Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A ring collection that would make Gollum jealous!

High-tech, brilliant and just plain bizarre, these 31 rings aren’t exactly your standard precious gemstone set in a valuable metal band.

Sterilized human teeth, living plants, replicas of food and creepily realistic representations of body parts challenge notions of beauty in jewelry while tiny projectors, pillows, books and programmed end dates provide unusual functions.

Teeth Rings by Polly van der Glas

(images via:
Outfit your fingers with four human teeth – complete with cavities and amalgam fillings – or go a little more subtle with three incisors or a single statement-making molar. These bizarre handmade creations by Australian artist Polly van der Glas are made with donated, sterilized teeth set onto silver rings. The artist (who also makes jewelry with human hair) says,

“When attached to the body, we praise hair and teeth that adhere to the rules. They are key sites where body beauty is defined. Yet when they are shed, their meaning and value undergoes a dramatic transformation.  Polly’s work explores this transformation in meaning, and uses it to destabilise ideas about beauty.”

Projector Ring

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In a darkened room, shine a light through this incredible one-of-a-kind ring by Luke Jerram and jeweler Tamrakar and it will project a selection of miniature slides onto a surface like a wall or a piece of paper. Jerram, who created it as a wedding ring for his own wife, explains, “The ring was my first prototype and was made by hacking apart disposal cameras to find the right lens I needed.”

Unfortunately, the ring was stolen, but Jerram replaced it with an equally beautiful and unusual ring. The Talking Ring has a 20 second recorded message – Jerram’s proposal – etched onto its surface. The message can be played back with a miniature record player.

Crayon Rings by Timothy Liles

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They look like simple, colorful plastic rings, but they’re even more fun than that. Brooklyn-based designer Timothy Liles produced these ‘crayon rings’, which are actual functioning washable crayons sold in packs of eight.

Cactus Rings by Barbara Uderzo

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These organic rings by Barbara Uderzo are planters in which beautiful, prickly succulents are planted. They’d certainly make a punch more painful.

Pilo-Pilo Cushioned Ring

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Have you ever rested your head on your hand only to find that your knuckles are uncomfortably sharp? No? Well, the makers of the Pilo-Pilo Ring think that you could use some extra padding when you’re “thinking, daydreaming… falling asleep” or perhaps some comfort “when you got stood up on a date.” So basically, it’s like a miniature boyfriend pillow?

Digitus Ring by Charles Widlin

(images via: yanko design)
This concept by Charles Widlin holds 1,400 magnetic spheres which rotate into place according to micro computer circuitry, displaying letters or numbers without the use of LCD screens. Widlin imagines that the Digitus Ring could be used to display the time, or an important date.

Sculptural Flower Rings by Alidra Alic

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This is more than just jewelry – it’s a wearable sculpture. Alidra Alic creates stunningly complex floral jewelry created using a plastic technique in conjunction with sterling silver and semi-precious gemstones. “Furthermore I work with themes of illusion and lack of function in order to awake my viewers’ curiosity and to show jewelry in new value contexts,” says the artist.

Love Letter Ring by Colleen Baran

(images via: colleenbaran)
Leave a loved one a special message whenever the mood strikes with one of jeweler Colleen Baran’s ‘Love Letter’ Rings, which print messages like ‘I miss you the second you leave’ when use with water-based inks.

Sound Wave Wedding Bands

(images via: sakura koshimizu)
Preserve your words in a highly unusual piece of jewelry with Sakura Koshimizu’s Sound Wave wedding bands. The artist turns a short sound clip into sound waves which are laser-etched into gold, silver or steel.

Belly Button Ring… For Your Finger

(images via: yuyen chang)
No, it’s not a ring that you put in a navel piercing – it’s a disturbingly realistic recreation of a naval, on a ring. Metalsmith Yuyen Chang has designed an entire line of ‘orifice jewelry’ including brooches and pendants, in case you’re eager to buy a matching set.

Remember Ring Won’t Let You Forget

(image via: alaska jewelry)
If you buy the Remember Ring, you’ll never forget your anniversary again – because your finger will gradually get hotter and hotter until you’re physically uncomfortable. The ring uses a ‘micro thermopile’ to convert the heat from your hand into electricity.

You specify your anniversary date, which is programmed into the ring. 24 hours before your special day, the ring will gradually heat up, “but not hot enough to burn,” so say the jewelers.

Architecture Rings by Philippe Tournaire

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Wear your love for architecture on your finger with platinum or gold diamond rings shaped like buildings. Parisian jeweler Philippe Tournaire recreates structures from around the world including his home city, Moscow, New York and more, and has even made replicas of entire city blocks.

Mmm… Miniature Food Replica Rings

(images via: souzou creations)
As if you needed another reason to daydream about lunch until noon rolls around, these rings by SouZou Creations will have you salivating over cupcakes, pizza, spaghetti and pie. These quirky kawaii-style creations made of plastic, glass, metal and ceramic are the work of Sofia, a Canadian living in Japan.

Book Ring by Ana Cardim

(images via:
Ever wish you always had some paper at your fingertips, so you could write things down whenever the mood strikes, no matter where you are? This miniature notebook ring by Ana Cardim makes that possible, though you’ll have to think of another way to carry a pen.

Pimple Popper – Grossest Ring Ever?

(images via: artbywinona)
Who hasn’t looked down at their finger and wished that what they saw there was a disgusting pustule about to pop? An Etsy seller called ArtbyWinona makes that dream (or nightmare, depending on your perspective) come true with this ring made of sterling silver, freshwater pearl, copper and enamel.

Says the artist, “I am just going to come out and say it…..I like popping pimples, zits, black heads, white heads, you name it I like to pick at it! Disgusting I know, but I have a feeling I am not alone. I am just one of the few that will admit it and come out of the closet.” via neatorama

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Computer problems turned real

The nerd side of me had a good chuckle at all of these.  And unlike some of the commentators I don't mind the apple bit :D.

Monday, September 26, 2011

DWTS 13: Week 2 Quick-step & Jive

As per usual I will for-go with the full names now that we're in week 2.

