Monday, March 30, 2015

Jerry Bowyer is doing better and here is his latest interview on radio. Quote: One of history's great cheats!

Always a treat to hear Jerry Bowyer talk about economics.

Talking about the ruling class, welfare state, buying votes.

Exercise Video: Chair Traverse

Chair traverseProfessional rock climber shows how it's done.

Posted by Meetville on Saturday, March 28, 2015

Guy in the video is a professional rock climber.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fwd: Looking Back at the Vietnam War

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Andy Piascik <>
Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Subject: Looking Back at the Vietnam War
To: Andy Piascik <>

Versions of this article have appeared in various publications and on various websites.
Peace and Solidarity,
                                                                     Looking Back at the Vietnam War
                                                                                                                                        by Andy Piascik
            This Spring marks 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War. At least that's what it's called in the United States, the Vietnam War. In Vietnam, it's called the American War to distinguish the phase involving the United States from those involving other aggressors and colonizers -- China, France and Japan most notably.
            The occasion has been marked by widespread commentary, reminisces and what passes for history in the corporate media. The Pentagon has chimed in with a fanciful account posted on its website that evokes the propaganda it spun during the actual fighting of the war: US imperialism good, Vietnam bad. On a more positive note, peace and veterans groups around the country have held events and otherwise tried to put forward analysis about the horrific nature of US aggression that haunts Vietnam to this day.
            A more mixed aspect is the degree to which the war still hovers over our own country like a cloud. Several decades back, mainstream commentators regularly referred to the Vietnam Syndrome, which until the 1991 Persian Gulf War served to keep US imperialism in check to some extent. Media elites referred to the reluctance of our political class to go to war for fear of getting bogged down in "another Vietnam." What they were unwilling to say openly is that the Vietnam Syndrome is really the gulf in opinion between elites and the public on the matter of US aggression.
            In short, the US has found it extremely difficult since Vietnam to count on significant public support for its wars. Throughout the decade of the 1980's, for example, the US desperately sought to impose its will on Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, to name just three, utilizing proxy armies to defend landed elites against the people of those countries. If not for ongoing public opposition, US troops would likely have been fighting in Central America as early as 1980. Because the US was unable to send troops, the kind of bloodletting the US inflicted on Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia did not happen in Central America. One result is that the popular movements and revolutionary forces were able to carry on the struggle, to a point where a one-time revolutionary guerrilla is today president of El Salvador and longtime Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega is again president of Nicaragua.
            This is not to say a horrible number of deaths and incalculable damage was not inflicted on those countries; the US was especially determined to destroy the revolutionary experiment in Nicaragua, an effort that was largely successful. More ominously, though the hell of the military terror of the 1980's is past, Guatemala remains in the grips of wealthy elites tied to the United States and is one of the most class-stratified, repressive societies in the Hemisphere.
            But the damage inflicted on Central America does not compare to what was done in Indochina and that was due in no small part to the efforts of millions of everyday Americans. Unlike in Indochina, solidarity efforts with the people of Central America began early and in earnest. In Nicaragua, they began soon after the US moved against the popular revolt that overthrew the hated Somoza dictatorship in 1979. In El Salvador, solidarity work began in the wake of the murder by paramilitary terrorists of Archbishop Oscar Romero in 1980 and grew ever larger over the next ten years. That work included demonstrations, sit-ins, teach-ins,  medical aid, Sister City projects, accompaniment by doctors, electricians and others with skills to offer, as well as making available sanctuary, usually in churches, to people fleeing the violence to the US.
            Sporadic opposition within the US to aggression in Indochina, by contrast, popped up in 1963 and 1964 but it was very small and isolated. What we know as the anti-war movement did not take shape until 1965, more than a decade after the US unleashed its murderous puppet Ngo Dinh Diem on the southern part of Vietnam, and a full four years after President Kennedy began major escalation.
