Cleveland: Keeping Christmas at Home
Ramona: The War on Happy Holidays
Richard Day: Cold in Minnesota, and in the Hearts of Men
A vimeo about the badass code weapon for Hungry Beast on Australia's ABC1.
Another interesting vimeo by Patrick Clair is How Green is Your Internet?
The New York Times has an article, Rackets Provide Window Into Tennis’s Top Three Men, discussing the tennis racquets used by Nadal, Djokovic and Federer. I haven't paid much attention to racquets since 2001, but I used to obsess over them.
In architecture school in the 1970s we learned a fair amount about passive solar design. We learned about orienting a building to take advantage of solar angles, about trombe walls, overhangs and brise-soleils. Although, back then, a lot of passive solar designs tended to look alike, it certainly seemed to us that in the midst of an energy crisis, we'd be doing energy-efficient buildings in our careers.  [Read more]
New Society has published three new books telling us that we're doomed. Or are they? When you see that humanity is running up against a problem, and you write a book about it, are you actually a doomer?
Take Thomas Malthus, whose name has become synonymous with population overshoot. His contemporary, the Marquis de Condorcet, had written Outlines of an historical view of the progress of the human mind, which described a world getting better, for example:
At Eastbourne, a grass court warmup before Wimbledon, and in her first match back on the WTA tour in ages, Venus Williams defeated world #11 Andrea Petkovic 7-5 5-7 6-3 - not a bad score against a healthy Venus on grass, but not a win, either. Nevertheless, in WTA World Changed in Williams Sisters' Absence, Peter Bodo tried to make a case that the current crop of players will be more troublesome for Venus and Serena than the ones that they were playing just last year.
I caught one large summer flick this weekend, X-Men: First Class, and one small art-house film, Still Walking.
Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer
Rafa has owned Roger at the French in the past, but there were three reasons to think today might be different:
1 - Federer looked sharp in dismissing Djokovic, who had been undefeated this year.
2 - The Babolat balls are very light this year. So Roger's serve will be more of a weapon.
3 - The Terre Battue red clay is very dry and playing much faster than years past. So Roger's serve will be more of a weapon. [Read more]
This morning, a local news blurb claimed that Mazda was leaving the US. What does that mean? According to Mazda May Quit Michigan Venture in the Wall Street Journal, Mazda primarily wants to leave their Auto Alliance International joint venture with Ford because it simply isn't profitable: [Read more]
Li Na vs Francesca Schiavone
The match looks even in the first few games as both players hold serve twice. Francesca is relying on the serve to get ahead in rallies. If Schiavone doesn't keep her opponent moving or hits anything short, Li puts it away with a powerful, flat forehand to a corner. In case we were wondering, McEnroe observes that Li has more power.
2-2 15-40 - break points for Li. Schiavone saves one with a big serve that Li returns long. But Li converts with a deep return and a big, flat forehand to the corner.
3-2 Li holds easily.
4-2 30-0 - Li hits sharp angle that is called out. Even Schiavone thought it was in, but Chair Ump confirms out call. Schiavone holds at love. [Read more]
Andy Murray never gave up, but Rafael Nadal beat him in three competitive sets. That was not a surprise.
Djokovic wasn't as sharp as at Rome, but seemed to be on track. He led in the first set 5-4 and 6-5, but let Roger Federer get to a tiebreak. He was ahead 5-4 in the tiebreak, but Federer won the next three points and led 7-6. Djokovic looked terrible losing the second set 3-6. Novak was not handling Roger's serve on clay as well as he had on hardcourts. Also, Roger was frequently pulling ahead on Novak's service games. The man who had been undefeated this year was one set from defeat. That was a surprise. [Read more]
Not too long ago, tennis folk complained that there was no depth in the women's game. While a top male player could be upset by a journeyman having a good day of serving, the women's finals of most big tournaments usually featured Chris Evert vs Martina Navratilova, and later, Steffi Graf vs Monica Seles or Gabriela Sabatini or Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, and later, the Williams sisters.