Thursday, August 30, 2012

De Rosario Hits 100 Career Goals

"D.C. United (14-10-5) now sit in fourth place in the East, one point ahead of Houston and two up on Columbus with equal games played. Although we know the top three seeds get a first-round bye, let's not forget the importance of being fourth instead of fifth: home-field advantage in the wild-card game. For a United team unbeaten in its past 14 home games, that would be huge."
Washington Post:
The New York Red Bulls spoiled Dwayne De Rosario’s evening by forging a 2-2 draw in front of 10,303 at RFK Stadium.

De Rosario had scored the tiebreaking goal, the 100th of his regular season career, against a bitter rival and his previous employer. United was on pace to seize third place in the Eastern Conference and bolster its MLS playoff portfolio.

The tie extended United’s home unbeaten streak to 13, equaling the club record set five years ago. D.C. also claimed the Atlantic Cup, given to the team that wins the season series, on a total-goals tiebreaker.

D.C. went ahead when the Canadian forward headed in DeLeon’s long ball in the 68th. De Rosario made a brave run, challenging goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, who was charging off his line. At the top of the box, De Rosario met the ball an instant before the fist-first keeper and nodded it into the vacant net.

“I figured, I am either going to wake up tomorrow wondering what happened or I’m going to put it in the back of the net,” said De Rosario, who joined Jeff Cunningham, Jaime Moreno, Landon Donovan, Ante Razov, Jason Kreis and Taylor Twellman in the 100-goal club.

Cunningham is currently the all-time leading scorer with 134 goals, followed by Jaime Moreno (133) and Landon Donovan (124), with the latter being the only active player besides De Rosario.

“Not a lot of people are at 100,” De Rosario said. “I look at guys that played for this club like Jamie Moreno. Hopefully I can get to where he’s at. It’s a great feeling and it’s a great honor, but I can’t do it all myself. I’ve got to congratulate my teammates that helped me.”

The Canadian striker, of Guyanese descent, started his MLS career in 2001 with the San Jose Earthquakes. De Rosario, 34, has also played for the Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls, before joining United last year.

On November 18, 2011 it was announced that De Rosario had officially been named MLS MVP for the 2011 season, meaning that he won the individual double of league MVP and Golden Boot winner. De Rosario completed the season with a total of 16 goals and 12 assists over 32 games. Of those, 13 goals and 7 assists were made during his 17 games with United.

Since United acquired him from New York in the middle of the 2011 season, De Rosario has recorded 20 goals and 19 assists in 43 regular season appearances. His 12 assists this year are tied for second in the league behind Seattle’s Mauro Rosales (13).

On February 20, 2012 D.C. United signed De Rosario to a contract extension, reportedly for the 2012 and 2013 seasons with a club option for 2014.

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Spotlight: Malcolm Browne

WTOP:
Malcolm Wilde Browne was born in New York on April 17, 1931. He graduated from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania with a degree in chemistry. Working in a lab when drafted in 1956, he was sent to Korea as a tank driver, but by chance got a job writing for a military newspaper, and from that came a decision to trade science for a career in journalism.

He worked first for the Middletown Daily Record in New York, where he worked alongside Hunter S. Thompson, author of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Browne then worked briefly for International News Service and United Press, the forerunner of United Press International, before joining the AP in 1960. A year later, the AP sent him from Baltimore to Saigon to head its expanding bureau.

There, he became a charter member of a small group of reporters covering South Vietnam's U.S.-backed military struggle against the Viet Cong, a home-grown communist insurgency.

Within the year he was joined in Saigon by photographer Horst Faas and Arnett. By 1966, all three members of what a competitor called the AP's "human wave" had earned Pulitzer Prizes - one of journalism's highest honors - for Vietnam coverage:

The phone calls went out one day from Saigon's Xa-Loi Buddhist pagoda to chosen members of the foreign news corps. The message: Be at a certain location tomorrow for a "very important" happening.

The next morning, June 11, 1963, an elderly monk named Thich Quang Duc, clad in a brown robe and sandals, assumed the lotus position on a cushion in a blocked-off street intersection. Aides drenched him with aviation fuel, and the monk calmly lit a match and set himself ablaze.

Of the foreign journalists who had been alerted to the shocking political protest against South Vietnam's U.S.-supported government, only one, Malcolm Browne of The Associated Press, showed up.

The photos he took appeared on front pages around the globe and sent shudders all the way to the White House, prompting President John F. Kennedy to order a re-evaluation of his administration's Vietnam policy.

"We have to do something about that regime," Kennedy told Henry Cabot Lodge, who was about to become U.S. ambassador to Saigon.

In 1964, Browne, then an AP correspondent, and rival Times journalist David Halberstam both won Pulitzer Prizes for their reporting on the conflict in Vietnam. The war had escalated because of the Nov. 1, 1963, coup d'etat in which Diem was killed.

The plot - by a cabal of generals acting with tacit U.S. approval - was triggered in part by earlier Buddhist protests against the pro-Catholic Diem regime. These drew worldwide attention when the monk set himself afire in protest as about 500 people watched.

Browne spent most of his journalism career at The New York Times, where he put in 30 years of his four decades as a journalist, much of it in war zones.

By his own account, Browne survived being shot down three times in combat aircraft, was expelled from half a dozen countries and was put on a "death list" in Saigon.

In his 1993 memoir, "Muddy Boots and Red Socks," Browne said he "did not go to Vietnam harboring any opposition to America's role in the Vietnamese civil war" but became disillusioned by the Kennedy administration's secretive "shadow war" concealing the extent of U.S. involvement.

Browne, who died Monday at a New Hampshire hospital at age 81, recalled in a 1998 interview that that was the beginning of the rebellion, which led to U.S.-backed South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem being overthrown and murdered, along with his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, the national security chief.

"Almost immediately, huge demonstrations began to develop that were no longer limited to just the Buddhist clergy, but began to attract huge numbers of ordinary Saigon residents," Browne said in the interview.

Browne was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2000 and spent his last years using a wheelchair to get around. He was rushed to the hospital Monday night after experiencing difficulty breathing, said his wife, Le Lieu Browne, who lives in Thetford, Vt.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Redskins Release Chris Cooley


Washington Post:
Chris Cooley announced Tuesday that the Washington Redskins had decided to release him, ending his eight-season run with the team.

One of the fans’ most beloved Redskins, Cooley was drafted 81st overall in 2004. Beginning with his second season in the NFL, Cooley started 91 of the 92 games he played in. He recorded 428 receptions, a franchise record for a tight end, for 4,703 yards and 33 touchdowns. He had only eight catches in five games last season before he was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list because of a broken finger and an ailing knee.

Cooley didn’t practice Monday, watching instead with his jersey on and helmet in hand as he stood with owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen. Coach Mike Shanahan said Cooley missed practice because “he wasn’t feeling very good.”

