Thursday, December 27, 2007

Excess exposure to chlorine makes us sick!

I wondered if swimming in a chlorinated pool could effect someone healing from leukemia so I did a Google search on this search term: chlorine leukemia link. Consequently I was really surprised at the preponderance of evidence linking chlorine exposure to leukemia. (Of course it seems logical since chlorine is a biocide and there is no life form that can stand up against it.)

Here is an National Institute of Health study: [Link]
Medical News Today has some news about a study done on European children [Link]

We have to start using less chlorine in our pools and utilize proven alternatives despite the added costs.

USA Swimming, the United States Masters Association, and we swimmers should push our local communities, our park pools, our colleges and universities to adopt better water filtration systems such as ozone and/or osmosis to purify our water. It may not eliminate the need for chlorine entirely but it would greater reduce our exposure and risks of autoimmune issues.

Here is some posts I wrote last year about ozone based pools and chlorine exposure:

Chlorine pools tied to more colds

Chlorine: Biocide, chemical weapon, used in insecticides, dyestuffs and it plays havoc with skin, hair and possibly our immune systems!

Well known water facilities using ozone to treat their water:

• Disneyland and Disney World for all their water features
• Mirage Resort, Las Vegas
• San Diego Zoo, San Diego, CA for their marine and Aquatic habitats
• Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver, Canada -for their Sea mammal support systems

I have been swimming at the the Santa Monica College pool that primarily uses osmosis and chlorine to filtrate it's water. I have notice that I have suffered fewer illnesses this year as a result.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Here is a sub one minute 100 free at SPMA Short Course Meters Championships at the Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, CA.

The Long Beach Grunions put on this Masters meet and it was a lot of fun. I think the swimmer featured went out on a 28 and came back on a 29-high. Well done whoever you are!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Guess who is back in the pool getting ready for SCY season?

And you wondered why SCAQ pools were closed during Christmas; Santa booked them all! Here he is doing a kick set at LMU.

I made this image in a free 3D program called Bryce 5.1 Bryce 6.0

Is 'Timed Finals' up for sale?

From Lane 9 News: "... PHOENIX, Arizona, December 24. IN what appears to be financial concerns that could affect a landmark venture between the Wasserman Group (WMG) and three of United States Olympic Committees' national governing bodies (USA Swimming, USA Track and Field, and USA Gymnastics), WMG is shopping its Online Sports Network in lieu of an expected eight-figure loss for 2007. ..." [Lane 9 quotes the Sports Business Journal as their reference.]

Consequently, they want to sell for 50-million-dollars to obviously cover some losses. [Link]

That figure is mind boggling for I don't see 50-million dollars of product there. Heck, even my site has more swim content than Sportnet and Floswimming has a 100 times more content as well. Therefore, I have to assume that their primary assets are the contracts they have with those that produce content but in relation to other content providers, it is still anemic.

For instance, take as an example as a content provider. was founded as a joint venture between Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios, and Warner Bros., who were responding to consumers' adoption of high-speed Internet access well before iTunes came to market. had far more contracts with several major movie studios and foreign distributors. They sold and rented 100's upon 100's of movies per month. This includes documentaries, animation, shorts, extreme sports, etc. In August of 2007 movie rental giant Blockbuster acquired for a mere 6.6-million-dollars. Sportnet has nowhere near the content nor the contracts that Movielink had access to nor such an advanced e-commerce infrastructure. Hence, where is the equity in Sportnet? [CNN article on the sale Link]

Timed Finals, along with is owned by The Wasserman Media Group as well. I am assuming that the site was purchased for the sole purpose of augmenting the USA Swimming deal. Will Timed Finals be sold if is sold since it is seemingly one it's properties?

USA Swimming should have cut a deal with WCSN and Swimming World instead.

Friday, December 21, 2007

"Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience" or in plain english, how to get into the "zone!"

