Saturday, June 28, 2008
Wimbledon has been underway for nearly a week now and the Sweet 16 has almost been set. So far we've seen a number of big-time early upsets on both sides. Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic (3) and 5th Seeded Spaniard David Ferrer took L's over the past couple of days and Americans James Blake (9) and Andy Roddick (6) were both second round victims. The US men can't be taken seriously anymore as legit threats in majors as they both seem to bow out quickly and quietly almost everytime. The Women's half has seen more big names fall earlier than expected. Top Seeded Ana Ivanovic and 3rd seeded Maria Sharapova both failed to reach the fourth round thereby eliminating a large chunk of the male audience. This doesn't mean that there's nothing to watch. Far from it. Whereas the French Open didn't live up to the high ratings that world tennis officials hoped for after a highly entertaining Aussie Open, Wimbledon still has many lines to draw in the casual tennis fan.
-World #1 Roger Federer aims for his 6th straight Wimbledon singles title. That mark would help him pass Bjorn Borg's streak of All England Lawn Championships. His next matchup won't be easy though as he's got a date with the feisty Aussie Lleyton Hewitt (20). He's bound to bring his intimidating body-building sister with him for moral support.
-Last year's runner-up and 2008 French Open Champ Raffy Nadal (2) is looking to win his first Wimbledon title, but it will be a very difficult task as he will likely have all ranked opponents from here on out. His possible next round opponent Mikhail Youzhny (17) is definitely a sleeper to come out of this semi.
-Young Swole's boy Marcos Baghdatis from the land of Cyprus is the 10th ranked player in the world and he typically balls it up on grass. As the highest seeded player in his quadrant, he's got a great shot to make it to the final 4.
-The last Semi is extremely difficult to predict as most of the top-seeds have already taken a fall. I think the winner between Roddick raider Janko Tipsaravic (the Serbian had an epic match with Federer at the 08 Aussie Open) and German Juggernaut and Blake beater Rainier "Wolfcastle" Schuettler will be the man that emerges from this quad.
-On top of being smokin' hot, 18th ranked Nicole Vaidisova is also extremely frisky on the tennis court. The Russian will matchup with fellow countrywoman and equally bangin' Anna Chakvetadze (8). With Ivanovic out, it's one of these ladies to lose in this semi.
-#6 Serena Williams has to be the favorite in the second quadrant. She's always a monster in England and she has yet to drop a set yet this year.
-The Russians are well represented in the Sweet 16 and Elena Dementieva may be the best of the bunch. The 5th seeded woman in the world hasn't exactly blown away the competition at Wimbledon, but her quadrant isn't really the most challenging.
-The bottom semi is arguably the most intriguing. Two big names are on a crash course for a quarterfinal throwdown. #2 Jelena Jankovic may be a butterface, but her game is no joke. She's got one of the most aggressive serves in all of tennis and looks like the heavyweight right now. She's gotta deal with the beast known as Venus Williams (7) though and it won't be a cake walk by any means. Venus has won 4 Wimbledons and is the current defending champ. This could be the match of the tournament if it pans out.
Swole and I will try to keep everyone posted as the Bracket continues to evolve.
Friday, June 27, 2008
But because of it's vital significance and importance, I will reproduce it fully:
Study: Fellatio may significantly decrease the risk of breast cancer in women
Thursday, October 2, 2003 Posted: 9:19 AM EDT (1319 GMT)
(AP) -- Women who perform the act of fellatio and swallow semen on a regular basis, one to two times a week, may reduce their risk of breast cancer by up to 40 percent, a North Carolina State University study found.
Doctors had never suspected a link between the act of fellatio and breast cancer, but new research being performed at North Carolina State University is starting to suggest that there could be an important link between the two.
In a study of over 15,000 women suspected of having performed regular fellatio and swallowed the ejaculatory fluid, over the past ten years, the researchers found that those actually having performed the act regularly, one to two times a week, had a lower occurance of breast cancer than those who had not. There was no increased risk, however, for those who did not regularly perform.
"I think it removes the last shade of doubt that fellatio is actually a healthy act," said Dr. A.J. Kramer of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research. "I am surprised by these findings, but am also excited that the researchers may have discovered a relatively easy way to lower the occurance of breast cancer in women."
The University researchers stressed that, though breast cancer is relatively uncommon, any steps taken to reduce the risk would be a wise decision.
"Only with regular occurance will your chances be reduced, so I encourage all women out there to make fellatio an important part of their daily routine," said Dr. Helena Shifteer, one of the researchers at the University. "Since the emergence of the research, I try to fellate at least once every other night to reduce my chances."
The study is reported in Friday's Journal of Medical Research.
In 1991, 43,582 women died of breast cancer, as reported by the National Cancer Institute.
Dr. Len Lictepeen, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, said women should not overlook or "play down" these findings.
"This will hopefully change women's practice and patterns, resulting in a severe drop in the future number of cases," Lictepeen said.
Sooner said the research shows no increase in the risk of breast cancer in those who are, for whatever reason, not able to fellate regularly.
"There's definitely fertile ground for more research. Many have stepped forward to volunteer for related research now in the planning stages," he said.
Almost every woman is, at some point, going to perform the act of fellatio, but it is the frequency at which this event occurs that makes the difference, say researchers. Also key seems to be the protein and enzyme count in the semen, but researchers are again waiting for more test data.
The reasearch consisted of two groups, 6,246 women ages 25 to 45 who had performed fellatio and swallowed on a regular basis over the past five to ten years, and 9,728 women who had not or did not swallow. The group of women who had performed and swallowed had a breast cancer rate of 1.9 percent and the group who had not had a breast cancer rate of 10.4 percent.
"The findings do suggest that there are other causes for breast cancer besides the absence of regular fellatio," Shafteer said. "It's a cause, not THE cause."