Less typing for me, if you wanna know exactly who the people are check out my post for week 1 ;).

Hope & Maks were up first tonight with the Jive.  I disagree with Len who thought the kicks were sharp, looked like the opposite to me but whatever.

Both Bruno and Len pointed out that she lost her timing several times.  Bruno stressed that she needs to apply herself and practice more which I agree with.

Obviously it can't be easy being a soccer player.  But plenty of other contestants managed to juggle all their commitments and actually win the thing (so that excuse can only be used once imho).

I tend to agree with Carrie Ann the only thing I liked about her tonight was the performance side of the dance.

Potential is still there, but she needs to work a lot harder if she wants to go deep into the competition.

Or as Maks stated in the rehearsal footage they'll be gone by week 3.  Btw. way to inspire your partner Maks! LOL. 19/30 was the final score.

Kristen & Mark danced a Marilyn Monroe inspired Quickstep complete with wig and dress.  Bruno commented that she lost her frame and lines throughout.

Len thought the footwork could have been cleaner & her hold stronger.  Bottom line the dance didn't look as good as she did.  Can't say I disagree.

Really the whole first hour of the show tonight was filled with sub-par performances.

Things didn't start to take off until hour 2 with what I believe to be the real contenders and some surprises (more on that later).  22/30 a popular score for the night.

David & Kym were up next with another Jive.  All judges thought that although more relaxed at times he was a bit too loose.  Len thought he lacked technique.  Carrie Ann thought he found his persona.

My general impression was although filled with plenty of exuberance and enthusiasm it kind of didn't feel like a Jive Bruno thought the same (might have something to do with the lack of quickness and snappy movements) that make the dance so fun to watch.  18/30 not the best score yet sadly not the worst.

Elisabetta & Val Quickstep one of the few times Len and I were in agreement.  It was certainly better then last week.

Bruno encouraged her to keep working on it, stating she has what it takes.  I'm not so sure.

I liked her in week 1 but tonight's bickering really made it seem like she really doesn't want to be there, or be bothered to put in the effort long term.

Carrie Ann thought Quickstep was her dance.  Again not so much, but she may have done enough tonight to keep her around another week at least.  21/30

Rob & Cheryl Bruno thought his Jive was a great improvement over last week (yeah by pretty much leaps and bounds!).  Len found him confident while Carrie Ann thought he was better then his sister Kim.

Which I personally wouldn't know didn't watch DWTS from the beginning.  21/30 again judges didn't really feel generous tonight.

I don't really like him (find him kind of boring in fact) entertainment wise, but he is another person who may have done enough to squeak by into next week. 

Carson & Anna Carrie Ann found his Quick step wabbly but an improvement over last week as well.

While I agree with Bruno that he has a long way to go technically.  Len put it best: on this show sometimes the worst dancers are the most fun to watch.

And that's what he is, entertainment to the fullest. 18/30 was their total.  I hope he sticks around at least one more week.

Ricky & Derek one of my favourite couples was up next with a fun Jive that didn't disappoint.  Carrie Ann called it the best one of the night.  Len wanted a bit more content.

Bruno thought out of all the contestants she was the only one who did the kicks and flicks correctly.

Which certainly looked like it.  I was quite impressed with how well she moved. 

Older contestants always find the pace of the dance to be a real challenge.  I thought she handled it well.

They became the score board leaders for the night with 23/30 Well deserved!. 

There's a reason why Derek has 3 mirror ball trophies, the man knows how to teach;).  Not to mention choreograph.

Chaz & Lacey Poor Chaz just couldn't make the Quickstep quite as quick due to some major knee pain:(.  Despite that I thought he give a valiant effort nonetheless.

The judges were pretty much in agreement in terms of lack of speed.  And although understanding and compassionate toward his hindrance had to score him accordingly.

Giving him the lowest total with 17/30.  I hope people vote to give him a chance at redemption.

Chynna & Tony Based on last week's performance all of the judges expected her to blow the Jive right out of the water.

Instead they were disappointed with a subdued performance.  I actually agree with all 3 for once.  I think a little bit more content could have helped to make it better.  21/30.

Nancy & Tristan for the record I still find her extremely annoying but I have to give her props for a really good effort with her Quickstep.  Bruno found it vivacious.

Len was quite happy with the proper technical aspects of the dance (which earned them the only 8 for the night from him).

Carrie Ann unlike Len would have enjoyed a bit more flare to the traditional they performed.  But really likes them as a team.  Whereas I simply enjoy Tristan on his own.  21/30.

J.R. & Karina had the most energetic Jive of the night (and right on point speed-wise).  While Bruno was extatic.  Carrie Ann felt the need to take off a point for a lift *rollseyes*.

Len just thought it was too much like the Lindy Hop.  I thought it was an awesome way to close the show, and should have gotten a higher score then 22/30. 

I must say had a really hard time predicting who would head home tomorrow based on scores it would be too obvious (and I really hope Chaz stays).  So I'm going with David or Rob.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Navratilova agrees with top tennis elite striking in effort to stream-line schedule

Former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova believes the sport's leading male players are right to consider going on strike in a bid to take control of their overcrowded schedule.

Navratilova knows from experience just how draining life on the tennis circuit can be for top stars and she has sympathy for the growing discontent among stars like Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

World number four Murray recently revealed players have had enough of being pushed into gruelling schedules by the ATP, who govern the men's Tour, and are likely to discuss the possibility of strike action at a meeting in Shanghai next month.

The threat has been criticised by some, but Navratilova, winner of 18 grand slam singles titles, believes the likes of Murray, Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer would be right to flex their muscles should the powers that be not listen to their concerns.

"If it's the only way they can get to that point, that's what they have to do - if they can unify themselves enough and if that's the last resort," Navratilova told BBC Radio Five Live.

"Without the top players, you really don't have anything and if they band together like that then the powers that be have to talk to them and listen to them.

"They have been complaining about the long schedule for a long, long time and nothing has happened. The schedule is just as long.

"We're the only sport that does not have an off season. For the guys who are still playing in December, or even without the Davis Cup, they have about four weeks, then they start up in January.

