New York and Chicago might have skyscrapers, but those buildings cower in importance before the magnificent Washington Monument and the Capitol Building. The memorials to Abraham Lincoln, WWII, Vietnam, and Korea remind us of the great sacrifices America has made in the name of freedom and democracy. And let’s not forget the great restaurants, museums and exciting nightlife! Take our quiz and discover just how much a fun a trip to Washington D.C. can be.
Month: October 2016
Look in any medical supply catalog or down the aisles of the local pharmacy or sporting goods store and you will see dozens of different braces. Presumably, these?products will allow you to function better with less pain. Braces are available for everything from your big toe to your neck and everything in between. In a series of articles, we will investigate the pros and cons of using braces for a few key areas including the lower back, knees and ankles. We will start with a brief description of the rationale for the use of braces in general.
First and foremost, braces are used to support soft tissues like muscles and ligaments. The construction of most braces uses neoprene (a stretchy rubber material) that can also act to keep local heat in the area. Neoprene braces are generally stretched to fit the desired area, which also?provides compression. Compressive force to a joint can be of benefit for the reduction and prevention of localized swelling. Compression of a large muscle group (like the quadriceps on the front of the thigh) can actually help the muscle function slightly more efficiently. When a muscle contracts, or shortens, its job is to bring the bones closer together for movement. However, when it contracts a muscle also expands out to the side or widens. When mild compression is provided to the muscle, the brace gives the muscle something to push against for improved efficiency. This is also the rationale for athletes wearing compression shorts during sprinting activities like football and track and field. The limitations of these braces are that they can sometimes be hard to fit to some individuals. These braces are usually made in pre-fabricated styles and sizes. People who use these braces can not?assume that the brace will provide significant support to joints and bones.
Braces are also used to provide skeletal support. This means that the brace helps keep two or more adjacent bones properly lined up. These types of braces tend to be made of nylon straps surrounding a hard material. Examples of these braces include knee braces to prevent ligament damage and wrist braces worn after a wrist fracture. Braces that serve this function usually need to incorporate hinges if they are designed to allow movement of a joint. These braces can be custom made with high-tech casting and molding methods or made as off-the-shelf pre-fabrications. The more of the brace that is made of hard materials (plastic, carbon fiber or other material), the greater the likelihood that the brace?is custom-made.
One of the chief limitations of these braces, is that despite being custom-made, they are not entirely effective in their job of holding two bones in alignment. The reason for this seems to be due to the soft tissue movement that occurs. The brace is made to fit the outside of the body. Between the brace and the bones that are the target of the limitation lies skin, subcutaneous fat and muscles. All of these soft tissue layers allow the brace some ¡°give¡± and movement. This limits the effects of the brace on the bones underneath the soft tissue layers. Other limitations of these braces can be the cost and the bulkiness of the brace itself while participating in desired activities. It would seem somewhat obvious that the more labor intensive and custom a brace is, the more expensive it is likely to be.
The descriptions of braces above are typical of the types of braces that individuals with common orthopedic injuries may be inclined to investigate. However, there is another function of orthopedic braces that exists for those with limited function. For those individuals with serious orthopedic dysfunctions that come with diagnoses like cerebral palsy or other neurological deficits, braces can play a crucial role in allowing the person to perform basic functions. The discussions in the specific articles on knee, ankle and lumbar braces will not focus on braces that are needed for body or limb support due to neurological or motor control deficits.
Discussions on the subject of throwing a football are as common as chalk lines on a football field. Coaches and players talk about the proper grip, footwork and throwing motion, but few discussions mention of the physics involved. Prolific passers rely on the physics associated with the shape and design of a football when planning throws.
Footballs have been described as inflated leather missiles with laces, eggs and pointed ends. The shape of a football is such that it allows the ball to be thrown in ways that set the game apart from other ball games. Newton¡¯s first law of motion explains that an object at rest remains at rest unless acted upon by an external force. In this regard, a passer¡¯s throwing motion becomes the external force that propels the football. But it wouldn¡¯t travel as far if the passer attempted to throw the football with the points of the ball perpendicular to the line of travel. In addition to throwing the ball point first, the passer¡¯s grip and release cause the ball to spin on its lateral axis, and he benefits from the aerodynamics of the ball¡¯s ellipsoid shape.
