Useless information thread

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by forzainter, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    My two little pups are now 4 months old. Doing well.

    [​IMG]

    Took this today morning. Both looking at their mother. The little brown male got adopted once again.

    [​IMG]

    She says hello to all at TW.
     
  2. tusharlovesrafa

    tusharlovesrafa Hall of Fame

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    They look so cute and adorable.Just Amazing!!
    BTW,I hate these big open "NALAS" at the road-side..:)
     
  3. FlamEnemY

    FlamEnemY Hall of Fame

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    Messa da Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi

    The Messa da Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi is a musical setting of the Roman Catholic funeral mass (Requiem) for four soloists, double choir and orchestra. It was composed in memory of Alessandro Manzoni, an Italian poet and novelist much admired by Verdi.

    When Gioachino Rossini died in 1868, Verdi suggested that a number of Italian composers should collaborate on a Requiem in Rossini's honor, and began the effort by submitting the conclusion, Libera me. During the next year a Messa per Rossini was compiled by 13 composers, famous at the time, of whom the only one well known today is Verdi himself. The premiere was scheduled for 13 November 1869, the first anniversary of Rossini's death.
    However, on 4 November, nine days before the premiere, the organising committee abandoned it. Verdi blamed the scheduled conductor, Angelo Mariani, for this. He pointed to Mariani's lack of enthusiasm for the project, even though he had been part of the organising committee from the start, and it marked the beginning of the end of their long-term friendship. The piece fell into oblivion until 1988, when Helmuth Rilling premiered the complete Messa per Rossini in Stuttgart, Germany.
    In the meantime, Verdi kept toying with his Libera me, frustrated that the combined commemoration of Rossini's life would not be performed in his lifetime.
    On 22 May 1873, the Italian writer and humanist Alessandro Manzoni, whom Verdi had admired all his adult life and met in 1868, died. Upon hearing of his death, Verdi resolved to complete a Requiem—this time entirely of his own writing—for Manzoni. Verdi travelled to Paris in June, where he commenced work on the Requiem, giving it the form we know today. It included a revised version of the Libera me originally composed for Rossini.

    (and now, something not exactly "useless")

    Dies Irae
     
  4. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Stray dogs are born in these Nalas. These ones were born in the nala opposite this one and have spent their entire 4 months in it. they still sleep in there in their little home inside.


    At least these open nalas can be cleaned. the closed ones coming up, clog up and can never be cleaned.
     
  5. tusharlovesrafa

    tusharlovesrafa Hall of Fame

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    Oh yeah,the real mess starts in rainy season,when nearly every nali and nala gets clogged up and sewage water starts over flowing.There is so much water logging in parts of delhi that you can easily sail a boat over there..
     
  6. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    Dmitry Tursunov has been missing on the tour recently. I was worried after hearing the rumour that Dmitry went mad at a Challenger tournament in Laos, and is now living there in a hotel room full of cats, so I googled "Dmitry Tursunov." One of the results was an advice column he wrote, "Ask Dmitry: Tursunov's agony uncle column," which I found amusing.

    http://www.thetennisspace.com/opinion/ask-dmitry-tursunovs-agony-uncle-column/
    Dear Dmitry,
    Any advice for how to deal with opponents who always starts a conversation with each other just as I’m preparing to serve? This is in a “friendly” ladies’ group in Cincinnati.
     Thanks! Love the column,
    Maria H.
     
    Dear Maria,
    In all my time in tennis I have never seen a friendly ladies league match. You girls are marking your territories like rabid raccoons!

    Why do I have to teach you everything?! Set their hair on fire, pour laxative in their drinks, compliment how well they’ve packed on the pounds or sound amazed that they are finally pregnant by pointing at their tummy. You’ve got to use your creativity to cause destruction. After all, you girls do it so well when you get married to a man, so just direct that energy towards your opponents instead. The whole point of these friendly matches is not to win them, but to obliterate your opponent emotionally. A high from a win will wear out in a day or two, but an emotional put-down will stay with them far longer than that. If this doesn’t work, practice hard on target serving. It will come in handy!
     
     
    Dear Uncle Dmitry,
    What’s your stance on sun-visors? Manly or not manly?
    Alexander, London
     
    Well I just find them absolutely repulsive. Nothing says… God!..  Just any adjective I have in mind would be edited here, so… I don’t know… I just get violent when I think about them! I almost punched a lady sleeping in the seat next to me on an airplane when I read the question.

    A visor is definitely a tool to destabilize your opponent. Or anyone looking at you, for that matter. You want to look like a tool? Want everyone to hate you? Want to give a middle finger to society? This is the biggest finger you can find!

    What is the meaning of it?! Who thought it was better than a hat? Why do so many golfers wear it? I think it’s all self-explanatory. You just need a pair of khaki shorts, a pastel colored polo shirt with the collar sticking up, a pair of sports polarized sunglasses, and a belt-clip for your I-phone. Maybe a fanny-pack, to complete the look. Stitch your name on your golf-bag and say good-bye to your sex life.
     
    Other than that, it’s okay.
     
