Monday, April 30, 2007
"... This impressive Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble project, drawn from interviews with Iraq war veterans and their families, depicts the personal toll of wartime with visceral intensity, and director Tom Burmester's stalwart ensemble displays an imposing commitment that generally offsets theater-by-committee inequities of tone and structure. ..." Los Angeles Times: [Link]
"... The play manages to convey the tragedy of war without being outright anti-war; it does not try to convince the audience what is right or wrong about the war in Iraq. There is even debate between a few of the characters in which they all have very different opinions about the United States’ involvement in the war. the Daily Bruin: [Link]
"... Developed from the true stories of four severely wounded American soldiers beginning their rehabilitations in the recently maligned Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Wounded does an able job of depicting the awesome burden the soldiers face in assimilating with family and society, but more importantly, with themselves. ..." From Splash: [Link]
The numerous split scenes with overlapping dialogue in the piece are handled effectively by director Tom Burmester, and Francois-Pierre Couture’s scenic design is minimalist, emphasizing the characters’ physicality and their psychological struggles. The entire ensemble delivers strong performances that remind us it’s a “long road to healing.” The L.A. Weekly Calender: [Link]
Theater info with days and times - also a trailer: [link]
Warm Up (900 yards total yards)
- 300 free
- 50 kick @ 1:00
- 50 stroke @ :50
- 50 free @ :40
This part of the transition is repeated six-times through:
- 25 dolphin on back @ :35 seconds / 50 free @ :35 seconds
This part of the transition is repeated five-times through:
- 3 x 50 free @ :40/:45/:50
- 2 x 75 free @ :55/1:00
- 1 x 100 free @ 1:05
But who is Sippy Woodhead? Here is an article about her and how the 1980 boycott effected her swimming career. French politicians should read this article too. [Link]
I posted this blog-post about Amy Van Dyken and Inge de Bruijn about a month or so ago. With this sort of rhetoric and behavior I am bewildered as to why she is an honoree at this time:
From Swim info: “… Amy Van Dyken gracelessly evoked the question; [of Inge de Bruijn taking steroids], when she spit [a mouthful of water] into De Bruijn’s lane before the semifinals of the 50 free and commented after Inky set a world record: 'If I were a man, I could swim that fast.' …” [Whoa, how crass, huh?]
Inge or Inky had no steroid bulk whatsoever and she never tested positive at any Olympics including Athens 2004 where testing was both thorough and extensive.
How ironic that it was Barry Bonds and Amy Van Dyken who testified before the grand jury in the Victor Conte/Balco steroid distribution scandal but Inky has never been summons or penalized.
From SFGate.com: “…Through Romanowski, Conte also gained access to athletes from other sports, such as six-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken, who once described herself as “the Bill Romanowski of the swimming world,” and 1996 Olympic gold-medal-winning sprinter Chryste Gaines of San Leandro, a Stanford graduate who last year was charged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency with a BALCO- related doping offense. …"
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Though Sarkozy's campaign posters lack the artistic merit one would usually associate with sublime French poster art, Nicolas Sarkozy is leading the polls so far as the next French President.
If Sarkozy wins, Manaudou swims! (That should be his slogan or in French it should be, "Victoires de Nicolas Sarkozy, bains de Laure Manaudou." (I hope I said that right?) If Sarkozy does lose and Segolene Royal wins I hope, Maly, our French friend who visits us now and then is right in that France will swim anyway. [Link]
It is to late to send in an entry form but they will allow deck entries. Now doesn't this pool look yummy?
Saturday, April 28, 2007
I wish I could ask her. I have never seen somebody do that during a start dive. The worst start-dive I ever did was at a fund raising meet at LMU. Right when I jumped off the block I wondered in mid-air if I had taken a breath before the bell went off. I got these images from the IOC website: [Link]
Friday, April 27, 2007
Here are some swims from the 2007 SPMA Regionals swim meet. I am not happy with the compression quality of these "video sharing sites" so I am going to post a much cleaner, more clear version to one of my own sites in the next day or two. For now, this is a sample of how the day went. Enjoy. :-)
- The Format The Summer and Winter Youth Games would alternate every four years, the Summer events would be staged in the years of the Olympic Winter Games and vice versa. The first edition of Summer YOG is envisaged for 2010. Estimates around participant numbers range from 3,000 for the Summer YOG and 1,000 for the winter counterpart. The organisational effort for a city to host the YOG would be significantly lower for the Olympic Games. However the details of the concept still need to be defined in close cooperation with the members of the Olympic Movement. Experience can be gathered from events like the European and Australian Youth Olympic Festivals.
