Monday, March 31, 2008

And Zeus said un to me! "You want a piece of Olympia? Well, you got to bid on it at eBay!"

The Timed Prelims guys started out as the court jesters of swimming. Now they are adding really sublime content such as interviews with Eddie Reese, Cesar Cielo, Ed Mosses, Rebecca Soni and videos too such as the Long Course Championships and a red carpet video of the Golden Goggles Awards. The site has credibility and they don't plagiarize.

Now, I recently discovered that they are throwing an outrageously cool auction on eBay. Imagine owning a kickboard with all these autographs on it?:

Josh Baseheart • Nick Brunelli • Simon Burnett • Dave Cromwell • Craig Chapman • Ian Crocker • Kirsty Coventry • Mary Descenza • Matt Grevers • Brendan Hansen • Tanica Jamison • Cullen Jones • Kara Lynn Joyce • Dana Kirk • Tara Kirk • Adam Mania • Haley McGregory • Whitney Myers • Aaron Peirsol • Dale Rogers • Adam Ritter • Eric Shanteau • Elizabeth Tinnon • Neil Walker • Garrett Webber Gale • Peter Verhoef

From the Timed Prelims site: "... Timed Prelims presents autographed kickboard for charity. All proceeds go to the S.W.I.M. Program! The S.W.I.M. Program was established in 2006 with the goal of helping teach the sport of swimming to low socio-economic kids in Austin, Texas. Check out their website at Video of the swim meet and the autograph signing can be found at ..."

Here is a direct link to the eBay auction: [Link]

I dare you to outbid me. Whoever wins, please send me a photo of it and I will post it :-)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hail Cesar Cielo! - NCAA 2008 - 40"92 in the 100 Yard Free

Cesar Cielo from Brazil swimming for Auburn University becomes the first man in NCAA history to break a 0:41 in the 100 YD free. Links: [Swimming World] - [CSTV] - [College Swimming]

Libby Trickett sets a WR in the 50 LCM Freestyle

She now owns both the 50 and the 100 LCM. Australian swimming is rising to great heights post the Ian Thorpe period led by names like Stephanie Rice, Eamon Sullivan, Emily Seebohm, Libby Trickett and the great Grant Hackett. Is the USA team as strong?

As the swimmers are introduced look at their physical profiles and note how strong and slender they look. Most of the above look thinner and stronger than any model ever produced at the "Vogue" or "Elle" secret DNA laboratories but some of these swimmers' "latssimus dorsi" muscle groups shake around like a fat lady's arm. I am convinced that the new Speedo Lazr is a ultimately a corset and the panels in between the "welded seams" are not fabric but rather what appears to be semi-rigid rubber. With that in mind the TYR Aquashift should not have been banned by FINA.

This quote from the LA Times has me wondering: "...One rare complaint, however, surfaced Wednesday at the trials in Australia. Jess Schipper said that the LZR filled with water as she competed in the 200-meter butterfly final and caused her to fade down the stretch. ..." [link]

Isn't water suppose to get into your swimsuit? If it can't, then isn't that using the air between your body and the suit to promote buoyancy? I think FINA may have a mess on their hands? Why does the TYR Aquashift and it's arm bands receive no FINA approval yet a quasi rigid LZR that has semi-rigid panels and resists water from crossing the seam/panel barrier get approval? That really disturbs me. All the Aquashift had were three trip lines or strings sewned into the fabric. The Speedo LZR has a rubber that has never been seen nor is it accessible.

For a higher-rez version, click here: [Link]

Saturday, March 29, 2008

'Speedo Lazr' discussed in the L.A. Times - Sidenote: I can't believe that they didn't retouch out his "$1.50" in the photo below

This article sent to me by blogger Trevr. I am astonished that the LA Times didn't color correct this photo but rather published a JPG of it with the "Photoshop levels" blown out so badly that you can literally see though the dark parts of the suit; (Note below the knee and how the skin shows though). Consequently, the highlights on his "$1.50" are so extreme that one can see how well or how meekly he may be endowed. Poor guy; and look at Amanda Beard, her face reads as if she is thinking, thank goodness Phelps is the focal point. But enough about my problems...

The L.A. Times article tackles the controversy regarding the Seedo Lazr. Here is a snippet:

"... French swim officials, in particular, complain that the sport is beginning to resemble Formula One racing. The turbulent times for swimming and the focus on technology is reminiscent of the changes in tennis and golf, when wooden rackets and old-school clubs went to the back of the garage for good, replaced by their sleeker composite cousins.

"I'm an old swimmer," said Furniss, who won a bronze medal in the 1972 Olympics. "An old guy who is old school in a lot of stuff. But the reality is you look at any sport, any equipment, whether it was a bamboo pole in the pole vault going to fiberglass. . . . In swimming we're doing the same thing. We're just doing it in the water. ..." [Link]

Had a meet today in Santa Clarita: I set three "personal bests"

The first thing I did when I got home was give a couple of hugs, tell my story, and login to my email. There I found a couple of very flattering comments, one from Kerry which really made my day and one from Charlie where he states this site is actually being blocked at his work! (I know an amazing proxy server; I believe people in China may even use it. Also, the LAUSD can't stop it either.) Then blogger Trevr sent me the LA. Times article regarding the Speedo LZR which I am going to post after this. BTW, lots of talk about it around the pool.

