Fake it ’til you make it: Celebrity edition

This ranks among the best advice I’ve ever gotten from my mom (HI MOM!) but the fellow below took it to an extreme I never would have imagined.  I mostly used it when I needed some confidence about being a camp counselor/ astronomy TA/ pro crepe chef/ etc. – he used the same concept to pass himself off a celebrity who people “recognized” as being in Spiderman, hot bands, and more.  Live the dream, Brett!

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The art of cliff diving

Who thinks “You know that building down by the water?  The art museum that overlooks the water?… Let’s go dive off of it.”

Red Bull, that’s who.  This Saturday, they got 14 divers from around the country to take the plunge off the roof of Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) into the Boston Harbor.  I’m still debating which piece of that is crazier – the 95 foot dive or the destination.

Also crazy = trying to attend this thing without your riot gear on.  I headed down to the seaport via silver line, where I got my first taste of the insane crowds when we all crammed onto the same bus.  And it got even worse when we got closer to the water – all those nights of pushing my way to bar bathrooms, weaving between crowds and carefully eyeing the least-hazardous path paid off when I made it to a simple patch of grass and got to sit and watch the festivities.  I made some new friends and had a perfect view of the water, the clear blue sky, and the perilous platform from which the divers would be launching themselves.  Perfection.

The competition itself started late – all the materials boasted a 4:00 dive time but in reality, the practice dives were even later than that and by the time I left at 6:15 we were only 1 round into a four-round head-to-head matchup.  It was exhausting even just to watch, but amazing and a great post-Olympics thrill for zero dollars.

The divers have to land feet first, and complete a series of flips and spins in the air.  Even when they land as gently as possible, their bodies make a horrible belly-flop noise when they hit the water – people easily get hurt in this sport.  Not surprising, given that divers can reach speeds of 65 miles per hour before they try to stop in the span of 10-12 feet – that’s like driving down the highway and then stopping your car in the length of your car.  Except it’s your body, so there’s no airbag.  As soon as they hit the water, the divers come right back up making the OK sign to let the rescue scuba crew nearby know that they’re still in one piece.  All was well on Saturday, thank goodness.

 

I fully recommend checking out this free event next year – keep these tips in mind when you go (and look for me there!):

  • Head out early (unless you don’t mind being carried along with the crowd) – aim to be there no later than 3.
  • Bring a sweater.  It’s cold by the water!  But wear sunscreen too.  Always.  🙂
  • Don’t compromise on your view – there were plenty of places to sit if you looked hard enough, and it would have been a LONG time to stand.  That being said…
  • Consider the tides when choosing your seat.  You are sitting by the ocean, at the end of the day.  We saw a whole bunch of people lose their seats as the water came in and covered the rocks where they had been sitting.
  • Bring your camera – so many great photo ops and the extreme number of dives done (4 each for the 14 divers in the first round alone) that you have time to perfect your technique.
  • Meet up with friends before you get there – you won’t be able to hear anything or go anywhere deliberately once you get near the area.

One final shot for good measure/ to inspire you to join me next year:

Hope to see you there!

 

Wise words from 1995

You guys, the internet is TOTALLY where it’s going to be at by the time we’re grown up.  If you don’t believe me, listen to these kids who knew what was up back in the era of Trapper Keepers and scruncies aka 1995.

Aaaaaand now I feel old.

Music Monday: Bringing “home” the gold

You know that song you get stuck in your head after watching the American gymnasts at the Olympics?  You can blame Phillip Phillips for that one.  His hit “Home” is apparently the theme of the Fab Five.  I didn’t hear him when he was on – and won – American Idol this year, but this song is definitely catchy.  What do you think?

Broken records

It’s been a long week, so today let’s reflect on almost one week of Olympic splendor (marred only briefly by some badminton players intentionally throwing a game and rightfully getting thrown out…).  For your Thursday enjoyment, I bring you two articles about all those Olympic records we’ve seen shattered this week.

See how current competitors stand up against past ones, in terms of record-breaking times and expectations here.

Ever wondered why some Olympic records get broken and other’s don’t?  Find out here.

Hope you have a gold-medal push into the end of the week!

Swimmers that make you look twice

… and not because they’re amazingly fit (in the American and British sense of the word), but because of the ridiculous faces some of them make while diving.  My favorites:

 

 

Though the men make some pretty awesome faces too – there’s a larger, glorious collection here.  Hope you’re enjoying the games – slow-motion and everything!