            More recently, the US has invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and, as this is written, is contemplating sending troops elsewhere in the Middle East. Just as in Indochina, the efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have in important ways been failures. And because of the massive use of superior military force, the US has become something of a pariah internationally -- feared but extremely isolated. Again, domestic organizing has contributed significantly to that isolation. No small feat that, and one that is important to recognize both because of the suffering that would have resulted from the use of greater force, as well as for what it teaches about the impact the public can have on imperial war. There's still much to do, however, and for both ourselves and those who suffer under bombardment done in our names, we need to get to it.
            Combatting the official, distorted history of Vietnam can assist us in those efforts and this admittedly cursory background is offered in that spirit. One aspect of that distorted history spun in some recent commentaries is that the War began in February 1965 when North Vietnamese and US troops clashed for the first time, the result, it's claimed (naturally) of an unprovoked North Vietnamese attack. One doesn't know whether to laugh or cry at the arrogance required to claim that point as the start of the war when tens of thousands -- probably hundreds of thousands -- of Vietnamese were already dead at US hands by that time, but such is the level of dishonesty and subservience to power in US political culture.      
            Pinpointing where US aggression in Vietnam began depends on how one determines how a war begins but 1945 is a good place to start in order to best understand what transpired over the ensuing 30 years. It was in the summer of that year that Vietnamese revolutionary forces grouped around the Viet Minh defeated Japan, whose army had invaded their country four years before. Like so many around the world who suffered greatly under the forces of fascism and militarism during the Second World War, the Vietnamese considered their victory the dawn of a new day. In that spirit, Viet Minh leader Ho Chi Minh read a proclamation inspired significantly by the US Declaration of Independence (large sections of which were included word for word) to a massive assembly in Vietnam that was also directed at Washington and people around the world.
            It was at this point that the US made the crucial decision to reject Ho's overtures and throw in with Vietnam's long-time colonizers, France. Most of the French colonial administration and army had run away when Japan invaded Vietnam, ceding the country to the invaders; those French who remained collaborated with the Japanese. Yet in its imperial wisdom, France decided it was entirely within its rights to re-colonize Vietnam, which it did, with crucial arms, money and diplomatic support from the US.  The Vietnamese, not surprisingly, were not so enthusiastic about being invaded yet again and resisted just as they had resisted colonization and occupation for centuries.
            As the French inflicted horrific violence in a failed attempt at re-conquest that lasted nine years, the US bore more and more of the war's burden. When the Vietnamese achieved final victory by annihilating the French at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, there was again the possibility that they had achieved independence. It was not to be, though. With Vietnam looking on skeptically, the US, other Western powers and the Soviet Union brokered the Geneva Accords that stipulated, among other things, that national elections unifying all of Vietnam be held within three years. The division of the country into North, where revolutionary forces had won complete victory, and South, which except for Saigon and the surrounding area was under Viet Minh control, was rightly seen by the Vietnamese as a ploy by US imperialism to buy time and a sell-out by the Soviet Union.
            Though they had no faith that the US would live up to the agreement, the Vietnamese had little choice but to go along. Their fears were justified in no time, as the US made clear that the Geneva Accords were nothing but paper that could be shredded into a million worthless pieces. Since Washington knew Ho would win an election in a landslide, no such election ever took place. As in dozens of other cases over the past 100+ years, the US opposed democracy in favor of aggression. Elections are all well and good but only if the right people win; if the wrong people win, then out come the machine guns.
So in 1954, the US threw its considerable weight behind Ngo Dinh Diem, an expatriate living at the time in a New Jersey seminary run by the arch-reactionary Francis Cardinal Spellman, and installed him as dictator of what was now known as South Vietnam. During Diem's nine years in power, the US looked on approvingly as he waged a war of terror against the people of the South. Resistance continued and eventually grew, though for a time Washington shifted its regional attention to neighboring Laos, where there was also a strong insurgency fighting against a US-backed dictatorship.