I ran into this article on It's from a blog called FREELANCE-SWITCH, a blog dedicated to handing out free advice to creative or technical professionals. I think it works even better for goal oriented swimmers. Here is a snippet:

"...With the publication of his seminal 1991 book, Flow: The Psychology Of Optimal Experience, Hungarian cognitive scientist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi laid out the elements of that magical state artists and athletes called “the zone.

According to Csikszentmihalyi, there are eight fundamental elements of flow. To cultivate the flow-state, a task or project must include as many of these elements as possible:
  • Allows you to work toward a clear goal with a well-defined process
  • Cultivates deep-concentration
  • Creates a lack of a sense of self-consciousness
  • Leads to an altered sense of time
  • Provides ongoing, direct feedback
  • Is highly-challenging, but doable
  • Allows for control over the means to accomplish the goal, and
  • It’s meaningful or intrinsically rewarding, by the very nature of doing it ..."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Dutch want to build a new Island off their coast in the shape of a tulip!

I love this story, it's so full of art, drama, and most of all is a bait and switch proposition. Here is a snippet from the Herald Tribune story:

"...Dubai built Palm Island. Now the world leaders in land reclamation are considering an island in the shape of a tulip to fight overcrowding and shield the coastline from the rising sea.Supporters of the scheme say it will give Dutch companies a chance to showcase water management skills that are increasingly in demand due to global warming ..." [Link]

If they make this island, I suspect only the rich and the mega-corporations at large are going to be invited. Since, water will seek it's own level if the planet does not cool. An island in the shape of a tulip won't stop a rising tide if earth continues to warm.

I like this project because it is an ideal experiment in regards to the viability of an artificial island and the planning of a new western European city therein from the ground up. Maybe a clean city will emerge as a template for future ones.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New 'TYR Tracer Light' teaser shot on the TYR homepage

Above is a nice photo of Fran Crippen looking focused and capable. TYR athletes are finishing quite strong in open water events as of late, i.e. Mark Warkentin, Fran Crippen.

TYR athletes are promoting how fast these suits dry, how efficient they feel in the water, and of course how wonderful they are. Of course they are paid to win but wearing a suit in 5k race or 10k swim boggles my mind since the suits saturate. When I wore a Speddo FS II Leggings during a 800SCM at the Pierce College Turkey Shoot meet, I felt like like I was wearing wool sweatpants after 500 meters. Now every time I see a You Tube of Thorpe, Hackett or Jensen doing a 1500, I start sweating.

Noe, for TYR athletes to wear these suits during such long, arduous swims and subsequently do extremely well, I wonder, will these suits be water resistant?

Sweedish Athletes should have GPS chips implanted under their skin to detour them from taking PEDs - So says Swedish athletes Klüft and Holm

I saw this first on and had to post it. This from The Local: Sweeden's News in the English Language: "... Swedish athletes Carolina Klüft and Stefan Holm; (World class heptathletes), have caused a stir on the home front by proposing radical measures to ensure that top level competitors refrain from taking performance-enhancing drugs.

"... Competitors at the highest level should either have computer chips implanted into their skin or GPS transmitters attached to their training bags to help keep track of their movements at all times. ..." [Link]

It's a radical idea, I don't think it would work since you can dope just about anywhere but I appreciate their enthusiasm. The only way to prevent doping is to remove all possible incentives to dope. That would entail a sport that issued no awards, no prize money or salary, no national recognition, no record books, and you had to compete anonymously. I suspect the only people that would show up to compete would be those that truly loved the game. I would say that masters swimming is about half way there.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Guardian Unlimited: "Italian swimmer, Luca Marin, has denied putting explicit pictures of his former lover Laure Manaudou on the internet"

Snippet: "...I know nothing about the video and have only seen the photos. Yes, it looks like it's really her but it is ridiculous to think that it was me who put them there," Marin told Tuesday's Gazzetta dello Sport... ." [Link]

Now, what can I say without getting sued in some international court? Hmmm, how about this: Yeah, Luca Marin didn't post these photos but the person that paid for them, or the person acquainted with the owner of these photos certainly did. So, the big question is, were these Luca Marin's photos?

