Reem With A View

"Names and attributes must be accommodated to the essence of things, and not the essence to the names, since things come first and names afterwards." – Galileo

Lance Armstrong: the real winner.

Source: Quote of Anon User’s answer to Lance Armstrong / USADA doping scandal: Was Lance Armstrong right in refusing to contest the doping charges levied against him by USADA? on Quora>

Was Lance Armstrong right in refusing to contest the doping charges levied against him by USADA?

Amazing answer by ANONYMOUS Quora user:

Yes. Absolutely.

At this point, he has retired, and realistically, has nothing to gain or lose from this battle. Sure, some of his endorsements may drop, but he has more than enough money to provide comfortably for his family for the rest of his life, so it doesn’t matter. As for the kids who idolize him, his legacy, the sport, blah blah blah, let’s take an actual look at his legacy before we talk badly about the man…

  • Raising nearly half a billion dollars for humanitarian work (including the funding of cancer research) through the Livestrong Foundation. It is the largest athletic charity in the history of humankind.
  • Helping over 2.5 million cancer patients with free patient navigation services. Anyone who has dealt with the frustrations of the American healthcare system will tell you that this is utterly invaluable.
  • Over 100 million Livestrong bracelets are out in the world actively spreading awareness of cancer and more importantly, the need to keep our heads high while we fight to find a cure.
  • Inspiring untold millions of people and patients, potentially even a billion or more in total. There are people who exercise, have faith in the body’s ability to heal, and can deal with the burden of cancer solely because this man exists.

And to think, regardless of what the outcome of this whole debacle is, none of these accomplishments will cease to exist. Indeed, they will actually all continue to perpetuate themselves…

Gee, if we consider this rationally, it would seem almost like Lance Armstrong’sincredible, amazing, legendary legacy of humanitarian service over the past 15 years is worth way more than 7 pieces of metal he can hang up on his mantle. I would make the argument that being largely responsible for any one of the above list would make any mortal worthy of praise and respect, much less all of them.

To all those who are tempted by their cynical side to disparage and discredit all that Lance Armstrong has achieved because of a single piece of questionable sensationalized news, I say unto ye: is there truly naught you could be doing with thy time? There are millions, nay, billions in this world who would benefit from the energies you possess in anger, if only ye couldst but channel them into well-intentioned exertion.

Volunteer at your local shelter. Cook for your local food kitchen. Lend money to aspiring entrepreneurs through Kiva. Host a bake sale to raise money for your charity of choice. Help your child with his homework. Answer questions to help others on Quora. Every minute you spend wondering if one man doped or not and what it means is legitimately nothing more than a minute wasted.

References:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurt…
http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook…

 

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Michael Crichton (1942-2008)

Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton, whose technological thrillers like “The Andromeda Strain” and “Jurassic Park” dominated best-seller lists for decades and were translated into Hollywood megahits, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 66 and lived in Santa Monica, Calif.

Source: NYTimes

My favorite Michael Crichton quote is the one he gave regarding “scientific consensus” vs scientific fact.

“…the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”

Read the whole speech here: MichaelCrichton.com

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Never mind the French Open…

ROGER FEDERER is most definitely the GREATEST tennis player in the history of the game.

He lost one match…big deal. 3 French Open Finals in a row and 4 French Open Semi-Finals in a row is enough testament to his Clay Court ability. Nadal is the greatest Clay Court Specialist… so its only fitting that Rafa won the French 4 in a row. Think about this: it takes a NADAL to beat Federer on clay..Federer is that good (regardless of the 3 set drubbing).

But FEDERER has won the AUSTRALIAN, WIMBLEDON and U.S.OPEN title in the SAME calender year..THREE TIMES!!! Not Laver, Not Borg, not Sampras, not McEnroe, Not Becker, Not Edberg, Not Emerson, Not Lendl, Not Wilander Nor Agassi…no one has ever come close to this feat. One is good, Two is superb, but Three is just GREAT.

NOW add the 3 French Open Finals in a row to the 4 US Open titles in a row and 5 Wimblesons in a row, and you can understand why Roger Federer is simply, the Greatest tennis player in the history of the game.

 

 

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ARTHUR C CLARKE (1917-2008)

Arthur C Clarke

One of the world’s greatest science fiction writers (famous for 2001: A  Space Odyssey) passed away today in Colombo. Not many people know that he was a  true visionary he came up with the idea for Geostationary Satellites as far back as 1945. Below are some of his memorable Laws:

Clarke’s First Law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he says it is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Clarke’s Second Law: The only way to find the limits of the possible is by going beyond them to the impossible.