As for swimming today, I STORMED IT!

200 YD Free: 2:11.37 (Best ever)
100 YD Free: 59.18 (Best Ever)
50 YD Free: 26:96 (Second most stinky)
50 YD Free within the 200 Medley relay: 26.3 (Not a rolling start either.)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Eamon Sullivan is really pissing off Alain Bernard - Sullivan owns the WR in the 50 LCM Free...AGAIN!

I made that up about Alain Bernard, but if it were me, I would have spit at the TV and then broke down in tears.

The 50 free WR has fallen three times this week. WOW! Especially considering that Popov's WR held for more than a decade.

Here is a link to a higher-rez version: [Link]

Libby Lenton-Trickett set the world record today in the 100 LCM Freestyle - Here is that swim!

Note that she looks WAY UP! She does not look down at all! In fact, on the slo-mo replay her first three strokes are so powerful and she is looking up so high that her goggles are almost out of the water.

In 2008, I am seeing a free-for-all in regards to technique. There are no "rules" anymore such as always look down, do not utilize a straight arm recovery, it is all about what works for you, your body and the clock.

Higher-rez version here: [Link]

I forgot that Libby Lenton got married and changed her maiden name to Libby "really, really fast" - Here she is in the 100 fly

In this video, Libby Trickett nearly sets a WR in the 100 fly. Today she has set a WR in the 100 free but it is not up at You Tube yet. I think the Australian Womens team could dominate at Beijing but let's see what Ziegler, Hoff, and Saint Natalie do.

Higher-rez version here: [Link]

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On April 4-6 at Ohio State university - "The Empire Strikes Back!"

We witnessed some great swims from the Europeans and the Australians this week but on April 4th - 6th, Michael Phelps, Katie Hoff, Brendan Hansen, Aaron Peirsol, Neil Walker, along and local girl, Kaitlin Sandeno, will be showing what the "empire" can dish.

Not to be upstage, patron saint of this blog, Natalie Coughlin, will be on the other side of our continent at Stanford sharing the stage with elite stormtroopers: Kim Vandenberg, Tara Kirk, Jason Lezak and Klete Keller. [Link]

If you are going to any of these meets, please post videos to "You Tube!"

Watch the replay of Sulivan's 100 LCM freestyle win and note his straight arm recovery

We are seeing a lot of innovation this year in swimming from stroke to speedsuits. I actually have a straight arm recovery as seen above when I sprint and I am working hard to change it since my turnover needs to speed up. It's amazing how these athletes like Sullivan, Nystrand, et al. can make it work.

To see a higher-rez version of this video, click here: [Link]

Eindhoven: The 100 LCM Women's Freestyle! - Marleen Veldhuis is a contender in Beijing

Marleen Veldhuis has a loping gate to her stroke like Michael Phelps and she drives her turns with lots of dolphin kicks too.

A fan video of the Eindhoven pool facility

A WCSN ninja sent me this link regarding the science behind the 'Speedo LZR'

Here is a link to the Science of Sport blog who has taken a long hard look at the LZR and has a back-and-forth debate about it with a Prof Raul Arellano, who is based at the University of Granada in Spain:

"... It would seem that the claims of Speedo/NASA indicate that with the new suits this boundary layer between the body/suit and the water is definitely modified. Whether FINA consider this unfair or not will be the deciding factor in the debate. ..." "..."

The problem with the new swimsuits is that they improve the body shape much more than skin friction. And this improvement is very individual... the percentage improvement depends on the person's body shape. I have observed a master swimmer with a lot of fat around her abdominals reduce her time in 100m butterfly by 6 seconds to break the Master's world record. The changes in the body shape underwater using a smaller size full body swimsuit were clearly evident (the fat position was fixed and the perimeter reduced).

Read it here, lots of fun opinionated speculation and observation: [Link]

Tomorrow at Swimming World, this topic will be fully discussed on the Morning Swim Show.

But the plot thickens. From The
"... During the suit's development, Speedo's research arm, Aqualab, hired wind tunnels at space agency NASA to test more than 60 types of fabrics for drag and stability. The suits were tested for months at the Australian Institute of Sport, in addition to the more than 1000 flume tests using mannequins and swimmers in Dunedin. ..."

FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu said officials would meet Speedo representatives at next month's world short-course championships in Manchester: "There are concerns about suits being like triathlon suits, which are thicker. There are buoyancy issues. We have to review this. ..." [Link]

Monday, March 24, 2008

More Speedo LZR fallout: If the 'Speedo LZR' is not available to all athletes before the Olympics, it may be deemed illegal!

Track and field has a similar rule. Her is what the Guardian.UK had to say: "... Swimming's world governing body FINA approved the suit last year but has called for the meeting with manufacturers during next month's world short-course championships in Manchester.

Cornel Marculescu, executive director of Lausanne-based FINA, said there were two main issues, the thickness of the suit and availability.

Marculescu told the SwimNews web site there were concerns about buoyancy issues.

"We have to review this. But there is no scientific test to say if a suit supports performance," he said on Monday.

