body.

"The stroke was devastating," Peggy said. "With everything else, we knew he could work through it. We knew he would get back to his old self, and we would get the old Adam back. But with this ..."

With time and hard work, Adam has begun to recover some of the usage he lost from his stroke. Doctors believe he'll get most of it back. But for the time being, and maybe forever, Adam's involvement in football has been relegated to watching Tebow.

Eventually, the paths of these two athletes would intersect, as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and ESPN's My Wish series. An ESPN camera crew, disguised to Adam as a group filming a documentary for the hospital, watched as Tebow called and invited Adam to spend a day with him in Florida.

"I didn't really believe it was him," Adam said. "He said, 'This is Tim Tebow,' and I said, 'Are you sure?'"

The Hubbs family arrived in mid-June to the boardwalk at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex, and Tebow rode up on a surrey bike to take Adam for a ride. They talked about football, and Adam poked fun at the quarterback for crying on national television after losing in the championship game.

They played video games, and things even got a little competitive. "Tim wanted to win, Adam wanted to win and they both played hard," Peggy said. "There was none of this 'letting you win' stuff. And I think that's what Adam wanted."

Adam and Tebow spent the day together, comparing cellphone pictures of their dogs and playing catch. Adam threw the ball with his right hand to Tebow, who handed it back.

"It was amazing because it was just like two guys just hanging out for the day, and that's exactly what Adam wanted," Peggy said. "He didn't want tickets to a Broncos game or to go in the locker room or whatever. He just wanted to hang out and spend some time with Tim and talk to him just as a football player. And that's exactly what he got. It was perfect."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Underdressed for Your Bike??

DBC Swift Ladies', Test Ride
from a recent email (published with permission):
"Weirdest experience this morning! Was about to go for a ride on my gorgeous Abici, then caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thought better of it. I was working from home and looked a mess! Stained cargo pants, old T-shirt, ratty ponytail, ugh... Do you ever feel underdressed for your bike?"
Okay, that's pretty funny. And I admit I've felt the same. On a day to day basis I could be wearing anything, depending on what I am doing - from a business suit to paint-stained rags. And when it happens to be the latter, I do feel self-conscious getting out there on a nice bike for the whole world to see me all disheveled. Not self-conscious enough to actually go and change, mind you. But enough to make a mental note to dress better next time.

Could it be that all the so-called "cycle chic" imagery is getting to us, so that we actually feel pressure to dress up on our bikes?

It's possible. But I think the more likely explanation, is that traveling by bicycle can make us more self-aware and self-conscious, simply because we are more visible. Sure, we can hop in the car wearing old sweats with our unwashed hair up in a bun, drive to pick up some milk, and no one will be the wiser. But on a bike we will be observed. If we ride in the same neighbourhood as we live and work, we may not want our acquaintances, romantic interests, or colleagues to see us in that state.

Then again, it may simply be the bike. Owning an elegant, civilised bicycle can make us want to follow suit. And maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Scientists: You Are No Longer Politically Useful

[UPDATED 8/1: I've clarified the sentence below about Monnett's statement about "sloppy" research, thanks to the readers in the comments.]

Charles Monnett is a a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement in the US Department of the Interior. He has published in the peer-reviewed literature on polar bears. He also has just been suspended by the agency (PDF) under claims of possible scientific misconduct related to his polar bear research and was recently  interviewed by criminal investigators.

The Guardian reports that the timing is suspicious due to forthcoming DOI action on oil drilling in the Arctic:
It was seen as one of the most distressing effects of climate change ever recorded: polar bears dying of exhaustion after being stranded between melting patches of Arctic sea ice.

But now the government scientist who first warned of the threat to polar bears in a warming Arctic has been suspended and his work put under official investigation for possible scientific misconduct.

Charles Monnett, a wildlife biologist, oversaw much of the scientific work for the government agency that has been examining drilling in the Arctic. He managed about $50m (£30.5m) in research projects.

Some question why Monnett, employed by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, has been suspended at this moment. The Obama administration has been accused of hounding the scientist so it can open up the fragile region to drilling by Shell and other big oil companies.

"You have to wonder: this is the guy in charge of all the science in the Arctic and he is being suspended just now as an arm of the interior department is getting ready to make its decision on offshore drilling in the Arctic seas," said Jeff Ruch, president of the group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. "This is a cautionary tale with a deeply chilling message for any federal scientist who dares to publish groundbreaking research on conditions in the Arctic."
The spectacle of a government scientist being queried by criminal investigators is pretty chilling, and evocative of the same sort of ham-handed behavior by the Bush Administration.  While Monnett admits  argues that if the investigators apparent allegations were correct he would only be guilty of to doing sloppy research (PDF), it appears that neither he nor anyone else has been provided with information on what exactly he has been charged with related to scientific misconduct.