Laure might want to consider pulling an "Amanda Beard"as distasteful as that sounds so as to to at least have a better product out there and to better manage her reputation. (Well, that is to say if the French care in the first place for they are pretty understanding of the human condition.)

Per the Website Kate Moss "...During her pregnancy, ... posed nude for a near life-size portrait called "Naked Portrait 2002," which sold for approximately $6.5 million at Christie's auction house. [Link])

Laure should consider something similar and either donate the money to charity or use the money to chase down her non-sanctioned photos and 'out' the original poster and distributor and consequently sue from there.

The photo above comes from Chauffeur-de-Buzz [Link]

Monday, December 17, 2007

If you steal or plagiarize, be very, very, afraid! - And that goes for 'Mr. Splashy Pants' as well!

Here is a link to a new blog where designers, artists, writers and others can 'out' those that steal and/or plagiarize from them. Expect this site to be on the radar of everybody that has been "borrowed from" and just about every Fortune 500 back ground check wanting to ensure if their potential new hire creates fairly.

The above is an example of an original design by Fabio Catapano being usurped for a Greenpeace, "Save the Whales," campaign. Unless Greenpeace can come up with a license which proves they have de facto rights for this "Mr. Splashy Pants, this artwork will appear to be absolutely stolen from Catapano.

The blog is called: ["you thought we wouldn’t notice but we did!"]

Bondi Beach swimmer bitten by shark: 'I survived by punching it on the nose'

I hear a thumb to a shark's eye is better, but then again, not swimming at night is probably a much more effective defense.

It's almost summer south of the equator and subsequently Australian swimmers are summarily entering the food chain with every open water swim. To be fair the North America continent has the most shark attacks than any other location on this blue planet but Australia places high on the charts as well! [Link]

With those statistics in mind, Scott Wright, decided to do a night swim at Bondi Beach. Though the odds were on his side; 11.5-million to one and 70-years since a shark attack at Bondi, someone has to win the lotto. Gory pictures; (plural), and details in the London Daily Mail [Link]

Saturday, December 15, 2007

SCAQ swim tip from Erik Hochstein and Rada Owen

Rada Owen; Olympian, NCAA champ and more, is the featured swimmer in the David Marsh swim video: Swimming Faster: Freestyle. She also holds a management position at SCAQ. Here is a swim tip from a SCAQ email:

RADA OWEN'S SWIM TIP: When swimming freestyle, keep your head and neck still and in one position until you turn to breath. The head acts like a steering wheel of sorts; if it is bobbing and moving all around, your body will follow, causing resistance and unnecessary energy expenditure. Keeping your head and neck still will help your body to rotate properly around its long axis (head to feet) in a controlled manner. A proper rotation will allow for further extension with each stroke which will in turn help you pull more water and move with more control and ease. A great way to work on this is to pretend you are wearing a neck brace that inhibits any neck/head movement while you swim. That is the first step on your way to a controlled, efficient and fast stroke!

The picture above is from the site Swim Clips-Dot-Com. The article is entitled Swim Like Rada: [Link]

Erik Hochstein won the bronze medal in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay at the 1988 Summer Olympics. He was a member of the West German National Team, He swims for Team TYR and holds many USMS records. Here is his swim tip:

ERIK HOCHSTEIN'S SWIM TIP:Breathe Low -- Yes, we need the air to breathe and for the most part people should be breathing to one side on every arm pull to that side - but the turning of the head should be kept as low as possible. I see people that - while breathing - can admire the stars in the sky during an evening workout and others that can see the planes above their heads during the day. In this case - less is always better - and here is a quick and easy self-check: close the eye on the side you are breathing for a 50 and keep the other eye open -- if you see anything above the surface of the water, your head is turning too high.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Alshammar cuts $100,000 check with 50 meter fly win

From the video description: "Sweden's Therese Alshammar completed her own World Cup standings victory to cut a huge check of $100,000 when she clocked a time of 25.69 in the women's sprint fly. ..."

