Re¢ently

  1. BBC: Drummers as Fit as Footballers

    brian on 2008.08.04 at 03:01 am

    “Footballers can normally expect to play 40 to 50 games a year – but in one 12 month period, Clem played 90-minute sets at 100 concerts.

    “Footballers find playing a Champions League game once every two weeks a drain, but these guys are doing it every day when they are on tour.

    “It is clear that their fitness levels need to be outstanding – through monitoring Clem’s performance in controlled conditions, we have been able to map the extraordinary stamina required by professional drummers.”

    Well, wonder if this why I’ve always been reasonably fit.

    A hour in concert could burn between 400 and 600 calories, he said.

    People have made a habit of calling drummers a lot of things over the years. But “athlete” is a new one. Through middle and high school, it wouldn’t be unusual for me to play for one or two hours nightly, after school. Sometimes this was after playing a sport, too.

    Dr Marcus Smith, from Chichester University says I was healthy when I was playing often. Clearly I need to get back into that habit.

    Posted in: Music · Sports

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  2. The Next Level: Director's Cut (Soccer)

    jake on 2008.07.31 at 12:10 pm

    Should I have said fútbol?

    Brian pointed out this Nike commercial while I was visiting Boston to attend Podcamp. Yesterday he found The Director’s Cut online.

    Set in first person perspective, we are the player, rising through the ranks, working hard, winning the big game. Cheers Guy Ritchie.

    Screen shot: You can't win like that.

    Read More

    Posted in: Sports · Television

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  3. Dakar Cancelled over Terror Concerns

    brian on 2008.01.08 at 01:26 am

    This really saddened an otherwise happy day, when I learned the 30th running of the Dakar Rally has been cancelled. The event, formerly known as the Paris-Dakar (but now begins in Portugal instead) is run by the same French organization that conducts le Tour de France and many other major French sports events.
    Map of Dakar Rally 2008
    The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly encouraged the cancellation of the even after the Christmas Eve murder of four French tourists east of the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott. This attack was allegedly perpetrated by “Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghrebin.” Additionally, direct threats to the race itself have been issued by terrorist organizations.

    Sadly, this punishes the fragile economies of the African nations the race passes through greatly. Perhaps this will encourage the citizens of these nations to see how dangerous these organizations are, and will organize against them.

    Posted in: Auto · Politics · Sports

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  4. Irony, Greed, Hypocrisy, Bluster and Snow

    brian on 2007.12.29 at 03:56 am

    I followed a link today to this video, Sabotage Stupidity which resides on The Burton Snowboards website. It’s a series of marketing videos that are very clever, and very “in-brand” for Burton. Sabotage Stupidity is the name of Burton's campaignI’ve long had a lot of respect for Burton. They were a pioneer (but not inventor) of the snowboard, with a distinct style and attitude that really set the tone for the whole budding snowboard industry. Snowboarding itself really had to swim upstream. For many years, snowboarders were second-class citizens on the slopes–if they were even allowed on the slopes. It’s a classic story, they were different and thus they were not liked. Of course, as with any situation like this, there were a few punks who made trouble on the slopes and gave everyone else a bad name.

    What follows is a story of silly discrimination and silly corporations… and what else? Money.

    Read More

    Posted in: Design · Environment · Nature · Sports

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  5. Revs Going Back To MLS Cup

    jake on 2007.11.17 at 07:27 pm

    New England Revolution Logo The Revs are going back to the MLS Cup for the fourth time in six years. So far they have not been successful in the finals including last year’s defeat to Houston. A bitter loss culminating in trading goals in the second overtime and Houston squeaking by on penalty kicks.

    Tomorrow hopes are high that New England can finally win the Cup and stop Houston from repeating. Tune in and cheer them on.

    Posted in: Sports

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  6. Michael Vick Is Inhumane (probably)

    brian on 2007.07.18 at 11:51 am

    If Michael Vick is found guilty, then I think he should hang. Or be electrocuted. Or his body slammed on the ground until he dies. Or death by firing squad.

    These are the ways federal officials accuse Vick of killing numerous dogs that were otherwise raised to participate in dog fights – usually battles to the death.

    So, in the same vein, I guess it would be OK if we treated Vick like a bull in a ring – stabbed until he succumbs to death.

    I guess you could say I have zero tolerance for animal cruelty. Do unto others…

    Instead, I doubt he’ll serve a minute in jail, pay a fine that may not even amount to one day’s salary for him, and the NFL will likely give him couple days off as “punishment.”

    I suggest instead that he be banned from professional sports and his fortune given to charity. May I suggest the ASCPA?

    (this is a little off topic for this blog, but this is something I feel strongly about, and I have more readers here than on my other, anything-goes blog. Also, thx to Jess for bringing the story to my attention initially. )

    Posted in: Rant · Recent Events · Sports

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  7. The art of the goalie mask

    jake on 2007.07.14 at 05:54 pm

    Over the years the goaltender position in hockey has arguably had the largest change in equipment. Especially when considering the protection of the head region. From the days of Terry Sawchuk, when they didn’t even wear helmets, to the modern gear, that resembles ancient armor, the goalie’s quest for retaining teeth has constantly evolved.

    Once your face is almost entirely hidden it only makes sense that you’d want to distinguish yourself in some other way. Like the ancient warriors who ornamented their helms most modern goalie’s have custom paint jobs on their masks.

