Olympic Briefing: Cross Country

Paying Attention: Cross Country skiing is the sport of ski touring across snow covered terrain using skis and poles. The skis are thinner than those used for downhill skiing and because participants are expected to go uphill as well as downhill, the sport can be quite demanding physically.Along with swimming, cross country skiing is considered one of the most perfect sports for fitness and endurance..if you can survive the learning curve.There  will be multiple cross country events (sometimes abbreviated as XC) in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Check out this wiki for more background on the sport.
The sport is most popular in Northern Europe, Canada and Alaska. Cross country skiing grew rapidly in the seventies and eighties due to a technology disruption, when a small  and innovative American company named Trak Ski Company introduced a “fish scale” bottom on their cross country skis which enabled skiers to climb hills without having to stop and wax  the skis to improve the grip.  A pretty terrific Official Olympic Video on Cross Country Skiing and the sports greatest athlete, Bjorn Daelie,  is archived for viewing at YouTube.

Olympic Briefing: Biathlon

Paying Attention: Saturday’s Olympic schedule has the first round of Biathlon competition. Biathlon is a “fusion” sport–it combines cross country skiing with target shooting.  The key is to move around  the course quickly (which uses lots of energy and ramps up the heart rate) and then slow down your heart rate and nerves enough to do well in the shooting (the contestants use .22LR competition rifles) portion of the event. It is not easy. A complete and very short course in Biathlon, which has lots of variants in terms of distance and is a sport contested by both men and women–can be found in this wiki. Also, YouTube hosts a concise Official Olympic Video on Biathlon that will get you into the sport.

Olympic Briefing: Slopestyle

Paying Attention: Slopestyle is new to the 2014 Olympics. The video (special thanks to GoPro for making this and other POV videos available) and this wiki should brief you on the event and it’s challenges (and dangers). Already, one high profile contestant, Shaun White, has dropped out citing a wrist injury. White is going for his third gold medal in the snowboard half-pipe, where he will try to make history. We had another video tee’d up for the Slopestyle preview, but, regrettably, the Olympic Committee doesn’t want their material viewed on websites other than “official ones” , like YouTube (On the other hand, you’d think they’d want to gather up as much distribution as possible).  That’s fine–they produced the work and have rights which we respect–so to see the Official Olympic Preview of Slopestyle, via YouTube, just click here. 

SONY Backs Up

News Sources say that SONY is now in talks to sell its PC Business in Japan. The end of an era has come to one of the more stylish PC companies.
News Sources say that SONY is now in talks to sell its PC Business in Japan. The end of an era has come to one of the more stylish PC companies.

Press Clippings: At one time, SONY  products were the envy of the electronic world.
They had terrific and clean industrial design, ahead-of-the-crowd engineering, vision (Walkman, Trinitron). SONY broadcasting equipment was the gold standard at the networks and responsible for bringing you the biggest sporting events and the most popular shows.
Among PCs, the SONY Vaio models were the only ones which had the type of high-level design and elegance associated with Apple’s Macintosh line of computers. And then, over time, Apple put more distance between itself and it’s Windows-running competitors. SONY’s PCs, no matter how beautifully designed, could not keep up in terms of performance and convenience with the more tightly integrated, more elegant software found in Apple computers. That situation didn’t force SONY into commodity mode–i.e. reducing prices on their sleek laptops–and so SONY’s top level product remained priced at the top as the market for PCs in general and pricey PCs in particular started it’s downward spiral.
Now, SONY appears to realize it’s over. Several news sources reported today that SONY is in preliminary discussions to divest it’s PC business. Here’s the link to one particularly good article, on Bloomberg.
It’s the end of another electronic era, for yet another formerly major player.
And yet, today, some evidence that it didn’t have to end that way, in this short post , first picked up/noticed by Daring Fireball.
The disruption will continue.
 

Olympic Briefing: Spectator ClickPack

The logo of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. It is the first Olympic logo to have the web address embedded into the design.
Paying Attention: The 2014 Winter Olympics are upon us. Chances are your Russian is not quite as good as your Spanish, which is miserable compared to your English, so here, in one spot, are all the links you need to follow, understand, and enjoy the Games. Everything you need for deep background is one click away. Special thanks to WikiPedia, USA Today, CNN, NBC, and the Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee for producing/providing this information.

The 2014 Winter Olympics Overview

An Interactive Map of the Sochi Winter Olympics

How to Watch The Olympics on A Phone or Tablet

The 2014 Olympics NBC Schedule 

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Schedule 

 
 
 

Olympic Briefing: The Events

 

The logo of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. It is the first Olympic logo to have the web address embedded into the design.
The logo of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. It is the first Olympic logo to have the web address embedded into the design.