    Dear Uncle Dmitry,
    Which is the best language to swear in? Every umpire knows English swear-words, and all the decent ones know all the naughty words in a few other languages too. I’m looking for a good language to swear in when I’m playing. Two reasons. One, I won’t get thrown out of tournaments. Two, it will make me look sophisticated (I think). Please help!!
    Charlie,
    London
     
     
    Charlie,
    If you are trying to impress the ladies, go with French or Italian. These are just superb at making you sound dead sexy to a woman. There must be something in the frequencies of these languages that women will literally have an orgasm if you speak these languages. I don’t have to speak them as I can achieve this result even if I whisper into a woman’s ear in Dutch or German, but if I wasn’t me, I’d learn these two languages first. If, however, you want to learn a language to avoid an umpire, which is unlikely, as you are a guy and guys only think about one thing (Oh, no! What? Nobody is calling me a man-hater for this one?!?!) I would go with something truly exotic. Like Hindi for example. I always wondered if Gandhi was swearing when he spoke. He probably did too, but he was so cute and disarming, and his head wouldn’t stop moving… You’d never think he was swearing at you! There is a large Indian population in London so you could practice your swearing as well.

    For example, if I go to a Chinese restaurant, the waiters and the chef always look and sound as if they are about to start throwing knifes and frying pans at each other, so I think you’d come off too aggressive trying to speak Mandarin on the court. You can also give it a shot cursing in Tongues
     
    Dear Uncle Dmitry,
    I’ve read your first column on The Tennis Space and I’m so excited about your new position as ‘ATP sommelier of fan-girls’. Congratulations! Well-deserved. Before I send in my CV and photo for your review, I’d like to look my best first.  I believe I look good enough but one thing can be improved… I want Andrea Petkovic’s abs.  Best WTA abs so far. Hands-down. Have you ever by chances noticed hers? Could you please give me advice what she’s been doing during the training, what she’s been eating… With abs like hers, I’m confident that you won’t have a hard time ‘selling’ my CV and it would make your job easier. Win-win, eh?
     
    Cheers,
    Angela
     
    PS. Your job scope includes retired players? You have Marat Safin’s address, right?
     
    Thank you Angela! I completely agree – it is well deserved, but I try to be humble about it. It is a lot of work, as many of the tennis players tend to focus on themselves and their careers, overlooking the fact that it’s the fan-girls who allow us to lead the lifestyle. I just try to give back what I can.

    Now, onto your question. First off, (Marat) and I do not like a hardcore abs on a woman. We are old-school types who feel a woman is sexier and more sensual when it’s a nice toned tummy with just a hint of a six-pack. Obviously I’m not talking about a beer-belly, but a man and a woman have different bodies and a woman naturally will have a little more body-fat. It is more challenging to get a six-pack for a woman. Pilates, Yoga, and some core exercises are all good in achieving a more toned look as the first two, in general, lengthen and tone your muscles rather than bulk you up.

    The biggest issue however is the fact that there is a layer of fat between muscles and the skin so not only do you have to exercise to strengthen the muscle but also do some cardio to burn off the fat. I would suggest looking at your body-type first and foremost. You won’t cheat nature so you’ll work with what you have. Secondly, research on what you input into your body. Alcoholic drinks, breads, sugars, processed foods; sodas are all a huge factor of your well-being. By adjusting your diet, and exercises you can transform your body without radical sacrifices. Set small attainable goals, in terms of your regimen, make a list of all the foods in your household and make the necessary adjustments.

    Also, remember that being sexy has a lot to do with how YOU feel about yourself. Well, that, and with what I tell you as well. I’m not promoting starvation, but neither do I promote eating like a pig and saying that people shouldn’t be superficial and judge you by your looks. There should be a balance and no radical changes right off the bat. Take it one step at a time. Control what you can. The less preparation stages the food goes through the better it is for you. Fruit, vegetables, grains are all substitutes for sugars, cornstarch, and Doritos. You just have to make right choices. Andrea does that. You know, its funny you mentioned her, because… I taught her a few moves myself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hSKwpiRCi8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    She pays attention to what she puts in her gas tank. Crap fuel will kill your engine. She also most likely uses the ab-cream from her boy-toy from Spain. I saw them rubbing it onto each other a couple of times in the lounge. Didn’t see the brand though…
     
    Dear Uncle Dmitry,
    Any tips on playing tennis with a hangover? I go out with my friends on a Friday night, and my club plays their league matches on a Saturday morning. I feel like crap every time I play. I don’t want to give up my drinking, though. Have you ever been drunk/hungover on court? Maybe I could drink black coffee during the changeovers? Or is that a bad idea?
    Kate,
    Perth 
     
    Well here is a classy Aussie lady with some genuine conflict in life. Alcohol is a social lubricant so you might want to look into why you need to drink every time you go out with your friends. Are men that horrendous in Perth that you guys can only deal with them drunk?