That changed under the Kennedy Administration, however, as the US expanded its aggression in Vietnam and the resistance rapidly grew. The resistance was led largely by the National Front for Liberation, successor group to the Viet Minh and known by its French acronym NLF, but it was made up of a broad cross section of Vietnamese society including, significantly, a large number of Buddhist monks.
Though Kennedy is often portrayed as desiring peace in Vietnam, something the Camelot mythmakers claim he supposedly would have accomplished had he not been assassinated, the sordid facts reveal the opposite. At every point where peace or even de-escalation could have been achieved, Kennedy opted instead for escalation: through saturation bombing, through the widespread use of napalm and other chemical weapons, through the organization of strategic hamlets (such a great phrase, strategic hamlets; kinda like calling Auschwitz a country getaway), and, finally, through the introduction of ground troops. 
            Though a despot, Diem revealed himself to be a despot with something of a conscience in 1963 when, weary of the fighting tearing apart his country, he independently made peace overtures to the NLF and unification overtures to the North. It was a fateful decision, as Washington soon ordered that he be taken out, as he was, assassinated just three weeks before Kennedy himself was murdered. (It was this sequence of events that the great Malcolm X referred to as "chickens coming home to roost," precipitating his break with the Nation of Islam).
            Kennedy's successor Lyndon Johnson was only in office nine months before he  fabricated the Gulf of Tonkin incident in August 1964, another Vietnam turning point.
Simultaneously, Johnson, dubbed the Peace Candidate by some (probably including himself), was warning the nation that Barry Goldwater, his opponent in that year's presidential election, was a dangerously unhinged war monger. That theme produced the most memorable moment of the campaign, a TV ad featuring a little girl counting the petals she picks off a flower that morphs into a countdown to Armageddon.
            Once he secured re-election and with the Gulf of Tonkin incident as justification, Johnson in early 1965 expanded aggression to all of Vietnam via a massive bombing campaign against the North (though the bulk of US destruction was always directed at the South). Parenthetically, Johnson would later that year order an invasion of the Dominican Republic to keep from power moderate reformer Juan Bosch and provide the usual substantial arms, money and diplomatic support to a murderous coup in Indonesia that brought the butcher Suharto to power. At least 500,000 people were killed during the coup and its aftermath; Amnesty International, generally blind to crimes committed by the US and its proxies, puts the figure at 1.5 million. The Peace Candidate, indeed.
So it remained in Vietnam for three years, a yin and yang of escalation and heightened resistance, until the Tet Offensive in January 1968. Before Tet, the US had largely gotten away with lying about the progress of the war, the burgeoning anti-war movement notwithstanding.  After Tet, it was clear that the promised victory at hand was delusional and a fabrication. Still, Tet remains a bone of contention for the most extreme supporters of the war who claim the US capably defeated the uprising, only to be sabotaged by antiwar media and Democratic politicians.
In reality, the Tet Offensive followed the NLF strategy of never engaging the US in a battle as that word is traditionally understood. It was a hit and run operation with the purpose of inflicting great damage, yes, but designed primarily to display once and for all that its forces were formidable and the will of the people unconquerable. In short, the goal was not to win a battle of Tet; the goal was to show anyone who still doubted that the US could not win. I recall reading years ago something said around the time of Tet by a Vietnamese elder who had probably seen as much death and destruction as anyone who ever lived (I'm paraphrasing): We can settle this now or we can settle it a thousand years from now. It's up to the Americans.   
  One group who became convinced after Tet that the Vietnamese were right in their assessment was the US business community. As always, their view, unlike generals, policy wonks and national politicians, was sober and geared to the long run. What they saw were war expenditures that were a huge economic drain, attention to Indochina that would have been better placed in outdoing global competitors in the expansion of markets, an army increasingly reluctant to fight, and the spread of domestic insurgencies from the isolation of college campuses to crucial points of production, most notably the Revolutionary Union Movement sweeping the auto industry.
One of the business elite's first moves was to push Johnson aside in favor of Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy. Kennedy was a long-time Cold Warrior going back to his days working with Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohn whose plans for Vietnam, much like his brother's, were predicated on victory first and then peace. McCarthy, meanwhile, had no connection to the anti-war movement before or after his thoroughly opportunistic six-month effort to cash in as the new Peace Candidate, and the 1968 election serves as well as any example of the disparity between rulers and ruled: a majority of the population in favor of immediate withdrawal having to choose between candidates who all favored continuing the war.