He swims 2-5 hours a day and lifts weights. His lightest day is the equivalent of my hardest day.
These quotes don't offer much in the way of wisdom but it gives you a sense about how they view themselves and competition.
Michael Phelps quotations page: Link
Ian Thorpe quotations page: Link
Mark Spitz quotations page: Link
Dawn Fraser quotations page: Link
Here is my favorite quote from Johnny Weissmuller, the first person to break a minute in the 100 meter free and later made a fortune playing Tarzan in the movies:
"Throughout my career I swam for form. Speed came as a result of it."
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I mention politics here because France had a Presidential candidate named Bayou who discussed boycotting the Beijing Olympics over China's involvement in the Sudan crisis. (China is selling weapons in the region and drilling for oil there as well.)
The final two candidates are Nicolas Sarkozy on the right and current President, Segolene Royal, on the left. Though Bayou didn't make the final cut as a candidate, he has thrown his support behind Socialist candidate, Segolene Royal, who has not ruled out an Olympic boycott. Her opponent Nicolas Sarkozy has. [Link]
Here is hoping that whoever is voted President of France a boycott of the Olympics will not take place and we will see Laure Manaudou race both Natalie Coughlin and Kate Ziegler in Beijing.
I have learned so much about taking hand-held footage shot by idiots like me and making it watchable. The trick in filming swimming is varied viewpoints, establishing shots, and of course using a tripod. Right now I am looking for the best video sharing site to host it rather than what will get the blog the most hits. Obviously You Tube is the biggest but at times it is compression makes the videos unwatchable. I want the clarity to be as best as it can be so I am trolling sites like Guba, Revver, Bolt, and a site called Daily Motion which looks really promising. (Some of these services don't work with this blog. I will post which ones don't.)
Phelps and Katie Hoff gush:
- We went and saw it yesterday and it's definitely pretty cool," Phelps said during a visit to Shanghai on Thursday. "I think it's going to paint a picture for Katie and me in our my minds too, to really help us prepare for next year and get us more and more excited," he said. Covered in futuristic bubble wrap, the box-like National Aquatics Center, or "Water Cube," is one of the most striking of the venues going up for the Summer Games, at which Phelps is expected to dominate the swimming competition. [Link]
Here is a article that I feel might explain why. This paper is written in India; a country some believe has a national rivalry with China, so the article could be biased. [Link]
Here is an article that touts how marvelous the transparent plastic used to build this aquatics facility is. [Link]
Is it me or do sirens go off in your head about this pool when you read words like: semi-transparent plastic, chlorine, and direct sunlight. It sounds to me like it could become a mold and petrochemical nightmare.
Here is a link to the pool they should have emulated: The Munich Olympic Pool [Link]
Libby Lenton's world record in the 100 free set while racing against Michael Phelps in the Mutual of Omaha's Duel in the Pool meet; (Featured above), won't be ratified because a mixed relay is not sanctioned by FINA. Snippet from Swimming World:
- MELBOURNE, Australia, April 26. ACCORDING to reports from Swimming Australia, FINA has decided that Libby Lenton's 52.99 clocked as the lead leg of Australia's mixed 400 meter freestyle relay at the Duel in the Pool earlier this month will not be ratified. Therefore, the 53.30 set by Germany's Britta Steffen last summer still stands as the top mark.