    The earlier generations of tennis players were more alcohol-resistant. The new generation is fine-tuned finicky bunch that will get drunk from a fart so it would be hard to give you a worthy answer. I think there is no way to combine tennis and alcohol much like driving and applying make-up, although women insist on trying to figure out a way to combine the two nonetheless. I don’t like alcohol in general, not even in a deodorant. I don’t like the way I feel afterward and frankly I’m okay with acting stupid without getting hammered prior to it. I find that drunk people look and act goofy and I want to be sober to witness it for my own amusement.

    In this case, I would almost promote you continue drinking through Saturday. Start a fight on changeovers, serve at people for no reason, have an emotional breakdown. Would definitely be fun to watch this on YouTube afterwords, but as this is a family oriented column, I cannot officially condone such behavior. Drinking coffee is not a bad idea any more than getting smashed the night prior to a league match but it still is a stimulant. Stimulants in large amounts will take toll on your health so you have to weigh for yourself whether it’s worth it.
     
  7. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    ^ Very funny.

    100 year old bodybuilder honored.

    A stroke in 2011 has ensured that Manohar Aich hasn’t lifted weights in over a year. Still, he is ever present in his eponymously named gymnasium in suburban Kolkata. The young bodybuilders stare in awe as Aich flexes his rippling muscles and flashes his very wrinkled smile. Those muscles have lasted the test of time. In a couple of days, they would have lasted exactly a 100 years. Aich, at 99 years and 364 days, remains not just an inspiration to trainees in his academy or in Kolkata, but to the universe of bodybuilding in India. He has won every award worth winning in his field, including the coveted Mr Universe title. But on the day of his birth centenary, the grand old man of Indian bodybuilding will win a title he has never won before — a government award.
    On Saturday, Aich will be honoured by the West Bengal government for the first time in his very long life ...

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pocket-hercules-legend-turns-100/924430/0

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    This is basically just sample text to see how fast my new phone handles writing on the web, and so far it's going pretty damn fast.
     
  9. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Excellent post, truly in the spirit of this thread! Well done!

    Hey, Sentinel, cute pups. You are doing God's work.
    Tushar and Sentinel: in India, what's a nala? Is it a sewer? Or a roadside flood prevention ditch of some sort?
     
  10. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Probably more appropriately spelled as nullah. A nala is a ditch (not sewer, those are closed pipes), exactly as you have described -- for roadside flood prevention.

    Although, people walking on the road do throw trash into it, and a lot of people urinate there, too. so it gets clogged after a while and is unable to drain out water. Open ditches can be cleaned, but those that have been covered, one cannot clean them now.

    When it rains for an hour or more, the road in front of my house has knee-deep water since the nullahs are clogged. It takes several hours for the water to subside.

    For me, nullahs are where my life is. That's where stray dogs are born, that's where i look after them. I keep cleaning them out so the pups have a clean, uncluttered place to rest in.

    Been a long day here, off to bed, will catch the replay of the semis tomorrow. 2330 here. (I already know the result ;) )
     
  11. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    Typical Federer fan!
     
  12. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    More "Ask Dmitry: agony uncle Dmitry Tursunov"

    Readers of a delicate disposition should click away now. Dmitry Tursunov has been described as ‘The Tolstoy of Tennis’, he has been called the wittiest and most outrageous man on the tour, and he has also been described as ‘complex’. Now, as The Tennis Space’s new agony uncle, the world No 49 is here to help. Well, sort of. The Russian never promised that he would answer your questions with any sensitivity.

    Dearest Uncle Dmitry,
    We’ve met a couple of times but you probably do not remember me. I have questions for you, questions that have been troubling me for a very long time.  Your column is my only hope. I’m a fanatic tennis fan (not sure there is any other kind) and I really like one player in particular.  Could you give me a guide or tips, something like ‘How to date an ATP player’. Thank you, my dearest uncle.
    Best wishes,
    Jess
     
    Jess,
    There are a couple of ways you can handle this. You can mope and pout or you can follow my proven dating  method – ‘Stalk them and hope they give in’. Many tennis players get a little self-aware and dejected after they lose; this is when they are at their weakest. When the player wins the competition for him is at it’s highest. Just like the housing market – you got to shop when no one is buying and the market is down and out. The guy has lost, and most girls run towards uglier but more “adorable” (successful) player of the day. You have GOT to be a vulture. Jump on the weakest of the pack (the loser). Preferably go for the guy who might have got bageled, or blown off the court that day. They are really hating their life at the moment and will do pretty much anything to get their confidence back up. This is when they are shell-shocked and you can get your hands reeeeally dirty for a few cents on the dollar. But you can’t be too obvious either. Better get rid of that fanatic girl fan aura, you don’t want them to think you are crazy! Remember, they are fragile and easily scared at the moment by more trauma, so no sudden movements.

    Of course there is another option. I have nominated myself as an official ATP sommelier of fan girls at the last player meeting. Well, we had to discuss something serious for once there! For a small donation to “Dmitry Tursunov Confidence Restoration Club” we can arrange a couple of dates for you. With me. You know… I can make a few suggestions, correct a few things, and put in a word for you with the other guys. I just like to help people out!

    Dear Uncle Dmitry,
    I’m a chair umpire who needs help regaining the respect of players after an embarrassing incident. I was recently umpiring a match at a local junior tournament. I’d been feeling dizzy all morning but thought I’d be OK for the match. However, halfway through the 3rd game, I had a really bad dizzy spell and ended up falling out of the chair. I wasn’t hurt but both the players on court wouldn’t stop laughing at me and afterwards they must have told all their friends, because apparently there’s now a rumour going round all the junior players in my neighbourhood that I was drunk during the match. This isn’t true of course, but the kids insist on believing it and spreading the rumour. So I feel really nervous about umping my next junior match because everyone will be whispering behind my back. How can I regain the trust and respect of the young players whose matches I umpire?
    Lizzie,
    Somewhere in London, UK
     
    Well…. You are an umpire… You should default yourself after this, but to be honest I would promote you to ATP-level event just so this can be televised. I would sell tickets to the matches where you umpire and I would enforce a rule where the only way you can get out of the chair is by falling right out of it. I would love to get you on clay. I’d have you check the mark EVERY point!
    A few things… Give them warnings and point penaties for laughing. They should be playing a match not enjoying themselves. Damn kids are so uncontrollable these days! In all honesty, however, if you can’t laugh at yourself than it will be a miserable ride. We all do stupid s— so laugh it off. Tell them at the coin toss that they should not ask you to come down to check the marks as you don’t like to fall out of the chairs a whole lot. They’ll get a kick out of it and will give you kudos points. How often do we discuss others?! Undoubtedly, someone is discussing you, me, or Kim Kardashian at the moment so whether you free-base jump out of the chair during matches or not it will not change. Embarrassing? EXTREMELY. Life-changing? Definitely not.
    People will always criticize you regardless of your actions so be the way you would want a person respected by you to be.
    P.S. Do lay off the gin and tonic, though…

    Dear Uncle Dmitry,
    My neighbours have taken up tennis recently which is great, but they have started practising very late in the room next door. Last weekend it sounded like Sharapova vs Nadal hammering out a fifth set. What is the etiquette regarding asking them to quieten down during play? Should I politely tell them to keep the noise lower, or should my wife and I bite the bullet and offer to join them in a spot of mixed?
    Thanks in advance. Julian
     
    Dude, do you live in a penthouse? How can anyone practice in an apartment? It would seem to me that you are a bit confused by what they are up to over there. In my opinon, which is the only thing you should pay atention to, you should engage your spouse in a similar activity. Try to outhammer your neighbour. A competition with the neighbours should rejuvinate your interest in the game. Offering a round of mixed doubles in these circumstances is certainly risque and very French, but hey, you only live once.

    Dear Uncle Dmitry,
    I’m a stand-up comedian in my spare time, and I’ve been asked to do a routine at my local club next month. The problem is that I don’t know any good tennis jokes. Please help. Please bear in mind that I’m British, and everyone else at the club is American.
    James, Atlanta
     
    The whole game of tennis is a joke. Not men’s of course! Baaaam! No no no, I’m not a chauvinist, just trying to get a reaction. I’d go with the British theme, tradition, England, Wimbledon, and how come there is no damn tea-break between sets. You must be a horrendous comedian if you are taking my advice though. One thing I enjoy, however, is picturing you in agony over the deadline and no-one getting your jokes. Nothing makes me smile more than the misery of others!

    Dear Uncle Dmitry,
    Recently, whenever I play tennis, I have an uncontrollable urge just to hit the ball straight out of the court, over the back fence. I’ve tried to stop myself, and to rally as normal, but then some other force takes over and I find myself whacking the ball away. What does that mean? What shall I do? I’ve been take aside by the club secretary and told my membership is under review. I know you’re not a psychologist or anything like that but I’ve heard you also have anger issues..
    Janice, somewhere in the Midlands (that’s not my real name)

    How the freak am I supposed to know what it means?! It means that you are a psycho and should probably check-in into a nuthouse, maybe? Sounds plausible enough…
    The key to this is, I think, is… “…whenever i play tennis…” Do you see?… You see where I’m going with this? I think baseball, or boxing might be more up your alley. You know, something more soothing. Try the Twinkie Defense with your club secretary. Works for me with umpires. If you don’t know what I mean, look it up on Wikipedia.

    Dear Dmitry,
    I’m a 12-year-old boy in France. I want to become a tennis professional like you. What’s your advice? My parents think tennis is stupid and that I should become a lawyer. What do I say to them?
    JP, Nice
     
    Tell them that if they don’t let you do what you want to do in life than you will become a lawyer and then sue their asses for everything they’ve got!!! If this doesn’t work, you can also explain to them that if you start playing tennis and you get to be very good at it but not good enough to play professionally you can still go to a very good university in USA on a scholarship. It means you will get education in a good school for free in return for your participation on a tennis team. Whatever you do, though, you should do some kind of sport. It’s good for your health and it gives you some good lessons in life. Our bodies are designed to move, not to sit on our asses in a room. Fight the machine man! Rebel!!!!
    http://www.thetennisspace.com/opinion/ask-dmitry-agony-uncle-dmitry-tursunov/
     
  13. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Man, these Dmitry posts are hilarious ! And your response to my post on nullahs.

