Wednesday, August 30, 2006

modern times

In case you've been living under a rock, Dylan's new album, Modern Times, came out yesterday. I love it and will have more to say about it in the future, but today I was pleasantly surprised to read that my current favorite track, "When the Deal Goes Down," is the first single. Today Sony launched a streamable video for the song on their website, starring Scarlett Johansson in a gorgeous clip shot on old film stock or with old-school lighting or something. (You film snobs out there can tell me what exactly they did to get this effect.) I would love it if there was a way to watch this on my roommate's 50" TV. Watch it here.

Update: Thanks to SJR, here's a link directly to the video file so you can download it and enjoy it in its full sun-washed glory.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

interesting obit

Dartmouth College consistently produced the best American skiers (alpine and nordic) of the early twentieth century. Many of them served in World War II and went on to distinguished careers both in and outside of the skiing world. Only a few of those pioneers of American ski racing still survive; Aug. 18 marked the death of one of Dartmouth skiing's standouts, Warren Chivers. You can read his obituary from Ski Racing here.

Sunday, August 20, 2006 preview, part 2

The first entry I posted here from my forthcoming dictionary of ski racing terminology seemed to generate some buzz, so I might as well post another one today. (No citations for this one yet... if you come across one, please let me know.)

bib•bo informal
in sequential order according to bib number: After racer 15A, the race will be run bibbo.

arranged in bib order: a bibbo start order.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

2006-07 schedule

We just found out our preliminary training and racing schedule for the upcoming ski season, and it looks something like this. Let me know if you want to come watch a race somewhere or visit me in Winter Park in between events.

  • Sept. 8-12: U.S. Olympic Training Ctr., Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Oct. 16-30: Hintertux, Austria (team training camp)
  • Dec. 2-6: U.S. Olympic Training Ctr., Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Dec. 7-13: Breckenridge, Colo. (Ski Spectacular, Nor-Am SL/GS, speed training)
  • Jan. 2-8: Park City, Utah (Huntsman Cup, Nor-Am 2xGS/SL)
  • Jan. 16-22: Aspen, Colo. (World Cup 2xSG/2xGS/2xSL)
  • Jan. 25-29: Aspen, Colo. (Winter X Games XI monoskier-X, event date TBA)
  • Feb. 1-6: Winter Park, Colo. (Meridian Cup, Nor-Am SL/2xSG)
  • * Mar. 1-10: Abtenau, Austria (World Cup SL/2xGS/super combi/SG)
  • * Mar. 10-15: Zoncolan, Italy (World Cup Finals SL/GS/SG)
  • Mar. 19-25: Waterville Valley, N.H. (U.S. Disabled Alpine Championships DH/SG/GS/SL)
  • Mar. 29-Apr. 1: Vail, Colo. (SkiTAM team fundraiser)

*selected team members only

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Today I have been learning some interesting things about junk foods. For instance, I was fascinated to learn how Necco wafers are made and also which knock-off brands of Dr Pepper are best (and worst).

Monday, August 14, 2006

coming soon(ish)...!

As some of you may know, for the past six or eight months I've been working on a dictionary of ski racing terminology on historical principles — that is, following the lexicographical method (popularized by the OED) of including only words that have appeared in print and of including these print citations within each entry. (Yes, web pages count as print now, too.) So far I have a few hundred entries with preliminary definitions written for most of them, along with citations for many, drawn from such sources as Ski Racing, rec.skiing.alpine, Bode Miller's Bode: Go Fast, Be Good, Have Fun, and Hermann Maier's The Race of My Life. Next on my reading list are Mike Wilson's Right On the Edge of Crazy and Bill Johnson's Ski to Die.

Here is a little sneak preview of a sample entry for you NTAA readers:

verb [ intrans. ]
bend sideways at the ankles, knees, or hips so as to tip the skis on edge : 1994 From what I remember, they recommended somewhere between 1-2.5 degrees of angulation, making you slightly knock-kneed. This allows you initiate a turn instantly without having to angulate to get your ski on edge first. I had a race instructor cant me for this, and it makes a phenomenal difference. (rec.skiing.alpine, “Boot cant,” 12/18/94) • 2002 “Gretchen [Bleiler] is one of the few women freestylers that angulates real well,” [Pete DelGuidice] says. (SR, 12/27/02)

[ trans. ] 1994 Top racers are stuffing amazingly thick shims under their bindings to elevate the boot and improve their ability to angulate the ski. (rec.skiing.alpine, “new Ski Manufacturer wants input!,” 10/24/94)

ang•u•la•tion noun : 2003 [U.S. Ski Team coaches] also talk a lot about snow contact, pressure distribution and balance through angulation. (SR, 11/12/03)

Feedback welcomed in the comments section...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

language wars

It seems that Iran has joined France as the latest country making a futile attempt to rid its language of so-called impurities. It would be nice if all the politicians trying to make English the "official" or "national" language would read that little AP story, make some offhanded comment about the futility of trying to prevent "pizza" from entering Farsi, and then have it pointed out by an impartial observer that they are trying to legislate something just as un-legislatable. (There, I just made up a word. Come and get me, language purists!)