"The number one priority is that all suits are made available to everyone at the moment of launch. Any innovation should be available to everybody. ..." [Link]

Alain Bernard is pro boycotting the opening ceremonies in Beijing.

I like the fact that Alain Bernard has a heart. Here is what he had to say according to "...

Bernard - newly crowned European champion in the 50 metres and 100 metres freestyle as well as recording new world records in both events - told French television station TFI that it would be a show of strength by the politicians.

"Boycott the opening ceremony, why not," said Bernard, who has been the star of the European swimming championships, which concluded in Eindhoven today. ..." [Link]

UPDATE: Maly has clarified that the athletes would attend whereas the politicians would avoid.

As the Italians would say: Federica Pellegrini 4.01.53 Record del Mondo 400 LCM

Impressive swim and it wasn't accomplished in a Speedo LZR but rather an Italian suit called the Arena Powerskin R-Evoluiton

The Speedo suit has delivered - It has delivered so well that a complaint has been filed with FINA

As I write this I see that I have a news alert from Swimming World that yet another world record was set' "...Federica Pellegrini blasted the women’s 400 free record shortly after Marleen Veldhuis clipped the women’s 50 free. ..."

Craig Lord noticed this phenomena first and writing about it at his site he said: "...Jacco Verhaeren, coach to Pieter van den Hoogenband, Marleen Veldhuis and company here in Eindhoven, has joined the chorus of voices urging FINA to do more testing on the Speedo LZR Racer in the interests of fair sport.

Claude Fauquet, technical director of French swimming jumped in as well. Craig's article: [Link]

I suspect the crux of their argument is that either: A) the suit has properties that can't be replicated or easily obtained. This includes cost, availability, patents or prior licensing agreements. It also could be, as mentioned in the article, that some host countries have agreements with swimsuit manufacturers that void their athletes from wearing the suits they want to wear. B) Speedo has a de facto monopoly on world records and is using it to an unfair advantage.

As for point "A," The countries that signed agreements with a rival suit manufacturers cut a bad deal though the availability issue could hold some water. That is to say, you can't go buy a LZR right now. Only team Speedo can wear them. In the sport of Track and field, that would be declared an unfair advantage but not so in swimming.

As for Point "B," It's not illegal to have a monopoly. (This according to our government: "... While it is not illegal to have a monopoly position in a market, the antitrust laws make it unlawful to maintain or attempt to create a monopoly through tactics that either unreasonably exclude firms from the market or significantly impair their ability to compete. ...") Speedo's patents and trademarks cannot be used against them either. [Link]

Also, let it be known, I do acknowledge on prima facie viewing that the Speedo Lzr could perhaps be the fastest suit ever produced. Nonetheless, I won't wear one and I don't like the Nike-like marketing tactics of Speedo whereas they hire "mercenaries" for top dollar en masse so as to make it look like their product is the only credible alternative. I think it hurts swimming and smaller companies.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hear Natalie Couglin deliver a workout in MP3 format on your 'H2O Audio' gizmo

From H2O Audio, the leading watersports music company, announced today that it has teamed with iTrain, (the leading provider of digital content fitness programs) and Olympic Gold Medalist, World Champion and World Record Holder, Natalie Coughlin, to deliver the next generation in downloadable swim workouts for in-the-pool inspiration and power coaching.

mp3 download for swimmers info at

I bet soon we will be seeing drills on people's iPhone down at the the local pool so as to illustrate a proper drill or technique point. Isn't information delivery technology empowering? I think so.

Laure Manaudou interview subtitled in English on why she competed at Eindhoven this weekend

ALain Bernard 21:50 WR in the 50LCM Free

Edging out Stefan Nystrand, Alain Bernard and his technically proficient freestyle; (hands lower than the elbows during his turnover phase), now owns a world record that no Frenchman has ever held before. Very nicely done, France!

Here is a link to a higher-rez version: [Link]

Alain Bernard sets a new world record in the 50 LCM freestyle: Video is now being uploaded to "You Tube" - Will post shortly!

For now, a world record progression of the event at Swimming World: [Link]

Katie Hoff's 400 IM world record detroyed by Stephanie Rice by a full body length

I love the verbal reaction from the 17-year-old when she sees the clock: "F*CK!"

The Australian women's team is collectively a "Michael Phelps superpower;" and most of them are all teens too. An emotional interview follows.

Here is a link to a higher-rez version: [Link]

15-year-old Emily Seebohm set this world record yesterday in the 50 backstroke, however 24 hours later Sophie Edington has set a new one!

This race is full of girls 15 and 16-years of age. More proof that Australia's swimming program is producing vast amounts of talent. An interview takes place after the swim.

Here is a link to a higher-rez version at You Tube: [Link]

2008 Australian Olympic Trials - Men's 400 LCM Freestyle

Lot's of underwater viewing time of Grant Hackett's stroke. Note how his hands never pull near his center line but rather catch directly in front of his shoulders and he pulls water from there. He looks good!