Richard Nixon's Vietnamization -- shifting the burden of the war to the South Vietnamese army -- was Washington's last failed act. The killing continued and the war was expanded to Laos and Cambodia but still the US could not win. Before the end, in 1973, the US perpetrated another fraud, the Paris Peace Accords, every tenet of which Nixon violated before the ink on the document was dry. By the time the revolutionary forces took Saigon on April 30 1975, the US had been involved in Vietnam for thirty years.
The list of outstanding books about Vietnam is a long one and mention will be made only of recent scholarship by Christian Appy who, among other contributions, has meticulously documented the working class nature of the war and the domestic opposition to it. That last flies in the face of the official history, as elites prefer to foster the notion that the movement consisted exclusively of privileged white college students. In reality, workers and the poor opposed US aggression in higher numbers from start to finish and not only because sons of the working class were far more likely to do the fighting. Ineluctably, it was overwhelmingly working class active duty resisters and recently returned veterans whose opposition to the war ultimately proved decisive on the home front.     
Virtually every American who knows even a little about the war knows that 55,000 US soldiers died in Vietnam. Only a tiny percentage, however, come anywhere near the correct number of Indochinese killed when polled. Noam Chomsky has written of one poll where the average given by respondents was 200,000 and likens this to people believing that 300,000 Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, as in both cases the count is off by a factor of 20. Such a gross misunderstanding underscores the effectiveness of the intellectual class in propagating a self-serving, highly distorted nature of the war – who suffered, who died, who the wronged are.
Even the largely accepted figure of four million Indochinese dead is probably low, possibly dramatically so, though the truth will probably never be known. Those best equipped to make that determination are the very ones who either waged the war or have a vested interest in burying its truths. As a US general speaking of a more recent conflagration put it: "We don't do body counts." Not, anyway, when the dead bodies are victims of American violence. 
Also completely ignored here is the Vietnamese experience of Agent Orange and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, for example. Take the terrible suffering of US soldiers and multiply their numbers ten thousand fold or more and we get a sense of the damage to the Vietnamese. Additionally, Vietnam and the rest of Indochina (the official histories generally and conveniently leave out the wars waged against Laos and Cambodia) are full of unexploded ordinances that regularly cause death and injuries, to this day. And though Vietnam and Laos were able to avoid catastrophic famine, Cambodia was not, not surprising given that it's a small country whose countryside was bombed back to the Stone Age. Destruction on such a scale combined with an ironclad US-imposed postwar embargo essentially doomed hundreds of thousands to death by starvation. That's an unpleasant truth, though; so much easier to blame everything bad that happened in Cambodia after April 1975 on the despotic Khmer Rouge.
However, though neither Vietnam or Laos experienced the postwar cataclysm of Cambodia, the war was so destructive that it could be argued that the US won in the sense that an alternative mode of social organization was rendered impossible (much like 1980's Nicaragua). The US views all societies that put people before profits as a threat, particularly if they're in the global South. It is the only way to understand the 50 years plus war of terror against Cuba, today's bellicosity directed at Venezuela and the continuation of the war in Indochina in the 1970's long after the US knew it could not win. In large part because of the scale of destruction, Vietnam today is well integrated into the global economy with all the negatives that entails, full of sweatshops, venture capitalists and major disparities in wealth and power.
Discussions of Vietnam are hardly academic exercises; the US is currently on a global rampage and falsifying history is part and parcel of the effort to whip up support for the next war. Because of the domestic gulf between rulers and ruled on the question of US aggression, we have the US going ahead with a second invasion of Iraq in 2003, destroying Libya, supporting war-hungry neo-Nazis in Ukraine, threatening Venezuela and engaging in a proxy war designed to destroy Syria, all despite opposition from a majority of the public on every count. Put simply, that means we will have to do our work of building an anti-war, anti-imperialist movement toward a day when we may live with the people of the world in something approximating harmony more effectively.

