Friday, September 30, 2011

Go The Warriors

One sleeping night to go until the Warriors grand final
game against Manly, here's hoping it's one sleeping
night until History.

I wonder if the players are as nervous as I am.

I cant stand the tension, please Manu don't drop the ball,
just catch and run, and Locke please do your magic.

This could be a great day for New Zealand sport, just
one thing left to say.


Jim Henson is Everywhere

The late great Jim Henson is everywhere, he would of
turned 75 years old last saturday, and if he still was
alive, he would of loved how his creations is still
loved all over the world,  and how much those
Muppets mean to people.

His son has kept his legacy alive, with the
upcoming Muppets movie set to screen this
year, and countless unseen Muppet moments
are also due for release, plus the historic
A tale of sand.

Who on the planet hasn't heard of Kermit the
Frog or Fozzie bear and Miss Piggy, who
doesn't like the Swedish Chef or the
song rainbow connection.

Jim Henson should be celebrated and
honored, his son has been doing great
work to keep the Muppets alive for
generations to come.

Here's hoping it will continue.

Is Jim Halpert a Bully?

The past two seasons of The Office, I have noticed a
change in Jim Halpert. For six seasons I cheered him
on with his pranks on Dwight, but in season seven and
the first two episodes of this season, I'm starting to change
my mind about Jim Halpert.

His pranks on Dwight, (which was basically done to make
Pam laugh) got a bit repetitive and I started to think, wow
I wouldn't want to work with someone like Jim, he is
actually not the nice guy he is suppose to be, he's  a
jerk who pisses people off for his own amusement.

The second episode of the eighth season confirmed this
for me, (despite the scene later in the episode outside the
tattoo parlour) Jim was cruel to Andy Bernard, when he
was trying to do his speech and struggling, Jim could
of helped out but Jim pushed and pushed to make a
more awkward situation for Andy worse.

There was no need for this, there has been no
rivalry between Andy and Jim, so I'm not if
the writers are slowly trying to turn Jim into
a bad guy, or if it's some sort of in joke between
the writers, or if it's just me, but Jim is no longer
funny, he justs comes across as the class clown
who has to rely on cruel pranks to get a laugh.

Here's hoping the writers give us the old Jim

What is wrong with Louisa Wall?

What is wrong with Louisa Wall?

Louisa Wall is another Labour MP who has knocked
the Mad Butcher simply for his support of John Key.

Louisa has stated she wont support any business owner
who votes for National.

That is crazy, is Louisa going to ask every business owner
who they vote for before she walks into their store??

It's morally wrong , to not frequent a business
because they have a different ideology to yourself.

If this is the best labour has got, it's no wonder this
election is going to be a landslide.

Sport Break

Blogging here will be light for the next week or so as I am off presenting a paper on FIFA reform and also blogging the Play the Game conference in Cologne (which those interested can follow along with here).

One of my interests in sport is that it provides a wonderfully rich laboratory for research in the social and decision sciences. Might the cartoon above have another tagline besides "all sports commentary"?  Please enter your suggestions in the comments ;-)

How We Roll in Greater Boston

JP Twins and His Raleigh Marathon, Lexington MA
It amazes and delights me to see so many people on beautiful, functional and unique bicycles in the Boston area - from refurbished vintage finds to locally built custom frames. A mere two years ago this was far from a common sight, but today I might be stopped on the street and asked things like "Hey, are those Porteur bars?" by a complete stranger. People recognise me on occasion as well, as do I them - which is always funny. "You're Lovely Bicycle!" "And you're the girl who parks her ANT in Harvard Square!" After that we don't know what else to say, but we are both ridiculously happy. Yesterday I had another such encounter, and this time I had my camera out.

Modified Raleigh Marathon
On my way home from Lexington I had taken a detour to photograph my mixte in a field at sunset, when out of the corner of my eye I saw the glow of a dynamo-powered headlight. As it moved toward me - gliding across the grass in the fading evening light - I could make out shellacked bartape and a rider clad in what was almost certainly a vintage wool jersey, astride a gigantic lugged steel bicycle.