Common sense suggests that the amount of force differs when throwing short and long passes. This is not to say a passer might not attempt to zip the ball between two defenders when his receiver is running a short pass pattern. But overall, less force is needed to throw a 15-yard pass and more is needed to throw a 40-yard pass. Newton¡¯s laws of gravity explains that every action is accompanied by an equal and opposite reaction. This helps you understand why most short passes have less loft and arc than long passes. Typically, passers focus on the receiver when throwing short patterns. If you watch a replay or stand near a quarterback who is throwing a long pass, you¡¯ll notice his eyes are focused on a point at the top of a perceived arc when he releases the ball. Whether openly stated or not, passers understand the physics that pertain to an equal and opposite reaction when throwing a football.
Comparing footballs used in youth leagues with regulation professional footballs, you see that youth footballs have a greater circumference. The reason for this is associated with the average strength of the players at each level. A ball with a grater circumference holds a greater volume of air and as a result, carries farther when thrown. Footballs used at the collegiate level have a larger circumference than youth footballs and are slightly smaller than professional footballs. By the time passers become professionals, they can throw a regulation football short or long without the aid of additional air volume.
Physics applies to every aspect of throwing the football, from a passer¡¯s throwing motion to the distance and accuracy of his passes. Hall of Fame quarterbacks, such as Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana, used the physics of throwing a football to an advantage. Both understood that releasing the ball a certain way caused it to react a certain way. You can realize the physics involved by throwing a football the length of a garden bench and throwing it to a neighbor across the street. Renowned physicist Sir Isaac Newton formulated the laws of gravity and motion that apply each time you throw a football.
Depending on whether your team is on offense or defense, a soccer goal can appear huge, or too small to kick the ball past the goalkeeper. In reality, the official size of the goal is the same for high school, college and international competitions.
The International Football Federation, or FIFA, oversees soccer on the international level. The U.S. Soccer Federation, which is headquartered in Chicago, is a member of FIFA. On the college level, the National Collegiate Athletic Association enforces the rules of soccer. The National Federation of State High School Associations oversees the rules of soccer at the high school level. All these organizations have the same specifications for the soccer goal.
A soccer goal consists of two uprights connected by a crossbar. The uprights are 8 yards, or 24 feet, apart and the lower edge of the crossbar is 8 feet above the ground. The goalposts and the crossbar are made of wood or metal and are square, elliptical or round. They are no less than 4 inches thick and no more than 5 inches thick. The goalposts and crossbar are white.
FIFA soccer rules state that you can attach a net behind the goal as long as it doesn’t interfere with the goalie. A net is part of the goal in college and high school soccer. The net must be securely attached to the posts and not have any holes or openings that allow the ball to escape. The top of the net should extend 2 feet behind, and level with, the crossbar.
Goals used for youth or indoor soccer are not the same size as a standard soccer goal. Youth soccer goals are typically between 6.5 and 7 feet tall and 16.5 to 21 feet wide. An official indoor soccer goal is 6 feet 6 inches tall and 12 feet wide.
The tackle box in football is an area that is commonly known as the pocket. When a quarterback sets up to pass, particularly at the professional level, he generally does that in the pocket. He will drop back five to seven steps, survey the field and then deliver the ball to a receiver. The quarterback, his blockers and the defensive players must follow several rules when they are in this area.
The tackle box extends two yards outside the two offensive tackles stationed on the line of scrimmage and goes backward all the way — in theory — to the offensive team’s goalline. On the standard offensive line, players will line up at left tackle, left guard, center, right guard and right tackle. The starting points of the tackle box are 2 yards to the left of the left tackle’s shoulder and 2 yards to the right of the right tackle’s shoulder.
When inside the tackle box, the quarterback must attempt to throw the ball directly to a receiver. A quarterback cannot survey the field, determine that none of his receivers are open and then throw the ball away. A quarterback who does that while in the tackle box is guilty of intentionally grounding the football. The penalty for doing that is loss of yardage to the spot where the quarterback threw the ball and loss of down. If the quarterback moves to his right or left, and gets outside of the tackle box, he can throw the ball away by throwing it off the turf or out of bounds, as long as the ball crosses the line of scrimmage.
