Sunday, December 31, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #190

I'm something of an addict to year-end lists. They crystalize for me the importance of events during the year, shed light on the things, especially in the arts, that i may have missed (thank you Rolling Stone for the best of music), and clue me in on big things that i somehow missed altogether.

This being a year in which i came within hours of dying myself, there were quite a few things i missed because of being zoned out on morphine for a month, especially in the way of friends and the famous who passed on. While i tried to keep up by posting obits here, there were long stretches where i utterly failed. So there were some surprises on the list. I've come to that time in life too where many of those who influenced me in my growth, and thus were at least a little bit older, are beginning to pass on in numbers. So while i would have said that it was an especially morbid year, maybe that's just a function of the times for me.

While i'm here let me deal with a pet peeve. While it's one thing for an end-of-the-year best music or movies list to come out well before the end of the year, it's a whole different issue in other categories. These lists tend to come out just before Christmas, over a week before the actual end of the year. And so a list of those who passed on (the one i relied on came out Christmas Eve) often miss important deaths, ones which then aren't picked up on the following year. This year, there were three major deaths that would have featured prominently in any list, had it come out at the actual end of the year -- James Brown, Gerald Ford and Saddam Hussein. How silly is it to have such a list missing those three. And so what's the harm in issuing a list on New Year's Day?

Anyway, here's my own personal list of folks, friends or otherwise, who i feel like had some kind of impact on my life, however distant or indirect. R.I.P.

Wilson Pickett, Al Lewis, Dennis Weaver, Don Knotts, Ali Farka Toure, Maureen Stapleton, Buck Owens, Katherine Dunham, Billy Preston, Syd Barrett, Red Buttons, Maynard Ferguson, Naguib Mahfouz, Oriana Fallaci, Eddie Albert, Jane Wyatt, William Styron, Ed Bradley, Jack Palance, Robert Altman, Robert Lockwood Jr, Peter Boyle, Ahmet Ertegun, James Brown, Lamar Hunt, Freddy Fender, Trinidad Sanchez Jr., Cody Brown

The 16th Circus of the Spineless is up at The force that through . . . Check it out here. Congrats to Paul DeCelles for another fine, fine version of our favorite blog anthology.

I will be posting my 2007 Worthy Award Winner shortly. These are organizations that i feel deserve greater support, that depend on public donations to function, and whose mission is to make the world in which we live better through cultural awareness, defending rights of the oppressed, or by education. I have given these awards out since 2000.

I hope to be doing some year end best of lists for film, theatre and music. And a synopsis of the year.

Because work and my film projects have been swamping me the last few months, i have a backlog of links and interesting tidbots that i'd like to post. Most of the cool links i get are swiped fromWill Femia's Clicked, the MSNBC blog. It's a great daily read.

This is an annual list of "Things We Didn't Know Last Year" from the UK. In addition to making some nods towards some great discoveries, it's worth a laugh now and then. Confusing is that one would think these are tidbits of NEW information. Some are not, some are merely things that came to widespread public light. To say "we" in the global sense didn't know these things before this year waaaay stratches the truth. For example: that the Lion in the Wizard of Oz's costume was made of real lion skins wasn't known until this year? How could we have not known since at least the time the costumes were made? Oh well.

Among the highlihgts are that: two and a half million households in the UK own rodents; and this tidbit that i'll use repeatedly in my never-ending battle for "bad" kids really being "good" kids: "Goths are likely to grow up to be doctors, lawyers or architects, the study by Sussex University says. They are refined and sensitive, keen on poetry and books, not big on drugs or anti-social behaviour. They are also likely to carry on being goths into their adult life. They have an ability to express their feelings and are believers in romance rather than one-night stands, it says. In fact, the only things dark about them are their clothing and their sarcastic sense of humour. " Amen.

The ever-scarier, ever-more-racist, ever-creepier NRA is at it again. I used to be a member. I think this is one of those things that comes back to haunt you later in life.

Curse of the Golden Flower

Rise of the Silver Surfer

Addicting Flash Games

History of Religion

Classic Jonny Lang -- Lie To Me

The kind of scared that hurts

The Lone Ranger rides again

The Best of Borat from Ali G

The worst album covers ever

The most disgusting, funniest video in fuuuuurever

Names of things you didn't know had names -- i actually knew seven of these.

Quite a few videos out there of this mountain bike kid, but i like this one best.

I look at a lot of music videos out there, and sometimes see amazing things. Here's a couple from the same kid. One. Two.

Cunningham Portal

Pencil Art

The greatest commercials of the 80s

The top ten viewed YouTube videos

The big execution has me baffled at how we are somehow supposed to see this as justice. If so, as the vegetable-in-chief has told us, then we have fooled ourselves more than i guessed. I don't hear any of the rejoicing that the media seems to be trying to incite. I see just another death, and more of our boys dead today, and no telling how long the list is of innocent Iraqis dead. And yet somehow we have brought justice to Iraq? As harsh as his reign may have been i fail to see how his hand could have done more damage to Iraq in the last three years than we have done by our own judicious hand. That to me is the central argument, not whether he was a tyrant, not whether we should win or abandon the country, not whether Iraq should or will accept democracy, but whether there are lives snuffed now that would have survived absent our intervention. Here's another view from inside the country.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #189

Charles Bryant got accepted to St. Edwards University! Great stuff kiddo . . .

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OBT: Gerald Ford

Mixed feelings here. In retrospect it's good to have Stevens aboard. And that likely would not have happened without Ford. Has a Republican, but a resolutely mild-mannered and cogitant one. His way, post-Nixon, was certainly a calming influence. But somehow in the back of my mind is this image of a buffoon (without the innate dangerousness of the current one) -- someone who didn't quite absorb the daily intensity of the job. In any case, sorry to see him go. He represents a time when the right truly was of a kinder, gentler nature.

Former President Ford dies
Former president took over during depths of Watergate scandal
The Associated Press, Updated: 7:26 a.m. CT Dec 27, 2006

LOS ANGELES - Gerald R. Ford, who picked up the pieces of Richard Nixon’s scandal-shattered White House as the 38th president and the only one never elected to nationwide office, has died. He was 93.

“My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather has passed away at 93 years of age,” former first lady Betty Ford said in a brief statement issued from her husband’s office in Rancho Mirage. “His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country.”

He died at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday at his home in Rancho Mirage, about 130 miles east of Los Angeles, his office said in a statement. No cause of death was released. Funeral arrangements were to be announced Wednesday.

He was the longest living president, followed by Ronald Reagan, who also died at 93.

“The American people will always admire Gerald Ford’s devotion to duty, his personal character and the honorable conduct of his administration,” President Bush said in a statement Tuesday night. “We mourn the loss of such a leader, and our 38th president will always have a special place in our nation’s memory.”

Ford had been living at his desert home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., about 130 miles east of Los Angeles.

“I was deeply saddened this evening when I heard of Jerry Ford’s death,” former first lady Nancy Reagan said in a statement. “Ronnie and I always considered him a dear friend and close political ally.

“His accomplishments and devotion to our country are vast, and even long after he left the presidency he made it a point to speak out on issues important to us all,” she said.

An accidental president
Ford was an accidental president, Nixon’s hand-picked successor, a man of much political experience who had never run on a national ticket. He was as open and straightforward as Nixon was tightly controlled and conspiratorial.

Minutes after Nixon resigned in disgrace over the Watergate scandal and flew into exile, Ford took office and famously declared: “Our long national nightmare is over.”

But he revived the Watergate debate a month later by granting Nixon a pardon for all crimes he committed as president. That single act, it was widely believed, cost Ford election to a term of his own in 1976, but it won praise in later years as a courageous act that allowed the nation to move on.

The Vietnam War ended in defeat for the U.S. during his presidency with the fall of Saigon in April 1975. In a speech as the end neared, Ford said: “Today, America can regain the sense of pride that existed before Vietnam. But it cannot be achieved by refighting a war that is finished as far as America is concerned.” Evoking Abraham Lincoln, he said it was time to “look forward to an agenda for the future, to unify, to bind up the nation’s wounds.”

Ford was the first unelected vice president, chosen by Nixon to replace Spiro Agnew, who also was forced from office by scandal.

He was in the White House only 895 days, but changed it more than it changed him.

Even after two women tried separately to kill him, the presidency of Jerry Ford remained open and plain.

After the Watergate ordeal, Americans liked their new president — and first lady Betty, whose candor charmed the country.

She remained one of the country’s most admired women even after the Fords left the White House when she was hospitalized in 1978 and said she had become addicted to drugs and alcohol she took for painful arthritis and a pinched nerve in her neck. Four years later she founded the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, a substance abuse facility next to Eisenhower Medical Center.

Unassuming Jerry
It was rare that Ford was ever as eloquent as he was for those dramatic moments of his swearing-in at the White House.

“My fellow Americans,” he said, “our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works. Our great republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule.”

And, true to his reputation as unassuming Jerry, he added: “I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your president by your ballots. So I ask you to confirm me with your prayers.”

At a joint session after becoming president, Ford addressed members of Congress as “my former colleagues” and promised “communication, conciliation, compromise and cooperation.” But his relations with Congress did not always run smoothly.

He vetoed 66 bills in his barely two years as president. Congress overturned 12 Ford vetoes, more than for any president since Andrew Johnson.

In his memoir, “A Time to Heal,” Ford wrote, “When I was in the Congress myself, I thought it fulfilled its constitutional obligations in a very responsible way, but after I became president, my perspective changed.”

