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This video shows the last thing you’ll see if you tangle with a grizzly. Warning: It’s gross.
We’ve seen some pretty out-there limited-edition cars from luxury manufacturer Lamborghini, but its newest may have just taken the biscuit and sped off with it.
The Egoista, unveiled at the closing gala of the 50th anniversary Grande Giro tour, was designed by Volkswagen’s head of design, Walter De Silva, and it’s meant to be the ultimate in self-indulgence.
“This is a car made for one person only, to allow them to have fun and express their personality to the maximum,” De Silva said. “It is designed purely for hyper-sophisticated people who want only the most extreme and special things in the world. It represents hedonism taken to the extreme, it is a car without compromises, in a word: egoista (selfish).”
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With rookie minicamps starting for so many teams through this weekend, there will be hundreds of young men new to the NFL who are convinced that the league sold them short. And every season, a few rise up from the rabble to become the new “How did THAT guy last THAT long in the draft?” stories. Perhaps the most glaring example that the 2012 draft was not an exact science came from former Florida Atlantic running back Alfred Morris, selected in the sixth round by the Washington Redskins. Morris ran for 3,506 yards and 27 touchdowns in three seasons for the Owls, but the team went 1-11 in his last year there, and 1-11 in the Sun Belt doesn’t get you a lot of looks at the next level.
But Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, who had a bit of success with another sixth-round running back in Terrell Davis, took a shot, and off Morris went. After decent preseason performances against Buffalo and Chicago, he ran for 107 yards against the Colts, which had Shanahan thinking he’d seen enough. He told Morris that he’d be the starting halfback the day before the season opener against the New Orleans Saints, and that proved to be a wise decision. Morris ended his rookie campaign with a franchise-record 1,613 rushing yards on 335 carries, including a 200-yard, three-touchdown performance in the regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys that clinched Washington’s first NFC East title since 1999. Quarterback Robert Griffin III was the marquee rookie, but Morris gave just as much with far less fanfare.
So, when I spoke with Morris during his recent media blitz for a DirectTV sponsorship, I asked him what he’d tell this year’s class of rookies who believe that they’ve been undersold for whatever reason.
“Don’t go in with a chip on your shoulder — at least, I couldn’t have done it that way,” he said. “Don’t go in looking to prove anything. You just be who you’ve been since Day 1, and you’ll catch their eye. Hard work pays off. You stay focused, you stay positive, and don’t get down just because things didn’t go the way you expected them to go. It’s gonna be a grind, and when you get that opportunity, you make the most of it.”
It was a gradual process for Morris — he started the preseason in competition with the usual battery of running backs, and ended it as the de facto man in charge.
“As things progressed, I became a better ballplayer,” he remembered. “My coaches were staying on me — teaching me instead of just yelling at me. ‘This is how you do it better,’ and I became better. So, stay focused, and the hard work will pay off. I can definitely attest to that, because I busted my butt, and I came from nowhere, but I got an opportunity, and I made the most of it.”
Like most rookies who prove their worth beyond their draft position, Morris was never told by anyone in the league why he had to wait so long. There were 11 backs taken before him in the 2012 draft, and none of those players — including third overall pick Trent Richardson — came close to his productivity. Morris had a few dings on his scouting reports that really didn’t make sense in retrospect. Some said that he didn’t have the burst to hit the edge with authority, when he did that quite a bit in the NFL. Others questioned his ability to run quickly through one-cut gaps, which he did about as well as any back who’s ever played in Shanahan’s well-established zone-blocking system. And, of course, there’s always the default small-school question.
“I didn’t have anyone [explain it]; I was just grateful for the opportunity,” Morris said. “I was just thankful to Coach Shanahan, and the Redskins organization. I guess from some people’s perspective, they took a chance on me, and it turned out really great. I knew that the scouting reports weren’t accurate as far as who I was, and that happens when you go to smaller schools. I felt that I could have gone to any school — Alabama, West Virginia, or the other big programs — and done just as good. But none of [the big-school backs] could have come into my position at FAU and done what I did. That’s not me being arrogant or anything like that; I’m just confident in myself, and I’ll stand by that any day.”
As confident as he was, it was still a thrill — and a bit of a shock — to hear that he’d be the Week 1 starter.