    My useless info: i am still feeling awful from keeping up last night for the IW final. Eyes still red.
     
  14. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    I have often bumped my head on ceilings and doorways in Gamla Stan when I have been in Stockholm. Swedes were much shorter when many of these buildings were constructed.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    March 2012 Last updated at 15:25 ET

    Borat anthem stuns Kazakh gold medallist in Kuwait

    Kazakhstan's shooting team has been left stunned after a comedy national anthem from the film Borat was played at a medal ceremony at championships in Kuwait instead of the real one.

    The team asked for an apology and the medal ceremony was later rerun.

    The team's coach told Kazakh media the organisers had downloaded the parody from the internet by mistake.

    The song was produced by UK comedian Sacha Baron Cohen for the film, which shows Kazakhs as backward and bigoted.

    Footage of Thursday's original ceremony posted on YouTube shows gold medallist Maria Dmitrienko listening to the anthem without emotion and finally smiling as it ends.

    Coach Anvar Yunusmetov told Kazakh news agency Tengrinews that the tournament's organisers had also got the Serbian national anthem wrong.

    "Then Maria Dmitrienko's turn came," he said. "She got up on to the pedestal and they played a completely different anthem, offensive to Kazakhstan."

    The spoof song praises Kazakhstan for its superior potassium exports and for having the cleanest prostitutes in the region.

    The film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, released in 2006, follows Baron Cohen's character, the journalist Borat Sagdiyev, as he travels to the US and pursues the actress Pamela Anderson.

    The film outraged people in Kazakhstan and was eventually banned in the country. The government also threatened Baron Cohen with legal action.

    Reports say the film is also banned in Kuwait.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17491344
     
  16. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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  17. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    [​IMG]
    Firefly Squid, Japan
     
  18. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Musical Instrument ?


    [​IMG]
     
  19. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    I'm drinking scotch and soda.
     
  20. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    I decided to have fun with some kids at the club and I came up with the idea to see how much my racquet flexed, and needless to say it went tell!

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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  22. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    I was watching the Tennis Channel and missed this story. Thanks for posting! Will this benefit Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic?
     
  23. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    It benefited Federer since his slam count could not be surpassed, Nadal since Federer could not reduce the H2H, and Nole since Nadal could not dent the 7-0 H2H. But now that everyone's dead, no one knows about it.

    Where I've reached, it's full of snow-clad mountains. How about you ? Are you out of Stoli and surstromming ?
     
  24. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    Motivated Informants/Liars/Lazy Spy Assets

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    [​IMG]

    Facilitated trafficking in Copenhagen.
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    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  25. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    I am exploring the past.
    [​IMG]
     
  26. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    ^ Ah, the good ole days, when life was slow, and everything took time. :D
     
  27. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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  28. ilovecarlos

    ilovecarlos Professional

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    Senti, love the face on that sweet little pup!
     
  29. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    I tried practicing serves just recently, in the dark, using only my phone to illuminate the part where I tossed the ball. Needless to say, it didn't go well. I swung more in hope than timing...
     
  30. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Holy mackerel, where is that? Heavy clouds. Did it rain right after this or just get windy?
     
  31. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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  32. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Dunno, searched quite a bit on google and somewhere the photographer (or submitters) location was Alberta, CA. However, someone else says it's a Walmart parking lot.

    Here's what i came across while searching ...

    [​IMG]
     
  33. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    Breeding Russian Foxes

    No, not breeding this kind of Russian fox:
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    [​IMG]

    Breeding this kind of Russian fox:
    [​IMG]
    A fox that is part of an experiment started by Russian geneticist Dmitry K. Belyaev

    Guarding the Fox House

    A famous animal experiment is in peril, after 54 years of work.
    By Ceiridwen Terrill|Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012, at 7:30 AM ET

    The battered Volga bounces us along the buckled roads, frozen and thawed over long Siberian winters. With me in the van are geneticist Lyudmila Trut and her assistant Anast?siya Kharlamova, whom I met earlier that morning at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Siberia.  Now in her 70s, Trut, a petite woman in a blue pinstripe jacket and light gray pants, peers through thick glasses, trying to read a scientific paper as we drive. A few minutes later, the driver stops at the dented metal gate to the experimental farm, and Trut leads the way down dilapidated rows of narrow barracks-style sheds, morning glories sprouting from cracks in the paved walkways. The farm houses 3,000 foxes, each open-air wooden shed holding 100 or so animals in adjacent wire cages. The three of us put on white lab coats and prepare to greet the foxes.

    When I open the door to one fox’s cage, the only home it will ever know, the little guy doesn’t shrink in fear as a wild creature could be expected to. Instead he lets me scoop him up, then nuzzles my neck and licks my fingers. Kharlamova, a slim young woman with shoulder-length brown hair, explains that the fox is “emotional” because I’m giving him the attention he wants. 