Clarke’s Third (and most quoted) Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Read more about the famous author in The Gaurdian 

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Bobby Fischer is dead!

 Life Magazine cover photo of Bobby Fischer

Read the Reuters Report below:

Chess genius Bobby Fischer dies in Iceland

Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:53am EST

By Kristin Arna Bragadottir

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) – Bobby Fischer, America’s first and only world chess champion, who beat the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky in a blaze of Cold War publicity in Reykjavik in 1972, has died in Iceland at the age of 64.

A spokesman for Fischer, who was feted as a national hero for beating Spassky but fell foul of U.S. authorities in his later years, confirmed that the eccentric chess genius had died but offered no further details.

Rumors that Fischer, once dubbed the “Mozart of Chess”, had been ill had circulated in recent weeks on chess-related Web sites. Iceland national radio reported he had died after a serious, but unspecified, illness.

Fischer, a child prodigy who once said he liked to watch his opponents squirm and who had become an Icelandic citizen, could have faced jail in the United States for violating sanctions on former Yugoslavia by playing a chess match there with Spassky.

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov hailed Fischer as “the pioneer and the father of professional chess”.

Kasparov said he had followed the 1972 clash of the U.S. and Soviet titans closely. “Fischer’s chess was so fresh and so new and we all grew up under the strongest impression of Fischer’s victories,” he told Sky News television.

“From an ideological stance it was the fight of an individual against a totalitarian system. He had a lot of supporters even in the Soviet Union. No one viewed him as an American fighting Soviets, it was more a great man fighting the mighty machine,” Kasparov said.

Spassky, who now lives in Paris, was less eloquent on the subject of his old adversary. Asked by Reuters for his reaction, he replied: “It’s bad luck for you. Bobby Fischer is dead,” then hung up without further comment.

NO DEFENCE

The brilliant and unpredictable American abandoned his world title without moving a pawn by failing to defend his crown in Manila in 1975. World chess authorities reluctantly awarded it to challenger Anatoly Karpov of the Soviet Union, who was to hold it for the next decade.

Fischer withdrew into himself, not playing in public and living on little more than the magic of his name, although millions of enthusiasts regarded him as the king of chess.

He made headlines when he came out of seclusion to play Spassky in Yugoslavia in 1992, at a time when the country was the target of sanctions during Belgrade’s war with breakaway republics.

He vanished after the match, for which he won $3 million, and resurfaced after the September 11, 2001, attacks on America. In an interview with a Philippine radio station, Fischer praised the strikes and said he wanted to see America “wiped out”.

Fischer, who also stirred controversy with anti-Semitic remarks, was granted Icelandic citizenship in March 2005 after eight months in detention in Japan fighting a U.S. deportation order.

Fischer always had a high opinion of himself. Asked who was the greatest player in the world, he once replied:

“It’s nice to be modest, but it would be stupid if I did not tell the truth. It is Fischer.”

It was not an idle claim. Arguably the greatest natural chess genius the world has seen, he was called “the Mozart of chess” when he began winning at the age of six.

“SEE ‘EM SQUIRM”

Fischer gained a reputation for being cocky. He told interviewers his favorite moment was when opponents began to feel they would lose. “I like to see ’em squirm,” he said.

He was U.S. junior champion at 13 and U.S. Open champion at 14, retaining the title whenever he chose to defend it.

He became an international grandmaster at 15, gaining the rating at his first international tournament in Yugoslavia. He once defeated 21 grandmasters in succession — no U.S. player had beaten more than seven in a row.

As Fischer’s fame grew, his temperament became more unpredictable. He walked out of tournaments because of what he considered to be bad lighting or bad air conditioning. He refused to play matches on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.

In the mid-1960s, he opted out of two world championship qualifying series because he thought the tournament system favored the Russians. In 1967, when officials would not meet his demands for better conditions, Fischer angrily withdrew from international competition “for a period of introspection”.

He took his massive collection of chess books and moved to California, where he later said he had “plotted my revenge if I ever came back”.

When the rules were changed in 1972 to include an eight-player eliminator to find the challenger to world champion Spassky, Fischer had the chance to prove he was as good as he always said he was. He became a national hero; Americans who had never played chess followed the Fischer saga.

But by the 1990s, he was said to be living under assumed names in cheap hotels in Pasadena on the outskirts of Los Angeles, surviving on occasional royalties from his books.

Former friends painted a picture of a solitary man spending much of his day in rooms littered with chess books, oranges and jars of vitamins, playing chess by himself and reading magazines on chess to keep in touch.

One commentator said there was one constant through his life’s exceptional peaks and troughs — his “running battle with the rest of the human race”.

(Additional reporting from Paris bureau; Editing by Peter Millership)

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