The Sentinelese- perhaps the most isolated people in the world!

sentinel-island
Sentinelese on the beach of North Sentinel Island fiercely defend heir home.

North Sentinel Island is in the Bay of Bengal, in the waters east of India. The Sentinelese inhabit the island and have an estimated population of anywhere from 50-500.  They are aggressively defensive of their island and fend off visitors with arrows and stones and have even killed to keep visitors away from their home.  After multiple failed attempts to communicate with the Sentinelese, the Indian Government has declared North Sentinel Island off -limits and has imposed a 3 mile no-trespassing boundary around the island.

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North Sentinel Island,- The Indian government has officially closed the island and made it illegal for anyone to visit – It is dangerous to outsiders trying to make contact and potentially devastating to the Sentinelese- who have no immunities to diseases such as smallpox, measles, and influenza.

 

A few days after the devastating tsunami in 2004, which killed more than 200, 000 and wiped out nearby islands, the Indian Government sent a helicopter to the island to

In 1981, the ship Primrose ran aground on the coral reef, which surrounds North Sentinel Island.  A few days later, the crew noticed “small black men” carrying spears and arrows and building boats on the beach.  Sensing imminent danger the captain radioed for Sentinelese could reach them.  The tribe used scrap metal from the abandoned boat to build weapons and tools

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Sentinelese chasing potential visitors away1

In 2007,  two fishermen fell asleep in their boat, anchored with a rock tied to a rope.  The anchor failed and the boat drifted near the island and inside the coral reef.   The Sentinelese promptly killed the men andburried them in shallow graves, giving others a grim warning sign to stay away from North Sentinel Island or risk death!

The dense forest canopy makes it impossible to get an accurate count of the tribe.

The Sentinelese survived the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and its after-effects, including the tsunami and the uplifting of the island. Three days after the event, an Indian government helicopter observed several of them, who shot arrows and threw stones at the hovering aircraft.  Although the tsunami disturbed the fishing grounds of the Sentinelese, they appear to have adapted.

Since 1947, India has administered the island as part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory.  However, because there has never been any treaty with the people of the island, nor any record of a physical occupation whereby the people of the island have conceded sovereignty, the island exists in a curious state of limbo under established international law and can be seen as a sovereign entity under Indian protection. It is, therefore, one of the de facto autonomous regions of India.

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Sentinelese trying to repel a helicopter with bows and arrows. (/the are quite accurate and deadly up to 30 ft)

The Andaman and Nicobar Administration has stated in 2005 that they have no intention to interfere with the lifestyle or habitat of the Sentinelese and are not interested in pursuing any further contact with them.   Wikipedia- North_Sentinel_Island

After the 2004 tsunami showed the dangerous tribal species, the world was still unaware of them: http://therednews.com/News/1913/indian-sentinel-island-where-untouched-human-living

North_Sentinel_Island
The canopy of vegetation covers almost everything on North Sentinel Island, even when looking at the island from satellite view, making it difficult to get an accurate count of people living on the island or seeing how they live.

 

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Adam Levine does everything right!

Normally, my insecurities, ingrained into my DNA, and giving me an excuse to hate those guys who seem perfect, would not allow me to show any respect or give any praise to the extremely talented and super-nice-guy, Adam Levine.

He is just too cool and seems to be nice to everyone he meets.  He covers Prince’s Purple Rain for Howard’s birthday bash and the performance may be his best ever!

Adam Levine, Purple Rain  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w2lNpixqOc

Adam Levine Performs  Purple Rain  At The Howard Stern Birthday Bash on SiriusXM   YouTube

 

 

The Final Days of Albert Einstein

This is from the Princeton University Press Blog,

November 24, 2015 by

In April of 1955, shortly after Einstein’s death, a pathologist removed his brain without the permission of his family, and stored it in formaldehyde until around 2007, shortly before dying himself. In that time, the brain of the man who has been credited with the some of the most beautiful and imaginative ideas in all of science was photographed, fragmented —small sections parceled to various researchers. His eyes were given to his ophthalmologist.

These indignities in the name of science netted several so-called findings—that the inferior parietal lobe, the part said to be responsible for mathematical reasoning was wider, that the unique makeup of the Sulvian fissure could have allowed more neurons to make connections. And yet, there remains the sense that no differences can truly account for the cognitive abilities that made his genius so striking.

Along with an exhaustive amount of information on  the personal, scientific, and public spheres of Einstein’s life, An Einstein Encyclopedia includes this well-known if macabre “brain in a jar” story. But there is a quieter one that is far more revealing of the man himself: The story in which Helen Dukas, Einstein’s longtime secretary and companion, recounts his last days. Dukas, the encyclopedia notes, was “well known for being intelligent, modest, shy, and passionately loyal to Einstein.” Her account is at once unsensational and unadorned.

