Despite its name, the dolphin kick—the motion that propels the swimmer forward underwater after he dives in and at the turns—isn’t just about the legs. It requires a swimmer’s entire body to crack like a whip, creating a fluid wave that starts at the chest and increases in amplitude as it travels all the way through the toes. In the best swimmers, this wave moves at about nine feet every second, about half the speed an actual dolphin performs the same motion. To move this quickly, whole-body flexibility is key. Twenty-time world record holder Michael Phelps ripples two waves down his unusually long, flexible torso at a time—cracking the whip in his body twice as often as his competition. Since the kick moves swimmers far faster than any surface stroke (there’s less resistance underwater), perfecting it can give Phelps a big advantage off the gate. So why not just stay down there the whole race? After the 1988 Olympics, the world’s governing body of swimming, FINA, restricted it to the first 15 meters after a start or turn.
“The dolphin kick is going to be used as a weapon in Beijing,” says Russell Mark, biomechanist manager of the US national swim team. During the last four years, Mark says the best American swimmers, including Phelps, have been especially focused on honing the technique. Engineers at George Washington University studying fluid dynamics recently calculated that more than 75 percent of the propulsive force of the dolphin kick comes from snapping the ankle. “If you have the ability to flip your ankle like a ballet dancer, you’ll get more whiplash action,” says Rajat Mittal, who has consulted with USA Swimming. The elite swimmers they’ve studied can bend their ankles beyond that of a ballerina’s pointed toe.
Sonos intros two new ZonePlayers: the ZP90 and ZP120. The ZP120 sports a slim and svelte form and is down 57% of the original size. The ZP90 works as a receiver to stream music wirelessly. Both the devices depend on MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology, thus doubling their range when compared to earlier versions. Large spaces and mansions benefit from the extended range and will be able to take full advantage of it.
Princess Mariana, one of the most impressive mega yachts in the world, was launched in 2003, but it was available for charter, after a $12 million refurbishment in 2006. The 258 feet luxury yacht has been reported by CNNMoney as one of the most desirable charters, which rents for a whopping $606,500 a week. The figure comes out to about $1 per second. Now, that’s the ultimate in luxury yachting. Princess Mariana is done with every luxury possible you would expect on a mega yacht. It boasts a spacious master stateroom, two double VIP staterooms, two double staterooms, twin stateroom 13-seat cinema, a fully equipped gym, a helipad, and a golf driving range. The staterooms have plasma TVs and private en-suites. One of the most impressive amenities on-board is the Beach Club, a dry dock where the tender lives. When the tender is outside, the dock can be transformed into a 12m swimming pool with underwater lighting.
The outcome was predictable to anyone with an ice-cream cone full of brain jelly slapped into their skull cavity, but professional psychic Uri Geller somehow didn’t see it coming: his company, Explorologist Ltd., had its spoon bent by the EFF yesterday over a frivolous DMCA takedown notice Geller sent to the creators of a 13 minute YouTube video debunking Geller’s supernatural powers… a video which happened to contain a ten second clip of one of his performances.
The EFF has really made Geller eat it here: not only has he been forced to withdrew, but they made him license the clip in question as non-commercial Creative Commons to boot, so as to aid the efforts of other skeptics. Right on, EFF!
The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation have announced the 10 shortlisted artists for the inaugural Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation Signature Art Prize. A panel of international jurors selected the 10 finalists from an initial list of 34 nominees from 12 countries. The shortlisted artworks are from Cambodia, China, India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
The distinguished jury comprises Henri Chen KeZhan, one of Singapore’s most established artists and a pioneer in contemporary Chinese painting; Simon Israel, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation; Kwok Kian Chow, Director of the Singapore Art Museum; Dr Apinan Poshyananda, Director-General of the Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture, Thailand and Professor Xu Jiang, President of the China Academy of Art, People’s Republic of China.
“The judges were struck by the concepts behind the 10 finalist works and how these ideas were conveyed creatively through the artists’ use of mediums and choice of material.” Dr Apinan Poshyananda said.
“We were impressed by the overall quality of the entries and what this signifies in the Asia Pacific art scene,” he added, referring to the 34 nominated artworks from which the jury had to shortlist the finalists. In mid-October, the 10 finalists will be judged for five awards – three Juror’s Choice Awards of SGD 10,000 each, a SGD 10,000 People’s Choice Award and the Grand Prize of SGD 45,000.
The finalist artworks were shortlisted from a collection of 34 contemporary artworks selected by the nominators in each of the 12 eligible countries – Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. With their diverse themes and mediums, the nominated artworks represent what the nominators – who are knowledgeable and experienced individuals in contemporary art – consider outstanding contemporary artwork produced in their country in the last three years.
The People’s Choice Award is distinctive in that it is the only award that is not conferred by the jury. Rather, it is bestowed on the finalist artist whose work receives the most public votes on an online voting website which will be launched on 1 August. The voting website is intended to be a platform for the public to vote for their favourite artwork. Voting on the website ends at 7 pm on 12 October. To cast your vote : http://www.nhb.gov.sg/sam/signatureartprize/vote.html .
The APB Foundation Signature Art Prize is a hallmark of distinction to be awarded triennially to artists whose works represent a significant development in contemporary art. The award series is the result of a 15-year partnership announced in October 2007 between SAM and APB Foundation to develop and promote contemporary visual art in the Asia Pacific region with a donation of SGD 2.25 million from APB Foundation. More information on the ABP Foundation Signature Art Prize can be found at http://www.nhb.gov.sg/SAM/signatureartprize