Blog Posts

Donal's picture

Is the Occupy Movement Over?

Based on an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll (right), the Guardian announces, Occupy Wall Street's people power loses popularity:

... the public's backing of Occupy has taken a hit. Nationally, most pollsters have not even bothered to survey Americans on their views of Occupy since the end of the Zuccotti Park sit-in. The only pollster who has reasonably consistently asked about Occupy has seen a decline in its support. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that the percentage of Americans who consider themselves a "supporter" of the Occupy movement has dropped by half since November.

I read this last week, and wondered, who of course, could be more impartial about Occupy Wall Street than the WSJ's pollsters? And who, I wonder are they asking?

Donal's picture

Torture is not Missing from TV

Finale Spoiler! My wife insisted that I had to watch the ABC primetime show Missing, in which former spy Becca Winstone (Ashley Judd), married to supposedly dead spy, Paul Winstone (Sean Bean), is always searching for their kidnapped son Michael (Nick Eversman). She was sometimes hindered and sometimes assisted by Dax Miller (Cliff Curtis) at the CIA and Giancarlo Rossi (Adriano Giannini) at Interpol. There were lots of evil-looking Eastern European types wielding black semiautos, friendly but cutthroat double agent Martin Newman (Keith Carradine) and cute but deadly double agent Violet Heath (Laura Donnelly). And of course Paul was not really dead, or the walrus.

Donal's picture

Blue Clay Disappoints

Tennis is in the middle of clay court season. Last year Novak Djokovic stunned everyone by continuing his winning streak on Rafael Nadal's best surface—beating Nadal on the red clay of Madrid and Rome. This year, Djokovic has been less dominant, losing to Nadal in Monte Carlo, and losing early in Madrid. So Djokovic should be motivated to defend his points this week at Rome—the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.

Donal's picture

Solar & Wind Expo

On Saturday, I attended a Solar & Wind Expo, which was held about three stops away on light rail. At the Timonium Fair Grounds stop, there was no sign that anything was happening. I walked past the empty entrance kiosks, and saw a truck with a horse trailer backing up to the mostly empty livestock sheds. I continued past the empty cow palace, and eventually saw some balloons tied to two tiny cars in front of a nondescript concrete block building. The cars were Think City EVs. A small banner announced that the expo was inside.

I was a bit early and when I tried to pay the $10 entry fee with my debit card, one of the cashiers went to a table and pulled a cardswipe machine out of a box. She fiddled with it and asked, "Do you have any cash?" I had eight dollars, so she took that and let me in. That worked out about right because I was supposed to get two dollars off for arriving by light rail.

Donal's picture

Luxury Electric Motor Bikes

Along with their hybrids and EVs, luxury automakers have been developing prototype e-bikes, like the Audi Wörthersee above. These aren't full-fledged motorcycles, like the Brammo or Zero, but they aren't just bicycles either:

Donal's picture

Tesla and the Uncertain Middle Class

Tesla is about to release its Model S sedan. Despite operating at a loss, despite never having turned a profit, despite being the recipient of government loans (which the right wing hates about the Volt), despite its stock price dropping due to perceived competition from the Toyota RAV4 EV, some Wall Street pundits are still bullish on Tesla.

Why? Well it promises decent range:

Tesla: The Time Has Come

The Tesla Model S will give you significantly more range than a Nissan LEAF or any other practical all-electric car to date. The Nissan is EPA-certified at 73 miles on average. Tesla claims 160 miles for the base version of the Model S. ...

Tesla will also sell you an alleged 230-mile and a 300-mile version of the Model S. Each step up is $10,000 more.
Donal's picture

Bilateral Breathing

I've always admired the grace, efficiency and symmetry of swimmers that breathe to both sides at any pace and distance. Laure Manadou, Rebecca Adlington, Federica Pellegrini and many other elite female swimmers breathe bilaterally while competing, as do many excellent masters swimmers. But, many other women and almost all of the elite male swimmers in the world breathe to one side, or unilaterally, in their races. 

Welsh distance swimmer Dave Davies is one of the few male swimmers I have seen consistently breathing bilaterally. World 1500m champion Sun Yang quickly breathes to both sides before and after turning, but mostly breathes to one side. Many male swimmers can sneak a breath to the opposite side to keep an eye on an opponent, but most opt for the additional air available when breathing every other stroke.

Despite the prevalence of unilateral breathing, some coaches recommend bilateral breathing to develop symmetrical body roll to each side and to avoid the lopsided stroke that often comes with same-side breathing. Michael Phelps breathes to one side, but in this training video, his coach, Bob Bowman, recommends learning bilateral breathing:

Donal's picture

Three Articles

I found these three posts interesting, and rather than fill up the news section, I decided to put them here:

The Birth, Decline, and Re-Emergence of the Solid South: A Short History

Since the Civil War, the American South has mostly been a one-party region.  However, by the turn of the 21st century, its political affiliation had actually swung from the Democrats to the Republicans.  Here’s how it happened.

It is not an oversimplification to say that slavery was the single most important issue leading to the Civil War.  For not only was slavery the most important on its own merits, but none of the other relevant issues, such as expansion into the western territories or states’ rights, would have mattered much at all if not for their indelible connection to slavery.

Initially, Northerners rallied around the issue of Free Soil: opposition to slavery on economic grounds.  Small farmers and new industrial workers did not want to compete with large slave plantations and unpaid slave labor.  This was the philosophy that bound together the new  Republican Party.
Donal's picture


Donal's picture

Alexander Dale Oen

At the pool, you often see people swimming a very relaxed style of breaststroke—head out of the water, breathing freely, legs frog-kicking deep down—but swum properly, modern breaststroke is as physically grueling and technically demanding as butterfly, itself an evolution of breaststroke. One would expect a world breaststroke champion to be in fantastic physical condition. Norway's Alexander Dale Oen was 26, almost 27. In Beijing, he had won the Silver medal in 100m Breast behind Kitajima Kosuke, and was in training for the London Olympics.

Champion Swimmer Found Dead in Arizona



Donal's picture

Personal Information


Donal is now posting on a wordpress blog called simply, Donal.


View recent blog entries
Member for
14 years 2 months

Latest Comments