What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is known as a conditioning and a strength brand that combines a multitude of disciplines. These disciplines are gymnastics, sprinting, weightlifting, kettlebell training, powerlifting, rowing, plyometrics, and even medicine ball training.  Kettle Bell WeightsThere is a belief system behind the CrossFit brand. This belief system comes down to the principle that a fit and healthy man or woman needs proficiency in 10 skills. These skills are accuracy, coordination, balance, agility, speed, power, flexibility, strength, stamina and endurance. It is a program that was founded by Lauren Glassman and Greg Glassman, a former high-school gymnast.

The CrossFit brand defines fitness as work capacity that is heightened across the 10 domains of accuracy, coordination, balance, agility, speed, power, flexibility, strength, stamina and endurance. CrossFit asserts that it promotes this by stimulating both hormonal and neurological adaptations over whole metabolic pathways. Athletes who practice CrossFit can climb and jump rope, lift odd objects and row. Using both weightlifting as well as powerlifting techniques, athletes who practice CrossFit can move big loads efficiently over moderate distances. Some equipment and tools that CrossFit athletes use include dumbbells, kettlebells, pull-up bars and gymnastic rings. This program is already utilized by up to 2000 gyms across the globe, and even a few police departments, military organizations and fire departments have used the CrossFit program.

Nutrition: The Paleo Diet

Ancient Corn MortarThe Paleo diet is short for the Paleolithic diet, which is also called the caveman diet, the hunter-gatherer diet and even the Stone Age diet. This nutritional diet is based upon the assumed, ancient diet that consisted of wild plants and even animals that many human species constantly ate during the Paleolithic era. The Paleo diet these days consists mostly of pasture-raised and grass-fed meats, vegetables, fish, nuts, roots, fruits, legumes, grains, salt, dairy products, processed oils and refined sugars. The basic principle of this diet is that it consists of foods that can only be either hunted or gathered, which means that foods such as fish, fruit, insects, eggs, seafood and meat are included in this diet. Practitioners of this diet think that people should get between 56 and 65 percent of their food energy from animal foods and only between 36 and 45 percent of their food energy from plant foods.

CrossFit Exercises

The exercises in CrossFit are based on the principles that each person should have the capability of balancing various levels of activity and also performing satisfactorily at any given task. The exercises for CrossFit are designed to promote and to defend these kinds of principles in the CrossFit philosophy. The exercises in CrossFit can be traditional, such as gym-based exercises like drills, running, calisthenics and lifting, or they might even be anti-traditional like carrying weird-shaped items, pulling along weighted sleds, or even flipping tires. The kinds of exercises that CrossFit features in its program are tailored to each individual so that everyone at different levels of fitness can productively take part in a CrossFit program. For example, participants who lift only 20 pounds versus those who are so advanced that they can lift 130 pounds can identify with each other, based on the principle behind how each person tries to execute the exercise.

CrossFit Competitions

CrossFit competitions are this fitness brand’s way of determining who the fittest person on Earth is, at least based only on the people that are active participants in the CrossFit program. The competitions can best be defined as multi-stage trials that are based on a grueling work ethic and courses. The trick behind these competitions is that the competitors have absolutely no idea what awaits them: Each and every year, CrossFit actually changes the events from the previous year, so competitors have to be reasonably fit enough that they are ready to take on practically anything. In any given CrossFit competition, participants can expect lengthy endurance races, gymnastic ring handstands/pushups, scaling walls, weightlifting, sandbag running and other tests or endurance and strength. CrossFit competitions are open to contestants from across the whole world, and contestants qualify for the event simply by sending in a home video of themselves performing some feat of CrossFit strength. If accepted, they then participate in the CrossFit competition finals, which are usually held around the late part of July.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman Lifting BarbellQ: What is a WOD?
A: WOD stands for “Workout of the Day.”

Q: What is the official warmup for CrossFit?
A: The official warmup for CrossFit consists of three rounds of up to 15 repetitions of the Samson Stretch, the overhead squat with an accompanying broomstick, the back extension, the sit-up, the dip and the pull-up.

Q: What is the meaning of pood?
A: The pood is a Russian measure for kettlebells.

Q: What is a hook grip?
A: The hook grip is when one wraps his or her hand around the bar while grabbing as much of one’s thumb with the first two fingers as possible.

Q: What is a Tabata?
A: A Tabata is doing 20 seconds worth of repetitions for the assigned exercise, then resting for 10 seconds.

Q: What is a Farmer’s Walk?
A: A Farmer’s Walk is lifting two dumbbells that are heavy and walking for a certain distance.