One might expect a story of encroaching death, however restrained, to chronicle confusion and fear. Medically supported death was a regular occurrence by the middle of the 20th century, and Einstein died in his local hospital. But what is immediately striking from the account is the simplicity and calmness with which Einstein met his own passing, which he regarded as a natural event. The telling of this chapter is matter of fact, from his collapse at home, to his diagnosis with a hemorrhage, to his reluctant trip to the hospital and refusal of a famous heart surgeon. Dukas writes that he endured the pain from an internal hemorrhage (“the worst pain one can have”) with a smile, occasionally taking morphine. On his final day, during a respite from pain, he read the paper and talked about politics and scientific matters.

“You’re really hysterical—I have to pass on sometime, and it doesn’t really matter when.” he tells Dukas, when she rises in the night to check on him.

What did Einstein believe at the end? We can’t know, but An Einstein Encyclopedia opens with his own words,

Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose….To ponder interminably over the reason for one’s own existence or the meaning of life in general seems to me, from an objective point of view, to be sheer folly. And yet everyone holds certain ideals by which he guides his aspiration and his judgment. The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle.

http://blog.press.princeton.edu/2015/11/24/the-final-days-of-albert-einstein/

American Pharoah is Triple Crown Winner # 12!

Triple Crown Winners

Sir Barton – 1919
Gallant Fox – 1930
Omaha – 1935
War Admiral – 1937
Whirlaway – 1941
Count Fleet – 1943
Assault – 1946
Citation – 1948
Secretariat – 1973
Seattle Slew – 1977
Affirmed – 1978
American Pharoah – 2015

Sir Barton – 1919    Gallant Fox –1930      Omaha – 1935      War Admiral – 1937      Whirlaway – 1941     Count Fleet – 1943 Assault – 1946 Citation – 1948 Secretariat – 1973 Seattle Slew – 1977 Affirmed – 1978     American Pharoah – 2015

To read more about each triple crown winner, click on any of the 12 names above

Triple Crown Records:

Kentucky Derby- 1:5925, Secretariat, 1973
Preakness Stakes- 1:53, Secretariat, 1973 
Belmont Stakes- 2:24, Secretariat, 1973 

Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing

The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, sometimes shortened to Triple Crown, consists of three races for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses. Winning all three of these Thoroughbred horse races is considered the greatest accomplishment of a Thoroughbred racehorse. The term originated in mid-19th century England and different nations where thoroughbred racing is popular each have their own Triple Crown series.

The Triple Crown is considered to be one of the most difficult triumphs to attain in all of sports.  The three Grade 1 races run in May and early June of each year consisting of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.  The complexity can be attributed to the grueling schedule of having to partake in three races within five weeks, each of which are at longer distances than the three-year-olds have previously run throughout their careers. The Belmont Stakes is extremely punishing as most thoroughbreds never run such a long distance (1 1/2 miles). TRIPLE CROWN WINNERS

  • Only 12 horses have won the Triple Crown: The Triple Crown winners are Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), and American Pharoah (2015)

All three Triple Crown legs are open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds.   In all three races, colts and geldings carry 126 pounds and fillies carry 121 lbs.

Kentucky Derby-  (1 1⁄4-mile) held annually at Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky, on the first Saturday in May.  The race is one and a quarter miles.  A new points system was started in 2012 for Kentucky Derby qualification.

The Preakness Stakes (1 3⁄16-mile) held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a Grade I race run over a distance of one and 3/16 miles.

The Belmont Stakes- (1 1⁄2-mile)  held every June at Belmont Park in Egmont, New York. It is  1.5 miles in length, the longest race the horses will probably ever run.  The race is the third and final leg of the US Triple Crown, following exactly five weeks after the Kentucky Derby, and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes. Consequently, it is run on Saturday, but never before June 5, nor after June 11.

Triple Crown Race Distances The Kentucky Derby is one and 1/4 miles, followed 2 weeks later by The Preakness, a little shorter at one and 3/16 miles.  Three weeks after the Preakness, the Belmont is the longest at one and 1/2 miles.

Triple Crown Winners Face Fresh Horses- Owners may decide to run their horse in all three races (if they are good enough) or in just one or possibly two legs of the Triple Crown.  Thus, a horse trying to win the Triple Crown will face horses in the Belmont that didn’t run in the Preakness two weeks previously.  This makes the Triple Crown even more elusive.

California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn was a bitter man after his horse lost the 2014 Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown  to Tonalist, which did not run in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness.  His horse won the first two legs and Coburn didn’t think it was fair that horses were allowed to run in the Belmont even if they didn’t run in the Derby and Preakness.

