What is so great about Mister Rogers?
I grew up poor raised by strict immigrant parents who never hesitated popping me in the mouth for what they considered a “look.” I also never received much affection from my parents (I was 22 when my dad first told me he loved me). My earliest memories of receiving affection was this nice old white man on television telling me I was special. There was this man I had never met, telling me he loved me and that I was special just the way I was.
Every morning for half an hour, I was the king of the world who could do anything. A half hour, then it was back to getting yelled at and feeling like a worthless piece of shit.
When I heard he passed, I cried. This man wasn’t just some television host, he was a part of me. He taught me to speak English. He was the only voice of encouragement when everyone (including teachers) told me I was an idiot and that I was worthless. He was the only person I knew loved me. I wonder how many other children who grow up in horrible situations found comfort in the kind old man on television, and like me, developed a sense of self worth due to the guy. We live in a world where people have alterior motives when helping people out. Not this guy. I wish I would’ve had the chance to meet him and thank him for the huge impact he had on my life and the lives of other children.
Basketball – not rules, but the positions, strategies, what to look for when watching?
Here are the 5 positions and descriptions in the NBA. Point Guard: Team’s best ball handler, passer, decision maker. This player must be able to effectively dribble up the court and initiate an offense when under extreme defensive ball pressure. As such, PG’s are usually the shortest players (there are plenty of exceptions, 6’9 Magic Johnson). They are quick and they must be able to see the entire floor while dribbling. They must be quick and agile and equally skilled at dribbling with either hand. Some PGs like Steve Nash (lakers) are pass-first point guards. They can get the ball to their teammates in optimal scoring positions without committing turnovers. Other PGs are score-first point guards, like Russel Westbrook (thunder). They use extreme agility and athleticism to penetrate opposing defenses and either finish at the rim or dish off to a teammate once the defense collapses on them.
Shooting Guard: Athletic, great at perimeter shooting or slashing. Think Kobe Bryant (lakers). 6’7, can dunk, can slash, can hit 3’s, explosive scorer.
Small Forward: Like a shooting guard, but slightly taller, slower, and stronger. Think Rudy Gay (raptors). I would say Lebron or Durant here, but they are physical freaks of nature. But let’s look at Durant. 6’10, can hit 3s like crazy, can post up and use size, can block shots, can get rebounds. Small forwards are usually 6’7 to 6’9 and are versatile/balanced.
Power Forward: Usually 6’8-6’11. Solid rebounder and defender. Can score from 0-18 feet from the basket. Think Chris Bosh (heat).
Center: Usually 6’10-7’7 (7’7 is max ever). Tallest player, usually worst ball handler and perimeter shooter. Asked to rebound and protect the rim from opposing guards. Offensively, they score on putbacks, post ups, and short shots.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Teams play different styles, especially in college. Some teams run and gun, that is, they grab your missed shot and push the ball up the court with a frenzy and try to get a quick shot before you can set up your defense. Other teams prefer a slower and more methodical pace where they can gradually grind you down and beat you in a war of attrition. Every possession is an intricate set of cuts, screens, and passes designed to eventually punish a defensive mistake.
The most popular offense in the NBA is a pick-n-roll. It is used nearly twice a minute in an nba game. Often, a team will run some other offense (you only have 24 seconds from the time your team gains control to attempt a shot, which must go in or touch the rim), but the defense will stop it. So with 8-10 seconds left on the clock, they will run a pick-n-roll. Their best slasher/scorer handles the ball, a big man sets a screen on his defender, and the slasher attacks. The defense must now decide very quickly how to handle it. Despite hours of practice, it is still very difficult to defend because often the two defenders (of the slasher and the big) end up switched, which causes two mismatches (a big slow guy guarding a skilled slasher and a small guard guarding a big tall guy rolling to the hoop).