JP Twins and His Raleigh Marathon, Lexington MA
Turns out it was JP Twins - whom I had never met before, but have known for some time as a reader of this blog. And that with him is an enormous Raleigh Marathon (what is that, a 65cm frame?..), which he has transformed into an all-weather long distance commuter, Boston style.  Behold:

Modified Raleigh Marathon
A vintage frame with character.

Modified Raleigh Marathon
Nitto Noodles, Cane Creek levers, shellacked cloth tape, brass bell.

Modified Raleigh Marathon
Single speed conversion.

Modified Raleigh Marathon
Two chainring sizes, just in case.

Modified Raleigh Marathon
Dynamo lighting with the wiring neatly zip-tied to the fork.

Modified Raleigh Marathon
And of course, full fenders, rear rack and a set of panniers.

Modified Raleigh Marathon
30 mile commute? No problem. This is how we roll in greater Boston. What about your town?

Strategies of Pleasure and Pain

Hedonism is the school of thought that happiness comes from pleasure and/or avoidance of pain. This pleasure is held as the highest good. But is this true? Is pleasure the highest good?

My way of philosophy is different from those of others because most philosophers try to reason their way to some undeniable and inescapable conclusion usually after some extended Platonic word game. I think this is stupid. Over 2000 years of philosophy should show the futility of this approach as philosophers today seem no further along than Socrates in his day when it comes to discovering truth. The reason for this is because they define truth in the wrong way. For them, truth is what can be deduced logically and cannot be contradicted. Yet, philosophy is filled with contradictions, paradoxes, and ultimately, meaninglessness. This is to be expected when rationalism is put as the cornerstone.

Truth is simply that which exists. Truth is whatever is real. As such, science has shown the progress that philosophy has not. This does not mean that science answers all questions. It cannot tell us whether the Mona Lisa is beautiful or not. Science cannot tell us whether it is wrong to euthanize a brain dead individual. Science simply provides us with facts and data. Questions of value are another matter.

Philosophy to be done well must never lose this empirical foundation. Philosophy is less a search for what is true so much as it is a selection of strategy. A person's philosophy is essentially their strategy for living, and those strategies can be judged solely upon whether or not they achieve the ends desired. It is pointless to debate whether or not Marxism is the proper political philosophy when it has been shown again and again to not work. It might be nice to consider a classless utopia of total equality, but the fact that it does not happen indicates it is a fantasy on par with the myth of Valhalla or Mount Olympus. You might as well argue for the necessity of being gods or having eternal life while you are at it.

I do not believe that happiness and pleasure are the same thing. My basis for this is empirical. You simply have to look and observe the various strategies for hedonism to see that they fail to deliver the desired end. Conversely, asceticism as the antidote to hedonism also fails to deliver the desired end. A scientific understanding of these things will show why they succeed in some respects and fail in others. It also suggests a new strategy for living a more pleasurable life.

The Cyrenaics

The Cyrenaics were a Socratic school that existed in Greece and was founded by Aristippus who lived from 435 to 356 B.C. The Cyrenaics believed that pleasure was the highest good. Bodily pleasures were more important than mental pleasures. Immediate pleasures were more important than future pleasures. They were the originators of the phrase, "Let us eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow, we die." The Cyrenaics were crass hedonists. They were the frat boys of the ancient world.

Crass hedonism delivers the goods in terms of pleasure. Fucking, eating, drinking, and doing drugs are great. They feel good. The problem is they all come with nasty consequences--hangovers, obesity, drug arrests, drug overdoses, marriage. It seems that pleasure comes with pain. Conversely, no pain comes without pleasure. For instance, water tastes better after enduring a hard workout on a hot day.

Pleasure and pain are like a two-headed beast. You cannot have one without the other. Attempts to increase pleasure will only yield greater pain. This inescapable fact may depress some people, but it shouldn't. But what it shows is that crass hedonism will not yield the desired result.


The philosopher Epicurus had an answer to this Cyrenaic dilemma. Epicurus famously said that pleasure knows no increase only variety. Epicurus taught a refined hedonism where the goal is not a maximum of pleasure but the absence of pain. By tending to one's needs, you eliminate the pain and discomfort of life. Instead of eating a gigantic fattening meal, you eat simple foods that sate the hunger without disturbing the digestion or contributing to weight gain. Epicurus counseled this strategy in all things yielding what we could call today the "simple life."

