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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

1050lbs To Become Bench Press King


Ukranian guy, Ryan Kennelly, become a bench press world records men by lifting 1050 lbs (476.3 kg) of total weight. He beats his own world record of 1036 lbs and the previous records men was Gene Rychlak Jr Benching with 1010. Ryan weighs in at about 290 pounds. Here is the video from the tournament where he make hist new record:



Also, check out Bench press world record Without Equipment

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A Really Good Collapsible Bike


Strida 5.0 is the newest iteration in a series of foldable bikes by British designer Mark Sanders. Long available in Europe, the line finally landed in the U.S.

Designer Mark Sanders intended the Strida for hybrid commuters who might go from house to railway to street to office. Mark Weiss

Big-city bike riders tend to fall into two camps. There are the utility commuters who don't care if their bike's a junker, as long as it's dependable. Then there are those who dork out over pedals and handlebar tape, or the finer points of steel versus aluminum. The two roll in separate worlds, and so do their bikes.

Strida 5.0 is the newest iteration in a series of foldable bikes by British designer Mark Sanders; after 16 years of adoration in Europe, the line finally landed in the U.S. last fall courtesy of New York-based design distributors Areaware. When I signed up to review the bizarrely shaped 5.0, I assumed it was aimed squarely at those utility commuters, who are usually willing to sacrifice looks and performance if a bike's easy to carry and store. But after a week with Sanders's creation, I'm not so sure. The Strida, with its suave, brushed-aluminum finish, is that rare combination of function and flash; from day one, it drew more stares than Gisele Bündchen in a see-through dress.

The Strida's calling card is its unique, patented frame. Most foldable bikes are shaped like an H; the vertical stalks are the steering and seat posts, and the horizontal piece is the frame. To fold everything, you first bend the steering post down via a beefy hinge. The seat post then telescopes into the frame, and another hinge folds the frame in half lengthwise. Contrast that mess of rickety joints with the Strida's elegant origami. When the bike is unfolded, the seat lies along one side of a triangle, with the handlebars at the peak and the wheels and drivetrain at either end of the base. To fold the bike, you unlock the bottom crossbar and swing it up; the post supporting the front wheel levers back, and the two wheels kiss and fasten, thanks to magnets in their hubs.

Sanders intended the Strida for hybrid commuters who might go from house to railway to street to office. Those aspirations show in every detail, from parallel wheels that make it a cinch to push the folded bike along as you walk—a nifty amenity over any distance longer than a block—to the brilliant greaseless rubber chain. Yet the best part of the design is the stable ride it produces, thanks to a triangle's natural cross-bracing. Nimbleness is a given on a bike with such a short wheelbase, but well-balanced handling results from the frame's lateral strength.

The seat slides up and down the rear post, and riding posture can vary from sitting to nearly standing, depending on your height. But I was skeptical because most foldable bikes come in small, medium, and large models; a one-size-fits-all bike like the Strida usually accommodates only an average-size person like myself. A handy test subject arrived as I was turning figure eights and popping wheelies on a sidewalk on the Lower East Side. Along came a man in a velvet tracksuit—maybe 6'2", 250 pounds—asking where he could buy the thing. I offered him a ride, and he happily sat down and shot around the corner. Realizing I'd handed off an $800 bike to a total stranger, I gave chase, only to find him nimbly picking his way among the pedestrian shoppers, looking like a bear on a circus bike. Turns out the sturdy frame makes the bike's handling easy to predict straightaway, regardless of your size; what's more, the frame's geometry won't make an awkward jumble of even the tallest rider's arms and legs.

The Strida shines in comparison with other foldable bikes, but it isn't perfect. Sure, the 5.0 has tougher, lighter components than its predecessor the 3.2, including a stouter flywheel that doesn't backslide during heavy uphill pedaling. But at $800, the parts should be better. A plastic chain ring (which joins the pedal cranks and chain) seemed flimsy, and the brake levers and neoprene saddle are cheap. Despite Strida's claims of lightness, 19.4 pounds is still on the porky side for a high-end folder (some are under 17 pounds), while the 16-inch wheels are relatively small, slowing the bike down and making it tooth-rattling over bumps. Meanwhile, multiple gears are becoming de rigueur for folders, and the Strida has only one.

But it's the mark of a good design that the Strida is perfectible. Its bulk comes mostly from thick aluminum tubes and blocky joints; a crackerjack frame designer could easily cut weight without sacrificing strength. (Aluminum tube walls can be as thin as a few business cards.) Minor tweaks to the frame could accommodate 20-inch wheels. Those same tweaks could improve the hold points and weight distribution, making the bike even easier to push when it's folded. Sanders has actually proposed similar changes but says that Ming, the manufacturer that now owns the patents, is wary of straying from what already works. That's a pity: The Strida's frame is remarkable, but with a few modifications, the bike could own the world.

Provided by I.D. Magazine—The International Design Magazine

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Beijing's bubble-wrapped "Water Cube" unveiled

By Nick Mulvenney

BEIJING (Reuters) - China officially unveiled its bubble-wrapped National Aquatics Centre, nicknamed the "Water Cube", on Monday, one of the two iconic venues for this year's Beijing Olympics.

The imposing rectangular box, clad in a honeycomb of transparent cushions, will host the swimming, diving and synchronized swimming during the August 8-24 sporting spectacular.

The 1.03 billion yuan ($143.2 million) complex does not yet match the "dreamlike and water-blue building" of the official description and the ETFE pneumatic cushions clearly need a clean to get rid of the grime of construction.

There was no disguising, however, the delight of the officials in the completion of the complicated structure, which was designed by an Australian consortium and on which work started in 2003.

"I feel very excited and proud of this venue," Li Aiqing, president of the Beijing State-Owned Assets Management Company, told reporters.

"It is one of the biggest swimming centers in the world. The whole project is complex and unique. After five years of effort, we are very, very happy."

The "Water Cube" was a unique project for the Beijing Games in that it was funded by contributions from "overseas Chinese", including $25 million from late Hong Kong billionaire Henry Fok and his family.

The pool, where American Michael Phelps could become the first man to win eight gold medals at one Games, sits flush by the diving pool, where China hopes to scoop a bundle of medals.

But it is to the ceiling of cushions above the 17,000 seats -- 11,000 of them temporary -- that the eye is constantly drawn.

KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOR

The building will perhaps be at its best at night when an LED system with 16.7 million tones will turn the arena into a vibrant kaleidoscope of color both inside and out.

"Mostly it is a building of water, so we'll mainly use the colors of water," said Zheng Fang, chief architect with China Construction Designs International.

The most tricky part of maintaining the venue is cleaning the interior, which will be done once or twice a year by workers suspended on cables, Li said.

Rainfall will provide all the necessary cleaning for the exterior and bird excrement will not be a problem, Zheng added.

"Birds never sit on transparent surfaces so there's no danger of them soiling it," he said.

The centre will host its first test event with the China Open swimming competition, which starts on Thursday.

The second showpiece venue of the Games, the neighboring 91,000-seater National Stadium, or "Bird's Nest", is scheduled for completion by the end of March.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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Chess legend Fischer dies at 64


The controversial former world chess champion, Bobby Fischer, has died in Iceland at the age of 64.

The US-born player, who became famous for beating Cold War Soviet rival Boris Spassky in 1972, died of an unspecified illness, his spokesman said.

