Ten Snowboarders

At the Olympics in Sochi Russia, Sage Kotsenburg drops in for his first run on the Slopestyle course. Everyone stares in awe as he flies off the jumps. Sage Kotsenburg is just one of many great snowboarders included on this list.

  • Travis Rice, an American snowboarder, has been featured in the movie The Art Of Flight. In the film, he performs on many mountains in different ways, mostly in the backcountry. As Travis rides in the backcountry, he races through the deep powder snow. Travis has snowboarded at places like jackson Hole, and Alaska. Travis Rice was also the designer and winner of the Red Bull Ultra Natural and is now sponsored by Redbull. Travis is 31 years old and close to the end of his career, but he will definitely be remembered as one of the greatest snowboarders.
  • Chris Bradshaw is an American snowboarder who rides for 32 Technine, Electric, Ambiguous, J.S.L.V., Neff, Bear Mountain, F.O.D.T., Vans, Grenade, The Pharmacy, and Ride Shop. People know him for his street riding and being able to snowboard places they normally would not. He uses his skateboarding skills on the mountain. Chris jumps over a staircase in the city Instead of using a hill to ride down he uses staircase He and his friends make videos and are in Sunday in the Park, and Thirtytwo Spot check.
  • Torstein Horgmo is a Norwegian snowboarder that has won many competitions including the X Games. What makes him so great is the way that he rides. Torstein can ride many different styles, like deep powder and street. He is best at riding the park. He flies down the hill and does tricks with grace. He rides in most of the Shred Bots snowboarding videos with friends like Mark and Craig McMorris. Torstein is sponsored by Oakley, Rock Star energy, Go Pro, DC Shoes.
  • Scott Stevens, an American snowboarder and personally my favorite snowboarder because of his creative riding and for having some of the most unique tricks. Scott has been featured in many videos like, 32 Spot Check, Sunday in the Park,I Ride Park City,Videograss and Get Real. Some of his most famous tricks are one footed. Scott rides up to the rail with only one foot strapped into the binding. He uses his unstrapped foot to make easy tricks harder. He currently sponsored by Crab Grab, Union, Capita, Smith Optics and makes most of his money off of them.
  • Sage Kotsenburg, an American snowboarder most known for winning gold at the 2014 Sochi winter olympics. While at the Olympics Sage goes off the biggest jumps letting him win. He has also won many other competitions including the events at the Dew Tour and X Games. Sage Kotsenburg is also in the I Ride Park City and Holy Crail videos. He is sponsored by Nitro Snowboards,Nike, Monster Energy, Neff, Pro Tech.
  • Stale Sandbech is a Norwegian snowboarder who has participated in the Olympics in 2010 and recently won silver in the 2014 Sochi olympics. Stale is young and able to be acrobatie in the air. He goes high off the jump and flips many times before landing, the crowd cheers loud. He has also won multiple events at the X games. He is also featured in the Nation video. He rides for Oakley, Rome Snowboards, 32 Boots, Session Boardshop.
  • Mark Mcmorris, a Canadian snowboarder who won bronze at the 2014 winter olympics in Sochi and some X Games events. Mark rides down the slope and slides smoothly across the rail.  He is also in many of the Shred Bots videos with Torstein Horgmo and his brother Craig Mcmorris. He is sponsored by Burton, Oakley, Red Bull, DVS, BMW.
  • Halldor Helgason, a snowboarder from Iceland. He has won X Games events and is featured in the Holy Crail videos with Sage Kotsenburg. He is sponsored by Nike, Monster Energy, Oakley, Colourd Headphones, Neff, and Techrider. He also owns Lobster Snowboards, 7/9/13 Belts, Switchback Bindings and Hoppipolla Headwear with his brother Eiki. He had stated his snowboard company Lobster snowboards with Kristoffer Hansson. Halldor is also famous for some of his giant leaps. He rides off a small jump on top of the a building and flips on to another building.
  • Forest Bailey an American snowboarder. He is known for his unique urban snowboarding. Forest uses staircase railings for his snowboard, jumping up high and balancing, then sliding to the bottom. He won X games real snow, and has a part in the Nation video. He is sponsored by 686, GNU, Redbull, ADIDAS, Dragon, GNARLY.
  • Danny Davis a snowboarder from American . People know him for riding Halfpipe and went to the olympics for it. Danny flies up the sides of the halfpipe flipping high over the ground. He also won the Mammoth grand Prix and was in the Peace Park video. Danny is sponsored by Burton, Analog, Mtn Dew, Frends, Nixon, Dragon.