"It's crazy, You can't do that year after year after year. It's going to take its toll which means you're career is going to be shorter, you're not going to play as well, you're going to be injured. Nobody wins in that scenario."

Navratilova had concerns about the demands on the leading players on the women's tour when she was at her peak.

But she admits the sport is far more draining both physically and mentally these days.

"I was complaining about the calendar being too long 25 years ago. We have shortened it on the women's side - I think the women play about a month less than the guys," she said.

"But now, especially with Davis Cup, for Nadal or Djokovic or Federer the schedule is just untenable.

"Nowadays the players travel much more than we did. The schedule is more spread out over the whole world.

"They're playing on hard surfaces, with metal rackets, everybody hits the ball harder, it's definitely more taxing on the body.

"When someone in as unbelievable shape as Nadal runs out of gas at the US Open, it's too much.

"You only have one body, one career, you want to make the most of it. I don't see why Andy Murray should be criticised for taking control of his life."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Martina Hingis Gear Talk Q & A

Martina Hingis' creative court sense, flair for finesse and ability to create absurd angles were elements of the distinctive style that made her the youngest world No. 1 in tennis history. These days, the 31-year-old Swiss is designing a stylistic return to the sport with a new partner.

Hingis has teamed with Canadian design house Tonic Lifestyle Apparel to create Tonic Tennis by Martina Hingis, a high-end line of women's tennis apparel. The inaugural collection will debut in March 2012.

"The range of the line is going to be small, but very high quality—that's important to us," says Hingis, who wore Tonic in the Wimbledon doubles exhibition. "When you go out to play tennis, you want to feel nice. You want to feel like a woman and know that your clothes won't let you down. What's so great about this line is its versatility and comfort."

The five-time Grand Slam champion danced into design. While preparing for the British edition of “Dancing With the Stars”, Hingis was window-shopping in London when she discovered the Vancouver-based brand’s yoga clothes. She bought a few pieces for dance rehearsals, contacted Tonic and eventually began a long-distance collaboration with head designer Jenny Grad.

“This isn’t a name-only athletic endorsement; Martina is behind this line 100 percent," says Aleksa Havelaar, Tonic's business development executive. "We’re a yoga-specific brand and yoga is pretty low impact. Martina offered amazing insight into how the body moves in a match, what needs to be supported and how the clothing should fit. That was invaluable."

Hingis wore a few pieces from the new line last July while playing World TeamTennis. The 2012 line, which incorporates Merino wool and supplex fabrics, includes tennis dresses, tank tops and skirts, compression shorts and a warm-up suit. Prices have not yet been set; the brand expects the collection to sell “at premium price points comparable to some of the Stella McCartney apparel prices."

Though she spends some of her spare time pursuing her passion for horseback riding (Hingis married French show jumper Thibault Hutin last December), ask Hingis her most satisfying post WTA-experience and she replies, "playing tennis." And she does so with the chuckle of someone who still enjoys the game she made look like child’s play in a historic 1997 season, during which she registered a 75-5 record and won three of the four majors.

"What I miss is probably the winning moments—when you hold up the trophy and you know you are the best in the world and a Grand Slam champion. That is probably the moment an athlete is most happy," Hingis says. "You miss that, but you know that getting to that point takes a lot of years, a lot of hard work, a lot of practice. It doesn't come from heaven. You never forget how much work, how much pain, you go through to get there."

Hingis answered some more of our questions for this latest edition of Gear Talk. Novak Djokovic's year is reminiscent of your amazing 1997 season. When you look at Djokovic’s season, do you see any similarities? How did you feel on court when you were on that run? 
Martina Hingis: You feel invincible. You go on court and basically you don’t have a single thought that you will leave the court as a loser—it’s not gonna happen. In your mind, you won’t lose. You play very free and everything seems to go your way. You even get lucky at times because you’re so confident on the court. You find yourself riding this wave where you feel you can do exactly what you want to do on court. It’s amazing and amazing to see Novak doing it. I watch him and it’s like “Wow!”

I can feel a little bit of how he must be feeling but it doesn’t happen that many times in history that a player plays to the level Novak is playing right now. I mean, Roger was there doing it for a while as well, but what we’re seeing now is obviously very, very rare in history. If you’re patient enough and confident enough then eventually you wait for the time when you can go for the winner. That was probably Djokovic’s weakness in the past—that he did not have the patience all the time. He learned that over the course of time, and that’s one reason why he’s having so much success right now: he learned to be patient and you have to give him credit. Monica Seles told me you were the best player she ever faced in thinking and playing one or two shots ahead. How much of that do you think was instinct—that you were blessed with a high tennis IQ—and how much of that was your ability to analyze opponents and break down tendencies?
Martina Hingis: I think once you know your opponent there are certain trademark shots that you know they like to hit and there are certain shots that you know they don’t like to hit. So you have to try to figure out what those shots are and then try to make your strategy off of that. You know once they’re comfortable or once they’re in danger what their best shot is, and what shot they are most likely to hit in that situation. And once you know that, then you know their tendencies—that’s what they’re gonna do. So I think it’s knowing your opponent, but also having anticipation and being able to apply all that into a strategy.