He was granted Icelandic citizenship in 2005 as a way to avoid being deported to the US.

Mr Fischer was wanted for breaking international sanctions by playing a match in the former Yugoslavia in 1992.

They [media] constantly use the words eccentric, eccentric, eccentric, weird. I am boring. I am boring!
Bobby Fischer

He also had alienated many in his homeland by broadcasting anti-Semitic diatribes and expressing support for the 11 September 2001 attacks in New York.

The reclusive player - who had renounced his US citizenship - had lived undetected in Japan for a number of years before moving to Iceland.

Tributes

Mr Fischer died in Iceland on Thursday, his spokesman Gardar Sverrisson said.

The nature of the illness was unknown but Mr Fischer had been reportedly seriously ill for some time.

Spassky said he was "very sorry" to hear of Mr Fischer's death, the Associated Press reported.

Russia's Garry Kasparov, a former world champion, said that Mr Fischer's ascent through the chess world in the 1960s was "a revolutionary breakthrough" for the game.

'Match of the century'

Mr Fischer was born in Chicago in 1943, but was brought up in New York's Brooklyn.

HAVE YOUR SAY
He should be remembered for his wonderful 1972 victory over Spassky, rather than the sad and prolonged end-game of his personal life
Philip Hollywood, UK

He became a US chess champion at 14 and then the youngest grandmaster a year later.

He achieved world fame after playing a world championship match in Iceland in 1972, beating title-holder Spassky.

The so-called chess "match of the century" came to be seen as a proxy for the Cold War, as the Soviets had held the world title since World War II.

Mr Fischer, the individual who had triumphed over the might of the Communist system, became an American hero.

The 1972 match made chess fashionable, even sexy, some experts say.

He lost the world chess crown in 1975 after refusing to play against his Soviet rival Anatoly Karpov.

US critic

The eccentric US genius then simply disappeared, declining all lucrative sponsorship deals.

He resurfaced briefly in 1992, to play a re-match with Spassky in Yugoslavia in defiance of international sanctions.

Mr Fischer then vanished again, though it later became clear he had been living for a number of years in Japan.

He hit world headlines again after the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US.

In an interview to a radio station in the Philippines, he described the attacks as the "wonderful news".

In another interview Mr Fischer accused the media of trying to "poison the public against me".

"They constantly use the words eccentric, eccentric, eccentric, weird. I am boring. I am boring!" he said.

He had also been strongly criticised for making anti-Semitic comments.

Mr Fischer was granted Icelandic citizenship in March 2005, after spending several months in detention in Japan.

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Free Bikes Flop in Brussels

ou've read about the brilliant success of the Vélib' in Paris--the free bike system that enables pedestrians to pick up a bike in one place, drive it, and leave it at another station, all for little or no money. Barcelona is also having a love affair with theirs as is Lyons. But somehow the Brussels experiment, CycloCity, has flopped. During three days of research, this treehugger came across only one station in the centre of town, and it was full--almost no one had taken a bike (see picture). Perhaps one could blame it on the cobblestones, or traffic, or climate but Paris, Lyons and Brussels share similar urban traits. Antwerp also has cobblestones and traffic and it was over-run with cyclists, many with carriage contraptions attached to the front of the bicycles for their children. It seems that in Brussels only the tourists use the bicycles to get from one tourist site to another, not the locals. But why is this...




Part of the reason appears to be the lack of commitment on the part of Brussels and JC Decaux (the advertiser and sponsor). There are very few (20) stations set up around town. There are also very few bikes provided: 250 for a million inhabitants, compared with 20,000 bicycles for two million Parisians. There is no link or co-operation with the 19 suburban areas because they have their own system set up with a competing advertiser, Clear Channel.


There is a charge for the first twenty minutes of the ride in Brussels, as compared to Lyons and Paris where it is free--this is seen as an important factor in the success of their schemes. The starting fee is a disincentive to give it a try. In addition, the bicycles themselves are much heavier than the French ones and only have three speeds; which is problematic in a hilly city like Brussels. Local solutions adapted to suit local cultures seem to be key to success. :: CycloCity

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Marion Jones tells Oprah she was tired of the lies


CHICAGO (Reuters) - Disgraced Olympian Marion Jones, stripped of her medals and facing six months in prison, told Oprah Winfrey on Wednesday she admitted her steroid use because she could no longer live with her lies.

"I have no regrets for doing what I did on October 5, pleading guilty and admitting to the world that I lied," Jones told the talk show host.

"I want people to understand everybody makes mistakes ... I truly think a person's character is determined by their admission of their mistakes and beyond that what they do about it ... It's really about looking forward, looking to the future, how can I make this wrong a right," she said.

A New York judge last week sentenced Jones to six months imprisonment for lying to government prosecutors about her steroid use and two months, to run concurrently, for misleading investigators about a check fraud case involving her ex-boyfriend, former 100-metres world record holder Tim Montgomery.

Earlier the sprinter was stripped of the five medals she won in the Sydney Olympics, three of them gold, and all of her performances as of September 2000 were erased from the record books.

Asked by Winfrey why she had repeatedly denied the use of performance-enhancing drugs, Jones said: "I made a mistake. I made the choice to, at that time, protect myself, to protect my family, and I've paid the consequences dearly."

The talk show host then asked Jones why she decided to come clean.

"It's been a long journey," the 32-year-old athlete said. "The weight and the baggage of many years of knowing that. I've been blessed with a super amount of talent but I could not go on any more with this baggage, lying to the world, lying to God.

"I realized that people might not forgive me but that God forgives, and if He can forgive me I can forgive myself and I will be okay," she added.

HOW TO TELL THE CHILDREN

Jones spoke by a video link-up from Austin, Texas, to Winfrey in her Chicago studio, for airing Tuesday. The talk show host said Jones had agreed to another interview once she is released from prison.

She said her current situation "is absolutely the hardest you could imagine" and she and her husband, Olympic sprinter Obadele Thompson, have not told her four-year-old son that she must report to prison by March.

"It's going to be challenging," she said. "We teach our kids do to the right thing."

Turning in her medals and watching her records erased, she said "impacted me greatly but ... the pain and the hurt that my family and my friends have had to endure throughout all of this outweighs all of that."

"I've returned the medals, the performances have been taken away. But they pale in comparison to seeing my husband cry, they pale in comparison to have to see my mother have to stand there in the courtroom and bawl."

Asked if she felt she was being made an example of, Jones said "I'm not going to sit here and say I'm happy with the decision and that it's all well and fine. Of course I'm disappointed (with the jail sentence). But ... I put myself in a position of having someone else determine my immediate future."

"I have to live with it. My family has to live with it. With the grace of God we'll get through it (and) come out even better at the other end."

"I want to use my story to help people," she said.

(Editing by K.T. Arasu and Philip Barbara)

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Two men paddle 2,000 miles from Australia to New Zealand


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Two adventurers arrived at a New Zealand beach on Sunday after paddling more than 2,000 miles from Australia in a kayak — the first such journey by kayak to succeed.

Australians James Castrission, 25, and Justin Jones, 24, spent 62 days crossing the Tasman Sea in their custom built fiberglass vessel and battled strong winds and tides that spun them in giant circles and forced them to change their original plans.

