Tag Archives: sports

The Art of Flight

I saw the most amazing video yesterday.

The Art of Flight was released last year and is one of the best snowboarding movies I’ve ever seen. If you like the Warren Miller skiing flicks, this one is for you. It’s got Red Bull branding all over it but  if you can get past that it’s an amazing bit of filmmaking. It is like the Endless Summer for the snowboarding crowd. But instead of touring the world looking for the perfect wave, they visit places like Alaska and Patagonia in search of untouched “first descents.” Oh, and instead of hitchhiking their way around, they get a rides from their sponsor’s helicopters.

I have to thank the folks at Red Bull for underwriting the whole adventure and capturing it all on high-end Red Digital cameras because what they produced is truly amazing. The locations are amazing, the tricks are incredible, the cinematography top notch, and soaring, full Dolby  music by M83 & The Naked & Famous is worth listening to on a good set of headphones. Watch it and get ready for winter.

Jafet = Speed

Tyler’s soccer team this past season had a secret weapon. Jafet Oidor is a striker on the team who, when he wanted to, could turn on the jets like no one I have ever seen. Here he is blowing past four defenders who get ambushed and then left in the proverbial dust as he moves on to score a goal. It was a joy to watch him play.

The season ended on a high note. The coaches did an amazing job and we feel really lucky that Tyler was on their team. He didn’t know anyone in the beginning but over the weeks the team came together so that by the season’s end they were really playing like a team. During the final tournament they were beating teams that they lost to earlier in the season and beat easily teams that had much better records then them. Going into the second day, the team was leading their flight and only needed to tie to advance to the semi-finals but, unfortunately they lost by one point.

Coach Mark & Jerry

Great season Alameda Rebellion and thank you Coach Mark & Jerry!

Speed Climbing Eiger

I first read about Eiger in Jon Krakauer’s book, Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains in which he writes,

The problem with climbing the North Face of the Eiger is that in addition to getting up 6,000 vertical feet of crumbling limestone and black ice, one must climb over some formidable mythology. The trickiest moves on any climb are the mental ones, the psychological gymnastics that keep terror in check, and the Eiger’s grim aura is intimidating enough to rattle anyone’s poise.

With that in mind, take a look at the video below which shows Ueli Steck, a swiss climber, running up Eiger in two hours and forty-seven minutes!

– via kottke.org

Finnish Wife Carrying

So in the middle of all the excitement of getting settled we missed the World Wife Carrying Championship which took place (as it has for the past 14 years) in Sonkajärvi, Finland – about 500km north of Helsinki.

Photo from Herald Sun, click to see full gallery

Photo from Herald Sun, click to see full gallery

Eager to see what it would take to participate next year, I came across the official site which had a bit on How to Become a Master in Wife Carrying. In typical Finnish deadpan humor, they went into all the details just so you believed they were serious until you came across lines like,

The core of the race is made of a woman, a man and their relationship. The wife carrying and eroticism have a lot in common. Intuitive understanding of the signals sent by the partner and becoming one with the partner are essential in both of them – sometimes also whipping.

Maybe we’ll go next year.

Related crazy Finnish events include:

and more.

Stanley Cup’s Colorful History

UPDATE: After their epic win last night, here’s how the Cup spent last night in Vegas with the Washington Capitals.

After last night’s loss to Anaheim, the San Jose Sharks are out of the running.  Might as well post some highlights from the checkered past of the world’s most famous trophy.

  • In 1905, the Ottawa Silver Seven tried to drop-kick it over the Rideau Canal on the Ottawa River. (They failed.)
  • In 1906, it went missing after a photography session. It turned out the photographer’s mother had adopted it as a planter for geraniums.
  • In 1924, the Montreal Canadiens left it by the side of the road while changing a tire.
  • In 1940, managers burned the mortgage of Madison Square Garden in the cup, which the Rangers won that year. (This occasioned a “curse” that kept the Rangers from the cup for 54 years.)
  • In 1980, New York Islander Clark Gillies fed his dog from it.
  • In 1991, Pittsburgh Penguin Mario Lemieux tried to float it in his swimming pool. It sank. (Colorado Avalanche goalkeeper Patrick Roy later did the same thing.)
  • In 1994, Ranger Ed Olczyk filled it with oats to feed Kentucky Derby winner Go for Gin.
  • In 1996, Avalanche defenseman Sylvain Lefebvre had his daughter baptized in it.

via Futility Closet.

NBC holding Olympic videos hostage

NBC is milking their investment in broadcasting rights for the Beijing Olympics by making anyone that wants to view their videos jump through a few hoops.

Hoop Number One: Install Silverlight 2.0.

This limits installation to only Windows machines or Intel-based Macs. Oh, and you have to restart your browser so you if you don’t save the URL of the video you wanted to watch – your left to the mercy of NBC’s navigation.

Hoop Number Two: Reveal your local NBC affiliate & zip code info.

This gives NBC data to see just how much traffic they are taking away from their local affilates with online video. When it comes time for re-negotiation, they can hold this data in their hand to show how they don’t really need the affiliates to reach their audience which is why they need to pay more for the rights to re-broadcast NBC programming.

Despite these two hoops, the desire to see a quick reply of something like the incredible 4×100 meter Men’s relay is so strong that people will jump through these hoops. Not enough to jump out of the current habit of hitting up Yahoo’s Olympic coverage (which is doing a stellar job), but still respectable.

Badi hated installing Silverlight and may never use it again but he did install it and I doubt he took the time to remove it after he saw the video. As far as Microsoft is concerned, mission accomplished.

Despite the hassles, I actually like some of the features of Silverlight as it’s featured on the NBC site. It’s really smart is that you’re able to fast forward (or reverse) in low resolution but once the video starts playing, it gradually sharpens the image to higher resolution. The video clips on the NBC site are of exceptional quality to those used to YouTube clips. As with NBC’s other site, Hulu, NBC is leading the way, showing us how a television company can reinvent itself for the internet.