Q: What is a Waiter’s Walk?
A: A Waiter’s Walk is when one holds a weight over his or her head and then walks for a certain distance.

Q: What is a Samson Stretch?
A: A Samson Stretch is when one interlaces his or her fingers and raises them overhead so one’s palms are towards the ceiling. The Stretch occurs when one lifts with his or her shoulders.

Q: What is the wallball target height?
A: The standard height of the wallball target is 10 feet.

Q: What makes a suitable substitute for running?
A: A suitable substitute for running can be box-stepping, stair-climbing, dumbbell or kettlebell swings, heavy bag work, cross-country skiing and box jumps.

Man Sprinting Down Road

John L Baird2A Scottish engineer, John Logie Baird was the inventor of the first publicly demonstrated and public television in the whole world. He was also the inventor of the first color, electronic television tube. His significant place in the invention of the television is secured by way of his achievements in displaying working television broadcasts. Baird’s television system was in the end displaced by a purely electronic television system, his having been an electromechanical one.

Baird was a Scotsman, born in Helensburgh on August 13, 1888. He went on to be educated at Larchfield Academy, which was also in Helensburgh. His studies at institutes of higher learning took place at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College and then later on at the University of Glasgow. Interestingly, he never returned to his university to finish his course work after World War I interrupted his studies.

Early Influence

Arthur Korn 2Arthur Korn was a German-born, Jewish inventor, and he both invented and crafted the first circuits for signal conditioning that were for image transmission. Korn’s circuits permitted him to send pictures either by wireless or by telephone between oceans and countries. His circuit worked even without the advantage of electronic amplification. Baird was a direct beneficiary of this technology of Korn’s.

The First Television

Baird’s success was founded upon being able to create the first moving, live, grayscale television image that came from reflected light. He was successful since he bettered the signal conditioning from both the video amplifier and the photocell. On the back of this success, the Scotsman, in the early 1920s, began to rent a workshop in Hastings, which he would use for his experimentations. After getting a massive electric shock and consequently being evicted by his landlord, Baird took his experiments to a workshop in London’s Soho neighborhood.

First Television Image 2On October 2, 1925, Baird made a breakthrough by succeeding at transmitting the very first grayscale, television image. After this success, Baird looked for publicity by paying a visit to the offices of the Daily Express newspaper, yet the editor at the time thought him to be mad and warned his staff to be wary of him. A few months later in January of 1926, Baird demonstrated his transmission success to both a reporter from the Times newspaper as well as members of the Royal Institution. More demonstrations followed thereafter: In July of 1928, he demonstrated the very first color transmission in the world, and in 1932, he demonstrated the first ultra-short wave transmissions in Britain.

Early Television System Diagram

Other Innovations

Cover Science And Invention Nov1928In 1927, the Scotsman had already transmitted a long-distance television signal between Glasgow and London. This was the precursor to him establishing his own company, the Baird Television Development Company Ltd., which holds the distinction of producing the first transmission across the Atlantic from London to New York in 1928. It also made the first television program for the BBC. Baird’s television systems were used by the BBC until 1937, when they decided to switch to an electronic television system that was created by EMI-Marconi. Even though mechanical television systems had been relegated due to the more popular electronic systems, Baird still contributed to the newer medium. He both demonstrated and patented a system of 3-D television that had a definition of 500 lines in 1941, and he also performed the world’s first demonstration of a television display that was completely electronic in 1944.

Though the Scotsman’s contributions were primarily to the television industry, he dabbled elsewhere. In his 20s, he attempted to make diamonds by heating up graphite, yet that resulted in the shorting out of Glasgow’s supply of electricity. Baird finally died on June 14, 1946, the casualty of a stroke that he endured a few months earlier. Today, Baird is buried in Helensburgh Cemetery along with his wife and parents.

Further Resources

To learn more about the Scotsman, check out the following links.

Can you imagine a beautiful garden hanging down and growing from the balconies and rooftops of a gigantic palace? These were the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Two thousand years ago, travelers passed by marvelous sites, which they recorded, and eventually these amazing places were used as the basis for choosing seven world wonders. Ancient Greeks made a list of the most remarkable man-made creations and they named them the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Greeks chose seven because they felt the number seven was the perfect number.