    Although domestication of dogs took thousands of years, Russian geneticist Dmitry K. Belyaev tried to reproduce the whole messy process in one human lifetime, eliminating all the dead ends and inefficiencies of chance and human blunder. In 1957, he began a domestication experiment with the farmed fox Vulpes vulpes, a distant cousin of the dog. In March 2011, a National Geographic article described the experiment as if it were finally on the verge of completion. Researchers were scanning the genomes of the “domesticated silver foxes,” it said, in the hopes of finding “key domestication genes.” But there's a problem with this narrative: Even after 54 years of research, we still don't know whether the animals have reached the original end point set out by the project's founder.

    Belyaev, who died in 1985 and left Lyudmila Trut in charge of the project, was clear about his goal: The foxes would be considered fully domesticated only when they obeyed human commands as dogs do. That part of the experiment is still unfinished. No evidence exists to tell us whether the foxes can be trained to override their instincts, the way a dog might learn to avoid defecating on the carpet, or to stay at the heel instead of running off to seek the company of other canines. Belyaev would never have called the experiment over until a whole population of foxes had shown that they were biddable, eager to please, and able to pass those qualities to their offspring. Now Trut would like to put those qualities to the test, but her experiment has stalled for lack of money. After 51 generations of foxes, the world’s foremost domestication experiment languishes. If nothing is done to save it, we'll have missed an opportunity to understand the mechanisms of domestication, of which genetic tameness—friendly behavior that is not learned but inherited—is only one component.

    Belyaev began with several hypotheses: People created the dog, and they did it by selecting—first unintentionally and then intentionally—for behavior.  He could replicate and accelerate the dog’s domestication process with the fox, he theorized, by rigorously selecting for tameness, which would eventually allow him to uncover the genetic mechanisms responsible for changing the dog’s wild ancestor into our beloved Fido. From fur farms where foxes had been bred in captivity for more than 50 years, Belyaev chose 130 of the calmest animals, descendants of foxes who’d already passed an unintentional selection test for tameness simply by surviving the original lure, capture, and confinement that literally scares some wild foxes to death. Kits born to Belyaev’s founding population and each succeeding generation of kits were subjected to a standardized tameness test, each animal ranked according to its response to a human experimenter who tried to touch and feed it. Only those foxes that showed tolerance for the nearness of people were selected and bred to produce the next generation, while fearful or aggressive animals were culled. Each generation of foxes grew more approachable, many showing doglike yearning for human contact. The experimental farm presently houses a stable population of genetically tame foxes.

    Results of testing by anthropologist Brian Hare and his team at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have shown that Belyaev’s foxes respond to pointing cues almost as well as dogs, which means they’re attuned to human interaction. But although we have the occasional anecdote of a fox walking on a leash or another sitting for a treat, no systematic socialization and training program has been launched to test the capacity and willingness of the foxes to respond to classic obedience cues—come, sit, down, stay, and settle— defining characteristics of a domestic canine. If fox kits are raised like dog puppies, put to the training test, and pass, then scientists would know that all the genes relevant to domestication are present in their genome. They’d just have to find them.

    Unfortunately, the experiment is broke. Grant money is scarce in Russia, where economic crises hit in 1998 and again in 2008. Trut has resorted to selling some of the foxes into the exotic pet trade through SibFox Inc., a private company in Las Vegas. For $6,950, the U.S. distributor promises a tame four-month-old fox “delivered to your door in 90 days.” Since the foxes’ critical window of socialization—the period during which they form primary bonds—closes when the animals are about 60 to 65 days old, it’s no wonder the distributor advises housing the foxes in cages with bottoms or dig guards to prevent escape, because that’s what the foxes try to do. 

    But the fact is, people aren’t lining up for pet foxes, and each year Trut and her team must either euthanize or sell several hundred foxes to fur farms because she can barely afford basic upkeep. As of this writing, fewer than five foxes have been sold in the United States as pets, and only a handful live with wealthy Russians. One sent to a home in Moscow went roaming and found himself a wild girlfriend whom he occasionally brought around for dinner. She wouldn’t go near the house, and he stayed only long enough to eat a bit of meat—less a pet than a roommate. Yet Trut soldiers on, trying to preserve the integrity of the genetic line in case funding should materialize for a rigorous socialization and training program. 

    For the experiment to continue, fox kits would have to be systematically hand-reared and human-socialized. Then they could be trained and tested for their ability and eagerness to respond to classic obedience commands. If the foxes don’t prove trainable, then perhaps domestication, even when compressed for efficiency, takes longer than one human lifetime and is more complicated than merely selecting for a single behavioral trait. Or perhaps the dog’s ancestor possessed something unique in its genes that gave rise to our closest companion, something that can’t be replicated in the fox just because it’s a social canid. The point is, we won’t know until Belyaev’s experiment is finished. Unless the experiment is helped to reach its conclusion—to understand once and for all whether the foxes have achieved domesticity as Belyaev hoped—more than half a century of intellectual labor and the lives of more than 50,000 foxes will have been wasted.

