Saturday, June 30, 2012

Highest air on a quarterpipe

 SANTA MONICA, CA, USA --Freestyle motocross
star Ronnie Renner jumped 59 feet, 2 inches on a quarterpipe on the Santa Monica Pier. setting the world record for the Highest air on a quarterpipe.

  "I'm totally blown away that I went 59 feet," said Renner, who was shooting for at least 50 feet. "I can't believe the fan turnout. Everything was absolutely perfect. The fifth and sixth ones, I was giving it everything I had."

  Ronnie Renner went just over 54 feet on his third jump, then was just under 53 feet on his fourth attempt.After going just more than 53 feet on his fifth jump, he decided to do a last jump for the crowd.

   "All or nothing," he said. "I knew what I needed to do on the last one, all for the crowd. Way past my goal of 50 feet. I'm just pumped on this. Never jump when they say, 'One more time.' But I'm glad I did it — five feet higher and I rode away to talk about it."

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Launch of the Cartier Tank Watch Collection

Cartier Tank Watch1 268x300 Launch of the Cartier Tank Watch CollectionLaunch of the Cartier Tank Watch Collection
On Thursday 19th April, Cartier UK will celebrate the much anticipated launch of the Tank Anglaise, part of the iconic Cartier Tank collection. It will be held at the Kensington Palace Orangery, a venue that aptly embodies the spirit of the Tank Anglaise – its British heritage, grandeur and elegance.

The Tank watch, Cartier’s most iconic timepiece since its birth in 1917, still remains one of its most prestigious and recognised pieces spanning the last century. Following in the footsteps of the Tank Américaine (1980) and the Tank Française (1996), the Tank Anglaise was a logical progression – a watch to correspond to each of the three historical temples of the Maison.

From the 1900s the Tank watch quickly became a popular accessory for those in the public eye. With many famous wearers of the Tank including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Marlene Dietrich, the Tank Anglaise takes its place in Cartier’s rich history.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Zion Park Motel in Springdale, Utah, has towering red sandstone cliffs as a backdrop.  The motel was built in 1972.

Monday, June 18, 2012

"Shiprock Storm"

Photographer Mitch Dobrowner finds beauty in Southwest landscapes.  "Shiprock Storm" is from Navajo Nation, N. M.



The Herkimer Arms, a two-story gunite structure, was built in 1911 as 8 individual box-like apartments.  Relocated to its new site at 407 N. Raymond Avenue, it will be converted into two units:  one unit on each floor and each nearly 3,000 square feet.  Several important architectural features remain including decorative terra cotta ceramic tile roof vents and built-in bookcases with trundle beds. 

Out for a stroll

Daredevil Nik Wallenda succeeded in walking across Niagara Falls on a tightrope Friday night, crossing the 550-metre gorge high above the roaring waters.

This Day in Baseball

This Day in Baseball

On this day -- June 17 1915 _ George "Zip" Zabel of the Chicago Cubs was called into the game against the Brooklyn Dodgers with two outs in the first inning. He won 4-3 in the 19th inning in the longest relief effort in the majors.

Compiled by PAUL MONTELLA - Associated Press
A Day When Ryne Sandberg SPARKLED !!!

On this day, June 17, 1984, Chicago's Ryne Sandberg hit two late-inning home runs off St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bruce Sutter to tie the game twice as the Cubs went on to win 12-11 in 11 innings. Sandberg led off the ninth inning with a solo home run to tie the game 9-9 then hit a two-run, two-out homer in the 10th to tie the game 11-11.  What makes this day even more special is the fact that it involved two CUB GREATS/GREAT CUBS ==Cubs Fans everywhere will ALWAYS remember fondly the days when Ryne Sandberg and Bruce Sutter wore the Cubs uniform and performed their MAGIC.

 Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo scores by Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group B match between Portugal and the Netherlands in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday, June 17, 2012. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Next Great American Runner?

German Fernandez is arguably the best high school runner ever. He demolished the CIF state meet record in cross country (14:24 for 5k), won the USA Junior Cross Country championships (24:18 for 8k), ran the best distance double in high school history at the California State meet (4:00.29/8:34.23 for 1600m/3200m), and then broke Jeff Nelson's 29-year old 2-mile record, running 8:34.40!

