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Current Topic: Sports

Sebastian Vettel explains 2009 F1 rule changes
Topic: Sports 7:02 pm EST, Feb 15, 2009

Formula 1 has adopted the most sweeping changes in the sport's history in an effort to increase overtaking and bring down the astronomical costs involved in racing. As we told you a couple of weeks ago, the new rules have significantly changed how the cars look. The rules effect everything from aerodynamics to tires to the number of engines each team can use during the season, which spans 17 races over 9 months.

I'm excited about KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System).

Sebastian Vettel explains 2009 F1 rule changes

Bear Hockey League
Topic: Sports 1:35 pm EST, Nov 25, 2008

Real Bears. Real Hockey. Let The Awe Commence

Bear Hockey League

RE: Big Creek Trail
Topic: Sports 7:14 pm EDT, Oct 28, 2008

Jello wrote:

Preview: This multiuse trail explores the floodplain of Big Creek (Vickery Creek) from Webb Bridge Road to Mansell Road. Rob Warrilow got the idea for Big Creek Trail when he visited his son at college in Colorado, where a similar trail existed. Warrilow, an engineer for the city of Alpharetta, knew that an easement in the hundred-year floodplain of Big Creek would be a great place to build the same kind o...

Apparently is good for mountain biking.

Yes it is good for mountain biking. I'm planning on going this Thursday after the cold front blows over. If anyone is interested in meeting there let me know.

More info:
Map of the trails

How to get there:

• Take GA-400 North.
• Exit #7A Holcomb Bridge
• At the second stop light Go North (turn left) on Old Alabama.
• Slow down when you see the entrance to Belcourt Apartments on the left.
• Turn left into gravel parking lot (look for Big Creek Park sign).

RE: Big Creek Trail

What Can't We Learn From F1?
Topic: Sports 7:25 pm EDT, Jul 10, 2008

One of the most perilous points when caring for the seriously ill is the handover between surgery and intensive care. As each moment ticks by on the transfer from operating table to ward bed, the risk to the patient increases. It’s an age-old issue, but one that the doctors at Great Ormond Street were determined to improve.

After seeing several of his patients falter during handover, paediatric heart surgeon Professor Marc de Leval was particularly concerned. In an effort to understand why, he recruited a team of ‘human factor specialists’ to assess a number of arterial-switch operations, a procedure designed to fix a congenital heart defect in newborn babies and one which can be particularly fraught with difficulties.

Leval’s study suggested that it was the handover process that was letting the side down. How the hospital could improve its handovers, however, remained largely unresolved until two members of Great Ormond Street’s staff found themselves relaxing in front of a Formula One race on TV after a particularly hard day at work.

“Two of us are F1 fans and we were sitting one Sunday, after a transplant, watching a Grand Prix,” explained Dr Allan Goldman, head of the hospital’s paediatric cardiac intensive care unit. “My colleague Professor Elliot, who is a surgeon, remarked that when you look at a Formula One pit stop, how they all get together is really the epitome of how a team can reconfigure into a functional unit.”

From quick reactions at the start, to optimal acceleration and late braking - efficiency is central to the outcome of a Formula One race. And this need for clear organization and swift reactions is clearest of all during a pit-stop, when crews of 20 highly-trained individuals come together to refuel, re-tyre and fine-tune a car to get it back out on the race track within a matter of seconds.

For Goldman and Elliott the parallels between this and their own challenges were striking. Both involved multiple specialists simultaneously carrying out numerous, complex tasks - tasks that frequently involved complex interfaces, and which all had to be completed quickly and accurately. Upon this realisation the duo quickly set about contacting Formula One teams to ask them to lend their expertise and help the hospital streamline their processes during a patient handover.


“They’re trying to achieve excellence in winning races, and we’re trying to achieve excellence in patient outcome,” explained Goldman. “Our errors went down by about 30 percent or so. The key thing we found though was that there was a reduction in multiple errors. You notice when you see clips of Formula One that when things go wrong, like a fuel hose gets stuck, the little errors add up and cascade into a major failure.

The awesomeness that is Formula 1 never ceases to amaze me.

What Can't We Learn From F1?

Inside the Scandal That Rocked the Formula One Racing World
Topic: Sports 5:01 pm EDT, May 26, 2008

Of all the copy shops in all of England, Trudy Coughlan had the rotten luck of walking into Document Image Processing.

It was June 2007 in sleepy Surrey County, and Coughlan, a statuesque blonde, sauntered through the door of the shop holding a sheaf of 780 pages. Scan them onto two CDs, she told the clerk, a forgettable middle-aged guy in a forgettable office park in the middle of nowhere. Nothing strange about the order, unless you happened to be a Formula One fan and happened to take a close look at the material: schematic drawings, technical reports, pictures, and financial information — enough insider dope to design a Formula One race car. Each page was emblazoned with one of the most famous logos in the world: the prancing black horse of Ferrari.

Surrey is McLaren country, just down the road from what locals call the Spaceship, the futuristic, top-secret, half underground headquarters of the McLaren Formula One racing team. But as it happened, the copy clerk was a rabid Ferrari fan — among the legion who worshipped Ferrari's star F1 driver Michael Schumacher and agonized over the fact that the Ferrari team was lagging behind top-ranked McLaren that summer.