Cooley didn’t practice Tuesday either, but came out to the podium shortly after practice ended and addressed the media.

“OK, this will be brief. I’m not going to do questions, so I’d appreciate it if we could do that.

“The Washington Redskins are releasing me today. So, today, for the time being, this will be my last day as a Redskin. It’s been awesome. I’ve been very, very fortunate to play for a franchise that has embraced me, and a fan base that has embraced me the way that they have. This organization has changed my life in every way for the better, and I appreciate it. I’ve loved every minute of playing here. It’s been a good ride. It’s been a pleasure.

“I guess, for me, I’ll take some time and decide what I want to do, moving forward. I have every belief that I can play football. I have every belief that I can be, not only a productive player, but a starter in this league. I’m very confident in my abilities to play the game. It would be a tough decision for me to put on another jersey. It’s something that I really, I really never had to imagine, so, for now, I’ll take some time, and will make sure what I do in the future is exactly what I want to do."

Fred Davis said he learned from Cooley while establishing himself in the NFL. Now Davis is the Redskins’ starter and Cooley is looking for a job.

“It makes you understand what the NFL is,” Davis said. “Chris played hard eight, nine years in the league, dedicated his whole life to the Redskins for those eight, nine years. It’s one of the things that happens. It definitely humbles you to make you know that any time you’re out there, you should just appreciate the game and play it as hard as you can, because you never know when you’ll get another opportunity to play this game.”

Shanahan said the two sides did not discuss Cooley’s contract. The tight end, who has filled in at fullback with starter Darrel Young injured, would have counted more than $6 million against the salary cap this season if he had remained with the team.

Shanahan did not rule out the possibility of the Redskins re-signing Cooley if he is unable to find a starting job elsewhere.



More information:
» Cooley's Bloggiest Moments

Monday, August 27, 2012

Apple's $1 Billion Victory Over Samsung

NBC News:
A federal jury in San Jose, Calif., ruled late Friday that Samsung, the world's largest maker of phones, had copied features of the iPhone and the iPad. That included the "bounce-back" behavior when a user scrolls to the end of a page and the ability to zoom in on an image by spreading two fingers.

The jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages. That was less than the $2.5 billion sought, but still a victory for Apple. Meanwhile, the jury rejected Samsung's patent-infringement claims against Apple. An appeal is expected.

For now, here's what the verdict means for consumers:

Q. Can I still buy a Samsung phone or tablet computer today?
A. Yes. The jury didn't prohibit sales of the devices. However, Apple will ask a judge to ban U.S. sales of several Samsung devices. A Sept. 20 hearing has been scheduled. If the judge agrees, that would affect many Samsung devices, but not the most recent ones, such as the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note smartphones. Most of the two dozen devices covered by the lawsuit aren't sold in meaningful numbers in the U.S.

Q. Was Friday's verdict final?
A. No. Samsung is challenging it. First, Samsung will ask the trial judge to toss the verdict. Then it will appeal to a court in Washington that specializes in patent appeals. Samsung has vowed to take the fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.

Q. If Apple still prevails, will this drive Samsung out of the phone business?
A. That's not likely. The verdict doesn't apply outside the U.S. and doesn't apply to the latest Samsung devices either. The $1 billion in damages represents 1.5 percent of Samsung Electronics Co.'s annual revenue.

Q. Will this make Samsung phones more expensive?
A. Possibly. Samsung may have to pay Apple substantial royalties on each phone. Consumers will likely pay for that somehow, but it may not be noticeable in stores. Phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless already subsidize each smartphone by hundreds of dollars to get retail prices down to $99 or $199.

Q. What does this mean for the Samsung phone I already own?
A. This doesn't directly affect phones that have already been sold, even if they are the models that the judge decides to ban. In the long run, it could reduce enthusiasm around Android, the operating system from Google that Samsung uses in the devices in question. That might mean fewer applications for Android from outside parties. That will take years to play out, but could conceivably affect the resale value of your phone.

Q. What does this mean for other Android phones, such as those from LG, HTC and Google's Motorola Mobility?
A. Although the ruling applies only to Samsung, it will have an indirect effect on all makers of Android devices. Apple could go after them with arguments similar to the ones used against Samsung. But the ruling Friday is not precedential, meaning that other courts could reach completely different decisions.
Most likely, makers of Android phones will take more care to make their phones distinguishable from the iPhone.

It's also a standard tactic in patent cases to countersue. In this case, Samsung's patent claims against Apple were thrown out by the court. But Google has been buying up patents and could help other phone makers mount more effective countersuits.

Q. What does this mean for Android devices around the world?
A. The ruling applies only to the U.S., though Apple and Samsung are waging similar battles in other countries. On the same day Samsung lost in the U.S., it partially won a fight in South Korea. A Seoul court imposed a partial ban on South Korean sales of products from both companies. That verdict didn't affect the latest models either.

Q. What does this mean for Apple?
A. Analysts say it could help Apple gain market share at the expense of Android phones, if these have to avoid some attractive and easy-to-use features introduced by Apple.
Despite being a driving force in phone development since the iPhone was launched in 2007, Apple has only 19 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, according to IDC. The high price of the iPhone keeps it out of the reach of many consumers. Meanwhile, Android phones have 64 percent of the market.

More information:
» Case Shows Smartphone as Legal Magnet
» Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. Apple iPhone 4S

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lance Armstrong's Seven Titles Vacated

"USADA announced today that Lance Armstrong has chosen not to move forward with the independent arbitration process and as a result has received a lifetime period of ineligibility and disqualification of all competitive results from August 1, 1998 through the present."
WTOP:
(AP) - The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency erased 14 years of Lance Armstrong's career Friday - including his record seven Tour de France titles - and banned him for life from the sport that made him a hero to millions of cancer survivors after concluding he used banned substances.

USADA said it expected cycling's governing body to take similar action, but the International Cycling Union was measured in its response, saying it first wanted a full explanation on why Armstrong should relinquish Tour titles he won from 1999 through 2005.

The Amaury Sport Organization that runs the world's most prestigious cycling race said it would not comment until hearing from the UCI and USADA, which contends the cycling body is bound by the World Anti-Doping Code to strip Armstrong of one of the most incredible achievements in sports.

Armstrong, who retired a year ago, said Thursday that he would no longer challenge USADA and declined to exercise his last option by entering arbitration. He denied again that he ever took banned substances in his career, calling USADA's investigation a "witch hunt" without a shred of physical evidence.

He is now officially a drug cheat in the eyes of his nation's doping agency.

"Any time we have overwhelming proof of doping, our mandate is to initiate the case through the process and see it to conclusion as was done in this case," said USADA chief executive Travis Tygart, who couched the investigation as a battle against a "win-at-all-cost culture."