German is now a sophomore at Oklahoma State University, where he has already set a junior indoor world record for the mile (3:55.02), repeated as USA Junior Cross Country champion, broke the junior American record for 3000m (7:47.97) and 5000m (13:25.46), and won the NCAA 1500m title in 3:39.00!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pentagon to soon deploy pint-sized but lethal Switchblade drones

The Switchblade drone is designed to fit into a soldier's rucksack. It weighs less than 6 pounds and can take out a sniper on a rooftop, without blasting the building to bits. The drone also enables soldiers in the field to identify and destroy targets much more quickly by eliminating the need to call in a strike from large drones that may be hundreds of miles away.

 (AeroVironment / January 20, 2009),0,3893056.story

"Magical Marionettes"

Bob Baker, 88, with puppet Don Tortilla, needs donations, an investor or a puppet-friendly buyer to help keep the beloved Bob Baker Marionette Theater in business.

 (Genaro Molina, Los Angeles Times / June 6, 2012)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

"Car Talk" to Evolve

They were a couple of auto mechanics with a pronounced Boston brogue and, improbably, degrees from MIT. They hadn't a clue how to perform on radio, much less public radio.
So Tom and Ray Magliozzi just decided to have a good time. The result was "Car Talk," which shattered the perception that public radio is inaccessible to the masses and became National Public Radio's top-rated weekend show.

Brothers Tom, left, and Ray Magliozzi, shown in 1991, say they'll stop turning out new shows. 

"Car Talk" made its debut in 1977 on WBUR in Boston after the Magliozzis were approached to field calls seeking automotive advice on a community radio station. The Magliozzis were such a hit they were offered their own show. Ten years later, they were picked up for syndication by NPR.
"Not many shows that are maintenance, how-to shows can carry it off where people listen to be entertained. That makes the show extremely potent," said Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers Magazine, which tracks the talk radio industry.
Repackaging "Car Talk" with material from the last 25 years, Harrison said, is a novelty "but it's better than it going away completely. It's a very smart idea to keep it going by reorganizing the material so that people can continue to hear it." 

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China was built over an extended period of time ranging between 5th century BC and the 16th century AD. The wall stretches over 4,000 miles and was originally built to protect the northern borders from attacks from Xiongnu.

The wall was built in sections, the most famous of which was built around 206 BC by Qin Shi Huang, the first Chinese Emperor. Historic documents and archaeological estimates predict that around 3 million Chinese died during the construction of the entire wall. New sections of the wall have recently been uncovered.

Costa Concordia disaster

The cruise ship Costa Concordia partially sank on the night of 13 January 2012 after hitting a reef off the Italian coast and running aground at Isola del Giglio, Tuscany, requiring the evacuation of the 4,252 people on board. Thirty-two people are known to have died; 64 others were injured(at least two seriously) and two were still missing as of April 2012. Two passengers and a crewmember trapped inside were rescued in the days after the incident.

Captain Francesco Schettino had deviated from the ship's computer-programmed route to treat people on Isola del Giglio to the spectacle of a close sail-past or near-shore salute. The ship was on the first leg of a planned 6-port cruise from Civitavecchia when she hit a reef off Isola del Giglio and started to take in water, flooding the engine room and generators, causing the ship to drift for more than an hour off the eastern shore of Isola del Giglio before running aground and being evacuated.

After the event, Schettino was arrested on preliminary charges of multiple manslaughter in connection with causing a shipwreck, failing to assist 300 passengers, and failing to be the last to leave the wreck. He was subsequently also charged with failing to describe to maritime authorities the scope of the disaster (for which seven other officers and managers of Costa Cruises are under investigation) and with abandoning incapacitated passengers.


The Maya of  Tikal considered Temple I the portal to the Underworld. Ha Sawa Chaan K’awil brought Tikal back to its position of wealth and power. He lived a long life (60 to 80 years), leading a series of successful wars against his enemies and seeing Tikal return to its greatness under his reign. Yikin, his son, sealed the tomb after his father's death, before construction began on the temple. Being buried in this spot was a huge break with tradition. Before this time, for more than 500 years, all the rulers of Tikal were buried in the North Acropolis. His royal tomb included several kilos of jade, shells and pottery.

Temple 1 was built around the year 700 A.D. between the Central and the North Acropolises and faces west, toward the setting sun. It stands 45 meters high or 144.36 ft.