In the 1976 election, Ford survived an intraparty challenge from Ronald Reagan only to lose to Democrat Jimmy Carter. In the campaign, he ignored Carter’s record as governor of Georgia and concentrated on his own achievements as president.

Carter won 297 electoral votes to his 240. After Reagan came back to defeat Carter in 1980, the two former presidents became collaborators, working together on joint projects.

Controversial pardon
Some suggested the pardon was prearranged before Nixon resigned, but Ford, in an unusual appearance before a congressional committee in October 1974, said, “There was no deal, period, under no circumstances.” The committee dropped its investigation.

Ford’s standing in the polls dropped dramatically when he pardoned Nixon unconditionally. But an ABC News poll taken in 2002 in connection with the 30th anniversary of the Watergate break-in found that six in 10 said the pardon was the right thing to do.

The decision to pardon Nixon won Ford a John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2001, and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, acknowledging he had criticized Ford at the time, called the pardon “an extraordinary act of courage that historians recognize was truly in the national interest.”

He was undaunted even after the two attempts on his life in September 1975. Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a 26-year-old follower of Charles Manson, was arrested after she aimed a semiautomatic pistol at Ford on Sept. 5 in Sacramento, Calif. A Secret Service agent grabbed her and Ford was unhurt.

Seventeen days later, Sara Jane Moore, a 45-year-old political activist, was arrested in San Francisco after she fired a gun at the president. Again, Ford was unhurt.

Both women are serving life terms in federal prison.

Asked at a news conference to recite his accomplishments, Ford replied: “We have restored public confidence in the White House and in the executive branch of government.”

As to his failings, he responded, “I will leave that to my opponents. I don’t think there have been many.”

Pivotal events
Ford spent most of his boyhood in Grand Rapids, Mich.

He was born Leslie King on July 14, 1913, in Omaha, Neb. His parents were divorced when he was less than a year old, and his mother returned to her parents in Grand Rapids, where she later married Gerald R. Ford Sr. He adopted the boy and renamed him.

Ford played center on the University of Michigan’s 1932 and 1933 national champion football teams. He got professional offers from the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers, but chose to study law at Yale, working his way through as an assistant varsity football coach and freshman boxing coach.

Ford got his first exposure to national politics at Yale, working as a volunteer in Wendell L. Willkie’s 1940 Republican campaign for president. After World War II service with the Navy in the Pacific, he went back to practicing law in Grand Rapids and became active in Republican reform politics.

His stepfather was the local Republican chairman, and Michigan Sen. Arthur H. Vandenberg was looking for a fresh young internationalist to replace the area’s isolationist congressman.

Ford beat Rep. Bartel Jonkman by a 2-to-1 margin in the Republican primary and then went on to win the election with 60.5 percent of the vote, the lowest margin he ever got.

He had proposed to Elizabeth Bloomer, a dancer and fashion coordinator, earlier that year, 1948. She became one of his hardest-working campaigners and they were married shortly before the election. They had three sons, Michael, John, and Steven, and a daughter, Susan.

Ford was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 and concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #188

I remember doing some cogitating a year ago about how big quakes seem to routinely hit around Christmas with a couple day window. Well, this year's is here:
"Japan's Meteorogical Agency says an earthquake off Taiwan had a prelimarymagnitude of 7.2 and that a 3-foot high tsunami is headed for the east coast ofPhilippines, The Associated Press reports."

Saw Blood Diamond, Apocalypto and The Good Shepherd these holidays. Will try to catch some more, but these three should certainly be contenders for some awards. More soon i hope.

TED Prize 2007: The Winners
War photographer, James Nachtwey, one of the world's most prominent scientists, E.O. Wilson, and President William J. Clinton, are the winners of the 2007 TED Prize. Each recipient has been granted ONE WORLD-CHANGING WISH to be revealed at the 2007 TED conference, in Monterey, CA. Many members of the TED Community, and a group of world-class companies, have pledged support to help fulfill these wishes. Each winner will also receive $100,000 to be spent however they choose in support of their wishes.

James Nachtwey, Photojournalist
"I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated." James Nachtwey is one of the best-known and most highly regarded current photojournalists. In 1976 he started work as a newspaper photographer in New Mexico, and in 1980, he moved to New York to begin a career as a freelance magazine photographer. His first foreign assignment was to cover civil strife in Northern Ireland in 1981 during the IRA hunger strike. Since then, Nachtwey has devoted himself to documenting wars, conflicts and critical social issues. He has worked on extensive photographic essays in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, South Africa, Russia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Romania, Brazil and the United States. Nachtwey has been a contract photographer with Time Magazine since 1984. However, when certain stories he wanted to cover, Romanian orphanages and Somalian famine, garnered no interest from magazines he self-financed trips that resulted in the issues being taken up more widely by the media. He is known for getting up close to his subjects, or as he says, "in the same intimate space that the subjects inhabit," and he passes that sense of closeness on to the viewer. In putting himself in the middle of conflict, James' intention is to record the truth, to document the struggles of humanity, and with this, to wake people up and stir them to action.

Dr. E.O. Wilson, Biologist
"This planet can be a paradise in the 22nd century." One of the world's most distinguished scientists, E.O. Wilson is a university research professor and honorary curator in entomology at Harvard University. His most recent work has focused on drawing public attention to the impact human activity has had on life on the planet. His research includes evolutionary biology, the biology of social insects, the classification of ants, sociobiology, biogeography, and ethical philosophy. He was 13 when he discovered, in a vacant lot near the docks of Mobile, Alabama, the first known U.S. colonies of fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, invaders from Brazil and Argentina known in the South as "the ants from hell." He is most famous for the publication in 1975 of Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, a work of deep insight that advanced evolutionary thinking and proved a Darwinian manifesto, describing social behaviour from the ants to humans. It was also the work that threw Wilson into one of his biggest controversies, being accused of suggesting that some human beings are genetically superior to others. Another major contribution has been, with the physicist turned biologist Charles Lumsden, the idea of "gene-culture co-evolution". Essentially it describes how culture and genetics intertwine to create the complexity of human life, reaching for the biological roots of culture. Drawing from his deep knowledge of the earth's "little creatures" and his sense that their contribution to the planet's ecology is underappreciated, he produced what may be his most important book, The Diversity of Life. In it he describes how an intricately interconnected natural system is threatened by a man-made biodiversity crisis he calls the "sixth extinction" — the most devastating trauma since the extinction event that laid waste the dinosaurs and other creatures 65 million years ago. In it he notes that the 1.5 million species named so far by scientists represent only a tiny fraction of the tens of millions that may be out there. Wilson's prediction that 30 percent to 50 percent of all species would be extinct by the middle of the 21st century was meant to provokeand it did. With the human population expected to reach 9-10bn by the end of the century and the planet in the middle of its sixth mass extinction — this time due to human activity — the next few years are critical in maintaining anything near the current level of biodiversity. Wilson believes, "The two major challenges for the 21st century are to improve the economic situation of the majority and save as much of the planet as we can." With his most recent book, The Creation, he wants to put the differences of science-based explanations and faith-based explanations aside "to protect Earth's vanishing natural habitats and species — in other words, the Creation, however we believe it came into existence."

President William J. Clinton
"All of us have an unprecedented amount of power to solve problems, save lives and help see the future." Elected President of the United States in 1992, and again in 1996, President Clinton was the first Democratic president to be elected to a second term in six decades. Under President Clinton's leadership the United States enjoyed unprecedented peace and prosperity. After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. To achieve this, the Clinton Foundation is focused on four critical areas: health security, with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS; economic empowerment; leadership development and citizen service; and racial, ethnic and religious reconciliation. The Clinton Presidential Center, located in Little Rock, Arkansas, is comprised of the Library, the archives, Clinton Foundation offices and the Clinton School of Public Service. Following the 2002 Barcelona AIDS Conference, President Clinton began the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) to assist countries in implementing large-scale, integrated, care, treatment and prevention programs that will turn the tide on the epidemic. It partners with countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia to develop operational business plans to scale-up care and treatment. CHAI works with individual governments and provides them with technical assistance, human and financial resources, and know-how from the sharing of the best practices across projects. The ultimate objective in each of these countries is to scale up public health systems to ensure broad access to high-quality care and treatment. The Initiative's long-term goal is to develop replicable models for the scale-up of integrated programs in resource-poor settings. CHAI is currently bringing life-saving care and treatment to over a quarter of a million people around the world and over 60 countries have access to CHAI's drug and testing prices. In September 2006, President Clinton hosted the second annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, which is a non-partisan catalyst for action, bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges, including poverty, climate change, global health, and religious and racial conflict. In its two years of existence, the Clinton Global Initaitive has generated over $10 billion in commitments to improve the lives of people living on 6 continents.

TED Prize 2006: Winners
Dr. Lawrence Brilliant: Medical doctor, epidemiologist, technologist, activist, author who is healing the world
Jehane Noujaim: Filmmaker documenting her search for truth
Cameron Sinclair: Architect solving global, social, and humanitarian crises with design
Read more about the Ted Prize 2006 winners >

TED Prize 2005: Winners
Bono: Musician whose activism has changed lives across the world
Edward Burtynsky: Photo-Artist revealing humankind's impact on the environment
Robert Fischell: Inventor who has saved countless lives
Read more about the Ted Prize 2005 winners >

TED Prize Supporters
The TED Prize Honorary Advisory Committee is made up of:
Jeff Bezos, head of
Eve Ensler, writer of "The Vagina Monologues"
Herbie Hancock, jazz legend
Goldie Hawn, Oscar-winning actress
Shashi Tharoor, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communication
The Prize has generated offers of support from major companies including: Sun; Kleiner Perkins; Google; IDEO; GE; and Viewpoint, among others.

