Olympics foul

February 24, 2010

This might sound strange, but I don’t think the US Women’s short-track 3,000-meter relay team should have won Bronze. Stranger yet, I think they should hand the medals over the South Korean team. You might be asking why, so let me tell you.

The Chinese and South Korean teams were trading positions for first and second place for much of the race, with the Canadian team in third and the US team trailing half a lap behind. In fact, the US team never advanced from the fourth position during the race, and ended more than five seconds behind the Canadian team at the end of the race. With such a terrible performance, it required a miracle for them to earn a medal.

A miracle is what they received. With just a few laps left to go, the Chinese and South Korean teams reached the push-off point at the same time, with both skaters racing to the turn side-by-side. The Chinese team took the outside position and banked at the same time as the South Koreans. It was then that there was contact.

With the two ladies being so close and side-by-side heading into the turn, the Chinese racer clipped her skate against the South Koreans, as the South Korean skater took over the lead. The Chinese skater easily regained her footing, though it dropped her a fraction of a second behind the South Korean. This brief contact ensured the South Korean victory. After a few minutes of review, the judge ruled that the South Korean skater was in error, and disqualified the team.

I cry foul on this ruling. What was the South Korean skater suppose to do? Put on the breaks and let the Chinese skater pass? It was the Chinese skater that came from the outside position and cut in behind the South Korean, crossing her skate against her competitors. Not that there should have been a disqualification to begin with, but I would have faulted the Chinese team over the South Koreans.

Regardless of who was at fault, the US team performed so poorly, they should be feeling guilty about walking away with Bronze. While they worked so hard to enter the finals, and spent years in individual and team practicing to be their best, they were by far the weakest team on the ice. They should walk over the South Korean women and present them with the medals and be proud to do so.

GoldenRest Valentine’s Day Sale

February 14, 2010

GoldenRest Adjustable Beds

In honor of Valentine’s Day, the good folks over at GoldenRest have a very special offer for you.  GoldenRest is offering you $50 off any bedding or accessories during the month of February if you purchase an adjustable bed.  Buying a new bed is a sizable purchase, so start your research on the bed models available out there by visiting GoldenRest first.  In addition, they carry a wide array of linens, pillows, and more that you can purchase for your existing bedroom furniture.

Time is running out.  There is only two weeks remaining until this special offer comes to an end.  So check out the GoldenRest Valentines Promotion today and get your $50 off today!

You are beautiful

February 14, 2010

It never seems to work out
leaving everything into doubt
you wonder what you’ve done wrong
for being alone for so long

“What is it about me
That I do not see?”
You say with self-introspection
to your mirrored reflection

But baby, you are beautiful

You want someone to care for you
And you can care for them too
Someone that is Heaven-sent
The person whom you are meant

You question if you’ll find
The true love in your mind
So you go about your day
Hoping someone would say

Hey baby, you are beautiful

But before you start to fret
Over someone you’ve never met
There’s an answer to a prayer
When love catches you unaware

For just around the bend
Was love without end
You make each other whole
From the warmth in your soul

Cause baby, you are beautiful

— author unknown

Going on Vacation this year?

February 13, 2010

With Spring Break coming up, and soon to be followed by Summer vacation, have you started making your plans as to where to stay?  A weekend at a hotel would be nice, or maybe a week in a timeshare.  But have you considered vacation rentals?

Instead of having to put up with a lot of people wandering the halls in the middle of the night (like at hotels) or restricted dates or sales pitches (like at timeshares), vacation rentals is like a home away from home.  Only you have access to your place of stay, and you can find locations around the world on whatever dates you want to travel. 

To find out more about the benefits of a vacation rental, Watch & Review This Funny Vacation Rental Video.

Olympic tragedy

February 12, 2010

On what is suppose to be an exciting and positive start of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the day was instead hit by tragedy. Georgian Luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died today during a practice run. As he was completing one of his last turns on the run, Nodar was catapulted off of the luge tract and flew into an unprotected support column. At approximately 85 mph, such an impact is severe.