Ha Sawa Chaan K'awil was almost 6 ft. tall and his body was left under Temple I after his death with a richly adorned burial, which was excavated by archaeologist Aubrey Trik in 1962. The temple complex may represent the Full Cycle of Life itself.

This image was taken looking east from Temple II, which you are allowed to climb up.

Photo:  Chris Chafer (sandpiper).


The smash hit Broadway musical, inspired by the true story of the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. On December 4, 1956, these four young musicians were gathered together by Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ’n’ Roll” at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions of all time. MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET brings that legendary night to life with an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations featuring timeless hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “That’s All Right,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “I Walk the Line,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Matchbox,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Hound Dog” and more!
This thrilling musical brings you inside the recording studio with four major talents who came together as a red-hot rock ‘n’ roll band for one unforgettable night. Don’t miss your chance to be a fly on the wall of fame... at MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET!

June 19--July 1 at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Enrique Bolanos 1924-2012

"Good looking guy, charming with a very crowd-friendly style"

Enrique Bolanos, a Mexican boxer who three times fought for and lost the world lightweight title in Los Angeles in the late 1940s, died Monday. He was 87.

Bolanos died of heart failure at a convalescent facility near his Pasadena home, said his wife of 64 years, Ruby.

The boxer's soft-spoken demeanor and ring skill made him the most popular Mexican fighter in Southern California during the height of his career, which closed in 1952 with a 79-22-5 record and 44 knockouts.

"Good looking guy, charming, very crowd-friendly style," longtime boxing publicist Bill Caplan said. "They loved him to pieces.",0,5852339.story

"The Il Divo Sensation"

                    "The Il Divo Sensation"

Il Divo were assembled by high-trousered impresario Simon Cowell, who sought to take advantage of an under-tapped public market for operatic-pop.

Cowell gathered together a multi-national selection of attractive young male singers -- Urs Bühler, Sébastien Izambard, David Miller and Carlos Marín -- and by 2005 they had released their debut album Il Divo.

They've been a sensation ever since.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

North Face of Aiguille du Midi, Mont-Blanc range. Alps, France
Aiguille du Midi is the most easy gateway to the Mont-Blanc range for alpinists and tourists alike. The cable car takes you in half an hour from a town at 1000m to a remarkable peak at the heart of the range, at 3800m. Or you can scale the 1000m-high North face...


Norwegian fanatic has admitted killing 77 people

LONDON -- Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing Norwegian fanatic who has admitted killing 77 people on the Norwegian island of Utoya and in the Oslo city center last July, told a court Tuesday that he had carried out "the most sophisticated and spectacular political attack ... in Europe since World War II."
The confessed 33-year-old killer was captured on video raising his right arm in a fascist-style clenched-fist salute as he entered the court in Oslo. His testimony, which began with a statement in which he sought to explain his actions, was not broadcast due to a judicial decision to avoid giving a televised platform to his violent anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant views. But his remarks were widely reported.

Ignoring demands from presiding Judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen to limit his statement, Breivik continued his justification for the massacre, according to a BBC report. He claimed that he would have "done it again" to defend Norway and that his actions were based on "goodness, not evil."

Breivik compared the killings to the U.S. use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945, according to an Associated Press report, which quoted him as saying, "The attacks on July 22 were a preventive strike. I acted in self-defense on behalf of my people, my city, my country."

The second day of his trial was temporarily delayed as Thomas Indreboe, a lay judge on the five-member panel, was dismissed for Internet comments he made last summer calling for the death penalty for Breivik. He was replaced by Judge Elisabeth Wisloeff.

Breivik and witnesses on his behalf will give evidence for the rest of the week, but none of the testimony is scheduled to be broadcast.

Authorities charge that Breivik targeted an annual Labor Party political camp on Utoya, shooting and killing 69 young Norwegians, and blew up a government building in central Oslo, leaving eight people dead.

His trial is expected to last 10 weeks and he faces a sentence of 21 years in prison, which can be extended if he is considered a danger to society.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Spectacular Discovery

Sometimes we have to be reminded of how BIG our little blue planet really is.  Check out the stark, beautiful image above of the Hang Son Doong Cave which can be found in Vietnam.  Believed to be the largest cave in the world; it was only discovered last year.

Photo via the National Geographic site: