Friday, October 24, 2008

Support the International Women's Air and Space Museum

If you're on the internet, I'd say there's a good probability that you use to search for various websites.

Well, from now on, why not bookmark and use instead. It's the Yahoo search engine, but by using it, you can earn money for a charity or cause - depending on which one you put in the appropriate box.

For myself, I put in International Women's Air & Space Museum.

(Despite the instructions on the IWASM website, just inputting "iwasm" didn't work. You need to put in the full name of the Museum.)

After that, just search as you normally do, and a little bit of money will go to the IWASM. (So little, in fact, that it only helps if lots and lots of people use this particular search engine, but hopefully all my readers here will start to do so. ; )) Heck, every little bit helps.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

OT: Women's Marathon Winner Loses!

This doesn't make any sense, but this is what happened.

At Women's Marathon, fastest time didn't win
There were over 20,000 competitors in Sunday's Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. And 24-year-old Arien O'Connell, a fifth-grade teacher from New York City, ran the fastest time of any of the women.

But she didn't win.

No one seemed exactly sure what to do. The trophies had already been handed out and the official results announced. Now organizers seem to be hoping it will all go away.

"At this point," Nike media relations manager Tanya Lopez said Monday, "we've declared our winner."

O'Connell said some race officials actually implied she'd messed up the seeding by not declaring herself an "elite" runner.

"If you're feeling like you're going to be a leader," race producer Dan Hirsch said Monday, "you should be in the elite pack."

So this is her fault? O'Connell was just being modest.

"I'm a good, solid runner," she said. "I never considered myself elite."

Jim Estes, associate director of the long-distance running program for USA Track and Field, did his best to explain the ruling. He's had some practice with the issue. The Sunday before last, at the Chicago Marathon, a Kenyan named Wesley Korir pulled off a similar surprise, finishing fourth even though he wasn't in the elite group and started five minutes after the top runners.

Read the whole article to see exactly what happpened.

Comments are allowed on this article, and many people are saying that Arien O'Connell should sign with some shoe company other than Nike and make a bundle.

I don't know that I'd buy a shoe with her name on it just because of this...but I have to say I'm not too impressed with the people Nike hires to run their marathons...

And one wouldn've thought the three women who were called the winners would have handed back their prize money, regardless...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

OT: Popular Mechanics magazine, October 2008

My dad gets this magazine, and when he's done with it, he gives it to me.

I haven't got a mechanical bent, but I enjoy reading about all the types of stuff they cover (and for that matter, my sister does have a mechanical bent.)

Anyway, so on the cover of this particular issue, the "Special DIY Mega Issue" the blurb is of course:

100 Skills Every Man Should Know

and the list they have on the cover:

Fix a leak
Pilot a boat
Weld steel
Fell a tree
Shoot straight
Mix concrete
Drive off-road
Work with wood
Escape a sinking car

And I'm thinking... is there a reason why women shouldn't know these things?

I mean, women are supposed to be such bad drivers compared to men, shouldn't they know how to get out of a sinking car should they be silly enough to drive into a lake or something? Or do the editors of Popular Mechanics think only men are stupid enough to do that?

Well, at least among the 100 things they include inside the issue are How to iron a shirt, How to change a diaper, Teaching your Kids to Ride a Bike and Fish, Sew a button, and use a sewing machine ("on camping gear, light tarps, kites and myriad other manly stuff.")

Saturday, October 18, 2008

OT: The Curious Boy's Book of Adventure

OT: The Curious Boy's Book of Adventure: 100 Hi-jinks and Escapades

I was browsing through my local library's book shelves a few days ago when I came across this little gem.

It was published in 2007.

And yet the author, Sam Martin, blithely targets this book of "Hi-jinks and Escapades," of "Adventure" for boys only, as if we still live in a time when boys got to have all the fun and girls sat at home with their knitting, waiting for a boy to call.

Well... we *do* live in that age still, unfortunately, for many girls who are brought up to believe the media hype that that is all they exist for, and so a book like this is needed much more for girls than for boys. But, of course, it's got the word "Boy's" in the title, so god forbid any girl should look at it and think, "Hey, why can't I do this stuff?"

But of course, there's the same old "stigma." She'd never be greeted by, "Oh, you want to be an adventurous girl?" No, it'd be, "Oh, you want to be a boy!"

Anyway, the book contains such things as:

Exploring - making a tent, rowing a boat, finding north without a compass

Hunting - making a bow and arro, fishing, bug hunting

Experiemting - cooking up slime, sending a secret message, making a telephome

Building - paper airplanes, model boats, a kite

Playing - spinning tops, playing marbles, climbing, training your dog

And you, Mr. Sam Martin, are telling me that curious girls can't enjoy this stuff just as well?