People who live the simple life want to live carefree. They want to live pleasantly with few worries, concerns, or troubles. This pleasant life sounds appealing until you realize its impossibility. You can retire to the countryside for an idyllic life and to escape the rat race. But you adjust to this new reality such that new things become unpleasant. You replace honking horns with chirping birds until the chirping birds become annoying. This phenomenon is what psychologists call the "hedonic treadmill." You adjust to whatever the new normal is such that you are back where you started. The effort to create a more pleasant life merely results in a lower tolerance for pain. At this point, you can feel a bit depressed.


If hedonism doesn't work, why not become ascetic? Why not renounce worldly pleasures for higher pleasures? Why not devote yourself to a philosophy, a religion, art, music, or what have you? Why not live a life of virtue and renounce base pleasures and embrace pain and hardship? This was the answer that the Stoics gave us who counseled us to seek the only good which was virtue. The Stoics were the bad asses of the ancient world. Today, they would be Navy SEALS.

By living a more painful life, you enlarge your capacity for suffering. The hedonic treadmill works both ways, so why not become accustomed to hardship? Just embrace the suck and live there. There is some wisdom to this approach. The Stoics would do just such things. They would embrace cold statues nude in the winter or sleep on boards like the emperor Marcus Aurelius. They believed these practices made them tougher and more resilient. But is this actually the case?

The Stoics would debate amongst themselves what the Stoic Sage would do in the bull of Phalaris. For those unfamiliar with this device of torture and execution, the bull of Phalaris was a brazen ox that had a door in the side. They would put the condemned in this bull and set a fire underneath roasting the poor guy alive on the inside. His screams and the steam made a nice bellowing bull sound as it exited the bull's nostrils. Debating the happiness and serenity of a Stoic Sage in such circumstances is ludicrous.

The fact of human beings is that we inhabit physical bodies. There is no escaping this fact. We are our flesh, and our flesh is us. A wide body of scientific knowledge attests to this fact. Our systems of pain and pleasure provide us important feedback when it comes to our bodies. Hedonism reduces us to these sensations, but asceticism cannot lift us above these sensations. There is no virtue in needless suffering.

These three strategies in dealing with pleasure and pain come with inescapable problems. The problem is trying to separate pleasure from pain. This is an unsolvable problem. Instead of trying to separate pleasure and pain, they need to be unified. We must accept the dual nature of the two and learn to use them for our gain.

Duality and Syzygy

To grasp this new concept of pleasure and pain, we must leave the West and go to the East and to the teachings of Taoism. Taoism teaches that nature is filled with these dualities. There is day and night. There is male and female. There is life and death. The word psychologist Carl Jung used to describe these concepts was "syzygy" or a pair of opposites. They seem opposed, but they are complementary. You cannot have one without the other.

These concepts must not be confused with the concepts of good and evil. They are devoid of these moral meanings. Pain is not necessarily bad nor is pleasure necessarily good. A sore muscle from a workout is a good thing. A broken leg from a fall is not a good thing. Similarly, water on a hot day is a good thing while a heroin overdose is not a good thing. You can see that the judgments we make on these matters is whether or not they improve or destroy the body. This was the evolutionary reason behind our sensations, but we have found ways to short circuit these things either for our benefit or our detriment.

In light of this Eastern perspective, the proper attitude to take towards pleasure and pain is to embrace them and use them. We should be both hedonists and ascetics and neither of them. If this sounds confusing to you, it shouldn't because we already have people who embrace this duality. They are athletes.

Athletes are simultaneously master of their bodies and servants of their bodies. They will punish their bodies in the weight room, ice them in excruciating torment in a tub, and then sleep for twelve hours and eat healthy delicious foods. They join together both punishment and pampering.

We should mimic this duality of pleasure and pain in our own lives. We need to enlarge our capacity for suffering with ascetic discipline but also enjoy the sublime pleasures that come from the relief of that suffering. The easiest way to do this is to go out for rigorous physical exercise such as running or working out at the gym. Then, enjoy some healthy food and plenty of rest. In short, you need to embrace both the weight set and the couch. The occasional beer is not so bad either.