The two pulled in at Ngamotu Beach near the town of New Plymouth on New Zealand's west coast shortly after midday and were greeted by a clutch of traditional Maori canoes and were welcomed as pioneers by a crowd of about 2,000 kayak enthusiasts.

"NZ, thank you, thank you, you guys rock. This is so cool," Jones said, as the pair hugged family members and drank a beer they were each handed.

Castrission paid tribute to Andrew McAuley, an Australian kayaker who vanished in February last year while trying to make a solo crossing of the Tasman after making a desperate mayday call.

"We have only got a small, small idea of what Andrew went through out there," Castrission told reporters. "Some nights when we were out there, we had each other to hold through the difficult moments."

The pair, who left Australia on Nov. 13, had intended to make it to Auckland, the country's largest city, before Christmas but changed plans after being buffeted during the journey.

During the trip, strong ocean flows forced them to make huge circles to avoid being carried far off course, meaning their eventual journey was much farther than the 1,400 miles they had originally planned.

They were taken for medical checks, amid fears their leg muscles may have deteriorated because of the long period of inactivity. They climbed out of their kayak, however, and appeared in good health.

Their trek is believed to be the first successful crossing from Australia and New Zealand by kayak.

McAuley vanished after reaching within sight of New Zealand's mountains. His kayak and equipment — including a camera with the last images he shot — were found later, but not his body.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Sharapova wins Australian Open


MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- When Maria Sharapova walked on court for the Australian Open final, she kept thinking about the sage advice of another champion.

"Champions take chances, and pressure is a privilege," Billie Jean King had written in a text message that Sharapova saw when she woke up.

"I took mine," fifth-ranked Sharapova said after beating Ana Ivanova 7-5, 6-3 Saturday for her third Grand Slam title.

Sharapova, who didn't lose a set in seven matches, was clearly determined that nothing would stop her after winning only three games against Serena Williams in last year's final.

She was over a shoulder problem that plagued her last year. She was hitting winners with regularity. Her focus never wavered, even when her usually dependable serve briefly let her down.

She wasn't as sharp as when she ended top-ranked Justine Henin's 32-match winning streak in the quarterfinals or beat No. 3 Jelena Jankovic in the semifinals. But there was no doubt she deserved to win.

"I did the things I needed to do in order to win the match," Sharapova said, making it sound a lot more simple than it was.

Ivanovic, who at 20 is the same age as Sharapova and will rise to No. 2 when the new rankings come out, was left to find a silver lining.

"I'm still young and I still think I have a lot of Grand Slam finals in front of me," she said. "It hurts a bit now, but I'm sure I can learn from it."

Now Serbia's hopes for a title here rest with No. 3 Novak Djokovic, who faces unseeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, the tournament's big surprise, in the men's final Sunday evening.

Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram became the first Israeli doubles pairing to win a Grand Slam when they outlasted Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement 7-5 7-6 (4) Saturday.

Sharapova's 2004 Wimbledon title made her only the second Russian woman to win a major -- just weeks after Anastasia Myskina captured the French Open.

Her win over Ivanovic was the fifth major by a Russian woman.

Sharapova first met King, winner of 39 singles and doubles Grand Slam titles, at a juniors tournament when she was 13 or 14.

"From that point on, she's just always been really supportive," Sharapova said. "She's always one of the first people to text me when either I'm having a tough moment or a great win."

She woke up to King's inspirational text message.

"I had those great words in my mind during the match," she said, adding that when it was over, she got another message: "Congratulations. You did great."

On a hot, mostly sunny day, Sharapova retreated to the shade behind the baselines between points. It was Australia Day, so organizers put small national flags at each seat, but there were plenty of Serbian and Russian flags, too.

Both players showed some nerves; Sharapova was simply more consistent. She had only two more winners than Ivanovic, but less than half as many as the Serbian's 33 unforced errors.

"I knew I had to be aggressive, and that type of game will obviously cause more mistakes," Ivanovic said.

Serving at 2-2 in the first set, Ivanovic set up double break point with a double fault, then sent a forehand long.

After holding serve the first three times at love, Sharapova committed three double faults while serving at 4-3 to hand the game to Ivanovic.

She shrugged off the setback, running off the last three games, rallying from 0-30 as she served for the set.

"I didn't get impatient," Sharapova said. "She's two points away from winning the first set in a Grand Slam final. If you want it, take it. And she didn't."

From 3-3 in the second set, Sharapova ran off the last three games again, breaking Ivanovic for the fourth time to finish the match.

Sharapova dropped to her knees and appeared to be fighting back tears as she waved and blew kisses to the crowd. She shook hands and exchanged high fives with her father and supporters.

Sharapova wished her mother, Yelena, a happy birthday and told her how she planned to spend some of her $1.2 million in prize money.

"With this big, fat check, I'm going to send you a bunch of roses," she said. "Last year I lost on her birthday and this year I said I'm going to make it up to her, and I did."

The Russian star said when her coach and hitting partner Michael Joyce's mother died, it helped her put her cope with the hard times.

Every time she went out to play or practice "Jane was the name we were thinking about," Sharapova said. "I want to dedicate this win to her because after the loss (Joyce) suffered, I got a whole lot of perspective with my injuries and setbacks.

"It helped me prioritize so many things that were outside of tennis."

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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That's the Ticket! Crowd cheers as Veyron gets parking fine

In some countries, folks cheer at the sight of an exotic supercar, while in others they assume the driver is a (expletive deleted). In which camp would you think England falls? We'd have hoped the former, but the crowd has spoken, and they're saying otherwise. When an evidently obscenely wealthy driver parked his Bugatti Veyron in a loading bay in downtown Manchester, a traffic warden wrote him a ticket while a gathering crowd stood by and cheered her on. The same car was reported to have gotten another ticket in the posh Cheshire neighborhood of Alderley Edge, as well. The ₤60 ticket this time, which can be reduced to ₤30 if paid promptly, will probably not make or break the driver of the seven-figure hyper-exotic, but he should really be more careful about where he leaves his Veyron lying around.

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The driverless car and 20 other great concept cars

The driverless car, demonstrated in Las Vegas, offers a vision of the future in which there are no accidents and driving your car is entirely optional. We look back at some of the other great innovations that have contributed to modern day motoring

By Michael Moran
Video report by Holden Frith

Often unfettered by petty distractions like safety, comfort, or economic viability, concept cars are the purest expression of the automobile designer’s art. From Harley Earl’s space-age flights of fancy to the eco-friendly offices on wheels of today we list some of the most innovative, stylish, or plain silly designs of the last seventy years.