“He said, ‘You stay in as long as you want, and if you feel like you need a breather, you come out of the game,’” Morris said of Shanahan’s talk with him. “But he just gave me the reins, in a sense. Testing the waters, and I went out there and had a pretty decent game. You’re supposed to have jitters as a rookie, but I was having fun. It turned out really good, and the more the year rolled on, and the more they trusted me, they just told me to stay in there and keep going at it.
“I felt great — it was like, goosebumps. I was finally seeing the fruits of my labor. FAU was rough. We were at the bottom of the barrel. Everything I got through high school and college was earned. So, I was excited and happy. I didn’t worry, didn’t care — I just had fun.”
While Morris gained 98 yards and scored two touchdowns against the Saints to start the season, it was really the Week 4 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he caught fire. That game also saw Griffin’s highest passing yardage total of the season (323 yards), and illustrated perfectly the hand-in-hand relationship between what Griffin’s mobility did to defenses, and how Morris’ unexpected speed/power combination filled in the gaps. Morris knew that his new quarterback was going to be something else based on his college tape, but Griffin didn’t really come alive for his teammates until the first practices.
“I didn’t watch him closely like a fan would, but we were always talking about him,” Morris said about his recollections of Griffin back in college. “And it’s one thing to see a guy on TV, and then you see him in person … it was totally different, like, ‘This guy really is that good!’ Even in OTAs, when I was just observing everything, I kept saying, ‘Damn, that was impressive,’”
Still, as impressive as the rookies were, the Redskins started out with a 3-6 record before their bye week in early November. Whatever happened in that extra week off, Shanahan should look to patent it — his team rolled off a seven-game winning streak to end the regular season. For Morris, that two-month span was the best example of teamwork he’s ever seen.
“That was the most memorable part of the season, because a group of individuals couldn’t have done that — not in the National Football League. It took a group of selfless, talented athletes to put team first, and I feel like that’s when it started to gel. Everyone was about team, team, team. The individual accolades went on the back burner, and that was our mindset.”
Of course, Griffin’s Dec. 9 knee injury against the Baltimore Ravens, and the subsequent injury in the playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, have Redskins fans worried whether RG3 will be ready for the start of the 2013 regular season. According to Morris, the Redskins faithful can cool their jets.
“He’s ahead of schedule,” Morris said. “I did some interviews after the season, and people thought I was crazy, but I said, ‘That guy’s gonna be back.’ He’s running, he’s throwing — not with the team, but he’s working with the trainers, and he’s looking great. I have no doubt he’ll be back for Game 1. It’s going to be his call, in a sense. I know he doesn’t want to jeopardize his health coming back for that first game, but if he’s confident … he’s going to be smart about it because he wants to play 10-plus years in this game.”
For Morris, the challenge is to improve on a rookie season nobody saw coming. And the process of “becoming a better me,” as he put it, starts with the little things.
“I’m going to run hard and give you 100 percent on every play because every play could be my last, but I left a lot of yards on the field last year. Looking back on film, a lot of it was my aiming points in certain runs, or I was too tight and I couldn’t get outside. Being more patient with my cutbacks — I tended to cut back too soon. I was blessed, and I definitely don’t take it for granted. Last year’s behind me — I’m beyond that.”
Of course, no interview with Morris would be complete without a check on the status of his famous car — the 1991 Mazda that has received almost has much press as he has. Back in his rookie season, Morris insisted that “if it breaks down, I’m gettin’ it fixed. That’s just how I am.” Now, that appears to be exactly the case.
“It’s in the shop right now — just a little maintenance on the radiator when the season ended, and I’m getting the axle fixed,” he said. “It was making the front of the car wobble. And I’m getting the AC redone. I should have it back by next week, so I’m not worried. I’m driving a rental car right now.”
Morris also insisted that even down the road, when he signs that lucrative second contract (he’s set to make $ 480,000 in Year 2 of a four-year, $ 2.223 million deal), he’ll still be behind the wheel of that vintage ride, as long as she co-operates.