Coburn, normally mild-mannered, said it was a “coward’s way out” that horses who don’t run the other two Triple Crown races come in fresh and win this.

“It’s all or nothing. It’s not fair to these horses that are running their guts out. This is a cowards’ way out,” Coburn said. “If you’ve got a horse that earns points, that runs in the Kentucky Derby, those horses should be the only ones who should run in all three races.” Read more

He later apologized for making his comments. On Good Morning America, he said was ashamed of himself for his rants after his horse came up short in its bid to win the first Triple Crown since 1978.  Coburn blamed his post-race tirade on his desire to make many people happy.  “This is America’s horse. I wanted it so much for this horse to win the Triple Crown for the people of America,” he told ABC during an emotional interview in which he held back tears. “And I was very emotional.” Read more

Triple Crown Race Records

Fastest Kentucky Derby- The mighty Secretariat holds the record for fastest Kentucky Derby, which has held since his 1973 victory in the Run for the Roses.

Secretariat Finally Gets Preakness Record- Secretariat did not hold the record in the Preakness,  however, until 2012, even though experts at the race agreed his 1973 race was indeed record-setting. The official timer had malfunctioned and the Maryland Racing Commission refused to award the record to Secretariat, It took 39 years, a movie on Secretariat,  new technology leading to even more evidence, and a rule change which allowed the use of information beyond official clockings to determine race times to convince the commission to finally declare the fastest Preakness ever was run by the mighty Secretariat.

Fastest Belmont- The fastest Belmont Stakes was also clocked by Secretariat and since it is rare for horses to run one and a half miles anymore, this record might not be broken for a long time.  In the 1973 Belmont Stakes, Secretariat won the race by an amazing 31 lengths!

Interesting Facts

Sham- In the 1973 Kentucky Derby, Secretariat defeated Sham, who was runner-up in the Derby and Preakness, even though Sham ran one of the 4 fastest Kentucky Derby times recorded.

Alydar- In 1978, Alydar finished a close second to Triple Crown winner Affirmed in all three races, a feat not achieved before or repeated since. He has been described as the best horse in the history of Thoroughbred racing never to have won a championship.  In all three legs of the Triple Crown, Alydar lost to Affirmed by a combined total of less than two lengths.

Read Quiet was Real Close- In 1998, Real Quiet won the Derby and Preakness and was winning the Belmont, but could not hold on as Victory Gallop edged him out by a nose. Visa had offered $5 million to a Triple Crown winner, and owner Mike Pegram was just a nose away from that $5 million!

Seattle Slew-In 1977, Seattle Slew became the first horse to win the Triple Crown undefeated.

Triple Crown near misses:  A total of 22 horses have won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but did not win the Belmont.  Nine of these near misses have been since 1997. Big Brown just missed the Triple Crown when he was pulled up at Belmont in 2008. In 2012, I’ll Have Another won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, but was scratched the day before the Belmont Stakes, due to tendonitis. In 2014, California Chrome finished in a tie for 4th place, extending the longest Triple Crown drought in history, which ended one year later when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown in 2015.

  • Since 1978, 13 horses have won the first two races, but have fallen short of the Triple Crown:  1979- Spectacular Bid, 1981- Pleasant Colony, 1987- Alysheba, 1989- Sunday Silence, 1997- Silver Charm, 1998- Real Quiet, 1999- Charismatic, 2002- War Emblem, 2003 Funny Cide, 2004- Smarty Jones, 2008- Big Brown, 2012- I’ll Have Another, 2014- California Chrome
  • There have been 46 horses who won two out of the three Triple Crown races but only 21 who won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness only to fail in the Belmont Stakes.

“Selfie” in1920

"Selfie in 1920
“Selfie in 1920”   Click on photo for full size

This 1920 version of the “selfie” was on an excellent Twitter page, History in Pictures

Users can browse through a variety of fascinating photographs, with new ones added daily.

The Masters Golf Tournament, at Augusta National

Augusta_National_Golf_Club,_Hole_10_(Camellia)
The Masters at Augusta National, Augusta, Georgia

Each spring, the Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National draws millions of TV viewers. The unique tournament usually provides challenging competition and athletic drama.  The Masters is even more special for those lucky enough to be able to attend the event in person and has been sold out for years.  (See more info on this below) Here are some interesting facts about Augusta National that they may not tell you on TV.