The bottom line is it’s like chess—it’s about making the right move at the right time. And you know what the high-percentage shots are and what shots they are most likely to hit. Today, that has likely changed because they take such high risk on their shots now that before nobody would do. Of all your rivals, who was your toughest and who did you like most like to play? Who brought out the best in you? 
Martina Hingis: I liked playing Venus. I think it always brought out the best in both of us. Serena is one of the only top rivals of my time that I don’t have a winning record against. [Serena leads 7-6 in their head to head.] We had some great matches. Lindsay is another one where I started off pretty well against her and then she started beating up on me—she’s four years older than me—(laughs) and then it got kind of even at the end. I would say the toughest rivals for me were players who had big serves and could hit winning shots off the first ball. Those were the type of players I can honestly say I really don’t like facing. You have to be 100 percent at all times to deal with those kind of players. You were a player who showed your emotion on court: whether you were happy, nervous, angry or frustrated, you showed it and shared the emotion with fans. What role did emotion play in your game and did being emotionally expressive hinder or help you?
Martina Hingis: Well, I was very emotional and I laughed on court because I loved playing. Tennis can test you on a lot of levels and you can get very emotional about it out there. As a competitor, obviously you hate losing and you do anything and everything you possibly can to walk off the court as a winner. Yeah, I got emotional. When I was winning I was happy and when I wasn’t winning I wasn’t happy. And I was showing that on the court. Maybe at times, I was showing it too much (laughs). But I think that’s what people liked about me: that I showed you how I felt. Today, when you see all of these same, steady faces, I think it’s almost boring (laughs). Young players like Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska have cited you as an influence on them. When you look at the top young players, including Petra KvitovaVictoria Azarenka, whose game excites you most and who's best built for long-term success?
Martina Hingis: Oh definitely Kvitova. I love her game. She reminds me a little bit of Petr Korda as a lefty; the same fluid strokes like him. Even if she is in danger, Kvitova can still come out with great shots because she knows what she’s doing. It’s exciting to me to see someone so young with such a knowledge of the game. I miss that in today’s game in a lot of the girls. Throughout your career, you always played with a Yonex racquet. How has your equipment and string changed over the years?
Martina Hingis: My mom would string my racquets and she’d string five or six racquets every match. That was gut only. Now, I do a mix of both. I still feel the need for control so I use the Luxilon mixed with gut, which gives me the feel and control. The control is very important to me as is my health as well. And I don’t want to have a shoulder or arm problem—you know I need my arm! (laughs).

She pretty much hit the nail on the head with her answer on court emotions.  I think that's honestly why I just don't find the women's game that exciting anymore. 

Well that, and lack of personalities in general (which I think I've mentioned before).

I'm still waiting for that one player that possessed a lot of the same qualities Martina did.

Which will probably never happen.  The closest to that would be Kim Clijsters, but she'll be retiring soon enough as well *sigh*.

Monday, September 19, 2011

DWTS 13: Week 1 Viennese Waltz & Cha Cha

Here we go again.  The start of yet another season of DWTS.  I got particularly excited about this one after I saw the list of celebs.  And first impressions certainly didn't disappoint tonight.

Won't bother with the judges comments & scores this time we'll leave that for next week.  If you want that you'll have to rely on Google, otherwise enjoy my general observations instead ;).  

One more thing before I get on with pair impressions, I must say I absolutely love the huge glittery set including the new and improved raised floor.  Nice way to freshen things up ABC ;).

Ron Artest (NBA star) & Peta Murgatroyd (one of the new dancers this season) were up first with the Cha Cha.  Total disaster.

He may be great on the basketball court but the dude has no rhythm tough debut for Peta.

Although to be fair we've seen worse first night performance flame-outs over the years so who knows. 

Still he could be the one to go home first tomorrow.  Though personally I'm hoping for someone else more on that later.

Rob Kardashian & Cheryl Burke followed with the Viennese Waltz.  While it was certainly an improvement over the opening dance it was still not a performance to get overexcited about.

I don't expect any of the celebs to be absolutely great right out of the gate, week one is always the one with the most jitters.

But people with natural dance talent have stood out in past seasons, as was the case with some tonight as well.  Rob unfortunatetly wasn't one of them.

His Viennese Waltz came off very stiff (no doubt due to major nerves).  I didn't really see any charisma either.  He'll have to let go of his inhibitions a little more if he wants to make it further then his sister.

He does have some potential with a little more tough training from Cheryl he could get better.  We'll see how he does in week 2 if he survives.

Kristin Cavallari (actress) & Mark Ballas danced a decent Cha Cha.  Definitely another contestant whom if she relaxes a bit more could be great.

She's tall with long arms and legs which works well for slow ballroom dances.  I hope she makes it a bit further so that I can see whether I'm right.

I think Mark pretty much made up for any exuberance she may have lacked (although she looked pretty comfortable herself).

Boy was on fire!.  Lots of lovely MJ inspired moves.  Also glad to see he let his hair grow out some, bold Mark was just weird looking.  He has always had an awesome head of hair.

Chynna Phillips (singer) & Tony Dovolani danced a surprisingly fluid Viennese Waltz.  Truly one of the hardest to perform first night out imho.  It was very graceful and elegant.

Interestingly I noticed that the majority of the celebs that had this style did particularly well.

While the Cha Cha seemed to be the downfall for the rest.

Tony may actually have shot at title with this one (and I know I probably said that last season (?) but I really think this could be Tony's year to hold up that trophy.

Would be about damn time too!  We shall wait and see.

Nancy Grace & Tristan MacManus came out next with an unconvincing Cha Cha.  Tristan is another new addition to DWTS.  Can I just say how much I love the man's scottish accent? ♥♥♥.

Nancy Grace wasn't impressed however and felt the need to correct/point out his mispronunciations.  First rule of teacher/student relationship Nancy, never correct the instructor!.  Especially when they're hot! ;).
Her dislike of Tristan's accent pretty much equeled my dislike of her entire uninspiring dance routine.  While I admire older celebs who go out and give their best there was honestly nothing exciting about her personality or her performance.

The whole thing came off really boring (at least to this average viewer watching at home).

If I had to pick the first person to get the boot tomorrow I would put her on the top of the list.

David Arquette & Kym Johnson one of the 3 pairings I was most excited about (Chaz & Ricky being the other 2).

Though the scores may not have reflected it David came out and danced a superb Viennese Waltz (like I said it really was the dance of the night for all who attempted it).

I know it's still very early but we may have to dub him the new Mr. twinkle toes (step down Hines!)  I expected David to be lot more nervous, and kind of flounder on the floor.  But he was the complete opposite of that.

Except for a small slip up he was right on point.  He was wonderfully confident and enthusiastic.  It was a real joy watching him almost effortlessly glide across the floor (and this in week 1!).

I think Kim got a good one again this year!.  Hope he stays I wanna see what else he can do!.

Elisabetta Canalis (model) & Val Chmerkovskiy not a bad debut for Maks's little brother.  And boy, they certainly look alike!.  Still prefer Maks's more rugged exterior though. 

