July 23, 2014

Usain Bolt likes to silence critics, but sometimes he has some harsh words to impart.     Photo: Robert Muckley/Flickr

Usain Bolt Rags on Tyson Gay

Says the one-year ban sends "a bad message to the sport"

Fastest man in history Usain Bolt has openly criticized the one-year ban of fellow sprinter Tyson Gay as being too lenient.

After testing positive for a banned steroid at last year's U.S. Track and Field Championships, Gay was retroactively stripped of the silver medal he won at the 2012 London Olympics as a member of the American 4x100 relay team. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency banned him from the sport for one year. Although a two-year suspension is more typical in such cases, Gay was given a milder sentence for his willingness to cooperate with authorities and voluntarily refrain from competition while his case was under investigation.

For Bolt, who holds the world record for both the 100- and 200-meter events, the authorities' decision to mitigate Gay's sentence "sent a bad message to the sport." Bolt was also upset about his fellow Jamaican national Asafa Powell receiving a harsher penalty for testing positive for the stimulant oxilofrine, arguably a less severe infraction of anti-doping regulations.

"I think for someone like Asafa to get a ban of 18 months for that and then Tyson Gay get just one year because of cooperating, I think it is sending a bad message into the sport that you can do it [i.e., dope], but if you cooperate with us, we'll reduce the sentence," Bolt said.

Tyson Gay returned to competition earlier this summer, running a 9.93 in the 100 meters at the Lausanne Diamond League meet on July 3.

Along with Yohan Blake, currently recovering from a hamstring injury, Gay is viewed as Usain Bolt's primary competition, although when the charismatic Jamaican is in top form, he has proven to be nearly invincible.

0 Comments

Haris received his pilot's license after being inspired by his father, Babar, who became a pilot in the Pakistani Air Force.     Photo: Eddie Gold/Facebook

Teen Adventurer Dies In Plane Crash

While attempting to fly around the world in 30 days

Haris Suleman had a goal: to become the youngest person to fly around the world in a single-engine plane in 30 days. Suleman and his father, Babar, were undertaking the trip in an attempt to raise $1 million in charity for Seeds of Learning, an organization that builds schools in Pakistan.

Tragically, the 17-year-old's trip—and life—were cut short when he and his father crashed Tuesday after leaving Pago Pago, American Samoa. There is no indication as to what caused the crash, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

NBC News confirmed Suleman's body has been recovered, and authorities are still searching for his father. The duo started their journey on June 19 and planned to fly the 26,000-mile trip in exactly 30 days, with stops in 25 cities around the globe. The Sulemans were on the final leg of the flight, with stops planned for Hawaii and California, before arriving home in Plainfield, Indiana.

Suleman's sister, Hiba, posted a message on Facebook in honor of her brother and father.

I'd like to thank everyone for their support of my father and brother throughout this trip, as well as for the support given to my mom, brother, and myself as we waited for their safe return. Haris has been found; he did not make it. My father has not yet been found. Please pray that my dad is found alive and well. Also, hug your siblings and parents—tell them you love them, a hundred times. A thousand times. It will never feel like it's been said quite often enough.

0 Comments

An artist's rendering of Acquario Ceara, opening in Fortaleza, Brazil, in 2015.     Photo: Courtesy of A. Zahner Company

Why the U.S. Is Building Brazil an Aquarium

World's third-largest facility funded, designed, made by Americans

World Cup fervor has settled in the Brazilian state of Ceara, but an unconventional partnership between the state, the U.S. government, and American small businesses will produce the country's next spectacle: Acquario Ceara, the largest aquarium in South America and the third largest in the world. The project might be the first example of a U.S. federal agency funding construction outside North America to create American jobs. 

The aquarium, set to open in the city of Fortaleza in 2015, is being paid for almost entirely by the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The agency is financing construction through a $105 million direct loan it says supports 700 American jobs.

How? The Latin American branch of an Ohio design firm is designing Acquario Ceara, a metals firm in Missouri is constructing the blobist "crustaceo-exoskeleton," and a custom aquarium maker from Colorado is overseeing construction.