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Lotttttta action this week. After a stagnant Power Poll in the last edition, there were plenty of movers and shakers thit time around, especially in the bottom of half of the poll. While the top 3 look have been safe lately, there are a few teams in the middle that are making some real noise in hopes of knocking the big dogs off of their perches. Keep an eye out over the next couple of weeks because there could be trouble brewing for baseball's elite.
1.) LA Angels (48-31)- The Angels finally take over the top spot to become the fourth team to hold the distinction in the poll. There's very little separation between the top 3 clubs, but the Halos get the edge by virtue of their superior play over the past week. They swept the suddenly chilly Phils and won their most recent series against the Nats. Next up is the battle of LA as the Angels visit the Dodgers.
2.) Boston Red Sox (49-32)- Boston was looking very shaky up until Monday. Since the beginning of the week, they've won 3 of 4. Dice K is back, but he looked miserable in his last start lasting 1 IP and giving up 7 runs. Ouch. He'll look to rebound against Houston tommorow. The Red Sox still hold the best record at home in all of baseball, but they won't be seeing Fenway for a longggg time. They embark on their longest road stretch so far this year as they play their next 10 games away from Boston.
3.) Chicago Cubs (49-30)- The Cubs were dangerously close to losing their top spot last week after getting swept by the Rays last week, but they followed that with a sweep of their own over their cross-town rivals, so I thought maybe they'd righted the ship. Now they've lost 2 of 3 to the pathetically mediocre Orioles. I can't in good standing keep them on top any longer. The NL is clearly the weaker league right now and therefore the North siders take a tumble.
4.) Tampa Bay Rays (47-31)- The Rays have stormed back into the spotlight with wins in 7 of their last 9 games including two sweeps. Tampa's offense really sparked this week against Florida scoring 27 runs in three games. Today they also received a beautiful performance from Matt Garza who has finally started to pan out for Tampa. He tossed a one hit gem to shut down the Marlins. Get ready for a heavy weight matchup in the Sunshine state early next week as Boston comes to Tampa for a 3game set.
5.) St. Louis Cardinals (45-35)- Back to the NL where the Red Birds represent the number 2 team from the senior circuit. St. Louis has actually been outplayed by Milwaukee over the past couple of weeks, but with the much welcome return of Albert Pujols (4 for 4 against the Tigers today), the Cards can't be denied the 5 hole. They'll have to bring the heat in their next series against KC. The Royals swept them last week.
6.) Milwaukee Brewers (43-35)- That's right, the top 3 teams in the National League are all represented by NL Central teams. It shouldn't really surprise anyone as the division is the best and most competitive in all of baseball. The hottest team in the league has to be the Brew Crew, who have only dropped two contests in their last 10 games. Milwaukee's pitching staff looked pretty bleak after Yovanni Gallardo was lost for the year with a leg injury, but Manny Parra has stepped up to pitch respectably and Ben Sheets continues to dazzle the competition and the roster actually looks like it can hang with the Brewers high-octane offense.
7.) New York Yankees (42-36)- The Central is clearly a cut above the other divisions in the NL, but in the AL it's all about the East. Did you notice that the only team not from these two divisions in the top 7 is the Angels. Interesting. The Yankees are playing inspired ball lately, but they can't really gain any ground on the rest of the division because of how well the Red Sox and Rays are playing. They should be able to find some extra motivation over the next week as two of their series are against their two biggest rivals (Mets and Bo Sox).
8.) Minnesota Twins (43-36)- The only team hotter than the Brewers are the Twins. They've won 9 in a row and are right on the heels of Chicago for the AL Central lead. It appeared that the White Sox would never be toppled from atop their mountain, but things have changed with the sudden power surge in Minnesota. They've scored 57 runs during their win streak. The M brothers have been outstanding lately with Joe Mauer looking for a batting crown and Justin Morneau trying to top the league in RBI.
9.) Chicago White Sox (43-35)- The Chi Sox were able to squeak out a win today to hold their razor thin division lead over Minny. That lead could be non-existant next week because they've got a date with the Cubbies starting tommorrow. The one thing going for the White Sox is that they're home for their next 10 contests where they're 24-11 on the season.
10.) Philadelphia Phillies (43-36)- The Philles are very very lucky to hang onto the last spot in this poll. They've looked like absolute garbage lately (2-8 in their last 10). Sure they lead the NL East, but that's the same as the D-backs topping the NL West. Both divisions blow. It's kind of ridiculous. Most people thought that the East would be the dominant division not only in the NL, but possibly all of baseball. Instead the Mets and Braves have greatly underachieved and the Phillies are looking more like pretenders instead of contenders.
Also Receiving Votes: Oakland A's, Florida Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers
PHOENIX—Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Orlando Hudson has been intentionally striking out in an effort to make his teammates laugh, team sources told reporters. Hudson, who struck out in every plate appearance Tuesday against the Oakland A's, was overheard saying "Check this out" to teammates Justin Upton and Chris Young before intentionally taking a third strike during his first at-bat; swinging wildly high and wide at a pitch thrown low and inside; swinging several seconds after the ball had been caught by the catcher for a third strikeout; and during his fourth appearance at the plate, dropping his bat and starting to remove his batting gloves before the pitcher had even thrown the baseball. Upon walking back to the dugout, Hudson reportedly pretended to be disappointed with his performance by yelling, "Jeez, I just don't know what's wrong with me lately," causing his teammates further amusement. Following the game, Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin told Hudson that he could see what Hudson was doing and that he had better cut it out.
(The following is from www.theonion.com and is, unfortunately, not true. But damn, wouldn't it be funny if it was?)
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
*The above picture was included for my mom, who requested it be a part of the preview.