1939 Buick Y-Job

Created by Harley Earl, the doyen of automobile designers, The Buick Y-Job was the first real concept car. Earl used it as his personal runabout as well as exhibiting it to get a feel for what the public wanted. Pictures and more information here

1954 Lincoln Futura

The Futura was, almost literally, the last word in fifties automotive excess, featuring microphones to pick up the comments of admiring onlookers as it passed by. The prototype was eventually modified by George Barris and found fame as the original Batmobile. Pictures and more information here

1954 Buick Wildcat 2

With lines that prefigure the classic Corvette, the Buick Wildcat II was a lightweight fibreglass coupe that showed the way towards the cleaner lines that became standard in the 1960s. Picture and more information here

1956 Pontiac Club De Mer

With its low, sleek profile and wildly unnecessary dorsal fin the Club de Mer was an archetypal symbol of the sci-fi fifties. Even better than the full-sized car though was the quarter-scale model which was bought from Pontiac by visionary designer Harley Earl and rebuilt as a pedal car for his grandson. Picture

1956 Buick Centurion

Probably the first car to dispense with a rear-view mirror in favour of closed-circuit television the Centurion was distinguished by its one-piece bubble top that seems to have excercised a considerable influence on Gerry Anderson’s 1960 ‘Supercar’ series. Picture here and more information here

1958 Ford Nucleon

Powered, as the name suggests, by a small nuclear reactor rather than a petrol engine the Nucleon never quite got off the drawing board. Pictures and more information here

1962 Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT

With styling that would still stand up today the Corvair pointed the way to modern ideas of aerodynamic design and spelt the end of the exuberant fin shapes of the 50s. Pictures and more information here

1969 Holden Hurricane

The Hurricane incorporated many technological innovations that may seem everyday to today’s driver but were positively out of this world to the motorist of the era. It featured digital instrument displays, sophisticated temperature control air conditioning, automatically-tuning FM radio, and the then revolutionary Pathfinder navigation aid. Like the Buick Centurion a rear-view mirror was dumped in favour of closed-circuit television. Pictures and more information here

1970 Lancia Stratos Zero

With probably the poorest visibility of any saloon car, the Stratos Zero was never destined to be a production road vehicle. The Stratos legacy lived on, though, in a series of highly successful rally cars. Pictures and more information here

1970 Porsche Tapiro

Upping the ante with two sets of gullwing doors the Porsche Tapiro boasted a windscreen raked back almost to the same angle as its bonnet and, if the contemporary publicity is to be believed, a young lady in a bikini with every car. Pictures and more information here

1972 Maserati Boomerang

The Maserati’s ground-hugging profile echoes the Tapiro, while pointing the way even more explicitly to Delorean’s ill-fated, but iconic, DMC-12. Pictures and more information here

1985 MG EX-E

A prescient design that influenced an entire generation of successful sporty roadsters like the Honda NSX, the MG EX-E was considered as the basis for a production car but ultimately sidelined for being ‘too Japanese’. Pictures and more information here

2001 Ford ‘49

The deliciously retro ’49 harked back to a lost era of optimism and opulence in American automobiles. Nothing like its sleek bodywork has been seen outside custom car rallies since the beginning of the fifties but if, for example, you’re outfitting a shadowy agency to investigate UFO sightings, this is the car to buy. Pictures and more information here

2004 Renault Trafic Deck’up

Not so much a car as a tiny room on wheels the peculiarly-named Deck’up had rotating seats and suicide doors on one side, enabling the users (they aren’t really passengers any more) to bring the great outdoors right into the cabin. Pictures and more information here

2004 Nike ONE

In a move that was more than a little conceptual, Nike, who don’t make cars teamed up with the makers of Gran Turismo, who don’t make cars either, to design a car which connects to the driver’s nervous system for optimal integration with the onboard computer. Pictures and more information here

2005 Holden Efijy

Like the Ford ’49 a wildly retro affair with some serious 21st Century technology under the skin. Adjustable ride height controlled by a dash-mounted LCD made this the ultimate Low Rider, which could skim along one inch above the tarmac. Pictures and more information here.

2005 Peugeot Moovie

Like nothing else on the road, André Costa’s 2-seater electric transport pod combined doors and wheels into a huge round ‘space docking port’ to allow passengers to enter and exit through the ‘hubcaps' Pictures and more information here

2006 Saab Aero X

A gloriously stylish ‘mid-life crisis special’ with an imposing motorised canopy instead of doors means that this is one car that nobody will be getting into with a straightened out coat hanger. The ethanol power plant was a nod to growing ecological concerns among car manufacturers in the middle part of the decade. Pictures and more information here

2007 Aston Martin DB-ONE

A chunky, meaty Aston that wants you to know how fast it can go. We’re more than a little surprised that this musclebound beauty hasn’t cropped up in a science fiction movie yet. Be sure to let us know in the comments if you spot it. Pictures and more information here

2057 Mercedez Benz Silverflow


The most ‘concept’ of concept cars – An amorphous sports car that reconfigures itself on the fly for minimal drag. Based not so much on currently available technology as repeated viewings of Terminator 2. Pictures and more information here

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The Tiger Woods Effect

Biggest Hockey Mass Fight Jan 08, 2008
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Buffalo Bills: The Toronto Initiative


Emotions are all over the map in Western New York these days. A few are excited by the five-year plan that will have the Buffalo Bills playing three pre-season and five regular season games in Toronto, Canada.

More seem to be paranoid that this signals the end of the nearly fifty years of Bills football in Western New York.And who can blame them? The Buffalo Bills message boards are replete with frustrated fans following not only each move of the plan dubbed the "Toronto Initiative," but all of the comments made by the aging Bills owner, Ralph Wilson.

"I can't speculate what's going to happen in the future. But don't worry. Don't worry right now," Wilson said at last week's press conference in Toronto. This comment, among others, (including Wilson referring to this "Initiative" as a "trial basis") has led many Bills fans and media pundits to speculate on the Bills future.

With the end of the current 15-year lease of Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY coinciding with the end of this "trial" in Toronto, there are many reasons to speculate that the team could well end up north of the Border by 2013. Or even sooner, if Wilson were to die before that time is up, as he has publicly stated that the team will be sold to the highest bidder following his death.

But a closer look at who is saying what reveals that there is much more to be hopeful about for Western New Yorkers. More positive than negative regarding this "Toronto Initiative."

First there are comments from the Buffalo Bills themselves. Wilson has repeatedly said - including most of his comments from last week's press conference - that his intention all along has been to keep this team in Buffalo.

"We've always been on record saying we were going to try to regionalize our brand north of the border," said Bills new Chief Operating Officer Russ Brandon. "We think this is another step in keeping our franchise financially viable in the Buffalo marketplace."The Bills have already begun to regionalize the team by moving their annual training camp to St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. This has been a big success according to the team. Toronto is merely the "next step" as Brandon says.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (a native Western New Yorker) was asked about the Toronto Initiative in a press conference and responded by saying the Bills "very thoughtfully" put this plan together and carried it out.

He also has said that the NFL is not looking to expand right now, and that the Bills would play a "limited number of games" in Toronto over the next five years. Granted, five years is a long way off, but his words have to be reassuring to Bills fans. (And it can't hurt that he is a native of the area, and so, a Bills fan!)Add to these voices the somewhat public rumors that former Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly has designs on buying the Bills when they become available. Kelly is rumored to be building a team of people - including perhaps former Buffalo Bills Thurman Thomas and Steve Tasker, among others - to purchase the Bills following Wilson's passing.

Western New York billionaire, and current Buffalo Sabres' owner, Tom Golisano is one potential investor in Jim Kelly's plan. This past week Golisano was interviewed during a Sabres' game and said, "If the situation arises, I would do what I can to try to keep the team in the area.''

This again buoyed Buffalo fans hopes that this talk of losing the Buffalo Bills was just that. Talk.In the end, Wilson is right, we can not know what will happen in the future. But it's also true that worrying about the future doesn't change anything either. Bills fans can worry that the team will move (I think that has been a fear of Bills fans since I moved to Buffalo back in 1986!) or listen to the voices of the people who really matter.