Why these columns were not padded or shielded to begin with is mind-boggling. In a world where safety is sometimes taken to the extreme, it is surprising that such a potential hazard was not addressed before hand. Not that it would have saved his life, but Nodar would have had a better chance of surviving that horrific accident.

Please keep Nodar and his family, his teammates, and the rest of the Olympians in your thoughts and prayers tonight and throughout the games.

Rice Fields of Japan

February 9, 2010

I recently received an e-mail showing impressive Japanese art created by planting various varieties of rice. The scale of this art is impressive as it can span more than one planting field at times. If you are ever interested in seeing this art in person, you can visit Inakadate, Japan. At the end of this post is a YouTube video of the art as well. Enjoy!

The text of the e-mail is as follows:

Stunning crop art has sprung up across rice fields in Japan , but this is no alien creation. The designs have been cleverly planted. Farmers creating the huge displays use no ink or dye. Instead, different color rice plants have been precisely and strategically arranged and grown in the paddy fields. As summer progresses and the plants shoot up, the detailed artwork begins to emerge.

A Sengoku warrior on horseback has been created from hundreds of thousands of rice plants. The colors are created by using different varieties. This photo was taken in Inakadate, Japan.

Napoleon on horseback can be seen from the skies. This was created by precision planting and months of planning by villagers and farmers located in Inakadate, Japan.

Fictional warrior Naoe Kanetsugu and his wife, Osen, whose lives are featured on the television series Tenchijin, appear in fields in the town of Yonezawa in the Yamagata prefecture of Japan.

This year, various artwork has popped up in other rice-farming areas of Japan, including designs of deer dancers. Smaller works of crop art can be seen in other rice-farming areas of Japan such as this image of Doraemon and deer dancers. The farmers create the murals by planting little purple and yellow-leafed Kodaimai rice along with their local green-leafed Tsugaru, a Roman variety, to create the colored patterns in the time between planting and harvesting in September. The murals in Inakadate cover 15,000 square meters of paddy fields.

From ground level, the designs are invisible, and viewers have to climb the mock castle tower of the village office to get a glimpse of the work.

Closer to the image, the careful placement of the thousands of rice plants in the paddy fields can be seen. Rice-paddy art was started there in 1993 as a local revitalization project, an idea that grew from meetings of the village committees. The different varieties of rice plants grow alongside each other to create the masterpieces.
In the first nine years, the village office workers and local farmers grew a simple design of Mount Iwaki every year. But their ideas grew more complicated and attracted more attention. In 2005, agreements between landowners allowed the creation of enormous rice paddy art. A year later, organizers used computers to precisely plot planting of the four differently colored rice varieties that bring the images to life.

Steve Smith’s TD Catch

February 1, 2010

If you don’t follow the New York Giants, then you probably don’t know who Steve Smith is. In his rookie year in the NFL, Steve Smith was a back-up Wide Receiver behind powerhouses like Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. In his second year, he picked up his game, especially after Burress shot himself in the leg. With both Toomer and Burress left the team before the start of the 2009 season, a lot of questions were going around as to who was going to step up and fill the void.

Steve, the “little” (relatively to the rest of the WR’s in the NFL) engine that could, broke out on the scene with 107 receptions, 1,220 yards, and 7 touchdowns. This is twice as many as the year before and became the go-to guy for Eli Manning. His trademark was running across the first-down line to make a quick catch, especially on third downs.

His quick rise on the Giants offense earned him consideration for this years Pro Bowl. Dressing up in the blue-and-white of the NFC’s pro team, Steve took the field with players such as Deshawn Jackson, Miles Austin, and more. While Steve participated in many plays, he only made one reception … but what a reception it was!

Darting down the sideline, Steve caught a 48 yard pass from Aaron Rodgers in the end-zone for a touchdown. As you can see from the video below, he turns around and backpedals to the goal line, catching the ball right between the numbers while facing down Denver Broncos’ Corner back Champ Bailey rushing right at him. The two make contact right when Steve catches the ball, with Champ falling on top of Steve as they fall to the ground.