Wednesday, December 28, 2016

WAYNE SIMMONDS — NHL's Rare Specimen


He’s having his best season ever, and he wants more than NHL fans to know that

Philadelphia Flyers right winger Wayne Simmonds is on a mission to change hockey’s appearance.
Enjoying arguably his greatest season ever, Simmonds wants to be revered as more than a player. He wants to be thought of as a role model, and he believes he’s on his way to becoming one.
An African-Canadian, Simmonds is an oddity. According to the National Hockey League, only 16 players of African descent have played in a game this season.
“I’m playing the game I love,” he said. “For me, I’m just trying to set an example for kids who are like me, who have been in my situation. They can look up to me as an example. If I can make it, they can make it, too. When I was a young kid, I looked up at people as inspiration. Willie O’Ree was the first African [-Canadian] to play. He was my goal.”
Simmonds knows his history and is aware that he’s earning a lofty place in NHL lore. He’s playing well enough to earn an All-Star team berth. His quiet but confident play and demeanor stands out on the rink. It also stands out away from the arena.
A bachelor millionaire, Simmonds can arguably walk through any black neighborhood with his uniform on and not be recognized. By contrast, because of his hockey notoriety, he would need a police escort to trek through a white enclave dressed in a suit.
“It’s a little weird,” Simmonds said. “I’m playing a predominantly white sport and the majority of people who see me play are white. Having more black players playing in the league would change that. You see what All-Star Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban is doing now. We’re trying to [create] a little more notoriety for ourselves. We’re playing in a league where there are not a ton of black players playing. We’re trying to let it be known that we’re here. We’re trying to inspire the next generation of kids who look like us.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 08: Wayne Simmonds #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the Edmonton Oilers on December 8, 2016 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“I stick out like a sore thumb, no matter where I am. I don’t mind it. I probably get more notoriety than a lot of guys for the way I look. That’s fine with me. If it helps the younger generation, I’m all for it.”
Simmonds isn’t the first player of African descent to play for the Flyers. According to the club, that honor goes to former NHL right winger Claude Vilgrain, who played in two games for Philadelphia during the 1993-94 season. Since then, the Flyers have featured five other players of African descent, including Simmonds. Teammate Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, a left-handed-shooting right winger, was born in France. His father was born on the Caribbean island of Martinique. Donald Brashear, an African-American from Indiana, played four of his 16 NHL seasons in Philadelphia while African-Canadian Ray Emery, an All-Star goalie during his career, played three of his 11 seasons with the Flyers. Another African-Canadian, Sandy McCarthy, played two of his 15 NHL seasons in Philly.
It’s not easy being a player of African descent in the NHL. During a preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings at John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, on Sept. 22, 2011, a fan threw a banana on the ice when Simmonds was attempting a shot during a shootout. The man, Christopher Moorhouse, was fined $200 after entering a guilty plea.
His lawyer, Faisal Joseph, said Moorhouse was unaware of the racial connotations of throwing the fruit. Faisal said Moorhouse was caught up in the drama of an overtime shootout. Simmonds’ late third-period goal tied the game, and he was approaching Detroit goalie Jordan Pearce in an attempt to clinch the match when the banana was thrown.
On Oct. 28, 2012, while playing for Liberec of the Czech Extraliga during the NHL lockout, fans of the opposing team Chomutov yelled the word “opice,” which means “monkey” in Czech, at Simmons. Chomutov general manager Jaroslav Veverka issued a statement saying fans who made the comments were not welcomed back at the arena.
“People like that are ignorant, and they are trying to get a reaction out of you,” said Simmonds of the incidents. “If they don’t get a reaction out of you, what are they doing it for? I think you win by not responding. You go out there proving you’re just as good as the white players [playing].”
Simmonds, who was part of a megadeal with the Los Angeles Kings, has grown to become a fan favorite in Philadelphia. It’s not unusual to see white fans proudly wear his jersey. Statistically, he’s among the league leaders in goals scored. Since Jan. 1, only Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin (43) and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby (50) have more goals than Simmonds’ 39.
When he was with the Kings, Simmonds was a defensive player and made his mark killing penalties. He had three power-play goals in three years for the Kings. This year, he’s doing both. His eight power-play goals lead the Flyers and tie him for the league lead.
“He leads by example,” said Flyers rookie center Travis Konecny. “He works hard. He makes players around him better. You can’t help but learn by watching him play. I’m learning so much being around him.”
Simmonds’ improvement as a player has been consistent and impressive. He’s scored 29, 28 and 32 goals, respectively, in each of the last three seasons. He’s currently tied for third in the league with 16 goals to go along with 13 assists. His stellar play may earn him a spot in the 62nd NHL All-Star Game set for the Staples Center on Jan. 29, 2017.
The accomplishment, which would aid his quest to change hockey’s appearance, is within reach.
“One thing that hurts the game a lot is that it’s expensive,” Simmonds said.”I believe the cost is preventing a lot of [minority] youngsters from playing. If the cost of playing comes down, I think you’d see more players like myself.
“I try not to let outside things get to me. I’ve been discriminated against a lot, and I’m still here doing my thing. I want to be a difference-maker. I want to be that guy who makes a difference for my team.” — Daryl Bell | The Undefeated