For better viewing clarity, goto "You Tube" and type &fmt=18 after the URL and then reload. Or, you can click this link where I have all ready included the extension: [Link]

Leisel Jones introduces the Australia's Channel 9's coverage of the 2008 Australian Swimming Olympic Trials

Loving the the motion graphics, the homage to Ian Thorpe and that hard vowel accent of hers: "Austr-A-lian Olym-peak tr-III-als." Just loving it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

New World Record for Alain Bernard in the 100 LCM freestyle: 47.60!

Update 1:33 PM:
If you go to "You Tube" and type in " &fmt=18 " after the URL and then reload the page, the video will have much more clarity.

Update: 47.50
in the finals according to an anonymous comment who also included a "You Tube" link. Thank you SO MUCH, anonymous.

Note there is not a straight arm freestyle here. Also note that he is looking up rather than looking down. Watch his head as he swims into the wall.

France has given us both Laure Manaudou and Alain Bernard. They are obviously doing something right over there. New 100 LCM Freestyle world record set at the European Championships at Eindhoven.

UPDATE: Rick Beerendonk out of Amsterdam I believe has an amazing stroke analysis at his site that includes speed, frequency, stroke length, and more. go to his site and check it out: [Link]

Friday, March 21, 2008

New Speedsuit in town: Introducing the "Arena Powerskin R-Evolution"

From A stitch free, low-drag, super-light swimsuit is the newest swim wear for Arena swimmers. The Arena Powerskin R-EVOLUTION claims to be the fastest, lightest, smoothest swim suit ever made. The suit is being released at the 2008 European Championships. Look for it on swimmers like Manaudou, Rosolino, Magnini, and Jedrejczak.

Also, the suit was either vetted or co-designed by biomechanical specialists at the Universite de Reims, Champagne Ardenne led by a professor named Redha Taiar whose team tested the suit in a flume at the High Performance Olympic Center in Berlin. (A flume is like a wind tunnel but only water driven.) What really has me interested in this suit is that a scientist named Alfio Quarteroni did the number crunching so as to develop computer models that would quantify drag reduction and speed increase too. Why this interests me is because this fellow was the "propeller head" who was responsible for the computer models/simulations for the Alinghi, a yacht that won of the world's most famous yachting regatta, The America's Cup in 2003 and 2007.

Now what separates this suit from the TYR, the blueseventy and the Fastskin is that this suit is 100% stitchless and has zero seams on the front. They also make a bold statement that in a 50 meter race, times averaged a 0.54 advantage over the previous Arena Powerskin suit. I saw Gary Hall stormed the 50 fly in the previous suit at LCM Nationals a couple years back and I think he wore a Powerskin when he won a gold in Athens?

I still haven't made up my mind on a speedsuit but this suit is on my radar whereas I won't even consider the Speedo.

To the right is a shot of the flume at the High Performance Olympic Center in Berlin which I yanked from the Arena site and here is a link to the Arena Powerskin site: [Link]

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Beijing Olympics: Food and water will be diverted - May push China into a prolonged recession!

A fellow swim blogger sent me this and though swimming isn't discussed in this article what is discussed is the unimaginable lengths China is going through to make the Olympics a successful event. The extent to which they are going is summarily irrational and boggles the mind.

From the article: "... A forced shutdown of Beijing's factories and power plants during the games will throw China into an economic downturn.

Diversion of safe food to the Olympic Village will cause food riots elsewhere in China.

The transfer of 80 billion gallons of water -- equal to the annual water consumption of Tucson, Ariz., a city of 535,000 -- from Shaanxi and other provinces in northwestern China will shut down factories and agriculture in the region. ..." [Link]

Now, the media is full of horror and hyperbole but what made these predictions plausible to me is that China claims to spend $30-billion on defense; (the Pentagon thinks it is more like $97-billion or more), but please realize the USA spends $515-billion on our defense budget. [BBC reference: Link]

With that in mind, Beijing is spending $39-billion on these Beijing games. That is between there entire defense budget or one-third of their defense budget depending on who you believe. Imagine if the United States spent $200-billion on an Olympic Games? That comparable scale of spending would have to have a ripple effect within any economy. With Tibet going off, The Sudan, and Dafur as a political hot potato for China, these Olympics games could be China's "Rubicon." (The Rubicon was a river that Julius Ceasar crossed to reenter Rome. His crossing the Rubicon was the apex of his career. After that it was all down hill.)

If China is embarrassed by their pollution, poverty and human rights abuses, the games may be considered a success but China and it's communism may be considered a "flop" by the rest of the world.

The photo above is the lighting of the 2004 Olympic Flame. It was found here at the Beijing Olympic site: [Link]

Lochte uses fins, trains 3-5 miles a day, and he swims slow so he can focus on technique

From the New York Times: Even though Lochte has been swimming since he was 9, he has not yet perfected his strokes. “I spend more time on stroke mechanics now than I ever have,” he said.

He also spends part of each practice slowing things way down.

“The only way to really work on technique is to swim very slowly and really think about every little thing that you’re doing,” he said. “How your body is positioned, what your hips are doing, the positioning of your shoulders and hands and feet.”

His coach is mindful, too. [Link]

As for me, most of my gains have been the result of improving my dismal technique incrementally.

Monday, March 17, 2008

More on the 'You Tube hack'

Jason sent me this link regarding the "You Tube hack" this afternoon. It explains what strings you can setup after the URL to turn the You Tube video into such formats as Flash, MP4 and perhaps others, I was at work so I couldn't see the whole thing. When you are done watching it, check out my SPMA Regionals video from last year and note the quality difference.