Info below shortened and taken from an online article, link included at the bottom of this list.
Green Jacket-  The Green Jacket came about for a very simple reason. In the tournament’s early years Augusta National members were encouraged to wear the jacket so patrons would know who to ask questions. Secondarily, when a member hosts guests in the clubhouse, the green jacket designates who gets the bill.
Cheap badges- A badge that allows you to see four competitive rounds will cost you $200—$50 per round.   In 1934, a badge was  $2.20 ($2.00 + .20 cents tax)
Junior Admittance– Children of all ages must have a ticket to enter the grounds. On Tournament days only, a child between 8 and 16 years of age, accompanied by the patron of record (the person whose name is on the Patron List) may obtain a complementary ticket for that day. As a reminder this is limited to one child per day for the patron of record only.  Patron Info

Of course, the stories are legend about how long it takes to get a Masters pass—years. Families will them down to generation after generation. Each year the badge has a unique design and artwork.  Here is a link which has images of all past Masters Tournament Badges.

Careful with commentary–  More than 40 years ago, during one tense moment, CBS commentator Jack Whitaker used the term “mob” to describe the scene around a green. The Masters leadership let his bosses know that he wouldn’t be invited back, and he wasn’t.  Of course, there were Gary McCord’s famous lines about “bikini waxes” and “body bags.” It’s been 17 years. He hasn’t been back, either.  McCord doesn’t care

Patrons (spectators) enjoy the Masters!

Polite fans- They are not fans. They are not a crowd or even a gallery. They are patrons. You’ll hear it often during the CBS broadcast. Also, while on the grounds, patrons are told not to run. Walking only.

Icing the Azaleas-  the site founder Bobby Jones selected was a nursery, so the flora is amazing, to say the least.   If an early spring comes, grounds crew will put ice under the azaleas to slow down their blossoming. They want everything in full color come Masters week. (Note: They cannot control rain, however. Yet.)

The Masters menu, low prices!

1980 prices for food and beer:  It used to be pimento cheese  sandwiches, but now there’s bbq, chicken and others—each for about $3. A beer costs under $3.

Grounds crew keeps the course perfect!

Small field of golfers, large maintenance crew-  It’s the smallest major field—only 99 competitors compared to the 156 in the other three majors. Following the second round, the low 44 scores, plus ties and any golfer within 10 strokes of the lead advance to play the on the weekend.  (making the cut)  That means for Saturday and Sunday the field will be anywhere from 44 to 55. Get there early enough you will find more than 60 people working on the course, mowing, raking, edging, etc.

Augusta National bad for golf?- Of note, there are many who think this does the golf industry a disservice by showing a course so luxurious, verdant and immaculate. It’s a standard that any other course cannot meet, much less your local municipal.  (Augusta has almost unlimited resources for maintenance and the course is closed half the year.)  Article on the topic:  HERE

Limited playing time-  Augusta National closes in late spring and doesn’t open again until fall. Part of this stems from its origins in the mid-1930s. Jones wanted it to be a “national” club, meaning members live all over the country to play. For business executives from the Northeast, the winter was the best time to play.  During that no-play period during the summer, Augusta National undertakes projects to improve the course…..  “This club changes something in this course every year, and they never tell you about it.”

Cheap golf-  It’s one of the best-kept numbers in sports—the initiation fee to Augusta National. With barons like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, among others, as members it goes without saying that money isn’t the object. And it isn’t. To join is reportedly under $100,000, which might be one-tenth of other high profile clubs in the country.  And if you were lucky enough to play the course with a member, you can probably afford it. Guest fees are said to be about $40.

Fine wine  Augusta National is presumed to have one of the best private wine cellars in the world, buying the best French, Italian, American and Australian wines on futures. Those glasses of wine that tasted so good during dinner came from bottles that run $1,000 apiece, and more.

The Masters: 10 Things They Don’t Tell You About Augusta National on TV: `

More info and links

Waiting lists for badges:  Beginning in 2012, Augusta National Golf Club announced it would begin making a small number of tournament tickets available for purchase through a random drawing following online registration, directly from Augusta National. Each year, a small number of tickets are returned to ANGC following the deaths of longtime ticket holders, or other reasons. Previously, those tickets were simply removed from circulation. But since 2012, fans can register online to take part in a random drawing for those tickets. To do so, golfers much register on the tickets page on Masters.com; registrants receive notification when the ticket application process is opened each year, shortly following each Masters tournament. The number of available tournament tickets is not listed, but rest assured the number is very small and your odds are very, very long. Link for Masters Ticket Info.

Prior to those announcements, tickets to tournament days (rounds one through four) had not been available from the Masters Tournament directly to the general public since 1972. That year, Augusta National Golf Club opened a waiting list, but due to demand the waiting list itself had to be closed in 1978. (Practice-round tickets have been available) Twenty-two years later, in the year 2000, a new waiting list was opened. But it is now also closed.

Augusta National Golf Club-  located in Augusta, Georgia, is a famous golf club. Founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts on the site of a former indigo plantation, the course was designed by Jones and Alister MacKenzie and opened for play in January 1933. Since 1934, it has played host to the annual Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in men’s professional golf, and the only major played each year at the same course. It was the number one ranked course in Golf Digest’s 2009 list of America’s 100 greatest courses and was the number ten ranked course on Golfweek Magazine’s 2011 list of best classic courses in the United States, in terms of course architecture.