The original group of TEDsters who joined the Sapling Foundation in brainstorming the TED Prize program was:
Juan Enriquez, Author, Futurist
Tony Hoeber, Director, Dalai Lama Foundation
Roger Mandle, President, Rhode Island School of Design
Rachel Newton Bellow, Consultant on Philanthropic Strategy
Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO, Acumen Fund
Jay Walker, CEO, Walker Digital

The New York-based sculptor Tom Shannon has created the physical awards to be presented to the winners.

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Monday, December 25, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #187

2006 All-Hill Country Football Team

Congrats to these kids i know and work with:

First Team Offense
P: Wade King, ITM — Called up from JV before the fifth game of the season, King averaged 38 yards per punt and had seven punts downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Also a quarterback, King was named to 25-3A’s first team.

Second Team Offense
OL: Victor Carrillo, ITM
OL: Irec Hargrove, ITM

Honorable Mention
ITM: Kyle Kimmey, DL; Tyler Brown, DB.

Not on the list but deserving mention is Peter Navarra, who was most of the offense and defense for Our Lady of the Hills in their inaugural year. He didn't make it to the end of the season and was thus not considered. Nevertheless he was a machine while he was there.

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OBT: James Brown

He sure knew something about making grand exits . . .

Legendary Singer James Brown Dies at 73
'Godfather of Soul' James Brown, Whose Singing and Dancing Inspired Generations, Dies at 73
By GREG BLUESTEIN, The Associated Press

ATLANTA - James Brown, the dynamic, pompadoured "Godfather of Soul," whose revolutionary rhythms, rough voice and flashing footwork influenced generations of musicians from rock to rap, died early Christmas morning. He was 73.

Brown was hospitalized with pneumonia at Emory Crawford Long Hospital on Sunday and died of conjunctive heart failure around 1:45 a.m. Monday, said his agent, Frank Copsidas of Intrigue Music.

He initially seemed fine at the hospital and even told people that he planned to be on stage in New York on New Year's Eve, Copsidas said.

Brown was one of the major musical influences of the past 50 years. From Mick Jagger to Michael Jackson, David Bowie to Public Enemy, Brown's rapid-footed dancing, hard-charging beats and heartfelt yet often unintelligible vocals changed the musical landscape. He was to rhythm and dance music what Bob Dylan was to lyrics.

"He was an innovator, he was an emancipator, he was an originator. Rap music, all that stuff came from James Brown," entertainer Little Richard, a longtime friend of Brown's, told MSNBC.

"James Brown changed music," said Rev. Al Sharpton, who toured with him in the 1970s and imitates his hairstyle to this day.

"He made soul music a world music," Sharpton said. "What James Brown was to music in terms of soul and hip-hop, rap, all of that, is what Bach was to classical music. This is a guy who literally changed the music industry. He put everybody on a different beat, a different style of music. He pioneered it."

Brown's classic singles include "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag," "(Get Up I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine," "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "Say It Loud I'm Black and I'm Proud," a landmark 1968 statement of racial pride.

"I clearly remember we were calling ourselves colored, and after the song, we were calling ourselves black," Brown told The Associated Press in 2003. "The song showed even people to that day that lyrics and music and a song can change society."

He won a Grammy for lifetime achievement in 1992, as well as Grammys in 1965 for "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" (best R&B recording) and for "Living In America" in 1987 (best R&B vocal performance, male.) He was one of the initial artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, along with Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and other founding fathers.

Brown, who lived in Beech Island, S.C., near the Georgia line, triumphed despite a turbulent personal life and charges of abusing drugs and alcohol. After a widely publicized, drug-fueled confrontation with police in 1988 that ended in an interstate car chase, Brown spent more than two years in prison for aggravated assault and failing to stop for a police officer.

From the 1950s, when Brown had his first R&B hit, "Please, Please, Please" in 1956, through the mid-1970s, Brown went on a frenzy of cross-country tours, concerts and new songs. He earned the nickname "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business" and often tried to prove it to his fans, said Jay Ross, his lawyer of 15 years.

Brown's stage act was as memorable, and as imitated, as his records, with his twirls and spins and flowing cape, his repeated faints to the floor at the end as band members tried in vain to get him to leave the stage.

His "Live at The Apollo" in 1962 is widely considered one of the greatest concert records ever. And he often talked of the 1964 concert in which organizers made the mistake of having the Rolling Stones, not him, close the bill. He would remember a terrified Mick Jagger waiting offstage, chain smoking, as Brown pulled off his matchless show.

"To this day, there has been no one near as funky. No one's coming even close," rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy once told the AP.

Brown routinely lost two or three pounds each time he performed and kept his furious concert schedule in his later years even as he fought prostate cancer, Ross said.

With his tight pants, shimmering feet, eye makeup and outrageous hair, Brown set the stage for younger stars such as Michael Jackson and Prince. And the early rap generation overwhelmingly sampled his music and voice as they laid the foundation of hip-hop culture.

"Disco is James Brown, hip-hop is James Brown, rap is James Brown; you know what I'm saying? You hear all the rappers, 90 percent of their music is me," Brown told The AP in 2003.

Born in poverty in Barnwell, S.C., in 1933, Brown was abandoned as a 4 year old to the care of relatives and friends. He grew up on the streets of Augusta, Ga., in an "ill-repute area," as he once called it, where he learned how to hustle to survive.

"I wanted to be somebody," Brown said.

By the eighth grade in 1949, Brown had served 3 1/2 years in Alto Reform School near Toccoa, Ga., for breaking into cars. While there, he met Bobby Byrd, whose family took Brown into their home. Byrd also took Brown into his group, the Gospel Starlighters. Soon they changed their name to the Famous Flames and their style to hard R&B.

In January 1956, King Records of Cincinnati signed the group, and four months later "Please, Please, Please" was in the R&B Top Ten.

Pete Allman, a radio personality in Las Vegas who had been friends with Brown for 15 years, credited Brown with jump-starting his career and motivating him personally and professionally.

"He was a very positive person. There was no question he was the hardest working man in show business," Allman said. "I remember Mr. Brown as someone who always motivated me, got me reading the Bible."

While most of Brown's life was glitz and glitter he was the manic preacher in 1980's "The Blues Brothers" he was plagued with charges of abusing drugs and alcohol and of hitting his third wife, Adrienne.

In September 1988, Brown, high on PCP and carrying a shotgun, entered an insurance seminar next to his Augusta office. Police said he asked seminar participants if they were using his private restroom. Police chased Brown for a half-hour from Augusta into South Carolina and back to Georgia. The chase ended when police shot out the tires of his truck.

Brown received a six-year prison sentence. He spent 15 months in a South Carolina prison and 10 months in a work release program before being paroled in February 1991. In 2003, the South Carolina parole board granted him a pardon for his crimes in that state.

Soon after his release, Brown was on stage again with an audience that included millions of cable television viewers nationwide who watched the three-hour, pay-per-view concert at Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles.

Adrienne Brown died in 1996 in Los Angeles at age 47. She took PCP and several prescription drugs while she had a bad heart and was weak from cosmetic surgery two days earlier, the coroner said.

More recently, he married his fourth wife, Tomi Raye Hynie, one of his backup singers. The couple had a son, James Jr.

Two years later, Brown spent a week in a private Columbia hospital, recovering from what his agent said was dependency on painkillers. Brown's attorney, Albert "Buddy" Dallas, said the singer was exhausted from six years of road shows.

Brown was performing to the end, and giving back to his community.

Three days before his death, he joined volunteers at his annual toy giveaway in Augusta, and he planned to perform on New Year's Eve at B.B. King Blues Club in New York.

"He was dramatic to the end dying on Christmas Day," said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a friend of Brown's since 1955. "Almost a dramatic, poetic moment. He'll be all over the news all over the world today. He would have it no other way."

Brown is survived by at least four children two daughters and sons Daryl and James Brown III, Copsidas said. Friends were making flight arrangements Monday to come to Atlanta to determine how to memorialize Brown, Copsidas said.

Associated Press writers Hillel Italie in New York and Harry R. Weber in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #186

Busy week! Perhaps you noticed. Merry Christmas anyway!

First, my buddy and cohort Greg Moses, editor of the The Texas Civil Rights Review is on top of an astounding story of injustice, uglier because of the season. Check it out here.

Having a popular blog that deals with music and film means having to wade through lots of requests to look at other blogs and sites. These days the great majority of these are spam blogs -- sites set up with a tiny bit of information that may be interesting, butthen are crammed with ads to lure folks into clicking to a site, which in turn earns someone a penny or two. Pretty ridiculous, except that the pennies turn into big bucks if you can throw enough garbage out there, and thus the thousands of these garbage sites (boo greed).

Anyway, there's still the occasional payoff for trudging through the muck. Someone occasionally has something great to offer -- in my case, it's someone with a new band creating great new music, or someone making superb little films -- and so i look at every email or post to see where the little gems lay. Thank goodness there are folks who will plug along and make an effort to search out email adds to get the word out. It's truly the best thing out there about the internet, this allowing for the blossoming of creative talent without the burdens of industrial constraints (thank you MySpace and YouTube for persevering amongst the negative media crap).