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Holy Placebo! Elevator Close Button

Not all elevator buttons are created equal: Pressing one for a floor will work, but pushing the door-close button does nothing. Credit Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times

Pushing That Crosswalk Button May Make You Feel Better, but …

It is a reflex born of years of habit: You see a button, press it and then something happens.
The world is filled with them, such as doorbells, vending machines, calculators and telephones.
But some buttons we regularly rely on to get results are mere artifices — placebos that promote an illusion of control but that in reality do not work.
No matter how long or how hard you press, it will not change the outcome. Be prepared to be surprised — and disappointed — by some of these examples.

Door-close buttons on elevators

Pressing the door-close button on an elevator might make you feel better, but it will do nothing to hasten your trip.
Karen W. Penafiel, executive director of National Elevator Industry Inc., a trade group, said the close-door feature faded into obsolescence a few years after the enactment of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990.
The legislation required that elevator doors remain open long enough for anyone who uses crutches, a cane or wheelchair to get on board, Ms. Penafiel said in an interview on Tuesday. “The riding public would not be able to make those doors close any faster,” she said.
The buttons can be operated by firefighters and maintenance workers who have the proper keys or codes.
No figures were available for the number of elevators still in operation with functioning door-close buttons. Given that the estimated useful life of an elevator is 25 years, it is likely that most elevators in service today have been modernized or refurbished, rendering the door-close buttons a thing of the past for riders, Ms. Penafiel said.
Take heart, though: The door-open buttons do work when you press them.

Crosswalk signals

New Yorkers (those who don’t jaywalk, that is) have for years dutifully followed the instructions on the metal signs affixed to crosswalk poles:
To Cross Street
Push Button
Wait for Walk Signal
But as The New York Times reported in 2004, the city deactivated most of the pedestrian buttons long ago with the emergence of computer-controlled traffic signals. More than 2,500 of the 3,250 walk buttons that were in place at the time existed as mechanical placebos. Today there are 120 working signals, the city said.
About 500 were removed during major construction projects. But it was estimated that it would cost $1 million to dismantle the nonfunctioning mechanisms, so city officials decided to keep them in place.
Most of the buttons were scattered throughout the city, mainly outside of Manhattan. They were relics of the 1970s, before computers began choreographing traffic signal patterns on major arteries.
ABC News reported in 2010 that it found only one functioning crosswalk button in a survey of signals in Austin, Tex.; Gainesville, Fla.; and Syracuse.

Office thermostats

The same problem that confronts couples at home — one person’s perception that a room is too cold is another’s that it is too warm — faces office workers as well.
Depending on where you work, you might find the thermostat in a plastic case under lock and key, but if you’re lucky you might have control over one.
Well, you might think you have control.
The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration News reported in 2003 that it asked readers in an informal online survey whether they had ever installed “dummy thermostats.” Of 70 who responded, 51 said they had.
One respondent, David Trimble of Fort Collins, Colo., wrote The News that people “felt better” that they could control the temperature in their work space after a nonfunctioning thermostat was installed. “This cut down the number of service calls by over 75 percent,” he wrote.