Some will counsel moderation in all things, but this isn't going to cut it. There is nothing moderate about a CrossFit workout. People like extremes. When they find something they like, they want a lot of it. This is as true of pain as it is of pleasure. With syzygy, you get to satisfy these appetites. You increase the pleasure. Epicurus was wrong. Pleasure does know increase. It just comes with an increase in pain.

The bad pleasures and pains are those things which are destructive to the mind and body. This would be the world of drugs, tobacco use, and excessive drinking. Couch surfing, watching TV, or eating good food do not apply because they are good things in relation to running twelve milers, hitting the weights, or puking your guts out with a CrossFit routine.

Science backs me up on this as there exists lots of data about the need for both the stimulus of exercise and the benefits of rest. What science doesn't tell you is how great all this feels. Eliminate either the yin or the yang on this, and your body will rebel. Being a couch potato is not a pleasurable life and neither is being a sleepless robot living in ascetic denial. Speaking from personal experience, I have lived at both these extremes, and they both suck equally as much.

The syzygy strategy can be applied to other areas which I will explore and write on in the future. I just know that in this area we should not make enemies of the couch and the gym. They belong together, and you should feel no guilt for enjoying pleasures earned.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

PRINT-The Pirates of Somalia by Jay Bahadur

Jay Bahadur's The Pirates of Somalia is one part adventure travelogue and one part socio-political commentary. In 2009 and 2010, Jay risked his life to travel to Somalia to chew khat and learn about Somali piracy. My interest in the book stemmed from a larger interest in the subject of anarchy. The book was incredibly interesting and eye opening.

Somalia is not precisely an anarchy. It lacks a central government, but it is governed locally. This would be like abolishing the federal government in the USA but leaving state governments behind to do their thing. In Somalia, these local governments are largely a joke. Without a large tax base, strong government is not possible.

Piracy was a response to the loss of fishing as a viable industry as foreign fleets came in and overfished. This was the initial reason, but it is obvious from the book that this reason is not valid but mere PR for the pirates. Piracy is lucrative for them, and Bahadur goes into painstaking detail on profits, losses, and the economics of the trade. This book is Paul Theroux meets Freakonomics. Like Freakonomics, Bahadur discovers that piracy is not so lucrative for the foot soldiers and grunts but is very lucrative for the pirate lords in much the same way that drug lords in the USA are prosperous while their grunts make less than the minimum wage.

My interest in the book was primarily political since libertarians get hit with the anarchy in Somalia argument. Without a doubt, there is less government in Somalia, but it is not Hong Kong. They have Toyota SUVs and cellphones in Somalia, but they also have large amounts of crime. This is why I favor minarchy over anarchy because I see government as being indispensable to creating a sphere of order for the free market to operate in its most optimal state.

It is a fascinating book, and I recommend it for anyone interested in Somalia.

Rain Delays and "the Integrity of the Pennant Race"

An interesting side-note from Wednesday night, which is becoming widely accepted as one of the best nights of baseball ever.

The Red Sox game against the Orioles in Baltimore was delayed by rain for about 90 minutes in the seventh inning with Boston leading 3-2. This is not an inordinately long delay, but it's much more than the minimum (30 minutes) required for the umpires to decide to call the game. If they had, the Red Sox would have won, and presumably would be in a one-game playoff with Tampa Bay for the AL wild-card spot. But the generally accepted practice is that a game that important should not be called because of "the integrity of the pennant race." (Most agree that if the game had been between two non-contenders, it would have been called.)

I am not saying the game should have been called (or that it shouldn't). But I don't agree that the integrity of the pennant race is best protected by changing the rules in the interest of the integrity of the pennant race. Much like basketball referees who swallow their whistle at the end of the game in the mistaken belief that they are allowing the players to determine the result, deciding not to enforce a rule is as much an example of referees determining the outcome as overzealously enforcing one. In either case, one team is given an advantage it wouldn't have at another point in the game or season.

In this example, it worked out well for the Orioles, and through them the Rays. And it worked out well for baseball, which had a much more interesting outcome than it would have with a rain-shortened game. (Although had Boston won there would have been a one-game playoff on Thursday.) I'm just not sure that having different rules for "important" games is something baseball should be promoting.

Spring Horses

Just a few random photos taken today and yesterday. Maude and Hooty are available for breeding lease and can be bred to Brennan or Hamish this season. Hooty's foal by Brennan will be for sale - I am super excited about the cross!