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Give Life Back to REAL Music

Photo Credit: Larry Busacca/WireImage.com

Photo Credit: Larry Busacca/WireImage.com

The Grammys, music’s biggest night. The Album of the Year award was coming up. I thought that Taylor Swift would win. Her nominated album, Red, had an amazing year. But I was wrong. Dressed as robots, the French dance-pop band Daft Punk walked up to the stage to accept the coveted award for Album of the Year.

The definition of the Album of the Year award at the Grammys is “to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position.” This year at the 2014 Grammy Awards, Daft Punk won the award. You may know their music by their smash single, “Get Lucky”. It is a song about drinking and partying, hence the lyric, “So let’s raise the bar, and our cups to the stars… We’re up all night to get lucky.”

I’m sorry, but when did partying become artistic achievement?

If you didn’t know, Daft Punk’s music is purely dance music, the music that is played in nightclubs. Each song on Random Access Memories is electronic and technical sounding. There is no contrast. Every song sounds the same.

The group does not even sing on their album. They recruited other artists, such as Pharrell Williams, to do that for them. The tracks that don’t have other singers sound like karaoke sing-a-longs. Only one word is repeated on each track.  They did not write one lyric on that album. And you’re telling me that this piece of music won an award previously won by musical legends such as Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, and Whitney Houston?

In my personal opinion, the album that should have won this year’s award is Taylor Swift’s “Red” album. The album has a variety of music, all written, composed, and produced by Taylor Swift. The album contains genres that range from country, pop, dubstep, and folk. Each song is written or co-written by Taylor.

Taylor Swift has been writing her own music since she was 12 years old. She writes or co-writes every song that she has released. Taylor plays four instruments: the banjitar (banjo-guitar) acoustic and electric guitars, piano, and harp. This is what the Album of the Year award should be about. These Daft Punks only use technical sounds and disc jockeys (what dj’s use) to make their “music”.

Taylor Swift’s songs are inspiring. Sure, she may have many songs about breakups, but it’s her way to cope with the emotions that she feels. At least her music is relatable. You can’t tell me that you haven’t sang along with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” at least once.

Taylor’s song-writing is impeccable. In her song “All Too Well” she says, “Maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much, maybe this thing was a masterpiece ‘till you tore it all up.” If you’ve been through a loss of someone you loved, you must have felt these emotions at some point. Can you relate to a song that says “give life to music… let the music in tonight”?

Many award shows these days give the big-ticket awards to popular artists just to capture viewers. What happened to real music? We can’t let techno-dance music keep winning awards like this. America, wake up! This music is what your children will be listening to. Do you really want your little sibling walking around the house saying  “I’m up all night to get lucky” ?

Should the Redskins Change their Name?

The Washington Redskins are a professional football team that was started in 1932. After over eighty years of playing in the NFL, people want to change the Redskin name because they believe it refers to Native Americans in a racist manner.

The owner of the team Dan Snyder has stated many times that he would never change the Redskin name. Some fans in The D.C. area want to keep the name because it is a major part of their past, and they identify the team by its name.

If people want the Redskins to change their name, why not other sports teams across the country? Teams like the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Blackhawks have references to Native Americans. In the article Should the Washington Redskins Change their Name, it says , It says that “ most Native Americans aren’t bothered by the word”. The Native American Community as a whole should be consulted on this matter. If the majority of the Native American community is not offended by the word, then the owners of the football teams should be able to keep their name.

The Washington Redskins football team has been around for over eighty years. They have won championships and are a big part of the city. The fans identify the team by its nickname. If the Native American community as a whole does not have a problem with the name, than the city and its fans should be able to keep the name.