Tygart said the UCI was "bound to recognize our decision and impose it."

"They have no choice but to strip the titles under the code," he said.

The UCI and USADA have engaged in a turf war over who should prosecute allegations against Armstrong. The UCI event backed Armstrong's failed legal challenge to USADA's authority, and it cited the same World Anti-Doping Code in saying that it wanted to hear more from the American agency.

"As USADA has claimed jurisdiction in the case the UCI expects that it will issue a reasoned decision" explaining the action taken, the Switzerland-based organization said in a statement. It said legal procedures obliged USADA to fulfill this demand in cases "where no hearing occurs."

The International Olympic Committee said Friday it will await decisions by USADA and UCI before taking any steps against Armstrong, who won a bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Games. Besides the disqualifications, Armstrong will forfeit any medals, winnings, points and prizes, USADA said, but the lost titles that now dominate his legacy.

Every one of Armstrong's competitive races from Aug. 1, 1998, has been vacated by USADA, established in 2000 as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic sports in the United States. Since Armstrong raced in UCI-sanctioned events, he was subject to international drug rules enforced in the U.S. by USADA. Its staff joined a federal criminal investigation of Armstrong that ended earlier this year with no charges being filed.

USADA, which announced its investigation in June, said its evidence came from more than a dozen witnesses "who agreed to testify and provide evidence about their firsthand experience and/or knowledge of the doping activity of those involved in the USPS conspiracy," a reference to Armstrong's former U.S. Postal Service cycling team.

The unidentified witnesses said they knew or had been told by Armstrong himself that he had "used EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone" from before 1998 through 2005, and that he had previously used EPO, testosterone and Human Growth Hormone through 1996, USADA said. Armstrong also allegedly handed out doping products and encouraged banned methods - and even used "blood manipulation including EPO or blood transfusions" during his 2009 comeback race on the Tour.

In all, USADA said up to 10 former Armstrong teammates were set to testify against him. Included in the case were emails sent by Floyd Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping, describing an elaborate doping program on Armstrong's Postal Service teams, and Tyler Hamilton's interview with "60 Minutes" claiming had personal knowledge of Armstrong doping.


Had Armstrong chosen to pursue arbitration, USADA said, all the evidence would have been available for him to challenge.

"He chose not to do this knowing these sanctions would immediately be put into place," the statement said.

The decision surprised riders around the world.

At the Spanish Vuelta, riders including former rival and teammate Alberto Contador joined ex-Armstrong coach Johan Bruyneel in offering support. Another former rival, Filippo Simeoni, wondered why Armstrong dropped his fight.

"It leaves me a bit perplexed, because someone like him, with all the fame and popularity and millions of dollars he has, should fight to the end if he's innocent," Simeoni said. "But I guess he realized it was a useless fight and the evidence USADA had was too great."

At the USA Pro Challenge in Breckenridge, Colo., longtime friend Jim Ochowicz said he supported Armstrong's decision.

"He has done so much for our sport over the years and I am sad at what has transpired," he said. "I think he has earned every victory he's had."

Bruyneel said Armstrong was the victim of an "unjust" legal case.

"Lance has never withdrawn from a fair fight in his life so his decision today underlines what an unjust process this has been," Bruyneel wrote on his personal website. The Belgian, who manages the Radioshack Nissan-Trek team, has his own legal battle with USADA. He has opted for arbitration to fight charges that he led doping programs for Armstrong's teams.

Armstrong clearly knew his legacy would be blemished by his decision. But he said he has grown tired of defending himself in a seemingly never-ending fight against charges that he doped while piling up more Tour victories than anyone ever. He has consistently pointed to the hundreds of drug tests that he passed as proof of his innocence during his extraordinary run of Tour titles.


"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, `Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now," Armstrong said Thursday night, hours before the deadline to enter arbitration.

"Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances," he said. "I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities."

Although he had already been crowned a world champion and won individual stages at the Tour de France, Armstrong was still relatively unknown in the U.S. until he won the epic race for the first time in 1999. It was the ultimate comeback tale: When diagnosed with cancer, doctors had given him less than a 50 percent chance of survival before surgery and brutal cycles of chemotherapy saved his life.

Armstrong's riveting victories, his work for cancer awareness and his gossip-page romances with rocker Sheryl Crow, fashion designer Tory Burch and actress Kate Hudson made him a figure who transcended sports.

His dominance of the Tour de France elevated the sport's popularity in the U.S. to unprecedented levels. His story and success helped sell millions of the "Livestrong" plastic yellow wrist bracelets, and enabled him to enlist lawmakers and global policymakers to promote cancer awareness and research. His Lance Armstrong Foundation has raised nearly $500 million since its founding in 1997.

Foundation officials said they remained "proud" of Armstrong and had received hundreds of messages of support from donors, partners and supporters since his announcement. Among them was Nike Inc., which said it planned to continue supporting Armstrong and the foundation.

"Lance has stated his innocence and has been unwavering on this position," the company said.

American Century Investments, another partner, said: "While the actions taken against Lance are unfortunate, we understand his decision to drop his challenge to the USADA charges. The USADA may sanction Lance and attempt to strip his titles, but no one can take away what he's done for the 28 million people around the world living with cancer."

Questions surfaced even as Armstrong was on his way to his first Tour victory. He was leading the 1999 race when a trace amount of a banned anti-inflammatory corticosteroid was found in his urine; cycling officials said he was authorized to use a small amount of a cream to treat saddle sores.

After Armstrong's second victory in 2000, French judicial officials investigated his Postal Service team for drug use. That investigation ended with no charges, but the allegations kept coming.

Others close to Armstrong were caught up in the investigations, too: Bruyneel, the coach of Armstrong's teams, and three members of the medical staff and a consultant were also charged. Bruyneel is taking his case to arbitration, while two medical team staffers and consulting doctor Michele Ferrari didn't formally contest the charges and were issued lifetime bans by USADA. Ferrari later said he was innocent.

Armstrong was criticized for his relationship with Ferrari, who was banned by Italian authorities over doping charges in 2002. Former personal and team assistants accused Armstrong of having steroids in an apartment in Spain and disposing of syringes that were used for injections.

In 2004, a Dallas-based promotions company initially refused to pay him a $5 million bonus for winning his sixth Tour de France because it wanted to investigate allegations raised by media in Europe. Testimony in that case included former teammate Frankie Andreu and his wife, Betsy, saying Armstrong told doctors during his 1996 cancer treatments that he had taken a cornucopia of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs.

Armstrong retired in 2005 and almost immediately considered a comeback before deciding to stay on the sidelines _ in part because he didn't want to keep answering doping questions. Three years later, Armstrong was 36 and itching to ride again. He came back to finish third in the 2009 Tour de France.

