Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
For the pool to be "swimmable" they had to remove 15,000 temporary seats at the edges and cover the sides of the pool with windows. It seemingly works very well. I don't really like this architect very much for I find her designs a bit repetitive but the London Olympic pool is a majestic spectacle and I look forward to swimming it.
China on the other hand really dropped on their grand aquatics center. Gala to see England is more industrious.
SCAQ may challenge Great Britain's masters swimmers to a meet. (Ooops! did i just say that? The keyboard may have been drinking here.)
In a statement released ahead of the centre's reopening on 1 March, mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "After a post-Olympic makeover, London’s majestic aquatics centre is now flinging open its doors for everyone to enjoy, whether an elite athlete or enthusiastic amateur."
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
They paid the rent but will they be able to use the pool - "Poolitics" slams a swanky block in Manhattan?
I read the article three times and I still have no clue how New York manages it real estate and the ownership issues therein. For instance, people in L.A. rent apartments whereas people in New York buy apartments. A landlord in Los Angles owns the apartment building but in New York "co-ops" can own the building. We call those people investors or stock holders.
Hmmm, Co-op? Isn't that something hippies did in the 1960's in places called communes and pig farms? I digress, there are only 150-pools in Manhattan and most of them really suck. With that in mind pools are such a scarce resource there that there is a lot of "poolitics" surrounding which higher "forms of life" get to use them.
From the New York Times:
"... And now it has become the object of a dispute that threatens to divide the city within a city that is the venerable London Terrace apartment complex in western Chelsea — the four taller buildings on the corners, known as London Terrace Towers, and the 10 smaller buildings in between, known as London Terrace Gardens. [Read as really swanky gentrified apartments]
At issue is how much the landlord of the Gardens buildings should pay the Towers, a co-op that collectively controls the pool, so that Gardens renters can continue to swim, work out in an adjacent fitness center and lounge on a nearby roof terrace. A 20-year deal runs out at the end of the month, and some renters in the Gardens worry that they will lose access. They fear that co-op owners in the Towers have concluded that continuing to share the three facilities would hurt property values. ..."
Let's take a step back here and consider what New York is - I have only been to New York once and when I was there I spent three days walking through the whole place, ten miles a day, just to see what life there and on the streets was all about.
A lot of people envy New York: John Lennon once said that if the United States were the Roman Empire than New York city is Rome. Though I agree with that statement one thing must be clear, New York is nowhere near being an urban paradise or otherwise.
Consider this: New York is so overly centralized and cramped that the upper class mentioned in the article has to go to a roof top to lounge in the sun. Their beach water is dirty, and their pools scarce and fought over by people with the most money. Prices there are expensive and the weather is formidable. The only thing to envy about New York is its centralized art districts such as Soho, Broadway, the Met.
So when you are laying on deck in the sun waiting for your next event or walking to pool through a meadow or a field of wheat to get to workout you have more space more freedom and less hostility than John Lennon's Rome.
BTW, Ringo Starr had a different take on where to live. I saw him driving a 1956 something with flames on the side of the car and a big smile on his face driving through the Santa Monica mountains. Ringo Starr's "Rome." - I predict Rome 2.0 will be either be Shanghai or Los Angeles.
Monday, February 17, 2014
That's not a swimming techsuit circa 2008. That is a suit worn by Olympic speed skaters sanctioned by their governing body so the sport could evolve and become more exciting rather than staying put somewhere in 1972.
I look forward to the day when our sports "primo uomo" (the male version of a prima donna) lays down his techsuit and goggles and gives up the holy sport of swimming for golf or whatever. I wish he would leave the stage and allow another slew of "tenors" to "sing."
I look forward to the day when swimming is filled with dozens of "primo uomos" because – well, because the playing field will then be leveled and swimming will not be a sport where only one or two genetic freaks, or those who cheat, can be the center of attention.
When the "Greatest of All Time Leaves" the pool, the techsuit will return form its temporary exile and once again the standard of living of swimmers via world record bonuses will buoy incomes for both themselves and swim suit companies alike. Finally they will be able innovate again and make a living.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Monday, February 03, 2014
Confronting addiction is commendable, rehab is a courageous decision, being honest about it helps others.
