Performance Phenomenons

Performance Phenomenons

10. Adizero Crazy Light 3.

 

Price – $145

A shoe thats true to its name. The crazy light 3 is sibling of the first two crazy lights, and overall is a great performer and a likable shoe. If you want a breathable shoe, you’ve found it. The Crazy Light 3 offers ventilation all through the midsole. The price at $145 is reasonable ( as crazy as it sounds to say over 100 bucks is reasonable for sneakers) and is a pretty good pick up.

 

9.  Ektio Breakaway

Price-$130

A  shoe Brandon Knight probably should’ve been wearing. The Breakaway’s provide top notch ankle support and are comfortable and really provide a lockdown that is superior to other shoes. If you’re one of those players that wants a little more support around your ankles, whether  because of ankle injury or personal preference, then this shoe is for you. It also provides great traction. Honestly the shoe is an underrated shoe with a brand that really has no real name in the sneaker world. But because of its lock down ankle support its starting to make a name for itself.

 

8. Jordan SuperFly 2

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Eight Must Read Young Adult Books

1) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins “May the odds be ever in your favor.” This book is one of the most exciting books I have ever read. A long time ago, there was a war. Now every year each … Continue reading

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” ?

The National Basketball Association: Is it what it seems?

Considered the most prestigious basketball league on earth, the NBA has a certain appeal that other leagues lack. With its high level of play and stars that seem to do no wrong, how could it not? But is it possible that some of the best players and teams get a little help from the officials?

5 years ago, Tim Donaghy, a former ref for the NBA, was discovered to have been making bets on games that might have affected his decision making in calls. He denied his gambling to have affected his officiating, but was sent to court on charges of conspiracy to engage inwire fraud, and transmitting wagering information through interstate commerce. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison for betting on games that he reffed. His arrest unearthed a long debated topic about the NBA, it’s biased reffing, and slightly scripted feeling.

After his arrest Donaghy went public about his situation. He wrote a book, was on 60 minutes, and did multiple interviews with many radio stations. People wanted to know how was he so accurate in his bets? During the an investigation the FBI conducted, they discovered that out of the 100 games he bet on, he won a whopping 80% of his bets, a ridiculous percentage. To Donaghy however, it’s no surprise that he won so many bets. Donaghy had told the FBI, “You don’t realize how easy this was for me knowing what I know”.

In his book and his interviews, Donaghy explains how he could know the outcome of a game with the point spread, just by knowing who was officiating, and how crucial a game it was for either team. “I would call the referees the night of the game” he said. “I would pick their brain, and see if they had any vendettas against any player/coach/owner involved in the game that night, and based on the information, I could make a decision.”

During a YouTube interview, he stated, “I’m never going to say that the NBA is fixed, or that David Stern, NBA commissioner, is going to go out and completely screw teams but the way they program and train referees in meetings, it puts a team at an advantage or a disadvantage” He gives an example later on in the interview. “To use the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers as an example, the referees had talked about how important this game was to the Lakers. It’s a matter of them making the playoffs or not making the playoffs so if they are going to call a foul, they’re going to call them on the side of the Lakers because Houston’s already in, and if they make a call that ends up taking the Lakers out of the playoffs, there’s going to be big consequences due to fans. Not only for officials, but for the league losing millions of dollars because one of their main teams missed the playoffs.”

Donaghy gives another example of how the NBA is partially scripted in his book Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal that Rocked the NBA, by talking about current NBA ref Dick Bavetta. Bavetta is known for usually officiating close games. If a team was being blown out, he would alter his officiating, and instruct the other refs to do so as well. “Lets not embarrass anyone,” he would say. Donaghy knows first hand, as Bavetta has given him these instructions in the past. He says that during conversations with him, Bavetta stated that he was the NBA’s “go to guy”. Whenever they wanted a game to be really close, or a playoff series to go the 7 games, just to entertain fans, he would assign Bavetta to the game with instructions on which team to favor. What makes the situation even fishier is that when Bavetta was investigated, he was forbidden by the NBA to speak publicly about the case.

