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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tallest Skyscraper in the World Almost Completed

The Burj Dubai tower, the tallest skyscraper in the world, is about to be completed. To celebrate it, David Hobcote has taken a series of amazing high resolution pictures from the air which give an exact impression of the breathtaking, massive scale of this building. Inside, it looks like a set from Blade Runner or the interior of the Death Star

read more | digg story

After 8 Golds for Phelps, 8 Big Questions on Beijing's Super Pool

Published on: August 19, 2008

Michael Phelps competes in the Men's 4x100 Medley Relay held at the National Aquatics Centre during Day 9 of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Sports fans and average humans
were left dumbfounded last week as Michael Phelps and his USA Swimming teammates shattered records on a daily basis. With 20 world-best marks falling in Bejing—as many as in the last two Olympics combined—what's the scientific secret weapon? And while Olympians crushed 28 records in 1972—the year Mark Spitz won his now-surpassed seven gold medals—what makes Phelps and Co. so much better than swimmers of yesteryear? PM crunches the numbers with the experts to answer these and other high-tech questions—and debunk some of the myths that have cropped up around them.

Is this world-record binge unprecedented?

No. In the 1976 games, 24 world marks were set, and in 1972, the year that Spitz won his seven golds, 28 world records were shattered.

If 1972's Mark Spitz were in competition in the 2008 Olympics, could Michael Phelps beat him?
Yes, and by a shockingly large margin. A 1972 vintage Spitz, in fact, wouldn't have even made this year's field. His then-Olympic and world-record time of 1:52.78 in the 200-meter freestyle is 4 seconds short of the Olympic A qualifying standard (1:48.72)—and close to 10 seconds slower than the new world record Phelps set last week.

And get this: Don Schollander's 1964 world and Olympic record of 4:12.2 in the 400 meters would be too slow to make the women's field in that event. That's a mind-boggling 30 seconds behind 2008 champ Tae Hwan Park of Korea, who posted a time of 3:41.86.

Are cutting-edge swimsuits behind these shocking times?
No. While suits like the Speedo LZR Racer have proved important in winning medals—the 1/100ths of a second they can shave off a time can often mean the difference between gold and silver—they seem to provide only incremental time gains. The next-gen gear works by reducing drag compared to bare skin, as well as encouraging swimmers to maintain a streamlined body position. However, Dara Torres posted a 53.78 in the Olympic trials in the 100-meter freestyle—less than a second faster than her personal best times of 54.43 and 54.45—while wearing a more conventional suit.

And for what it's worth, Phelps wore the full-length LZR suit in only three of his eight races—the 200 freestyle, the 4x100 and 4x200 freestyle relays—preferring to go bare-chested in his five butterfly and individual medley contests. "The suit is definitely a help," he told reporters in Beijing. "Without the training, nothing else happens."

Is it the super pool?
The pool in Beijing's Water Cube is one of the world's fastest. Its 3-meter depth is the deepest allowable, and it is 10 lanes wide (even though Olympic events are run with eight swimmers to a heat). These features reduce speed-robbing turbulence. But how much of a difference did those tweaks actually make this year? At last month's Olympic trials in a more conventional, 2.5-meter-deep pool in Omaha, Neb., Phelps posted a time of 1:44:10 in the 200 meters. His Olympic world-record time was 1:42.96—about a second faster.

Tech aside, what makes Phelps a superhuman phenomenon of science?
It's impossible to definitively parse Phelps's enormous 10-second edge over Spitz—not to mention his modern competition. But it seems like his sleeker suit and Beijing's faster pool probably account for a second each at most. The other 8 seconds over his forbear? Better technique.

For all it demands in the way of cardiovascular fitness and sheer strength, swimming is really the ultimate technique sport. "Why are records being broken?" asks George Washington University professor Rajat Mittal, a leading researcher in hydrodynamics. "Swimming is the most technical sport."

What makes a fast stroke fast?
In a word, efficiency. When researchers Rick Sharp and Jane Cappaert of the International Center for Aquatic Research studied the 1992 Olympics, they concluded that swimmers who made the finals actually had a power output that was 16 percent lower than those they beat. Russian champion Alexander Popov was estimated to be using 25 to 40 percent less energy than his rivals. The key to victory, Mittal explains, is not the athlete's pure power output (as is the case in sports like track and cycling) but his efficiency. "It all comes down to how well you can transfer energy from your body to a complex fluid medium," he explains. Toward that end, this year's U.S. Olympic team sent four sports science experts to Beijing, and every swim was videotaped for analysis. Phelps and co. swim faster than legends like Spitz and Schollander because they're swimming smarter.