Okay that was a long rant to tell you about one of those gems. A couple weeks ago i got an email from someone named Chris, who has a band. I don't know if he knows me, or just found my blog and emailed me, or used my list of favorite bands to figure i might listen to them, or what the connection is, but i'm thankful he turned me onto his band Once Just. You can check them out here. And here. And here.

Here's some highlights of the week that was, and maybe shouldn't have been:
Let's start with a taste of Idiot Night at Wendy's. After waiting way too long for the several people in front of me to get served, and finally making my way to the counter, i find out what all the delay was about. There are two people working the same cash register -- a teenage boy and a middle-aged woman. The scenario looks, superficially, like a manager training a new employee.

Them: Can i help you?

Me: I'd like a Large Chili, a Large Coke, and a Large Vanilla Frosty.

They look around on the cash register for a few seconds and finally find and punch a key. This is a cooperative, if counterproductive, effort.

Him: Would you like cheese with that?

Me: Yes, please.

They look around on the cash register for a few seconds and finally find and punch a key. This is a cooperative, if counterproductive, effort.

Her: What size would you like?

Me: A large, please, and a Large Coke, and a Large Vanilla Frosty, they're all larges. (You may notice my emphasis on Vanilla. That's because until recently Frostys only came in chocolate, and i didn't want any assumptions made about my choice.)

They look around on the cash register for a few seconds and finally find and punch a key. This is a cooperative, if counterproductive, effort.

Her: Would you like something to drink with that?

Me: In addition to what i just told you, or do you mean the Large Coke i already told you about? And the Large Vanilla Frosty?

Him: A Coke? What size would you like?

Me: Large.

They look around on the cash register for a few seconds and finally find and punch a key. This is a cooperative, if counterproductive, effort.

Her: Did you want anything else?

Me: Did you get the Large Vanilla Frosty?

They look around on the cash register for a few seconds and finally find and punch a key. This is a cooperative, if counterproductive, effort.

Him: What flavor would you like?


They look around on the cash register for a few seconds and finally find and punch a key. This is a cooperative, if counterproductive, effort.

Him: Would you like something to drink with that?

Me: No, i'll take it powdered.

They look around on the cash register for a few seconds and don't find a key for that. This is a cooperative, if counterproductive, effort.

Them: {Deer-in-the-headlights look.}

Me. Never mind, that'll be all.

They look around on the cash register for a few seconds and finally find and punch a key. This is a cooperative, if counterproductive, effort.

Her: Is that for here or to go.

Me: I'm escaping the second you hand it to me.

Them: {Deer-in-the-headlights look.}

Me: To go.

P.s. they put extra onions in the chili without asking. If you get the dynamic duo, and you don't want the onions, you oughta let them know first thing.

Where did all these people come from? I think there must be hundreds, thousands, of people in this little burg who only come out of their holes once a year. Evidence? A) traffic jams at times and places where i've never before seen another vehicle, and b) none of them know how to drive. Why is it that at the one time of year when everyone should be hyperconscious of the cars around them (because of A & B above) that they all become zombies. I usually shop late at night to avoid the usual idiots, but there's no escaping them now. I want to make it clear this is the only reason i don't like the holidays.

Enough of that.

I'm still laughing, trying to figure out how CB got Eric Clapton and Tracy Chapman confused.

It's been a big couple weeks for film work, as i've finally wound down several projects. Produced highlights films for William Lawson and Charles Bryant, finished the Summer Concert dvd, and am about halfway done with the Forgiven music video for Jacob Favela. Lots of studio time lately also, working on mine, the Children's Music Project, and Charles' CDs, and a couple more of those projects coming up. Hope to have dvds ready soon for Virginia Woolf, Charlie Brown and Lend Me A Tenor among others. Maybe will get some more filming in this week for Diogenes. And The Extra Mile project is in view at the end of the tunnel.

Cirque Du Soleil back in Texas!
In February, Corteo cast and crew will head to one of our all time favorite destinations: the lone-star state of Texas! Even though the hustle and bustle of the holidays is upon us, I just wanted to remind you that performances in Dallas begin as of February 9 under the Grand Chapiteau at Fair Park. Performances in Houston begin as of March 22 at the Sam Houston Race Park.

I've been keeping an eye on the production crew for the movie Coldwater, about a kids' boot camp. You know the drill. Anyway, the crew is responsible for another recent produced flick. Here's news about that one:
Just wanted to drop a note about our film Down the P.C.H. (brought to you by many of the original Coldwater team). PCH, as we call it, stars Coldwater co-writer Vincent Grashaw and was written & directed by yours truly. It also stars Guillermo Diaz (HalfBaked, Chappelle's Show), Elaine Hendrix (The Parent Trap, Superstar), Lin Shaye (There's Something About Mary, Snakes on a Plane), MichaelCavanaugh (All the King's Men, Collateral Damage), Richard Riehle (Office Space, Lethal Weapon 4) and a supporting cast of very talented actors. PCH is scheduled to be released on DVD in stores in March of '07! If you'd like to see the preview trailer and learn more about the film, visit us at: or

I think i forgot to post that the new I and the Bird is up. Here's the details:
The newest edition of I and the Bird has me feeling fairly sentimental. Blame it on Duncan, the estimable host of this superb installment. I've been after the proprietor of Ben Cruachan Blog to host IATB for some time now, since the very beginning, in fact. Duncan was a part of the very first I and the Bird and has been an integral part of our community ever since, one whose continuing participation confirms that this carnival is representative of the best bird blogging from around the world. Can you tell how much I like this guy? Anyway, as I was saying, I've been subtly prodding Duncan to host IATB for a long, long time, though my entreaties probably lost any semblance of subtlety months ago. Why was so important? I and the Bird emerged only when the number of gifted writers, photographers, and naturalists establishing bird-themed blogs seemed great enough to sustain it. Knowing that even Australia could produce such a genuine, distinctive voice (and now so many more!) made it very easy to pull the trigger, as they say. So, it is not only fitting but entirely fair that Duncan finally host the carnival that he had an unwitting role in initiating and an entirely witting, or shall I say willing role in maintaining. Of course, he did not disappoint. Enjoy Duncan's superb presentation of I and the Bird #38! We've got something very special here and want you to be a part of it. The last I and the Bird of 2006 will be hosted by Kevin of NaturalVisions on December 28. Send a link and summary to your best blog post on birding or wild birds to me or Kevin (kevin AT naturalvisionsphoto DOT com) by December 26. Oh, and Happy Holidays!

From Soccer America
Walk-on Estrada is Men's Freshman of the Year
Before the 2006 season, UCLA's incoming class was ranked as the nation's best, but it wasn't because of Soccer America Men's Freshman of the Year David Estrada.

In an incoming class that featured three U.S. U-17 residency standouts -- Kyle Nakazawa, Michael Stephens and Bryan Perk -- Estrada was an afterthought.

He was a walk-on from a small high school in Salinas, Calif., located in the agricultural heartland of Northern California. He scored 66 goals in his senior season -- most in the country -- at Alisal High School -- including 11 in one game, the second-most in state history -- but attracted scholarship offers from only two Division I schools. After a cousin contacted the UCLA staff, Estrada was signed as a walk-on, but he quickly became in integral part of the Bruin attack. First, star Kamani Hill didn't return to school for his junior year -- he eventually signed a contract with German club Wolfsburg -- then leading scorer Maxwell Griffin was lost for the season with a knee injury.

With Nakazawa at his side, the Mexican-born Estrada was sensational in the NCAA Tournament. He scored two goals to lead the Bruins past Clemson, 3-0, in the third round, and he scored the first two goals -- the first on a one-two with Nakazawa and a fancy dance through the Virginia defense -- in UCLA's 4-0 demolition of Virginia in the semifinals.

Estrada finished with 12 goals -- 11 after becoming a starter in early October -- and 28 points -- the most by a UCLA freshman since Joe-Max Moore in 1990.

Soccer America Men's Freshman of the Year
David Estrada (UCLA)

Soccer America Men's All-Freshmen
F Andre Akpan (Harvard)
D Nick Cardenas (San Diego State)
F David Estrada (UCLA)
M Michael Farfan (Cal State Fullerton)
M Jeremy Hall (Maryland)
G Sean Kelley (George Mason)
M Stephen McCarthy (Santa Clara)
F Kyle Nakazawa (UCLA)
F Ryan Soroka (St. John's)
D Bakary Soumare (Virginia)
F Darren Yeagle (Indiana)

G Jovan Bubonja (UIC)
D Greg Eckhardt (Clemson)
D Omar Gonzalez (Maryland)
M Ciaran O'Brien (San Diego)
D Ofori Sarkodie (Indiana)
F Zack Schilawski (Wake Forest)
D Chris Schuler (Creighton)
M Toni Stahl (Connecticut)
M Michael Stephens (UCLA)
M Jonathan Villanueva (Virginia)
D Rob Viviano (Saint Louis)

Weissenhofer is Women's Freshman of the Year
It was an exceptional crop of freshmen in women's college soccer, featuring four players -- North Carolina's Tobin Heath and Casey Nogueira, UCLA's Lauren Cheney and Stanford's Kelley O'Hara -- who missed the first two weeks of the 2006 season to represent the USA at the U-20 Women's World Championship and returned to earn All-Freshman honors.

But the 2006 Freshman of the Year was Notre Dame's Michele Weissenhofer, who got a quick start on the competition, scoring twice in her collegiate debut in late August. She came to South Bend with the reputation for having a deadly flip throw-in, but she was equally talented as a scorer and setup player.

