Power and aggression made vulnerable to beauty – Roger Federer as Religious Experience

I very much liked this 2006 article about Federer and modern tennis

A top athlete’s beauty is next to impossible to describe directly. Or to evoke. Federer’s forehand is a great liquid whip, his backhand a one-hander that he can drive flat, load with topspin, or slice — the slice with such snap that the ball turns shapes in the air and skids on the grass to maybe ankle height. His serve has world-class pace and a degree of placement and variety no one else comes close to; the service motion is lithe and uneccentric, distinctive (on TV) only in a certain eel-like all-body snap at the moment of impact. His anticipation and court sense are otherworldly, and his footwork is the best in the game — as a child, he was also a soccer prodigy. All this is true, and yet none of it really explains anything or evokes the experience of watching this man play. Of witnessing, firsthand, the beauty and genius of his game. You more have to come at the aesthetic stuff obliquely, to talk around it, or — as Aquinas did with his own ineffable subject — to try to define it in terms of what it is not.

via Roger Federer as Religious Experience – Tennis – New York Times.

War – huh! – what is it bad for? Soldiers, for a start

The number of soldiers committing suicide has increased since 2004, surpassing civilian rates in 2008. Use of prescription drugs has tripled in the past five years; prescription amphetamines use has doubled between 2006 and 2009. One third of soldiers take at least one prescription drug and 14 percent of soldiers are on some form of powerful painkiller.

via Army Stressed After Nearly a Decade of War – ABC News.

Notices (29 July 2010)

– I listen to the seconds tick and they seem to be somewhat in a hurry. Or maybe it’s me, because sometimes they seem incredibly leisurely

– When I breathe it originates from the back of the nose. When the body breathes it’s from the diaphram

– I used to wake up in the morning and want to go back to sleep. Now I want to get up

– Having filled my head with trivia and crappage, I can’t expect the brain to be quiet just like that

– When I lie still and make no effort, blisses are returning

– All action has consequence

– Get the balance right. Headstands are becoming steadier

– Because I made a decision last week, year, yesterday, it doesn’t mean I have to stick with it

– Yoga has nothing to do with pride

– Take full, effortless breathes whenever you remember. This may not be often

– Where does the time go? Was it ever here?

– I find myself funny

– Time for myself, else bitterness and regret

– Let’s twist again, like we did last practice

– The Sivananda Rishikesh Sequence has allowed me to practice in silence, alone, steadily, without an instructor, audio or book

Rubus (177/365)

Rubus (177/365), originally uploaded by :Duncan.

Raspberries contain significant amounts of polyphenol antioxidants such as anthocyanin pigments linked to potential health protection against several human diseases. The aggregate fruit structure contributes to its nutritional value, as it increases the proportion of dietary fiber, placing it among plant foods with the highest fiber contents known, up to 20% fiber per total weight. Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C, with 30 mg per serving of 1 cup (about 50% daily value), manganese (about 60% daily value) and dietary fiber (30% daily value). Contents of B vitamins 1-3, folic acid, magnesium, copper and iron are considerable in raspberries.

Mojito Black & White Quad Fish (176/365)

Somewhat reluctantly I am selling my quad fish board. It just doesn’t get used enough on the small UK waves, where I prefer to ride my magic carpet. Yours for 320 squids. It’s a unique board, custom made by hand, colours chosen by yours truly and a gorgeous resin tint on the rails and underside (pictured). Made in Cornwall.

Nymans Hermes Bicycle, 1930s, Sweden (172/365)

Caroline flew this over from Sweden last week. It belonged to her grandmother and dates back, we think to the 1930s. It’s all assembled again after the flight and perfectly ridable. Caroline will do some restoration, particularly for the rust. It has a little tool cassette under the rack, is single gear but freewhweelable and backpedal to brake.