What is Phelps's secret weapon?
The dolphin kick. This underwater kick, first used in the butterfly, is much more efficient than the conventional flutter kick. "Swimming underwater is always better than swimming on the surface because it eliminates wave drag," Mittal explains. The first inkling of the dolphin kick's remarkable efficiency came in the 1980s, when backstroker David Berkoff broke world records by swimming as much as half a lap underwater. Swimming officials had to limit its use to the first 15 meters of the lap lest swimmers try to contest the whole race underwater.

In the 1996 Olympic Games, Russian butterfly swimmer Denis Pankratov won two gold medals by resurrecting the dolphin kick, swimming 25 meters off the start and more than 15 meters off the turn underwater. The sport's governing body soon closed the loophole in this event as well. The fact that it took almost 20 years for Phelps to fully exploit the kick in freestyle events proves Mittal's point: Our understanding of human performance in this complex medium is still very much incomplete. "There's a big disconnect between cause and effect," he says. "Even when coaches have figured out things that work well, they don't know why they work well."

How did Phelps revolutionize the dolphin kick?
Ian Thorpe started using the dolphin stroke coming off turns in freestyle in the late 1990s, but Phelps has simply taken it to a different level. Phelps's coach, Bob Bowman, has said that his star pupil utilizes the dolphin kick for 13 meters on every turn, compared to Thorpe's 5.

The results can be staggering. Berkoff observed that in the 200-meter freestyle in the 2004 World Championships, Phelps opened a 2-second gap over former world-record holder Pieter van den Hoogenband—on just one turn. A similar edge at the start and each of the three turns in the 200-meter freestyle could easily account for most of the missing 8 seconds of Phelps's 10-second edge on Spitz.

Is Phelps more human, dolphin or submarine?
What makes Phelps's dolphin kick so effective is that, effectively, he swims like a dolphin. Since 2003, Mittal and his George Washington University colleague James Hahn have been analyzing the dolphin kick for USA Swimming, using computer models originally designed to refine the design of small submarines. They found several interesting things. The first is that 90 percent of the propulsion comes from below the ankles. And given that, Phelps's giant, size-14 feet become a huge advantage, functioning almost like flippers.

"Michael Phelps has incredibly flexible ankles, and he can flop his ankles like a dolphin fluke," Mittal says. "Of all the swimmers we've tested, Michael's parameters are closest to that of a dolphin." This preternatural ability to mimic the planet's most efficient swimmer is truly what makes Phelps so good. "The suits do help, and the fact that the pool is deeper and wider has some effect, but why is Phelps so fast?" Mittal asks rhetorically. "It's technique, technique, technique."

The World’s 19 Most Spectacular Skylines

Some of the best instances in which humanity attempts to reach for the heavens.

read more | digg story

10 Movie Trailers That Were Better Than The Actual Movie

You ever saw a trailer that made you say WOW… That’s going to be a great movie. I really can’t wait till this movie comes out. Then you go to see the movie on opening weekend, only to find out WHAT A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT that was....

read more | digg story

My Honorable mention is 300....great so much..

5 Reasons to Write Down Everything You Eat For a Week

Quick, what did you eat for lunch on Monday? Ok, stop, you have no idea and neither would I. That's a problem if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight. How do you know what is causing gains and losses if you aren't tracking things?

I lost 50 lbs. (going from a US size 10 to US size 4)by writing down everything I ate and making changes based on the results. The more I thought about it, the more I think this habit is good for anyone - dieters, and non-dieters alike.

If you need to be coerced, consider these reasons why writing down everything you eat for a week will change your behavior:

1. You snack a lot more than you realize
Carry a notebook with you and jot down every item of food and drink that passes your lips. Within a day, you’ll realize just how much you snack. A bad of chips mid-morning, a cookie from a colleague’s stash, a few bits of candy … it all adds up. You might find you’re eating more in snacks than in proper meals.