- According to the Swimming Australia release FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu contacted Swimming Australia Limited CEO Glenn Tasker with the news and quoted FINA rules GR 126.96.36.199. [Link]
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
The next meet I film will be done differently. I saw a tutorial at the the Make Magazine blog on how to make an underwater housing for a movie camera for under $70. It does not look to hard since the materials are primarily "weapons grade" PVC, blast resistant acrylic, rubber gaskets and industrial strength clamps. The problem making something like this is that the price is cheap if your time is cheap. [Link]
- At last night’s practice Brad gave me some more coaching on my turns and we saw my time from flag-to-flag (the five meters before and after the turn) drop from 6.1 seconds to a more palatable 5.6 seconds merely by better form in commencing the turn. Of course there are still lots of problems to work on.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
- Exercise had a minimal effect on bone growth in the run-trained animals but did stimulate development in the swim-trained animals. The humerus of the SWIM was significantly heavier, wider and had a greater BMC when compared with those of the RUN and CON rats. The results of this study indicate that the muscular forces applied by the swim training protocol produced greater bone adaptations than the forces applied by a running protocol of equal duration and intensity. [Link]
Additionally, use as many cameras as possible and film everything. It turns out that the even the most boring things can be the most interesting things to watch. Like a swimmer putting on their goggles or viewing a pleasant conversation you can't hear.
Obviously a tripod is vital but; like a snail-brain, I didn't use the one had despite having brought it! Nonetheless, this video is really going to be a lot of fun to watch and I am having a lot of fun making it.
Another example of how swimming should be photographed.
"... O’Brien’s success with his new style was stunning. In 1954, two days after Roger Bannister was the first to run the mile in less than four minutes, O’Brien became the first to put the shot 60 feet. That came in the middle of a victory streak of 116 meets.
From 1953 to 1966, he broke the world record 17 times, starting with 59 feet ¾ inch and raising it to 63-3. He won 17 American titles in the shot-put and one in the discus.
In the Olympics, he won gold medals in 1952 and 1956 and a silver medal in 1960. In 1964, after he carried the American flag in the opening ceremony, he finished fourth.
In 1959, he won the Sullivan Award as the United States’ outstanding amateur athlete. He was elected to the United States Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1974 and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984. ..."
Ocean water, albeit a lake or a sea, is usually murky. By drafting you have the potential to swim your nose or throat into a vicious kick if the swimmer in front of you stops to spot and then kicks to regain momentum. Also, does the swimmer in front know where he/she is going? Drafting works well in a pool but not a ocean race.
Secrets of Open Water Swimming by Coach Jared Burg [Link]
My swim club has Open Water Clinics coming up. Check this page often for either free clinics, open water, or otherwise [Link]
Monday, April 23, 2007
"Before 50, swimming is optional," he says. "After 50, it's mandatory."
"Show me a 70-year-old swimmer and he looks like 50, he maintains, but a 70-year-old runner, he looks like 90."
This site is located in Brazil and it is worth a look a serious look through. [Link]
Here is a cool cultural photo of a long line of French political posters side my side in what appears to be a park in France. I like Ségolène Royal's poster best. The red bars with the B&W photo makes the eye vibrate. Also, it does not hurt that she is both attractive and the current President. I am surprised that none of the candidates used the colors of the French flag in their posters. [Link]
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I decided it would be a really brilliant idea not to breathe for the first lap-and-a-half. By the second 50; to steal a quote form Todd, it felt like I was swimming with a piano on my back with Liberace playing a duet with Fats Domino.
Todd beat beat me in both the 50 and the 100 free but we will rematch at UCLA.
Malcolm Crowe "At Regionals, On TV?
Cole Sear: Everywhere! The Culver Plunge, Santa Monica College, LMU and VNSO!
Doug did well today, he either ribboned or medaled in every event he signed up for. I swim with Doug about 2-3 days a week and he is inspiring to pace off of. I am going to post a video of several swims that took place today here at the blog once I am done editing them all.
BTW, why does the water always look bluer when fast people are in it?
For now here is a very ornate gallery of sea creatures modeled in glass from the 1800's. Be sure to check out the glass octopus [Link]
Saturday, April 21, 2007
I swim with Mike occasionally at Santa Monica College and every now and then at LMU. His heart is a like a steam engine and he is formidable in all the strokes. Here he is off the blocks in the 100 Breast and I believed he ribboned or medaled. Click on the image to see a larger version.