WCSN won't let me embed this You Tube video but here is the You Tube link: [Link]

I am actually quite cross about this too. This is not like WCSN and it is summarily illogical for them to do it this way. The more you let people embed your videos, the bigger your brand becomes. If they keep it up then I can't endorse them and I won't link to them anymore.

I will only link this one time to a WCSN video that disallows You Tube embedding. I hope all swim bloggers follow suit.

'Combat Swimming' as taught by the Navy SEALs

I am not impressed. The stroke creates a huge wake behind you and looks pitifully slow. Also the lead shoulder appears to be subjected to a lot of stress.

Glenn Mills or the Total Immersion guys should go down to Camp Pendleton and give clinic.

More on the 'Swimming World' article: " "They Cheated. They Stole. They Lied!" - Moral conundrum for the IOC"

There is an article in the New York Times regarding philosophical and moral conundrums which I think works well as an analogy to the Marion Jones/East German medal argument: Here is a snippet:

" Suppose the chairman of a company has to decide whether to adopt a new program. It would increase profits and help the environment too. “I don’t care at all about helping the environment,” the chairman says. “I just want to make as much profit as I can. Let’s start the new program.” Would you say that the chairman intended to help the environment?

O.K., same circumstance. Except this time the program would harm the environment. The chairman, who still couldn’t care less about the environment, authorizes the program in order to get those profits. As expected, the bottom line goes up, the environment goes down. Would you say the chairman harmed the environment intentionally? ..." New York Times: [Link]

Included in the article are the polling results to the above questions. I personally felt that both CEO's intended to either assist or hurt the environment respectively. Between 72% and 82% of the respondents disagreed with me. Therefore, I am either an idiot; (likely), or a genius; (unlikely), but so far I have no opinion on the IOC decision yet.

Did some or all of the East Germans knowingly dope? Do they deserve a statute of limitations (SOL) window? Does any athlete deserve and SOL window if they knowingly or unknowingly cheated. Also, how do you prove something that occurred nearly 1/3-of-a-century ago? The IOC is not a legal body.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

"They Cheated. They Stole. They Lied!" - Moral conundrum for the IOC

Swimming World has an article/polemic comparing the Marion Jones steroid scandal with the 1972-1976 GDR (East German) Olympic Team. Therein, it states that Marion Jones will have to return her Olympic medals whereas the East German Olympians who were knowingly or unknowingly doped will get to keep their medals.

It all has to do with this "statute of limitations thingy" that the IOC has adopted. If you go 8-years without being "discovered", you are immune to IOC retribution. Marion Jones was within her alloted 8-year time limit whereas the GDR was a quarter-century into theirs.

Inevitably the name Shirley Babashoff comes up and a quote from her as well.

I have never understood the "statute of limitations." Perhaps everyone at one time or another has made a really bad choice or a very self-interested decision that violated a law. Let's presume they did nothing to cover up the crime; (heavy emphasis on the assumption that they did nothing to cover up the crime), no one was physically hurt, and they subsequently moved on and led a good life. Should these people be punished, selectively punished, or simply forgiven? The IOC has chosen the latter. Swimming World wishes they would have chosen the former. [Link]

The photo is of: Ender, Kornelia (Britannica Student Encyclopedia) (born 1958). East German swimmer Kornelia Ender was the first woman to win four gold medals in one Olympic Games.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Manchester 2008 World Championships promo

A better video is at their site: [Link]

Just hold your breath for 25 seconds!

The title of this You Tube video is: "Athens 2004 - women's 50m free semifinal 2 - underwater cam." Lot's of things to take note of as well. The women closet to us primarily looks down per the Total Immersion theory. The girl winning the race looks way up.