Before the URL change: [link] After the URL change: [link]

Important information - you must try this at 'You Tube'

I learned this from Motionographer: If you view a movie at You Tube, go up to the URL and add &fmt=18 at the end of the URL. Both the quality and the audio will improve noticeably. I did this to an Ian Crocker video and it made a huge difference. Motionographer: [Link]

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The "Manhattan Island Marathon Swim" was today

Here is an article in the New York Times about the course and the logistics:

"... The visibility in some of the waterways surrounding Manhattan is so poor that a swimmer can barely see his own hands. The water is cold, the currents are powerful and debris can include plastic bags and dead fish. ..."

“...For each swimmer or team, there needs to be a powerboat and a kayak escort, and we can’t get the O.K. to have more boats out there,” Lisa Gilson, a member of the event’s advisory board, said. "..."

Most of the entry fee goes toward hiring the escort boats, which guide the swimmers through the race, ensure their safety and hold their crew.

Kathy Jaeger, captain of Team Barbie, a four-person relay team, said she was disappointed when her team landed far down on the waiting list for the main event. But her team eagerly accepted an invitation to participate in a quiet swim.

“It gives you a totally different view of Manhattan,” Jaeger said about swimming around the island. “When I went under the Brooklyn Bridge, I did backstroke so I could look up. When you swim past Yankee Stadium, nothing can beat it.” [Link] (Login required)

The results have not been posted yet. You will be able to find them here: [Link]

Check out Ian Crocker's dive at the Encore Swim Meet - Loving that swim cap too.

A fellow SCAQ member sent me these.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Should USA Swimming be considered a for-profit organization?

Matt Farrell is the managing director of business development for USA Swimming and he was on Swimming World's morning show and spoke with Brent Rutemiller regarding the Flowswimming fiasco. In no uncertain terms, phrases, or clichés he said that traditional media sources such as newspapers and magazines are the primary media sources that USAS wants at their swim meets and that they will not shut these media sources out.

Mr. Farrell then states bluntly and with conviction: "...USA Swimming and Wasserman do not share a goal of shutting out other members of the media at swimming events. He said USA Swimming's goal is to promote swimming and expose it to as many people as possible. ..." [Link]

In my opinion that is a scripted falsehood. In fact it is even demonstrable with numbers and swanky charts. For instance, if you go to a site called you will find a search engine where you can type in a website address and scan its rank within its particular field.

, the WMG property that hosted 2007 nationals, has a ranking of 614,337. That is not a bad ranking, it's not in the top 100k but it ranks twice as high as my blog and my site ranking isn't that bad either.

However, if you were USA Swimming and your goal was to "expose [swimming] to as many people as possible. ..." wouldn't you consider a media credential for a swim site that had a ranking that was perhaps twice as high as SwimNetwork's? What about a rank about 13-times higher? Well, has a rank or 45,962 as compared to Wasserman's 614,337 and Flowcast is the network that hosts Flowswimming.

The Wasserman Media Group, has pulled fan videos from You Tube that were displayed on this site, videos that were never more than a minute or two long. They did so by yanking them from You Tube thus denying tens-of-thousands of people the ability to see good swimming. If you want to expose swimming to as many people as possible, do you really go out of your way to pull fan videos or media credentials of those sites that have driving more media traffic to their sites as compared to your media partner?

Fact: the Kate Ziegler fan video alone has garnered over 22-thousand views on You Tube. Even WCSN, who hosts swim videos there as well, has as many as 60-thousand views on a single swim video. These statistics definitely conflict with Mr. Farrel's statement regarding USAS wanting to expose swimming to as many people as possible.

I think it is self evident what the truth is and it revolves around a man named Benjamin Franklin and that for me puts USAS non-profit status in question.

IOC urges the nations of earth not to boycott the Beijing Olympics over Tibet

Today the Greek God, Zeus... Actually, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said: "We believe that the boycott doesn't solve anything," Rogge told reporters on this Caribbean island. "On the contrary, it is penalizing innocent athletes and it is stopping the organization from something that definitely is worthwhile organizing."

I agree, I do not like boycotts! In my lifetime I have never seen the "Byzantine Seige" work to a favorable political outcome. This includes Iraq, twice; Iran, once; The Moscow Olympics; The Los Angeles and potentially the Beijing Olympics.

I don't know where I read this, but those borders not crossed by goods are eventually crossed by armiew. Here is the IOC article: [Link]

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

An exciting 100 LCM free at Texas but Roland Schoeman does not win it!

A very fast race and quite enjoyable to watch.

"Glass Tulips," "albino worms," and even a "trilobite analog" found at the Antarctic

An assortment of strange aliens discovered by the Australian Antarctic Division profiled at this time. Lots more pictures and links too. [Link]

Penguins made of ice were placed in a park in Brazil so as to educate the public through art the perils of global warming!