Armstrong raced again in 2010 under the cloud of the federal investigation. Early last year, he quit for good, making a brief return as a triathlete until the USADA investigation shut him down.


More information:
» CNN: "Legacy at Stake"
» CBS: Roger Clemens acquitted on all charges

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

DC/VA Craft Beer

"Obama likes microbrews, too — so much so that he bought a beer-making kit (with personal funds) for the White House. The kitchen staff has made three varieties so far: White House Honey Ale, White House Honey Blonde Ale and White House Honey Porter. All are made with honey from Michelle Obama’s kitchen garden."
Express:
Don’t tell the frat boys downing Miller High Life or PBR in Adams Morgan, but there’s a flood of better-tasting brews out there, stuff worthy of the serious sipping and sniffing usually associated with wine. And, maybe in a nod, er, quaff to the locavore food movement, many of these beers have been produced by small, indie breweries — several of them in the D.C. area.

So the next time you have friends over for suds, maybe you’ll be pouring small-batch oyster stouts or seasonal wheat beers that were practically made in your own backyard. (At a campaign stop this week, President Obama revealed that even the White House produces homebrews.)

Craft beer tends to have more complex flavors than such mass-produced varieties as Coors and Bud. That’s because they often feature higher quality and more specialty ingredients than those used by major brewers (who tend to just stick with trad hops, barley and malt). They’re turned out in smaller batches than the big guys, and offer a wider range of tastes.

“There’s been a groundswell of interest and enthusiasm for craft beer locally,” says Greg Engert, beer director for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, which includes 14th Street brewtopia ChurchKey (1137 14th St. NW; 202-567-2576). “Since we opened in 2009, it’s spread out into the mainstream. Our crowd is so diverse.”

Local breweries are also powering this hoppy revolution, including Port City Brewing Company in Alexandria and DC Brau in Northeast, both founded in the past two years. Other new Washington-area labels include 3 Stars, Bluejacket and Chocolate City (which are only available at a handful of locations for now). We are awash in new brews.

“I think D.C. looked inward and was like, ‘We need this,’ ” says Jeff Hancock, the brewer behind DC Brau. “You could get beer from everywhere else in the U.S., but we’re the nation’s capital, and we didn’t have our own brewery — the last one closed in 1956, which was a generation ago. That prompted my business partner Brandon [Skall] and I to start production.”

There’s an art to appreciating craft beer, but the biggest piece of advice? Stop and smell the hops. “Slow down, don’t drink so fast and appreciate what’s in your glass,” says Jason Camsky of Port City Brewing Company. And since we’re at the end of D.C. Beer Week (through Saturday), we’re pouring out tips on how to better sip your suds.

Food Pairing
What sort of food goes with beer? Lots of pros say anything. “If it tastes good to you, then go for it,” advises Beeradvocate.com, managed by the publishers of Beer Advocate magazine.

Still, here’s a foolproof guideline: “The complexity of your beer should match the complexity of your food,” says Kyle Griffin, a brewer at Capitol City Brewing Company’s Shirlington headquarters. So, if you’re eating a lighter meat such as chicken, open a lighter ale; more full-bodied and spicy foods go well with bolder beers such as IPAs, Griffin says.

ChurchKey’s Greg Engert takes that logic a step further. He’s devised a list of characteristics that define certain types of beers — such as “crisp,” “smoke,” “fruit & spice” and “tart & funky” —  and then likes to mix and match the flavors with cuisine. “You determine the intensity [of the food], and then think about how to pair it,” Engert says. “You can harmonize and match flavors,” or do the opposite and opt for contrasting tastes.

Some foods are naturals, though, such as cheese. Carolyn Stromberg — who holds beer and cheese tastings through the Cheese Course at Seasonal Pantry (1314 9th St. NW) — favors Port City Porter paired with Comté, a French cow’s milk cheese. It’s a combo she says emphasizes the fromage’s nuttiness and the brew’s chocolate-y flavor.

Tim Prendergast, the assistant beer director at Meridian Pint (3400 11th St. NW; 202-588-1075) even likes suds with sweets, as in brownies with a raspberry fruit beer or an apple tart with an Imperial stout.

“If nothing else, the greatest thing about food and beer pairings for me … is that it narrows down the choices,” Engert says. With 1,940 craft breweries that were in business for all or part of 2011, according to the Brewers Association, that’s no small feat.


More information:
» VA Craft Beer Events
» DC Beer Events
» Changes in State Law Help Craft Beer Industry
» Winery Ordinance Hurts Fauquier County

Monday, August 13, 2012

More Space Porn


View from the ISS at Night from Knate Myers on Vimeo.
Image Courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center, The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Every frame in this video is a photograph taken from the International Space Station. All credit goes to the crews on board the ISS. Compiled and arranged in Sony Vegas. Music by John Murphy - Sunshine (Adagio In D Minor), performed by the City Of Prague Philharmonic.

Skylights - A Timelapse Film from Knate Myers on Vimeo.

Skylights is a timelapse video made up of nearly 6,000 photos taken over the last few months in New Mexico, USA. Every frame in this video is a photograph. The second to last shot records the sunset moments after the total eclipse of May 20th, 2012. It was pretty exciting to capture it on camera!

Many shots were taken at the VLA (Very Large Array) in New Mexico; the location for several scenes from the movie "Contact". The VLA is a perfect location for capturing the night sky because of its lack of light pollution. In areas this dark, the Milky Way is visible to the naked eye and almost looks like a string of clouds.

Equipment used:
Nikon D300s, D7000 and D5100. Tokina 11-16mm and Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye. The eclipsed sunset shot was captured with a Sigma 500mm. I used the Stage Zero Dolly from Dynamic Perception for the motion controlled shots in this video.

Original music created specifically for this video by Lowercase Noises. Download this track at music.lowercasenoises.com/track/skylights.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

London 2012: Gold for USA Basketball

"When we get hot, it's a big problem," Kobe Bryant said. "So you have all these guys on one team and then all get hot on the same night, it's tough."


Preliminary vs. France
Kevin Durant scored 22 points, LeBron James added eight assists and the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team opened tournament play with a rough-and-ragged 98-71 win over France on Sunday. Team USA is 5-0 all-time vs France in Olympic competition. The Americans expected a tough test from a French team featuring San Antonio guard Tony Parker and five other NBA players.

Preliminary vs. Tunisia
The Americans got their expected blowout and fans got the show they came to see in the 110-63 win over Tunisia, but only after U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski started his reserves to open the second half after a lackluster first 20 minutes.

Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love led the way with 16 points each, who gave the fans the dunk show they expected once the game was in hand. Kevin Durant had 13 and rookie Anthony Davis dunked his way to 12.