Sportswriters can say what they want, and fearful fans can say what they want, but right now the people who make the decisions are saying the Bills are staying in Western New York.And, for now, that's who I'm going to listen to.

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COED Presents: Chris Berman Breakdowns!


You thought the video of Chris Berman flipping out on the teleprompter a few weeks ago was hilarious? Wait until you see the most recent crop of Berman breakdowns to hit the net.

This is why Berman is my favorite ESPN host: he actually has a personality and seems like a down to earth, beer drinking, sports loving kind of guy - or maybe he’s just an overpaid diva. You be the judge and watch the latest videos after the jump.

The Video That Started It All.

Berman flips out when the video staff breaks his concentration.

Angry At The Teleprompter AGAIN!

“Oh for christ sake, intermittent? Every week we do 5 minutes of TV here… it’s not that hard!”

Berman Tells Us How To Smuggle Codeine Across The US/Canadian Border

“Do you have anything to declare…… EH?”

Berman Trying To Be Sincere

Nice Mouth

13 f-bombs and 1 horse s*it in 56 seconds.

Berman Tells Us About White Wine

As we see from this video Berman loves boozing, “clean” white wine and female co-workers.

If someone can develop with a sweet Chris Berman drinking game we will feature it on COED - send ideas to our COED Facebook Group.

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Redskins Introduce New Coach Zorn


ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -- Always the energetic left-hander, Jim Zorn had an upbeat but nervous start to his coming-out event with the Washington Redskins.

The new coach got the team colors wrong. He paid tribute to an assistant the team recently fired. He lacked the polish of his predecessor, Joe Gibbs, who sat watching from the second row during the news conference Sunday in the Redskins Park auditorium.

Not too surprising, really, given that Zorn himself said it was nothing short of "miraculous" that he was standing where he was: a few feet behind the team's three Super Bowl trophies, essentially making the jump from quarterbacks coach to head coach because none of the candidates on owner Dan Snyder's initial list worked out. The 54-year-old Zorn was taking the first step in finding out what it really means to take a such a big job in a Redskins-crazy town.

"I look at these three trophies," Zorn said, "and it's quite intimidating."

Zorn signed a five-year contract Saturday, with club options for the fourth and fifth years, ending a monthlong coaching search in which he was originally supposed to be an interesting sidebar. The Redskins hired him as an offensive coordinator two weeks ago, luring him away from the Seattle Seahawks, then decided late last week to interview him for the head coaching job after New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo withdrew from consideration.

Snyder also interviewed Jim Mora, Jim Fassel, Steve Mariucci, Ron Meeks, Pete Carroll, Jim Schwartz, Redskins assistant Gregg Williams and others. Some had pulled out of the running, and, rather than choose from the rest, Snyder decided to give Zorn a shot because the owner said he had been impressed during Zorn's interview for the offensive coordinator position.

Zorn, called away from Redskins Park to Snyder's house for lunch on Thursday, said he gasped when the owner asked him if he was interested in the head coaching job.

"I was a bit taken back, if you will," Zorn said. "I wasn't speechless, because my first words were: 'Certainly, I'd like to do that.' It was a bit shocking. After that I got my game face on and tried to get after it."

Zorn, the sixth Redskins coach since Snyder bought the team in 1999, realizes he suddenly has a lot of work to do. He need to put together an offseason calendar. He needs to get to know his coaches - most of the assistants are already in place - as well as the players.

He said he plans to hire an offensive coordinator but will work hands-on with the quarterbacks and could still end up calling the plays in what will be a version of the West Coast offense. He tried to put to rest any doubts about quarterback Jason Campbell: "He's the starter," Zorn said.

It's also clear he's expecting a lot of help. Asked about defense, he said: "I'm going to leave that alone" in the hands of defensive coordinator Greg Blache. Asked about the daily fires a head coach has to put out - which often distract from the actual job of coaching - Zorn said: "I'm hoping I don't have to put out every fire."

"I'm hoping there are going to be enough people in place in a supportive role that they can put out the fire before it gets to me," Zorn said. "Because I want to coach. I'm not here for fluff. I want to lead and I want to motivate."

Zorn doesn't have the title of team president - as Gibbs did - but Snyder said the coach will have an important rule during free agency and the draft.

"Our coach has the final say on the roster, has the final say in the draft room and free agency," Snyder said. "If they don't want 'em, we don't bring 'em in."

Zorn referred to the Redskins' colors as "maroon and black" instead of burgundy and gold. He raised a touchy subject when he said the decision to start 10 men on defense in the game following safety Sean Taylor's death was "pretty awesome."

That decision was made without Gibbs' knowledge by Williams, who has since been dismissed. Zorn was quick on his feet, however, when the lights started to malfunction late in the news conference.

"Too much energy going on in this room," he said.

The Redskins were quick to point out another NFC East coach who skipped a step to take a top job. Andy Reid was the Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach when he was hired as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999. Reid has since won five division titles and took the Eagles to the Super Bowl four years ago.

Both Zorn and Reid are part of the family tree of quarterback coaches who have worked under Seahawks and former Packers quarterbacks Mike Holmgren. Others include Jon Gruden, Marty Morninweg and Steve Mariucci.

Zorn also draws some comparisons to the man he is replacing. Gibbs was a barely known in Washington - an offensive coordinator with the San Diego Chargers - when he was hired in 1981. Of course, the Redskins would be thrilled if Zorn can achieve even half of what Gibbs did in his first term: four Super Bowl appearances in 12 seasons.

Before that, he might need a thicker skin. Also in the audience was Hall of Fame receiver and former Congressman Steve Largent, who, like Zorn, is a legend in Seattle. Largent, who still lives in Washington, said the fans in the nation's capital are quite different from those in the Pacific Northwest.

"They don't turn negative on you like they do here," Largent said. "Jim'll have to adjust and know that."

© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

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Canon 1200/5.6L USM the BFG of Telephoto Lenses


The 1000mm Sigma we saw at PMA is nothing compared to this ultra rare Canon zoom. The retailer B&H photo has one of these, a 1200mm, F5.6 USM lens. They've been around since 1993, but are made to order at the rate of 2 per year, and there are less than 20 in existence. What the hell does 1200mm give you on a 35mm camera? A 2 percent field of vision. The cost? $99,000.00...USED. Shot of the zoom vs a standard 50mm lens, post jump. UPDATE: We've found bigger and badder 300X zoom and 5200mm lenses. [B&H, thanks to everyone who sent this in.]

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Correction: Super Bowl-Dolphins Celebrate

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- In a Feb. 4 story about the unbeaten 1972 Dolphins, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the members of that team would celebrate the New England Patriots' loss in the Super Bowl with champagne. Though Dolphins veterans savor their perfect record, stories that they hold annual champagne celebrations when the last unbeaten NFL team loses are a myth. The erroneous information also appeared in AP stories Feb. 2 and Feb. 3 about the '72 Dolphins.

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First and 10: the technology behind the Super Bowl broadcast

The low-tech NFL?

[Note: Today we're received plenty of inquiries looking for the "Super Bowl" article, so without further ado, we're republishing it! The article first appeared online 1 year and 1 day ago, just before Super Bowl XLI. While some things have changed (FOX and not CBS is broadcasting this year), the article still gives some insight into how the production of the TV experience is accomplished.]

Steaming bodies in the snow. Bone-snapping tackles. The stiff-arm.