This is what your blogger looks like with a fresh sunburn, before a shave, and the sun in his eyes. Just before I took this photo Dan ordered me to pick up my pink ribbon for finishing sixth in my 50 fly. I had no idea I placed until he told me to acknowledge the three points I scored for the team. How ironic that the event I am the most inefficient in would be the only event that I would actually get a ribbon for. Click on the image to see a larger version.
William Patrick (Parry) O'Brien is an Olympian who competed in four consecutive summer Olympics. His event was the shot put where he won two consecutive gold medals in 1952 and 1956, a silver in 1960, and he placed fourth in 1964. As a result of his contribution to US Track and Field he was inducted to the US Olympic Hall of Fame.
But Parry loves swimming just as much.
In the middle-eighties here was a guy with stacks of trophies, gold medals and a silver who discovered Masters swimming and began swimming regularly. Clay Evans told me that during a meet at Santa Monica College in or around that decade he saw Parry standing in line to collect a 6th place, cheesy, SPMA, ribbon to add to his collection because swimming meant so much to him. Parry swims open water, swim meets, workouts, everything and everywhere.
Today during the 500 free Parry came out of a flip-turn in or around the 200 yard mark and lost consciousness. For what seemed like 20 minutes or so; (I want to emphasize that it seemed that long since time dilates during a tragedy), lifeguards were administering CPR to revive him without pause. Then the paramedics came, added an IV line and spent another 5-10 minutes doing the same compression pumps to his chest. Soon the defibrillator was brought out and it was nothing like what you see on TV where the patient jerks. It was much more graphic and unpleasant to see and it certainly looks like no fun to go through.
I don't know what happened after they took Parry to the hospital, the meet was stopped for perhaps 1-2 hours, but later resumed because Parry would have been pissed if it stopped.
My times were mixed: 26.87 for the 50 free, 35.99 for the 50 fly. Tomorrow I try and break a minute in the 100 free. I will post pictures once the shell shock wears off.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Here is Phelps winning the 100 free at the "Duel in the Pool" meet. Not only does he win but he beats Eamon Sullivan and Cullen Jones. Note his position in the race when he gets to the wall then see where he is after the turn. He also looks up when sprinting.
Gary Hall Jr. back with Speedo and will donate a portion of his bonuses to juvenile diabetes research
- In an effort to continue his fight against diabetes, an illness Hall was diagnosed with in 1999, Speedo will donate an additional 10 percent of all Speedo performance bonuses earned by Hall to the Gary Hall Jr., Foundation for Diabetes. [Link]
- LOS ANGELES April 17, 2007) - SPEEDO®, the top-selling swimwear brand in the world, today announced the signing of 32-year-old swim star and Olympic veteran Gary Hall, Jr. to a multi-year contract through 2010. A ten-time Olympic medalist, Hall represented the U.S. in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games and is projected to be a serious medal contender at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in his specialty, the 50m freestyle. If he wins gold in Beijing, Hall would become the first-ever Olympian to do so in the same event three times. [Link]
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Here is what Psychology Today says about "trash talk":
"... But does it work? Jonathan Katz, a New York City-based clinical sports psychologist, is doubtful. He believes that thinking up put-downs can actually impair an athlete's performance. "Some players feel they can intimidate other players by getting into their heads," says Katz, who has worked with the New Jersey Nets and several college basketball teams. "But many athletes are putting time and energy into something that distracts them from playing their best. Playing well is the most intimidating factor. ..." [Link]
I got the link from About.com. You can have them send you swim updates if you want, but for now Here is their synopsis:
"... The object of study of the Swimming Research Center Amsterdam is competitive swimming and how to improve a competitive swimmer.What aspects determine performance in swimming? How does the swimmer adapt to training?How is propulsion generated? Can drag be influenced by technique?What is the optimal training program? Rather than looking at any of these aspects separately, the major mission of the Swimming Research Center Amsterdam is to reveal the relationships between metabolic, morphological, mechanical and coordinative aspects of swimming. ..."