    Sports Illustrated recently ran a series of photos highlighting thirty-six various tenders and their masks. Along with many interesting paint jobs, like Giguere’s half robot duck, and Jason Bacashihua’s homage to Jason, you get Hasek’s continual use of a classic design, now with paint.

    Via Digg

    Posted in: Art · Design · Sports

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  8. I can see my house from heeeere... Trip to AU/NZ Part 4

    jake on 2007.02.24 at 03:06 pm

    One of the many activities I participated in while in New Zealand was bungy jumping. I’ve never been averse to intentionally leaving the safety of a bridge but my companion didn’t think I would do it. So like Marty McFly I let that dictate my actions. My mind was set and I walked to the edge and leaped.

    I purchase a DVD of the event and a quick email gave me the permission required to share it. Below is a quick clip I made including some extra, descriptive text. The location is Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, NZ. It is where A J Hackett created commercial bungy jumping with Henry van Asch.

    A larger version is housed at the site I set up to share some videos that never materialized from the trip. What do you expect? We were too busy having fun. ;)

    They’re coming slow but maybe I can get the rest of my trip up here before 2008.

    Posted in: Holiday · Sports · Travel

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  9. College Football Playoffs Now!

    brian on 2007.01.02 at 04:01 am

    Broncs win!If nothing else, what people are calling “the best college bowl game of all time” should tell us all, it’s time for a playoff system in division one college football.

    Way to go Broncos!

    Posted in: Sports

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  10. Amateur Athletes and Performance Enhancers

    brian on 2006.10.31 at 01:25 am

    Fascinating story about an amateur athlete who decided to conduct an experiment: try out all the popular performance enhancing drugs that the athletes use… and see how a normal person reacts.

    Drug Test – A Cautionary Tale

    Everybody knows that many athletes cheat by using performance-enhancing drugs like steroids, testosterone, and EPO. But what is it like to take these banned substances? Do they really help you win? To find out, Outside Magazine sent an amateur cyclist into the back rooms of sports medicine, where he just said yes to the most controversial chemicals in sports.

    “OK,” the doctor said when we settled into his examination room. “What do you want to be?”

    I looked confused, so he explained.

    “You want to be bigger? Leaner? Faster longer or faster shorter? More overall endurance? You want to see better?”

    “See better?”

    “Human growth hormone does that for some people. It improves the muscles in the eyes.” He tried again: “So, what do you want?”

    (via Kottke )

    Posted in: Sports

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  11. Rally Racing at X Games

    brian on 2006.07.29 at 11:07 am

    Matt Lorio launches his 1995 Subaru into the air. Photo Credit: Jeff Koehler courtesy NPRNPR and WBUR’s Only a Game featured a story today about one of my favorite sports, Rally racing. They tell us that Rally Racing will be featured in ESPNs X-Games this year. Excellent. If introduced to a larger audience, Americans might come to like it as much as Europeans and others do. It has everything Americans like jumps, speed, sliding around dirt corners… everything except convenient seating.

    Posted in: Sports

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  12. Plus-Up your run

    brian on 2006.07.20 at 04:47 pm

    If this is a sign of gadgets to come, then I think we’ve all got some smiles ahead. Too bad I don’t run. I guess I need a nano, too. I hope they come out with one for cycling, with a special one-ear headset so I can still hear the road.

    Posted in: Apple · Sports · Technology

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  13. Simmons and Gladwell Chat Sports

    brian on 2006.03.04 at 09:46 pm

    Even if you don’t really know who Bill Simmons and Malcom Gladwell are, if you’re a reasonably informed sports fan, you’ll really enjoy this discussion they’ve posted on Bill’s column on ESPN.com.

    It’s two parts and I wish it were ten.

    These two should definitely team up for a sports book.

    I’m now much more interested in reading Gladwell’s book. They’re sorta up my alley anyhow, but I don’t read many books that don’t have a lot of pictures (I mainly only read art/design or travel books… not children’s pictures books as that might have sounded like…)

    Posted in: Sports

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  14. Winter Olympics come home

    brian on 2006.02.13 at 05:03 pm

    I can’t say I minded my snow day yesterday. It fits nicely with my scheduled day off today, to make an impromptu weekend. Of course, this gives me lots of time to do something I enjoy greatly, watch the Olympics.

    We watched a women’s curling match this morning, US vs. Norway. For all the talk by men in the US about the US Women’s Snowboarding team… they should really take a look at the women’s curling team. Not that their looks helped them against a 40 year old vetran from Norway, who quietly brought her team from 4 down to a 4 point victory in the end.

    Curling is an interesting sport, born in Scotland, and much loved in Canada (94% of the estimated curlers in the world reside there). You could describe it as a mix of chess and bowling on ice, with a good deal of physics (mainly regarding friction of ice and stone) thrown in.

    Watching the cross country skiing the other day, I was reminded that I wanted to try doing that. I had (alpine) skied in middle school, switched to snowboarding in high school, and then promptly stopped in college. Skiing/ snowboarding is such a social sport, that you don’t generally do a lot of it if you don’t have anyone to accompany you on the rather long drives north to the mountains, then you generally don’t go. Same thing happened to my mountain biking habit.

    Well, now that I’ve settled down after college, it’s time to bring these things back. Problem being my significant other isn’t a big fan of heights, so getting her on a high-speed quad probably isn’t going to happen (I hold out hope that she’d spend time on a bunny slope with me though). But she has voiced an interest in x-c skiing. She likes the fact that it’s fantastic aerobic exercise.