Sense of control

Though these buttons may not function, they do serve a function for our mental healthEllen J. Langer, a psychology professor at Harvard University who has studied the illusion of control, said in an email.
“Perceived control is very important,” she said. “It diminishes stress and promotes well being.”
John Kounios, a psychology professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said in an email there was no harm in the “white lie” that these buttons present. Referring to the door-close button on an elevator, he said, “A perceived lack of control is associated with depression, so perhaps this is mildly therapeutic.”
Knowing that pushing these buttons is futile does not mean it will stop people from trying, he added. The reward of the elevator door closing always occurs eventually, he said.
“If the door never closed, we would stop pressing the button,” he continued. “But in that case, of course, we would stop using the elevator altogether. So, that habit is here to stay. Similarly, even though I have grave doubts about the traffic light buttons, I always press them. After all, I’ve got nothing else to do while waiting. So why not press the button on the off chance that this one will work?” — The New York Times 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Back To The Future: Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 — Future Is Here

Meet the HyperAdapt, Nike's Awesome New Power-Lacing Sneaker | WIRED

Nike's Tinker Hatfield and Tiffany Beers explain the new power-lacing HyperAdapt 1.0 and demonstrate how to charge the sneakers, and tighten and loosen the laces with the touch of a button.

Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 Will Cost $1000 — Sneaker News

Nike self-lacing shoe: HyperAdapt 1.0 to cost $720 — Sports Illustrated

Nike's Self-Lacing Hyperadapt 1.0 Sneaker Will Cost $1000 — Highsnobiety


“Innovation at Nike is not about dreaming of tomorrow. It’s about accelerating toward it,” says Tinker Hatfield. “We’re able to anticipate the needs of athletes because we know them better than anybody. Sometimes, we deliver a reality before others have even begun to imagine it.”
Welcome the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, the first performance vehicle for Nike’s latest platform breakthrough, adaptive lacing. The shoe translates deep research in digital, electrical and mechanical engineering into a product designed for movement. It challenges traditional understanding of fit, proposing an ultimate solution to individual idiosyncrasies in lacing and tension preference.
Functional simplicity reduces a typical athlete concern, distraction. “When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten,” explains Tiffany Beers, Senior Innovator, NIKE, Inc., and the project’s technical lead. “Then there are two buttons on the side to tighten and loosen. You can adjust it until it’s perfect.”
For Hatfield, the innovation solves another enduring athlete-equipment quandary: the ability to make swift micro-adjustments. Undue pressure caused by tight tying and slippage resulting from loose laces are now relics of the past. Precise, consistent, personalized lockdown can now be manually adjusted on the fly. “That’s an important step, because feet undergo an incredible amount of stress during competition,” he says.
Beers began pondering the mechanics shortly after meeting Hatfield, who dreamed of making adaptive lacing a reality. He asked if she wanted to figure it out — not a replication of a preexisting idea but as “the first baby step to get to a more sophisticated place.” The project caught the attention of a third collaborator, NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker, who helped guide the design.

The process saw Beers brainstorming with a group of engineers intent on testing her theories. They first came up with a snowboard boot featuring an external generator. While far from the ideal, it was the first of a series of strides toward Beers and Hatfield’s original goal: to embed the technical components into such a small space that the design moves with the body and absorbs the same force the athlete is facing.
Through 2013, Hatfield and Beers spearheaded a number of new systems, a pool of prototypes and several trials, arriving at an underfoot-lacing mechanism. In April 2015, Beers was tasked with making a self-lacing Nike Mag to celebrate the icon’s true fictional release date of October 21. The final product quietly debuted Nike’s new adaptive technology. Shortly after, the completion of the more technical, sport version they’d originally conceived, the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, confirmed the strength of the apparatus.
“It’s a platform,” Beers says, “something that helps envision a world in which product changes as the athlete changes.”
The potential of adaptive lacing for the athlete is huge, Hatfield adds, as it would provide tailored-to-the-moment custom fit. “It is amazing to consider a shoe that senses what the body needs in real-time. That eliminates a multitude of distractions, including mental attrition, and thus truly benefits performance.”