Offensive linemen who are blocking for the quarterback must be careful not to grab any part of the defensive player they are blocking outside the shoulder pads when they are in the tackle box. Offensive linemen may extend their hands and arms when they block, but they may not grab a handful of uniform while doing so. This is easily noticeable when the offensive lineman is inside the tackle box as the line judge — one of the game officials — is charged with watching blocking technique and must make sure it is legal. If not, a holding call is made.
If defensive linemen get through an offensive player’s block and have a chance to get to the quarterback and sack him, they have to be quite precise in their tackling technique. For example, the defensive lineman cannot grab the quarterback and slam him to the turf or lead with his helmet. When tackling the quarterback in the tackle box, you must grab the quarterback somewhere above the knees and shoulders and wrap him up while tackling. Leading with the helmet is illegal and so is tackling below the knees. These limitations only apply when hitting the quarterback within the tackle box. If the quarterback has run outside the box or run downfield, the defensive player is allowed to hit or tackle the quarterback as if he were a running back and none of the protective rules apply.
This secretive (yet celebrated) special forces team conducts some of the riskiest and most dangerous missions you can imagine. How much do you know about Delta Force?
Soccer is a sport that involves a lot of endurance, due to the amount of running that occurs. You must be able to keep up your running pace, or be left in the dust by your competition. Also in soccer, balance, flexibility and single-leg strength make a difference. These areas are often overlooked, and if you add them to your training, you can become a more complete soccer player.
Every Soccer player will do cardiovascular training for soccer; however, to become one of the best you need to advance your cardiovascular training to give you the edge. Do this by adding interchanging speeds. Soccer is not a game of just one speed. There are moments where you run at full speed, as well as moments when you jog. You need to train your legs for everything they will face during a game. When you are running, train with a ball to mimic game situations. To train for the interchanging speed, follow the lines on the field. Change speed on each new line you face, alternating from a fast run to a jog to a slow pace. This will train your body for the different paces of soccer.
Balance is important when you lift your leg to kick or to jump in the air you where you will be on one leg. The ability to control your body and your core will elevate your game. You can train your body to become more balanced by adding movements into your exercise program like the single-leg deadlift. This is a movement where you hold weight in your hands, with your palms facing your hips as you hinge at your hips, keeping your back straight. The weights in the front will counterbalance against your one leg to create balance training in your core. Add in three sets of 10 reps twice a week to your leg training.
Being flexible in soccer is very important. Without flexibility, you may not be able to move your leg to catch certain passes or hit volleys. Without flexibility, you become more prone to injury. Before a game, perform dynamic stretches such as leg swings, butt kicks and high knees. After the game, perform static stretches such as the 90/90 stretch. Lie on your back with one leg extended straight out. With the other leg, bend at your hip and knee to a 90-degree angle. Extend your leg straight into the air and twist to the opposite side of your body. Perform three reps on each side for 30 to 60 seconds.
This area is usually overlooked by most athletes. Most of the time in soccer when you jump, you run and kick the ball. You will usually have only one leg on the ground. This is why you need to train for the single-leg strength. It will allow for your body to build muscle memory and strength in each leg separately, therefore improving your game. Movements such as the pistol squat can vastly improve your soccer ability. This is similar to a basic squat, except you have one leg straight in front of you as you try to squat with the other. This move is difficult, so do two sets of 10 if you are a beginner; add in a box or bench to squat until you have your sense of balance and strength to complete the movement without assistance.
The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, alerted the world to the realities of new terrorist threats. Startling images of the Twin Towers falling are indelible and may have overshadowed the events t?hat occurred just a week later. From a public mailbox in New Jersey, letters that contained anthrax spores were mailed to two U.S. senators and several news media outlets. The attack killed five people and infected 18 more. Aside from this tragic loss of life, the attacks furthered the nation’s fear and paranoia, and the total cleanup costs exceeded one billion dollars [source: Lengel].