2. You’re not eating enough fruit and vegetables
Are you hitting your five servings of fruit and veggies every day? Maybe you reckon that you’re “close”. Chances are, you’re sometimes only getting two or three – if that. Once you’ve written down everything you ate during the week, look back and see where you could fit in some fresh fruit (swap one of your many snacks for an apple, grab a fruit bag instead of a candy bar with your lunch-time sandwich). And if your meals are a veg-free zone, make sure you start including some salad or cooked vegetables.

3. You drink WAY too much soda
It’s easy to forget that drinks have calories too – they don’t fill you up. But if you’re chugging down five cans of coke a day, you’re swallowing a total of 175 grams of sugar. And switching to a diet version is only half the battle won – the flavorings, additives and caffeine aren’t exactly great for you. Go for some water or at least some fruit juice if you need more flavor.

4. You spend too much on junk
Now this list is going to become ultra-handy. In addition to watching your food intake, you're also watching the budget. Keep a note of where you eat – or how much you spend on food – if you’re buying it out. You might realize that junk food is costing you more than your main meals: over the course of a day, a burger and fries, a candy bar, a bag of chips and a couple of sodas can top $15.

5. You don’t get enough variety in your diet
Are you writing down the same things for meals almost every day? Maybe your breakfast is always the same type of cereal, lunch is a cheese or ham sandwich, and dinner revolves around frozen meals. Or perhaps everything you eat is from your own national cuisine. Try to get more variety: have a pasta salad for lunch, try oatmeal or yogurt and fruit for breakfast, or branch out and eat something which you’ve never had before.

If you’ve kept a food diary, what did it tell you? If you’ve never recorded what you eat, how do you reckon your eating habits will look on paper?

Try it for 1 week! What's 1 week?! This article will tell you how to do it, provide templates, etc.


College drinking debate: 18 or 21?

School leaders urge new look at age laws

By Justin Pope

Associated Press

August 19, 2008

College presidents from about 100 of the nation's best-known universities, including Duke, Dartmouth and Ohio State, are calling on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, saying current laws encourage dangerous binge drinking on campus.

The movement called the Amethyst Initiative began quietly recruiting presidents more than a year ago to provoke national debate about the drinking age.

"This is a law that is routinely evaded," said John McCardell, ex-president of Middlebury College in Vermont, who started the organization. "It is a law that the people at whom it is directed believe is unjust and unfair and discriminatory."

Other schools on board include Syracuse University, Morehouse College and Lake Forest College.

But before the presidents begin the public phase of their efforts, which may include publishing newspaper ads in the coming weeks, they are facing sharp criticism.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving says lowering the drinking age would lead to more fatal car crashes. It accuses the presidents of misrepresenting science and, in the words of MADD CEO Chuck Hurley, "waving the white flag."

Both sides agree alcohol abuse by college students is a huge problem. Research has found that more than 40 percent of college students reported at least one symptom of alcohol abuse or dependence. One study estimated more than 500,000 full-time students at four-year colleges suffer injuries each year related in some way to drinking, and about 1,700 die in such accidents.

Moana Jagasia, a Duke University sophomore from Singapore, where the drinking age is 18, said reducing the age in the U.S. has merit.

"If the age is younger, you're getting exposed to it at a younger age, and you don't freak out when you get to campus," she said.

Hack Your Wii for Homebrew Apps and DVD Playback

Despite the fact that it ships with a DVD drive, for whatever godforsaken reason, the Nintendo Wii doesn't support DVD playback—until last week, that is, when a homebrew hacker released a tool that enables DVD playback on your Wii. The best part? You don't have to crack open your Wii or disturb your hardware in any way to install it. Let's take a detailed look at how to softmod your Wii with the Twilight hack to run homebrew apps. Then I'll show you how to install the Wii port of the open source media player, mplayer, to turn your Wii into a DVD (or should I say WiiVD?) player.

click here for the walk-through, including pics + vids

Olympic Water Polo Is Pretty Cool

First Android Phone Approved By FCC

Written by Sarah Perez / August 18, 2008 7:14 AM

Today, the news broke that the HTC Dream, the first handset to run Android (aka "the Google Phone") has been approved by the FCC. In the documents provided, it appears that we have now a release date for this highly anticipated phone: November 10th, 2008.

So what will the HTC Dream offer? We take a look at some of the details and unknowns surrounding this device.