I am just going to come out and say this: Australians feel intense shame over the "A-word", the other "A-word" and finally the "R-word" Read as Alcoholism, Addiction and Rehab. Look how Ian Thorpe's mouthpiece aggressively tries to keep alcohol or drug abuse out of the story.
Read between the lines from this article:
SYDNEY (AP) -- The manager of Olympic swimming great Ian Thorpe says the five-time gold medalist is in rehab after being found disoriented on a Sydney street early Monday morning by police responding to a call from residents.
James Erskine told the Australian Associated Press that Thorpe was affected by a combination of antidepressants and the painkillers he was taking for a shoulder injury.
Police spoke to Thorpe after residents near his parents' home in Panania in Sydney's southwest reported a man allegedly breaking into a van. He was taken to Sydney's Bankstown Hospital for assessment and was later transferred to a rehab facility.
''He is in rehab for depression,'' AAP quoted Erskine as saying.
As mentioned above, the hospital sent him to a rehab center and NOT a depression treatment center. Is that a red-flag or what?
Huge drinking culture in Australia and that can't be denied. 8% of the population has been beaten up or assaulted by a drunk and other alcohol related statistics there are just as dismal. Australian consume as much alcohol as Russians and even their beer ads in the United States brag how big their Beer cans are.
Australian Alcohol Stats: [Link]
So, we just lost Academy Award winning actor Phillip Seymore Hoffman over the weekend after he was found dead with a needle in his arm and perhaps as many as 50-bags of heroin under his bed.
Here are some quotes from users and ex-users about being an addict:
"All any drug amounts to is tweaking the incoming data." -- William Gibson
"I ain't no preacher but drugs have killed a lot great men" -- Neil Young
“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge..." -- Edgar Allen Poe
“Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self esteem.” -- Kurt Cobain
“Selling my soul would [have been] a lot easier if I could just find it.” -- Nikki Styx from The Heroin Diaries
“I think if you were Satan and you were settin around tryin to think up somethin that would just bring the human race to its knees what you would probably come up with is narcotics.” -- Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men
“Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.” -- William S. Burroughs
Thursday, January 30, 2014
The YouTube video above states his manager has posted a statement that he has not entered rehab, but an article posted earlier today by the Mail says he has.
The worst kind of drug addict or alcoholic is one who knows that they are an addict and could care less about doing something about.
The most courageous and inspiring alcoholic is one who tackles the problem, seeks to be rid of it and makes a public declaration that they need help.
I hope this gets clarified soon
From the Mail:
"... The swimmer said he also felt the need to stay silent about his depression, thinking it was a 'character flaw'.
'Not even my family is aware that I've spent a lot of my life battling what I can only describe as a crippling depression.’
He admits in the book that he is ready to speak to his parents about his depression, but this is the first time he has been reported to have sought treatment. ..."
She is one smart girl. I read in Rolling Stone that she reads Sylvia Plath; a poet from the early '60s, she hangs out with Taylor Swift (a woman who is quite good at business), and that Lorde makes all of her artistic and business choices herself. And she is only 17.
Monday, January 27, 2014
The Vieth report has been released: [Link]
I am going to "toot my horn" and a "very large tuba" for the rest of you who have contributed to this subject...
I am happy to say that most if not all changes that were suggested on this blog are within the Vieth report begging for immediate implementation. Well done guys!
The past two months have been difficult for me; (I have an eventful life) and these recommendations within this report has made a great start to my new year.
To be clear these changes, soon to be taking place within USA Swimming, were brought about by the victims, the disenfranchised coaches, an ex-board member, the Safe Sport arm of USA Swimming who in the last three years has had swim uphill against internal politics, and finally you the readers.
I thank all the readers who debated me, schooled me, informed me as to how child protection should be done. I even thank the those that posted anonymous or overt insults for you kept this topic going and made me look even more credible despite my lousy spelling and grammar.
It's now time to blog about swim workouts, jellyfish, and racing.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Under Armour, a Michael Phelps Sponsor, also sponsors Duck Dynasty! - Will USA swimming get dragged into this?
I had never watched an episode of Duck Dynasty till their bearded patriarch began shooting his mouth off in an issue of GQ Magazine. Therein were 12-ugly-quotes which I found to be crass, unmeasured and piously judgemental.