7 Wonders of the Ancient World

The Seven Ancient World Wonders are:

  1. Pyramids of GizaThe Pyramids of Giza, Egypt was built approximately 2,000 B.C. These are the massive tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs. A tomb is like a large stone room where the Egyptians buried people when they died. The Egyptians believed that the dead person would come alive again to live a new life, which is why their tombs were also filled with the person’s belongings. Of the ancient wonders, the Pyramids of Giza is the only one left standing.
  2. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon in Iraq (keep reading for more information on this secret garden!)
  3. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was built in Turkey during the sixth century B.C. This giant temple, a building where people to go worship a god, was built to honor Artemis, the Greek goddess of hunting.
  4. Statue of Zeus in Greece was built in the fifth century B.C. This was a 40-foot (12 meter) statue of the father of the Greek gods.
  5. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Turkey was built in the fourth century B.C. This complicated and beautiful tomb contained the remains of King Mausolus.
  6. Colossus of Rhodes was constructed in Rhodes which is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. Erected around the fourth century B.C., it was a 110-foot (33.5 meter) statue of the Greek sun god, Helios.
  7. The Lighthouse of Alexandria, constructed around 280 B.C., was a tower built on the island of Pharos, Alexandria. It was a light house guiding sailors towards the harbor at night.
Hanging Gardens Illustration

Learn more about the seven wonders by following these links:

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Hanging Gardens is ranked as the second ancient world wonder. It was actually a large collection of plants that were hung from the gigantic balconies and rooftops of a palace at the east bank of the Euphrates River, located in the South of Baghdad in Iraq. Some stories described the Hanging Gardens as towering hundreds of feet into the air; but archaeological findings showed that this height was an exaggeration, and the Hanging Gardens really were not that high.

The reason behind the Hanging Gardens sounds like a fairy tale. King Nebuchadnezzar II, heir to the throne of King Hammurabi, built the garden around 600 B.C. to make his his Queen Amytis less homesick. Queen Amytis missed her mountainous home in Medea, so the King decided to bring the mountains to his palace. He had his men build a giant fake hill planted with trees and beautiful flowering plants hanging from the balcony and rooftop of this palace . In the 1st century BC, a horrible earthquake struck Baghdad, destroying a large part of the city, including these gardens.

Today, there those who argue that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were not real. Some people consider the Hanging Gardens of Babylon as a fantasy because Babylonian records never talked about these amazing Gardens. But the writings of the Greek geographer, Strabo, and Greek historian, Philo gave vivid descriptions of even the tiniest little detail about the Gardens. No concrete evidence supported the real existence of the Gardens but recently, some findings showed that some incredible gardens really existed in the town of Nineveh. In the end, historical experts want real proof before they say that the Hanging Gardens were real.

Whether the Hanging Gardens were real or not does not change that they were chosen as the second wonder of the ancient world and the beautiful story that King Nebuchadnezzar II brought the mountain to his palace because of how much he loved his queen.

Hanging Gardens Babylon Painting

Feng Shui CharacterFeng shui can best be thought of as an ancient Chinese practice that some think employs the laws of Heaven as well as Earth to assist in improving the life of the average person. This improvement comes by way of getting some positive qi. The phrase feng shui can be taken as the literal meaning of wind-water. The origins of feng shui can be traced all the way back to Hongshan and Yangshao cultures. Hongshan culture was a Neolithic culture in the northeast of China, which lasted from 4700 BC all the way to 2900 BC, while the Yangshao culture was another Neolithic culture in China that lasted from 5000 BC to 3000 BC. Today, traditional feng shui is still practiced by Chinese people and also New Age entrepreneurs, who have brought it to the West with, however, some losses in translation.

Standing Stones Rose HipWith respect to architecture, feng shui plays a very significant role, especially in deciding the form of the space in consideration. The concept of feng shui basically is concerned with keeping harmony and peace in the flow of the architecture of any structure. This structure can be something as imposing as an office building, yet it can also be as simple as the interior space of one’s living room or any other room in a residence. The architecture behind feng shui is such that any space should be designed so that there is a regular flow of positive energy or qi. Precision is necessary in feng shui design, and this can be seen no better than the incorporation of a compass or even a Luo Pan to decide which the favorable positioning of certain rooms in a house or building.

Ancient Chinese CoinsWith regards to tombs, feng shui was used to orient them because of their important, spiritual significance. By about 3000 BC, feng shui was being used in many Chinese cities like Puyang and Mawangdui because of the presence of tombs in those locations. Liuren astrolabes were some of the oldest tools used for feng shui, and some have even been excavated from Chinese tombs that date to 250 BC. Even in pre-modern China, it was discovered that feng shui used on tombs had as much importance as feng shui used in private homes.

Feng shui is most commonly known as a practice that is applied to people’s homes, particularly in China. In homes, the Chinese use feng shui for medical purposes in addition to helping their homes find a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere. In China, the belief is that incorporating feng shui in the home will provide a profound, curative effect on one’s life. Feng shui is not so much about furniture rearrangement as it is about spiritual connection.