Preliminary vs. Nigeria
The U.S. men set a record for largest margin of victory by an American men's basketball team in Olympic play with its 156-73 dismantling of Nigeria on Thursday.

They led by 26 in the first quarter, had an Olympic-record 78 points in the first half and Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points, going 10 of 12 on 3-point attempts, to break the U.S. single-game scoring record in less than three quarters.

The Americans even one-upped the 1992 Dream Team. The 83-point margin of victory was the largest in U.S. national team history, eclipsing the 79-point spread when Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Co. beat Cuba 136-57 in their first game.

They broke the Olympic record for most points in a game with 4:37 still to play, and set U.S. records for 3-pointers (26), field goals (59) and field-goal percentage (71).


Preliminary vs. Lithuania
Two days after running and gunning to a record-shattering 83-point win, the U.S. men's Olympic basketball team had to come back in the fourth quarter for a 99-94 win over a fearless Lithuania team that had the Americans in serious trouble until the closing minutes.

LeBron James scored 9 of his 20 points in the final four minutes for the U.S. Carmelo Anthony added 20 points, Kevin Durant 16 and Chris Paul added seven rebounds, six assists and four of the U.S. team's 17 steals.

With a roster featuring Linas Kleiza, who plays for the Toronto Raptors, and several players who played collegiately in the U.S., Lithuania, which upset the U.S. at the Athens Game in 2004 and has won three bronze medals, went right at the Americans' star-studded crew from the start.

In fact, Lithuania outrebounded the U.S. 42-37 and for long stretches it was the sharper team on the floor. Lithuania also shot an impressive 58 percent (38 for 65) from the field.


Preliminary vs. Argentina
Kevin Durant scored 17 of his 28 points during the Americans' explosive 42-point third quarter, turning a one-point game into a blowout that sent the U.S. soaring into the quarterfinals with a 126-97 victory over Argentina on Monday night.

The NBA scoring champion matched the Argentines' point total in the period, going 5-of-6 from 3-point range, the last one from well beyond 25 feet.

LeBron James added 18 points, getting the Americans' first seven of the third quarter before Durant took over. Chris Paul finished with 17.

James, who scored nine of his points in the final four minutes Saturday, now has 225 points as a U.S. Olympian, pulling within six of Charles Barkley for third place on the U.S. career list.

Quarterfinal vs. Australia
The United States defeats Australia 119-86. LeBron James records a triple-double with 11 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists. The U.S. will face Argentina in the semifinals.

Semifinal vs. Argentina
Kevin Durant scored 19 points, James and Anthony added 18 apiece, and the U.S. turned on its slamming-and-shooting spectacle in the second half to overwhelm Argentina for the second time in three games, 109-83, in the semifinals Friday night.

In the third straight Olympic semifinal between the U.S. and Argentina, the Americans kept pulling ahead only to see the Argentines climb back in — until James and Durant finally put them away for good.

Manu Ginobili scored 18 points for Argentina, which lost to Russia 81-77 in the bronze medal game. Alexei Shved scored 25 points — 13 in the fourth quarter — and Russia won its first men's basketball medal since the breakup of the Soviet Union, beating Argentina in the bronze-medal game.

Though the Americans did have a close game against Lithuania, they are averaging 116.7 points — right behind the Dream Team's record of 117.3 — with a low of 98.


Final vs. Spain
The U.S. men's basketball team defended its title by fighting off another huge challenge from Spain, pulling away in the final minutes for a 107-100 victory on Sunday and its second straight Olympic championship.

And just like 2008, the star-studded Americans had to work for this one.

LeBron James capped one of basketball's most brilliant individual years with a monster dunk and a huge 3-pointer in the final 2:50 that finally wrapped up a close, back-and-forth game that few would have seen coming after the Americans had been so dominant for so long in London.

James had 19 on a day he joined Michael Jordan as the only players to win the NBA title, regular-season MVP, NBA Finals MVP and Olympic gold in the same year.


James stood with both arms in the air, then held Kevin Durant in a long hug before they both headed to the bench. Durant scored 30 points and added 9 rebounds.


Pau Gasol scored 24 points and Juan Carlos Navarro had 21 for Spain, which was again just a few minutes from its first basketball gold but couldn't finish the job against the Americans.

It was the 14th gold medal for the Americans, who lost at least five players who might have been on the team when Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Derrick Rose had to pull out with injuries and Blake Griffin was hurt in training camp.

Along the way, they showed they could be vulnerable during their exhibition schedule, falling into early holes against Brazil and Spain, having to hold on against Argentina.

Any concerns once they arrived in London seemed to be wiped away quickly — just the way the Americans play.

They were tested only once, beating Lithuania 99-94, and the statistics revealed a tournament that was more varsity against junior varsity than best in the world against each other. The Americans came in leading the tournament in eight statistical categories, with laughably lopsided advantages in points off turnovers (198-77) and fast-break points (175-55).

For Kobe Bryant, it was his last Olympic moment.

"This is it for me," said Bryant, who scored 17 points and now has a second gold medal to go with his five NBA championships. "The other guys are good to go."


Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has said he's retiring as national team coach after restoring the Americans to their place atop world basketball, emptied his bench in the final minute.

Though this was expected to be the final international game for Krzyzewski and Bryant, the U.S. will apparently still be able to bring its best to the next Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Though the NBA has said it might prefer an under-23 age limit for the Olympics, FIBA's secretary general said Saturday he doesn't see any changes being proposed in time for 2016.


Krzyzewski, who matched Hank Iba as the only coaches to lead the U.S. to consecutive golds, has said this will be his last game — though USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo promised to do his best sales job to bring the respected coach back.

James isn't sure if he will return after he, Bryant, Anthony, Chris Paul and Deron Williams joined a list of 13 Americans who have won multiple gold medals.



"The U.S. women's basketball team routed France 86-50 in the final Saturday, winning their fifth straight Olympic gold medal and putting more distance between themselves and the rest of the world heading to Rio for the 2016 Games. Candace Parker scored 21 points, including eight straight during the game-changing run in the second quarter as the U.S. took command of the game. The win was the latest in this dominant run that the Americans have been on over the past 16 years. The U.S. has now won 41 consecutive games in the Olympics since taking the bronze medal in 1992."

B.o.B - "Play the Guitar" w/ André 3000 (2011)


Wikipedia:
"Play the Guitar" is a song by American hip hop recording artist B.o.B, featuring fellow American rapper André 3000. The song, produced by Salaam Remi, samples "Bo Diddley" as performed by Bo Diddley as well as "Fancy" as performed by Drake, Swizz Beatz and T.I. It was recorded for his second studio album, Strange Clouds (2012), however failed to make the final cut.