    Trut feels bad about the state of the farm and the plight of hundreds of foxes moaning and chattering for attention from their 3-foot wire cubes. On my last night in Siberia, over a meal of tsar’s hodgepodge—described in the menu as “grilled vegetables with secret sauce and garbage”—a man with his personal fifth of Beluga vodka tells me that getting by in Russia takes a lot of luck. I can’t help thinking those farm foxes need all the luck they can get. They’ve already surprised geneticists by suggesting that selection for a single behavioral trait can trigger “piggy-backing” changes in physiology and appearance, like increased levels of serotonin and piebald coats. There may be more surprises to come, but it will take a major infusion of cash, and a collaboration among scientists, adventurous dog trainers, and Lyudmila Trut to let Belyaev’s experiment—and eventually his foxes—out of the box.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/healt...foxes_in_siberia_an_experiment_in_peril_.html
     
  34. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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  35. Hood_Man

    Hood_Man Legend

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    My first primary school was demolished to make way for the Monchengladbach Football Stadium car park, in Monchengladbach Germany.

    In fact the whole area is disappearing as the British Forces based over there finalise they're clearout.

    It's quite useless to everyone else but me I guess :lol:
     
  36. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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  37. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    [​IMG]

    Can someone tell me what exactly this guy is gonna do next ? To me it looks like he's a gonner.
     
  38. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    The American show "60 Minutes" did a segment about this guy about a year ago. Acrophobia got the better of me and I passed out about five minutes into the piece.
    [​IMG]
     
  39. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    I recently watched the episode of "The Beatles Anthology" that included footage of their last scheduled concert, which was at Candlestick Park. I drove by the venue this evening, and I tried to imagine how different times were that night.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  40. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    Watching baseball at AT&T Park is an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. Matt Cain pitched a perfect game today, except for a single by the opposing pitcher.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  41. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    More Sound Advice From Dmitry Tursunov

    Dmitry Tursunov, the world No 75 and The Tennis Space’s agony uncle, answers readers’ cries for help (but not always with a great deal of sensitivity).

    Dear Uncle Dmitry,
    I need some help about how to get a psychological edge during changeovers. I’m generally a polite person, and when I get to the net to change ends, and my opponent arrives at the net at the same time, I always allow him to cross first. Is that a mistake? Am I telling my opponent that I’m subservient to him?

    Or is it saying that I’m above caring about nonsense, that I don’t have to resort to silly tricks by walking straight on and making him wait? If it comes to it, and we’re both crossing at the same time, should I indulge in some shoulder-bumping? Maybe you could ask Venus for her tips? I hear she likes a good shoulder bump.

    Seb,
    New York

    Well Seb, it’s not a mistake to let the guy go through first. You are just being polite. At times, though, you feel like certain people are having a ******* contest with you at everything they do. You go up to the gate at the airport – they sprint to it just to get in front. You take the escalator, they are running up the stairs tripping over themselves with their carry-on bouncing behind. You pee in the urinal, they pee harder, longer, with more precision hitting targets along the way as if it’s a shooting range.

    With those types of people, (Alpha-Males) you have to assert yourself because this is how they view the world. They feel they are the lion in a safari fighting over a lioness so the way to get into their head is to beat them at the game that they play by – body language. Little things that do not matter to you are a matter of life and death to this King of the Jungle. But shoulder-bumping will just result in him trying to out bump you on the next change over and if you will shy away from this challenge he will feel victorious.

    If you are evil, you should deny him that feeling of victory. March-on through that narrow passage between the umpire’s chair and the net on change-over first. Wink at him. Sarcasm is a good way to get to him. On the next change-over get to the net first and then when he gets there give him way – “Ladies first!” Guide him through – you are the one showing him the way. Like a father showing his son a way into the world. That’s a nasty one for those who are into body language.

    A little trash talk on the change-over is a good way to get under his skin. Tell him, – “You used to hit the ball a bit harder in the past, no?”, “Have you been using “Rogaine”? You seem to have a fuller head of hair!”, “How do you move so well with so much weight?! It’s truly amazing!!!” Identify his weakness and pick at it. Make him think about that instead of the match.

    Disclaimer: You might get your ass kicked after the match, or even during the match. I take no responsibility for any damage or injury incurred during or after the process.

    Dear Uncle Dmitry,

    A member at my local club has an annoying habit of going for winners throughout the five-minute pre-match warm-up. I sometimes respond by doing the same back to him, but I don’t want to resort to his level. Do players do that on the pro tour? How do you deal with them? Please help.

    Alexa
    Bristol

    Well how do you tell a dummy that he is a dummy? Of course there is that old remedy of calling him/her an idiot a few times but if that doesn’t work, hit some winners of your own! There are a couple of guys on tour who come out a little aggressive right out of the gates and try to intimidate with big shots in warm-up so you have to be prepared for that. Preparation helps dealing with situations and not just a psycho warming up across the net, but all kinds. Have a plan of NOT reacting to that.

    Another way to disarm some of this lunacy before a warm-up is to acknowledge the fact that you are aware of the member’s wretched ways, but in an nice politically correct way, hopefully in front of people or an umpire – “I hope you won’t be crushing those winners down my throat in a warm-up! It takes me about five minutes to warm-up before I can start responding to those!” Or if there are people watching on the sidelines say loudly during warm-up when another winner goes by – “You put the ball away so well in a warm-up! Don’t you EVER get nervous?!?!” Ridicule is the best way to make friends in my opinion!