These are the iconic images of pro football, and they're low-tech in the extreme. While the game itself remains a contest of brute strength, raw speed, and little red challenge beanbags, the entire transmission infrastructure that brings the games into our homes and plasters them on our televisions in HD is exactly the opposite: millions of dollars of the most complicated broadcast technology on the planet.

With the Midwest basking in the unseasonal glow of the Super Bowl spotlight, it's a fitting time to take a closer look at the tech that will power this Sunday's contest. In 2007, CBS covered Super Bowl LXI, deployed a crew of hundreds to Miami to man the HD cameras, run the first-down line, and show you the slowest of slow-motion replays. FOX is doing the same for Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona.

Here's a rundown of the equipment that will bring the game home.

First and ten

Consider the humble yellow line, now a staple of football broadcasts in the US. Companies like Princeton Video Image and Sportvision have developed and marketed the technology so well that it has a 98 percent approval rating from fans, and it's hard to imagine football without it anymore.

The line is overlaid on the field to show how far each team has to go for a first down. It's the kind of effect that is immediately intuitive to viewers, and it looks like the sort of thing that should be simple to generate. Just slap a graphic on the field and be done with it, right? After all, networks have doing fancy computer-generated graphics for years, so a line would seem to be well within their capabilities.


Image courtesy of Sportvision

But the tech is is actually quite advanced. For the line to function properly, computers in the production truck must know exactly where the various cameras are pointing, how far they are zoomed in, and whether they are tilted at all. To make things worse, football fields are not entirely level, and players are constantly running back and forth across the line. In addition, the computer model of the stadium needs to be so accurate that the line can be projected within a foot or two of the official sideline chains.

Making the system work requires several hours of pregame setup. Sportvision, for instance, takes a laser surveying system out to the center of the field, then uses it to precisely map elevations and contours. This information is used to create a detailed stadium model that is then passed to computers in the production truck. The cameras on the field are equipped with specialized sensors that measure pan, tilt, and zoom data so that the line can be properly projected and kept in the correct perspective as the camera moves. (This last requirement is also the reason why many replay angles do not include the line; it only functions with sensor-equipped cameras.)

Out in the truck, techs use color keying to paint the line only on the field, not on the players. One palette tells the system what colors it can paint on, while another palette includes skin tones and uniform colors that cannot be painted on. Another operator is responsible for manually entering the first down yard line number whenever it changes, and the digital model of the stadium is then used to draw the line in the right place.

Cablecam

While cameras have been omnipresent at NFL games for decades, the "flying" overhead camera is a recent twist that enables broadcasters to provide views directly from behind the quarterback or from the middle of the defense—a view long-familar to fans of EA's Madden and NCAA Football franchises. Suspending a camera on guy wires doesn't sound particularly difficult, but it's hard enough to require specialized winches, gimbals, software—and Linux?

Cablecam is one of the best-known of these suspended camera systems, and the company has provided equipment for both CBS and Fox broadcasts. The system they offer for sports events is a 100-pound assembly with an HD camera, a gyroscopic assembly to keep the camera level, and a fiber optic connection back to the control booth. Two wires, arranged to form an X, are strung the length of the field and then doubled back to their origin, where they are connected to winches. The camera is controlled by an operator who "flies" the camera around the field with a joystick while another person controls the pan, zoom, and tilt of the camera.

A recent TV Technology article identified the Super Bowl camera on the Cablecam as the Sony HDC-F950, a $115,000, 3-CCD monster used only by movie and TV pros (though a recent Panasonic statement announced that Cablecam had just purchased a new Panasonic AK-HC1500G for use with A-list sporting events).

Cablecam also announced a recent move to RTLinux from FSMLabs, an OS designed for real-time, mission-critical applications. "RTLinux was chosen for its reliability," said Cablecam head Jim Rudnusky. "It keeps personnel safe and ensures that the camera keeps flying when the game is on the air. The deterministic timing available from RTLinux is crucial to achieving smooth motor motion at high torque. The Cablecam application could not be achieved by anything less than a hard real-time OS."


Image courtesy of FSMLabs

The camera's position is updated 200 times each second by the Overdrive motion control software, which runs on RTLinux, and control information is fed to a set of winches outside the stadium. The winches are driven by 20hp motors that can spin up to 3,000rpm and can position the camera anywhere in the field of play by reeling in cable and playing it out. The system is now sophisticated enough that an operator can fly the camera behind the ball carrier on a kickoff and follow his return up the field, all the way to endzone if necessary.

SuperVision

In 2007, CBS went all-out with its Super Bowl coverage; 500 techs setup and ran the network's gear and 50-odd high definition cameras will capture the spectacle. In 2008, FOX will have 30+ HD cameras on hand and will use some 80 microphones throughout the stadium.

It's a great way to capture the action, but it's not so hot for slow-motion replays, which jerk along one frame at a time during controversial plays. To smooth out slo-mo, broadcasters turn to special slow-motion replay technology. CBS called theirs "SuperVision."

To make it work, CBS used special cameras from Vision Research and NAC Image Technology. Vision's Phantom V10, the camera that will be used in the big game, shoots at 2400x1800 at up to a staggering 480 frames per second (at lower resolutions, the camera can shoot much faster). While CBS won't crank the camera quite this high, they'll still shoot fast enough to make even a center's gut jiggle a thing of slo-mo beauty.

Phantom has released a tweaked version of the camera for use in the playoffs and the Super Bowl that should better handle the (relatively) dim Dolphin Stadium lighting—cameras that operate this fast need a lot of light. The new V10 is also supposed to better match colors with the main broadcast cameras, which will reduce the feeling that you are watching video from a separate event when the slow-motion replays begin.

The camera can shoot in 1080p at 60fps, though it can drop as low as 720p at 24 fps if needed. 1.5GB of flash memory comes standard, but the camera can handle anything up to 24GB—only enough for a few seconds of storage at maximum speed and resolution.

And this is only for SuperVision shots; for normal, slow-motion replays, CBS used a totally different set of traditional Sony slo-mo cameras. In 2008, FOX will have their own setup, but according to Broadcasting and Cable, they won't be doing anything out of the ordinary.

EyeVision

Are broadcast engineers and network executives immune from geek lust? If the CBS-developed EyeVision replay system is any indication, the answer is resounding "no." There's no functional reason for deploying 33 cameras around the top of a stadium at the cost of $400,000 just to show replays that look they came out of the Matrix—but it sure looks cool!

This was the apparent rationale behind EyeVision, a system that used a hardware and software package to capture video of the game from multiple angles and then synchronized the video streams and interpolated between them. The result was replays that could pause the action, rotate 180 degrees around it, and resume viewing from the other side.

The system was developed in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon professor Takeo Kanade, who had already been hard at work on something that he called "Virtualized Reality." Kanade's goal was to use many cameras to create three-dimensional models of real events that could be then be viewed even from angles that were not originally recorded.

This approach requires cameras—lots of them. Even the 33 CBS settled on generated images that were more "Keystone Kops" than The Matrix, though the effect was intriguing. To make it work, one camera was designated as the "master" and contained special pan, zoom, and tilt sensors. A computer then used this information to calculate the angles and zoom levels that the remaining 32 cameras (each spaced exactly six degrees apart) would need in order to focus on the same part of the field. All 33 streams of video passed through a Sierra Video Yosemite 64x64 digital video routing switcher that funneled the streams to individual video servers, which stored the data for replays.