Maude, 23 years old and looking a picture!
Paddy, 22 years old and feeling good!
Hooty, 19 years old and in foal to Brennan
Beautiful Hoots
Maude, not feeling her age
Maude and Snorkel who is now a yearling
Me and Norks
Please contact me via the blog, the website ( or email: if interested in our breeding leases or future foals.

Darien Fenton Finally Does the Right thing

Labour MP, Darien Fenton has finally done the right thing.
She caused an outrage a week or so back, when
she she ripped into Sir Peter Leitch for supporting
New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key.

How anyone could rip into the Mad Butcher is beyond me,
his community work throughout his life,  his love
and passion for his family, friends and his sport is
something we should all admire.

Darien Fenton comments were pathetic and it
was the type of politics that don't belong in
the 21st, to rip into a private citizen is bad

Was she genuine in her apology, probably not
it only came after the public outcry, but she
has said sorry, and hopefully other politicians
will learn from this.

Time will tell.




Details to follow shortly.........

A Guilty Farewell to Vintage Roadbikes

Good Bye, Bianchi
Earlier this month, I parted with my remaining vintage roadbikes: a 1982 Bianchi and a 1978 Francesco Moser. Both bicycles ended up going to people I know, and their futures look promising. The Moser will be built up as a geared roadbike again and ridden by a long-time local cyclist. The Bianchi will get a make-over and may end up riding in the Eroica. The bikes moved on to greener pastures, leaving me with only my Rivendell to contemplate lessons learned and a direction for the future.

Waja Track Bike, Home for Wayward Cats
I've been experimenting with vintage roadbikes since last summer, which has included riding other people's bikes and also buying a few for the express purpose of playing around with them. The bicycles I've tried in this manner have included examples of American, French, Japanese, English and Italian bikes from the late 1970s and early '80s. Not an enormous sample, but a nice beginner's crash course. Somewhat to my surprise, I found that I liked every Italian bicycle I tried, whereas the mid-tier French bicycles felt the worst. The Japanese bikes were comfortable, and I could see the roots of Rivendell's philosophy in their geometry and handling. It was very interesting - but ultimately unsustainable.

Vintage Trek, Concord, MA
For one thing, even if a vintage bike is in good condition, it takes me a great deal of resources to set it up in a way I find ridable: Usually I have to change the brake levers, the handlebars, and - if I want to comfortably switch gears - the shifters. Not only does this require time and money, but it also ultimately changes the bike's character.

However, the bigger issue is that trying a modern roadbike this summer - and enjoying the benefits of its light, easy-to use components - has made me realise just how far I'd have to go to get the same level of performance out of a vintage bike. Assuming that I can find one in the correct size for me and with a sufficiently light, good quality racing frame, I would have to then put a modern wheelset and component group on it, as well as structurally alter the frame in order to make that possible - all just to determine whether the complete bike will be up to par. It does not seem like a practical endevour to me. 

Francesco Moser
Considering the kind of cycling I have been gravitating toward, I would ultimately like to have three roadbikes: a fully equipped touring bike that is capable of going off road, a fixed gear bike, and a "racy" bike that is suitable for competitive cycling. The first I already have. The second I am finally working on after a year of riding a conversion. And the third will be my next priority. I feel guilty that I don't see vintage in the equation, but practical needs trump aesthetic and historical interest. When I am older and have more time and money, I would love to collect gorgeous, historically significant vintage frames. But for now I would like to ride more, tinker less.

Selective Importance of Science Integrity Guidelines

The EPA Inspector General has found that the agency failed to comply with the Administration's requirements for peer review in the preparation of its endangerment finding with respect to carbon dioxide (report can be found here in PDF).

The IG report has no direct bearing on climate policy either in EPA or beyond. What has been interesting has been to see various statements by observers about the significance of the IG report.  I'd speculate that these observers would have had different reactions had this report been requested by Henry Waxman in 2006 about the last administration's EPA.