However this situation is resolved -- whether there is actual misconduct or it is a politically motivated harassment, both or neither -- the handling of this case is not a high point for the Obama Administration's efforts to "restore scientific integrity." More amazing is that as of this writing the entire liberal blogosphere (OK, Mother Jones just put up a post as I have been drafting this) that was so agitated about a "war on science" during the Bush Administration has thus far ignored this case. One can imagine what would have been the reaction had this occurred in 2006.

For scientists, the lesson here should be clear -- your status with partisans is a function of your perceived usefulness to their political agenda of the day.

Nnamdi Asomugha - Awesome On and Off the Field

Here is an NFL player who is a great example on and off the field. Share this with your players.

...

Nnamdi Asomugha (pronounced ˈnɑmdi ˈɑsəmwɑ) is a cornerback who currently plays for the National Football League's Oakland Raiders - That may change today since he is one of the most sought after free agents in football.

He was drafted in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft (31st overall) by the Raiders and played college football for the Golden Bears at the University of California, Berkeley. 

He is considered to be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.

Over the past 4 years in the NFL he has started and played in 60 games for the Oakland Raiders - usually covering the opposing team's best receiver every single week

During that time:

- Thrown at 112 times

- Allowed 41 receptions (in 60 games ...)

- 26 passes defensed

- 3 Interceptions

- Caused QBs to over or under throw 42 times 

Charity and Community Service

Off the field, education and community service are his mainstays. Asomugha serves as Chairman for the Asomugha Foundation. The Asomugha Foundation operates two primary programs: Orphans and Widows In Need (OWIN) and Asomugha College Tour for Scholars (ACTS).

Through OWIN, Asomugha and his family provide food, shelter, medicine, vocational training, literacy efforts, and scholarships to widows and orphans victimized by poverty or abuse in Nigeria. Currently, OWIN has two centers inNigeria and plans to expand to other countries in Africa.

Additionally, Asomugha distributes backpacks to the incoming freshmen each year at Narbonne High School in Los Angeles. He also outfits the football and basketball team with shoes, a mandate he wrote into an endorsement contract he signed with Nike.

In 2008, Asomugha was presented with The President's Volunteer Service Award. An award that was established to recognize the important contributions Americans of all ages are making within their communities through service and civic engagement.

Asomugha has been recognized by fellow members of the NFL Players Association who nominated him in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 for the Byron "Whizzer" White Award for Outstanding Community Service.

In 2009, Asomugha was named to the “Dream Team for Public Service” by the Jefferson Awards for Public Service.

In 2010, Asomugha was presented with the 44th annual Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year, the NFL Players Association’s (NFLPA) highest honor.

In 2010, Asomugha became the ambassador for United Way of the Bay Area UWBA, dedicated to creating long-lasting change and ensuring all Bay Area residents have access to the building blocks to a better life: education, income and health.

In 2011, Asomugha was named one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

VIDEO-Dangerous Knowledge



Dangerous Knowledge is a BBC documentary about four mathematicians--Georg Cantor, Ludwig Boltzmann, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing--who explored the infinite in mathematics. The result of their labors was insanity and suicide. Can infinity and uncertainty lead to madness?

I remember a story one of my college professors told me about when he was a salesman for Honeywell. He would give sales pitches for mechanical calculating machines, and he would allow the customers to try the machine. But he also had to be close to the plug in to the wall in case the customer did something not recommended for the device. You could never divide by zero. If you attempted the feat, the machine would begin whirring and never stop. He would yank the cord from the wall to stop the damn thing. Try this with modern calculators, and you will receive a simple error message.

The story of those mechanical calculators illustrates a similar phenomenon that happened inside the brains of these four brilliant men. Lesser mathematicians either ignored or shunned the avenues these men explored with a certain intuitive sense that it would yield them nothing. They were correct because the men who explored these avenues all went insane and killed themselves. Their brains worked feverishly in attempting to find proofs and certainty for the most certain of disciplines--mathematics. All four of them failed. And as one of them--Turing--showed to the world, the rest of us cannot escape it either.

The documentary begins with the story of Georg Cantor and gives the beginnings of the problems of infinity. The ideas will set your brain on fire, and you immediately understand why all four men would want to find a solution to the puzzle. But there is no solution. Some paradoxes simply are. If you have ever fucked with a Mobius strip, you can spend a lifetime trying to understand why it is what it is. But that is relatively a simple matter compared to what these men were attempting.

The fact is that the world is uncertain. As finite beings, the infinite escapes us. There are simply things we can never know. These men upset the world but not for the better. The world shunned them for it. And they destroyed themselves in trying to reconcile it all. They should have done like Galileo and let it go. But they couldn't.

I highly recommend this documentary. You can watch it here.

Meg gives pony rides

Today Amy had a friend over for a play date so Meg was dragged out of the paddock after three months off and took on the role of lead rein pony ... Bless her heart!















That's my Megastar!