I found this at art installation at who found it originally at

When learning a specialized craft or something new most people "learn with their hands." For those nebulous concepts like Einstein's relativity principles, or global warming, it usually takes a good metaphor and boy does this metaphor work. There is one image at the 50 Graus site of a woman petting a melting penguin. For any artist or educator that is a home run.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Kara Lynn Joyce owns all swimming a :54.40 in the 100 LCM freestyle.

When you embed these you have to tweak the width and height.

I changed it to these settings: width="403" height="257"

See Tara Kirk swim a 1:07.39 100 LCM breaststroke at ""

I just discovered Blip.TV

Lot's of hi-rez swimming there!

A new 'Human Growth Hormone' test has been engineered for the Beijing Olympics

I don't understand how hard it could be to find HGH in someone's urine. If you look at the picture on the right, all they have to do is look for a giant mass of ping pong balls stuck to humongous wad of gum! ;-)

From ESPN: "... We know people have been taking human growth hormone with impunity and have been for 20 years," WADA director general David Howman said.

He said the test would be able to catch cheats within a window of "more than 48 hours."

Officials refused to give details, saying drug cheats needed to be left in the dark. But Fahey did say he was very confident about the tests.

"We all know these things end up in court more often than not," he said. "It's got to withstand the legal challenge as well. No reason to believe that all of that won't be in place and that there will be a capacity to test at the Beijing Olympics."

Fahey said traces of the drug could also be frozen and stored in samples for up to eight years, meaning users could still be caught and lose their medals years later.

"Scientists will say very clearly that the storage of plasma is capable of being tested effectively eight years," Fahey said. "It is scientifically sound." [Link]

After I wrote this post, a fellow blogger sent me news that a leading marathon runner has declined to compete in Beijing due to air quality issues. Here is a snippet from The Guardian article he sent: "LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - World record holder Haile Gebrselassie will aim for an Olympic marathon title at the 2012 London Games after deciding the pollution in Beijing this year represents an unacceptable health threat.

The twice Olympic 10,000 metres champion, who will be 39 in 2012, suffers from exercise-induced asthma and will not compete in Beijing unless he qualifies for the Ethiopian 10,000 team. ..." [Link]

The photo of the HGH molecule came from an anti-aging website that sells HGH. That is how easy it is to get if they are selling the real deal: [Link]

WOW! That shows them! Merrit has a well worded and poweful editorial regarding the 'WMG/USAS Flowswimming' fiasco

Here is a snippet: "... Recently there has been a deal made between USA Swimming and Wasserman Media Group. This union falls into the previously mentioned category of the miss guided institution teaming with the media consultant. Wasserman has a range of sports experience, but by no means are they swimming experts. Normally this sort of contract would not illicit much attention from the industry insiders, but the devil is in the details. As put forth in an interview with USA Swimming Executive Director, Chuck Wielgus, and , the contract between USA Swimming and Wasserman gives the organization 50% of the revenue, but it also gives Wasserman 100% control. Traditionally communications groups, such as Wasserman, act as a middle man between the organization and the media. They package news items and deliver them to the right media outlets. This particular deal however, sees Wasserman become the one and only media outlet. ..."

Merrit nails it. [Link]

I thought I had a link to Merrit's site in my sidebar, I am going to add it today!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Tara Kirk, American Record holder in the 50 breaststroke, does a "Save the Sharks" PSA!

Love the camera point of view when she snaps her turn. Perfect illustration of the new breaststroke turn. Love the message too.

It's ironic that I post this since today my best friend was attacked by a shark while surfing at Dillion Beach near San Francisco. He was 'duck diving' under a wave and four-to-five-foot long shark came up underneath him and did a header into his board thinking it was a seal's belly. The board twisted around lifting the shark out of the water and it started thrashing around for a half-a-second and then jammed. Scott actually stayed in the water and surfed some more too. I myself would have calmly exited the water.

His wife has issues with that and now he has to pay!

'Go Swim' has redesigned their site and they have indexed their content nicely

Glenn Mills has redesigned his site and it's a joy to go through now that his content has been better indexed.

I have always appreciated everything Glenn Mills has to say about swimming. Before there was Flowswimming or even before there was YouTube, Glenn Mills was out there posting 'kajillions' of Macromedia Flash movies of swim technique drills at his site is literally an encyclopedia of swim technique. His passion and love for the sport is clearly evident since all of the above content is free of charge.

The picture of above is just one photo in a series of eight of Kara Lynn Joyce grabbing lots of water with that HUGE catch of hers. Here is a direct link to the page featuring her stroke on a page titled "Centering your freestyle": [Link]

Here is a direct link to just some of his content:

Saturday, March 08, 2008

WMG secret swimming site leaked on College Swimming message board: Is the Wasserman Media Group closing down or rebranding Timed Finals?

It looks like Flowswimming has really struck a nerve with the WMG and they apparently are going to copy Floswimming's style, narrative, and content delivery premise. If you go through the site you will see that they don't get it right. Though the site is "alpha" the editorial is still mostly about the writers themselves rather than their subjects.

These writers are the same people from Timed Finals, hence, I suspect Timed Finals is going to evaporate. What will be interesting is to see what sort of role Scott Goldblatt will have?

Also, why did WMG buy Timed Finals which has an established brand and a devoted following? Now they are starting over with a new name, a new URL and a new engineering platform or content management system?