I personally start my sprints looking down and then gradually look up as I build momentum. I certainly don't look up as high as the woman featured and I certainly can't swim as fast as her either.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Do you want to feel real slow? Look at these USMS SCY Nationals qualifying times

They are sick! If you are a male in th 40-44-year-old age group, you have to swim a 24.76 to get an automatic slot in the 50 free. Here is a link to the qualifying times PDF: [Link]

Here is a link to the SCY Nationals website: [Link]

Sunday, December 09, 2007

'Pentatones' music video for the song 'Hidden' - One dancer, upside down and underwater!

The Germans do black and white film making better than any one. (They even did the first Vampire movie too.) The song is called "Hidden" and this minimalistic approach to film-making is quite pleasant to watch. Unfortunately, you can't buy the song on iTunes and I can't find it anywhere. I even tried the German iTunes store. Here is a link to their website though: [Link]

"Texas Swimming" blog spanks 'Timed Finals'

My dad started out as a used car salesman and eventually became an editor of some sort for the Hollywood Reporter. Every morning before school he would get me up at 5:30 A.M., throw some clothes at me, and we would drive from newsstand to newsstand to see which one had gotten the Hollywood Reporter or the Daily Variety first. He would hand me 50 cents so I could buy them for him and then we would return home for breakfast.

At the kitchen table he would underline sentences from the Army Archerd column in The Daily Variety, and then do the same thing to the guy who wrote the gossip column for The Hollywood Reporter.

One morning, I got fed up with getting up so early so at breakfast I asked "what are you doing, you underline these sentences every morning?" He replied back, "I am writing my column." And I said, "No you not, you're copying, you're cheating!" It didn't go over well at the kitchen table but ultimately my dad plagiarized his way into entertainment journalism.

Well, that is what Scott Goldblatt, the editor of Timed Finals, is being accused of doing by the swim blog, Texas Swimming. I have accused him of it too and I understand that a particular writer for the Australian press is getting wind of this sort of nonsense as well.

All Scott has to do to alleviate this criticism is to ensure he credits his sources. If he doesn't, he and the parent company of Timed Finals, the Wasserman Media Group, are going to become irrelevant to swimming.

My dad shamefully got away with it circa the 1960's, but in the age of the internet whereas everything is databased, that isn't going to happen.

Here is a link to the Texas Blog spanking. The photo to the right is the Texas swimmer himself: [Link]

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Amaury Leveaux in motion at the 2006 European Championships

Note his thumbs as his hands enter the water. They stay in close to the index finger upon entry and then open up wide during the catch so as to grab more water.

Erik Hochstein article at Timed Finals reappears after editing

Erik Hochstein wrote an article about Ryan Lochte's breaststroke portion of the 200 IM for for the Wasserman Media Group owned, Timed Finals. The article was posted and then immediately taken down. Less than a day later the article reappeared but in an edited form even though there was nothing in the article that was incorrect or offensive. I suspect the heavy editing was due to advertising interests since both Timed Finals and are owned by the same company. Snippet:

"... If this was a certain Japanese swimmer, there would likely be an entire website dedicated to the issue by now. Threads regarding illegal breaststroke technique often dominate websites and message boards, most recently there was a highly active conversation surrounding a breaststroker not moving his “feet” out - or simply just kicking fly instead of breast. But this is one of the American heroes — yes — none other than Ryan Lochte.

Here is a link to the the edited version of the article: [Link]

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ryan Lochte used a dolphin kick during his breaststroke portion of the 200 IM at Nationals. He should have been DQed

The person who wrote the following post on The Race Club message board is an Olympic medalist:

"... k -- before responding, go to the US swimming website and check out the webcast from day 1 of Nationals for the 200 IM -- about 1 hour and 10 minutes into the webcast. [Link]

Check out Lochte's Breaststroke swim (not the turn) -- they show a good underwater of his 2nd 25 -- he is clearly doing a Fly kick after completing his breaststroke kick -- you can even see the bubbles moving down after his kick.