    So next year, after we’ve paid off the wedding, and have some discretionary spending, three things will vie for our dollars: mountain bikes, snowshoes or xc skis. I’m betting on the bikes, but I’m certain at least one trip to rent and use xc skis will be in order. And boy, will we be tired.

    Posted in: Sports

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  15. Watch le Tour

    brian on 2005.07.12 at 01:40 pm

    Hey, if you’re in the Boston area and have Comcast cable, they’ve added the Outdoor Life Network so that you can watch Le Tour De France. If you’re in Brookline, you’ll find it on channel 62.

    Side note: Dear OLN, why bother having the official American lTdF website if it is going to be so dreadfully slow? You attempts to style and brand the site is one of the reasons your site is so handicapped… you’re sucking bandwidth. Your costs are going up and readership down. I won’t wait a full minute for your site to load through my fast pipe. I’ll get my web coverage from the Tour Blog and ESPN’s Tour Tracker.

    Posted in: Bicycle · Media · Recent Events · Sports · Web

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  16. NEMBAs Riding Land from Above

    brian on 2005.04.11 at 01:36 am

    If you’re a mountain biker and interested in the NEMBA purchase of the 47 acres in Milford, MA ‘commonly known as Vietnam’ you may be interested in Google’s Satellite Image of the land. Look slightly north of the I-495/Rt. 85 interchange and it’s that nice woodsy area to the east of 85.

    It’s much better than NEMBA’s own picture. I’m dying to get down there are check the place out. Except I’m between off-road bikes.

    Mmm, I like bikes.

    Posted in: Cool Info · Sports

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  17. Sorrow in Storrs

    brian on 2005.03.20 at 05:30 pm

    A dejected Jim Calhoun.Agony isn’t losing in the NCAA tournament, even as the defending National Champion. No, agony is losing to an underrated foe while the core of your team and your year’s success fail to play up to their normal standards.

    — Brokenhearted in Brookline.

    Posted in: Sports

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  18. Blizzard Blessings

    brian on 2005.01.23 at 01:19 am

    So thanks to the Blizzard of ’05, I got off early tonight from work, allowing me to watch my UConn Huskies play the big game against Pittsburgh.

    UConn proactively asked ticket holders for the game who knew they would not be coming out in the blizzard to call in, so that the school could offer the tickets to the student on campus without tickets.

    The result is what should happen at every UConn game at Gampel Pavilion. The entire lower section appears to be students, along with both ends of the arena. What that is a massive home court advantage. The students are standing, and exerting their presence. I think every game should be at Gampel, the Hartford Civic Center, although it seats 6,000 more, sucks.

    Note to UConn athletics: fill at least the bottom ring with all students. Your home court advantage will go up. The great small-venue basketball facilities do this, and no opposing team wants to play there. You make so much stinking money off this team that you can afford to put the big wigs in the upper section, plus this way, they can see over people who want to stand.

    Signed,

    Proud Alumn Brian.

    Posted in: Sports

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  19. Boston Does It

    brian on 2004.10.28 at 02:58 am

    Big Ups to my hometown. Congrats to the Sox on breaking the curse. I'm going to stay away from Kenmore Square, because I know what's good for me.

    Posted in: Sports

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  20. Red Sox Win!!!

    jake on 2004.10.28 at 02:53 am

    It's way too late for this to set in. But I just want to congratulate the Boston Red Sox for winning the World Series. All us fans are very proud. And congratulations to Grandma for sticking with the team forever and getting to see a championship in your lifetime.

    And I'm glad they beat the curse that never existed.

    In fact, [Harry] Frazee was not Jewish. He was Presbyterian, and a Mason.

    Henry Ford can kiss my butt. (read the article to understand).

    Posted in: Sports

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  21. More Livestrong News

    jake on 2004.10.26 at 05:30 pm

    Well our most popular post needs some updated info. But it's also getting a bit bloated. So I'll add some facts over here and maybe bring some comments over here with them.

    What's the problem?

    First an article discussing their popularity over at ESPN. The most interesting thing is where the bands originate from. The Livestrong bands are the first in this new updated wave, but the slightly less durable originals were from 1998.

    While many have credited Nike with the idea, phrases on rubber bands have existed in the sports world since 1998, when an entrepreneur from Minnesota, Ave Green, started doing it. Thanks to striking up a friendship with Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett, who had been wearing regular rubber bands throughout his high school career, Green's company, Wordstretch, sold more than 10 million rubber bands with phrases over a four-year period.

    ...

    Green said that the Armstrong bands are a better evolution of her original idea. They are made of thicker material and the words are stamped into the rubber so the words won't rub off.

    Second we have an article from Silver Chips Online which has a good summary of the motivations behind the bands, and how it's been skewed by their popularity.

    With demands for the bracelets high, most stores have run out of bands. Yet Mogge notes that while people seem concerned over where to buy the bracelets, they are not so concerned about the intent of the band. Says Mogge, "They just ask, 'Where can I get one?'"

    So that leads me to the last article on CNET. Here we again hear about how the fad is creating a loss of meaning in the message. This is especially true on eBay.

    Officials from the foundation said the eBay development strikes them as "truly disappointing"--they are not, to the best of their knowledge, receiving any additional funds for the marked-up, resold bracelets.

    Consumers are turning to eBay because of a backlog, said Michelle Milford, a spokeswoman for Lance Armstrong Foundation.

    "We're seeing them sold for as much as $20 in some cases, and we could put that money toward valuable research," Milford said. "The eBay situation is being caused by a perception that there is a shortage of bracelets, which there is not."