"We've seen Michele enough times in her club and her high school seasons that we knew she could score goals," said Randy Waldrum after Weissenhofer's debut.

The former Eclipse Select star scored in three of the Irish's first four NCAA Tournament games -- including three goals in 12 minutes against Penn State in the quarterfinals -- and finished with 18 goals and 17 assists for 53 points, second in the nation only to teammate Kerri Hanks.

Weissenhofer's quick adjustment to college was in part due to her decision to enroll for the summer semester at Notre Dame. Her great understanding with Brittany Bock, the third member of the Irish attack, stemmed from their long association as teammates dating back to the third grade in Naperville, Ill.

Soccer America Women's Freshman of the Year

Michele Weissenhofer (Notre Dame)

Soccer America Women's All-Freshmen

G Kristin Arnold (Texas A&M)
F Kiki Bosio (Santa Clara)
F Lauren Cheney (UCLA)
F Gina DiMartino (Boston College)
F Michelle Enyeart (Portland)
D Kristi Eveland (North Carolina)
M Tobin Heath (North Carolina)
F Nikki Marshall (Colorado)
M Casey Nogueira (North Carolina)
F Kelley O'Hara (Stanford)
F Michele Weissenhofer (Notre Dame)

F Emily Beans (Colorado College)
D Kelly Eagan (Villanova)
D Becky Edwards (Florida State)
F Whitney Engen (North Carolina)
D Lauren Hyde (Florida)
F Giuleana Lopez (Kentucky)
D Shelly Moeller (Navy)
G Alyssa Naeher (Penn State)
F Chichi Nweke (Illinois)
M Katie Vogel (Clemson)
M Nikki Washington (North Carolina)

MARYLAND: Seitz and Edu turn pro
Goalkeeper Chris Seitz, a 2006 Soccer America Men's MVP, and Maurice Edu, a 2006 first-team NSCAA All-America midfielder, will forego their remaining eligibility at Maryland to pursue pro opportunities.

The 6-foot-4 Seitz, who is currently training with the U.S. U-20 national team, is considered one of the top goalie prospects to come along in recent years. Seitz finished his Maryland career with a career goals-against average of 0.77, the best ever by a Terp keeper.

"He has all of the tools to become a great goalkeeper and a fixture with the U.S. national team," said Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski.

Edu, one of college soccer's top defensive midfielders, finished his three-year career with 10 goals and 11 assists.

"Maurice Edu is an extremely special young man," said Cirovski. "The level of interest in his ability from both Major League Soccer and European teams has become extremely intense."

Both Seitz and Edu are Californians and started on Maryland's 2005 national championship team.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Rijsbergen eyes U.S. talent
Trinidad & Tobago coach Wim Rijsbergen called up seven collegians among 41 players picked to attend a training camp Dec. 18-22 in preparation for the 2007 CFU Digicel Cup T&T will host in January.

Rijsbergen, the former Dutch World Cup star and New York Cosmos defender, recently held a four-day camp in Charleston, S.C., to look at Trinidadians and Americans of Trinidadian descent playing in U.S. colleges and high schools. Among the invitees were former U.S. U-20 Randi Patterson, a two-time All-American at UNC Greensboro, American University's Tremaine Chinapoo, son of former Cosmos Richard Chinapoo, and New Jersey schoolboy star Kyle Bethel.

Osei Telesford (Liberty)
Darryl Roberts (Liberty)
Darren Toby (College of Charleston)
Keeron Benito (Tampa)
Terrence Williams (Lipscomb)
Abiola Clarence (Incarnate Word)
Makan Hislop (South Carolina)

SMALL COLLEGES: NSCAA/adidas All-America Teams
NCAA Division II Men
Ft. Lewis star John Cunliffe picked up his third All-America award. Cunliffe was one of four Englishmen to earn first-team honors along with defender Leon Jackson (Lynn), midfielder Thomas Beattie (Limestone) and forward Nick Cooke (Lander). Six other Englishmen earned second- or third-team honors.

NCAA Division II Women
Kylee Hanavan of champion Metro State and Nebraska-Omaha's Elizabeth McGill won All-America honors for the third time.

NCAA Division III Men
Messiah junior Kai Kasiguran made it three straight years of All-America honors to go along with three national championships.

NCAA Division III Women
Oneonta State junior Mary Velan, a third-team pick, earned honors for the third time. First-team selections Ashley Van Vechten (Rochester), Kelly Donnelly (Virginia Wesleyan) and Laura Koontz (Wheaton, Ill.) were among six players to earn their second citation.

Burkinabe forward Dominique Nayaga (Southern Nazarene) received All-America honors for the third time. Players from 15 countries were chosen.

NAIA Women
Champion Lindsey Wilson had six players earn All-America honors: seniors Rowena Alsena and Hishamar Falconer and freshmen Yolanda Hamilton, Omolyn Davis, Kristine Pedersen and Lisbeth Skjodt. Falconer, Hamilton and Davis all started for Jamaica at the Gold Cup.

JUNIOR COLLEGES: NSCAA/adidas All-America Teams
JC Division I Men

NJCAA D1 champion Jefferson of Missouri had a pair of Floridians -- first-team freshman forward Claudio Dantas (Deerfield Beach) and second-team sophomore defender Stanley Mathurin (Delray Beach) -- earn honors.

JC Division I Women
Sophomore midfielders Aline Pugliesi and Megan Bruso, both first-team selections, were among three players from NJCAA D1 champion Young Harris to earn All-America honors. The NJCAA D1 Tournament MVP Danila Monterro was a second-team selection. Pugliesi and Monterro are Brazilians.

JC Division III Men
NJCAA D3 champion Richland placed freshman forward Albert Rodriguez on the first team and sophomore goalkeeper Raul Herrera on the second team.

JC Division III Women
which also won the NJCAA D3 women's title, had three All-America picks: freshman Karina Davila on the first team and Courtney Bishop and Traci Gibbs on the second team.

MISSING HIKERS: Hope dims for former UConn star
Hope dimmed Wednesday night for Brian Hall, a University of Connecticut and Dallas Rockets goalie, and another climber missing on Oregon's Mount Hood for 10 days. The body of a third hiker, Kelly James, was found.The ground search for the 37-year-old Hall and Jerry "Nikko" Cooke was reportedly scaled back because of dangerous conditions. Hall played four seasons (1986-88, 1990) on a soccer scholarship and one year on the basketball team as a walk-on while at UConn."He was such a physical specimen," former UConn coach Joe Morrone told the Hartford Courant. "He was like an Adonis. Just a strong, strong kid. And, remember, in those days, we didn't have the strength and conditioning programs that they have today. Nor did we have the equipment. So we emphasized it as much as we could, especially in the offseason. And he did a great job with that."Hall's former UConn colleagues insisted that if anyone could beat the odds on Mount Hodd, it was Hall."If anybody can get through this, he can," former UConn assistant Eric Swallow told WTNH News. "He was that kind of guy, and I look at him as somebody who was a warrior, who was a survivor."Hall, a personal trainer in Dallas, and James are feared to have been swept off Mount Hood in bad weather.

YOUTH: NSCAA/adidas All-America Teams
The following are the 2006 NSCAA/adidas Youth All-America Teams:
Andrew Adlard (New Berlin, Wis.), Jose Altimorano (San Diego, Calif.), Steven Amaya (New York, N.Y.), Anthony Ampaipitakwong (Carrollton, Texas), Bryan Arguez (Miami, Fla.), Matt Armstrong (Phoenix, Ariz.), Sam Arthur (Roswell, Ga.), Edgar Barajas (Pacoima, Calif.), Daniel Barrera (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Corben Bone (Plano, Texas), Cameron Brown (Garland, Texas), Brandon Bumpas (Denver, Colo.), Teal Bunbury (Prior Lake, Minn.), Christian Camacho (Woodside, N.Y.), Scott Caldwell (Braintree, Mass.), Eric Cava (Clarks Summit, Pa.), Victor Cortez (El Sobrante, Calif.), Kyle Davies (Danville, Calif.), Alex Dixon (Humble, Texas), Bryan Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Andrew Duran (Mokena Ill.), Doug Ferner (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Ryan Finley (Lumberton, N.J.), Kaoru Forbess (Benton, Ark.), Greg Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Colin Givens (Troy, Mich.), Jose Gonzalez (Soquel, Calif.), Joseph Goodwin (Raleigh, N.C.), Ryan Gracia (Rockville, Md.), Cole Grossman (St. Louis, Mo.), Austin Guerrero (Chula Vista, Calif.).Kevin Huang (Potomac, Md.), Christian Ibeagha (Edmond, Okla.), Abdus Ibrahim (Richfield, Minn.), Clint Irwin (Charlotte, N.C.), Larry Jackson (East Palo Alto, Calif.), Jarred Jeffrey (Richardson, Texas), Ian Kalis (Plano, Texas), Brendan King (Naperville, Ill.), Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wis.), Cam Lamming (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), Jeffrey Leach (New Canaan, Conn.), Brandon Lee (Tenafly, N.J.), Axel Levry (Ft. Washington, Md.), Zack MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Eber Martinez (Dale City, Va.), Raphael Martinez (Portage, Ind.), Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.), David Meves (Arlington Heights, Ill.), Thomas Meyer (St. Louis, Mo.), Chris Miller (Garland, Texas), Nick Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), T.J. Nelson (Garland, Texas), Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.), Luke Norman (Rochester, Mich.), Vincent Ocampo (San Diego, Calif.), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Jesse Paredes (Los Angeles, Calif.), Davis Paul (Upland, Calif.), Aubrey Perry (Ocoee, Fla.), Sam Redmond (Arden, N.C.), Daniel Rodriguez (Oxnard, Calif.). Kofi Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Israel Sesay (Gaithersburg, Md.), Dane Shea (College Station, Texas), Nicholas Sih (Horsham, Pa.), John Tardy (Staten Island, N.Y.), Joshua Thiermann (Stoughton, Wis.), Ryan Thomas (Claremont, Calif.), Casey Townsend (Traverse City, Mich.), Howard Turk (Fairfax, Va.), Kirk Urso (Lombard, Ill.), Matt Uy (New Hyde Park, N.Y.), Zarek Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Kenneth Walker (Wickliffe, Ohio), Bob Warshaw (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Victor Yanez (Riverside, Calif.), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.).

