This fantastic resource dictates some very insightful advice from prominent contemporary swimming masters. Learn from the best to be the best, and no one knows better than those here.
At times, it can be difficult to stay-up-date with the latest news in the swimming world. Its rapid development and increasing popularity ensure events are constantly emerging, records are constantly being broken, and legends are constantly in the making. Lately, I’ve found this site to be quite helpful so that I can “stay in the know.” Check it out!
All-too-often it seems even the most basic tenets of swimming are overlooked, misunderstood, or even outright ignored. Luckily, I came across this recent article discussing the proper manner in which to share lanes during a lap swim. If only I could ensure beginners saw it…
It seems like nothing is impossible when it comes to technology in this day an age. As the years pass, technology continues to evolve with more and more advanced techniques. Many have celebrated the freedom they experience when it comes to being able to reaching out to people in the farthest corners of the Earth. For agencies like the State Department and the Defense Department, it brings up nothing but worry and fear. Threats to their networks from robots, viruses, and advanced cyber spying techniques are a constant battle.
In an attempt to cope with the advancement of technology, three agencies of the government have created an innovative summit, which took place on March 2nd. The three agencies – the U.S. Agency for International Development, the State Department, and the Defense Department – joined together to strategize the best ways to combat and solve worldwide security problems.
One government agency that has sought help in combating cyber attacks is the Pentagon. The defense technology they have and was only accessible to the defense industry has now become easily obtainable by hackers. Frank Kendall, the Undersecretary of Defense, spoke at the summit about one of the consequences of constant hacker attacks on their top secret military information. Paired up with Ashton Carter, the Defense Secretary, the two men have reached out to anyone who could help – including the commercial industry. After a trip to Silicon Valley earlier this year, Carter has started to structure a board of 12 members to help come up with defense technology against the attacks and how to improve the Pentagon’s technology.
At the panel Kendall stated that the Pentagon plans to spend $35 billion dollars over the course of five years into their budget for cybersecurity. This will help to accelerate various projects and products to help fight against the barrage of threats. It’s not a shock to anyone that the threats come from both inside and outside the Pentagon, yet they can’t figure out a way to measure them. In fact, it seems to be impossible.
Touching upon this, Kendall was quoted saying; “We don’t know how vulnerable we are in some cases. It is constantly moving. We have made great strides in DoD to protect ourselves. But there are lots of unknowns. An adversary can plant a weapon and leave it there indefinitely. That’s the sort of problem we’re dealing with.”
Asking for help from the commercial industry has resulted with mixed feelings from various parties. Kendall feels that a lack of resources has hindered the defense industry, but asking for help will allow them to grow. Hopefully with the amount of money flowing into their budget, the Pentagon will be able to protect themselves and learn to defend before the strike even happens.
Recently Brad Snyder, a United States Navy veteran, shattered records at the ECAC Swimming Championships. Brad broke his own record in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.12. He first set the record back in 2014 with a time of 55.59. It was followed by a new American record in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 1:03. The previous record had been 8 seconds longer.
Mr. Snyder sets two new records within his S11 categories. S11 is a category used within the Paralympics. Anyone who swims under this category denotes that they are severely visually impaired or blind. Swimmers are required to wear black out goggles and receive a tap on the shoulder as they approach the wall.
Snyder is an inspiration for his fellow Paralympic athletes, and to all Americans. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 2006, he proudly served his country as an explosive ordnance disposal officer. It was in 2011 during a tour in Afghanistan that Brad lost his eyesight after stepping on an IED while trying to help the victims of a separate bombing. As a true hero, Brad was in the water less than a year later competing for a spot on the US Paralympic Team. Fate granted him that wish and he quickly became one of the world’s fastest blind swimmers, taking home two gold medals and a silver.
The competition was held on the first weekend of the month at the US Naval Academy, which is located in Annapolis, Maryland. ECAC stands for the Eastern College Athletic Competition and includes team such as the University of Virginia, Army West Point, and the Naval Academy. For the first time in competition the ECAC launched it’s Inclusive Sports Initiative. It allows Paralympic athletes to score at meets and it blew expectations out of the water. Brad was not the only one who set records – in fact, there were 8 others.
Speaking to Swimming World, Brad released a statement showcasing his pride and approval of the inclusion initiative; “I’m immensely proud and excited about the ECAC inclusion initiative! I was honored to compete in the exhibition and I’m looking forward to seeing how the “disability” category is integrated next year. It is my most sincere hope that this inclusion initiative will serve as a model for other conferences to follow in the future. I think this is a win-win for all those involved.”
I salute Brad for his service to our country and for being a great American!