A lot of Breaststrokers move their feet a little bit up or down when the legs are extended (for example Phelps does that - but it is usually more of a balancing or getting the feet in the right spot before the next Breaststroke kick) But you are not allowed to get propulsion out of this and Lochte is for sure getting quite a bit of that out of his extra fly kicks, just look at the bubbles moving down and out. ..." [Link]

I can't post Lochte's breaststroke due to the Wasserman Media Group refusal to let anybody view it unless you go to their site and notice the Speedo Banner ad at the top of the page. Ironically enough, the banner links you to You Tube of all places, the same site that the Wasserman Media Group has pulled fan videos from. (See this post [Link]) DO NOT CLICK ON THE BANNER - SHOW IT NO LOVE!

The breaststroke is now becoming a confusing embarrassment. Anything related to butterfly should be removed from the stroke. Below is an example of more line crossing by Romanos Alyfantis:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

1980 Olympic Team: To receive Congressional Gold Medal as originally intended

Swimming World links to an NBC Sports article regarding the intended awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to the 1980 US Olympic Team. [Link] Swimming World [Link]

In 1980 there was a US Olympic boycott of the Moscow Olympics over the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Consequently, athletes were summarily robbed of the chance to prove themselves and represent both town and country in what could have the apex of their life's work.

On June 25th 1980, the 96th congress of the House of Representatives voted 374-28 in favor of awarding the 1980 US Olympic team the Congressional Gold Medal - But that is not what they received! Instead, they received a cheesy gold plated bronze medal from the USOC which the USOC had to pay for.

Here is a page to the US House of Representatives of those that have received the
Congressional Gold Medal. It's quite impressive, it includes Pope John Paul II; Navy Commander and de facto father of the navy, John Paul Jones; Prime Minister Tony Blair; Mother Teresa of Calcutta; Simon Wiesenthal; Gold Medalist, Jesse Owens, and many more. [Link]

Now, what you think would be a unanimous vote in the congress, it was not! 374 voted in favor and 28 voted against. I can't find the Roll Call log for HR 7482 vote to see who voted against it but I can't imagine what their reasons were.

Hopefully this is a healing moment for people like Cynthia "Sippy" Woodhead, Glenn Mills, Brian Goodell, and all of the other swimmers and athletes who were the victim of a failed foreign policy decision.

If any 1980 Olympians read this, please feel free to add a comment to this post. Send me pictures too if possible!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

'The 17th Man' Surveying his realm, and it is good!

Blogger Joel of "The 17th Man" up at the blocks at the Belmont Plaza and ready to swim the 200 fly at the SPMA Short Course Meters Championships. Blogger Joel swam the 200 fly as fast as I can swim a 200 free. Joel makes the 200 fly look like a warm-up swim. he is relaxed and very well paced. Meet results page: [Link]

The meet was hosted by The Long Beach Grunions who are the most cohesive team I have ever seen. They are friendly, organized and enthusiastic but they have a peculiar habit of teasing each other when they are up on the blocks. Nonetheless, I must say that the insults and the witty retorts made for great swim theater as well as Grunion camaraderie. :-)

Dozens of world records were broken there and Swimming World covered it too [Link]

Monday, December 03, 2007

The 'TYR Tracer Light' speed-suit is quasi-water proof?

At the TYR site is a short flash movie of the new TYR Tracer Light. According to the athletes on the video;Larsen Jensen, Amanda Weir, they hint that it is water proof since it dries so fast [Link]

All of the above pimp it quite solidly with comments about how light, how smooth, how water repellent it is and fast. I am not paid to pimp TYR but the athletes on their payroll are. I wear TYR because their suits have proven demonstrably faster than Speedo for me. In fact, I am giving my Speedo leggings away after setting three personal bests in a TYR at the SPMA Bellmont SCM Championship meet this past weekend.