Duck Dynasty is an amazingly successful show which caters to 14.6-million viewers thereby generating incomprehensible amounts of money for its cable network A&E. This scripted show is ostensibly designed for affluent urbanites to laugh at Louisanna Hillbillies and the rural poor to adore.
One of the shows sponsors is Under Armour (UA) and they also sponsor USA Swimming's very own Michael Phelps. When Philip Robertson went of on his pious rant about gays and how alluring vagina's are, UA quickly pulled out a tired and disingenuous PR phrase to get them out of the proverbial "hot water." It went something like this:
“The recent comments in the GQ article are not reflective of Under Armour’s beliefs and do not represent our point of view,” Under Armour told the Business Journal. “As a company, we are committed to diversity and inclusion and believe in treating everyone equally and with respect.”
Duck Dynasty currently averages 14.6 million viewers and has become a merchandising empire – raking in more than $400 million in related retail sales – it seems unlikely that A&E, or the quack pack’s advertisers, will dump the most popular reality show of all time..."
My rebuttal to that PR gem is, if you believe and are committed to diversity and inclusion and believe in treating everyone equally and with respect, then why are you paying people who don't? But then it gets worse; much worse.
Phillip Robertson, in 2009 suggested that men marry 15-16-year-old girls because it is the smart thing to do. Is the deep south actually that 3rd? - NO, it is not! But, pedophiles and their fellow "travelers" are. Young girls to these people are nothing more "sexbots and chefs" and their "men" are their "overlords." See the video above.
This is absolutely unforgivable but let me "land this plane" quickly and explain why this suddenly has brought both Michael Phelps and USA Swimming into this mess.
It is my belief that Michael Phelps will be coming out with his own signature suit line via UA just like the deal Michael Jordan has with Nike. (Do you see where this plane is landing now?) If Phelps does do a signature line deal with UA he will suddenly have a "dog in the fight" and will have to defend his business unit that endorses a reality star that advises men to marry and sexualize 15-to-16-year-old girls.
What if UA wants to sponsor a USA Swimming event or the governing body itself? How will USA Swimming look trying to help UA sell swimsuits to 15-year-old girls when UA sponsors a pedophile talker like Philip Robertson?
The sex abuse scandals are not far behind USA Swimming (if at all) and this fiasco will be political fodder for GLADD and other groups to possibly talk about their policies and who they take money from.
Oh the tangled web we weave. Phelps should have stayed with Speedo or gone to Arena. More professional in nature, policy and branding.
Bumped into a article about a cold water study that piqued my interest: A must read for any of you "polar swimmer cubs" thinking of taking the plunge tomorrow. Be prepared.
By the way a polar bear swim for me without a wetsuit on is 65-degrees! Any temp lower than that is not a water temp, it's lousy ice skating.
"... Still, the excessive breathing can change your blood chemistry," said Dr. Thomas Traill, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital. "Breathing too much can draw carbon dioxide "off" your bloodstream, which changes the pH of your blood and decreases its levels of ionized calcium.
"When ionized calcium goes down, muscle membranes don't function properly," Traill said. As a result, muscles quickly weaken or can even cause a swimmer to become temporarily paralyzed, he said. "You hear every now and then of people falling out of boats and drowning in cold water when they're only a foot from the dock," Traill said, attributing this to the uncontrollable hyperventilation. "The important thing for the polar bear swimmers is that they shouldn't do this alone, and they shouldn't do it out of their depth. ..."
Monday, December 30, 2013
People in Bangladesh have it so incomprehensibly difficult that our homeless population most likely have five-or-ten-times the standard of living that the average citizen has there.
From Wikipedia: "...Bangladesh is one of the world's most densely populated countries with 150 million people, 26 percent of whom live below the national poverty line of US $2 per day. In addition, child malnutrition rate rates of 48 percent, in condition that is tied to the low social status of women in Bangladeshi society.
Bangladesh needs sweat shops but that is another topic for an econ blog
This article from The Atlantic states how swimming lessons are becoming a national issue and here is why:
"... Seventy-five percent of drownings happen within 65 feet of home, and a horrifying 7 percent of young victims drown in buckets (large storage vessels are common in Bangladesh, where there is often no running water). Below age one, pre-term births, asphyxia, and sepsis are the most common killers of newborns. All this is occurring in a country that is mostly at or slightly above sea level, and one of the most vulnerable in the world to rising water levels and climate change. ..."