Feng shui in the home begins by clearing out any clutter at home and making space for good-quality air and light. Before one should even get into arranging the furniture in a home and worrying about its layout, one has to define the energy map of the home by using a compass. After that, one has to familiarize himself or herself with the five elements of theory in feng shui, as well as knowing one’s feng shui birth element. Knowing one’s Kua number and the state of the home are also integral to successful feng shui design.

Bamboo Plant PotBoth the layout of one’s home as well as the layout of the furniture are said to be filled with life energy, just as natural wonders in nature; so believe the Chinese. In feng shui, the belief is that certain objects and furniture in the home can actually have a negative burden on one’s spirit, especially if they are arranged in a wrong way where the energy flow of the home is impeded. Feng shui is important, thus, in helping to improve the spiritual quality of one’s home by laying out the furniture in such a way that the energy flow is no longer impeded. Feng shui will try to use all elements in a room, such as furniture or even mirrors, plants, the color of the walls, etc.; to bring balance back to the all-important way that the energy inside the whole home flows around. Achieving this all-crucial energy balance in the home is the goal of a feng shui decorator and practitioner, and it is thought to improve the spiritual life and the mood of the person living inside such a space. Organizations like the International Feng Shui Guild promote awareness of feng shui and are consultants for aims like bringing feng shui into the home.

LA Chinatown Spiral

Bird watching is a rather low key, but thoroughly enjoyable hobby that is practiced all around the United States and in many other countries as well. Bird watchers venture out into natural areas to spot new and interesting birds that they haven’t seen before. They may start out in places close to home, such as the backyard or a bird sanctuary, or venture out to more remote regions. On the whole, bird watching is a peaceful, relaxing activity that can also be quite exciting and educational. Bird watching not only teaches us about birds, but also about nature, habitats, and conservation.

Getting Started with Bird Watching

In the United States alone, there are approximately 51.3 million dedicated bird watchers. It is fairly easy to start out since only a few basic supplies are required. Most new bird watchers initially find it a little tricky, as birds can easily be spooked and fly off. With a bit of practice however, people quickly learn how to stay quiet and concealed so that the birds stay around for a longer time. Bird watching is easy enough that people of all ages and different walks of life can enjoy it. Bird watching teams or clubs are a fun way to meet other people who also spend time appreciating these wonderful little creatures.

Equipment Required for Bird Watching

boy birding with binocularsThe basic equipment needed to start bird watching is quite minimal. A standard set normally includes a notepad, a published bird field guide, and a reliable pair of binoculars. The field guide is especially useful in helping to identify different species of birds, while the notepad is used to detail new sightings. Many bird watchers also like to photograph birds as part of their note-taking process. Photographing the birds helps with species identification, especially if the bird flies off after only a brief time. Since bird watching takes place outdoors, bird watchers need to be well prepared so that they can stay outside comfortably for extended periods of time. To do this, come prepared with appropriate clothing (including a hat, sunglasses and walking shoes), sunscreen, and mosquito repellent. Other items such as a cell phone, a map, a first aid kit, a compass, snacks and water are particularly useful for day journeys or trips into unknown areas.

Top Bird Watching Tips

Kingfisher On BranchThe biggest questions that most new bird watchers have are where and when to start observing birds. It helps to have a guide or checklist that indicates which birds are prevalent in certain areas during each season. Although a backyard, public garden, or local bird sanctuary are good places to start, rarer birds can usually be found in forests and woods. When setting up in an area, be very quiet and be prepared to stay there for some time. Often patience is rewarded when a bird watcher stays in one place for a long time. This allows the birds to get used to the person being there and they eventually get over their skittishness. Always respect the birds, their habitats, and other creatures that make their homes there. Do not leave any trash behind or destroy plants, trees, or nests.

Bird Watching Resources for Kids

Bird watching is a fantastic way to introduce children to nature and help them build an appreciation for wildlife. After explaining the basic rules of bird watching, such as being quiet and respecting nature, parents can equip their children with a little notebook and a disposable camera (without flash). Organize a nature walk in the neighborhood to see how many birds the kids can manage to spot. Alternatively, help the children to set up a bird feeder in the backyard. In this way, they can actively observe birds right at home.

Owning a dog or cat can be a complete joy until he or she decides to destroy your furniture. While a bite or scratch on your sofa may not drain you of your love for your pet, it can get you to think twice about how often you let your pet around your personal belongings. It may also have you concocting ingenious ways to make your furniture unattractive snacks or scratching posts. While the reasons behind destructive behavior can vary between species and individual pet personalities, behavior medication tactics can remain the same. Read on to learn more about how to stop your pet from ruining your furniture.

puppy chews toilet paper

There are a number of reasons why a dog may chew on sofa legs and other types of furniture. Boredom and stress are two of the most common factors that precipitate biting. If your dog is bored, provide him with a variety of toys to keep his attention. Identify what makes your dog anxious, if he’s stressed. When you sense that your dog’s stress level rising, do your best to stimulate good behavior by distracting him with a treat and positive reinforcement. Excess energy, phobias, and a need for attention can also lead to gnawing. Increasing your dog’s level of exercise may be able to combat all three of these reasons for furniture-chewing. It should be noted that puppies that are less than a year old may seek to gnaw on furniture because of teething. Providing puppies with a wide array of chew toys of different sizes and textures may curb inclinations to use furniture to cope with new teeth. It can be important that you not leave your dog alone with the furniture he likes to chew on. If you need to leave your home, crate him with his favorite toy while you’re out. Dogs that cannot be classified by any of the aforementioned categories may suffer from behavioral disorders. In cases like these, special obedience training classes may be required.

Scratching furniture is a behavior that can be observed in dogs, though it may be more commonly associated with cats. This is because cat scratching has a number of evolutionary and physical benefits for felines: when a cat scratches objects, it may be doing so to maintain its nails, mark its territory or relieve stress. A good way to encourage a cat to stop scratching personal belongings is to provide her with a substitute. For this tactic to be successful, you may have to closely observe your cat’s scratching behaviors, note what materials she likes to dig her claws into, and what positions she’s most likely to bear her claws in. Then, you should find a cat scratching post that mirrors the surface and these conditions. Attaching toys to the scratcher may make it more attractive to her. For especially insistent cats, you may find that you have to get creative with your deterrents. Covering areas that you don’t want your cat to scratch with aluminum foil or double-sided tape can do wonders to keep her nails off them. Products exist that allow you to cover your cat’s nails with plastic casings so that the sharpness of the nails is removed. Regardless of the damage that may ensue from a feline’s natural inclination to scratch objects, declawing her should never be considered as effective management for this behavior.

Bad Kitty On Scratched Sofa

Chewing

Scratching

Removing Pet Hair, Urine and Feces

An independent film or simply an indie film is known as a film production that is made mainly outside of a major film studio. This type of film production is meant to create a feature film. Independent films can also be a reference to art films, which are also films that are contradictory to many of the films that are mass-marketed. While independent films are produced through independent film companies, they might also be both produced and then distributed by some subsidiaries of the major film studios. However, to be a truly independent video, a film should only receive less than half of its funding from a major studio.

The Edison Trust

The history and the origin of independent films can be found by going back to something called the Edison Trust, founded in the year 1908. The Edison Trust, also referred to as the Motion Picture Parent Company, was simply a trust that comprised all of the majorThe Edison Trust U.S. movie companies, the number one distributor, and the largest raw film supplier, Eastman Kodak. The legacy of the Edison Trust was to eliminate the dominance of foreign films on U.S. screens, standardize the way movies were both distributed and then exhibited in the U.S., and encouraged internal competition among U.S. films. Yet the Edison Trust also hurt its members since it deterred them from getting into feature film production and receiving outside financing for movies. Filmmakers who, despite all this control and monopoly by the Edison Trust, rejected this dominance by the Edison Trust were the first makers of independent films.

New Hollywood

New Hollywood, or the American New Wave or even post-classical Hollywood, is a time in American cinema that ran from the 1960s to the early part of the 1980s. This period of time was punctuated by a generation of young and new filmmakers coming to popularity in the U.S. As a result, these filmmakers influenced the kinds of movies produced, their marketing and their production, and even the manner in which the major movie studios approached making movies. These young and new filmmakers were not independent since they were part of the major studio system. However, they brought to people both styles as well as subject matter that made them stand out from traditions of filmmaking as the studios handled it.

The genre of independent films goes back for more than 100 years, with its history beginning with filmmakers who had the guts and the principle to reject the Edison Trust way of doing business. From there, independent films and independent filmmakers only continued getting stronger, first encouraged by the formation of United Artists and then the subsequent formation of the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers. Both United Artists as well as the Society existed to form something of a bulwark against the major movie studio system that sought to dominate and dictate everything with regards to how movies were made and distributed. In the end, New Hollywood emerged as something of a compromise between the concept of independent films and the studio systems, as they mixed the disregard for tradition that independent films espoused, but still relied on the major studio systems for making their movies.