He concludes, “Wouldn’t it be great if a shoe, in the future, could sense when you needed to have it tighter or looser? Could it take you even tighter than you’d normally go if it senses you really need extra snugness in a quick maneuver? That’s where we’re headed. In the future, product will come alive.”
In short, the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 is the first step into the future of adaptive performance. It’s currently manual (i.e., athlete controlled) but it makes feasible the once-fantastic concept of an automated, nearly symbiotic relationship between the foot and shoe.
The first generation of the HyperAdapt 1.0 will be available in the U.S. at select Nike retail locations. Appointments to experience and purchase the product begin November 28. Details on how to make an appointment will be announced in the coming weeks. — Nike

American Apparel Files For Bankruptcy — AGAIN!

American Apparel topples into bankruptcy again

Made-in-the-USA retailer American Apparel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Monday after its latest turnaround plan flopped.
The move comes about a year after the fashion retailer filed for bankruptcy for a first time. The company exited court protection in early 2016 but quickly encountered trouble again.
Canadian clothing manufacturer Gilden Activewear has agreed to a deal to acquire intellectual property assets and inventory from American Apparel, including the chance to maintain some or all of the company's Los Angeles production and distribution operations, according to a court filing.
American Apparel said it hopes to stay in business by securing a deal to keep its stores open. But liquidation is a serious risk for any retailer with the dubious distinction of having filed for what is colloquially known as "Chapter 22" — that is, Chapter 11 bankruptcy for a second time.
The company has already initiated liquidation proceedings for all of its foreign operations.
"The company faced unfavorable market conditions that were more persistent and widespread than the debtors anticipated," American Apparel chief restructuring officer Mark Weinsten said in a court filing. "These market conditions were particularly detrimental to retailers."
He said American Apparel's turnaround strategy "completely failed" as the company reported a 33% decline in year-over-year sales as of Sept. 30.
The chain secured bankruptcy financing to keep its doors open for now, but Weinsten said the cash would run out by the end of the year.
In the fiercely competitive teen fashion space, fast-fashion retailers H&M and Forever 21 have bulldozed their rivals in recent years. In 2016 alone, bankruptcies have included Aeropostale and Pacific Sunwear.
But American Apparel's troubles run far deeper. Famous for trumpeting its made-in-the-USA business model and sexually provocative advertisements, American Apparel has flirted with insolvency for years. In 2014, the company fired its polarizing CEO, Dov Charney, who faced allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.
When it filed for bankruptcy the first time, its strategic missteps were exposed, such as its peculiar strategy of hawking swimsuits in September.
Charney's replacement as CEO, Paula Schneider, charted a new strategic direction for the company, including a plan to overhaul its controversial advertising and improve its products. But she left the company in September.
Since its first bankruptcy, the company failed to optimize merchandising, bolster online sales, improve quality expeditiously and form a cohesive marketing plan, Weinsten said.
With 110 stores in 28 states and the District of Columbia, American Apparel has dwindled in size from the time of its original bankruptcy filing, when it had about 8,500 employees at six factories and 230 stores worldwide.
The company listed about $215 million in debts. It had $497 million in net sales in 2015.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: November 10th, 2016

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: November 10th, 2016

Check out the top 5 plays of the night for 11.10.2016

Jabari Parker takes flight w/ the Dunk of the Night!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: November 9th, 2016

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: November 9th, 2016

Check out the Top 10 plays of the night, featuring Marvin Williams and Nic Batum, Jake Layman, Russell Westbrook, Kristaps Porzingas, Gorgui Dieng, Justin Anderson, Stephen Curry, Shabazz Muhammad, Zach LaVine, and Jonathon Simmons.

Jonathon Simmons spinnin' n' winnin' and going airborne w/ a tomahawk dunk!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 26th, 2016

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 26th, 2016

Check out the Top 10 Plays from October 26th 2016!

Myles Turner pulverizes for the Pacers!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 25th, 2016

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 25th, 2016

Check out the Top 10 Plays from October 25th 2016, Opening Night of the 2016-17 NBA season!

Jonathon Simmons w/ a rim-rocking facial of the century!

Saturday, August 20, 2016




Allen Iverson | #3 | PG/SG | Philadelphia 76ers | Hall Of Fame Legend

Jadakiss | MC / Rapper | The Lox / D-Block | Top 5 Dead Or Alive

Friday, August 19, 2016

Aaron Judge — Baseball's Mammoth

How big is Aaron Judge?