For instance, Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist, finds the worry about process a distraction:
This is a battle of lawyer versus lawyer. The issues here are not scientific. If we start taking scientific advice from lawyers, we are in deep trouble.
 Kevin Trenberth, another climate scientist, thinks that the concern about process is all political:
"This has nothing to do with the science that justifies the endangerment finding and everything to do with politics," Trenberth said, adding that the IG's criticisms focused only on process and not the quality of science EPA is using. "There is nothing here that undermines the EPA's way forward."
Francisca Grifo of the Union of Concerned Scientists explains that the breakdown in process is not a big deal:
The process matters, but the science matters more and in this endangerment finding, the science is accurate.
Of course, during the Bush Administration concern about processes to ensure scientific integrity were all the rage. At that time it was generally understood that process matters, not simply because it helps to improve the quality of scientific assessments, but also because it helps to establish their legitimacy in the political process.  One sneers at process at some risk.

Of course, had the EPA endangerment finding gone through a more rigorous peer review, misleading and sloppy arguments might have been identified and corrected -- such as found in this example.

Well That Settles It

From the Guardian, Al Gore updates us on the state of the science of extreme event attribution (emphasis added):
In a near hour-long speech to the Scottish low-carbon investment conference, Gore said the evidence from the floods in Pakistan, China, South Korea and Columbia was so compelling that the case for urgent action by world leaders to combat carbon emissions was now overwhelming, Gore said.

"Observations in the real world make it clear that it's happening now, it's real, it's with us," he said. Failing to take action meant the world would face a catastrophe.

He added that nearly every climate scientist actively publishing on the subject now agreed there was a causal link between carbon emissions and the sharp increase in intense and extreme weather events seen across the globe.
I have been asked by email for my response:

Further elaboration here.

Identity and Mission

I had a great experience the past two days. I was able to speak at a National Catholic Educational Association regional meeting for high schools.

Region 9 is comprised of Catholic High Schools from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. It was hosted at Dowling Catholic High School.

Now SportsLeader is very proud to work with all schools whether they be public or private ... but if you're going to be a Catholic school - well go all out. And Dowling Catholic is a school like that. I was impressed to say the very least. The photo of their weight room is a just a taste of the Catholic Identity that envelops the school.

You can really "taste" that everyone and everything about the school has a very specific Identity and Mission about it. This is really how it should be. This is formational for our students. I learned so much from simply walking the halls and listening to a student ambassador explain all these elements with such professionalism.

There were School administrators, athletic directors, development directors and campus ministers from about 23 different high schools and 1 gentleman from Creighton University.

Hopefully a number of these schools will be joining the SportsLeader family soon.

As the President of Dowling Catholic, Dr Jerry Deegan, was bringing me back to the airport he told me a little story that I found inspiring.

A student-athlete was giving a tour of the school one day to some visitors. One of the attendees asked, "Why is that crucifix here in the weight room?"

The student replied, "I love that it is here. When I'm tired of working out, I simply look at Him. If He could be on that cross for me and sacrifice ... then I can sacrifice and finish my workout. That is Sacrifice."


Reminder about The Courageous Movie night for your Dads ... the movie opens tomorrow.

There are numerous SportsLeader teams gathering to do this. Please remember to get a group photo.

Welsh roller derby provides the big smash at the Big Splash!

Roller derby is an action packed, all-female full contact sport played on quad roller skates, and it’s taking South Wales by storm.
As part of Newport’s Big Splash festival, three of South Wales’ leagues are coming together to produce a roller derby extravaganza. Not only will you be able to see three local teams in two fantastic bouts, but you also have the chance to learn more about the sport and meet some of the skaters. Gone are the days of the scripted fighting and staged penalties seen in the 1970s, replaced by feisty, independent women armed with shoulder checks, hip checks and booty blocks!

You’re invited to meet and greet the Tiger Bay Brawlers at Newport Centre from 14:15 on Saturday 8 October to find out more about roller derby and how to get involved. This introductory session will be excellent preparation for the main event; two exhibition bouts starting at 17:00!

For just £7.00 you get to see Cardiff’s very own Tiger Bay Brawlers B Team take on the Swansea City Slayers in the first bout of the day. This will be the debut public interleague bout for both teams and is definitely not to be missed.

The headline bout sees the Tiger Bay Brawlers Travel Team taking on the best of CRoC – Cardiff Roller Collective. The Brawlers have been bouting leagues through the UK since their public debut in January this year whereas this will be the first interleague outing for CRoC who formed at the end of 2010.