This morning Engadget Mobile broke the news of the HTC Dream's FCC approval, and confirms that it is indeed the long-awaited Android phone. T-Mobile, HTC, and Google should be announcing the Dream's launch in either September or October, depending on who you believe. Originally, the launch was thought to be in October, but today, VentureBeat is reporting that, in the FCC document, HTC requests the commission grant it a short-term confidentiality request on "attachments" until Nov. 10th, 2008. That date seems to confirm that the phone will be released on November 10th.

What's Inside

A recent post in the unofficial T-Mobile blog, TmoNews, confirms that the HTC Dream will offer the following features:

  • Touch screen
  • Full Qwerty keyboard
  • 3G/ WiFi
  • Full HTML internet capabilities
  • Easy access to all Google applications (Gmail, Gtalk, search)
  • Maps
  • Street view
  • YouTube
  • Phone
  • IM/Text
  • Email
  • Camera 3.0mp; no flash
  • Video (playback only, no recording)
  • Music player & 1GB memory card pre-loaded
  • Applications, all available in Google marketplace (icon on the homescreen)

Engadget adds that the Dream will also offer Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR compliance and has a "jogball" as seen this video:

Unconfirmed at this time is GPS, but it seems likely that the handset will have this considering that T-Mobile can provide the service and the phone will offer Street View, which would require its use (although it could work through triangulation, we suppose). TmoNews also adds that the phone will offer two data plan options: Unlimited data and 400 messages or Unlimited data and unlimited messages. Prices for these plans will be in the $35 range, they say.

Image courtesy of TmoNews

Still no word on whether or not this video is legit, though:

20 Ideas For Making the Olympics Kick Way More Ass

article image

This year's Olympics sure is exciting. At least, we keep hearing it is. We actually haven't been watching. We asked you to photoshop a couple of tweaks that would actually inspire us to watch and promised some money to the winner. We have our winner below, but first...

Click here to see the Winners

If you aren't watching the Olympics, here's what you missed.

Screenshot of the most entertaining moment of the Olympics thus far.

read more | digg story

A third of new PCs being downgraded to XP

Vista may be what Microsoft sells, but XP remains popular
Gregg Keizer

August 18, 2008 (Computerworld) More than one in every three new PCs is downgraded from Windows Vista to the older Windows XP, either at the factory or by the buyer, a performance and metrics researcher said today.

According to Devil Mountain Software Inc., which operates a community-based testing network, nearly 35% of the 3,000-plus PCs it examined had been downgraded from Vista to XP.

"Either these machines were downgraded by [sellers like] Dell or HP, or they were downgraded by the user after they got the machine," said Craig Barth, chief technology officer at Devil Mountain. "In any case, these machines are no longer running Vista."

Barth used data provided by users to Devil Mountain's — which it kicked off last year and has expanded by partnering with InfoWorld, a Computerworld sister publication — to come up with his numbers. By collating such things as the vendor and system model number with manufacturers' catalogs, Barth was able to identify machines that were probably shipped within the past six months, a period when virtually every new PC was offered with Vista preinstalled.

"The 35% is only an estimate, but it shows a trend within our own user base," Barth said. "People are taking advantage of Vista's downgrade rights."

Under the terms of Microsoft's end-user licensing agreement, Vista Business and Vista Ultimate can be "downgraded" to XP Professional; businesses that purchase Vista Enterprise can also downgrade to XP.

Although Microsoft retired Windows XP from mainstream availability at the end of June — it stopped shipping the seven-year-old operating system to retail and large computer makers — some OEMs have continued to offer new PCs with XP preinstalled by doing the downgrade at the factory. Hewlett-Packard Co., for example, has promised that it will offer the downgrade option on its business-class desktops, notebooks and workstations through July 2009.

"Vista's installed base certainly doesn't equal the number of Vista licenses [that Microsoft has] sold," Barth said, citing the data as proof. "We're seeing this a lot in the financial sector."

Devil Mountain's primary product, the DMS Clarity Studio performance-analyzing software, is installed in large numbers at several major financial firms. "One client is not doing Vista at all, but they're refreshing their entire platform this year," Barth said. The company, a nationally known securities firm, is instead downgrading to the 64-bit version of Windows XP, he said.