The program cost CBS more than $2.5 million to develop and a few hundred thousand more to implement each time the system (and there was only one) was rolled out. Crews could take more than a week to fully install it at a new stadium, and it only shot in standard definition. After using it in a pair of Super Bowls, CBS decided not to revive EyeVision for 2007, in large part over cost concerns with the move to HD cameras.

EyeVision, you were gimmicky, but we missed you. For 2008, FOX has nothing similar planned, either.

Broadcast graphics

All the HD cameras in the world won't make a football broadcast look complete without the addition of a broadcast graphics system to display the score, pop up stats and Aflac trivia questions, and produce Fox's ridiculous "stomping football robot" (if you've seen it, you'll know).

For Super Bowl XLI, CBS stuck with Vizrt, a Norwegian firm that has become one of the world's leaders in broadcast graphics. The company produces a suite of programs, all built around the core Viz|Engine renderer, and all of them run on off-the-shelf PC hardware.

The complete application suite includes 3D modeling software and an interface called Viz|Trio that CBS uses to the control the complicated array of graphics its artists have prepped for the big game. Viz|Trio features a non-linear editing (NLE) plugin for Avid and Pinnacle editing systems that allows those editors to use content directly from the Vizrt software, making it faster to deploy time-sensitive sequences like halftime highlights.

CBS and the NFL Network both migrated to Vizrt in August 2006, in a deal that cost $750,000.

Production trucks

Most of the production work actually takes place outside the stadium in gigantic tractor-trailers operated by production companies like New Century Productions, who will be providing some of the trucks for this year's Super Bowl.

These trucks are complete mobile production vehicles that house audio mixing rooms, production areas, and editing suites. Specs vary by truck, but a representative vehicle from NCP is stuffed with a 72-input Yamaha audio mixer with programmable faders, CD recorders, compressors and limiters. The video production part of the truck houses a Grass Valley 64-input video switcher, Digi-Beta VTRs, and graphics production units. The truck also features more monitors than Elvis could shoot out with an entire box of shotgun shells.


Image courtesy of NCP

Posher trucks have ditched CRT displays for LCDs and used the weight savings to install even more gadgetry. The biggest trucks also allow their sides to pop out for expanded interior space, making some of these vehicles nearly as large as a mobile home.

Events of this scale require multiple trucks from multiple production companies, making the entire event a logistical nightmare that always turns out to have fewer glitches than its complexity would suggest. When you're putting on an event for 100 million viewers, though, things have to go right the first time, and crews will spend as much time prepping for the game and rehearsing their roles as the players do (though the tech crew will suffer fewer dislocations and internal bruising).

NFL Films

As if the CBS production effort wasn't lavish enough, NFL Films will be on hand with its own crew, as it is for every game of the season. During regular season games, the league sends out at least two camera operators; if a coach or player is wearing a microphone, another cameraperson films them for the entire game.

NFL Films shoots, as its name suggests, on film. They value the look of 16mm film and shoot more than 25,000 ft of it, making them Kodak's number one 16mm film stock customer.

They are no small outfit; their production offices and studios are housed in a 200,000 sq. ft. facility. They employ more than 275 people and have won over 80 Emmys in the last 25 years. At last year's Super Bowl, NFL Films deployed 22 film and audio crews to cover the game, and all of this was separate from network coverage of the event.

The footage is used to produce specials that end up on daytime ESPN or the new NFL Network channel, for which NFL Films produces hundreds of hours of new content each year.

And that's not all...

We've only scratched the glossy surface of the tech that goes into a Super Bowl production—HD transmission facilities, SD mixdown units, and surround sound processing (with stereo mixdown for SD broadcast) all have their own racks of gear, their own support crews, and their own expenses.
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10 of the Dumbest Quotes in MMA

10. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson

Quote: “When I be losing I be gettin’ my ass whupped. But when I be winnin’ I be doing the ass whuppin’!”
Admittedly, Rampage has had enough funny/dumb quotes to fill a book and over 2/3rd of them contain some version of “ass whuppin’”. We’ll let this well-said overly obvious statement represent the many that he has given us — and the hundreds more that are sure to come.

9. BJ Penn

Quote: “My diet is like Atkins, but with the carbs.”
We like BJ - and he’s a fan favorite - but, Prodigy, a little extra effort would be appreciated when you’re fielding questions about your diet. Everyone knows what Atkins is, so if you add the carbs…well, then it’s not Atkins at all is it?

8. Wanderlei Silva

Quote: “I want to fuck…I want to fight Chuck, fuck Chuck.”
We understand English is not his first language, but if I’m going to be at press conferences and giving recorded interviews, I’m going to at least make sure I’m not saying I want to bone a dude instead of fight him. But maybe that’s just me. I’m not from his country. [Ed. note: Sure, GSP’s accent has led to some hilarious moments, but never did we misconstrue him as wanting to bed Matt Hughes.]

7. Jim Brown

Quote: “I don’t know what kind of technique was used there, but there was a lot of kicking and punching.”
Astute observations like this is what helps us understand the ins-and-outs of MMA. Sure, the use of Jim Brown may have just been a ploy to throw some celebrity power behind the broadcasts, but my grandmother could have made this remark. Actually, my grandmother has made this remark.

6. Phil Baroni

Quote: “I fight because I can’t sing, I can’t dance, and it beats working all day. Now ask me a question that doesn’t sound so fucking stupid.”
Well, for those of you who can’t sing, dance or fight, I guess you’re up shit creek. Looks like you’ll be working all day for the rest of your miserable existence. Baroni never did handle interviews with kid gloves, but when you make comments that are just plain stupid, expect to make the dumb list.

5. Tank Abbott

Quote: “I felt like I was being raped by Freddy Mercury.”
Tank made this comment over a decade ago after losing to Dan Severn. Now, we’re not sure if Tank actually had the experience of being violated by Queen’s bandleader or if that was the first person who came to mind when he was asked how he felt. Even though Dan Severn and Freddie Mercury shared similar mustache styles, this still ranks as one of the dumbest.

4. Tim Sylvia

Quote: “Half of this game is 90% mental.”
We may feel a little sorry for him sometimes, but this guy just can’t stay off of our worst lists. This one was just begging to be here. And for those of you who failed math more than once (is that so wrong?) half is 50%, not 90%. Hence the dumbness.

3. Mike Goldberg

Quote: “He wants to get in close to use that reach advantage.”
Goldie is a master at the dumb quotes and has a multitude during each broadcast - like “Looks like Tito is taking a book out of Chuck’s chapter.” This gem comes from Ultimate Fight Night 10 and it will certainly be topped by an even dumber quip by the toothy commentator soon. It’s only a matter of time before Rogan chokes MIke out for his idiotic sayings.

2. Paul Buentello

Quote: “Don’t fear me. (pause to get the crowd pumped) Fear the consequences.”
We’re sure he had something cool to say, but as soon as he got the first three words out it all went blank. Then cheesy movie lines started rushing into his head and he’s stuck with this embarrassing quote for life.

1. Ken Shamrock

Quote #1:”You got kicked. By a kick.”
Quote #2: “I am very confident this fight can go either way.”
We could do a top 100 of Ken’s quotes, but we’ll only use these two from TUF 3 for this list. Quote #1 is so blatant, it hardly warrants anything be said about it. The second quote is a classic Ken when a microphone is shoved in his face and he must rely on his mind to do the heavy lifting for him. The results are hi-larious. But careful about making fun of him, he will “beat you into a living death” (an actual Ken quote).

