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Drones Add New Angles to Sochi Games Coverage

I think Aussie would have liked these things, and not just because he had a tendency to drone on … and on … and on about his many afflictions and gripes!

There is an interesting article in The Atlantic’s online edition about the use of drones. The same unmanned beasts that are so controversial when used to spy and bomb are being used at the Sochi Winter Olympics to photograph several sports. From ski-jumping to snowboarding these worker bees of the technology world are getting into positions no human could hope to gain access to and the result is some great different angles.

Sergei Grits / AP

Sergei Grits / AP

Almost thirty years ago, as a student working summers as a tennis court attendant, I had the pleasure of meeting an interesting character by the name of Aussie Whiting. Aussie, yep, originally from Australia made his way to Canada where he established himself as a world-class, award-winning sports photographer.

Aussie was one of those people who, when asked how they are, actually tell you – usually at great length. Whitings photos appeared in many publications, but his actual employer was Montreal’s The Gazette. He covered local teams including the Canadiens, Expos and Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. His camera was always with him, I’d tell you what make it was, but by the time I met him it was mostly cardboard and duct tape.  In those days a photographer had a deadline that necessitated him leaving most evening games before they were over to get back to the paper and develop his work for inclusion in the next day’s edition. Aussie always hoped for a good shot early in a game to give him lots of time to make his way back to his editor.

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau walks arm in arm with Miss Grey Cup Nancy Durrell at the 1970 by AUSSIE WHITING

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau walks arm in arm with Miss Grey Cup Nancy Durrell in1970 by AUSSIE WHITING

I mention Aussie in relation to the use of drones for sports photography because I wonder what his take would have been on them. He did once tell me that the easiest sport to photograph was baseball, given the pace of play. He explained that he would set up a camera on a tripod in the photographers section of the dugout, focus it on second base. When a base stealer such as Tim Raines made it to first base, Aussie would take the cable release and, as the runner broke for second base he’d hold down his thumb and get any number of images, almost guaranteeing a terrific shot.

I think Aussie would have liked these things, and not just because he had a tendency to drone on  … and on … and on about his many afflictions and gripes!

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Sochi Hockey Polls

For those of us in Canada, when it comes to the Winter Olympics the main event is Hockey because as the inventors of the game we feel our teams – men and women – must win. Other countries, particularly our neighbors to the south, the USA, have become very competitive over the years, and now make things difficult for Canada to reign as champs.

Now that all the teams have had some exposure here’s a little poll regarding your thoughts on what country will win the gold.

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Olympics and Sleep: You Winsome and You Luge Some

I would have medaled, probably repeatedly, had sleeping been an Olympic event.

With the Sochi Olympics in full swing I’ve been wondering what sport I would have excelled at had I been so inclined when younger. Let’s be honest, Olympic games are all about youth, winsome smiles seen through hockey cages, childlike exuberance and apparent complete lack of fear while riding a luge literally at break-neck speeds. When it comes to the Olympics, you winsome and you luge some.

Then it all became clear. I would have medaled, probably repeatedly, had sleeping been an Olympic event.

When it comes to sleeping, I’m one of the lucky ones

I fully appreciate that I am one of the lucky ones when it comes to sleep. I certainly could sleep for Canada; from long, full nights in the arms of Morpheus to catnaps and siestas I can do them all. Waiting-rooms in doctors’ offices – that’s me snoring in the corner.  I’ve even been tempted at longer red traffic lights to pop the car into park and nod off until the guy behind me honks, but I’d  probably just reach out to hit the snooze button.

I certainly could sleep for Canada; from long, full nights in the arms of Morpheus to catnaps and siestas I can do them all. Waiting-rooms in doctors’ offices – that’s me snoring in the corner.

Like many a growing lad I racked up countless hours of sleep as a teenager, but that’s not what I’m referring to. Nope I’m talking about fully adult sleep. On an ideal day, let’s say a weekend, I like to get up before eight o’clock – I’ve become a morning person as I’ve aged – and I like to ease into the day. Some people can wake up and get up. Not me, I have to slowly work my way out of the slumber that has been enveloping me for the past several hours. No jumping out of bed for this agent lest the smell of smoke permeates the room. A few whacks of the snooze button usually does it. But once up, I’m great. No crankiness or morning grumpy mood – nor do I have much patience for those who display these traits.

Catnaps and siestas

National Sleep Foundation

National Sleep Foundation

Early afternoon, right after lunch, is nap time. Somewhere between one and three o’clock is my target. Any later than that and I’m not a happy camper upon waking.  This siesta can be 30 minutes or an hour and a half depending on available sleeping time; after all, I do have some sense of responsibility. But any and all sleep is worthwhile. I used to organize and coordinate political conventions for a living. The time spent at the actual meeting, usually a weekend, was very intense and extremely tiring. I can recall on many occasions when, much in need of sleep, I would set my travel alarm clock for six or seven minutes as that was all the time I had. Even that small respite added some juice to my depleted batteries

Close attention must be paid to possible doping

And of course the marathon; who can sleep the longest. Strict attention would have to be paid to possible doping: no hot rum toddies, no chamomile tea, and certainly no nighttime cold medications.

The way I see it the Olympics could feature short sleep events like dropping-off time in which contestants vie to be the first to achieve REM sleep.  Depth-of-sleep competitions would see participants sleeping through loud noises such as sirens, music and babies crying – wake-up and you’re out, last one asleep wins. And of course the marathon; who can sleep the longest. Strict attention would have to be paid to possible doping: no hot rum toddies, no chamomile tea, and certainly no nighttime cold medications.

I was going to try to get a movement together to lobby the IOC for these events to be included in future Games, but then I realized it was nap time,

This post is a bit old, but seems to fit the Daily Post

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Coca-Cola’s Multilingual Superbowl Ad Gets a Mixture of Reactions

Would America the Beautiful sung in either of the two Seminole languages, …or the language spoken by the Cherokee Nation have received the same reaction? Would they have been told to speak English or go home? That could be tricky!

Living here in what I thought was the land of linguistic silliness, namely the Canadian province of Quebec, I had to shake my head and chuckle at the reaction to Coca-Cola’s multilingual America the Beautiful Superbowl advertisement. If you haven’t seen it yet, the ad featured the iconic song being sung in several languages that one assumes represent the many languages spoken in homes across the nation. A warm and fuzzy feeling was supposed to lead to people of all linguistic backgrounds running out and buying Coke.

Wrong!

The reaction has been described as ugly, evoking calls of speak English or go home. It would appear that the use of languages other than English when singing America the Beautiful rubs many Americans the wrong way, even if many people speak those languages in their homes everyday, and are people who have never lived anywhere but the United States, yet want to maintain the language of their parents.

The song heaps praise on the United States. Is the heaping, when done in Spanish or Creole, any less praising?

In officially bilingual Canada there are certainly those who balk at the actual national anthem, O Canada,  being sung in both official languages.  Some even find it annoying when the anthem is sung in any of several aboriginal languages.

Would America the Beautiful sung in either of the two Seminole languages, or the  Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee Nation have received the same reaction? Would they have been told to speak English or go home? That could be tricky!

It should be interesting when the full 90-second version airs during the Sochi Olympics.

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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