    What can we do?

    Well it's frankly upsetting. The few that I had I gave out for free. Maybe some people really only wanted one and so collected one dollar each as they gave them out. But $20 for a single little piece of rubber, with none of that going back the The Lance Armstrong Foundation, is just ridiculous.

    If anyone out there has a fairly large number of these and is interested in "selling" them (on eBay or whatever) and then subsequently donating the excess money to The Foundation we will mention you here. Right now we're in the top 5 in Google for "livestrong band." Maybe we can get enough people through these pages to help raise awareness.

    I'll try and keep this updated if anything actually occurs.

    Posted in: Sports

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  22. History Made. Sky still in place

    brian on 2004.10.21 at 03:07 am

    If you follow sports, you already know history has been made, the Boston Red Sox have come back from a 0 - 3 deficit to win a best of 7 series. If you don't follow sports, basically, in the last 100+ years of major league sports in the United States, that's never happened. In fact, no one had even pulled even at 3-3 after being down 0-3. It's the greatest comeback in sports history. Period.

    A big congratulations to the Red Sox Nation. This should be a fun coming week in Beantown. If the place doesn't burn down in the process.

    Posted in: Sports

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  23. Game 7

    jake on 2004.10.20 at 06:08 pm

    So tonight's the night. I'm gonna see if I can get out of band practice early to catch the tail end of the game. Though Adam and Dave are very interested in the game too so I imagine it won't be too difficult.

    Jim Caple pretty much nailed this evening. Tonight is about so much more than just game seven. It's a culmination of many, many, many... many dissapointing post seasons as a Red Sox fan.

    Jim points out how much of a miracle it was that Curt Schilling could pitch last night and pokes some fun at it. And it even makes me think of Halloween, which is just around the corner.

    "Will the Red Sox finally make history by overcoming their old nemesis? Or will the Yankees kick their old rivals in the groin again just as they're within reach of the promised land? Or will Boston doctors suture Ted Williams' head onto Johnny Damon's body?"

    Tonight I will continue to pray while I watch and hope that neither I, nor any of my older family members suffer a heart attack as we watch Boston and New York face off one more time.

    It's Game 7 between the Yankees and the Red Sox. The past century, the past two Octobers, the past 25 meetings and most importantly, the past six games have led up to this.

    Or as Boston first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz said, "We've been playing Game 7 since Game 4."

    Posted in: Sports

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  24. Hope and Bitterness Springs Eternal

    brian on 2004.10.18 at 03:42 am

    Boston is in need of a winner. In baseball. You might say they deserve one. In my opinion, only some of them do. First I will say that I'm not a native Bostonian. I am however, a native New Englander. Raised in Connecticut to be a fan of a certain New York team.

    The Bostonians who deserve to have a winner are those who are passionate and knowledgeable. They cheer hard. Those who follow the Sox year-round. In this town, it is not unusual to walk into your average coffee shop and here a discussion in the middle of winter on the free agent status of an average, seldom used utility play. Then they will switch to talking about how the Pats are setting new NFL records. That shows you something about this town, and its love affair. Even people who have no other affinity for sports lovingly walk around town in their Red Sox gear. This is endearing.

    The Red Sox new ownership has made great strides in obtaining excellent, likeable players, improving (and attempting to retain) Fenway Park, and show a great dedication to the loyal Red Sox Nation. This is endearing. They've made a team that is easy to be taken with. How can you not cheer for someone like Curt Shilling?

    But there is a sizable group of Bostonians who do not deserve to win. Ever. The people who have such a bitterness for the New York Yankees. The whole world is out to get these people, and the baseball team they cheer for. Especially one team is out to get them, to ruin them not just on the field, but also with all sorts of supernatural phenomenon. How do they deal with this grave injustice? Simple. They chant "Yankees Suck." They deride the Yankees and their fans.

    There are rivalries all around the world in sports. The rivalry of the Sox and Yankees is by far the greatest. But it generates incredible acrimony. And its understandable that the side that loses more would be a little dissatisfied, but, God damn, people, the Yankees do not suck. They do not suck in the worst way. They certainly don't suck at Buffalo Bills games (when the Pats are in town) they don't suck at weddings or rock concerts, either. There are battle cries, and then there's just crying. The Yankees are the single best team in the history of sports. They are not evil. You could make a point that their front office and owner are, and many Yankees fans would help you make your point. But they dedicate all their resources to winning ball games, unlike 98% of other baseball teams. With the new ownership, the Red Sox have just become part of the other 2%.

    I was heartened by last year's "Cowboy Up" slogan. Finally, something positive. But, alas, that was short lived. And Yankee Hater gear is as common as wool hats in winter. What's my point?

    This the only thing that will get Boston over the hump is positive energy. The true curse of the Bambino is the bitterness that Boston holds. It's very unbecoming of a fan base that is in all other respects is perhaps the best of any team, anywhere. The Yankees do not exist to make Bostonians miserable. Bostonians do that unto themselves. Yankees fans should cheer for the Sox to win, just so they can get their Championship and shut up.

    Now being a local for three years, I have followed the Red Sox quite closely. My beloved is quite obsessed. I tell people I am neutral when the rivalry is in progress, in the interests of a good home life. It's not entirely true. It certainly is partially, since my beloved is one of those bitter-style Red Sox fans. But the other half is that I honestly like the Boston team. If it were any other team I would have dropped my associations and immigrated to Red Sox Nation. I did that after years of disliking the Patriots. I've been a life long Bears fan, but now I actively follow the Patriots (I base this purely on team make up, and the Pats are the definition of a team, therefore, I must support them).