I'm not sure what was more fun, or I should say funny.  The dancing, or their bickering in rehearsal  I'm going with the latter (Russian and Italian what a combo! :D).

Something tells me the language barrier will provide for a lot more laughs in the coming weeks.

Although since her Cha Cha left a lot to be desired I doubt we'll be seeing her for the long haul (she may be the other one in danger of getting kicked off).

Hope Solo (US soccer star) & Maksim Chmerkovskiy I don't think the Viennese Waltz was good fit for her first time out.

But at least unlike the first contestant of the night she actually had musicality and rhythm albeit a little stiff but that's to be expected.

Athletes tend to do well on this show so I think with a bit more practice and guidance from Maks she could actually go far.  Another pair with some definite potential for sure.

Carson Kressly & Anne Trebunskaya
I'll say this what the man lacks in his dancing he makes up for with flamboyant enthusiasm.  Like Cloris Leachman he could make it a few weeks on entertainment value alone!.

I'm not sure the Cha Cha was his thing but a big part of me wants to see what he would do with something like the Viennese Waltz, that and I really wanna see just how many glittery outfits he has left in his closet ;D.

So I hope he stays as well. 

J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnof performed another lovely Viennese Waltz.  Putting him down as another possible early contender.  Good dancer, and quite expressive emotionally.

Two most important qualities of any dancer (ones that have immensely helped past champs).  If he continues to improve that could carry him  far.

Derek Hough & Ricki Lake One of two couples with the most chemistry (Chaz & Lacey being 2nd).  Also the second best Viennese Waltz of the night.

I knew if there was anyone who could teach a former talk show host to dance it would be Derek.  Very emotionally driven.  These 2 would be on my list of possibly making it all the way to the end.

Curious to see how she'll do with a Latin dance.  Hope she gets the chance to try it.

Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer I think I'm going to amend my earlier statement and say that these 2 come in first on the chemistry front.

Chaz and Lacey really are the perfect match, I think her at times unconventional style will suit him well should he go further (and I so hope he does!).

Chaz's smile and charisma lit up the dance floor during his Cha Cha.

As did his "give it my all" attitude.  He may not be the best, but he certainly has the potential to become it.  I hope people give him the chance to do so.  Can you tell they're the ones I'm really rooting for? *LOL*. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Roger Federer Rep Institutes 2nd most respected & trusted public figure

Roger Federer’s reputation as a respected, admired and trusted personality is second only to that of former South African president Nelson Mandela, a new global study of more than 50,000 people in 25 countries shows.

Federer finished ahead of the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and Bono in the 2011 Leader RepTrak, which assesses the reputations of the world’s 54 most visible public figures in politics, business, culture and sports. 

Derek Jeter was the second highest-rated athlete on the list at No. 16, while David Beckham finished at No. 24, one place behind LeBron James. 

“The results of Reputation Institute’s study confirm that people respect leaders that participate in philanthropic activities outside of their own celebrity,” said Reputation Institute Chairman, Dr. Charles Fombrun. “The public’s top two on our list, Mandela and Federer, have emotional ties to South Africa, and donate both time and money to the betterment of the region and its people. They get praise for their efforts.”

The 30-year-old Swiss, a winner of a record 16 Grand Slam titles, has been actively involved in charitable activities on the ATP World Tour - including the Rally For Relief to support Queensland flood victims earlier this season - and through his own foundation. 

The Roger Federer Foundation  supports education and sports projects in Ethiopia, South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Switzerland.

Rank Name RepTrak Pulse
1 Nelson Mandela 78.5
2 Roger Federer 72.1
3 Bill Gates 71.7
4 Warren Buffett 69.7
5 Richard Branson 68.3
6 Steve Jobs 68.3
7 Oprah Winfrey 67.7
8 Bono 67.7
9 Ratan Tata 66.3
10 Elizabeth II 64.9
* chart courtesy of Reputation Institute

Can't say I'm surprised, the man is the definition of the word diplomacy and philanthropy.

But to be right below Nelson Mandela?.  Wow.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Roger Federer talks rivalries in Australia

Rivalry with Llayton? (more like constant thrashing LOL).

Oh Roger, you humble guy you :D.

Also how freakin' hot does he look decked out in Swiss red gear?.  That Mirka is one lucky woman.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Remembering Patrick Swayze

2 years ago today Hollywood lost a wonderful man, and an enormous talent.

While the man may be gone his work will never be forgotten.

R.I.P. Patrick you are missed. I think I'm gonna watch a little Dirty Dancing tonight.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Serena puts her foot in her mouth once more @ U.S. Open

Serena Williams wasn’t a fan of one of the umpires overseeing her U.S. Open women’s final match Sunday.

The tennis star unleashed on chair umpire Eva Asderaki after getting called for violating an “intentional hindrance” rule during her match with Samantha Stosur.

During the first game of the second set, Williams yelled “Come on!” at the ball she’d served before it reached Stosur, but Asderaki called hindrance on Williams, which gave Stosur the break point – and the game.

Williams apparently was unaware of the rule. She first asked Asderaki if she was “the one who screwed me over last time? Yeah you are” – a reference to her getting penalized in 2009 after yelling at a line judge.
She later went off again (as transcribed by Gawker):

“If you ever see me walking down the hall, look the other way, because you're out of control... You're totally out of control, you're a hater, and you're unattractive inside. Who would do such a thing? And I never complain. Wow... We're in America last I checked. Can I get a water or am I gonna get violated for a water? Really, don't even look at me! I promise you, don't look at me, 'cause I am not the one. Don't look my way.”

intentional hindrance by caseycarlsonx1

So I didn't bother watching the women's U.S. Open finals this past weekend and apparently this is what I missed.

Seriously?!.  You would think she had learned something from 2 years ago.

Word of advice Serena if you're going to commit the same offence at least do it at a different tournament.

And I can't believe her punishment was to pay $2000.

That's not even half the amount she payed the first time.

I guess this outburst wasn't deemed as life threatening seeing as she didn't use the words "kill you" in a sentence, but still.