Just how big is New York Yankees prospect Aaron Judge? Yankees weigh in on his physique with YES Network's Matthew Stucko.

Aaron Judge | 6' 7" 275 lbs | #99 | RF | New York Yankees

Judge follows Austin with first career homer

Aaron Judge follows up Tyler Austin's first career home run with his own first homer in the big leagues, way over the wall in center

Aaron Judge makes quick, powerful impression on Yankees Newsday

Baby Bombers: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez giving Yankees reason for optimismSports Illustrated

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Untold True Story Of Jackass

The Untold Truth Of Jackass

Who knew filming your friends getting hurt doing increasingly dangerous stunts could lead to fame, fortune, and a pop culture franchise? Jackass dominated TV in the early 2000s and has since led to four feature films, including one in 3D, and the Oscar-nominated Bad Grandpa. Here are some things you probably didn't know about the cast, crew, and creation of Jackass...

Alex Rodriguez | New York Yankees • MLB • Baseball Retirement

Alex Rodriguez announces his MLB retirement

New York Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez announces his plan for retirement from Major League Baseball.

A-Rod To Play Final Game Friday, Become Yankees AdvisorMLB

A-Rod's Final Game

Check out the sights and sounds from A-Rod's final game as a Yankee

Alex Rodriguez’s Yankees career ends in fittingly eccentric fashion — Sports Illustrated

Alex Rodriguez Tribute Video

A look back at the illustrious 22-year MLB career of Alex Rodriguez.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Return Of NYC's Guardian Angels

The Return of NYC's Guardian Angels

We spend a day with the Guardian Angels, a second-wave resurgence of the 70's crime fighting group that says it's back protecting the streets and subways of New York City after a series of slashings earlier this year. 

Vigilante Justice Comes Back to NYCThe Daily Beast

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ghetto Millionaire by Amasing | COGNITIVE DRIFT

Ghetto Millionaire

We have all heard the horror stories of people who win the lottery and within a few years, wind up broke.

This isn’t the story of Ted Williams (aka man with the golden voice) story either!

Which by the way, he is unfortunately battling his own demons called — alcohol.

No, this is a story of a ghetto millionaire who tried to make an investment with his money so he can live the lap of luxury like all millionaires do. After all, accountants will tell you to invest your money to receive long term residuals and have a check coming in either once a month or at least once a year.

This ghetto millionaire is Ronnie Music Jr.; a man who has won 3 million dollars from a scratch off ticket and invested in meth as his retirement fund.

Authorities don’t know how much of the $3 million dollars he invested with the lottery winnings but Mr. Music believed it was worth the investment. Authorities seized $1.5 million street value of meth, firearms, ammunition, multiple cars, and about $600,000 in cash.

I sort of have sympathy for Mr. Music. I mean, here is a man that was trying to build for his future but he just happened to make the wrong investments.

That my friends, is what I call a ghetto millionaire! This might sound snobbish but wealth is something that needs to be acquired and conditioned. When you receive a large amount of money and you were never wealthy to begin with, you tend to spend it without knowing the consequences.

Here is some financial advice if you win the “big” lottery: if you’re not too old, don’t take the one lump sum. If you’re old, fuck it, you’re going to die anyway so take the lump sum. If you’re young, take the annual installment.

For two reasons: one, if you love money, the installment actually will give you more money than the lump sum. Two, even if you are a big fuck up and can’t manage money, you will still get a check at the end of the year.

Knowing my addictive personality, I better take the installment because even if I blew…blow my money, I’ll just have to live in a cardboard box until I get my next check. Don’t be a ghetto millionaire! — Amasing | COGNITIVE DRIFT

Thursday, July 21, 2016

MICHAEL VICK: Exclusive Bleacher Report Documentary

VICK: An Exclusive Bleacher Report Documentary

The exclusive Bleacher Report documentary on the rise and fall of Michael Vick.

Michael Vick | #7 | QB | Atlanta Falcons (2001 - 2006)

Michael Vick | #7 | QB | Philadelphia Eagles (2009 - 2013)

Michael Vick | #1 | QB | New York Jets (2014)

Michael Vick | #1 | QB | Pittsburgh Steelers (2015)
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