Time: Michael Phelps’s Retirement

I knew something had happened when I came into swim practice one day and all of my teammates were talking about Michael Phelps returning to swimming. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. After the 2012 Olympics, Phelps had seemed … Continue reading

Black Ice: The Cold Dark Killer

Recently on December 1st, there was a large accident in Worcester, Massachusetts involving 70 cars. This accident was caused by black ice on the road. The plow trucks were not out early enough sanding and salting, which would have improved the road conditions. This made Rt. 290 vulnerable and dangerous.

These wrecks can be caused by the driver confusing black ice with wet pavement. Black ice is a form of slippery ice that is very common. A driver’s ability to negotiate a car is impacted by black ice causing the car to veer and slide across the road. Black ice is sometimes called clear ice. It is a thin layer of transparent ice. It takes 9 times longer to stop on black ice than regular ice. That’s crazy!

75% of car crashes are caused by wet roads, and wet roads happen when there is a snow storm or rain storm. If the weather is really cold, the wet pavement can turn into ice and lead to whirling and skidding across the road and having the car go out of control.

This happens because the plow trucks are not out early enough making the roads more safe. The plow trucks should be equipped and be proactive during this kind of weather.

The car accident in Worcester, Massachusetts on Rt.290 was not the only car crash that was caused by black ice. There are many other car accidents that are caused by these icy conditions.

Icy Road Safety stated there are about 6 million car crashes each year and about 15% of the accidents are caused by icy roads and snowy conditions. Cars should not be on the roads in these kind of elements. Most of the icy condition mishaps happen on the highway.

There are many solutions to this problem. People tried to remove the ice from the roads by using salt. It does help but I don’t see a huge difference. People are trying to come up with new ideas to stop the car accidents that are caused by black ice. One of the ideas is very interesting. A group of people are creating a product or machine, that looks like a sprinkler. It will be attached to plow trucks and the plow trucks will sprinkle this formula that is made up of salt water, water and many chemicals that will get rid of most of the black ice. It could of stopped the big accident on Rt. 290 in Worcester.

This product could help prevent many people getting into an awful car accident. This solution may get rid of most or even all black ice.

Newtown Survivors Can’t Forget; And Neither Should We

Photo Credit to NorthEndWaterfront on FlickrJust a little over a year ago, 26 people were killed in a shooting that took place in Newtown, CT, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But more than 26 people have been damaged mentally forever. Innocence would never return to them.

Early morning on December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his mother, Nancy Lanza with a gun at her home. He then drove the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and at 9:30 am, Lanza opened gunfire at SHES.

Lanza went inside classrooms filled with 6 and 7 year olds, killing almost all of them. Warnings that an intruder was in the school were broadcasted over the announcement system. Teachers tried to hide students in closets and bathrooms attempting to protect themselves and the children. The children and teachers were terrified, screaming and crying. The announcement system made it worse; the children could hear the gunshots being fired, and other children screaming.  In one classroom, two boys ran past Lanza and saw broken glass, their dead teachers, and dead classmates lying on the floor.

Lanza fired about 154 shots in just over 5 minutes before hearing the sirens of first responders.

At 9:40 am, the sounds of the police caused Lanza to take his own life.

The Newtown Police Department arrived at the scene, and escorted the traumatized students, teachers and parents to the fire station. The police made the survivors close their eyes and hold on to each other to avoid the sights of their deceased teachers and classmates. Later that night, the fire station became a place for parents to gather to grieve once they realized their child was gone. Many survivors and parents were in shock; the parents, trying to figure out how to console their children, and the children, having to figure out how they were going to live their lives from here on out.

In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune, parent David Posey discussed how his son, who was involved in the incident, was doing. A few days after the shooting, Posey heard his son (who has not been named due to psychiatric reasons) pounding on the floor in his room. His son then told his father, “ I know where the bad guy is. I’m beating him up”.  The “bad guy” was Adam Lanza. Even though he (Lanza) was gone, he still haunted this little boy.

Posey’s son is one of the many that experiences nightmares, feelings of apprehension, and feelings of anxiety. Posey’s son is probably not any older than 7, and was put at gunpoint by a strange man. Lanza has destroyed the image of innocence for children that are just starting to learn how to write, read, and draw pictures. These children are now experiencing emotions and flashbacks that even a grown adult cannot handle.

