Monday, March 31, 2008

thanou gets jones's golds

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/athletics/7323112.stm

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Coolest guy ever

Notice the cigar.  And the parrot.  And the dirt bike.  And the riding boots.  And the cool ass leather satchels.  

And the foakleys.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

fwd from hallc: alumni mile

Chicago Alumni,

For the past several months I believe people have been talking about the first ever Alumni Mile. I wanted to send an email out to really begin preparing for this and making final arrangements. I have heard there is a lot of interest and would like to start getting entries and passing this along to others. Unfortunately I don't have emails for many of our alumni so if any of you are willing to help by forwarding this on to others I would appreciate it.

Here's what's going on:
Date: Saturday April 19th (following the last event of Day 1 of the UAA Track Meet)
Time: 4:00 PM (possibly 10 - 15 minutes later depending upon the conclusion of day 1 events)
Site: Ted Haydon Track - The University of Chicago
For those of you that don't know the outdoor track was completely renovated in September and they did a very nice job on the facility. Lights, field turf metric track.
Event: Alumni Mile

If you are planning on running please hit reply to this email and let me know.

Chicago Alumni Jersey:
If you would like to purchase an Alumni Jersey I could take care of this for everyone. Simply pass along the size you would like and if I can put together an order by April 5th I should be able to get these to anyone competing on the 19th. Not sure of pricing but would estimate about $18 per uniform top (possibly less depending upon the number ordered). I would purchase the uniforms through Asics.

Again, please pass this along to others or pass along emails to me of others.

Best ~ Coach Hall

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Netscape founder on Obama

Right before Obama set off to become a presidential candidate, the founder of Netscape, Marc Andreessen, got to chat with him for over an hour. Andreessen raises one obvious point which Obama supporters would do well to use as a reply to Hillary's attacks:
We asked him directly, how concerned should we be that you haven't had meaningful experience as an executive -- as a manager and leader of people?

He said, watch how I run my campaign -- you'll see my leadership skills in action.

At the time, I wasn't sure what to make of his answer -- political campaigns are often very messy and chaotic, with a lot of turnover and flux; what conclusions could we possibly draw from one of those?

Well, as any political expert will tell you, it turns out that the Obama campaign has been one of the best organized and executed presidential campaigns in memory. Even Obama's opponents concede that his campaign has been disciplined, methodical, and effective across the full spectrum of activities required to win -- and with a minimum of the negative campaigning and attack ads that normally characterize a race like this, and with almost no staff turnover. By almost any measure, the Obama campaign has simply out-executed both the Clinton and McCain campaigns.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Pernicious

Fucking xenophobes
In my mind, the biggest issue on immigration is how we're shutting out so many qualified, educated, experts.  Thousands of honest engineers, academics, medical doctors, etc., can't get into the states to study or work these days because of a shortage of visas, and a rash of red tape. 

Soon enough, China, India, and Europe are going to start looking a lot more appealing to the world's finest human capital.  Talk about hurting the American economy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

15 feet waves moving at 35 mph:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Molasses_Disaster

I want to know how I missed this for the last 20+ years of my life. Someone had to have heard about this. Juravich? Anyone?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Self-Promotion and Social Justice

I'm a recorded artist!
So last winter I recorded a few tracks for an album called "Dare the Untried" with a Chicago-based group named Voices. I was really excited to be asked to play on this because I've been listening to their music ever since I was a little kid and my parents took the fam to one of their concerts in a big old church on the North Side. I used to play Voices cassettes in my car on the way to high school. They sing both traditional and original folk music, mostly with themes of social justice, civil rights, and non-violence. 
The new album is all original music by current Voices members, and you can hear clips of it (or even order the CD or download the mp3) at http://cdbaby.com/cd/voiceschicago. I play viola on 'Eyes Wide Open', 'The One I See' and 'About the Boys'. 
I'm really excited about how the CD turned out. Let me know what you think. 

Monday, February 18, 2008

U of C Advertising on the NYT website

Has anyone else seen this ad for the U of C summer school placed on the NYT website?  It doesn't seem to be showing up on the front page, but I've seen it in several places, like Stanley Fish's (Blurghf!) column.

Interesting that we're advertising ourselves in a national newspaper -- especially given that the summer school program is pretty clearly just a cash cow for the university.  