Bioterrorism — the purposeful release of bacteria, viruses or germs to cause injury, illness or death — became a reality in the United States. The three ways a terrorist can release biological agents is through air, water or food. These agents are typically very difficult to detect and because the illnesses they cause are usually delayed, it makes bioterrorism a hard crime to investigate. In fact, the anthrax case of 2001 remains unsolved.
Bioterrorism dates back to 1340, when diseased horse corpses were catapulted over castle walls in France. Human bodies infected with plague were also used as ammunition in central Europe during the 14th and 15th centuries. In 1763, a British army general ordered that blankets used on smallpox patients be sent to American Indian tribes. British Revolutionary War troops would also infect themselves with traces of smallpox, rendering themselves immune, in hopes of passing the disease along to the enemy.
During World War I, Germans infected livestock headed for the Allies with anthrax. Even though the attack proved to be unsuccessful, it led to the creation of the Geneva Protocol in 1925. This prohibited the use of biological and chemical agents during wartime, while allowing research and development of these agents to continue. The British and German armies may have dabbled in biological warfare, but the Japanese went full steam ahead in the years that preceded World War II. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians were killed by biological means at the hands of the Japanese army. One of these attacks included dropping paper bags containing plague-infested fleas from low-flying airplanes.
In 1984, the first instance of bioterrorism occurred in the United States. Cult members in rural Oregon sprinkled salmonella on salad bars all around Wasco County, hoping to affect the outcome of a judicial vote. In the end, 750 cases of food poisoning were reported and 45 victims had to be hospitalized. Another cult killed 12 people and injured many more in Tokyo by releasing sarin gas into a crowded subway in 1995.
In this article, we’ll learn all about bioterrorism — the biological agents, the terrorists and the measures in place to combat these evildoers.
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Shaquille O’Neal, or “Superman” in NBA vernacular, is one of the most dominant figures in NBA history. At 7’1” and a solid 350 pounds, O’Neal is every bit the physical anomaly in his NBA era that history’s greatest player, Wilt Chamberlain, was in the 1960’s.
Born March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey, O’Neal is the son of an Army sergeant. Shaquille lived in West Germany, attended high school in San Antonio, and signed to play at Louisiana State. O’Neal averaged 21.6 points in three seasons at LSU, leading the nation in rebounding in 1991 (14.7 a game) and in shot-blocking in 1992 (5.2 a contest).
O’Neal joined the Orlando Magic after his junior year as the first pick of the 1992 draft and, at age 20, became the first rookie to be voted to start in the All-Star Game since Michael Jordan in 1985. He ended 1992-1993 as the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, averaging 23.4 points and 13.9 rebounds per game, leading the Magic to an increase of 20 wins over the previous season.
As a sophomore, O’Neal asserted himself as the most dominant big man in the game, upping his scoring to 29.1 points per game while maintaining a 13.9 rebounding average. Orlando upended Jordan’s Bulls en route to its first NBA Finals appearance, where the Magic were upset by the Houston Rockets.
With the Bulls beginning another three-year run at the NBA’s best club in 1995-1996, O’Neal bolted to the Western Conference with the Los Angeles Lakers. There he teamed with ascendant superstar Kobe Bryant and Jordan’s old coach, Phil Jackson, to win three consecutive NBA titles (2000-2002).
O’Neal’s attempt at a fourth straight title was derailed in the second round of 2003 playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs, and when the team was upset in the 2004 NBA Finals, L.A. management determined that the Shaq-Kobe alliance would need to be dissolved. Again reminiscent of Chamberlain, O’Neal found himself on his third NBA team that summer, after former Lakers coach Pat Riley engineered a blockbuster deal that brought O’Neal to the Miami Heat.
O’Neal made Miami an instant contender, falling in a hard-fought Eastern Conference finals in 2005 and, with new running mate superstar Dwyane Wade, bringing the Heat a title in 2006. Even as he played into his 30’s, O’Neal was acknowledged as the most dominant force in the NBA when healthy.
While some have argued that he is the NBA’s greatest player of all time, it’s clear that “The Big Aristotle” has earned a spot alongside Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar among the best centers ever.