Lauren Alwine (Elizabethtown, Pa.), Shira Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Jessie Baddley (Ogden, Utah), Yewande Balogum (Bowie, Md.), Courtney Barg (Plano, Texas), Andrea Barklage (Lake St. Louis, Mo.), Lauren Barnes (Upland, Calif.), Julia Bouchelle (Cockeysville, Md.), Amber Brooks (New Hope, Pa.), Carly Butcher (Anchorage, Alaska), Amy Caldwell (Braintree, Mass.), Molly Campbell (Mission Hills, Kan.), Hannah Cerrone (Wappingers Fall, Mass.), Kelli Corless (Acworth, Ga.), Amanda DaCosta (Katonah, N.Y.), Bianca D'Agostino (Longmeadow (Mass.), Hailee DeYoung (Draper (Utah), Kylie Doniak, Chino Hills, Calif.), Kelly Dyer (Germantown, Tenn.), Emily Esbrook (Novi, Mich.), Amanda Fancher (The Colony State, Texas), Sinead Ferrelly (Havertown, Pa.), Meaghan Fitzgerald (Cincinnati, Ohio), Danielle Foxhoven (Littleton, Colo.), Katy Frierson (Homewood, Ala.), Brianna Garcia (Babylon, N.Y.), Rachel Givan (Ridgeland, Miss.), Hannah Gonzales (Greensboro (N.C.).Elizabeth Hanna (Waxhaw (N.C.), Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas), Bianca Henninger (Saratoga, Calif.), Laura Heyboer (Hudsonville, Mich.), Jordan Hilbrands (Bexley, Ohio), Emilie Huser (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Tori Huster (Cincinnati, Ohio), Mo Isom (Marietta, Ga.), Marissa Kazbour (Valrico, Fla.), Katie Kilmczak (Elk Grove, Ill.), Maggie Kistner (St. Louis, Mo.), Megan Klingenberg (Gibsonia, Pa.), Brooke Knowlton (Rexford, N.Y.), Danielle Kot (Brookfield, Wis.), Jordan Kussman (Lakewood, Wash.), Julie Lancos (Belford, N.J.), Jennifer Laponte (Castro Valley, Calif.), Molly Lester (Atlanta, Ga.), Camille Levin (Newport Coast, Calif.), Lindsi Lisonbee (Park City, Utah), Brittney MacDonald, Littleton, Colo.), Jillian Mastroiani (Durham, Conn.), Merritt Mathias (Birmingham, Ala.), Kathleen Matthew (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Tiffany McCarty (Laurel, Md.), Kristen Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Blake Miller (St. Peters, Mo.), Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar, Calif.), Christine Nairn (Bowie, Md.), Teresa Noyola (Palo Alto, Calif.), Megan Ohai (Draper, Utah), Michelle Oliver (Roswell, Ga.), Catherine Parkhill (Apple Valley, Minn.), Alyssa Pember (Northport, N.Y.), Emmalie Pfankuch (Fort Collins, Colo.), Ashley Rape (Dallas, Texas), Elli Reed (Park City, Utah), Mary Rachel Reynolds (Alpharetta, Ga.), Kacey Richards (Williamstown, N.J.), Brianna Rodriguez (Aurora, Ill.).Whitney Sharpe (West Des Moines, Iowa), Casey Short (Naperville, Ill.), Ella Stephan (Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.), Chelsea Stewart (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Lindsay Taylor (Los Altos, Calif.), Danielle Toney (Northville, Mich.), Allie Vernon (Homer Glen, Ill.), Ingrid Wells (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Beth West (Centennial, Colo.), Kylie Wright (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.).

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OBT: More Hunt and Ertegun

IN MEMORIAM: Lamar Hunt, a man of honor
By Ridge Mahoney, Senior Editor, Soccer America

The accolades and tributes you are reading in the aftermath of Lamar Hunt's death are incredible, staggering, almost incomprehensible. They suggest an entrepreneurial colossus, a gargantuan driven by ambition, burning with fervor, consumed by conquest.

Not so, not in the sense that a Jerry Jones or George Steinbrenner or Don King suck up all surrounding light as would a flesh-and-blood black hole, so obsessed they are with their own personas. Those paeans to Lamar are spiced with poignant anecdotes, slice-of-life stories, heartfelt homages to his gentleness, his dignity, his kindness. Money is power, but life is much more, and despite the billions he controlled - and the millions he lost, much of it in soccer -- after talking with Lamar you came away not dazzled or humbled, but buoyant, your spirit refreshed, your psyche renewed.

In that spirit I offer a few tales, while confessing that outside of my own family and circle of closest friends and colleagues, very few people have touched me as deeply as Lamar Hunt, and though our meetings were infrequent, I will miss him terribly.

'A MOMENT OF WEAKNESS.' He couldn't recall precisely which hotel he was in, or who called him, but he remembered vividly the phone call that first lured him into professional soccer.

A day earlier, a delayed broadcast of the 1966 World Cup final between England and West Germany had aired on American television. The drama, the pageantry, the passion, the patriotism, the historical and cultural impact of two warring nations meeting in a soccer match just 21 years later - it all deeply impressed him. As that phone call proved, in that regard he wasn't alone.

"A group of people, some baseball owners and some other people, were talking about starting a professional league in the United States," said Hunt. "Whoever was on the other end of the line asked me if I'd be interested, and in a moment of weakness, I said yes."

That moment of weakness would eventually cost him tens of millions of dollars. His stake in the United Soccer Association, the Dallas Tornado, morphed into a merger with a rival league, the National Professional Soccer League, after the leagues fought through a financially ruinous 1967 season. Out of the rubble emerged the North American Soccer League with 17 teams in 1968; a year later, only five were left. Investors bolted, Lamar stayed. While backing the Tornado, he propped up the league itself.

"A lot of people got out," he said. "Maybe they were smarter than me. But I'd made a commitment. I had to honor it."

Such loyalty was legendary. His entry into professional sports had come when he cobbled together enough businessmen to found the American Football League in 1960 after the NFL had twice denied his application to put a team in Dallas. Once it caught wind of the AFL, it tried to abort the new league by offering him a Dallas franchise, but he refused to abandon his new partners.

He did abandon Dallas, after the NFL Cowboys and AFL Texans had slugged it out for a few seasons. "I hated to leave, to disappoint so many people," he said. "It was a business decision."

Another business decision, pulling the plug on the Tornado, came in 1981. Three years later, the NASL folded. But when Alan Rothenberg began formulating plans for Major League Soccer a decade after the NASL's collapse, Lamar Hunt was first on board.

'DO YOU WANT A RIDE?' A day before Columbus Crew Stadium was to be christened with a match against New England, MLS officials were holding meetings at the downtown Adam's Mark Hotel. A tour of the stadium was scheduled for mid-afternoon and I stepped outside the hotel to get a taxi.

As I waited, the lobby doors opened behind me, and I heard a familiar voice politely ask the valet to fetch his car. I turned. It was Lamar. Alone. We chatted for a minute, during which time two other people came out of the hotel, and stood waiting.

Lamar's car pulled up. No limo, no chauffeur. A rental car. "Do you want a ride?" he asked me. I thanked him, and got in the passenger's side. As I did, he called out to the pair waiting, "Are you going to the stadium?" They nodded, and he said, "Well, come with us."

As we pulled away from the hotel, I asked if the meetings were finished. He laughed and said, "Oh no, it seems like they never end, but I have to be there for the tour, and anyway, any reason to leave a meeting is a good one."

He led the stadium tour as would a proud papa. He chatted amiably and enthusiastically about what it meant for MLS and soccer in America. Other billionaires erect monoliths that are in many ways extensions of themselves, Lamar talked about everybody and everything but himself.

Someone asked about a large rock, to be touched by Crew players for luck as they entered the field, nestled next to a walkway they would take from the locker room. Lamar launched into a discourse about the rock's probable origins and it's significance in the local topography. The detail was astonishing, the delivery concise.

Once a geology major at SMU, always a geology major.

'THIS IS NICE.' Three years later, on my way back to California after attending MLS Cup 2002 at brand-new Gillette Stadium, where the hometown Revs had lost to the Galaxy, 1-0, I flew to Columbus for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final.

Lamar, of course, hadn't lobbied for U.S. Soccer to put his name on its trophy. He was somewhat embarrassed by it. "I can assure you it wasn't my idea," he said.

I'd bumped into Lamar twice a few months earlier, at the 2002 World Cup. After a thunderous opening ceremony featuring thousands of mock soldiers waging mock battles, dancers and flag-wavers flooding the field in colorful waves, and drummers hammering a deafening din, he remarked drily "I thought it was a bit understated." Sense of humor, yes.