    What an excellent group of guys the Sox have, even the management and front office are likable. They haven't renamed Fenway with a corporate name (thank God. Even a Yankees fan can give a blessing for that), they have attempted to add more seating (this should be the only reason to be bitter in this town, the utter unavailability of baseball seats, and they are exorbitantly priced).

    But, alas I simply cannot. I cannot associate myself with 86 years of bitterness. As much as I like their gear (and as someone with a design background, this is important, they have excellent logoage), I just cannot put on that hat.

    We'll see how I feel next year.

    Posted in: Sports

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  25. Livestrong Bike on American Chopper

    jake on 2004.10.05 at 12:08 am

    In related news to our most popular post tonight on the Discovery Channel they have a second part to the American Chopper guys working on a Lance Armstrong Bike. And if you miss it at 10 o'clock tonight there is a list of when they're re-airing it.

    Posted in: Sports · Television

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  26. Apple: a Bicycle for the mind.

    brian on 2004.07.31 at 12:30 am

    Via Celsius1414:

    In 1981, 'Apple had recently taken out a two page ad in Scientific American, featuring quotes from Steve Jobs about the wonders of personal computers. The ad explained how humans were not as fast runners as many other species, but a human on a bicycle beat them all. Personal computers were "bicycles for the mind."' -- from BikeBiz.co.uk

    Posted in: Apple · Sports

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  27. Congratulations

    brian on 2004.07.25 at 11:26 pm

    Lance courtesy the BBC

    Posted in: Sports

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  28. Sport meets Tech

    brian on 2004.07.25 at 11:23 pm

    When some of our stores are visited by celebrities, they often take pictures, and show them off to the other stores via an intranet. Whereas that's cool to see for us, our store doesn't participate. We play it cool, and try not to bother them.

    So when the world's most successful female athlete showed up the other day we kept it on the DL. She needed to find out about using her PowerBook to get on the internet for an upcoming trip to Greece. Rounded out with a couple iPod questions, and she was on her way, ready to take on the world. I skipped the congratulations on international goal 150, and my co-worker didn't make a big deal about the local professional athlete-spouse on her desktop with her. We wished her the best of luck on her trip and she was on her way.

    Our next customer asked "What was it like to talk to an Olympian?"

    Athletes, stars, Nobel prize winners, Knights of the Crown, its all just another day at the office.

    Posted in: Apple · Sports

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  29. L'Alpe d'Huez: Big Day Tomorrow

    brian on 2004.07.20 at 09:43 pm

    Part of course at Alpe d'Huez One of the greatest days in one of the worlds greatest sporting events arrives tomorrow. L'Alpe d'Huez is the most famous of all the stages in the three weeks of Le Tour De France.

    The USA Today has an excellent primer for non-cycling fans online today to prep you! Things to know this year include the fact that the stage is an individual time trial. This means instead of a slow moving pack of 150 or so riders, the road will host one at a time, released in one-minute intervals. This is the first time in tour history that this stage has been approached in this way. Traditionally, the stage has been a regular stage, with the pack riding perhaps 120 miles before finishing at the top of the mountain. Records are kept for the 13.8 kilometers (8.57+ miles) that the road snakes to the top.

    Here are the highlights of the USA Today piece:

    The crowds are so big that their mass can be seen from the orbiting International Space Station.

    (L'Alpe) will attract more than a million fans for Wednesday's 16th stage of the Tour… the grand finale on Paris' Champs-Elysees draws a crowd half the size.

    …fans along the route, a two-lane, asphalt road, are within touching distance of the riders as they pass. In some sections of the course, riders appear to be laboring through a tunnel of humanity.

    For the multitudes on the course, however, a day on L'Alpe d'Huez is like the Super Bowl and NBA Finals all in one day. Except the Tour does not charge for admission. Many arrive a week early to get a choice viewing spot.

    The infamous "Dutch Corner," about halfway up, is clogged with fans from the Netherlands. The Dutch have settled on this area, in part, because it comes where the roadside area is wide enough to accommodate the mass of partiers.

    More important, it is a particularly steep section that makes the slow-moving riders easy prey for the revelers' shenanigans, such as offering parched riders a cold beer.

    Lance Armstrong has obtained the yellow jersey (maillot jaune, current first place rider) and thus rides last in the time trial. Lance will launch at 10:58 AM EDT.

    Also see alpedhuez.com

    UPDATE: Lance demolished the competition on L'Alpe today. Enjoy this link about stage 16

    Posted in: Sports

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  30. New Sustainable Stadium for NYC?

    brian on 2004.07.17 at 02:20 pm

    Included in NYC's bid to host the Olympic Games, and proposed to be the New York Jets' new home on the West Side of Manhattan, the New York Sports and Convention Center (NYSCC) is in the works to bring a second major venue to the isle of Manhattan (the other being "The World's Most Famous Arena" Madison Square Garden).

    But the reason it makes news on our weblog it's ground breaking environmental sustainability. The Stadium will host 10,000 square feet of solar cells, and 34 wind turbines, among other innovations. It also is accessed by nine modes of transportation, easing traffic and emissions impact. Impressive, but I can't admit to knowing what those nine are. The stadium grounds will be built above the State of New York's Long Island Railroad Hudson Rail Yards, which will continue to operate underneath. The stadium will also surround itself with "blocks" of public, waterfront greenspace.