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Sources: Suns a 'yes' away from acquiring Shaq for Marion

The seemingly improbable pairing of an aging Shaquille O'Neal and the run-and-gun Phoenix Suns is just a final "yes" from the Suns away from happening, according to NBA front-office sources.

Sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday night that the Miami Heat have already agreed to send O'Neal to the Suns in exchange for All-Star forward Shawn Marion and out-of-favor guard Marcus Banks. Miami is simply waiting for Phoenix management to complete a medical examination of O'Neal and formally accept what would rank as one of the most unexpected trades in league history.

"It looks like it's going to happen," said one source close to the situation. "We should know for sure by [Wednesday]."

ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher reported Tuesday night that O'Neal is scheduled to arrive in Phoenix on Wednesday to undergo a physical. A source close to Marion told ESPN.com early Wednesday that the Suns have informed the 29 year old that the deal will go through, with the forward eager now to move on after playing with the Suns for his entire career.

The Arizona Republic also reported that a deal could be imminent and that O'Neal had contacted some Suns players Tuesday night. The Suns pushed back their shootaround, originally scheduled for 9:45 a.m. MT to 4:45 p.m., shortly before Phoenix hosts New Orleans.

O'Neal talked to Suns players including Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire, The Arizona Republic reported. "I will not let you down," O'Neal reportedly told Nash on the phone.

The Miami Herald first reported on its Web site Tuesday night that the Heat have informed O'Neal that they are shopping him and that talks with the Suns were serious.

That apparently surprised O'Neal ... but also pleased him. Sources told ESPN.com that the 35-year-old -- in the midst of his least productive season and with the Heat cratering from a championship in 2006 to a 9-37 record less than two years later -- is eager to leave Miami and his deteriorating relationship with Heat coach Pat Riley.

Hollinger: Why Shaq?

The Suns have the best record in the West with their current roster. So why do they want to blow up the team, John Hollinger writes. Story

Broussard: Crazy deal Insider

"The process is in play, and that's all I really can say because things have backed up before," Riley said Wednesday in Auburn Hills, Mich., where his team was preparing for the Pistons. "Nothing's been completed, and that's where it's at right now."

Dwyane Wade wouldn't comment on the trade until it was completed.

"I don't have any reaction yet because I don't know the truth yet,'' Wade said Wednesday morning. "So until the truth comes out, I can't really react to it."

Making a move for O'Neal appears on the surface to make little basketball or financial sense for the Suns. O'Neal's arrival in Phoenix would undoubtedly prompt widespread skepticism about his ability to keep up in the Suns' high-octane system. The two years and $40 million remaining on O'Neal's contract after this season also clashes with the Suns' recent pattern of trading away players (such as Kurt Thomas) and draft picks in attempt to reduce payroll and eventually drag themselves away from the NBA luxury-tax line of $67.875 million.


The Suns, though, have been plagued by well-chronicled concerns about their chemistry for nearly two years, generally focusing on the occasional dissatisfaction voiced behind the scenes by either Marion or Stoudemire. In the locker room as well as the front office, sources say, there are factions that have believed for some time that one of them would eventually have to be traded for the Suns to reach their full potential.

Those in-house doubts about this group's ability to break through and win the first championship in team history have only grown this season, sources say, even though Phoenix currently holds the best record in the West at 34-14.

But owner Robert Sarver and team president Steve Kerr, according to sources with knowledge of the Suns' thinking, have ruled out trading Stoudemire, despite season-long speculation suggesting that his defensive deficiencies would ultimately lead to his exit before Marion's. Sarver and Kerr have deemed Stoudemire too valuable to part with, given that he's only 25 and continues to play at an All-Star level after three surgeries, making him perhaps the NBA's most successful comeback patient from the dreaded microfracture knee procedure.

Marion asked to be traded before the season but has rarely mentioned that declaration since, with many Suns insiders believing that he went public with that request mostly as a protest response to being mentioned in trade rumors for years. If he leaves now, it's likely more because Phoenix believes (a) that Boris Diaw can assume some of Marion's old duties, (b) that Stoudemire will relish playing alongside Shaq as a power forward as opposed to masquerading as a center and (c) that team chemistry will improve immediately with this change.

Diesel and Dust

Thanks in part to injuries, Shaquille O'Neal's numbers are down significantly from his career averages this season. While his field goal percentage remains steady, the Big Aristotle's minutes, points and rebounds per game are well below his accustomed level of excellence.

Shaq's first 15 seasons
vs. 2007-08
Category First 15 2007-08
PPG 25.9 14.2
FG Pct. 58.0 58.1
RPG 11.6 7.8
MPG 36.6 28.5

Acquiring O'Neal would also address the size issues Phoenix has faced since two-time MVP Steve Nash was reacquired as a free agent in the summer of 2004 to orchestrate coach Mike D'Antoni's free-wheeling system.

The Suns are said to be confident that Nash can find a way to get Shaq involved offensively. And it's undeniably true that the West is still filled with plenty of big men for Shaq to match up with. Just to name five: San Antonio's Tim Duncan, Houston's Yao Ming, New Orleans' Tyson Chandler, Portland's Greg Oden (next season) and Andrew Bynum of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Of course, O'Neal turns 36 in March and has been plagued by a persistent hip problem that has cost him 14 games this season. He refused to speak with Miami reporters after Tuesday's practice, while Riley insisted that O'Neal would soon undergo an MRI after missing the Heat's past six games.

And when he has been healthy, O'Neal is averaging a career-worst 14.2 points and 7.8 rebounds, while the Heat's demise has deepened after they followed their historic comeback from 2-0 down against Dallas in the 2006 NBA Finals by absorbing a first-round sweep by Chicago last season.

So if the deal does go through as widely expected now, Phoenix would be banking on the idea that O'Neal will be rejuvenated health-wise and reinvigorated mentally by the prospect of fresh start, after a half-season in which his remaining effectiveness and durability have been doubted louder than ever.

Miami's motivation, meanwhile, is clear. The Heat's need to revamp their entire roster around Wade grows more apparent by the day in what ranks as an unprecedented collapse for a championship team that didn't lose its star players. Marion has the ability to opt out of his contract at season's end if he's willing to forfeit next season's $17.2 million salary, potentially giving the Heat substantial salary-cap space as early as this summer.

It remains to be seen if the Heat want Marion more for the financial flexibility or because they see him as a long-term complement to Wade. It also remains to be seen how much Phoenix will miss Marion's athleticism and versatility, since his ability to guard all five positions and tireless running made him a one-of-a-kind fit alongside Nash in D'Antoni's system.

Sarver said earlier this month that Marion was one of the Suns' cornerstone players who "flat-out was not getting traded," but that changed once Miami started shopping O'Neal. Although Riley later denied it, Bucher reported on ESPN2's "NBA Coast to Coast" last week that Miami had been begun to gauge trade interest in the hulking center with four championship rings from his time with the Lakers and Heat.

Although attempts to reach officials from both teams proved unsuccessful, D'Antoni did acknowledge the possibility of O'Neal's arrival on his weekly radio show Tuesday night, saying: "It would mean a lot. [But] that's a big question that's got to be thought over and pondered."

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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