    Dear Uncle Dmitry,

    I believe my question is rather urgent and your timely reply is much appreciated.

    I’m going to Roland Garros, your favourite surface and favourite slam. I need your advice how I get to sit (read sneak) in a player’s box, you know the kind that gets TV airtime again and again. Not that I want to be on TV (though I wouldn’t mind that), I just hope my player(s) can see and hear my support. Some players’ boxes have a lot of seats left; I thought that’s quite embarrassing for them. Your tips will help both players and fan-girls.

    Thank you.

    Love you always,

    Jess

    PS. I saw your new hair-do, are you going to have a brain surgery after that clean shave? I’m worried.

    Well some players are actually pretty apprehensive of who sit in their box. Once, I was trying to get to box adjacent to the player’s one. The only way was to climb through it. Boy, did I get some flack over that. I literally sat in it for one game to wait for the change-over. After the match the player’s coach came up to me and asked me to not sit in the box again, as it’s only for coaches and close people and the player was very upset. You can imagine my response to that. Some players are just a little creepy about these things. Damn screechers! (Guess who…)

    I, for example, always leave room for an imaginary entourage that travels with me. Of course it’s not as big as Andy Murray’s but in terms of expenses even imaginary one is costing a pretty penny nowadays. Now if you are talking about the box that “…gets TV airtime again and again…” you are writing to the wrong person. I would be LUCKY to play on the court that has ball-kids, much less a box seating or a TV camera. Even umpires are refusing to watch my matches, which is why I get so many sh– calls.

    P.S. I’m glad you dig the new do. Wouldn’t want Youzhnznhnzynzynyzy to steal my thunder with the girls!

    Please click here:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tennis-Space/159788690795465?ref=tn_tnmn

    Dear Uncle Dmitry,

    Please help me to settle an argument I’ve been having with friends. Who takes longer to get ready in front of the locker-room mirror, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal?

    John, Cornwall

    John,

    It’s not a rivalry just on the court, believe me… These guys are competitors to the bone!

    Dear Uncle Dmitry,

    What’s the most crushing thing you can say to an opponent, after you’ve just beaten them?

    Daniela, Hong Kong

    Well I’m not a fan of trying to come up with something crushing to an opponent after you have just beaten them. Gloating is not a virtue in my book. With that being said, there are people that definitely need a reality check and need to be dragged down from the clouds that they live on. Tennis is a one-on-one sport and very often there will be, not only a battle of skill, but a struggle of egos as well.

    It helps to be a little more self-centered than the next guy, to feel you are better than the other guy. Confidence and a projection of confidence sometimes is the decider in the match. For that reason the sport is often compared to Gladiator games. Minus the animals, blood, and other unsavoury moments.

    To be honest there were quite a few moments, where I saw my opponent wanting it SO bad, and trying SO hard that I felt it wasn’t fair for me to win. I wasn’t applying the amount of effort, didn’t want it as much, and was better than him. At those moments I struggled to keep the pedal down. Eventually I would snap out of it and revert to my old usual, sarcastic self to try and finish him off. Especially if the guy was misinterpreting my moment of reflection and love for all man-kind as a green-light to steal the match away from me. That’s just irritating.

    Anyway, my point is – let your racket do the talking. Act the way you would want your opponent to act towards you. You might get a (quick, flash, instant ) sense of revenge for crushing your opponent mentally after the match but it’s not a victory that you’re chasing. It’s not a long-lasting satisfaction knowing that you feel happy at someone else’s expense. Unfortunately, teaching a lesson with negative emotions doesn’t work, even though it feels pretty good at times.

    But, if you absolutely must teach the person a lesson this is a good way to do it —> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vfqp8QEsrds

    Dear Uncle Dmitry,

    I think I love Sue Barker.

    David, Edinburgh

    David, you have issues beyond my comprehension. There are so many fish out there why do you have to go after the one whose heart solely belongs to Tim? If she’s yours for the taking she will appear in your life at some point… Hell, who am I kidding… She is the only one who touched my heart in recent years. Right after she walked all over it!!!! …I went on the rampage back then… Played Tim a few times…

    She is not worth your tears, man!!!
    http://www.thetennisspace.com/opinion/expert-help-from-agony-uncle-dmitry/
     
  42. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    Recent Lightning Strikes on the Bay Bridge

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  43. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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  44. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    Would it be possible to sharpen knives on a diamond-coated clamp if it was broken?
     
  45. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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  46. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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  47. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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  48. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I see the guys have posted some scenic pictures - nice viewing! I have a question. I just hit something on my keyboard and it made all the fonts larger. What did I hit and what should I hit now to make it go back to smaller fonts? Vista/toshiba/laptop/whatever here... Thank you very much, sir or madam!!
     
  49. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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  50. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    I have to comment on Woodrow's avatar as his dogs are awesome, even though I'm s**t-scared of dogs.

    Also SoBad, hold Ctrl and press the "-"key.
     

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