    Impressive. Let's hope it goes through.
    (Nod: Talk Energy)

    Posted in: Science · Sports

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  31. Livestrong Band

    jake on 2004.06.28 at 02:10 pm

    Livestrong BandPurchase of the band goes to the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Aiming for $5 million. I bought a package of ten, which is only sucky cause I just need one. Guess I'll be giving them away to raise awareness. Though giving them away doesn't necessarily help the donation process.

    Web Site From: RE.
    Where I heard about it: Eryk at work.

    Update: Make sure to read the comments before blindly posting a three word request. You may come across gems like Matt or Kim who have some available. Also, can anyone verify the Build-a-Bear claim?

    Update 2: New post discussing all these shenanigans. Plenty of articles and quotes.

    Posted in: Sports

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  32. Armstrong to Continue on...

    brian on 2004.06.19 at 12:24 am

    For those of you who might not follow the sport of cycling, let me note that the cyclist you've heard of, Lance Armstrong, has a new team sponsor. During his first five Tour de France victories, his team was sponsored The United States Postal Service. But under increasing pressure about a pseudo-governmental agency spending millions of its advertising on a cycling team, the USPS has decide not to renew its nine-year sponsorship of Armstrong's team next year.

    In its stead American television megalith Discovery Networks has picked up the lead sponsor role. Interestingly, they will not broadcast the race, but another team sponsor, Outdoor Life Network, will continue their excellent coverage.

    Posted in: Sports

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  33. Virtual Euro 2004

    jake on 2004.06.16 at 01:43 pm

    Virtual Soccer from the BBCThe BBC has a way to see highlights online using Shockwave. They use basic 3D players ala EASports Fifa from a few years back. Very cool way of seeing important events from the matches.

    From: Boing Boing

    Posted in: Sports · Technology

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  34. ProRally - Where's the support?

    brian on 2004.06.15 at 10:39 pm

    Most motorsports fans in America like to watch cars drive in circles like a dog chasing its tail. However, for most of the world, the most popular motorsports aren't circular, and the second most popular sport, Rallye doesn't even have a closed circuit, it's a point-to-point. Automakers (including the US's Ford) drop millions into the WRC, on par with what the "big three" drop on America's fiercely popular NASCAR.

    It may surprise you to know that same world's favorite motorsport is actually raced in the US, as well. It's highest level "ProRally" is run by the SCCA. It's only known to the most hardcore of US motor sport fans. There are no WRC-sanctioned rallye events in the US. No auto manufacturer has a factory team racing in ProRally. (Subaru comes closest by supporting Vermont SportsCar)

    However, Rally video games are quiet popular in the United States. What does this hold for the future of the sport?

    If you think small 300 horsepower, all-wheel drive cars going 60-100 miles an hour inches from trees, cliffs, with jumps and kicking-out-the read hairpin turns sounds exciting, you might be right. You should check out rally racing... the ProRally or the WRC variety.

    Motor Trend has a good article on this whole US versus Rally racing. Check it out. By the way, noticed I've spelled the sport's name two different ways: in most of the world, the sport has an "e" at the end of the word (its the British spelling). In the US, the SCCA has dropped the "e."

    The word comes from the French "rallier", from Old French "ralier" : re-, re- + alier, to unite, ally.

    From dictionary.com,

    A competition in which automobiles are driven over public roads and under normal traffic regulations but with specified rules as to speed, time, and route.

    Posted in: Auto · Sports

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  35. See Lance Ride

    brian on 2004.05.22 at 01:07 am

    See Lance Ride

    Posted in: Sports

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  36. LeMond Poprad

    brian on 2004.04.09 at 02:35 am

    As a follow up to my previous post, I thought I'd announce that I have taken delivery of the bike, and that I'm quite happy with it thus far.

    The bike came with a few surprises, including an extra set of brake levers on the closest part of drop bars. These will be terribly useful to me in the bike's primary purpose, that of a commuter, when ever I need to assume the more upright position. Also, the drop bars themselves are more upright, which are a better shape for me.

    Unfortunately, I haven't commuted on it yet, perhaps tomorrow if its nice out.

    Posted in: Sports

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  37. One Less Car

    brian on 2004.04.06 at 03:21 am

    Lemond Poprad Cyclocross BicycleThanks to the afore posted development, I will be adapting my commute to work. I have ordered a Lemond Poprad cyclocross bike from the fine people at Wheelworks. It's built and ready for me to pick up (hopefully Wednesday night). Then when weather and scheduling permits, I will be riding the two-to-three miles from Brookline to Cambridge.

    "Wait!" You say, "Boston is awful to drive in, the roads are nuts. Would that make cycling there suicidal?" Well, you might be right. Heck the former CEO of a local bicycle company once told me during an interview that I would be nuts to commute on bike in the city. During that interview, one of his employees called in to say she had broken her leg in a bike commute accident (no car involved, just a rainy day and a wet, slippery expansion joint).

    However, I happen to be lucky. 80% of my commute would be on the bicycling paths of the MDC's Charles River Reservation. I would be segregated from auto traffic, while paralleling the raceway-like Soldiers Field Drive.

    I can't wait to to start. I hope to trim my current commute (by the "T" that's light rail / subway for non-Bostonians) by half. Currently, I need to plan for a one hour commute to deal with the fluctuations in the schedules. Strike that. They don't even have a schedule. I think 30 minutes should be attainable with little sweat.