Many parents have reported that their children have frequent nightmares, sometimes with Lanza appearing in them. Fire alarms, a clap of thunder, and the sound of an intercom can even trigger flashbacks or feelings of panic. Some of the survivors today panic when they hear intercoms or announcement speakers turn on.  Imagine what hearing another gunshot or maybe even a firework would do. Not only have children been affected, but a police officer that reported to the scene that day has been experiencing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

All of the parents of the survivors were given $20,000 from a Newtown Charity Fund, but therapists say that this will not even begin to cover the years of therapy that the children will need to receive. Each parent that had a child die that day was given $281,000 by the same Newtown Charity Fund, even though their children have passed on. This hardly seems fair to me.

David Posey’s son is beginning to heal; he plays sports and was excited to return to school again this fall. Hujo Rojas’s son is in therapy, but like Posey’s son, he is doing better. Rojas’s son was also excited to return to school, but very apprehensive at the same time. Many other students are doing better, but like I said before, flashbacks are frequent.

Each year, as the anniversary of 12/14 passes, we gather to grieve as a nation, and to remember and honor ones that have passed. Even though this tragedy happened, we should not forget the survivors. They are the ones that need the most help; most of them still struggle. We might not know their names, but we should give them the same attention that we give the ones that have died.

Men vs. Women in the Media

Miley Cyrus has been under the spotlight ever since her “scandalous” VMA performance, but barely anyone is talking about Robin Thicke. I don’t know if you’ve really listened to the lyrics of Blurred Lines or seen the music video, but I think a song with naked women in the video and lyrics that could easily be interpreted as a song about rape is worse than Miley’s VMA performance.

The lyrics of Robin Thicke’s song objectify women to no end. Some lyrics in his songs are phrases that rapists actually say to their victims.  In his song he sings, “I’ll give you something to tear your a** in two.” This is clearly suggesting violent sodomy. Another example is, “Do it like it hurt, do it like it hurt, what you don’t like work?” This insinuates that women are supposed to enjoy the pain during non-consensual sex.

So the question is, why is it acceptable for Robin Thicke to objectify women and it is totally inappropriate for Miley Cyrus to twerk and wear things that expose her body?

The answer: double standards. If you aren’t familiar with the term, according to the Oxford Dictionary, it is a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups.

The double standard we’re dealing with here is, men vs. women in the media.

It is totally unacceptable that a man can do whatever he wants and dance with whoever he wants. But if a woman does it she is branded a “slut”.  This is exactly what happened with Miley! She twerked on Robin Thicke and she is called a whore. But Robin Thicke doesn’t get any of the blame.

Cyrus says to Rolling Stone, “No one is talking about the man behind the a**. It was a lot of ‘Miley twerks on Robin Thicke,’ but never, ‘Robin Thicke grinds up on Miley.’ They’re only talking about the one that bent over. So obviously there’s a double standard.”

Not only is nobody talking about “the man behind the a**” but also nobody is talking about how he is singing a song about rape! Is Miley really the person we want to be tearing apart here? It’s time to leave Miley alone and realize the real problem is Robin Thicke.

How can we love Robin Thicke’s disgusting song so much that it was number one for 16 weeks on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. So many people have listen to this song and loving it without realizing the utterly horrible meaning behind the song.

Rape needs to start being treated as a serious thing and not a topic you can write a song about. Maybe instead wasting your time hating on Miley for acting her age you could time of singing a song about rape and virtually promoting it, you could start a campaign to raise awareness.

Where the Moose Really Comes From: Abercrombie’s Use of Child Labor

Has anyone really thought about where Abercrombie’s clothes come from? Sure, people know that factories make the fabric and other factories turn them into shirts. Later, they’ll appear on hangers in dark stores blasting music with hefty price tags of over fifty dollars. Most people shop themselves into oblivion, unaware of what really happens “behind the scenes.”

According to Compassion International, one in six children between the ages of 5 and 14 are involved in child labor throughout the world today. Although numbers may not appeal to anybody’s sense of morality, hopefully the image of a six-year old sitting next to a sewing machine wiping sweat and dirt off of his forehead with a bruised arm instead of at a desk learning the times tables will help you put down the shirt in your hand.