Andy Piascik is a long-time activist and award-winning author who writes for Z, Counterpunch and many other publications and websites. He can be reached at

Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Varsity Boys Swim Coach, Pittsburgh Obama Academy
Head Water Polo Coach, Carnegie Mellon University Women's Club Team
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fwd: Brashear Telescope Factory Time Capsule Found and Opened

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "FOTZeiss" <>
Date: Mar 25, 2015 5:07 AM
Subject: Brashear Telescope Factory Time Capsule Found and Opened
To: "Mark" <>

Brashear Telescope Factory Time Capsule Found & Opened
Yesterday (March 24), Al Paslow, a member of the Antique Telescope Society, and members of a demolition crew opened a time capsule, a small brass box sealed with solder, that had been placed inside a cornerstone of the now-demolished Brashear Telescope Factory building on the North Side of Pittsburgh. The building, built in May of 1886 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012, was originally the home of the John A. Brashear Company which had manufactured hundreds of telescopes and precise scientific instruments for observatories and scientific institutions throughout the world, in the latter part of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century.

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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Monday, March 16, 2015

Fwd: Raspberry Pi in Education Newsletter - Issue 6 - March 2015

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Raspberry Pi Education Team <>

Raspberry Pi in Education Newsletter - Issue 6 - March 2015
View this email in your browser

Raspberry Pi in Education


Latest news from the Raspberry Pi Foundation Education Team

Raspberry Pi celebrated its 3rd birthday between 28th February and 1st March at the Big Birthday Weekend in Cambridge. 1300 people came to see us at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, where they listened to 24 lecture theatre talks, took part in 14 workshops, shared hundreds of incredible projects made with Pis, and ate 110 pizzas! Lots of our Raspberry Pi Certified Educators made an appearance and talked about their experiences in the classroom since Picademy. Most notably, Sway Grantham gave a fabulous talk about her journey with Pi at Primary along with her Digital Leaders, and Dan Aldred demonstrated the latest version of his Pi Glove. 


Creative Technologists Programme Announced

Here at Raspberry Pi, we are passionate about the Arts as well as the Sciences! Our creative producer Rachel Rayns and our outreach guru Ben Nuttall have just announced a new Creative Technologists programme that is focused on supporting and inspiring young people who are interested in creative uses of technology. 

We are looking for young people aged between 16 and 21 years old who have a creative pursuit that could be enhanced with digital technology. For example, you may know some budding inventors, designers, novelists, filmmakers, musicians or animators. This is the post 16 experience for them!

The 12-month programme consists of:

  • monthly individual and group mentoring sessions, led by Raspberry Pi Foundation staff
  • additional mentoring from industry partners
  • software and hardware project support
  • exhibition opportunities
  • field trips, behind-the-scenes industry visits, exhibitions, events and conferences.

The course is free to attend and each participant will also receive a Raspberry Pi starter kit and a £300 materials grant. The group will receive a £1000 grant for exhibition costs. The Raspberry Pi Foundation will cover travel within the UK, accommodation, entry fees and sustenance on organised field trips and visits to Cambridge hacklabs.

Participants will also have the opportunity to complete Trinity College London's Arts Award Gold accreditation. A Level 3 Award, the Gold accreditation has a QCF credit value of 15, and 35 UCAS points will be awarded for those who successfully complete the award.

If you know someone who would be perfect for this opportunity then send them along to the link below. The deadline for applications is 30th March 2015 

Be a Creative Technologist

Hack the Computing Curriculum

Computing At School diversity group #include will be running a Hack the Curriculum event for teachers, professionals and academics to collaborate and share expertise in computing and to create interesting computing teaching resources. With a focus on diversity, the event will aim to be inclusive for as many students as possible. Attendees will work with other teachers to share best practices relating to gender, ethnicity, special educational needs, disabilities and pupil premium during the day. 

There will be some exciting speakers, and some of the Raspberry Pi Education Team will be on hand to discuss low-cost computing, use of free software and physical computing in teaching the new curriculum. There will be chance for attendees to get hands-on with Raspberry Pi and even walk away with one for free! 

The event takes place on 18th April at the BCS offices in London and you can get your ticket here

Astro Pi Competition Resources

Schools wishing to take part in the fabulous Astro Pi Competition have until 3rd April 2015 to submit a big idea for an app, game or experiment using a Raspberry Pi to be deployed in space.

We've developed this free Astro Pi worksheet to get the creative juices flowing. Completed worksheets can be submitted to the competition after signing your school up via the competition website 

Two winning teams, from both primary and secondary, will be selected and will receive a class set of Astro Pi boards, get to meet the Astro Pi team, participate in a winners' event, and best of all have their idea flown and run in space by British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake.

Submissions that are also closely related to the suggested themes will have a chance of winning the following prizes:

  • Best submission related to the Spacecraft Sensors theme wins a tour of Surrey Satellite Technology in Guildford. The winning team will get up close with some real satellites before they're launched into space.
  • Best overall submission in the Primary category will win an image of their school (or club location) from space from one of Airbus Defence and Space's or Surrey Satellite Technology's satellites!
  • Best submission related to the Space Measurement category wins two radio controlled clocks traceable to NPL atomic clocks and a half-day trip to the NPL facilities.
  • Best submission related to the Data Fusion theme wins a tour of Airbus Defence and Space in Stevenage. The winning team will get up close with some real satellites before they're launched into space.
  • Best submission related to the Space Radiation theme wins a trip to the National Nuclear Laboratory to learn about some of the exciting work being done to support nuclear power, both on Earth and in space.
  • There will be an additional prize for 'excellence in coding' to be provided by CGI, including a visit to CGI's offices in Leatherhead where the winning team will participate in a hackathon-style coding session with CGI's space software experts.

