NFL to debut first female referee, Shannon Eastin, for Thursday’s preseason game

**Update: Shannon continues her historic journey – works her first regular season game.

 

It will be history in the making Thursday night as for the first time in NFL history, a woman will officiate the contest between the San Diego Chargers and the Green Bay Packers.

All eyes will certainly be on Shannon Eastin, who has officiated games for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, when she works the sidelines for the preseason opener.

When asked about the impact of a female official, the Chargers spoke glowingly about what it means for both the sport and the advancement of gender equality.

“It’s historic,” said head coach Norv Turner during his daily press conference following Monday’s practice. “I’m excited about it.  It’s going to be different, but the league has done a great job getting the refs ready.”

“I think it is massive,” said Nick Hardwick. “I think it’s a massive step in the right direction. This is what this country has been about for a long time, and this is certainly a step in the right direction. As a player it doesn’t matter at all if the official is male or female.  As long as they make the right calls, that’s all that matters.”

Source – First Female Official to Work Thursday Night’s Game

 

 

Continue reading NFL to debut first female referee, Shannon Eastin, for Thursday’s preseason game

A century of Olympic posters

‘The Start of the Sprinters’ Dash’. Yusaku Kamekura (art director); Osamu Hayasaki (photographer)

 

 

Images from the book “A Century of Olympic Posters” by Margaret Timmers:

As snapshots through time, Olympic posters provide a fascinating record of our world, a lens through which we can explore links between sports and art, politics and place, commerce and culture. A Century of Olympic Posters offers an intensely visual representation of the modern Games, and shows the evolution of the Olympic Games poster as well, from the first official poster for Stockholm in 1912 right up to the present.

 

Continue reading A century of Olympic posters

YouTube adds face blurring to videos – to protect anonymity of activists in troubled countries

As citizens continue to play a critical role in supplying news and human rights footage from around the world, YouTube is committed to creating even better tools to help them. According to the international human rights organization WITNESS’ Cameras Everywhere report, “No video-sharing site or hardware manufacturer currently offers users the option to blur faces or protect identity.”

YouTube is excited to be among the first.

Today we’re launching face blurring – a new tool that allows you to obscure faces within videos with the click of a button.

Whether you want to share sensitive protest footage without exposing the faces of the activists involved, or share the winning point in your 8-year-old’s basketball game without broadcasting the children’s faces to the world, our face blurring technology is a first step towards providing visual anonymity for video on YouTube.

 

Keep reading: The Official YouTube Blog – Face blurring: when footage requires anonymity

 

 

Continue reading YouTube adds face blurring to videos – to protect anonymity of activists in troubled countries

The Dark Knight Rises – trailer #4 – released July 6th

 

More glimpses of some epic street battle of 100s of people…

 

“The Dark Knight Rises” in theaters July 20 – Facebook

Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight Rises” is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars

  • Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle
  • Tom Hardy, as Bane
  • Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), as Miranda Tate
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake

Returning to the main cast:

  • Oscar winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred
  • Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon
  • Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox.

Dodgers new ownership finally takes over

The new owners take the field. Starting on the right, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, next to him (white hair) is Mark Walter, chairman of the Dodgers and CEO of Guggenheim Partners, and in front-middle is Stan Kasten, club president.

 

Stan Kasten

As the primary architect of the Atlanta Braves’ dynasty in the 1980s and ’90s, Kasten noted the Dodgers’ fast start in stressing that the goal is to “win now — we’re not going to wait two years.”

Mark Walter

In the tall, reserved Walter, Johnson can see parallels in ownership style with the Lakers’ Jerry Buss. Buss left it to general manager Jerry West and successor Mitch Kupchak to make the moves that kept that franchise at the top of the heap.

“Mark’s like Dr. Buss,” Magic said. “He’ll put money into the team and stay out of the way. He wants to win.”

Magic Johnson

Johnson, a big baseball fan growing up in Michigan, called it “one of the happiest days of my life.”

He said he was flattered that Walter and Kasten wanted him to join Guggenheim Baseball Management — along with Mandalay Entertainment chairman Peter Guber, Guggenheim Partners president Todd Boehly and Texas energy investor Bobby Patton — when they were putting together their winning bid to Frank and Jamie McCourt.

Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully — one of the few individuals holding a place in the region’s hearts close to Johnson’s — mastered the ceremonies, concluding that this would be the last ownership exchange that would have his involvement.

***

There will be an unspecified amount of room available in the budget to pursue established talent in trades and free agency while fortifying the farm system, Kasten said.

“We’re not going to gouge the fans just because we paid a nice sum for this franchise,” Johnson said, disclosing that general parking would come down from $15 to $10. “We don’t want the fans to think because we wrote a big check [$2 billion], we’re going to stop writing checks for talent. We don’t want people to think we’re short on money now. That’s not the case.”

***

The sale of the team, the stadium and land surrounding it became official on Tuesday as the group closed its $2 billion purchase, ending the McCourts’ stormy eight-year ownership..

Guggenheim paid an additional $150 million for a 50-percent interest in the property surrounding Chavez Ravine and the stadium parking lots, in a joint venture with McCourt.

The McCourts bought the Dodgers in 2004 from News Corp. for a net purchase price of $371 million.

via MLB.com

Continue reading Dodgers new ownership finally takes over

Debate over oil subsidies – Senators voting to protect them received on average 4x more contributions

The debate goes much deeper than who received money, but these numbers are still important:

In a 51-47 vote, 43 Senate Republicans and four Democrats filibustered to protect $24 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil. Although a majority voted for Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) bill, it fell short of the 60 needed. The only two Republicans to break rank were Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

A Think Progress Green analysis shows:

  • The 47 senators voting against the bill have received $23,582,500 in career contributions from oil and gas. The 51 senators voting to repeal oil tax breaks have received $5,873,600.

Democrats who joined the Republicans in defeating the bill include Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Jim Webb (D-VA).

The oil industry also spent over $146,000,000 on lobbying last year.

55 percent of Americans want to see the subsidies stopped.

via Think Progress Green

 

Thx to Justin Bacon

Gmail: why do messages end up in spam folder?

Many of our users say the accuracy of our spam filter is one of the key reasons they love Gmail. And while we think you should never have to look in your spam folder, we know some of you may want to know why the messages there were marked as spam.

So starting today, we’ll be showing a brief explanation at the top of each of your spam messages. Simply look at any message in your spam folder and now you can find out why it was put there and learn about any potentially harmful content within the message.

via Official Gmail Blog

 

Help articles from Google explaining why Spam can be dangerous.

Thx Don Burke.

California traffic fatalities down 37% – lowest level since 1944

The California Office of Traffic Safety celebrated their fifth year of consecutive declines in traffic related fatalities.

In 2010, the number of fatalities in the Golden State dropped to 2,715.  That is nearly a 12 percent drop from 3,081 traffic deaths in 2009.  And since the peak in 2005, with 4,333 deaths, California’s numbers have declined by more than 37 percent.

The number of traffic fatalities in California have not been this low since 1944, when only one-tenth the number of vehicles were on the road, driving only one-sixteenth the number of miles California drivers traveled in 2010.

via The Official Blog of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation

 

A very, very big deal considering that driving is one of the top killers in the U.S.:

  • Heart disease: 599,413
  • Cancer: 567,628
  • Automobiles: 359,000
  • Chronic Respiratory: 137,353
  • Stroke: 128,842

 

Statistics from 2009 reports by the CDC and U.S. Census.

Another report claims that the drop could be due to new cellphone bans, “deaths blamed on drivers using hand-held cellphones were down 47 percent.” via Huffington Post