I saw him again at a U.S. game a few days later, an hour before kickoff, again by himself, just wandering, eyeing the scene outside the stadium, noting architecture and aesthetics, but just as intently observing how quickly and efficiently vehicles and fans and workers were moving. During the tournament, he would visit every one of the 20 stadiums that staged matches in South Korea and Japan. Since watching that 1966 final on television, he'd attended every World Cup except the 1978 tournament in Argentina.

I introduced him to my friend Eddie, whose profuse thanks for his vast contributions to soccer yielded modest thank-yous. Eddie asked him to pose for a picture. He graciously agreed. Eddie thanked him. Lamar thanked Eddie for traveling so far to support the American team.

The mood was rowdier four months later when he and his son, Clark, posed for pictures with jubilant Columbus players and coaches after they'd beaten Los Angeles, 1-0, in the Open Cup final. He was happy, but hardly giddy. As the group slowly dispersed, I congratulated him, then asked if his days as a third-string receiver at SMU perhaps spurred his love of the underdog and fascination with competitive sports and ultimately, winning.

"Well that was a long time ago, and really this is more about the players and coaches and staff and all their hard work. And our fans, they deserve it, too," he said.

Then he paused and looked around, at the vision of a stadium he transformed into reality, and at those fans -- adults and teenagers and children, clad in the team colors of yellow and black, who'd stayed and shivered in the damp cold to share the joy of a championship -- and at the trophy bearing his name, and added, "But I have to admit, this is nice."

A memorial service open to the public for Lamar Hunt takes place on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 1:00 pm CT at Moody Coliseum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Arrangements are being finalized for a follow-up memorial service in Kansas City.

OBITUARY: Ahmet Ertegun, Cosmos founder
Ahmet Ertegun, who along with his brother Nesuhi, was inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in 2003, died on Thursday at age 83.

The Erteguns founded the New York Cosmos, the USA's most famous soccer club, which, by bringing Pele and Franz Beckenbauer to the NASL popularized the sport in America. Ahmet was vice president of the Cosmos from 1971 to 1977 and president from 1978 to 1983.

Nesuhi died in 1989.

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ENV: Buggy Open House

Something for we buggy people:

RE: TAMU Insect Collection open house, January 13, 2007

You are cordially invited to the annual "open house" of the Texas A&M University Insect Collection to meet with others who share an interest in the study of Texas insects. This is the 19th consecutive annual meeting, and we hope to have another excellent gathering this year. Each year our meeting attracts a diverse group of people - professional and amateur - with a broad range of interests. There's no formal program, but it will be a chance to showoff new curiosities, catch up on the past year's news and collecting stories. Please feel free to invite newcomers who share our interest.

The event will be on Saturday, January 13th. The entire day will be spent at the Minnie Belle Heep Building (a.k.a., "the Heep Center”) [see link to map below]. Starting time will be around 9 to 10 AM. Meeting areas will be available on the 2nd floor of the atrium adjacent to the TAMU Insect Collection rooms (Room 216). Lunch will be on your own. The atrium meeting areas and the Texas A&M University Insect Collection will be open for the remainder of the afternoon.

Parking will be available in lot no. 67 on the east side of the building. No special permit is required for parking on Saturday.

All collections will be open for browsing as usual. If any of you would like uninterrupted "quality time" working in the collections, I suggest you arrive a day early or stay a day late. Please let me know in advance, and I will make arrangements for collection access on Friday evening and/or the following Sunday morning.

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If you are able please donate to this worthy cause here


ENV: Texas Ground Spiders

Ground Spider Diversity Studied in Research Project
Edith Chenault, Dec. 19, 2006

COLLEGE STATION – None of Takesha Henderson's discoveries are named Charlotte, but they are weaving a new chapter in Texas entomology. Her graduate studies at Texas A&M University have led to the discovery of 25 new spiders in Brazos County and one species found for the first time in Texas.

In research sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Henderson, who is earning a master's degree, has been studying ground spider diversity, distribution and abundance in the 515-acre Lick Creek Park south of College Station.

She has caught 1,000 specimens in 111 species over two years. The most common were several species of wolf spiders, she said.

A total of 989 species of spiders have been identified in Texas; 280 of these are found in Brazos County.

Henderson set out pitfall traps – made of plastic cups, funnels and animal-safe antifreeze – to collect the spiders. A variety of sites – including upland woods, post oak woodlands and an area disturbed by a high level of human activity – were chosen.

The collected samples are being identified and placed in the Texas A&M Insect Collection, department of entomology.

Dr. Marvin Harris, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station entomologist and chair of Henderson's master's committee, began working with her when she was an undergraduate.

"Takesha's work at Lick Creek Park is expanding our knowledge of this local natural resource and the role such habitats play in nature," Harris said. "This knowledge can enrich our human experience and can also be used in larger studies of biodiversity and production agriculture involving spiders."

For people who think the only good spider is a dead spider, Henderson has this to say: A diverse spider population signifies a healthy habitat.

Spiders "help maintain the balance of nature," said Dr. John Jackman, Texas Cooperative Extension entomologist in College Station, "They help keep a lid on the population of arthropods. They keep us from being covered up with everything else."

The spider inventory at Lick Creek will give researchers a baseline for further studies on biodiversity and the impact of humans on the environment, Henderson said.

Henderson's studies have allowed her to continue a childhood interest. She remembers being intrigued by insects and tarantulas when she was young. "My parents wondered why I liked eight-legged creatures," Henderson said. "Mom couldn't stand it at first."

But her parents allowed her to keep her collection as long as the tarantulas and spiders didn't get out into the house, she said.

As an undergraduate, Henderson took her parents, who lived in Brenham at the time, to some of her classes.

"Her enthusiasm for spiders was backed by the hard work required for her to become proficient in their identification and to study their biology," Harris said.

In all of her collecting and studies, Henderson has never been bitten, although she has had a skin irritation caused by a rosehair tarantula flicking off some of its abdominal hair, she said.

Henderson hopes her studies will be a stepping stone to a new career when she graduates in May. "There are few arachnologists," she said. "But that (knowledge) comes in handy when someone gets bitten or you have major spider problems."

The City of College Station has a long-term commitment to inventory the park, which has diverse plant and animal populations, for changes in habitat, she said. The park has areas for hiking, bird watching and horseback riding, and is one of the areas that has Navasota Ladies'-Tresses, an endangered orchid. More information on the park can be found at .

A free publication that describes common Texas spiders is available from the Extension Bookstore at . Click on "Insects" and then "Spiders."


Monday, December 18, 2006

OBT: Joe Barbera

Yogi Bear Creator Joe Barbera Dies at 95
Joe Barbera, Half of the Hanna-Barbera Team That Created Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear, Dies at 95
By SUE MANNING, The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Joe Barbera, half of the Hanna-Barbera animation team that produced such beloved cartoon characters as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear and the Flintstones, died Monday, a Warner Bros. spokesman said. He was 95.

Barbera died of natural causes at his home with his wife Sheila at his side, Warner Bros. spokesman Gary Miereanu said.

With his longtime partner, Bill Hanna, Barbera first found success creating the highly successful Tom and Jerry cartoons. The antics of the battling cat and mouse went on to win seven Academy Awards, more than any other series with the same characters.

The partners, who teamed up while working at MGM in the 1930s, then went on to a whole new realm of success in the 1960s with a witty series of animated TV comedies, including "The Flintstones," "The Jetsons," "Yogi Bear," "Scooby-Doo" and "Huckleberry Hound and Friends."

Their strengths melded perfectly, critic Leonard Maltin wrote in his book "Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons." Barbera brought the comic gags and skilled drawing, while Hanna brought warmth and a keen sense of timing.

"This writing-directing team may hold a record for producing consistently superior cartoons using the same characters year after year without a break or change in routine," Maltin wrote.

Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Barry Meyer called Hanna and Barbera's characters "not only animated superstars, but also a very beloved part of American pop culture."

The team's cartoons spanned "the Stone Age to the Space Age and from primetime to Saturday mornings, syndication and cable," Meyer said. "While he will be missed by his family and friends, (Barbera) will live on through his work."

Hanna, who died in 2001, once said he was never a good artist but his partner could "capture mood and expression in a quick sketch better than anyone I've ever known."

The two first teamed cat and mouse in the short "Puss Gets the Boot." It earned an Academy Award nomination, and MGM let the pair keep experimenting until the full-fledged Tom and Jerry characters eventually were born.

Jerry was borrowed for the mostly live-action musical "Anchors Aweigh," dancing with Gene Kelly in a scene that became a screen classic.

After MGM folded its animation department in the mid-1950s, Hanna and Barbera were forced to go into business for themselves. With television's sharply lower budgets, their new cartoons put more stress on verbal wit rather than the detailed and expensive action featured in theatrical cartoons.

Like "The Simpsons" three decades later, "The Flintstones" found success in prime-time TV by not limiting its reach to children. The program, a parody of "The Honeymooners," was among the 20 most popular shows on television during the 1960-61 season, and Fred's shout of "yabba dabba doo!" entered the language.

The Jetsons, which debuted in 1962, were the futuristic mirror image of the Flintstones.

"It was a family comedy with everyday situations and problems that we window-dressed with gimmicks and inventions," Barbera once said. "Our stories were such a contrast to many of the animated series that are straight destruction and blasting away for a solid half-hour."