This article:
Most advanced expensive automotive technology. Check.
Corporate espionage. Check.
Nazi orgy. Ummm. Check.

Inside the Scandal That Rocked the Formula One Racing World

Anatomy of a Racer: Only Elite Athletes Can Vanquish Rivals at Triple-Digit Speeds
Topic: Sports 2:27 pm EDT, Apr 30, 2008

Admit it: You think driving a race car is easy. With closed tracks and all that horsepower, who needs talent — let alone athletic prowess? But unless you've trained your heart like a distance runner, built your muscles like a football player, and conditioned your body to withstand 150-degree heat, you'd probably kill yourself and several bystanders by the third turn.

Dishing out inertial forces of up to 5 gs, racing is one of the most grueling tests your body can endure while seated. Success demands a rare ability to stay calm and focused for hours while piloting a screaming land rocket mere inches from other victory-obsessed psychos. The best way to prepare is in an actual race car on an actual racetrack. But track time costs tens of thousands of dollars a day. To keep fit without bankrupting their backers, drivers spend hours in front of simulators, log hundreds of human-powered miles, and go turbo at the gym. Here's a look at the anatomy of an auto racer.

I tried to do 60 minutes on-track @ full speed during a 90F degree day, while wearing long pants, a long sleeve t-shirt and race helmet. After 40 minutes I almost passed out. Then again I don't have the body of a heavy lifter, more like the body of a heavy reader.

Anatomy of a Racer: Only Elite Athletes Can Vanquish Rivals at Triple-Digit Speeds

Formula 1 Racing to Go Hybrid from 2009-2013
Topic: Sports 2:04 pm EDT, Apr 22, 2008

It’s not quite the same type of hybrid drive-train you’d see in street vehicles, but in an exciting announcement, Max Mosely of F1 has announced that all cars will become hybrid by 2013, along with other changes to the vehicles.

The hybrid system that will be phased in is known as KERS, which stands for Kenetic Energy Recovery System. KERS doesn’t store as much energy as a traditional hybrid system, but it only weighs 55 pounds and the limited energy storage capacity is well suited for Formula-style racing.

The biggest difference between KERS and a regular battery-electric hybrid is that KERS stores recovered waste energy in a rotating flywheel. Instead of converting waste energy into electricity and than back into useful energy again with an electric motor, KERS simply transfers the kenetic energy to a ~5kg flywheel in the F1 car’s transmission. The energy stored in the flywheel can then be used by the driver by pushing a “boost” button.

Just what F1 cars need... More boost.

Formula 1 Racing to Go Hybrid from 2009-2013

Mascots vs 4th Graders
Topic: Sports 11:24 am EDT, Apr 18, 2008

Wanna see a 7ft tall Bearcat mascott stiff arm a bunch of 10 year old kids into the ground? These mascots sure don't seem like they're taking it easy on the kids.


Mascots vs 4th Graders

Aussie Highlights & Malaysia Sunday
Topic: Sports 2:32 pm EDT, Mar 21, 2008
[ Video Link ]

Clearly, after the first day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, it is going to be close between McLaren and Ferrari for the rest of the weekend. That is an obvious conclusion to a day that saw several teams running light to achieve apparently promising times.

Generally, the new surface at Sepang required some rethinking on set-up, but most drivers seemed content with the balance they achieved on Bridgestone’s hard and medium tyres; the major problem for some was in getting the best out of them over a single lap, ready for qualifying.

Lewis Hamilton, 1m 36.626s, P5/1m 35.055s, P1
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 36.556s, P3/1m 36.512s, P7
McLaren did not rise to the bait this morning as Ferrari set the pace, and for most of the afternoon the red cars continued to rule. But then Hamilton put on the softer tyres and got going for lap times. He was happy with his MP4-23’s consistent pace. His only real problem was with the gear selection at the end of the morning session, but it did not require a change of unit as was first thought. Kovalainen was the faster runner in the morning, and felt he had made a steady start to his weekend as he made progress with chassis set-up.

Felipe Massa, 1m 35.392s, P1/1m 35.206s, P2
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 36.459s, P2/1m 35.428s, P3
Ferrari set the pace all morning, and for most of the afternoon. Massa was fastest in the former, after Raikkonen rolled to a halt after a misunderstanding over fuel load saw him run short. Both drivers said they were happy with the F2008’s performance over a lap on both tyre compounds, though Massa reported that he could not get the best out of his second set of soft tyres in the afternoon when he was upstaged by Hamilton.

Malaysia 0300EST Sunday.

Hamilton draws first blood in Melbourne
Topic: Sports 2:05 pm EDT, Mar 15, 2008

On a day that Ferrari might prefer to forget, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton opened his 2008 world championship challenge by grabbing pole position for the Australian Grand Prix from a super-impressive Robert Kubica in the BMW Sauber.

First F1 grand prix of 2008 tonight at mid-night! (EST)

Hamilton draws first blood in Melbourne

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