The woman really needs to learn to rein in her ego, stop being a sore loser and just accept when she's being outplayed instead of taking it out on the officials.

They are just doing their job.

Monday, September 12, 2011

R.I.P. Andy Whitfield :(

On Sunday Sept. 11, 2011 Spartacus:  Blood and Sand  star Andy Whitfield lost his battle with cancer.

One of my subscribers on YouTube made a beautiful video tribute to this wonderful man.

You will be truly missed, but your fans will never forget your extraordinary talent. R.I.P. Andy :(

U.S. Open Super Saturday format garners criticism

FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. — Roger Federer has won all five of his U.S. Open championships since the tournament unveiled its made-for-TV “Super Saturday” format in 1984.

Marketed around an action-packed Saturday bill that includes both men’s semifinals and the women’s final, the format also dictates that the men return Sunday to contest a best-of five-sets championship match less than 24 hours later.

At the sport’s other three majors — Wimbledon and the French and Australian opens — men have a day’s rest between the semifinals and finals.

This week Federer added his voice to a growing number of high-profile players arguing that the format has outlived its purpose and poses an unreasonable demand on athletes, creates an unfair playing field and compromises the quality of the men’s final.

“The Super Saturday I just think is not feasible,” Federer said. “It shouldn’t happen anymore. And I don’t think TV should dictate just to have the finals on Sunday and the semis on Saturday and not have the true champion hold the trophy up. I just don’t think that’s the goal here.”

Resentment about the format isn’t new. But it’s growing as the game’s physicality escalates. It’s no easy feat playing a best-of-five-sets match, which can last more than four hours, on hard courts. To play best-of-five-sets matches on consecutive days demands superhuman conditioning.

 (This Open has set a Grand Slam record for retirements during singles matches, with 15 players — 11 of them men — pulling out with injury.)

Moreover, playing the men’s semis and finals on consecutive days is inherently unfair, with the winner of Saturday’s first semifinal finishing as much as six hours ahead of his rival. That window can mean a lot when the turnaround time is short.

Said Rafael Nadal, “Having the semifinals on Saturday, you know, is something crazy for the players.”
This year’s rain exacerbated the unfairness.

While no one can control the weather, the U.S. Open’s peculiar schedule makes the consequences of rain unnecessarily dire. That’s because the tournament stretches men’s first-round matches over three days and leaves no cushion in the back-loaded second week.

So when rain inundated New York, there was little wiggle room to fix a schedule that got out of whack when half the men’s field reached the quarterfinals Monday, before rain halted play for two days, while the other half didn’t reach the quarters until Thursday.

After a closed-door meeting with the most aggrieved — Nadal, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick, who were sent out to compete on hazardous wet courts in the scramble to catch up — tournament officials announced they would postpone Sunday’s final until Monday, ensuring one day off before the championship.

It’s the fourth consecutive year that rain has pushed the men’s final to Monday. And it decimates the TV audience for the season’s final major and the only one held in the United States.
Asked whether he thought Super Saturday had outlived its purpose, Roddick said he could argue both sides of the debate.

“The way any business works, if you provide the money, you get to make the decisions most times,” Roddick said. “From a pure quality of tennis player standpoint, it’s obviously not the way to go. So you pretty much have to make up your mind which side of the fence you stand on.”

Gordon A. Smith, executive director of the U.S. Tennis Association, which owns and operates the U.S. Open, said that players’ concerns would be noted when the tournament’s broadcast deal with CBS, which runs through 2014, is revisited.

“Super Saturday has been a great tradition! We have had some great semifinals and many great finals,” Smith said. “I don’t think it will change in the short term, But we certainly are reviewing it, and as our contracts come up for renewal, we’ll certainly take the players’ views into account.”


Two solutions to this problem the cheaper of the 2 being shorten the 1st round matches in week 1.  They're usually the less entertaining ones anyway.

And the second being, get a damn roof over Billie Jean King Tennis Centre (and yes I realize it's crazy expensive) especially given the current state of U.S. economy.

But it really would be beneficial to all in the long run.

Preventing the disaster that happened this year with 2 days of the tournament having no matches due to rain.  And the crazy scheduling that followed.

Every other major has got a roof I really think U.S. Open should follow suit soon.  It's that, or they really will have to re-think the whole Super Saturday thing.

And it really is unfair to the players men or women (but especially the men).  They are well conditioned athletes, but they aren't robots.

So I sincerely hope they really do listen to the players concerns and actually do something about it sooner rather then later.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Roger Federer suffers another semi U.S. Open loss at the hands of Djokovic

New York – It all turned on one forehand.

Brave or foolhardy. Lucky or good. Fate or destiny. All adjectives apply.

On match point against him deep in the fifth set, when Novak Djokovic took Roger Federer’s first serve and sent a screaming return cross-court for a winner, everything changed.

What once had seemed all-but-certain victory for Federer somehow morphed into the greatest Grand Slam comeback of Djokovic’s career, a 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 victory that put him into his second consecutive U.S. Open final.

Once again, he’ll face Rafael Nadal, after the No. 2 seed outclassed a game-but stressed-out Andy Murray 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-2 in the second men’s semifinal.

“Hit the forehand as hard as you can. You’re gambling. If it’s out, you lost. If it’s in, you maybe have a chance. I was lucky today,” said Djokovic, who pulled off a similar shot, in nearly identical circumstances, a year ago in the semifinal between the two.

“I felt it’s the moment,” he added later. “You know, it’s the moment when I should step in and show what I got, and it paid off.”

Federer was stunned.

“Well, I mean, it’s awkward having to explain this loss because I feel like I should be doing the other press conference. But it’s what it is, you know,” he said. “Yeah, I had it. There’s no more I could do. Snaps one shot, and then the whole thing changes.”

The sellout crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium had been vociferously pro-Federer, and Djokovic felt it.

But at crunch time, instead of bemoaning it, he used it as fuel just when he needed a little boost.

After that flaming forehand, he held his arms up to the fans and smiled as if to say, “I know what you guys want, but I’m not done here yet. So give me some love, too.”