Last year, Devil Mountain benchmarked Vista and XP performance using other performance-testing tools and concluded that XP was much faster. Barth said things haven't changed since then. "Everything I've seen clearly shows me that Vista is an OS that should never have left the barn," he noted.

Even when stripping Vista down to core components to make it as close in functionality to XP as possible, Vista was 40% slower, Barth claimed, citing recent tests Devil Mountain has performed. "Vista's performance had been an ongoing problem, and the only thing that's saving Microsoft's bacon is the faster processors and more RAM on today's PCs," he said. "Moore's Law is always on their side."

Leonel Marshall 50 inch vertical jump - Cuba Volleyball

The song is Insomnia by Faithless. Leonel is 6'5" tall I think that's just over 2 meters. He touches over 12'. The star of Men's Cuban National Volleyball team has a 50" Vertical Jump. This guy is truly amazing to watch.

If you want to increase your vertical then you should definitely check out Luke's website. Click here:


I don’t know how but INF Daily has gotten more pictures of Lindsay Lohan and Courtenay Semel in Capri, Italy on New Years Eve of 2007 (the pictures date 12.27.07 and 12.29.07) . Lindsay of course was rumored to be f’ing Semel at the time. The cool part of these pictures is that they show Hayden Panittiere on the trip too. So did Lindsay seduce and F her too. Yes. Yes she did, according to my depraved fantasies.

From Durden...

How To Surf On A River

Learn to surf at

Walt Disney's Sin City Promotional Posters

Walt Disney's Sin City...

This is a series of six drawings I did featuring the Disney Princesses, recast in a Walt Disney version of the movie Sin City. All six are based on existing posters and promitonal art from the film Sin City.

I loved the idea from the moment I thought it up, so I had to pursue it. There's just something so incredibly awesome about the idea of juxtaposing something brutal, harsh, sexy & violent, like Sin City, with something wholesome, fun, and child-friendly, like Disney.

Everything You Need to Know About USB 3.0 (+PICS)

No doubt you’re familiar with the Universal Serial Bus – we ranked it as our top PC innovation of all time. But what do you know about the next version of this ubiquitous interface?

read more | digg story

How The Victorians Did Gadgets (Pics)

What clever, handy devices came out of the 19th-century imagination? Self-pouring teapots, periscope glasses,fire grenades, and more.Pictured is a forerunner of your trusty Outlook calendar.It's a memorandum clock, which indicates when a business appointment has finished.The device from 1890, uses a bone note with the relevant person's name on it.

read more | digg story

Call the U.S. men basketball.... the esteem team

Say "cheese"
Mark Dadswell / Getty Images
Kobe Bryant posing for a photograph at the Olympic games has become a common site in Beijing. For all the shoring up of the U.S. reputation on the basketball court in these Games, of perhaps even greater value is the improvement in the of the program's image on the international scene with the exemplary behaviour of this year's team.
What's being redeemed isn't only their record but their global reputation, which had suffered in the years since 1992's Dream Team.
Mark Heisler
August 18, 2008

As "cheesy" as Nike's nickname for this team may be -- as Nike spokesman Kobe Bryant keeps noting -- the U.S. has more to redeem than its primacy in basketball.

Of course, sometimes when you lose, you really win, as Gloria also said. This U.S. team may not lose any games, but if it lost them all, it already has won.

If we never see another Dream Team, these U.S. players have dialed the clock back to 1992 in terms of the respect they're extending and receiving.

It's more than the postgame pictures with the other team, now choreographed by the NBA Entertainment crew shooting that documentary for Nike.

The same people who rolled their eyes at the Americans' bad manners for years say this team is different.

"I think they've been outstanding, the way they've conducted themselves, [although] they may be coming from a fairly low base from some of their predecessors in the way they've gone about it," former Australia star Andrew Gaze says, laughing.

"I think also off the floor, seeing the guys, the way they interact with the public, the reporters -- you look at Kobe Bryant, every photo they want taken, he's been obliging.

"I think they've really taken on the challenge, not only to resurrect the reputation of what goes on the court but what goes off the court."



Kobe Mania



If this is a mellow U.S. team compared with some -- like the 1994 world championship squad that had one of its players, Larry Johnson, named to the All-Principal's-Office Team -- it's not just a fortunate, spontaneous development.

It came from the top, from managing director Jerry Colangelo and Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who brought in Triano, a Toronto Raptors assistant, not only to coach the U.S. Select team but to tell the big team what the world thought of them.

