Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Sonnet of the Strong Safety

"Sport is not considered art. Instead, it is invariably dismissed as something lesser — even something rather more vulgar — than the more traditional performance activities."

Really exceptional piece by the great Frank Deford today asking why sport isn't considered an art, or at least a field of study for students who wish to become expert. I'm still processing my opinion, but I think it's a great question. Especially when you think of how cerebral some sports have become, the way that understanding of probability and of prowess have become inextricably linked - especially when you think of the volume of study that goes into understanding of techniques and methods for both coaching and training, I think there's a valid question here. No, I'm not saying every student athlete should be permitted to take courses like "Linebacking 101", but that there may be a field of study behind all the sweat.

Having had success as an instructor and coach in both technological and artistic endeavor, and understanding first hand the disdain instructors on each side have had for the "softness" of the curriculum on the other, I'm open to the idea that there's a football curriculum waiting to be designed.

Maybe it will even explain how coaches who haven't seen a sonnet since tenth grade can use phrases like "poetry in motion" to explain the grace of a wide receiver at the apex of his leap, mean it as the highest of compliments, then tell their students poetry is for dweebs...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A little good press...

... about the Spoken Word Series, courtesy of The Current.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Geekity Gold Mine

In a spare moment this week I was looking for online instructions for the Faber-Castell slide rule inherited from my father (which replaced the junior version he gave me when I was 6), and I happened across (by way of the unaffiliated MoHPC) the online repository the HP Journal - a magazine presenting the technological advances produced by the scientists and engineers at that illustrious company. Few companies have been as successful as HP has over the years at reducing to practice (which isn't quite the same thing as innovating, just as technology isn't the same thing as science - but I digress) and if you're at all interested in the technological advances of the past 40 years, you MUST go look through these great journals.

My favorite find so far: an interview with the team lead for the development of the first "electronic calculator", discussing the industrial design requirements to keep the device "pocket sized", and how it "would eventually be competitive" with the slide rule despite its $395 price tag.

That's 395 in 1973 dollars, by the way.

The same page also provides access to the Digital journal, which takes me back to being thrown out of my high school's computer lab because sophomores couldn't be trusted at the PDP-11 terminals; that privilege was reserved for seniors. Good times, good times....

Thanks to the Hewlett-Packard company for making these available.

And yes, I am this big a nerd, and I can still use my slide rule a little. Don't believe me? Multiplication: C over D, cursor on C, read on D. So there.

Anyone up for a little Reverse Polish Poetry?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I just need a minute...

Someone get FPA on the line, and see what he thinks of Tom Glavine.

This is the greatest of September swoons
Somebody wake up The Mets
Looking for pitchers? Hire some baboons -
That just might wake up The Mets
Ruthlessly rushing like men late for dinner
Acting like Marlins are saints, Mets the sinners
Somehow converting the Phils into winners
Oh just shut up 'bout my Mets.

(With apologies to Tinker, Evers, and Chance and their claim to fame, I think this verse is of roughly the same quality as Jose Reyes' final at bat this year.)

Like Willie, I will be back next year, but oh Sweet Myrtle how this one hurts.

Thank Heaven I have Gang Green to root for now. That should keep me occupied until Halloween.