Of the song, B.o.B says: "I feel like it shows people that we are two different artists and we actually do sound different and have our own styles. Not to say that I wasn’t influenced by Outkast and Andre, but I feel like it’s a ‘pass-the-torch’ type of moment. He really gave me a lot of love on the feature and I’m looking forward to hearing what people have to say about it.”

The song debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, on the week of January 14, 2012, at #98. The music video was released on August 8, 2012.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

London 2012: Usain Bolt, The Legend

"It's what I came here to do. I'm now a legend," Usain Bolt said. "I'm also the greatest athlete to live. I've got nothing left to prove." Bolt is unbeaten as an Olympian, winning the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay at back-to-back Games. He's the only man accomplish that history-making feat.
SI:
Four years ago in China, Usain "Lightning" Bolt transformed the 100 meters into performance art, and the Olympics into a soliloquy... Bolt was bigger than all of them and so much faster. It wasn't a race, it was an exhibition (and one that Bolt would repeat four days later in the 200 meters and again in the 4x100-meter relay; three gold medals and an unprecedented three world records. He did likewise a year later at the 2009 world championships in Berlin).

The world gathered again to witness Bolt on Sunday night in London's Olympic Stadium. Many had surely not seen him since Beijing, as track and field lives on the distant margins of mainstream sport and Bolt is its only true star. In a superficial sense, he did not leave them wanting, winning the 100-meter gold medal in 9.63 seconds, an Olympic record and the second-fastest time in history (behind only his world record of 9.58 from Berlin) and .06 faster than he ran in Beijing. But this was not a virtuoso encore, this was a race, and it had begun more than two years earlier.


In the wake of Beijing and Berlin, Bolt, 25, had become an international athletic and cultural celebrity, compensated at more than $10 million a year by his shoe and apparel company, Puma, and recognizable on most streets in most cities. Yet in the summer of 2010, a back injury forced him to shut down his season in July. A year later he returned, but false-started out of the 100 meters at the world championships in Daergu, South Korea. And this year, he ran fast in late May and early June, only to again suffer back problems that he carried onto the track at the Jamaican Olympic Trials in late June, where he looked sloppy and desperate, and was beaten twice by countryman and training partner Yohan "The Beast" Blake, 22. The scent of vulnerability trailed him into London.

"A lot of people doubted me," said Bolt after his victory on Sunday night. "A lot of people said I wasn't going to win. I wanted to show the world that I'm still No. 1, that I'm still the best. I show up on the day."

Once on the lead in the race, Bolt's dominance looked familiar. "Nobody can catch me from behind," he told Sports Illustrated last September. Yet it was not the insouciant Bolt from Beijing. This Bolt clawed at the night air with both arms, gritted his teeth, blew through ballooned cheeks and even looked to the left, as if searching for Blake. And is this not what fans love in their athletes, as much as dominance, the manifestly visible effort that leads to victory? The ability to rise from setbacks and deliver in the biggest moments?

Bolt hit the line and became the second man in history to win two (or consecutive) 100-meter races after Carl Lewis. Lewis crossed the line first in 1984, but was elevated to first in 1988, when Ben Johnson of Canada was disqualified for a positive drug test. It will soon be difficult to argue that Bolt is not the greatest sprinter in history.

But where Bolt won in Beijing by .20 seconds over Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago, this time his margin was just .12 over world champion Yohan Blake, who matched his personal best of 9.75 seconds. The 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin took the bronze in 9.79 seconds, completing a long climb from a four-year ban after testing positive for excessive testosterone. It was the first time in history that three men had run under 9.80 seconds in the same 100-meter race and, behind that, the first time ever that seven men had broken 10 seconds.


Behind Gatlin in the race was Tyson Gay of the U.S., beaten out of the bronze medal by .01 seconds. No sprinter was been more profoundly affected by Bolt's sudden rise than Gay, who was the world 100- and 200-meter champion in 2007, only to be swept away since by Bolt. Remarkably, Gay nearly won an Olympic medal one year after hip surgery, and on Sunday, sobbed heavily in the media zone after the race.

"I gave it my best, ain't nothing else I could do," said Gay. "I feel like I let a lot of people down. I don't have excuses, man. I gave it my all."

American Ryan Bailey came in fifth. However, the Olympian did set a new personal best record by crossing the finishing line in 9.88 seconds.


In celebration, Bolt brought the Full Usain, for a crowd that included Team USA basketball players Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry (nobody wants to miss Bolt). He dusted off To Di World. He posed with life-sized stuffed mascots. He somersaulted in front of the homestretch stands. "I like to show my joy to the crowd," Bolt said. And in this way his races are never over at the finish line, they rumble on around the track, a rolling party into the evening.

"One step closer to becoming a legend," Bolt said. "So I'm happy with myself." And of course he is wrong about that. He is already there, larger than life and larger than his sport.


The Olympic triumph added a special luster to Jamaica's celebrations this week of its 50th anniversary of independence from Britain, including gold in both the men's and women's 100-meter finals. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on Saturday earned back-to-back Olympic titles in the women's 100 meters. Athletes are held in special regard in Jamaica, which has a long record of Olympic success since its first participation in the 1948 London Games.

NYTimes:
Bolt won the 200 meters while slowing in his final four strides in a time of 19.32 seconds, and he crossed the line with his head turned to keep a firm gaze on Yohan Blake. He won it with an index finger pressed to his lips.

“For me, that was for all the doubters,” Bolt said. “That was for all the people that were saying I wasn’t going to win, that I wasn’t going to make myself a legend; that was just for them to say: ‘You can stop talking now. I’m a living legend.’”


Bolt characteristically made ample use of the moment: prancing, posing, doing push-ups, borrowing a photographer’s camera to snap photographs of Blake, kissing the new, fast track.

Bolt became the first sprinter to win the 100 and the 200 in consecutive Olympics, though he conceded that his back was a concern coming out of the curve on Thursday. And his winning time was not quite as fast as his 19.30 seconds in Beijing, .02 faster than Michael Johnson's seemingly unassailable world record from 1996.

Yohan Blake crossed in 19.44 seconds, his second lifetime trip under 19.50, a place where only he, Bolt and Johnson have gone. Warren Weir, a former hurdler, took the bronze medal in a personal best of 19.84 seconds, giving Jamaica a sweep of the event.

His third place finish upsets American sprinter Wallace Spearman, who was looking to medal in the race. Spearman, who is friends with Usain Bolt, cried after the race, but has high praises for the Jamaicans.

“Those guys are on another planet right now,” said Spearmon, who finished fourth in 19.90 seconds.


"This is what I wanted," Bolt said. "I've been saying it for the last three years: I want to become a legend. And I've done it. Now I'm just going to enjoy it."

Huffington Post:
Usain Bolt put an exclamation point on his performance at the London Olympics with another gold medal and a world record. Running the anchor leg in the men's 4x100-meter relay, Bolt helped the Jamaican team win the gold medal in 36.84 seconds, a new world record.