Here is a USA Swimming press release with days and times: [Link]
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Here is Mark Foster, a sprinter from England who should have been on the 2004 British Olympic team. Here is a British wiki on him:
- Mark Foster (born May 12, 1970 in Billericay, Essex, England) is a former British swimmer, specialising in butterfly and freestyle at 50 metres.
- He is a specialist short course (25 metre pool) swimmer. In terms of medals and longevity (1986-2006), Foster is amongst the most successful British swimmers of all-time.
- In 2004, Foster was to face the disappointment of not being selected for the Olympic Games. At the British Olympic Trials, he won the 50 free in 22.49 seconds, well under the Olympic qualifying standard but seven hundredths of a second below the standard National Team Director Bill Sweetenham had set for inclusion in the British Olympic Team. Foster has openly criticised Sweetenham's management style and has trained outwith the British team's auspices.
Note that he only kicks when he is about to breathe. I do that and I hate myself for it. I feel I should always be kicking in some symmetrical fashion. I am going to try and implement a Laure Manaudou two-beat kick instead of my current "tom-tom shuffle".
I found this video on a swimming blog called SwimmingScience. There is a critique therein of Grant's stroke.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Here is a creepy Center for Disease Control (CDC) water related fact sheet:
- In 2003, there were 3,306 unintentional fatal drownings in the United States, averaging nine people per day. This figure does not include drownings in boating-related incidents (CDC 2005).
- For every child 14 years and younger who dies from drowning, five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. More than half of these children require hospitalization (CDC 2005). Nonfatal drownings can cause brain damage that result in long-term disabilities ranging from memory problems and learning disabilities to the permanent loss of basic functioning (i.e., permanent vegetative state). [Link]
Important side note: a lot of drownings occur when kids try to save a friend or family member who is drowning. It is very easy to become a victim yourself when attempting a rescue for when a rescuer approaches a victim without a flotation device, the victim grabs onto the rescuer like they are a stairway to just one more breath of air. Consequently the rescuer or both are pulled underwater and subdued. This happened twice last month in icy waters back east.
Here is a sample of his step-by-step coaching of this flip turn drill.
How To Do It:
1. Submerge yourself under water, pretty deep. What you're about to do will most likely cause your legs to float up to the surface, so you want to be deep enough to keep all of your body under.
2. Push off the wall with enough force to give you some momentum. If you push off too softly, you won't feel the the full effect of the sensation you're going for.
3. The INSTANT your toes leave the wall, tuck and send your chin down JUST a bit and allow the water to throw you around. Don't fight the water pressure, or try to help. Feel the water pushing your body down, and allow your hips to keep moving in a straight line toward the other end.
4. To incorporate this feeling into your turns, make sure you don't do the usual down-up-down-and-around approach to the wall. Rather, submerge or dive slightly before you reach the wall, and follow your final stroke down and around with your eyes. The water pressure will throw your head down, and get you into a nice tight tuck.
There is a flash video too of this flip turn drill. Take this site seriously. [Link]
Monday, April 16, 2007
One minute movie of the 12th FINA World Championship swimming pool being constructed at Rod Laver Arena.
What happened to to this incredibly fast pool post event?
Sunday, April 15, 2007
- The pools have skimmers and pumps that circulate the water through the regeneration zone and draw it across a wall of rocks, loose gravel or tiles, to which friendly bacteria attach, serving as an additional biological filter. Unlike artificial ponds, which tend to be as murky with groundwater runoff and sediment from soil erosion as the natural ponds they’re modeled on, in a natural pool the water is clear enough to see through to the bottom. [Link]
Saturday, April 14, 2007
L.A. has no viable rapid transit system because we are so large. The middle class has been erased; (The average cost per house in L.A. County is $500,000 but the average income in the city of Los Angeles is $20,000 per capita, and $39,000 for households). Only 44% of high school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District graduate in four years time, the LAPD is ordered what laws it can selectively enforce, and none of what I am saying is a lie or hyperbole. I think only the best city in America should get the Olympics and Los Angeles is not the best city. GO CHICAGO!
Here is a link to the Chicago gets to bid over L.A. article: [Link]
Friday, April 13, 2007
In Miwa Koizumi's own words:
- "... I love the idea of using liquid containers to make water animals. Contained/containing, trash/not-trash, like the jelly-fish or anemone: Living/non-living
- And I wanted some pets..."