The golf club’s exclusive membership policies have drawn criticism, particularly its refusal to admit black members until 1990, a former policy requiring all caddies to be black and its refusal to allow women to join.   In August 2012, it admitted its first two female members – Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore. The golf club has defended the membership policies, stressing that it is a private organization.  Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusta_National_Golf_Club

Patron behavior rules-

  • No running anywhere on the grounds.
  • No sitting on the grass near the greens.
  • No bare feet (even when sitting down).
  • No chairs with arms. No folding chairs. No flags. No signs. No banners. No coolers. No strollers. No radios.
  • No standing in officially designated sitting areas. No sitting in the standing areas. No cameras. No rigid chairs. No hats worn backward. No metal golf spikes. No outsize hats. No carts. And absolutely no lying down anywhere . No fanny packs larger than 10 inches wide, 10 inches high or 12 inches deep (in their natural state).
  • No ladders.
  • No selling a Masters badge within 2,700 feet of an Augusta National gate.
  • No walking through a driving gate.
  • No recorders.
  • No periscopes.
  • No outside food.

Things you will not see at Augusta National:

  • No Crowding- There is no crowding at the Masters because the club limits the number of entrance badges sold to keep the attending masses manageable. A four-day badge will go for as much as $5,600 on the secondary market, which means there is also no complaining. Badges are included in many wills.
  • No membership applications- The club has no membership application process; if someone asks to join, the unified retort is, No chance.
  • No cellphones
  • No Yelling- At the Country Club of No, because the atmosphere is reserved and austere, no one shouts “You da man!” after a golfer’s shot, another pleasant outcome.
  • No weeds-  there are no weeds at the Masters, to the naked eye, on the more than 350 acres that play host to the tournament.
  • No litter- There is no litter because at least one maintenance employee is assigned to each quarter-acre, and should someone attempt to carelessly discard a food wrapper, an employee dashes over and snatches it before it hits the ground. It is then deposited in a garbage receptacle
  • No large wildlife- There are squirrels and birds. But a high protective fence around the entire tract keeps out larger animals, spurned as unwanted interlopers. A few years ago, when a deer ran across the eighth green, spectators gasped and pointed, and the local newspaper ran a picture of the animal. People who have been coming to the Masters since the 1950s said they had never seen a deer on the course.

Links and articles used in this post:

The Great Gatsby Curve

The Great Gatsby is one of those stories everyone can relate to in some way.  These economic and cultural times offer up even more correlations and connections than in past decades.

“The Great Gatsby,” is a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald and now a movie (again) that highlights the inequality and class distinctions in America during the Roaring 20s.

PNG file - Great Gatsby Curve
It is hard to look at these figures and not be concerned that rising inequality is jeopardizing our tradition of equality of opportunity. The fortunes of one’s parents seem to matter increasingly in American society.

The Great Gatsby Curve was introduced in a speech last year (Jan 2012) by Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. It illustrates the connection between concentration of wealth in one generation and the ability of those in the next generation to move up the economic ladder compared to their parents. Krueger’s speech

The curve shows that children from poor families are less likely to improve their economic status as adults in countries where income inequality was higher – meaning wealth was concentrated in fewer hands – around the time those children were growing up.

So why does this matter for the United States? The U.S. has had a sharp rise in inequality since the 1980s. In fact, on the eve of the Great Recession, income inequality in the U.S. was as sharp as it had been at any period since the time of “The Great Gatsby.”

It is hard to look at these figures and not be concerned that rising inequality is jeopardizing our tradition of equality of opportunity. The fortunes of one’s parents seem to matter increasingly in American society.  Whitehouse.gov Article

Volcano under Yellowstone bigger than we thought!

Yellowstone is an active volcano. Surface features such as geysers and hot springs are direct results of the region's underlying volcanism. (National Park Service)
Yellowstone is an active volcano. Surface features such as geysers and hot springs are direct results of the region’s underlying volcanism. (National Park Service)

Yellowstone National Park is actually a giant caldera, which is the large cauldron-like feature formed by a volcanic eruption.  Driving through the park is much different from what people may expect. The park is unique and amazing, with wildlife, geysers and more to thrill visitors, but it does not have the towering peaks that other Rocky Mountain parks, Like Glacier or the Tetons offer up.  The park is actually on top of a massive volcano!