The United States won the silver in 37.04 seconds, a new national record. The lineup of Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey broke the one-day-old American record set Friday in the preliminary heat and tied the previous world record, the one Jamaica had just obliterated.

Gay, a three-time world champion, collected his first Olympic medal. "I'm really appreciative," Gay said. "I'm glad I got the medal. That part of my heart that was missing, I think I filled it.

Nesta Carter ran the opening leg for Jamaica, followed by Michael Frater. Neither sprinter had previously competed during the London Games. The two runners who next carried the baton for Jamaica, however, have made frequent appearances on the medal stand: Blake and Bolt, or the "Double B" duo as they have been dubbed in Jamaica. Bolt received the baton from Blake and then left behind Ryan Bailey of the U.S. to reach the finish line ahead of the field.

He is now fourth in Olympic track and field history with six gold medals, behind Paavo Nurmi (nine), Carl Lewis (nine) and Ray Ewry (eight).

"It's always a beautiful thing to end off like this," Bolt said after the race. "We did it last year at the world championships. For me it's a wonderful feeling."


More information:
» NBC Olympics: 100m Highlights
» NBC Olympics: 200m Highlights
» NBC Olympics: 4x100m Highlights
» Mike Wise: Usain Bolt’s Olympic golds make him the greatest ... ever

London 2012: Track & Field Recap

NYTimes:
Four years after settling for bronze, Sanya Richards-Ross on Sunday sped to gold in the women's 400-meter dash with a time of 49.55 seconds, becoming the first woman from the United States to win the event since 1984. Her teammate DeeDee Trotter took bronze, finishing in 49.72. Britain's Christine Ohuruogu won silver with a time of 49.70. Richards-Ross, 27, already owned two gold medals - the 4x400 relay from Athens and Beijing - but this marks her first individual Olympic title.

ESPN:
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 25, made it back-to-back titles in the women's 100 meters, leaning at the line to win in 10.75 seconds and edge American Carmelita Jeter by .03 seconds. With the victory, Fraser-Pryce became the first woman to repeat in the 100 since Gail Devers of the U.S. in 1992 and 1996.

"It means a lot to defend my title," Fraser-Pryce said. "I trusted in myself."

What a way to start a historic weekend in Jamaica, where the 50th anniversary of the country's independence from Britain is Monday. It was on Aug. 5, 1962, that the Union Jack was lowered for the final time at National Stadium in Kingston. In a picture-perfect bit of symmetry, the Jamaican flag will be raised over Olympic Stadium in London for Fraser-Pryce's medals ceremony.

Another Jamaican, Veronica Campbell-Brown, finished third for her second career 100-meter bronze. American Allyson Felix, who considers the 100 her tuneup for the 200, finished fifth in 10.89 on Saturday.

NYTimes:
Until Monday, the small Caribbean island of Grenada had never had an Olympic medalist in any event. Now it has a gold medal after Kirani James, a 19-year-old nicknamed the Jaguar who once starred for the University of Alabama, crushed the suspense out of one of the sport’s toughest races and crossed the finish line all alone in 43.94 seconds.

James already did some mapmaking last year in Daegu, South Korea, when, at 18, he ran down the reigning Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt on the final straightaway of the 400 to win Grenada’s first gold medal in the outdoor world championships.

Luguelin Santos, a 19-year-old Olympic rookie from the Domican Republic, was second in 44.46 seconds; Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago was third in 44.52. The missing contender was Merritt, a favorite earlier this season, who failed to finish his opening heat here because of a hamstring injury. It is the first time in an Olympics without a boycott in which no American runner made the 400 final.


But the most emotional medal ceremony of the night came later when Felix Sanchez, the Dominican Republic’s biggest track star, broke down in tears before and after receiving his gold medal for winning the men’s 400 hurdles.

Sanchez, 34, later explained that he was crying because of his grandmother, who died in 2008 when he was preparing to begin defense of his Olympic 400 hurdles title in Beijing.

“I got to the podium and, ironically, it started raining,” Sanchez said. “I felt my grandmother was crying, she was crying tears of joy, and that’s what brought my tears.”

Sanchez, born in New York to parents from the Dominican Republic and raised in San Diego, was one of the most dominant figures in the sport in the early 2000s. But he has faltered since. This was his first major outdoor title since 2004, and it came in the same time — 47.63 seconds — that he recorded in Athens when he won his first Olympic gold medal.

Michael Tinsley of the United States was second in 47.91; Javier Culson of Puerto Rico, the pre-race favorite for many, was third in 48.10.

NBC:
Aries Merritt took gold in the 110-meter hurdles with the best performance of his career, beating U.S. teammate Jason Richardson for the gold in 12.92 seconds. Richardson, the 2011 world champion, crossed in 13.04. Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment won bronze in 13.12.

“I am so excited, words can’t explain how excited I am right now,” Merritt said. “The gold means everything. The U.S. hasn’t had a gold medal (in the 110m hurdles) since Allen Johnson in 1996. It’s phenomenal.”

As has been Merritt’s season. Coming into the Games he had run the fastest time in the world (12.93) and had broken 13 seconds four times. He did it twice more here tonight in the semifinals and finals. He had run so consistently well that he vaulted to the top of many form charts as the gold-medal favorite.

Globally, we witnessed a regression by the two men who have dominated the event since 2004. Athens gold medalist Liu Xiang of China, 29, tore his right Achilles tendon at the first hurdle. And Dayron Robles of Cuba, 25, has also been hampered by injuries. The Beijing winner and world-record holder at 12.87 started the final, clipped hurdles two and three, and pulled up holding his right hamstring before hurdle six.

Allyson Felix ran a textbook turn and pulled away from silver medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and bronze medalist Carmelita Jeter to win her first individual Olympic gold in the 200-meter final. She got it in 21.88 seconds, with two-time 100 champion Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica second in 22.09 and Jeter third in 22.14.

She was finally Olympic champion in the 200 meters after winning silver medals behind Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown in 2004 and 2008. And she became the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic sprint title since Gail Devers in 1996. Jeter, the 100 silver medalist last week, was the first U.S. woman to medal in both sprints since Florence Griffith Joyner won them in 1988.

ESPN:
When her name flashed up first, Australian Sally Pearson knew she was No. 1 in an Olympic-record 12.35 seconds, narrowly in front of three Americans: 2008 gold medalist Dawn Harper; Kellie Wells, who had beaten Pearson in the last race coming into London; and Lolo Jones, who missed out on an Olympic medal again.

Jones finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles Tuesday, 0.10 seconds behind bronze medalist Kellie Wells. At Beijing four years ago, Jones came in as the favorite and was leading the final when she hit the ninth of 10 hurdles and wound up seventh.

