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Showing posts from June, 2012

If You See a Fin, You Must Not Swim

If You See a Fin, You Must Not Swim
Erik is out of the office this week, so we are reprinting a column from 2001 about why he won't ever go in the ocean again.

Summer 2001 is quickly becoming the year of the shark, as several shark attacks in Florida and the Bahamas are being reported in the media.

The most recent attack happened this past Thursday when the Associated Press ran the story "Shark Bites American in the Bahamas." I may not be up on the lingo of today's teenagers, but I'm pretty sure it hurts like mad to be bitten in the Bahamas.

In July, 8-year-old Jessie Arbogast's arm was bitten off by a seven foot bull shark in knee-deep water near Pensacola, Florida.

And just a couple of weeks ago, doctors amputated the left leg of Wall Street investment banker Krishna Thompson, after he was mauled by a shark while swimming at a resort beach on Grand Bahama Island. Thompson managed to free himself from the shark and drag himself to the shore.

On Tuesday, Thom…

IndyCar Approves Lotus' Request to Modify Engine. Finally.

From the IndyCar Media Department: INDYCAR this week approved Lotus' request to modify homologated parts to improve performance of its 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine pursuant to engine technical regulations established before the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.At mid-season and again at the end of the year, manufacturers whose engines are statistically more than 2½ percent deficient in power may, at the discretion of INDYCAR, make improvements to components to be homologated. Alterations are intended to put the engine within the 2½ percent window, and they will be introduced on only new engines being sent to the track.Manufacturers must present data to support their case, which is reviewed along with relevant data collected by the sanctioning body's engine support engineers. Manufacturers provide which components they seek to modify, along with projected gains and their scheduled introduction.Lotus' first modification is scheduled to be introduced at a July 2 test…

IndyCar to Reintroduce Push to Pass for Remaining IndyCar Street Races

Received from the Media Center from IndyCar:INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, June 27, 2012) - Push to pass will return to the IZOD IndyCar Series for the five remaining road/street course events on the 2012 schedule, beginning with the Honda Indy Toronto on July 6 – 8. The overtake assist feature, introduced to the series in 2009, allows a driver to add turbocharger boost and additional RPM with the press of a button on the steering wheel to complete a pass. "It will be similar to what it was in the past because we know that model worked," said Will Phillips, vice president of technology, INDYCAR. The additional boost is added for a pre-determined amount of time which will be determined by INDYCAR depending on the circuit. The sanctioning body will also determine the total amount of time available, recharge time and any delay in the system prior to each activation, though the engine manufacturers may adjust the settings below the requirements to optimize their engine's perfor…

Internet Rescues 9-Year-Old Blogger From Bureaucrats

Internet Rescues 9-Year-Old Blogger From BureaucratsIt's a hard lesson that every bureaucrat, government official, and school administrator learns the hard way. When you stop someone from doing something that's popular, the Internet will rise up and smite you like the fist of an angry god.

The latest victim of god-fist smiting is the Argyll and Bute City Council in Scotland, which had banned 9-year-old Martha Payne from taking photos of her school lunches for her NeverSeconds food blog.

Martha had been taking photos of her school lunch, make comments, giving each meal a rating, and asking her readers to donate money so she could give it to Mary's Meals, a nonprofit that feeds children around the world.

After the ban was lifted a few days later, Martha's little blog had more than 6.5 million visits, and raised nearly £100,000 ($156,000) to build a school kitchen in Blantyre, Malawi, where children at the Lirangwe Primary School will be fed for an entire year.

But let me…

Indiana Fever 84, Chicago Sky 70 - A Twitter Recap

My family took me out for a great Father's Day today (Saturday) by taking me to Cincinnati, Ohio, where we ate at Moerlein Lager House, right across the street from the Great American Ball Park, and right on the very site of Riverfront Stadium, the Cincinnati Reds home stadium from 1970 - 2002

But when it was over, and since the Reds were out of town, we had to race back to Indianapolis in time to see our other favorite summer sport, the WNBA.

Tonight saw the Indiana Fever take on the Chicago Sky. Here is my rundown of the game, in tweets:

At the @IndianaFever game, nobody sits until the first basket. @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse (This is a long-standing tradition. Even though the statement from the announcer is that no one sits through the tip-off, the practice is that no one sits until the Fever score a basket. A couple of times, this has led to standing up for a couple minutes.)Katie Douglas of the #fever chased down an errant ball, ended up in lap …

Does Anyone Buy Ties for Father's Day?

