It used to be that I could swim a mile without being put out by the effort. Starting in 1999 I’d head down to the Koret Center a few times a week and swim a mile. No big deal. This was shortly after I picked up a springboard diving class at USF. I was already suited up and stretched out, so I’d stick around and lap swim in those gorgeous Olympic sized pools. During backstroke sets I’d watch people cross overhead on the skybridge. I loved it.
After my sophomore year I transferred up to PSU and started to use the pool up here. Then I lost use of my left arm for several years starting with my elbow and eventually my shoulder. It’s been a long rehab process. I more or less gave up on going to the gym. I hated being there.
So I rehabbed my arm. Then I destroyed my ankle and rehabbed that. Every night now, I do PT for my wrecked left side.
This brings me to Try Club. Where my goal was to go to a gym with some regularity and not get hurt. Goal accomplished.
New goal: Return to swim fitness. I am now working a plan to whip my body into shape for this new goal. The schedule is plotted out over a four month period, so it’s very reasonable with just two pool visits per week. If you follow the header link, it’ll take you to the Univeristy of Michigan’s swim fitness plan. That’s my plan.
"I’m a ghost". That’s Tom Goldman under that sheet, taping a report for our newscast desk about Brazil’s victory over Chile. Normally, our stories are recorded in pristine radio studios where you really can hear a pin drop. But out here on the road, you improvise. In this case, it’s a sheet over his head to keep his voice from echoing off the walls. You never know we do this … but if we didn’t, you probably would ask yourself, "why does this news report sound so funny?"
The Portugese Man-of-War is an static creature, its only mobility provided by the swaying tidal forces. When one gets washed up on the beach, its only hope is it to get washed back into the rolling waves, otherwise they’re dead. But sometimes they may get picked up by Aaron Ansarov (with rubber gloves of course since their sting hurts like a sumbitch), who takes them back to his studio and splats them down on a light table, illuminating their naturally translucent bodies which he then mirrors in Photoshop. The result kinda looks like a tripped-out kaleidoscope that just vomited out its own intestines (And to the concerned readers at home: Aaron always transports the creatures safely and returns them to the beach when they’re done seductively distending their tentacle-y appendages).
Sword-smithery What do you do when 8 rapier hilts are not enough? Make another!
This was a fun project because we got to cobble together a lot of unconventional materials to make the hilt. R went to Goodwill with a magnet in her pocket and picked up basically anything weldable, which included silverware, napkin holders, and decorative candleholders. You can see a few of the raw materials we started with in photo 1, as well as our Eyewitness Books reference material.
Using a cutting blade on an angle grinder for the big stuff and on a dremmel for the little things, R chopped apart curlicues, hoops, swoops, and leaves. She mocked it up to relate to a stock hilt (photo 2) before she welded it together.
R started welding with a fat piece of flat stock and two triangles for quillion blocks. It had to sit perfectly snug against the blade, which involved a lot of drilling and filing. She added the knife handles for the quillions and curlicues for guards (photo 3), which she then decorated with bent fork handles. She continued by welding on the side rings and hand guard pieces, obsessively making sure everything lined up properly (photo 4), and added the leaf decoration last.
The handle was made from 2 matchbooked pieces of hardwood that had the shape of the blade routed out, which were glued and sanded to perfection by M. A quick coat of linseed oil brought out the color.
After the basic structure was fabricated, we ground and sanded it smooth, and then coated it with metal primer. The final finish was chrome spray paint (photo 5) with an antiquing glaze on top. We assembled everything and added a finial we had found and threaded for the pommel, et voila! Our finished sword (photo 6)!
This is awesome and, as an audience member, absolutely believable.