In an interview on WEEI radio, Donaghy was asked to elaborate on how refs might favor stars. Donaghy explained how sometimes if there was a foul called that would put an all star in a troublesome situation, they would try to find a person who was not as important, (maybe an 8th man to a team), that might have been involved in the play and give them the foul.

It can’t be denied that Donaghy did the wrong thing. But maybe it was all for the better, as it unearthed a controversial topic that few people were aware of. Many people now believe that the NBA does have a scripted feeling to it. If you have ever watched an NBA game, there is never a single game where there is not at least a couple controversial calls. Even the announcers pick up on it when looking at the replay.

I think it is very low of the NBA and the officials to pull this kind of stunt. Basketball is not a show; it’s a sport that should be played with dignity, honesty, and pride. The good teams deserve the wins they get, and the bad teams deserve the losses. There should be no unnecessary interference from the league or from the officials just because they want to entertain the fans. It’s just not fair to the players. Whether an All-Star, or a bench warmer, each and everyone of those players worked their butt off to get to where they are today, and the fact that the NBA is turning them into a show instead of letting them just play basketball, is just an insult to their dedication. The NBA should let the players just play basketball, no biased reffing, no extending a series for entertainment, just play basketball like it was meant to be played. Not for the money, not for the fans, for the competition and for the sport.

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

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.

T.G.I. Friday’s

With 992 locations in the U.S.A., T.G.I. Friday’s is a restaurant that serves decent food and is for “casual dining.”

 

When I first heard about T.G.I Friday’s, someone said to me, “don’t go there for the steak.” And I did. Well, let’s be honest here. So, imagine a plate divided into four quarters. In one quarter is the 6-ounce steak. In another is some broccoli. The rest of the plate is mashed potatoes. After I was done with the mashed potatoes, I got so full that I didn’t want to eat the rest of the steak. The steak wasn’t that great anyway, but the mashed potatoes were pretty good. The items that were tasty were the appetizer and the dessert. We ordered a Pick-Three-For-All with barbeque boneless chicken wings, warm pretzels with Craft Beer cheese sauce, mozzarella sticks, and celery. I guess they sort of needed to throw in some vegetables. This dish is great to share with three other people. I had the Oreo Madness for dessert. It is Oreo ice cream sandwiched in between two pieces of chocolate cake to look like an Oreo cookie. There was also chocolate sauce and caramel next to it.

 

The decorations in the restaurants were awesome. There was everything from skis to old records. The service did not take too long, but we were having casual conversation, so it didn’t really matter. The waitresses were also pretty tolerant of us noisy middle schoolers.

To sum it up, they have decent food with good portions and good service.

 

History of Food: Pasta

The first form of food similar to pasta was in the writings of Horace where thin strips of dough were fried and served with spices in the 1st century B.C.E. A few centuries later, we see an ancient ancestor of modern day lasagna come out in the form of lagana. It was described to be consisted of sheets of dough with meat filling in between. In the second century, the dough started to be made with flour and water instead of juice from lettuce. Later, Arabs adopted a similar form of noodle in the 5th century and lead to the Italians making thin strip noodle pasta.

 

If we jump to the 15th century, dried pasta was very valued because it could be stored for very long periods of time.That’s why many exploring ships brought dried pasta to the New World. Believe it or not, tomato sauce was only invented in the 18th century! Before this, people would just eat pasta with their hands. Now, people eat it with forks because the tomato would get too messy without it.

 

Today, the average Italian eats about sixty pounds of pasta per year, while the average American eats about twenty pounds of pasta per year. Writings suggest it originated in Italy, but why is it popular in North America? It’s because Italian immigration to the Americas that we love pasta so much. Italians have also had a mass immigration to South Africa, making spaghetti and meatballs a major part of Italian cuisine.

 

Do you like pasta? How do you eat yours? Comment, if you want, I guess.