The show ran just one season on network TV but was often rerun, and the characters were revived in the 1980s in a syndicated show. Barbera said he liked the freedom syndication gave the producers, with none of the meddling from network executives.

"Today, Charlie Chaplin couldn't get his material by a network," he once said.

Even so, the influence of Hanna-Barbera was felt for decades. In 2002 and again in 2004, characters from the cartoon series "Scooby-Doo" were brought to the big screen in films that combined live actors and animation.

Hanna-Barbera, meanwhile, received eight Emmys, including the Governors Award of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 1988.

"Joe Barbara was a passionate storyteller and a creative genius who, along with his late partner Bill Hanna, helped pioneer the world of animation," said friend, colleague and Warner animation President Sander Schwartz. "Joe's contributions to both the animation and television industries are without parallel he has been personally responsible for entertaining countless millions of viewers across the globe."

Neither Hanna, born in 1910, nor Barbera, born in 1911, set out to be cartoonists. Barbera, who grew up in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, originally went into banking. Soon, however, he turned his doodles into magazine cartoons and then into a job as an animator.

Hanna, who had studied engineering and journalism, originally went into animation because he needed a job.

Although not the hit factory it was in the '50s and '60s, the Hanna-Barbera studio remained active through the years. It eventually became a subsidiary of Great American Communications Co., and in 1991 it was purchased by a partnership including Turner Broadcasting System, which used the studio's library when it launched cable TV's Cartoon Network in 1992. Turner is now part of Time Warner.

Funeral arrangements were pending, Miereanu said. In addition to his wife, the animator is survived by three children from a previous marriage, Jayne, Neal and Lynn.

Associated Press Writer Polly Anderson in New York contributed to this report.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #185

Lapira is Soccer America Men's Player of the Year
For the second year in a row, the Soccer America Men's Player of the Year is a Louisianan.

Last year it was Maryland's Jason Garey from Gonzales, located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The 2006 recipient is Notre Dame junior Joseph Lapira, from Lake Charles in Acadiana.

Nicknamed the "Ragin' Cajun" by Irish coach Bobby Clark when he attended the Notre Dame soccer camp while in high school, Lapira played the 2006 season with a meniscus tear in his knee -- an injury suffered in Notre Dame's opening game against UAB -- but that didn't stop him from having a breakout season. He led the country in scoring with 22 goals and 50 points.

He put on one of the greatest performances by a visiting player in the long history of Indiana's Armstrong Stadium, scoring four goals in a 5-4 overtime win over the Hoosiers over Labor Day weekend.

In October, he went on a scoring tear that included two goals in five straight games and goals in seven games in a row.

Lapira's knee injury limited his practice time late in the season, but he had the two biggest goals of the season in the NCAA Tournament. He scored in the 1-0 victory over UIC in the second round and struck the golden goal that knocked off defending champion Maryland, 1-0, in the third round. The Irish's quarterfinal finish was the best in their history.

Although Lapira had decent freshman and sophomore seasons -- with three goals and seven goals, respectively -- no one would have predicted he would break out like he did as a junior. Clark credits Lapira's hustle around the goal for his ability to create multiple chances for himself. Lapira, who finished with 11 game-winning goals, says a positive attitude kept him from getting down like he did in previous seasons when he missed chances.

Soccer America Men's Player of the Year
Joseph Lapira (Notre Dame)

Soccer America Men's MVPs
M Nico Colaluca (Virginia)
F Charlie Davies (Boston College)
D Andy Iro (UC Santa Barbara)
F Joseph Lapira (Notre Dame)
D Jay Needham (SMU)
M David Roth (Northwestern)
G Chris Seitz (Maryland)
F Jarrod Smith (West Virginia)
D Julian Valentin (Wake Forest)
M Michael Videira (Duke)
M Sal Zizzo (UCLA)

Soccer America Men's Coach of the Year
Marlon LeBlanc (West Virginia)

O'Reilly is Soccer America Women's Player of the Year
Heather O'Reilly's college career ended as it started - with a national championship.

After starting as a freshman on one of the great North Carolina teams in history three years ago, she was the senior leader on a freshman-dominated team that won 27 straight games to claim the Tar Heels' 18th national championship.

O'Reilly didn't put up the numbers some of the other contenders for Player of the Year honors did - she finished with a respectable 12 goals and 14 assists - but she saved the best for last.

O'Reilly scored the insurance goal in Carolina's 2-0 victory over UCLA in the semifinals of the Women's College Cup and chipped the ball over Notre Dame keeper Lauren Karas for the first goal in the Heels' 2-1 victory in the final.

A regular on the U.S. national team since before she enrolled at North Carolina, O'Reilly has admitted that her national team responsibilities distracted her at times, but she says her senior season in Chapel Hill was special.

"It's truly an honor to play for the U.S., of course, to play for your country and score for your country," she said after the final. "But there's something special about playing for the University of North Carolina - the tradition involved, the dynasty that we're now proving that we're continuing."

O'Reilly, who finished her career with 59 goals overall and 15 in the NCAA Tournament (tied with Mia Hamm for third all-time), says she loved the daily routine of college life spent with her teammates.

"They're your best friends on and off the field," she says. "There's something special about college soccer and the way that we train every day after school at 2:30. I haven't found another training environment quite like that."

Soccer America Women's Player of the Year

Heather O'Reilly (North Carolina)

Soccer America Women's MVPs
M Yael Averbuch (North Carolina)
D Marian Dalmy (Santa Clara)
M Christina DiMartino (UCLA)
F Kerri Hanks (Notre Dame)
D Ali Krieger (Penn State)
D Stephanie Lopez (Portland)
G Jillian Loyden (Villanova)
D Kasey Moore (Texas)
F Heather O'Reilly (North Carolina)
F Ashlee Pistorius (Texas A&M)
F India Trotter (Florida State)

Soccer America Women's Coach of the Year
Anson Dorrance (North Carolina)

APRIL HEINRICHS: Former U.S. coach leaves UCI
April Heinrichs, who coached the USA to the women's soccer gold medal at the 2004 Olympics, has quit her coach as women's coach at UC Irvine after only one season to accept a position with the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Heinrichs' decision to take the Anteater job last season was a surprise, and she was unable to turn around the program. UCI went 3-13-1 after going 2-13-1 in 2005.

Heinrichs will become the Team Leader of Team and Technical Sports, a newly created position in the USOC's Sports Performance Service Department.

"The timing of leaving UCI is terrible and I didn't fulfill my commitment, but the USOC job allows me to transition into the next phase of my career," Heinrichs said. "The decision is indicative of me and not a reflection of UC Irvine."

CENTRAL ARKANSAS: Men's soccer reinstituted
Thanks to the support of its student body, the University of Central Arkansas did an about-face and reinstituted its men's soccer program a month after it decided to drop the program.

The school's Board of Trustees accepted a Student Government Association recommendation to raise athletic fees by 50 cents per credit hour. This increase is expected to generate an additional $150,000 to be used to keep the program alive as an independent until a conference agrees to accept the team. Once UCA was accepted in a men's soccer conference -- among the possibilities are the Missouri Valley and Mid-American -- the student funding will be dropped.

The UCA case underscored the difficulties men's soccer programs face. They must not only have the support of their school and community but they must have the support of their school's conference. In the UCA situation, men's soccer was successful at the Division II level, but when the school went DI, men's soccer found itself with no one to play since the Southland Conference, its new conference, has women's soccer but no men's soccer. The Southland is one of nine conferences that sponsor women's soccer but not men's soccer because there are not the six teams necessary to qualify for an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Ratio of men's to women's soccer programs:
Big Sky (1/9)
Big 12 (0/12) !!!
*Mountain West (5/8)
Ohio Valley (1/10)
SEC (2/12)
Southland (1/9)
Sun Belt (4/12)
SWAC (1/10)
WAC (1/8)
*BYU's men's program plays in the PDL.

JUNIOR COLLEGE: Another So Cal sweep
Cerritos College's men and Santiago Canyon College's women captured their first COA soccer championships, the fourth successive sweep of state junior college titles by Southern California schools.

Santiago Canyon (25-1-1), from Orange, stunned three-time champion Cypress, 2-0, in the women's final on second-half goals by Kathleen Benton and Megan Konishi. The Hawks, whose lineup features Sarah Califf, sister of former MLS defender Danny Califf, were 0-1-1 against Cypress (24-2-2) during the regular season.

Cerritos (20-3-5) edged Taft, 1-0, on midfielder Juan Huerta's 36th-minute goal to capture its first COA soccer crown. Defender Eusebio Alvarez, who led to Falcons to two 1-0 victories in the final four, was selected tournament MVP.

The Commission On Athletics (COA), which governs junior college sports in California, is not affiliated with the NJCAA, and California schools do not participate in NJCAA events. COA competition is generally deemed superior to that in the NJCAA.
-- Scott French

OBITUARY: Bob DiGrazia
Bob DiGrazia, who coached the University of California's men's team for 28 years (1953-80) and remains the Bears' all-time winningest coach with a 202-133-39 record, died Dec. 11.

A San Francisco native, DiGrazia played for Cal in 1948-50 and became the Bears' first All-American in 1950. As coach, he guided the Bears to their first two NCAA playoff appearances, in 1960 and 1977. Fifteen of his players collected a total of 19 All-American honors.

In 1983, DiGrazia earned the 43rd annual Honor Award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

He served as a Cal assistant athletic director for six years after his coaching career ended.

DiGrazia, who had suffered from Parkinson's disease, was 79.

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