And then, preparing to face a second match point, he had a huge smile on his face. Federer, as he looked across the net before he served, couldn’t have missed it.

What a contrast from just moments before, when Djokovic unexpectedly gave away his serve on a double fault. Then, when Federer was serving for the match at 5-3, 30-15, Djokovic missed a makeable backhand return on a second serve and just nodded his head, lips pursed, as if to say, ‘Yup, I’ve just given this away.’ ”

That set up the match point. Then, Djokovic hit the forehand.
It was a moment of bravura that Federer, the ultimate technician disguised in virtuoso’s clothing, could not comprehend.

He remembers players in his junior days being in that position against him and just hitting out with abandon – and having all those shots go in.

“I never played that way. I believe in hard work’s gonna pay off kind of thing ... So for me, this is very hard to understand how can you play a shot like that on match point,” Federer said. 

“It’s just not a guy who believed much, you know, any more in winning. To lose against someone like that, it’s very disappointing, because you feel like he was mentally out of it already.

“Just gets the lucky shot at the end, and off you go,” Federer added. “I mean, I set it all up perfect, but I couldn’t finish it.”

Now he has seen it twice in a row, from the same cheeky opponent, on the biggest stage in tennis.

And after it happened, it was as though Federer’s feet were rooted to the Arthur Ashe Stadium court. It wasn’t fatigue; it was the nerves of a 30-year-old who was getting a creepy sense of déjà vu.

He barely won another point.

Federer had been 178-0 when winning the first two sets of a best-of-five match in his career, before Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated him at Wimbledon in July.

So now, it’s happened in two straight majors, the occasions Federer now lives for at this stage of his career. It will be the first season since 2002 that the former No. 1 has failed to hold up at least one major trophy.

Federer said he’ll get over it, and that it will make him that much hungrier for the Australian Open next January.

“That’s why we all watch sports, isn’t it? Because we don’t know the outcome and everybody has a chance, and until the very last moment it can still turn. That’s what we love about the sport, but it’s also very cruel and tough sometimes,” he said. “It got me today. It hurts, but it’s fine. Could be worse. It could be a final.”

Read more:

What is there to say about this match I think the last Federer quote sums it up best.  It hurts.

Right now every Federer fan probably feels very raw, to have him be so close yet again and not get through is really heartbreaking.

The fact that it's happened twice in a row with basically a deja vu of last year's semis makes it hurt all the more.

I have no doubt that Rog, being the GOAT that he is will bounce back from this.

2011 is not turning out to be his best year, but something tells me 2012 will be a different story.

As he himself states it'll just make him hungrier, and all the more determined.  Enjoy your time in the lime light while it lasts Djokovic.  Because Roger will be back with a vengeance.

Something tells me he'll probably get his revenge down the road at the remaining tournaments of the year.

Right now everything is too fresh, but I'm sure with time all of his fans (myself included) will learn to look at the positives in this match (and learn to appreciate the brilliance that was on display).

With time, but for now I choose to wallow in sadness for a bit at yet another opportunity lost :(.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Roger Federer gets sweet revenge on Tsonga moves into semis @ U.S. Open

NEW YORK -- Roger Federer pulled a fast one in the fourth round before the rain came, sneaking in his win over Juan Monaco in the early morning hours Tuesday. And then he watched as rivals Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray ran afoul of the wet weather here at the U.S. Open.

Thursday night, Federer seemed to be in the catbird seat again with a quarterfinal night match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga -- with Nadal and Murray contemplating their quarters scheduled for Friday. At the age of 30, Federer will take all the rest he can get and this looked suspiciously like a serious competitive advantage.

But then, after a glorious day of sunshine -- after all the other major matches had been played -- the karma turned. It rained on the Federer parade with the Swiss champion serving at 3-2. 

He sat in the locker room for more than an hour, while Djokovic -- who had left hours earlier -- was probably enjoying a nice meal.

Federer came out after the rain delay focused and yet relaxed. 

After winning the first set, he intently watched super fan Cameron Hughes -- the dancing guy in the I Love New York t-shirt -- stir up the crowd. He was still laughing when he walked back onto the court.

With surprising ease -- for Tsonga had beaten him twice in the last two months -- Federer hammered the powerful Frenchman 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. "Doesn't matter straight sets or five sets," Federer said afterward, "as long as you keep progressing in the tournament."

At Wimbledon, Tsonga came back from a two-set deficit -- the first time Federer had ever lost from that commanding position. Did that memory haunt him in Thursday night's third set?

"It's true, the Wimbledon match does come back into your mind, especially when he has a break point in the third," Federer said. "Very happy the way I'm playing and moving right now."

Federer will meet Djokovic in what promises to be a scintillating Saturday semifinal.

"This year he's really been able to step up," Federer said. "The biggest challenge in tennis. I'm up to it."

Djokovic beat Federer three times early this season, most notably in the Australian Open semifinals. 

But Federer stunned him in the semifinals at Roland Garros, ending his 43-match winning streak. 

This, one will decide their 2011 three-match series at the majors. You have to believe the winner has a pretty good chance of winning the tournament.

And that's how it's done folks!.  With a straight sets win Roger made a point, and it's that he's ready to go the distance (to the finals that is)  No more 5 set drama, no sir. 

The serve and return game was what really clicked for him this match. 

Where as Tsonga seemed to have none.  Full credit to Federer. 

I love that he didn't let the rain delay rattle him one bit, instead he came out more composed and even more focused (which is something he'll need in abundance for his next match) 

Will Djokovic avenge his loss to Federer at the French, or will Roger get the best of him again?.  I can't wait to find out. 

Is it Saturday yet?!.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Roger Federer thrashes Monaco to reach quarters @ U.S. Open

Flushing Meadows, NY (Sports Network) - It was nearly midnight by the time Roger Federer took the court Monday.

And it wasn't too long before he walked off a winner.

The third-seeded Federer and Monaco didn't start their match until about 11:50 p.m. (et) because of an extended women's fourth-rounder between top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
It had the makings of an epic night, but Federer made quick work of the Argentine Monaco in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 decision.