Many teams isolate. That is, they clear out one side of the court, throw it to a talented 1-on-1 player and let him play a possession isolated against an inferior defender. NBA players are so good that some can score at will in this situation (Kobe, Melo, Bron, KD, CP3 on the dribble, Howard, Jefferson, Rose, etc). So to counter, the defense will send a second defender at the star (double team). So now, an offensive guy is open. So if the star is unselfish, he will swing the ball around to his teammates while the defense scrambles back into position. Sometimes they get a wide open shot, sometimes they get a blowby (defender runs at the shooter, shooter drives right by him), and sometimes the defense recovers. Then it becomes a numbers game. If the supporting cast cant score, they’re in trouble. If they’re hitting shots, then the defense really has a problem because it can’t guard the isolation and the others are hitting shots. It’s very interesting.
Some teams have no reliable bigs. Yes, they may have two 6’11 guys, but neither of them may have good post moves. Then, that team becomes a perimeter team: they shoot many 3’s. This is streaky. While some nights they may hit 15 3’s and just blow you out, other nights, those same shots don’t fall and they just die. Reliable post players are rare and valuable because they cause so many problems for the other team. Great shooters love playing with dominant big men (like Shaq) because the defense collapses on the Big and the Big can kick the ball out to the open shooters.
Why are Men’s European and South American soccer teams so much better than the USMNT and what are the most important elements of success lacking in the US Team?
The European and South American soccer teams are better than the USMNT for 3 reasons:
1. Diversity (or lack thereof): You can also call this fact the limiting pool of players available to the USMNT. Imagine you are a baby boy born in say, Argentina or the Netherlands and your parents are going to give you a gift. If it’s going to be a sporting gift, 99% of the time you are going to get a soccer ball. If you are a baby boy born in America chances are you are going to get a basketball, a football, a baseball or even a hockey stick and a puck before you get a soccer ball (these days you might even get whatever they use to play lacrosse before you get a soccer ball). The diversity in America makes it very difficult or almost impossible to recruit the best athletes for soccer. I’m sure America has tons of great athletes that, with proper instruction, could be equal or better than Drogba, Sterling, Ronaldo, Robben, etc. I’m equally sure there is an American kid right now that could be a big soccer start in Europe in 2105 , maybe not at the same level as Messi or Ronaldo but right below them but guess what? He has never touched a soccer ball in his life! He’s playing wide receiver in the NFL or is an outfielder in MLB or is a winger in the NHL. Not much you can do around this other that give it time: the soccer culture is starting to take hold in America and I can see it more and more when I travel. I’ve been here for 20 years as an expat and when I arrived in America I would be the only one in say, an airport with an Arsenal shirt or a Maradona shirt. These days I literally cannot go through an airport and not run into kids that are wearing Barca shirts, Messi shirts, Manchester United shirts, Brazil shirts and so on. It’s happening, you just need to give it time. As more kids play soccer the USMNT pool of players will get better. Right now it has to go outside its borders to find players as Klinsmann has done with so many German Americans (Jermaine Jones, John Brooks, etc.) and Mexican Americans (Ventura Alvarado, Michael Orozco, etc.)
2. Creativity: This one is totally an education issue or, in this case, over education and is totally in US Soccer hands to fix. If you are a boy growing up in South America, Europe or Mexico you just go play on the street or the park and there is where you can run wild, try to do crazy things with the ball and do it over and over. It is all unsupervised from the coaching point of view; it’s just kids playing soccer. America takes the opposite approach: everything is scripted. Leagues like AYSO are great for introducing kids to soccer but they are so heavy on instructions and drills that the kids’ creativity has no place to develop. American soccer needs to get away from being so rigid on formal training. I can guarantee you Ronaldinho did not come up with his awesome tricks (a small sample below) during drills or conditioning. He came up with them just playing with his buddies on the street. America should encourage that and it is not doing it enough of it. American soccer players will never be outrun (they have great conditioning, not a problem there) but they are not creative. The USMNT needs a maestro like Ronaldinho or Xavi who is creative. Michael Bradley is probably the best we have right now and, as good as he is, he’s not a maestro or an orchestrator; he’s a defensive midfielder trying to be one and Klinsmann knows this. If Jurgen had a choice he would not have deployed Bradley as a creator, he just does not have enough creative players to have an alternative.