You would think they would have made an offer for Swimming World instead since when it comes to posting meet results I find it hardly coincidental that Timed Finals publishes the same results a 1/2 hour after Swimming World has.

Here is the new Swim Network alpha: [Link]

Here is College Swimming message board post that it was leaked: [Link]

Sorry, I can't enclosed any screen shots because I am afraid WMG will sue me.

Olympics Preparation: Beijing death camp for cats

China has gone from a feudal state to a partially regulated industrial age in the span of 37 years. That is an epic accomplishment but cities exist there that are choked with sulfurous smog, coal smoke, overcrowding, bad water, and poor sewage.

It's some regions it is a version of 182o's London when people were drinking from the same river they were defecating in or simply just defecated into a pit below the floorboards. If you could go back in time and walk down a London Street circa 1820, you would probably vomit or literally be infected by a virus or bacteria by the day's end. Unfortunately, the same reality applies to China.

Currently Chinese cats are suffering some hideous disease that disfigures them and makes them rather displeasing to the eye. Hence, cats are being culled in Beijing in time for the Olympics.

From the Daily Mail article: "...Thousands of pet cats in Beijing are being abandoned by their owners and sent to die in secretive government pounds as China mounts an aggressive drive to clean up the capital in preparation for the Olympic Games.

Hundreds of cats a day are being rounded and crammed into cages so small they cannot even turn around.

Then they are trucked to what animal welfare groups describe as death camps on the edges of the city...." Warning, graphic photo a sick cat within the article: [Link]

Ed Moses gives a breaststroke tutorial regarding "kicking your hands forward"

I actually have this video and he has a tattoo that says something like: "I will always do what my coach says." How's that for a work ethic? I bet the Marines would love him!

She's 13, lives in Brooklyn, wants to be compared with "Sippy" Woodhead and at 12-years old she qualified for the 2008 Olympic trials.

The New York Times has a profile on an extraordinary swimmer named Lia Neal.

Lia Neal: "...Neal stands out, anyway, because of her deft strokes and her dark skin. The youngest child of an African-American father and an Asian mother, she has been compared to another biracial prodigy who blossomed in a mostly white sport. The connection to Tiger Woods is perhaps inevitable, but Neal prefers being mentioned in the same breath as Cynthia ['Sippy'] Woodhead, a swimmer in the 1970s who, like Neal, qualified for the Olympic trials in the freestyle as a 12-year-old.

“I think I’ve heard of her,” Neal, her hair in braids and her eyes sparkling, said with a shy smile last week. She waded demurely into an interview at Asphalt Green, an Upper East Side athletic complex, before diving into a 10,000-yard workout. ..." [Link]

Here is a link to her team website: [Link]

Friday, March 07, 2008

Follow up on USA Swimming revoking 'Flowswimming's' media credential

If you would like to voice your opinion regarding the revoking of Flowswimming's USA Swimming media credential, a fellow SCAQ swimmer sent me this USAS email address:

Flowswimming is one of the finest swim video sites on the net but I am not optimistic as to the outcome of any protest but please voice your opinion anyway.

There is so much money involved between the Wasserman Media Group and USA Swimming that I suspect self-interested parties will not back down one bit. One rumor I heard six months ago was that enormous 6-figure commissions were paid out or will be paid out when the deal is signed.

This is the new culture we are in; if you don't believe me, just look at the NCAA. It's awash in media deal payoffs and exploitation of unpaid athletic talent. USA Swimming appears to be following their lead.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Zena Holloway under water photography

I'm in a meeting right now bored as hell so I surfed over to and found this blissful image posted by "Professor D"to lighten my mood. Heck, why look a PowerPoint of some telecom graphics that I have to alter when I can look at Zena Holloway's aquatic related art. [Link]

(I can multi-task like this since they are going over the same 30-seconds 60 times in a row.)

Here is a tip for any female swimmer thinking of posing nude for a kajillion-bucks or Euros: Get photos like these done and sell them for either an exclusive or as signed art prints and perhaps even a book. It would thereby take the "trash out of the cash" to produce such a worthy product as these.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sexy pools up high

Rooftop pool some 33 stories up at the Traders Hotel in Kuala Lumpur [Link]

From Wikipedia, a pool somewhere in New York photographed from the Empire State Building: [Link]

This one comes from DB Realty down under: [Link]

Welcome to the Hilton Checkers rooftop pool in downtown L.A.: [Link]

Found at Hotel Splash this pool the, Hotel Loukas, is in Greece: [Link]

I was shooting for 10 pools but I am to tired. I will post more soon. :-)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Russia wants more pools!

R.C. sent me this link from the Christian Science Monitor regarding Russia's newest President, Dmitri Medvedev, who swims double workouts and has promised a policy of building new swimming pools among others. [Link]

Over at the International Herald Tribune you can read him definitively say it in an interview: "... Russia has problems insofar as swimming is concerned. As someone who is twice a day in a swimming lane, I want to point out that there is a disastrous shortage of swimming pools in this country.

[Question:] So, we should start trying to master the crawl and the breaststroke?