Selling out, or just getting more savvy? I'm conflicted.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Favorite Post-Grunge 90s Moment

Two weeks into the 8th Grade, I was a devout follower of all things 90s rock courtesy of the local station "Today's 99.3" in Northampton that played all the monster hits by Orbit, Spacehog, Better Than Ezra, Gin Blossoms, and of course, The Wallflowers, who made the cover of Rolling Stone that summer and were making waves with that heartthrob son of Bob Dylan's fronting the band. Hell, they were my first concert in 7th Grade at Mount Holyoke College. But I'm rambling already.

Point is, I was probably as big a Wallflowers fan as one could be, but also a closet Springsteen fan (nobody admits this in 7th grade when you hate your parents' music as a matter of principle, but I'd grown up on the Boss, and I could play his entire first 6 albums on guitar), when THIS happened at the MTV Video Music Awards. It was f-ing incredible. I don't think I could have been more pumped if I tried. They take this video down pretty quickly whenever it goes up on youtube, so have a gander while you can.

For a great analysis of what's happening here, I quote awesome ESPN columnist Bill 'The Sports Guy' Simmons, and one of his readers. 

Craigslist Gold Digger Ad

http://www.bankersball.com/2007/10/03/500k-gold-digger-gets-slammed/

“$500k” Gold Digger Gets Slammed

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sports and Politics

So, Britain will be requiring its athletes not to criticize China, as will New Zealand and Belgium. Angry commentators are pointing to this incident as a reason that policies like this are a terrible idea. 

This dredges up the old divide/replacement debate about sports and politics. Someone with a better handle on the specifics could speak to the role of the ancient Olympics in greek society, but certainly they were intended as a counterpoint to battle at some level, and the modern olympics have retained this in their ideals, even prompting a UN-sanctioned notion of the 'Olympic Peace'.

But, of course, politics have found their way into the modern Olympics. Hitler used the 1936 Berlin games to showcase the supremacy of the Aryan race (until Jesse Owens blew a few holes in that theory), and the USA and USSR traded boycotts in 1980 and 1984 (ours was ostensibly to protest the invasion of Afghanistan, theirs was basically a 'right back atchya' maneuver). I'm of the opinion the boycott was a terrible idea, mixing sport and diplomacy in all the wrong ways and accomplishing nothing in either arena. However, I think Tommie Smith and Juan Carlos' salute at the 1968 games was completely within their rights as athletes and citizens, showing solidarity with people struggling against oppression. 

However, Smith and Carlos were commenting on their own country--would there be more of a breach if an American athlete wore a 'Free Tibet' T-shirt on the podium in China? I don't know. Still, I hope someone does--ideally, I hope a Chinese athlete does, but I sincerely doubt that will happen. 

Just to close out my rambles, here's another wild story about the collision of the olympics and politics

Ice Herms, 2008 (Update 1)


Breaking news: More ice herms to be erected tonight. Round two begins.

More info coming soon.

UPDATE (2/12): Here is the first documented sighting. More photos coming soon. Way to represent UCXC 2008!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Saturday, February 9, 2008

An embittered tirade against Adam Sandler

I'm pretty sure this article is a pile of shit, although I think I agree with parts of what it's trying to say. An excerpt from the full article:
Child-Man in the Promised Land
Today’s single young men hang out in a hormonal limbo between adolescence and adulthood.
By KAY S. HYMOWITZ
It’s 1965 and you’re a 26-year-old white guy. You have a factory job, or maybe you work for an insurance broker. Either way, you’re married, probably have been for a few years now; you met your wife in high school, where she was in your sister’s class. You’ve already got one kid, with another on the way. For now, you’re renting an apartment in your parents’ two-family house, but you’re saving up for a three-bedroom ranch house in the next town. Yup, you’re an adult!

[...]

Not so long ago, the average mid-twentysomething had achieved most of adulthood’s milestones—high school degree, financial independence, marriage, and children. These days, he lingers—happily—in a new hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. Decades in unfolding, this limbo may not seem like news to many, but in fact it is to the early twenty-first century what adolescence was to the early twentieth: a momentous sociological development of profound economic and cultural import. Some call this new period “emerging adulthood,” others “extended adolescence”; David Brooks recently took a stab with the “Odyssey Years,” a “decade of wandering.”...
Nostalgia posing as thought.

Responses?