That was the race that indelibly changed their careers. It was a confidence boost for Pearson, convincing her she could win an Olympic gold medal.

Pearson now holds all the big titles in the sprint hurdles -- she won the world championships at Daegu last year, then the world indoors at Istanbul in March. She was voted the IAAF's female athlete of the year for 2011.

Huffington Post:
Jennifer Suhr of the U.S. won gold at the women's pole vault.

Suhr, who won the silver medal in Beijing and has since fought through an Achilles injury and a long, mysterious, sometimes-debilitating illness that turned out to be a gluten allergy, got the Olympic gold she needed to round out her resume.

She vaulted 15 feet, 7 inches (4.75 meters) to defeat Cuba's Yarisley Silva, who cleared the same height but lost on a tiebreaker because she had one more miss in the competition.

Suhr also beat two-time defending Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, who failed to become the first woman to win the same individual track and field event at three consecutive Olympics. Isinbayeva settled for bronze with a vault of 15-5 (4.70).

Sarah Attar finished last and more than a half-minute slower than her nearest competitor in the women's 800 meters round one heat. Yet hundreds rose to give her a standing ovation as she crossed the finish line.

The 19-year-old Attar ran 800 meters in 2 minutes, 44.95 seconds. But for the first woman from Saudi Arabia to compete in track and field at the Olympics, the principle was more important than the performance.

There were no pacemakers in this Olympic 800-meter race, so David Rudisha, the Kenyan star, set his own torrid pace. Rudisha immediately took the lead and steadily built on it, as many of the year's greatest middle distance runners could never even get close. He finished in 1 minute 40.91 seconds, shaving .10 of a second off the world record mark he set in Italy in 2010.

"Yes, he's the greatest runner," said Timothy Kitum, Rudisha's teammate who took bronze. "He told me he's going to run a word record today. He's the best."

His father, Daniel Rudisha, won a silver medal in the 4x400 in 1968.

The United States had another 1-2 finish when Christian Taylor won the triple jump gold medal, overhauling U.S. teammate Will Claye with his fourth jump in the final.

Taylor, the world champion, earned the Olympic title with a best jump of 17.81 meters. Claye, the world indoor champion, who had already won a bronze medal in the long jump at the London Games, earned silver in 17.62, which made him the first American since 1904 to win medals in both horizontal jumps in the same Olympics.

His and Taylor’s success are part of a wider American renaissance in the jumping events, with Brittney Reese winning the women’s long jump and Chaunte Lowe one of the favorites in the women’s high jump. Although Lowe ended up sixth, University of Arizona senior Brigetta Barrett won the silver medal with a personal-best leap of 6 feet, 8 inches.

CBS:
Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter won gold in the 4x100 meters and added a world record for good measure as she powered the U.S. sprint relay team past its Jamaican rivals.

Felix, the 200-meter champion, ran a blistering second leg and Jeter, 100-meter silver medalist and 200-meter bronze winner, finished off the world record performance, beating the 27-year-old mark of the former East Germany. The U.S. team finished in 40.82 seconds, shaving a massive 0.55 seconds off the old mark.

Almost as amazing as the U.S. women's relay record was the stunning loss by the U.S. men's 4x400 relay after it had won every Olympic gold medal in the event since boycotting the 1980 Moscow Games.


In a thrilling finish, Ramon Miller of the Bahamas chased down and swept past Angelo Taylor in the final straight to deprive the United States of a gold it long thought it had a lock on. Bryshon Nellum, Joshua Mance, Tony McQuay and Taylor won 4x400 silver.

Taylor, 33, a two-time Olympic champ in the 400-meter hurdles, was thrust into the lineup after a flurry of injuries hit the Americans. LaShawn Merritt and Jeremy Wariner both pulled out before the preliminaries, where Manteo Mitchell ran the last 200 meters of the opening lap with a broken left fibula.

Boston:
The South African 4x400 relay team was already trailing Friday when double-amputee Oscar Pistorius took the baton to run the final lap, and he finished almost seven seconds behind the winning team from Bahamas. With the thunderous applause and cheering following him around the track, it was like a victory lap for Pistorius.

"This whole experience was amazing ... to step out here in an Olympic final is more than I could have ever hoped for," Pistorius said. "That opportunity to come here once again and finish today and not yesterday is a dream come true."

Pistorius, the first track athlete to run on prosthetics at the Olympics, had finished last in his 400-meter semifinal Sunday and did not advance to Monday's final. Pistorius said his goal in London was to qualify for the semifinals. Lined up in a more competitive eight-man field a day after doing so, the South African finished in 46.54 seconds, .95 of a second behind winner Kirani James of Grenada.

Russia capped a big day with wins by Mariya Savinova in the women’s 800 meters and Anna Chicherova in the women’s high jump — giving the traditional Olympic power six golds on the penultimate day of the games.

Caster Semenya of South Africa was right behind Savinova to earn a silver medal in her first Olympic final three years after being forced to undergo gender tests.

NBC:
The team of DeeDee Trotter, Allyson Felix, Francena McCorory, and Sanya Richards-Ross finished nearly four seconds ahead of the Russians in the 4x400 relay.

Felix won her third gold medal of the London Olympics, giving the United States a 20-meter lead after the second leg and then watching teammate Richards-Ross bring home the victory Saturday night. Felix became the first U.S. woman to win three golds in Olympic track since Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988.

The U.S. runners finished in 3 minutes, 16.87 seconds for the country's fifth straight Olympic title in the event. Russia finished second in 3:20.23 and Jamaica was third in 3:20.95.

Examiner:
The Jamaican team of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt won the men’s 4x100m relay in 36.84 seconds, making them the first relay team to ever run under 37 seconds in the event.

Team USA’s Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey took the silver medal in 37.04, setting a new American record.

"There was energy coming from the blocks and Tyson did a great job on the third (leg)," said Gatlin. "We did it, we did a great job and next year we're going to do an even better race."

Daily Mail:
Mohamed Farah of Great Britain crossed the finish line to win gold ahead of Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia and Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa of Kenya in the 5,000 meters to complete an Olympic distance double for Britain on Saturday night.

Backed by a boistrous, capacity crowd at 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium, Farah surged ahead late and held on to win in 13 minutes, 41.66 seconds. He still had the energy to do a few playful situps on the track before he grabbed a flag for the real celebrations.

The Somali-born Farah also won the 10,000 meters on Britain's "Super Saturday" last weekend, the same night Jess Ennis won the heptathlon and Greg Rutherford the long jump. Farah became the seventh man in history to complete a 10,000m and 5,000m Olympic double at the same Games.

Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: "Mo_Farah is an Olympic legend and a true British hero. We can all be proud of his extraordinary achievement."

More information:
» SI: Experts split over whether Pistorius has an advantage