To find out more about the teams involved please search for them on Facebook or visit their websites: Tiger Bay Brawlers, CRoC and the Swansea City Slayers.

Tickets for the event are available from and priced at £7.00 per person (under 12s go free).
For information about sponsorship opportunities please contact Claire ‘Boba Fettish’ Andrews on

For any media queries or to attend this event in your capacity as a media professional, please contact Laura ‘Lola Coaster’ Joyce on 07776 300342 or via email:

Red Sox another epic collapse

The Boston Red Sox (4-3) lost to the Baltimore Orioles in a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011, in Baltimore. Boston was eliminated from the playoffs after the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees in extra innings minutes after Boston's loss.

Burnell looking to bounce back from Munster

Having narrowly lost last weekend, the Blues will be looking to bounce back against Glasgow this Saturday, 6.30pm kick off
The Blues have recorded back to back losses in the RaboDirect PRO12, to Ulster and Munster, but can take encouragement from the fact that they have won their last eight encounters with Scottish opponents in all competitions.
Speaking ahead of the match Cardiff Blues forwards coach Justin Burnell said,
“We have to bounce back from the last two matches.”
“We let ourselves down in Ulster, tactically and maybe a bit on selection, and last Friday we faced Munster.”
“They had physically smashed every team and only conceded one try and maybe our indiscipline lost us the game.”
“We can all moan about disallowed tries and yellow cards but that won’t change things.”
“We conceded 6 kickable kicks, and Keatley, in fairness, stepped up. The contact area was good for us and we turned them over.”
The Blues have won their last three encounters with Glasgow, but the Scotsmen did record a win at Cardiff City Stadium in October 2009. Burnell has confidence in the youngsters that have progressed well so far this season, and is looking to for them to put in a big performance against Glasgow this Saturday.
“We have the utmost trust in the young players we selected against Munster and we think they are repaying us,” added Burnell.
“We have quite exciting athletes coming through now such as Dan Fish, Alex Cuthbert, Lewis Jones and Thomas Young and it’s great to see.”
“The youngsters may have learnt the hard way from the Munster match but with these players, it’s a case of learn from your mistakes and try to do better.”
Tickets for the Cardiff Blues v Glasgow Warriors match are available online at or by calling the Ticket Office on 0845 345 1400 starting from £17 for seniors in the unreserved area.
To launch the 2011-2012 Regional Schools Scheme the Blues will be hosting their Regional Schools Day, where schools from across the region can attend the match for free.
• All junior schools within the Blues region are able to request up to 40 complimentary tickets
• All Secondary schools can request up to 80 complimentary tickets
• Extra tickets can be purchased at the discounted schools price- £2 per student ticket
For further information on the scheme please email

SWALEC Stadium - 2012 Major Matches


England v South Africa NatWest Series One-Day International (Friday 24th August, 2012)
Friends Life t20 Finals Day (Saturday 25th August, 2012)
Next August, the SWALEC Stadium will stage an England v South Africa NatWest Series One-Day International and also the prestigious Friends Life t20 Finals Day on consecutive days.
Glamorgan Cricket Chief Executive, Alan Hamer said:
“We are delighted to be hosting these prestigious matches and look forward to an exciting weekend of cricket at the SWALEC Stadium.
We are working closely with our key stakeholders to finalise our plans to encourage as many spectators as possible to attend both matches and extend their stay in Cardiff. Over recent years, Cardiff has staged several high profile sporting events and no doubt, the City will once again be buzzing as spectators flock to the Capital to watch these showpiece matches.”
Ticket information for both games can be found on Discounts will be offered to Glamorgan members and to those that attend both matches. 

TRUE SHIT-Sleeping Dolphins

No one believes me when I tell them this, but this shit is true. Dolphins sleep with half their brain. One side shuts down while the other side remains awake. Then, they switch to the other side. During this sleep, they are not very active either remaining at the surface to breath or slowly descending and ascending to get a breath.

It is obvious that dolphins evolved this sleep pattern because they would drown if they slept like humans. It also points to some need for sleep that is indispensable since the sleep thing did not evolve out of them despite being advantageous for survival.