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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 07:49 PM
Number of posts: 65,362

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Bridge to Nowhere

Christie's press conference was important, but is unlikely to help him in the long run. First, while some are attempting to spin his performance as a positive, we see numerous serious questions being asked on internet forums.

Second, while the press had opportunity to ask some valid questions, that format still allowed Christie a large degree of control in what he would answer, and how .....not to mention potential follow-up questions. This is very different than a setting in which he is either testifying before a legislative committee, or is being grilled by an attorney.

The possibility of civil cases, and potential criminal ones, makes it likely that one of the currently identified "fall guys" will decide they aren't going to pay the price for keeping silent. It will only take one to cause the dam to burst.

Enjoy the show.

Rickety Woo

My children's pediotrician became a close personal friend. He saved my oldest son's life, when my boy was a tiny infant, misdiagnosed by two other doctors. That was 30 years ago this month, and even after that amount of years, remembering that period of time brings up some emotions. I think that a story about him might shed some light on one of the current "controversies" being debated on DU:GD
My friend was a faculty member at Syracuse University. He was highly respected in the medical community. He was also on the board of the NYS Museum's Iroquois Studies. His passions had areas of overlap: for example, he knew that Onondaga children were the only group that did not suffer from diabetes. Children from the other nations of the Confederacy have much lower rates of childhood diabetes than the rest of the country, but Onondaga still stood out.

At this time, this is certainly a topic of interest for the United States. It may not be the #1 issue confronting our society, but it has areas overlapping the larger issue of "health care" in our country.

A question at the starting point of considering why this small sub-culture doesn't have childhood diabetes would be is it genetics or environment -- or, of course, a combination of the two? Since virtually all Onondaga people have some Celtic DNA, due to interactions between the Iroquois and Euro-Americans in the colonial era, my friend wanted to study differences in life-style; these include diet, ways of dealing with stress, family support systems, etc.

Repeated attempts to gain the access such a study required proved frustrating for my friend. He never got a "yes" or "no" response from the nation's leaders. As we came to know one another, my friend realized I could assist in his gaining that access. Hence, on weekends, my boys and I would bring him up to the Territory.

This led to some interesting discussions on related topics. For example, the Jesuit diaries from the "contact era" document how the Iroquois treated some Euro-Americans for what is known as "rickets." This was a condition the Iroquois recognized, and knew how to treat. To make a long story a little shorter, it involved boiling the inner bark of a White Pine; that tea successfully treated rickets.

For several years, my friend boiled the said bark, but could not identify what made the tea work. Yet, he knew it wasn't just in people's minds. One evening, after we returned from the Territory, something clicked in his mind: he had boiled the bark in a metal pot, whereas the Iroquois had boiled it in clay pots.

He experimented with a clay pot, a reproduction of what the Iroquois used in the pre-contact and early contact eras. And he found the answer.

I tell this story, not to advocate "woo" over "science," but rather, to suggest that having an open mind is generally a good thing.

H2O Man

Two Questions:

[1] What American (or Americans), living or deceased, would you say represents what you consider among the very best our society has produced?

[2] Why?

Boxing: 2013 in Review

I have watched boxing -- amateur and professional, on television and from ringside -- for fifty years now. In fact, I had my first amateur bout 50 years ago this past summer. In my opinion, 2013 was boxing's best year in my lifetime. And that is in spite of the fact that the heavyweight division has continued to be largely non-competitive, and that amatuer boxing continued to be subjected to international scoring rules that were developed to hamper USA boxers.

"Boxing is dead (or dying)" has been a constant theme of those who dislike the Great Sport. It seems hard to believe in a year where one fighter earned more than $90 million for a single bout. That fighter is Floyd Mayweather, Jr., of course. At the beginning of the year, I had noted that Floyd's going from HBO to Showtime would have a huge impact upon the sport. It changed the HBO promotion of mismatches, in which the HBO-contracted fighter faced lesser opposition, to showcase their talent. More, it did something else equally important: it added depth to the undercards of mega-main events.

In picking my choices for "fighter of the year," etc., I'm going to go with others in the sport. Floyd is the "Greatest of the Era." In May, he easily decisioned tough Robert Guererro (and earned $40 million); in September, he decisioned Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, who entered the ring with a 20 pound weight advantage. Several of my friends who have longed to see Floyd defeated came away with a new-found respect for him after that fight.

Here are some of my choices:

[1] Fighter of the Year: I'm gooing with Philly's Danny Garcia. He defended his title against Zab Judah in April, in a bout where the aging ex-champion put on his best performance in many years. Garcia showed that he was more talented than most fans (and "experts" had realized. Next, on the undercard of Mayweather vs Canelo, Danny decisioned Lucas Matthysse in a 12 round, action-packed, war. The odds had heavily favored Lucas to knock Danny out, but this tough young champion showed both a skill set and chin that surprised everyone, except Garcia and his father.

[2] Fight of the Year: This is a tie between Tim Bradleys's split-decision victory over Ruslan Provodnikov in March, and Marcos Maidana's upset victory over the highly obnoxious Adrien Broner in December. Bradley, who was almost knocked out in both the first and last rounds, fought the wrong fight, and suffered serious damage in doing so. (Ten months later, he fought a near-perfect fight in defeating Juan Manuel Marquez.)

Maidana had been picked to showcase Broner's skills. But he hurt the champion in the first 30 seconds of round one; decked him in rounds two and eight; and forced Broner to fight toe-to-toe in an action-packed bout. Despite the referee's blatant favoring of Broner, Maidana won a lop-sided decision.

[3] Knockout of the Year: The most significant was Adonis Stevenson's first round destruction of Chad Dawson, to win the light heavyweight title. The scariest was Deontay Wilder's devastation of Siarhei Liakhovich in one round; the victim of Wilder's 29th straight knockout appeared to go into convulsions as he lay unconscious on the mat
[4] Prospect of the Year: Deontay Wilder, at 6' 7" tall, with an 84" reach, won four impressive knockouts in 2013. He appears to be the best American heavyweight in a long time. He reminds many of a heavyweight Thomas "the Hit Man" Hearns. He has won all 30 of his fights by knockout.

[5] Elder Statesman of the Year: Bernard Hopkins decisioned previouslu undefeated Tavoris Cloud in March, and tough Karo Murat (25-1) in October.

[6] Under-appreciated Champion: Guillermo Rigondeaux easily outpointed Nonito Donare and Joseph Agbeko this year. He is this era's Willie Pep ("You couldn't hit me with a handful of pebbles!". However, his "hit and not-be-hit" style does not excite the casual boxing fans.

[7] Comeback of the Year: Manny Pacquiao lost both of his 2012 bouts -- a controversial decision to Timothy Bradley, and a devastating 6-round knockout to Marquez. In November, Pac Man returned to the ring with a one-sided decision over Brandon Rios.

Note: Because Pacquiao is in debt, both in the Phillapines and in the US, he is likely to agree to fight Mayweather for $40 million. Floyd remains undefeated, holds the title, and far outsells Manny on pay-per-view numbers. It could happen in May, although there is a better chance this long anticipated bout will happen in September.
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