  • Yellowstone’s underground volcanic plumbing is bigger and better connected than scientists thought, “The magma reservoir is at least 50 percent larger than previously imaged.”
  • Knowing the volume of molten magma beneath Yellowstone is important for estimating the size of future eruptions.
  • The last caldera eruption was 640,000 years ago. Smaller eruptions occurred in between and after the big blasts, most recently about 70,000 years.
  • The magma chamber seen in the new study fed these smaller eruptions and is the source of the park’s amazing hydrothermal springs and geysers.
  • Previously, researchers had thought the magma beneath Yellowstone was in separate blobs, not a continuous pocket.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/04/18/yellowstone-volcano-bigger-than-thought/?intcmp=obinsite#ixzz2RPK4MANY

 

 

Neil Diamond at Fenway Park

Boston showed the world how to overcome a tragedy, by joining together and refusing to be victims.  There is a lot of pain, but the people of Boston showed why they and their city are so special and they made us all proud!

  • Neil Diamond surprised baseball fans at Boston’s Fenway Park on Saturday, taking the field during a Red Sox game to lead the crowd in a sing-along of his classic hit, “Sweet Caroline.”
  • The 1969 song has been an eighth-inning ritual for some time now, played at every Fenway game since 2002.
  • Diamond reportedly flew in to the city just to attend the game.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/neil-diamond-leads-sweet-caroline-sing-along-at-fenway-park-20130420#ixzz2R9VbUjef

 

Woods falls short at Masters, can he catch Nicklaus?

Tiger Woods has 14 major titles, Jack Nicklaus has 18.  Who will end up with more?
Tiger Woods has 14 major titles, Jack Nicklaus has 18. Who will end up with more?

Tiger Woods fell short of capturing his 5th Masters title.  TV ratings soar whenever he is closing a major tournament.  His mistake with a penalty drop and the subsequent and controversial ruling to penalize him 2-strokes, instead of disqualifying him from the tournament, created a media frenzy.  The controversy was due to a recent rule revision which gives tournament committees the right to add retrospective penalties when the players could not have known they had committed an offence. Some are still saying the rule was misused and that Woods should have been disqualified, since he clearly showed “ignorance of the rule,” (Rule 26-1) which is not protected under the recent revision of Rule 33-7 and wrongly signed his scorecard.  Many golfers, experts and fans thought Tiger should voluntarily withdraw, but that didn’t happen.  More HERE

Is Woods, 37, running out of time to topple Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships?  Can he threaten the Golden Bear’s record 6 Masters titles?  This article says the advantage goes to Nicklaus: http://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2013/04/15/tiger-woods-jack-nicklaus-comparison/2083049/

Jack Nicklaus won 18 professional majors, an iconic total that has become the most significant record in golf, and one of the most significant in all of sports. Tiger Woods has won a staggering 14 majors, but his quest to pass Nicklaus has stalled.  Go to this link for a chart listing major championships by Nicklaus and Woods, including their age when they caputured each one. http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/tiger-woods-vs-jack-nicklaus-major-championship-records

Woods still hasn’t won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open and hasn’t captured the Masters, a tournament he’s won four times, since 2005. After winning three times earlier this season, it appeared this would be a terrific chance for Woods to resume his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 majors. Source:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/golf/2013/04/14/tiger-woods-masters-final-round/2082497/

Huge ratings- For at least a decade, when Woods is in final-round contention in tournaments, ratings generally jump 50% — or sometimes double. Saturday’s ratings peaked from 5:30-6 p.m. ET — when Tiger Woods was finishing his round and ending up tied for seventh.  http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/hiestand-tv/2013/04/14/the-masters-cbs-tiger-woods-tv-ratings/2081891/

Nicklaus and Woods don’t appear to have a close relationship, with Nicklaus stating he has never had a long converstation with Tiger. http://www.golf.com/ap-news/jack-nicklaus-says-he-has-never-had-long-conversation-tiger-woods?sct=obinsite

Adam Scott Wins 2013 Masters!

Adam Scott wins the Masters Green Jacket in  playoff!
Adam Scott wins the Masters Green Jacket in playoff!

On a rainy Sunday in Augusta, Georgia, Australian Adam Scott, 32, captured his first green jacket by winning Augusta National’s Masters Tournament.  Argentinian Angel Cabrera,43, who was the 2009 champ, was trying to earn his second green jacket and came close with a clutch birdie putt on the 18th, forcing a playoff with Scott, who had finished a group ahead. They tied on the first playoff hole, # 18, when each scored a birdie, then went to the 10th, where both had similar drives and approach shots.  When Cabrerra’s birdie putt came painfully close, Scott made an amazing putt to take the title. No Masters sudden-death playoff has gone past 2 playoff holes since the current system was adopted in 1976. (Replacing the 10-hole playoff) Cabrerra had been there before, winning his  title in a 3-way playoff with Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell.  Overall, this was the 17th playoff at Augusta. (See link below)

Winning the Masters is huge.  Champions get a life time exemption to The Masters, a 5 year exemption on the PGA Tour and a 5 year exemption to the other 3 majors.  They get their name on the Masters trophy, access to the Masters Champions Locker Room, over $1.3 million in prize money,  and they are awarded the coveted green jacket. (although after one year, they must give the jacket back)  Champions also get to host the following year’s Champions Dinner.  HERE

Who gets invited?-  The Masters invites the smallest field of the majors, generally under 100 players.