Paying Attention:  The 2014 Winter Olympics officially open on Friday, the 7th of February, but the first events (   Men’s and Women’s Snowboarding qualification and Team Men and Team Pairs short skating program) actually goes off today, 6 February 2014. To get prepped for the Winter Olympics–our favorite here at the Media Bunker because of all the cool technology, speed, and close proximity to real danger–we’ve produced a package of posts, blogs, and links created to give you some new insight into the most televised Olympic games of our time. NBC has been ramping it up for this one–the first to be done with their Olympic guru (Dick Ebersol) watching over the production. NBC will broadcast and stream all of the events from the Olympics. Because of the 9 hour time difference between Sochi and the United States, none of the events will be viewed live in primetime in the US, but if you have a tablet, computer, smart phone or  a cable tv connection, you can get all the Olympic coverage your heart desires.

To set the stage for the coverage that follows on this site–and for background on what to expect–below please find a list of all of the events of the 2014 Winter Olympics. It is an astonishingly ambitious list of sports and competitions, breathtaking in the range of athletic activities that are to be contested. At the end of the 2014 Olympics, we can count on having witnessed some very dramatic stories, a major comeback or two, some heartbreaking fails,  a few rousing final performances on the world’s biggest stage for winter sports, and the emergence of a new set of personalities, commercial endorsers, and media kings and queens. But here’s where they will start: the Events of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Alpine Skiing
–Men’s downhill
–Women’s Super combined
–Men’s Super Combined
–Women’s Super G
–Men’s Super G
–Women’s Giant Slalom
–Men’s Giant Slalom
–Women’s Slalom
–Men’s Slalom
Biathlon
–Men’s 10KM spring
–Women’s 7.5KM pursuit
–Men’s 12.5km pursuit
–Women’s 10km pursuit
–Men’s 20KM individual
–Women’s 15KM individual
–Men’s 15KM mass start
–Women’s 12.5km mass start
–Mixed 4×6.5KM relay
–Women’s 4 x 6km relay
–Men’s 4 x 6.5km relay
Bobsled
–Two man
–Four man
–Two women
Cross Country Skiing
–Women’s skiathlon
–Men’s skiathlon
–Individual sprint free men’s
–Individual sprint free women’s
–Women’s 10KM classical
–Men’s 15KM classical
–4x5KM relay women
–4x10KM relay men
–Team sprint, classical men
–Team sprint, classical, women
–Women’s 30KM mass start free
–Men’s 50Km mass start free
Curling
–Men’s
–Women’s
Figure Skating
–Men’s Singles
–Women’s Singles
–Pair Skating
–Ice Dancing
–Team Trophy
Freestyle Skiing
–Women’s Moguls
–Men’s Moguls
–Women’s Slopestyle
–Men’s Slopestyle
–Women’s Aerials
–Men’s Aerials
–Men’s Halfpipe
–Men’s ski cross
–Women’s Halfpipe
–Women’s ski cross
Ice Hockey
–Men’s ice hockey
–Women’s ice hockey
Luge
–Men’s Singles
–Women’s Singles
–Doubles
–Team Relay
Nordic combined (ski jumping & cross country skiing)
–Men’s individual large hill
–Men’s individual normal hill
–Team Large Hill 4 x 5KM
Short Track speed skating
–Men’s 500 Meters
–Men’s 1000 Meters
–Men’s 1500 Meters
–Men’s 5000 Meter Relay
–Women’s 500 Meters
–Women’s 1000 Meters
–Women’s 1500 Meters
–Women’s 3000 Meter Relay
Skeleton
–Men’s
–Women’s
Ski Jumping
–Men’s Individual Normal Hill
–Men’s Individual Large Hill
–Men’s Team Large Hill
–Women’s Individual Normal Hill
Snowboarding
–Men’s Slopestyle
–Women’s Slopestyle
–Men’s Halfpipe
–Women’s Halfpipe
–Women’s snowboard cross
–Men’s snowboard cross
–Men’s and Women’s Parallel Giant slalom
–Men’s and Women’s Parallel Slalom
Speed Skating
–Men’s 500 Meters
–Men’s 1000 Meters
–Men’s 1500 meters
–Men’s 5000 Meters
–Men’s 10,000 Meters
–Team Pursuit
–Women’s 500 Meters
–Women’s 1000 Meters
–Women’s 3000 Meters
–Women’s 5000 Meters
–Team Pursuit
Total: 98 Events. 
 