"The otherwordly Acquario Ceara is basically a Midwestern export," writes CityLab blogger Kirston Capps

The project might seem like a win-win for all involved, but not so, Capps writes.

For one, if you build it, the 12 million expected annual visitors won't necessarily come. Fortaleza attracted only 219,430 international tourists to Brazil in 2010. Can the allure of one aquarium make up the difference? The aquarium might provide the next blow to the Bilbao Effect—the idea that constucting architectural spectacles brings in tourists, which paves the way for decadent cities. "An aquarium isn't a cultural facility, exactly—although this one sure looks like one, both in terms of design and the project's ostensible aim," Capps says. 

If that happens, Brazilian detractors will have even more reason to be upset. Ceara is one of the poorest Brazilian states (the fifth-poorest in 2013), and its critics argue that on top of being potentially dangerous to the environment, the aquarium is opaquely using public funds that would better go toward improving people's quality of life.  

Despite job creation for Americans, not everyone is happy stateside. Republican senator Mike Lee of Utah says the aquarium "erodes Americans' confidence in our markets and our system" with "taxpayer-backed loan guarantees to help American exporters."

Like fish in a fishbowl, everyone's watching Acquario Ceara, but only time will tell if the new aquarium will make a splash.

0 Comments

The steel-and-concrete, bungee-friendly Skypass is a monument to architecture and risk taking.     Photo: Courtesy of Skypark AJ Hackett Sochi/Facebook

Sochi's Next Act? Becoming a Bungee Jumping Mecca.

Walk the 1,800-foot bridge, then leap overboard. If you dare.

How do host countries of international sports competitions attract tourists once the games have ended? Build architectural wonders. While Ceara, Brazil, is going a more aesthetic route with a giant aquarium, Sochi, Russia, has chosen a more terrifying path—literally. The world's longest suspension bridge opened this week in the Olympic host city, and it's set to become a popular bungee-jumping destination. 

The newest addition to the AJ Hackett Sochi Skypark, nestled in scenic Sochi National Park, is the 1,800-foot Skybridge, which offers views of the Caucasus Mountains and Black Sea coast. Let's not forget the most impressive view: Park visitors looking down will get the full effect of being 679 feet in the air. 

Those hoping to get a lot closer to the ground can strap into a bungee harness and hurl themselves overboard. Don't worry: This bungee scene's been tested, as you can see in the following video, and it's still a full 150 feet shorter than the world's tallest bungee jump in Las Vegas. 

Start working on that fear of heights. 

0 Comments

Ginger is easily incorporated into your diet through powders and supplements—or with some really good sushi.     Photo: tycoon751/Thinkstock

2 New Superfoods You Should Be Eating Now

Algae and ginger will revolutionize your health

In an age when some foods are considered more "super" than others, ginger and algae are the latest to be granted health-food superpowers.

Ginger has been heralded as an anti-inflammatory for more than 5,000 years in traditional Chinese and Indian healing modalities, but athletes just now seem to be finding its roots. A 2014 study published in the Central European Journal of Immunology found that ginger attenuated post-workout, pro-inflammatory cytokines in high-intensity runners who incorporated the root into their diet for six weeks. In other words, ginger amped up runners' immune systems enough to keep wear and tear from heavy training at bay.

Toss some ginger into a smoothie along with a spoonful of spirulina, and you'll have a superfood snack worthy of a cape. The microalgae (you might recognize it as a key ingredient in Naked's Green Machine juice), contains more iron and protein per bite than ground beef with 20 percent fat. It can also be a vegan-friendly alternative to fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids are produced when fish consume plankton after the plankton eat the microalgrae. You're simply going straight to the source. A study published by North Orissa University found that microalgae is one of the most underrated, highly nutritious greens out there. Nutritional breakdowns found 36 useful substances present in microalgae, such as DHA (for healthy brain function) and 11 vitamins, including biotin, folic acid, and riboflavin.

So what are you waiting for? It's smoothie time.

0 Comments

Comments