One the most ardent rivalries in college football is the Army Black Knights vs Navy Midshipmen. Every year, the game draws more viewers as it’s seen as one of the greatest game of the season. As an alumni of the Naval Academy, Navy football holds a significant place in my heart. The big game is something that I look forward to watching every fall. In 2015, the game played in Philadelphia, PA at the Lincoln Financial Field on December 12th with Navy winning 21 to 17. As a result of this win, Navy has been on a 14 year winning streak, the longest they have ever had.
The first game between the two great military rivals took place in 1890. Except for four years, the game has been held at various locations throughout the country. Considered neutral territory, New York City, Baltimore, and Philadelphia are often the host cities for the game due to their location between the two campuses. They haven’t been the only cities to hold the big game over the years. Chicago, Pasadena, and East Rutherford have all been hosts as well.
Only six games over the 125 years have taken place on the school’s campuses. While there are various reasons for this, the major reason is due to the stadium’s capacity. Due to the demand of the current students, alumni, civilians, and other military personnel to see such a historic game, it was logical to move to a bigger venue. Army’s Michie Stadium holds 38,000 people while Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium holds 34,000 people. It was in 1899, the first neutral territory game occurred. Since then, the only two games to play at one of the school’s stadium occurred in 1942 and 1943 due to World War II’s travel ban.
At first the games played the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the day the rest of the college teams ended their season. In recent years, it is now played the second Saturday of December as the last game of the season for both teams. One reason the date moved to the second weekend in December is due to the conference championship games for the other teams, which are always held on the first weekend of the month.
Besides winning the game this year, the Navy won the Commander in Chief trophy for the 15th time – a competition between the three branches of the military’s football teams. As of 2016, Navy leads against Army with a record of 60-49-7.
Go Navy, beat Army!
In mid January, the Navy launched the “Great Green Fleet” out of San Diego. The Fleet represents the Navy and Marine Corps’ first strides into adopting alternative energy sources to enhance military operations. The energy-saving capability will help to combat the over usage of the Earth’s natural resources and protect the economic welfare of rural America. The launch of the fleet is a milestone in the military not relying on foreign sources for their energy.
Tom Vilsack, the Navy’s Agriculture Secretary, was joined by Navy Secretary, Ray Mabus, at the launch of the Navy’s latest achievement. Mabus was appointed the Secretary of the Navy back in 2009, and set an aggressive goal in his first years in office. He stated that by 2020 the Navy would be using over 50 percent of alternative sources to fuel their energy. During his speech in San Diego, he spoke about how America plans to lower the risk of American’s lives when it comes to obtaining fossil fuels.
“At the height of the fighting in Afghanistan we were losing one Marine, killed or wounded, for every 50 convoys of fuels brought in. That’s way too high of a price to pay.”
As the world’s greatest consumer of energy, the Defense Department has been pursing ways to cut their carbon footprint down. The Navy, who uses more than a third of the energy, have been forerunners in ending their ties with foreign oils as part of a national security plan.
Early plans to switch to biofuels were met with outrage when the Pentagon bought biofuels at $26 per gallon back in 2012. As a result of the high price tag, lawmakers passed a law that would restrict the purchase of biofuels, unless the price was on par with the price of petroleum. Now, the purchase of 77 million gallons of a 10 percent biofuel mix cost $2.05 a gallon. At 13 times less than 2012 only three and half years later, it’s a victory for Mabus. As a result of the price drop, other contracts are in the works to fuel ships in other places.
The biofuel is a mix made from waste beef fat that was provided by Midwestern farmers and ranchers. By purchasing from rural America, it will help create a sustainable economy for the 15% of Americans who reside there. Besides providing new energy sources for the fleet, the small towns of the Midwest provide around 40% of the military. Mabus stressed that land used for farming will not used in the creation of biofuel. Besides working towards eliminating the carbon footprint made by the Navy, the usage of biofuel should add thousands of jobs in a hard pressed area.
Using the biofuel will not change how the ships operate either. With rigid Navy stipulations in place, there will be no modifications to the ship transports, equipment, procedures or engines. In the next four years, the Navy is aiming to move from a 90-10 mix to a 50-50 mix.
The cloud is something everyone has heard of in recent years. Everyone has some kind of experience with it. It could be from their own personal smartphones or through work as more and more businesses are shifting to use cloud technology. As we move deeper and deeper into technology, the cloud has mystified and confused plenty still. So let’s start back at the basics by explaining what the cloud really is.