"We have to understand our responsibility," Krzyzewski says. "We don't have to celebrate individual things. They act like they've done it before, which they have."

Let's just say it's been a long time coming.

When pro players made their Olympic debut in 1992, it looked like a win-win proposition for the NBA, which got to use some downtime over the summer to dress its product in red, white and blue and present it to a huge worldwide audience.

The Dream Team lived up to every hope, rolling over opponents who were dazzled to be on the same floor, right down to Angola's Herlander Coimbra, who asked to pose for a picture with Charles Barkley after the game in which Barkley elbowed him.

The problem quickly became that no subsequent U.S. squad could live up to the Dream Team's esprit, excellence or popularity, which they all quickly tired of hearing about.

Two years after the Dream Team, the U.S. sent its "Young Guns" to Toronto for the 1994 world championships, which they won in appalling fashion.

Bristling at comparisons to what was being called Dream Team I, the young guns played casually, puts their heads back and howled, struck poses and talked trash.

Said Gaze, then still playing: "I don't know if 'vile' is the right word, or 'disgusting.' There should be at least some pleasure in playing the game, some dignity."

Replied Johnson: "I didn't come here to make friends. I've got enough friends. We came here to kick some behind, and that's what we're doing. We're basically taking a lot of countries to school."

That ended the practice of tacking on roman numerals to the name "Dream Team." Having wound up with something more like Hell's Angels, horrified NBA officials made sure that was the last international competition for Johnson and fellow gangstas Derrick Coleman and Shawn Kemp.

The 1996 Olympic team in Atlanta was well-behaved but bored. Interest waned. The big story in U.S. basketball was the women, who were about to get their own league with the WNBA.

The attitude resurfaced in 2000 in Sydney, where demonstrative Vince Carter had run-ins with Gaze and Shane Heal, Australia's little point guard, and Aussie fans made derisive chants.

The U.S. won the gold medal but only after close calls against Lithuania and France, signaling the debacles to come.

Colangelo, taking over after the 2004 Athens train wreck, had a wide array of friends from abroad -- including his daughter-in-law, a former Italian freelance writer -- and knew only too well what the world thought.

"I really do believe from everything I know from people I respect, the people in the world thought the American teams didn't respect them," Colangelo says. "Didn't respect them as teams, as individuals, arrogant, that kind of thing. And that had to end. . . .

"From those first meetings with players, I said, 'Look, this is what people think of us. We have to change this. We have to come in with a whole new attitude. We have to show respect for our country, show respect for our team, show respect for our opponents. And anything less than that's not going to fly.' "

This is still sports, so the U.S. team can't win unless it wins, but its most important legacy for me will be the standard it set for a U.S. team's behavior.

Long may it wave.

The Six Best (and Five Worst) Failed TV Pilots

A lot of TV shows are terrible, but let’s face it: we’re lucky. Behind every abomination unleashed on those watching at home, there are likely a dozen potential shows too horrid to be aired, and perhaps a much smaller number of promising series that met the same fate.

read more | digg story

5 Useful To-Do List Apps For The iPhone

A quick search in the iPhone App store can return you more than a dozen to-do list apps. If you can’t make up your mind over which to-do list app to choose, here are five of the best free to-do list apps that I have reviewed.

read more | digg story

Olympic Torch Lights The Moon!

The Olympic torch and the Moon

"I was running late, rushing from my last job to the Bird's Nest for the men's 100m final - as I turned the corner with one of my colleagues we saw a full moon rising above the stadium and we could not believe our luck!

"I had to decide if it would be worth stopping to shoot this picture and risk losing my spot in the stadium - I decided I could shoot this image quickly.

"Luckily I had a long lens with me, as it would have been difficult to capture the image without it. I waited a few minutes for the moon to move in line with the torch and this was the result."

Photo: Ryan Pierse/ Getty Images/ 18 August 2008

Some history for Serena and Venus Williams

1:16 AM, August 18, 2008

Serena Williams, left, and her sister Venus celebrate the gold medal in the women's doubles.

BEIJING -- Venus and Serena Williams, in their late 20s and with plenty of time left to change the history of tennis, were quizzed Sunday, after winning their Olympic doubles gold medal, about a future gold standard in the sport.