He fired 14 aces in the 82-minute rout, ensuring the finish time didn't approach the record set in 1993, when Mats Wilander and Mikael Pernfors ended their five-set match at 2:26 a.m. Federer's dominance also ensured the match wouldn't be postponed by rain, which started to fall toward the end.

"I thought he fought bravely. Sometimes it's not your day. It was mine tonight," Federer said on-court after the victory. "I'm very happy with the way I played."

Federer showed flashes of the brilliance that has carried him to 16 major titles, including five U.S. Open championships from 2004-08. The former world No. 1 was also a runner-up in Flushing two years ago and was the runner-up at this year's French Open.

The Swiss' quarterfinal opponent will be the 11th-seeded Tsonga, who rallied to beat the eighth-seeded Fish, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. This is the first time Tsonga has reached the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open. His most successful Grand Slam result is the Australian Open, scene of his standout runner-up finish in 2008 against Djokovic.

Let's forget about the score and focus on this instead, the fact that with this win Fed has reached his 30th consecutive Grand Slam quarter final.  Suck on that mass media!. 

Slowing down and aging my ass! :P.  Last night was master class of epic proportions, one that I hope carries over and allows Roger to avenge his last 2 losses to Tsonga in the next round.  Bring it on I say, bring it on!.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Roger Federer's family relaxing in Central Park

Roger Federer's wife Mirka took 2-year-old twins Charlene Riva and Myla Rose to Central Park in New York City on Friday (September 2). 

Roger's mom Lynette and two nannies also came along to look after the girls. Afterward the group walked the streets of Manhattan with matching strollers in tow.

Roger is currently playing at the 2011 US Open. No doubt he'll do well. He's already won the tournament five times. 

Around this time last year, we last saw the twins toddling in Central Park.
Photos: Pacific Coast News

Ok, these girls are getting cuter with each passing year ♥♥.  And starting to look so much like their daddy :).

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Federer gets past Cilic in 4 into round of 16 @ U.S. Open

NEW YORK -- Roger Federer's lob, if you could call it that, went up awkwardly and it appeared the wind would push it long.

Marin Cilic, who is only 22 but has been touted as a possible Grand Slam champion for years, tried to hit it. Swinging just a little too quickly, he slammed the ball -- into the net. The crowd sighed; break point squandered.

"That, right there, is the difference between Roger Federer and Marin Cilic," said Matt Wilansky,'s sometimes astute tennis editor.

Sure enough, Federer ramped up his serve and two missed returns later, he held. And although he lost the set -- his first ever to Cilic -- he managed to come through the match somewhat intact, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. 

His serve and his backhand were a little shaky, but this is what you expect of a 16-time Grand Slam champion. Cilic, for the record, has none.

"Coming in, I knew it was going to be tricky," Federer said, "and I'm happy that I was able to counter his pace and his good play. In the third set sort of in the beginning, I thought that was a key moment because he had momentum on his side. 

I was not returning and serving exactly the way I wanted, but I was able to turn it around and finished strong in the set. Then in the fourth things were a bit easier.

"Tough match from start to finish, really, because also the first set could have gone differently. I know that."

These are interesting times for Federer.

He is not quite the player he was when he won three majors in a single season -- three different times, 2004, 2006-07. The Swiss champion has won a Grand Slam singles title every year since breaking through in 2003 at Wimbledon. 

So far in 2011, Federer has zero on the board. Now 30, he's won only one tournament this year, Doha in January. It's his lowest title total at this late point in the season in a decade.

His draw, however, seems kind. Now that Cilic is gone, there are no seeded players in his path to the quarterfinals. 

There he would probably meet either Mardy Fish or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Novak Djokovic, presumably, would be lurking in the semifinals -- a tasty matchup all around. Djokovic beat Federer here in last year's semifinals, but Federer took him out in this year's semifinals at Roland Garros.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Federer breezes into 3rd round at U.S. Open

Roger Federer cruised through to the third round of the US Open with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Dudi Sela at Flushing Meadows. 

The world No3 had been a little erratic in his first-round win over Santiago Giraldo, blaming the slow courts in the night session, but playing in the heat of the day on Arthur Ashe Stadium he had no such problems.

The 30-year-old was particularly impressive on his serve, dropping only seven points during the match and never giving Sela a sniff of a break. That piled the pressure on the Israeli to hold, and it was a test he could not pass. The world No93 has a stylish one-handed backhand but not the power to trouble a player such as Federer.

The five-times former US Open champion broke for the first time in the sixth game and two breaks in both the second and third sets allowed him to clinch victory after only 77 minutes.

Federer said: "I had not much trouble on my serve, and from the baseline I also thought I had the upper hand. When it's like that, obviously it's tough for the opponent, but I just think I was superior today. 

It was a good match for me in breezy conditions. It was a bit tricky early on to find the rhythm. That's why I was happy to get the first break in the first set."

Federer made 25 unforced errors – three more than his opponent – despite the one-sided scoreline, but he considered the 30 winners more important. He said: "I quickly realised I actually had a good rhythm on my serve. So from that standpoint it was normal to make errors.

"I don't go into a match telling myself more than 10 errors is a terrible match because I expect myself to hit errors because I know I will hit a lot of winners too. It all matters when they happen."

Federer will face either the 27th seed Marin Cilic or the rising Australian star Bernard Tomic in round three, and the Swiss is hoping it will be the 18-year-old Tomic who comes through. 

He said: "I think I'd like to play Bernard for the first time because I've never played him before.

"I like playing the new generation coming up. I played [Ryan] Harrison at the beginning of the season in Indian Wells, and then I practised with [Grigor] Dimitrov, [Milos] Raonic, [Richard] Berankis, all those new guys coming through. I've never actually hit with Tomic before so that would be nice."

Federer gave his support to Venus Williams after she was diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, which she announced following her withdrawal from the tournament.

"At least if she knows what it is – it's a bit comforting," said Federer. "At least you know where to go from here, but it's terrible timing. I can only wish her the best. She's been a great player, a great champion. 

Hopefully she'll stay around for the women's game for a long time still."