As defined by CNN, the cloud is a network of servers that each has a different function. Some of these servers may focus on running specific applications for different users, and others are used for storing data. Most of the apps people have on their smartphones use the cloud to store the data produced from them. Google Drives, Dropbox, Instagram, Facebook are just a few examples of apps that are using the Cloud to provide services or hold data. Sites like Mashable have provided an excellent beginners guide to the cloud if you are interested in a more indepth look at the basic structure of the cloud.
As more and more people shift to using the cloud, it’s important to understand the basics and how to improve on these new systems. With the new year upon on, there is no time like the present. Carve out the first few weeks of the year to focus on improving the IT resolutions you or your business have decided to make. I have listed a couple suggestions below if you are not sure where to start.
First you want to train yourself or your people. When a business decides to shift to new technology, it’s important to ensure that everyone has the same knowledge as everyone else. One of the worst things that can happen in a business is a lack of training. Not everyone will be on the same page and it’s important to ensure the team has a basic understanding of the new cloud-based systems and can work with them. As a result of this training, there will be less errors and issues that could arise in the future. If you don’t know how to conduct these trainings, look for companies like Grovo who specialize in training businesses.
After your team is trained, you want to set up a specific team that monitors for issues and the performance of the cloud. Yes, everyone should have the basics down, but this specialized team will be able to understand the data coming from the cloud, and have the ability to analyze it. This team will also be able to stop potential issues that do arise or fix them quickly before it does any long lasting damage.
This management team will also be responsible for the API’s and services. An API is Application Program Interface, which are protocols, routines, and tools used in building software applications. They set how software components should work with each other and are what drive the clouds to work. The management team will control the access to them and what certain people can do with them since a lot of damage can be caused if these controls are placed in the wrong hands.
Following these steps will be timely but be incredibly cost effective in the long run. I hope these tips help you and you have a safe and wonderful New Years.
Open water swimming has become one of the most popular form of swimming over recent years. Swimming has declined in popularity in other countries, but the number of people participating in open water swimming has increased. As one of my favorite pastimes, open water swimming is both a rewarding and fun activity. It differs then regular swimming in the idea that instead of being in a controlled environment, you are in an open body of water and must be able to think quickly. There are numerous different variables that take place and someone has to be prepared for anything to happen.
A pool offers the ease of tranquility and control. Lane ropes will help to stop the waves and wakes produced by swimmers in nearby lanes, lines on the bottom help to guide the swimmer straight, walls to help the swimmer rest against and the water is a controlled temperature. The pool offers no surprises which is fantastic to help with swimmers learn or perfect techniques, and to get a fantastic workout that is easy on the joints at the same time.
Open water swimming offers another level of challenge to swimmers looking to push themselves. There are different challenges that the open water presents such as wind, waves, sudden temperature charges and other unpredictable factors. There is nowhere to just stop and rest if you suddenly get tired either.
So what is the best way to prep for open water swimming? Professionals recommend that you pick a variety of places to practice in. You want to make sure that you are exploring every type of open water so you can get a feel of everything. Try swimming in a pond one day on a calm day, and then a bay the next day when it’s cloudy. Try swimming in the ocean when it’s windy or a lake when it’s raining. By exploring all these different bodies of water with all different types of weather conditions, you’ll never be taken guard when swimming.
There are certain techniques that are required in open water swimming that aren’t needed in other forms of swimming. Bilateral breathing is critical for a swimmer to learn for open swimming. What is bilateral breathing? It’s when a swimmer will alternate sides during a freestyle swim, or making sure to breath away from the direction the wind is blowing or a wave is forming. Besides ensuring that you are going get the proper breath, this specific breathing technique helps swimmers with a well balanced stroke.
Sighting is the other incredibly crucial move an open water swimmer needs to be safe. Since there are no lines to help guide a person straight, this will ensure you are going in the right direction. There is nothing worse than thinking you are going the right way and realize that you are a mile off course. This technique involves lifting your eyes out of the water and looking at what is ahead of you as opposed to side to side, which can occur when you in a pool. It’s recommended to practice this in a pool at first by lifting the neck out of the water and focusing on something ahead of you such as a water bottle placed at the end.
The final important technique open water swimmers use is called drafting. This move will be more important when swimming in a competition or race. Drafting involves moving into the slip stream that is formed by another swimmer in front of you. It helps to save energy since you don’t need to use sighting as much. Instead of lifting your head out of the water to guide yourself, the bubbles formed the other swimmer will help to lead the way. If you are interested in a race or competition, there are many different ones for open water swimming. The one I participate in is the US Masters Swimming, but Google your location and I’m sure other events will show up. It’s a great way to explore your environment, stay in shape and make new friends.
I hope these different techniques help to sharpen your open water swimming. Thanks for reading!