Did they realize, they were asked, that each was one major win away from a standard achieved by only two people in the world to date -- victories in singles in each of the Grand Slam tournaments (Australian, French, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open,) plus an Olympic gold medal?

The two people, of course, are married to each other -- Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. Graf did hers all in one year, the Seoul Olympic year of 1988. If she had done something like that in baseball or pro football, it would be talked about in whispered tones, a la Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak.

But it's tennis, and the world yawns.

Venus Williams could match that by winning the French Open, the one gap in her resume. Serena has won all the majors, but lacks an Olympic gold.

"I never really thought about that," said Serena, who said earlier last week that she and Venus would be in London for the 2012 Games. "We just try to win in every event we can."

Venus said: "I see it a little differently. I see that Serena has two gold medals" in doubles.

If you were a betting person, your best wager for the Agassi-Graf Platinum achievement would be on Venus, who will have four more shots at the French before Serena can take to the tennis courts of London, assuming she is still active then.

As they get older, things like that will mean more to them. It certainly means a lot to Agassi and Graf.

-- Bill Dwyre

Photo: Serena Williams, left, and her sister Venus celebrate the gold medal in the women's doubles. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Must Eat Ice-Cream

Spinning Back Kick - Shot to the Face

Shot To The Face - Watch more free videos

1936 Berlin Olympics Swimming Venue... today.

Apple launches iPhone 2.0.2 update

By Aidan Malley

Published: 05:15 PM EST

In a quick turnaround from 2.0.1, Apple on Monday evening released version 2.0.2 firmware for iPhone and iPod touch.

The 248.7MB update is available only through iTunes and comes just two weeks after version 2.0.1.

In traditional Apple form, no specific issues are identified in the current release notes, which only indicate "bug fixes" for the mobile operating system.

Past claims by alleged insiders and users have suggested that the update may fix connectivity problems causing dropped calls and unintended switches from 3G to the 2G EDGE network. AppleInsider will update if this or other new features are confirmed with the release.

Notes on the release follow:

  • No new settings appear to have been included.
  • Some users report faster browsing, though this may be due to cleared cache.
  • Typing lag may be reduced.
  • Apps don't require updates; NetShare still works.
  • Transition from music list to Coverflow has changed.

Baby that 'came back to life' minutes before burial dies in mother's arms

By Jack Khoury, Haaretz Correspondent, and The Associated Press

Doctors pronounced the death of a baby girl on Tuesday morning who survived six hours in a hospital morgue refrigerator after being declared stillborn on Monday.

Early Monday morning, a 26-year-old woman in her 23rd week of pregnancy arrived at the Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya suffering from severe pains and hemorrhage.

A preliminary examination found that the fetus had no pulse, and the woman was rushed to the operating room to have the fetus removed. At the end of the procedure, a baby girl weighing 610 grams was retrieved.

Showing no signs of life, she was pronounced dead by a senior doctor and taken to the morgue freezer. Hours later, when she was taken out to be prepared for burial, he mother noticed she was moving. She was rushed to the hospital's intensive care department and stayed there until her death.

The baby's father, Ali Majdub, had harsh criticism for the conduct of the hospital, telling Haaretz "we have many misgivings about the way the hospital handled the case."

"In my opinion, they were negligent in the speed with which they pronounced my daughter's death. It is curious how a 600-gram child, who is the size of the palm of my hand, comes back to life by herself," he said.

The father described how his wife realized the child was alive after asking to see her dead daughter one last time.

"When I came to the morgue to collect her, her body was wrapped up," he continued. "Then my wife, out of an inexplicable impulse, asked to see her again. At first, I didn't want to break her heart, but then I went up. When I got there, she realized she was moving."

Hospital director Dr. Massad Barhoum said the baby was breathing on her own. But he said her chances of survival are very, very slim because she was prematurely born in the 23rd week.

"There was one miracle, and we're hoping for another one," he said.

Asked whether negligence was involved, hospital deputy director Dr. Moshe Daniel said that the doctors were not too hasty in pronouncing the baby dead.

"It was a senior doctor. We passed all the findings to the Health Ministry, and they can launch an investigation if they deem appropriate," he said.

"From the start, the chances of survival were slim," he said after the baby was pronounced dead on Tuesday. It was later decided on Monday that an external investigative committee would be formed to look into the matter.

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