Does Anyone Buy Ties for Father's Day?
Father's Day is coming up. You can tell by the nagging, formulaic ads seen everywhere, "Don't get Dad a tie this Father's Day." Tie makers' sales probably plummet this time of year, because no one has bought a tie on Father's Day since 1973. We've all been bullied into thinking that anyone who gets Dad a tie probably also gave Mom a bunch of headless roses on Mother's Day.

Father's Day is the day we celebrate our dads to thank them for bringing us into existence, and teaching us important things we need to function in life, like riding a bike without training wheels, or understanding why the Designated Hitter rule is stupid.

And it gives rise to one crucial question that everyone asks on the third Sunday of June:

Is it Father's, Father's, or Fathers Day?

I've become convinced that Father's Day — it's possessive, because it's the day for your dad — is in some ways more about ass…


From IndyCar's Media officeINDYCAR'S 2012 CHINA RACE CANCELLEDINDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, June 13, 2012) - INDYCAR, the sanctioning body for the IZOD IndyCar Series, announced today its scheduled Aug. 19 race in Qingdao, China, has been cancelled."We wanted to give the China race every opportunity to move forward and be successful, but INDYCAR has been notified by the promoter that the event is cancelled for 2012," said Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR. "We were informed that the promoter was trying to move the event to a different date and location. After ongoing discussions regarding alternative dates, as well as doing our due diligence in exploring alternate venues in China, the promoter cancelled the event. A decision had to be made to allow INDYCAR and its participants to plan accordingly for the second half of the season."INDYCAR announced plans for its inaugural race in China on Nov. 10, 2011. Bernard said INDYCAR is "not closing the door" on oppor…

Indiana Fever Fall to Connecticut Sun, 89 -81

We were looking forward to a hotly contested Indiana Fever game (get it, "hotly" contested; "Fever"?), as they were riding the crest of a four-game winning streak, with a home game against division rivals, the Connecticut Sun.

But luck was not with our ladies of the hardwood this night, as they played hard, and they played rough, but in the end, they were not able to overcome the dominating, almost rough, play of the Sun.

But not only were they outmuscled by the Sun, they were missing a few key players. For one thing, Erin Phillips was out of the country, playing and practicing with the Australian National team. For another, Tamika Catchings was missing for several crucial minutes where the Sun went on an 8-point run with no response from the Fever. (Catchings was incapacitated by an errant elbow from teammate Tammy Sutton-Brown. It was a complete accident, but I'm sure Catch had a few choice words for TSB at the end of the game.)

Katie Douglas and Catchings pl…

I Like New York in June. How About You?

I Like New York in June. How About You?I've been in New York City this week.

Anyone who knows me knows that this is a big scary stretch for me.

While I've liked living in the huge metropolis of Indianapolis (population 830,000) for the last six years, it's much, much smaller than New York City (population 1 kajillion; the US Census says 8.24 million). I'm not a fan of big cities, and I especially don't like super big cities, because I always feel overwhelmed.

It's so bad, that one Chicago-based friend who helped me find my way around here this week, kept referring to me as her "Country Mouse."

I grew up in Muncie, Indiana (population 70,000), and when I was 24, moved to Syracuse, Indiana (population 2,800) for 12 years. For us, traveling to "the city" meant going to South Bend or Fort Wayne. It meant the occasional trip to the giant metropolis of Indianapolis. And on more than one occasion, to the entirely different planet of Chicago.

I was …

Hopefully Now Allowed By AP Stylebook

Hopefully Now Allowed By AP StylebookHey, Karl, did you see what the Associated Press Stylebook announced about 'hopefully' last week?

"No, Kid, what's that?"

They said they would no longer object to using the word 'hopefully' at the beginning of a sentence, rather than making people say 'I am hopeful' or 'It is hoped that.'

"Are you kidding me?!" thundered Karl, plonking his empty beer mug down on the bar. We were at Milton's, a literary bar, where Karl had performed admirably in the week's Tuesday night political poetry slam. He plonked again in displeasure. Karl is a serious word snob.

Sadly, no, I'm not, I said. They said it wasn't really necessary to do anymore.

"Why the hell not?"

Unfortunately, the rule has just fallen by the wayside. They said it has become a victim of 'common usage,' the idea that so many people were using it that the English language has once again grown and evolved to …