  • World’s top 50 prior to the event
  • Former Masters champions 
  • Current champions and top finishers of the major amateur championships. (Major tournament champions earn 5 year exemptions)
  • Most of the previous year’s PGA Tour winners
  • Official Masters Qualification for Invitation list: HERE
  • 2012 amendments to the invitation system HERE

Masters Playoff History: HERE.

Historical Records and Stats and Past Masters Champions: HERE

Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

The right man, in the right place, at the right time!

Martin Luther King Jr. has now been dead longer than he lived. But what an extraordinary life it was.

Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.
  • At 33, he was pressing the case of civil rights with President John Kennedy.
  • At 34, he galvanized the nation with his “I Have a Dream” speech.
  • At 35, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

  • At 39, he was assassinated, but he left a legacy of hope and inspiration that continues today

Special MLK website by the Seattle Times: http://seattletimes.com/special/mlk/
How can you help others?  MLK Day of Service: http://mlkday.gov/

2012- Year in Review

Google Zeitgeist 2012- Year in Review- What did the world search for?

The Zeitgeist- (spirit of the age or spirit of the time) is the intellectual fashion or dominant school of thought which typifies and influences the culture of a particular period in time. For example, the Zeitgeist of modernism  typified and influenced architecture, art, and fashion during much of the 20th century.

www.google.com/zeitgeist/  1.2 trillion searches. 146 languages. See what the world searched for.

Google’s revealed its annual list of the year’s top searches, with the death of Whitney Houston gleaning more requests than even the Gangnam Style juggernaut and site powering over 1.2 trillion searches. One Direction topped the most searched image category, while events like Hurricane Sandy and the Olympics made an impact both in the primary top ten and the people we searched for. The top searched-for gadgets saw a conspicuous absence of the iPhone 5, likely due to its launch in the second half of the year. The new iPad (well, iPad 3) claiming first place, followed by Samsung’s Galaxy S III. We’ve included Google‘s obligatory uplifting video after the break, if you’ve already started to forget what happened this year.

Top 10 Global Searches

  1. Whitney Houston
  2. Gangnam Style
  3. Hurricane Sandy
  4. iPad 3
  5. Diablo 3
  6. Kate Middleton
  7. Olympics 2012
  8. Amanda Todd
  9. Michael Clarke Duncan
  10. BBB12

These were the top 10 news stories, according to the Associated Press:  Click HERE

USA today’s top stories:  HERE

Reuters 2012- Year in Review: HERE

North Korea

Kim Jong Un, Ri Yong Ho, Kim Yong Chun

Weird, fascinating and tragic for those living under the oppressive regime.

Here is an interesting link:

http://kimjongunlookingatthings.tumblr.com/

and this one (his dad, who died last year):  http://kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com/

About these links: http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/12/20/kim-jong-il-looking-at-things-has-a-tumblr-successor/

10 Things you might not know about Kim Jong Un (Current Great Leader of North Korea):  http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/12/19/kim-jong-un-10-things-you-might-not-know-about-north-koreas-new-leader/

Mind boggling facts about Kim Jong Il (The current leader’s dad, and previous Great Leader, who died in Dec 2011): http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/from-fashion-icon-to-golf-pro-mind-boggling-facts-about-kim-jong-il/story-e6frf7lf-1226226100974

Deficits and Debt- Republicans or Democrats?

As we watch the Republican Convention, here are some documented facts:

  • The last 4 Democratic presidents all reduced public debt as a share of GDP, while the last 4 Republican presidents saw increase in public debt.
  • The debt has increased since 1973, except during terms of Presidents Carter and Clinton.
  • Spending, taxes and deficits are all lower today than when Obama took office:
  • VP Dick Cheney said in 2002, that “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.”

History of the U.S. Public debt

“Economist Mike Kimel notes that the five former Democratic Presidents (Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, and Harry S. Truman) all reduced public debt as a share of GDP, while the last four Republican Presidents (George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford) all oversaw an increase in the country’s indebtedness.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_public_debt

“Debt as a share of the US economy reached a maximum during Harry Truman‘s first presidential term. Public debt as a percentage of GDP fell rapidly in the post-World War II period, and reached a low in 1973 under President Richard Nixon. The debt burden has consistently increased since then, except during the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.”  (From above link)

Interesting national debt chart:  http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

US-national-debt-GDP

The deficit is the amount we spend more that we take in annually.  In other words, how much more debt we add on each year, which is added on to the overall debt.  The debt is the total amount owed.