    For those who are interested, I plan on wear cycling garb, and bringing clothes in my courier bag. Luckily, attire at work is jeans, a company t-shirt and of course, custom shoes. I leave the shoes at work in a locker.
    I already have the iPod case for the cycling bag (which will be listened to in only one ear).

    I'll keep everyone updated on my attempt to shake up my commute, subdue pollution, undermine the funding of terrorism via oil sales, reduce road congestion, rail-car congestion, reintroduce exercise to my life and damnit, have some fun.

    Posted in: Hardware · Politics · Sports

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  38. Heading a soccer ball can damage your neck.

    jake on 2004.02.28 at 03:19 am

    This hits to close to home. Though I think sitting in front of my monitor all day doesn't help either. New Scientist has an article discussing neck problems from heading a ball. I'm no professional but I hope I'm not screwing my neck up more by playing my favorite sport.

    Compared with non-players, the soccer players had less flexible necks, more movement between and damage to the cervical discs, and greater compression of the spinal cord, the researchers report. Typically, this sort of degeneration is only found in much older patients, Korkusuz says.

    Posted in: Science · Sports

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  39. RFID Chip in Soccer Balls

    jake on 2004.01.23 at 05:31 pm

    Gizmodo posted about an interesting technology use. To implant RFID tags in soccer balls. Being a big soccer fan I find this very interesting. I wouldn't mind being able to see (online perhaps) a representation of the ball movement.

    Posted in: Sports · Technology

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  40. Red Sox Haiku

    brian on 2003.10.21 at 02:47 am

    Submitted without bias, Red Sox Haiku.

    I think its awesome that people are taking the emotion of sorrow, and transfer that into creativity. I hope there are more submissions.

    Posted in: Sports

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  41. A City Silenced

    brian on 2003.10.17 at 11:28 am

    After the events of last night, perhaps one of the greatest games of baseball ever --a 7th and deciding game to advance to the WorldSeries-- the city of Boston awoke in silence today, and move about as if in a daze. I've never seen the T so quiet on a Friday morning.

    Boston for once should not question what went wrong. Instead they should thank Grady Little and Theo Epstein for getting them to such a position with one of the best teams Boston has ever fielded. Everyone questions the decision to leave Martinez in, but it easily could have ended the same way with the bullpen to blame. The city should instead reflect on one heck of a season.

    Posted in: Sports

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  42. A Great Monday in Sports

    brian on 2003.10.07 at 01:33 pm

    A great night in sports last night, an exciting finish to the Boston Red Sox Wild Card playoff series vs. the Oakland A's. The Red Sox won three straight games to come from behind and beat Oakland.

    The cover of the 7 October 2003 Boston Globe showing the Red Sox celebratingMeanwhile, while Boston was near riot in celebration, I watched the end of a seemingly boring end of a Monday Night Football game, where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were handing it to the Indianapolis Colts. But with four minutes left, Indy gained new life, and made one of the biggest comebacks in NFL history. A Classic.

    Wednesday brings a renewal of the greatest rivalry in sport.

    Posted in: Sports

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  43. World Beard and Moustache Championships

    jake on 2003.09.24 at 01:26 pm

    Carson City, Nevada, USA -- November 1, 2003

    Willi ChevalierBlues News pointed me to this web site for the World Beard and Moustache Championships. Taking place in the US this year. Pictured here is the freestyle champion from 2001. I enjoyed just going through the gallery and looking at all the wild "designs." Although some are a bit more tame.Picture is from the official web site.

    Posted in: Rant · Sports

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  44. Extra Ordinary in Ways Unseen

    brian on 2003.07.28 at 05:17 pm

    An excellent title for the fourth story by Sally Jenkins, which ran in the Washington Post recently. All four stories July 10, 20, 23, 28, 2003 mostly focus upon Lance Armstrong, with the first (7-10, "There is no "I" in team or USPS") profiling the intriguing and motley members of his US Postal Service Team.

    The last three include inside portraits of Armstrong, and the author knows him well. She has ghost-written several books for him. Along with insight on Lance's incredible ability to be a good person, and a phenomenal athlete, at the same time, they also delve into the interesting (and foreign to most Americans) world of professional cycling. In what kind of sport do the competitors wait for a crashed leader to get back into the race?

    (last three links direct)
    Riding for his Life after Escaping Death
    Tour Cyclists: From Pain comes Pleasure highlights Tyler Hamilton, as well.
    Extra Ordinary in Ways Unseen

    (I don't know how long these links will remain live. Apologies if WaPo banishes them to a pay-only archive.)

    Posted in: Sports

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  45. Frolf aka Frisbee Golf

    jake on 2003.07.24 at 12:10 pm

    Man I haven't posted in a while...

    Raffi went and played some frisbee golf recently. Apparently in MA they have an actual course about an hour from Boston. I've only played this once, it was fun, but I'm more of a ultimate fan I think...

    Posted in: Sports

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  46. Pete Rose on Trial

    brian on 2003.07.18 at 01:24 am

    A fascinating special on ESPN this evening: "Pete Rose on Trial." First off, it was a mock trial. It was held at Harvard Law School. None other than Alan Dershowitz and Johnnie Cochran, lead the prosecution (Rose bet on baseball, thus should remain inelligible for teh Baseball Hall of Fame) and the defense (put the man in the Hall, regardless), respectively. The trial has a jury, and the preceedings are being prosided over by Catherine Crier, an Emmy-winning Court TV host, and former judge from the state of Texas. The witnesses included baseball royalty like Jim Palmer and Hank Aaron, and expert witnesses from the fields of law and medicine. Follow the link and learn more. What do you think?