Picademy North at the National STEM Centre in York!

Once again the Raspberry Pi Foundation Education Team are taking Picademy, the official Raspberry Pi professional development course for teachers, on the road. This time to the North, thanks to our friends at the National STEM Centre in York!

The National STEM Centre houses the UK's largest collection of STEM teaching and learning resources, in order to provide teachers of STEM subjects with the ability to access a wide range of high-quality support materials and high quality subject specific CPD, making it a perfect venue for training teachers to become Raspberry Pi Certified Educators to fly the flag for computing education.

Picademy North will take place on 26th and 27th May 2015 and we have space for 24 enthusiastic teachers from Primary, Secondary and Post-16 who are open to getting hands on with their learning and having some fun. 

If you are interested in taking part in this event, complete our Picademy application form.

Keep on computing!
Carrie Anne
Education Pioneer
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Raspberry Pi resources featured in CBBC Technobabble in an episode dedicated to Computingwhich you can watch if you are a UK resident with your students.
The MagPi is now the official Raspberry Pi magazine. It offers the latest news, reviews, features and tutorials dedicated to the world's favourite credit card-sized PC. It's a great place to direct eager students! 
Have you signed your school up for a free Raspberry Pi Weather Station kit to participate in a global weather experiment? 1000 kits to build with your students are up for grabs.  
Copyright © 2014 Raspberry Pi Foundation, All rights reserved.
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Sunday, March 15, 2015

New age giving insights from Founder of Facebook

Fwd: Success is Ugly (And that is okay)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Olivier Leroy" <>
Date: Mar 15, 2015 12:24 AM
Subject: Success is Ugly (And that is okay)
To: "Mark" <>

I am going to ask you a question in a few moments, and I want you to think long and hard on it. And when you come up with an answer, and want to share it, hit reply and tell me what it is.

But first...

Success, from the outside, looks a lot like a shiny present, doesn't it? Nicely bow-tied, its wrapping glistening under the blinking lights on the Christmas tree.

Tidy, wrapped, and pretty.

But you should know better by now. Success isn't pretty, it isn't straight-forward, and it is definitely not wearing a bow-tie.


When we set a goal, and take the time to write out what we need to achieve it, is the best part of the process. And it is where a lot of people get stuck.


Because at this point we are still perfect. We haven't had to endure any stress, any roadblocks, or any difficulty. For the only moment in the course of the process, things are absolutely perfect.

We are perfect.

Sure, you haven't actually achieved anything yet, or gotten yourself any closer to it.

But still.

You can see down the road at that awesome goal, and you know that you're capable of achieving it.


In a perfect world, we set goals, plan them out, and then knock down the roadposts one-by-one on the way to achieving our goal. Unencumbered by things like illness, or injury, everything happens exactly as we hope and plan they will.

We both know reality and experience dictates otherwise.

Things come up; you tweak your shoulder, get the flu, false start at an important qualifying meet. Some of the things we can control (not being prepared enough, not taking care of ourselves better, etc), others we cannot necessarily control (family drama, illness & injury).

Those bumps in the road remove the glitter from success and gives it the texture of reality.


Success, whatever your idea of it is, is far from perfect, glossy, or problem-free.

There will be setbacks, roadblocks, detours and family emergencies along the way, many of them we completely did not anticipate.

Fumbling, falling and stumbling is okay - and this is a hang-up many swimmers have:

If things don't go perfectly right from the get-go then it's clearly not meant to be.

It's hard to let our ego step aside for a moment and accept failure for what it really is - a teacher.

It provide us with the feedback necessary to move forward. Provides a realistic assessment of our abilities. It shows us where we are weak, where we need to prepare more, while also highlighting where we are strong, where our strengths lay.

What do you think, are you willing and capable to fail repeatedly on your way to your own "ugly" success?


P.S. Team orders have been flying off the shelves in recent weeks. If you haven't already gotten a quote for your own team or group, do so here . If you are just looking for an individual copy, learn more about YourSwimBook here.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

PIAA Boys 100 Fly, class AA, 2015

Sead Niksic of Pittsburgh Obama Academy swims a new school record in the prelims. Then goes faster in the consol finals. And, a new PA State Record is broken in the Championship Finals heat too. 
Three races:

Prelims for Sead, 54.03:

Finals for Sead, 53.+

Championship Finals of 100 yard fly with a new state record: