I love watching these sleek vessels cutting through the water, speeding silently along … well almost silently. I imagine there is quite-a-bit of noise the crew makes running up sails and spinnakers, and pulling them down. I’ve never been on a sailing ship like the ones racing in this years America’s Cup, but just look at the picture of the United States entry. Beautiful …
The America’s Cup has returned to the continent if not quite the time zone from whence it came, as can be confirmed by a long panoramic look at the huge amphitheater formed by the refurbished port in Valencia, Spain.
Even when it was in American waters for more than 140 years, the Cup never had this grand a stage, and the question worth asking, with the challengers set to begin racing tomorrow, is if it is still America’s cup at all.
The defender is the Swiss-based Alinghi, whose multinational roster reads like a staff list from a United Nations organization. Three of the 11 challengers are Italian, and for the first time there are syndicates from China, South Africa and Germany.
Meanwhile, the American presence is shrinking. There are more sailors competing here from New Zealand, Italy and France than from the United States. The only American challenger, the powerful BMW Oracle Racing team, is proudly emphasizing its cosmopolitan character with its sailors wearing patches on their clothing that depict their own national flags, be they Danish, Japanese, Australian or, in the majority of cases, New Zealand.
This article is not the kind I would normally link to, but the text written by Bum Phillips is too good to pass up. Whether you’re from Texas or not, you will gain a greater understanding of the Texas lore by the time you finish. FYI … Bum Phillips is a very colorful person, coaching every level of football, High School, College, and Professional. He attained the head coaching position with the Houston Oilers in 1975, and is known for standing on the sidelines in his big cowboy hat and boots. At 84 years of age, he is still no less a dynamic figure. Go and enjoy, the rest of the stories … we’ll be here when you get back.
SpeedFreaks.tv – Smells Like NASCAR
Last year, I wrote a small piece about what it means to me to be a Texan. My friends know it means about almost everything. Anyway, this fella asked me to reprint what I wrote and I didn’t have it. So I set out to think about rewriting something. I considered writing about all the great things I love about Texas. There are way too many things to list. I can’t even begin to do it justice. Lemme let you in on my short list.
It starts with The Window at Big Bend, which in and of itself is proof of God. It goes to Lake Sam Rayburn where my Granddad taught me more about life than fishing, and enough about fishing to last a lifetime. I can talk about Tyler, and Longview, and Odessa and Cisco, and Abilene and Poteet and every place in between. Every little part of Texas feels special. Every person who ever flew over the Lone Star thinks of Bandera or Victoria or Manor or wherever they call “home” as the best little part of the best state.
So I got to thinking about it, and here’s what I really want to say. Last year, I talked about all the great places and great heroes who make Texas what it is. I talked about Willie and Waylon and Michael Dell and Michael DeBakey and my Dad and LBJ and Denton Cooley. I talked about everybody that came to mind. It took me sitting here tonight reading this stack of emails and thinkin’ about where I’ve been and what I’ve done since the last time I wrote on this occasion to remind me what is about Texas that is really great.
Have you ever thought about a flag made for another planet? Well, Popular Science did, then asked their contributors to design and send in what they come up with. The flag displayed is the winner of the competition, but if you head over to the website, the other 42 entries are available for viewing. Some are very inventive and conjure up thoughts of the Red Planet itself.
WEB EXCLUSIVE New Glory: A Flag for a Terraformed Mars – Popular Science
When PopSci published Will Snyder’s article on terraforming Mars, we opined that the Mars Society’s colonial flag could use some sprucing up, so we asked readers to submit their own designs. The week the article appeared, 42 Martian-flag mockups turned up in our inbox. Some featured elaborate designs and detailed explanations (which we’ve printed in their entirety in the slideshow), while others simply included a name. A couple flags were even sent anonymously.
Elvis is flying in? No, this story isn’t about Elvis, but King George Tupou V, and this year’s Flag Day celebration on American Somoa.
King to attend American Samoa flag day
The Palace Office today confirmed, that the king’s party will return to Tonga on Thursday, April 19.
The annual Flag Day celebration marks the anniversary of the day the American Samoa became a U.S. territory.
I can vouch for the effect the wind has on flags, and from the looks of the picture, the winds in Iowa rival those found in the Texas Panhandle. Beware the wind when flying flags or kites. It can be a hazardous job.
The Messenger – Fort Dodge, Iowa
Wind helps dry out ground in the spring. It propels turbines for electricity. It helps kids fly kites, which is fun, unless it blows the kite away.
But wind wreaks havoc on flags, tearing seams and shredding fabric.
“Wind’s the killer,” said Don Jordison, of Coalville, who is in charge of the Honor Guard rifle squad for VFW Post 1856 in Fort Dodge. “We have to change out flags every two to three weeks.”
Flags are sewn and washed, then flown again.
Special Birthday Greetings to Christine Underwood, of Wheeler Texas, who flies the Stars and Stripes, and the Lone Star every day she can.