Take the Alta Mode factory in the Philippines, once a major producer for Abercrombie and Fitch. The factory is crawling with children working in dank, rat-infested areas with rusty machines bigger than they are. From early in the morning to very late at night, children sit on hard benches with sparse meals of stale bread and dirty water, working under barely one bulb of light.

The International Labour Organization defines child labor as a minor employed in a business or industry and being paid little to nothing, almost similar to slavery. It can cause critical problems to a child’s mental and physical health and growth and tear families apart. According to The Child Labor Education Project, in the long term, a child can end up dropping out of school, having sleep and additional health problems, and even underdevelopment of their body and brain.

The use of child labor goes completely against Abercrombie and Fitch’s Code of Conduct, which requires its factories to follow a set of rules, including a paragraph about child labor: “Abercrombie will not tolerate the use of child labor by its vendors.” It later states the standards of health and safety that their factories must comply with. However, the many instances of violations found linked to Abercrombie, as stated in the IHS article on Child Labor, such as living quarters infested with rodents, broken toilets, and no access to clean drinking water, have followed none of such requirements, leaving innocent children to be deprived of their childhood.

Abercrombie’s attitude toward child labor is enough to repel many people from the store. However, the business continues to thrive despite the many immoralities that have occurred. But why does Abercrombie deserve any business at all? How can you proudly wear the moose symbol across your chest when children slave away each day for hours, earning only a few cents?

There are many ways for Abercrombie to right itself. They can start by removing all factories that involve children in the process of making the clothes and then help improve living and working conditions in those factories. They need to use their money toward something beneficiary, not to increase the boss’s already inflated salary.

To you, the shoppers: By resisting the urge to walk into Abercrombie, you are speaking volumes for those who can’t say anything. You are simply stating that you won’t support the immoralities they are involved with, helping to stop child labor, one store at a time.

And now you know where the moose really comes from.

Modern Advances Come With Responsibility

In today’s age, technology is a part of everything. Almost everyone is constantly checking texts or social media. New technology like 3D printers could become a normal appliance in the near future. However, some gadgets are becoming all too much. Sure, phones help keep you connected with friends and world news. But what if it starts to replace real interaction? We need to consider how our actions could affect the future of our world. I don’t want to sound corny talking about this, but change is a serious topic. If we have changed so much in the past decade, what will the near future look like? At some point, we need to start being a little more simplistic. Otherwise, there will be no escaping the constant cell phone ring or texting. We are human beings, not cyborgs. We also need to think about what powers these gadgets, and how to be more efficient.

One of the best parts of modern technology is medical advances. We are so much more advanced today than we were ten years ago. This is one of the pros to modern day living. Transportation is improving as well. More environmentally friendly vehicles are being designed. Until we improve, we need to become even MORE efficient. We are so dependent on electrical power today, it is ridiculous. Think about it like this.. what happens when the power goes out during a storm? The lights, oven, refrigerator, outlets, and other appliances cease to work. We need to become more dependent on other resources. The same goes for gasoline. We constantly pump gas into our vehicles just to make them work. Emissions are released into the air until the fuel tank is empty. Gasoline is a LIMITED resource. We can’t depend on these two resources because someday gasoline and oils supplies will be depleted. Also, we cannot solely rely on electric power to charge and work home appliances. Sure, this supply is not limited. But if it fails to work, we are lost.

We need to become more responsible and aware of our technology use. If not, it will become a factor in everything. It is hard to imagine what the future will look like, but I do know one thing. Unless we slow down on technological advances and resource use, we will have a big problem. After all, when you have pros it’s important to also take a look at the cons.

Boston, Massachusetts

1368975122338I had taken this photo last year and edited it. To me this photo is like the before and after of the 9/11 building in New York. Even though major building didn’t collapse or are physically gone, it feels a bit like it is though. It’s already been about a month since this tragedy has happened, it feels like it happened yesterday. In some ways it brought the community together. Everyone was nice to another, I even saw a guy on a street corner waving a flag proudly.

I took this photo with my Droid Bionic.