If we look at yearly deficits, we can at least see which way the economy is headed, and this is usually for a variety of reasons.

http://home.adelphi.edu/sbloch/deficits.html   Look at this link and notice the deficits for each year, represented by red dollar signs on the right side of the chart.  Looking at Ronald Reagan, (1980-1988) see a trend of rapidly growing deficit amounts, and the same general trend under George H.W. Bush.(1989-1992)  See Bill Clinton’s years, (1992-2000) and see the shrinking deficits.  Now for the alarming years of 2000-2008 under George W. Bush, the deficits are alarming.  President Obama’s first 3 years, although still showing large deficits, are at least trending in the right direction.   Are Republicans the economic saviors they claim to be?
One more, just to make a point:

Ideas? Any plan? Republican Convention 2012

I haven’t heard any new ideas or anything interesting coming out of the 2012 Republican Convention in Tampa.  The speakers are unanimous in their negativity aimed at President Obama, but have offered very little substance.  The party seems to be confused and leaderless.  They all agree that President Obama is awful and has ruined the economy…  They keep focusing on the Obama’s remarks, taken out of context.

Almost all of the speakers are obsessed with the debt, something they cared very little about until 2008, when under 8 years of George W. Bush’s leadership the economy was spinning out control.   The Bush tax cuts and two unfunded wars created the debt monster.  President Obama inherited that mess, but don’t tell conservative that, they will let you know that we should focus on the future.  I think a little peek at history is probably a good thing.  What is the Republican plan to reduce the deficit and the debt?  They have the Debt Clock up at the convention, what are they going to do to slow it down?  Cut taxes?  Increase military spending?  Give us some ideas.  “Obama bad, Republican Good” isn’t going to do it.

Here is chart, courtesy of the Congressional Budget Office:

Republicans seem to be afraid to get behind their candidate, Mitt Romney.  They are promoting Republicans, and they are proud to talk about Paul Ryan, but they cautiously tiptoe when mentioning Romney.

Olympic Village Sex!

I would have never guessed that there was so much sex going on in Olympic Village.  150,000 condoms?  Wow!   Where is the focus?   Call me old school, but as a coach, if my athletes were sub-par, I would look for any decent excuse and promiscuous activity with the Latvians would be at the top of my list!

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/08/sport/olympics-village-sex-party-athletes/index.html

“(Sex) is all part of the Olympic spirit. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) wouldn’t say that, but it is, you can’t shy away from it. Why do you think they give away so many condoms?”

Olympic Tower Bridge!

 

The Moon became the 6th Olympic ring, at least for a moment. This photo was taken on August 3, 2012 and topped the trending charts for a day.

A photographer used a smart phone app to predict the trajectory of the moon and timed this photograph perfectly.  The Olympic Rings have been hung off London’s Tower Bridge to celebrate London Olympiad 2012. http://tinyurl.com/c6bawkm

 

The gigantic rings cost about $100,000 to install, and not without controversy.  http://tinyurl.com/9slgvx8

The Tower Bridge is a drawbridge and opens about 1,000 times a year to allow river traffic to pass.
                                             The rings weigh 3 tons and lift up when the bridge opens to let sailboats and other river traffic through.

 

 

Rodney King- Interesting Individual

  Rodney King ended up playing a part in American culture, politics, violence and peace, he never intended to play.  He was a reluctant figure in civil rights, a victim, a peace-maker and an occasional criminal.  Quite a mix.  He appreciated life, yet died at the relatively young age of 47 years.

Many of us who followed the story focused on the verdict and the violence the broke out after it was announced.   The public was also concerned about who was at fault in the violent arrest, which was caught on film and played in the media over and over as we all became jurors in the case.  However, what many don’t realize, or may have forgotten, is the severity of the injuries suffered by King, or the emotional and mental anguish he dealt with following the riots which took the lives of 53 people.

Below: NPR with an interesting piece on Rodney King-

Audio with text transcript:   http://www.npr.org/2012/04/27/151526928/rodney-king-two-wrongs-dont-make-a-right

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/06/18/155270776/rodney-king-what-i-had-to-do-was-make-it-better

Kim Jong Il Looking

Looking at sausages!

Kim Jong Il recently passed away, but lives on forever!  Check out this link, and find many pictures of the Great Leader looking at various things!

Link:  http://kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com/

Looking at corn?

Man Wrestles Elephant!

This guy is tough!  He had no takers, so he had to switch species and take on an elephant!

This first link, from History.com, has volume and the commentary is good!  http://www.history.com/videos/elephant-wrestling#elephant-wrestling