3. Coaching: Most coaches in South America and Europe (not only at the pro level but pretty much every level below it) have spent their whole life either playing or coaching soccer. The elite ones have gone abroad to study and learn from the best soccer academies of the world. Tell me how many American coaches have had a similar life, not many. Who’s the best American coach right now? Most people would not disagree that Bruce Arena is the one or one of the top ones and he has never coached outside the United States. He and his brethren should have had experiences at Manchester United, Real Madrid, Ajax and so on. If you want to improve you have to learn from the best and it starts with the coaches. I don’t see it happening right now but I hope I’m wrong. The other alternative is you bring coaches from abroad which is why Jurgen Klinsmann is the national team coach. I highly doubt there is an American coach as qualified as him.
If you trained in MMA for 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 1 whole year, how good would you be at holding your own in a street fight or the ring?
I actually did exactly this for one year (5 hours a day, 5 days a week) for a year with no prior experience. I mainly focused on boxing and wrestling. BJJ and Muay Thai techniques were secondary in priority. I sparred everyday and power-lifted to get strong, not big. I was 5′8 and weighed 140 pounds (like Bruce Lee) and was able to put up a fight pretty well against any guy that did not train in any martial arts. It was actually surprisingly easy to beat guys who weighed even twice as much as me *as long as they did not have any martial arts, boxing, or wrestling experience.*
I got to test this out in several ways. I sparred with bigger guys who just started doing MMA and beat them. I never competed officially because a guy competing in my weight division would whoop my butt more so than any huge bully meathead could. I would advise you to avoid competitions until you develop some sort of immunity to muay thai kicks and develop some serious wrestling reflexes. That would at least prevent you from losing terribly. You can get seriously hurt with muay thai kicks. There is no way around it either. You must make your shins hard. It will take years to be on par with an opponent. If you don’t have a good grasping of wrestling positioning, you’re set up to lose.
Another way I found out unfortunately, was by having to defend myself on the street a few times. I never hurt anybody seriously, but I have taken down guys who were attacking me. I was so surprised the first time I got atttacked because I didn’t even think the guy would end up on the floor so easily. That gave me time to run for safety. I also submitted another guy & I tried to talk him out of fighting me. I had to run to avoid HURTING HIM (he continued attacking after I let go because his ego couldn’t take the fact that a short skinny guy submitted him). My friends told me that I once beat up a guy who was trying to rob us all at night time. I couldnt remember anything because I was on my insomnia medications but apparently I won by using BASIC boxing and several continuous fast punches. This happened in a sketch neighborhood a few years back. I had a cut on my face, but allegedly, the attackers face was left unsightly. The attacker was allegedly slightly larger than me.
If you spar enough, your reflexes will win the fight for you if the attacker is unarmed & inexperienced. Its just how it works. Just make sure you only use it for self defense. Its hard to know when to switch to combat mode and “stop being civil.” That is actually what is going to determine whether you win or not. For me, seeing a fist coming in my direction or seeing an angry or malicious stare is enough for me to “accept” the situation and abandon those boundaries and be mentally prepared to fight. Its really hard to do especially if youre generally a good person who does not like hurting other people. But if you’ve been beat up or jumped before you already understand that fighting back is a lot better of an option than just standing there and taking it.
I currently just wrestle as a hobby and can say that as long as the guy has little experience, you can beat him in wrestling no matter the size. There is a certain point when a big guy who is a novice’s skill level becomes competent enough to occassionally beat you. This applies to all sports though. If a bigger or fitter guy knows enough of the basics, he stands a chance at beating you, even if you know more techniques than him, (unless your arsenal of techniques are specifically tailored to beat bigger opponents).
During a police interrogation, can you actually get away with not saying anything until you’re provided with a lawyer?
In the US, the sixth amendment to the constitution says the following:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Brewer v. Williams (1979) held that once adversarial proceedings have begun against a defendant, he has a right to legal representation when the government interrogates him.
So basically, yes, it works like it does on TV. At least, it does in the States.
Now, in practical matters, the police are allowed to lie to you. There’s nothing stopping them from trying to convince you that you don’t need a lawyer. You could say to them something like “I think I need a lawyer,” and they could say something like “Why do you need a lawyer? Lawyers are for bad guys. You aren’t a bad guy, are you? We just want to get a bit of information”