 

John Frinzi: Not Looking Back

The Hunt For New Music:
“Living in this town ever since high school,
getting nowhere fast, feeling like a fool
He’s Been pushed and shoved and kicked around
Life’s been tough, getting knocked down
Tired of this town and just can’t stay
Driving down that dirt road just to get away
Up and down that road,
Dirt turns to pavement, he’s not looking back….”
Not Looking Back 
Stubbled across John Frinzi in a late night hunt for new music. His name had popped up when I was looking for caribbean/beach music. Pulled down a few of his songs and found that he’s an artist who cuts a very fine line between John Mellencamp and Jimmy Buffet. The spotlighted song here, “Not Looking Back”, carries a message I’m pretty familiar with–moving out of a small town and onto something bigger. A lot of us have been there, some more than most. Great tune that reflects a certain sentiment very well. It’s from Frinzi’s album Into the Dawn, featuring Doyle Gresham.  Frinzi has a lot of other good songs, but we’ll start with this one, and bring some of the others to the site a bit later.

The NFL All-Time All-Star Nickname Team

 
Paying Attention:   With the Superbowl just hours away and the TV packed with lots of great old bits and remembrances of football players great and no-so-great, it seemed like an appropriate time to come up with an All Star team of my own.
Didn’t want to base it on stats or playoff game performances, but decided to select the team on something a little more colorful. a terrific nickname. Position played is not a factor.
Below: the first annual NFL All-Star Nickname Team..special thanks to running buddy and football advisor Russ Kirkland who helped compile this list.
“Broadway Joe” Namath
William “Refrigerator” Perry
“Mean Joe” Green
“Hollywood” Henderson
“Neon” Deion Sanders
Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch
John “Diesel”  Riggins
Jerome “The Bus”  Bettis
“Bullet” Bob Hayes
Ben “Big Ben” Rothlisburger
Lance “Bambi” Alworth
Jack “The Assassin” Tatum
Andre “Bad Moon”  Rison
Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch
Gene “Big Daddy” Lipscombe
“Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid” (  Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick of the Miami Dolphins)
Troy “The Flyin’ Hawaiian” Polamalu
“Dwight Hicks and the Hot Licks” The  1984 San Francisco 49ers Secondary lead by Dwight Hicks
Art “Fatso” Donovan
Dave “Ghost” Casper
Brett “The Gunslinger” Favre
“Hacksaw Jack” Reynolds
Paul Hornung, AKA “The Golden Boy”
Jared “The Round Mound of Touchdown” Lorenzon, also known as the “Pillsbury Throwboy”
“The Hogs”, nickname for the Washington Redskins Offensive line
“Iron Mike” Ditka
Craig “Iron Head” Heywood
“The Law Firm” is BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Jim “Machine Gun”  Kelly
Ted “Mad Stork” Hendricks
Dick “Night Train” Lane
“The Manster” , Randy White
“Marion The Barbarian”  Barber
Calvin “Megatron”  Johnson
Eugene “Mercury” Morris
Reggie White, the “Minister of Defense “
Daryl “Moose” Johnston
“The Mossiah”,   Randy Moss
Aaron “Mr. Rodgers” Rodgers
Christian Okoye, “The Nigerian Nightmare”
Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson
“The Playmaker”, Michael Irvin
Floyd “Pork Chop” Womack
“The Purple People Eaters”, nickname for the  1970s Minnesota Vikings Defensive Line (Alan Page, Carl Eller, Gary Larsen, Jim Marshall)
Robert, “RG3”  Griffin III
“Rodger the Dodger”Staubach
Raghib “Rocket” Ismail
“Run DMC” , Dexter McCluster
“The Sheriff” , Peyton Manning
Walter “Sweetness” Payton
Jack “The Throwin’ Samoan” Thompson
Billy “White Shoes” Johnson
 
 
 

The Hidden Life of The Auto Show

Press Clippings

Behind the Glitz and Glamour at an auto show lies a secret but important world of display architecture. Photo by  Anthony22 Feb 2009. Used under Creative Commons License.
Behind the Glitz and Glamour at an auto show lies a secret but important world of display architecture. Photo by Anthony22 Feb 2009. Used under Creative Commons License.

This time of year is Auto Show time. All across the U.S., the big manufacturers unveil their latest designs and models. The Coolist site did a very nice job looking at the architecture behind the displays. These displays are beautifully produced and show the cars off to best advantage–why can’t automobile dealerships have the same sense of excitement and elegance?

Dial Tones

Press Clippings: Google’s decision to sell Motorola to Lenova has everyone’s ears perked up. What does it mean for: Motorola? Google? Lenova? Apple? Samsung? Sony? Mobility? Cell phones? Too early to tell and the transaction still has to pass government scrutiny, but there are some reasoned responses out there and one of the best can be found at Bloomberg.com. Give it a read and be the most informed person in the room on the ins/outs and implications of the transaction.

Google sells Motorola to Lenova, but keeps the patents. What does this mean for Google? And how does this sale make Android system users happier
Google sells Motorola to Lenova, but keeps the patents. What does this mean for Google? And how does this sale make Android system users happier