Photo came from Wikipedia under Creative Commons license: [Link]

And play football. We'll have to do something with that! The people are so fond of this game, and we haven't had any great successes in the international arena for a hundred years. We are fed up with waiting! In any case, it's been a long time since I've had such an emotional rush as I did at Luzhniki after our win over the English. ..." [Link]

Floswimming gtes angry letter from USA Swimming

UPDATE: Post edited to remove hyperbole. Never post something in a hurry.

Floswimming lost it's USA Swimming swim meet credentials because Grant videoed part of a meet thereby breaking broadcast rules. Here is a letter USA Swimming sent him. [Link]

Monday, March 03, 2008

White people CAN jump but the English can't swim!

What is up with you British, don't you want to go swimming? Your local governments and citizens are tearing down, shutting down, abandoning, bulldozing, vandalizing and summarily destroying every pool that gets discovered. Finally your press is taking notice. From The Telegraph; (which is James Bond's favorite paper):

"... If trends continue, school swimming pools, being lost at a rate of 10 per cent a year in many areas, will have fallen to 750 nationally from the 3,000 that existed in the 1980s, threatened by the "Building Schools For The Future" programme, which in many cases precludes the rebuilding of pools.

Duncan Goodhew, the British Olympic swimming gold medallist, said yesterday: "It's a disgrace, a national scandal. Every school within a certain radius must have a pool, and every Specialist Sports College should have a pool. A swimming pool is not something a school should have to fight for." Unfortunately, under the "Building For the Future" programme, many schools are having to do just that. ..." [Link]

A Google map is included giving the locations of each closer. That is PATHETIC! -- Now do something! [Link]

CNET: Olympics-themed alternate-reality game goes live

Mulhollad Dr. meets the Olympics! "...

The game, known as Find the Lost Ring, is built around a story line in which a young woman named Ariadne says she woke up on February 12 in a South African corn maze with amnesia and knows nothing about who she is or where she comes from.

The game's conceit will be to have players help Ariadne find her identity through a complex series of online and, most likely, real-world clues and puzzles. Somehow, it will all be tied in to the Olympics. One clue on the game's site says she offers up the "fact" that, after waking up, she spent a week in the hospital being treated for her very rare form of amnesia and that doctors there "say I'm an Olympic-caliber athlete. ..." [Link]

It's official, I'm playing!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Ceasar Cielo uses a straight arm recovery!

UPDATE: Reedit number three of this of this post with better references especially since Glen Mills says it better than I do in the third and fourth paragraphs and I also included an article he wrote dedicatd to the subject. Also, I quote the Canuck Swimmer way better:

Technique should not be a religious conviction but rather a evolving process validated by the clock.

The Total Immersion school refrains from a straight arm recovery and in my opinion they should adjust and be less dogmatic. Note Ceasar Cielo's straight arm recovery. So, now we have Stefan Nystrand, Eamon Sulivan and Cesar Cielo swimming and winning with a straight arm recovery. This is more evidence that swim technique should be adopted to one's body type and abilities rather than compromising one's ability or strengths to fit into a specific technique or form.

Glen Mills says: "... My opinion is simply that they should each be tried, cause ya never know which is going to be right for the swimmer until each has been somewhat explored.

You can tell pretty quickly with most swimmers, but with some it's going to take more work. From a physiological, and biomechanical point of view, since no two people are created the same, I personally don't think we can say one has an advantage over the other. Of course, until you apply it to one person... then we're back to the previous statement, search, experiment, explore, then determine. ..." [Link]

Here is an article by Glenn Mills dedicated completely to the subject of arm recovery: "...Everyone will have a slightly different recovery, based on physiology, age, gender, strength, fitness level, flexibility, goal of swim, etc. (you can see there are a lot of variables). Yet with all the variations and suggestions about the proper recovery, everyone is pretty much agreed that the GOAL is to get the hand to the point at which it’s going to begin the next stroke. Generally, you want to achieve full extension out front, enough rotation to hook your body into the stroke, and (hopefully) not too many air bubbles UNDER the hand (even that’s open to debate). ..." [Link]

The Canuckswimmer stated on his blog: "...A column written by Olympic gold medalist and physician Gary Hall Sr. goes a step further and speculates this technique may be a major contributing factor in their success by virtue of its ability to utilize centrifugal force to speed up the recovery stroke.

Clay Evans said that exceptionally strong upper bodies of the swimmers in question all have the ability to use their arms as effective fulcrums leveraging more water like a kayak paddle.

My take is that the freestyle stroke becomes a physically simpler stroke to execute with less "wiggle" and "fewer moving parts" since a straight arm recovery forces the hips and shoulders to rotate in unison thereby leveraging the body into the proper hydro-dynamic position setting up a better streamline scenario for a powerful catch.

Clay Evans, Lyle Nellie and Erik Hochstein told me that during a sprint you reach your maximum speed by the 4th or 5th stroke and that is when you relax and just maintain momentum. Erik, Clay and Lyle called it "easy speed." So does Bonnie Adair. Hence, the simpler the execution, the easier it is to relax and maintain momentum and that is the crux of all swimming: maintaining momentum.

I am not a great swimmer, I may even be the slowest blogger but I love swimming and I love trying to improve my swimming in every workout. I do that by listening, practicing and refining. This straight arm rcovery has me intrigued!