    Posted in: Sports

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  47. 100 Years of Le Tour De France

    brian on 2003.07.13 at 02:37 pm

    I have been terribly remiss in not mentioning one of my favorite annual events, le Tour de France. This is the 100th year of the world-famous event, which was initially conceived to help sell copies of a struggling (and long now defunct) sporting newspaper. It has since established itself as one of the most difficult sporting events in the entire world. The event covers 3,427.5 kilometres of the beautiful French countryside from July 5th to 27th.

    This year's event could make Lance Armstrong an immortal within the sporting world. Lance is going for his 5th consecutive general championship (overall victor, based on cumulative time, indicated by the current leader wearing "le mallot jaune" the "yellow jersey." Only a few of history's greatest riders have won five, and few (two, I believe) have won those consecutively.

    Lance is riding as an American on the only American-based team, whose title sponsor is the US Postal Service. Wearing blue, white and red, the team rides American-made, stock-production Trek OCLV-carbon racing bikes. They are only team not using fully custom bikes. There are a few other Americans on the team, along with riders from other countries, including Russia and Columbia. Other Americans are riding on European teams, like the talented Tyler Hamilton of Marblehead, MA who was a star for the USPS team before moving from under Lance's shadow to captain the Danish CSC team. Without doubt, Tyler is the second best American in the race, next to Lance, and just above Georgie Hancappie (USPS).

    These three represent US cycling very well. The US is certainly not considered a powerhouse within the sport of cycling which is huge in Europe and other countries. However, the US riders are certainly starting to reach world-class, just as our national soccer team is starting to achieve world-class status. All this while most of the country has no clue.

    As I type this, I'm listening to a live audio link to the 8th Stage, which is a climbing stage, going over the most famous climb in cycling, L'Alpe d'Huez. They have just reached the base of the big climb, and as expected the USPS team attacked, launching their main man, Lance, and his right-hand man, Roberto Heras, to the front of the field. Team tactics within cycling strategy are complex (yes, believe it or not, cycling is first and foremost a team sport), and I won't get into them here.

    Unsurprisingly, Lance attacked and shot straight up the mountain, just behind the stage leader Iban Mayo. However, the big surprise was Tyler Hamilton! Tyler crashed on the first stage of the race, double fracturing his clavicle. No one expected him to continue, let alone ride injured with Armstrong's chase group (including some of the sports best) on the the most famous climb in cycling. Amazing.

    Notice I said I was listening to the race. Normally, I would be watching this on the Outdoor Life Network. But for some reason they decided not to air the most dramatic stage live. Instead they are airing fishing shows! So I've tuned into their WMP audio stream. It's very disappointing. Never the less, the race is quite exciting, just wish I could see it!

    Epilogue: Iban Mayo, a Spanish rider from Team Euksatel, has taken the stage, by himself at the top, only two minutes or so ahead of Armstrong's chase group. Armstrong finished third, capturing the Mallot Jaune for the first time in this year's race.

    Posted in: Sports · Web

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  48. Tarzan, eat your heart out

    jake on 2003.06.24 at 07:22 pm

    John Ssaybunnya, from Uganda, who is participating in the Special Olympics in Ireland was partially raised by Vervet monkeys. He witnessed the murder of his mother at the age of three and fled into the jungle.

    Traumatised by the horror of what he had seen, he fled into the jungle. And there he should have died, but he didn't.

    He survived because he was adopted by a troupe of African Green monkeys who fed him and raised him as their own.

    Three years later, in 1991, a tribeswoman saw him scavenging for food with the monkeys and reported it to the people of her village.

    eircom.net (Irish Independent)

    Posted in: Science · Sports

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  49. Metro NY Fan Followup

    brian on 2003.06.12 at 11:57 am

    In a followup to my previous post about classless fans in the NYC region, I present this dissenting case: After being no hit by a combined 6 Houston Astros' pitchers, NY Yankees fans stood and cheered the effort. That's class.

    Posted in: Sports

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  50. Classless New Jersey

    brian on 2003.06.10 at 01:00 pm

    Watching the Stanley Cup Finals this week, I continue to hate New Jersey Meadowlands sports fans (I have family in South Jersey, which an entirely different state: friendly people, no chemical plants, and where the "Garden State" nickname comes from. They're all Philly fans down there, too). After winning the Stanley Cup, the New Jersey fans deafenly boo the winner of the Con Smythe Trophy (The Duck's Jean-Sebastian Giguere) because he wasn't their goalie. Classless. The Con Smythe trophy is the MVP for the entire playoffs. JSG was clearly the MVP.

    Not to mention the North Jersey fans booing the Spurs in line up announcements the night before, including two of the nicest players in sports: Tim Duncan and David Robinson.

    There's just something about the fans in that New York Metro area (and I'm a fan of one of those teams). They were terribly rude at the 2002 US Open at Bethpage Black on Long Island. And who can forget the snowball incident at the NY/NJ Giants game? Classless. Sportsmanship (among fans, at least) simply has no meaning when you enter that area.

    Posted in: Rant · Sports

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  51. Women's World Cup Coming To US

    jake on 2003.05.26 at 10:06 pm

    Because of the SARS outbreak in Asia Fifa has decided to move the Women's World Cup to the US. It will take place around the original time span at the end of September.

    BBC Sport

    Posted in: Sports

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