- "... I use a combination of heat guns, soldering irons and different cutting utensils to make these PETs. I wanted to work with glass but this is more fun. I have as much material as I want just by fishing in the garbage. ..." [Link]
The more I look at this the more it looks like a bullet being shot into ballistics gel.
But there is a solution! Take the acid and the chlorine out of water completely and replace the chemicals with an ozone purification system. Ozone works amazingly well and produces water completely free of bacteria and viruses of any kind. Thus, the water will be safer for pool workers, swimmers and the ozone layer.
The image above comes from the European Space Agency from a GOME measurements of chlorine activation over the Arctic circle. Chlorine is bad "mojo" for both the ozone layer and our air quality so why are we using it when there is a better solution that is cleaner, safer, and has been in use on an industrial scale for the past 50 years?
Another byproduct of ozonated water is that the water has a clarity to it that chlorine or other chemicals can't match. Here are some links explaining how it works. The first link is to an ozone pool product site, the next two are independent news articles, [Air Tree] - [Water Tech Online] - [Daily Yomiuri Online]
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I am REALLY inspired to do my own surfing cartoon after seeing Kleeman and Mike so I began working last night in earnest. It has no title yet but it is coming along conceptionally. First thing I am doing is building the art. I want great water art, neat character designs, and really tight wave animations
So, after working in Flash and Photoshop for 8 hours at work, I came home and spent another 3 hours of trying to animate the perfect wave; all of them were just mediocre and I wasn't to happy. :-(
So, to finish the night with some sort of victory; I chose to work on a "bubbles-test" instead. The above static graphic is how they turned out. Sorry that the graphic is static. Blogger wouldn't let me upload the animation. In the Flash animation the bubbles go up and down at different intervals and they look really "plushie". These bubbles will be part of the whitewater.
I love the impressionistic rendition in the Kleeman and Mike cartoon but I am going to go with a completely different style so that mine isn't rip-off.
Swim photography needs more Zen! The way races are filmed now is summarily just to see who touches first. In my opinion, if you are great enough to make it to a final, you should have a least three additional camera views such as the ones shown in this Canon commercial.
- Earlier Thursday, Phelps and Hoff took part in a fashion show for garments being sold to benefit the Special Olympics, which Shanghai is hosting this October.
- Asked about similarities between the regular Olympics and the games for the intellectually disabled, Phelps said they were closer than some would think.
- "I think the Special Olympics and the Olympics are actually pretty similar. We all have dreams and we all have goals. And you have to work hard to accomplish your dreams and goals," he said. [Link]
SWIM with MIKE this Saturday! Last year there were six Olympic gold medal winners coaching these masters clinics! SCAQers, this is an incredible place to get instruction, so take advantage of this! USC’s McDonald’s Olympic Swim Stadium opens at 8AM, and swim clinics begin at 9AM. Swim With Mike is an annual event held to benefit the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund. SCAQ has been participating with this great, worthwhile event for many years. If you want to take advantage of a great event and clinics done cheaper than anywhere, then please support this event. For more information, please visit:
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
From the LAist.com article:
- The California State Senate today voted overwhelmingly in favor of AB300, previously approved 65-1 by the State Assembly, which authorizes $250 million as a guarantee to the operation of a 2016 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
- City, State, and LA 2016 bid leaders continue to express complete confidence in the financial success of a Los Angeles 2016 Olympic Games. The USOC will announce their decision on Saturday, April 14.
- "Los Angeles has all the facilities the Olympics need," said Schwarzenegger. "It also has incredible tradition and a gold-medal record when it comes to hosting these great Summer Games."
From Reuters [Link]
This Sharkfest swim is sold out but the South End Rowing Club of San Francisco has a race as well which will be held on September 15th. There are about 2 dozen spots left so if you want the adventure of a lifetime I recommend this swim. Click here for details [Link]
The South End Rowing Club was established in1873 when text messaging was called Morse code and the locomotive was the only way to fly. With all that history under it's belt, this club knows has to know the San Francisco Bay.