“I know that eventually, I’ll have to park it, but I want to keep it as long as possible. I know people call me cheap, but I’m being smart. There’s no reason to go out there and waste money — instead of spending that on me, I can help bless somebody else. There are so many needs out there, so to waste money on a car when I have one that runs perfectly … I have a heart for others, so as long as my needs are met, I’m fine.”
Sounds like a man who understands true value. If only the teams who passed him by in the draft understood that same concept…
Plenty of athletes play golf, but few play it well enough to get called “a hell of a golfer” by no less than Tiger Woods. Tony Romo does, however; he’s spent many of his recent summers trying to qualify for the U.S. Open, and he has little trouble finding his way to the top of pro-am leaderboards.
Of course, Romo has another job, one where his employer has just doubled down on him and signed him to a six-year, $ 108 million contract extension. And with that contract comes the likelihood that Romo will spend more time on the turf and less on the green.
Tucked away in an ESPNDallas report is this tidbit: Romo has declined to play in several pro and amateur tournaments, and will not try to qualify for the PGA Tour’s HP Byron Nelson Championship or the U.S. Open. It’s impossible to read this and think it doesn’t have something to do with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ recent pronouncement that he’ll expect much more out of Romo now that the ink on the contract has dried.
“Tony is going to have more time, more presence, not only in the offseason but when the season starts, beginning Monday, assuming we played Sundays,” Jones told the Dallas Morning News last week. “He’s going to have more time on the job. A part of what we agreed with was extra time on the job, beyond the norm. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t have a lot of time on the job, but extra time on the job, Peyton Manning-type time on the job.”
Romo’s career to date has been a study in could-have-been. In his eight seasons, Romo has taken the Cowboys to just three postseasons, with a 1-3 record. Dallas has won exactly one playoff game in the last 16 seasons. Any owner this side of Dan Snyder would expect a better return on his investment than that.
Romo has been a solid regular-season quarterback, but he’s playing in the quarterback-rich NFC. Russell Wilson has matched him and Colin Kaepernick has passed him in postseason wins, and he’ll need to fight through Robert Griffin III and Eli Manning in his own division, with Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers waiting at the far end. That would be a tough gauntlet to run for even a future Hall of Famer like Manning.
There is, of course, the question of whether one can learn motivation, especially one who’s just signed a nine-figure contract that will set up his great-grandchildren for life. And Manning is as close as we’ve got to a football Mozart, a genius who not only knows more than everyone around him but works harder than everyone around him, too. Check out, for instance, this story about Manning recalling every detail of a college play from 17 years ago. That’s not the kind of mindset you can teach, or if it is, you need to be taught it at age 3, not age 33.
And, to be fair to Romo, just being at work doesn’t necessarily translate to increased productivity. (How much work are you getting done right now if you’re reading this at your place of employment, hmmm?) Work smarter, not harder, that kind of thing. Romo has plenty of time to rewrite his legacy. But it seems that how he fills that time isn’t entirely up to him anymore.
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-
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Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome. Here is one cool enough to keep you busy during this weekend.
Girls Like Robots ($ 2.99, Universal) is a puzzle game where the pieces of the puzzle each have their own likes and dislikes. In this game, the nerds like robots too, but that is not the problem. The problem is that the girls do not like the nerds.
Oddly enough, the nerds don’t like other nerds either. About the only puzzle piece that can tolerate a nerd is a robot. It is these very basic social rules that lay the foundation of the game. The playing board is laid out in a grid of squares, with each piece occupying a square on the grid. Each puzzle piece can be happy, mad or indifferent. The score you earn is based on how many puzzle pieces on the board you make happy. When every piece on the board is happy you earn the maximum points allowed for that board.
From these simple beginnings a truly complex series of challenges await. Of course the size and dimensions of each board can change. But with certain levels there are already immovable pieces placed on the board that you have to contend with. Once a piece is played you cannot move it. There is an undo that allows you to keep undoing your previous moves one at a time. Or if you prefer, you can reset the entire board and start all over again.
As the levels progress, additional player pieces are introduced. Each new piece has its own set of likes and dislikes. There are even girls who like bugs in this game. What makes the game interesting is that each player piece has a personality, and a part to play in the storyline. If you ever forget who likes who, you can always tap and hold on each player piece to see a cheat sheet outlining its interests. There is also a heart on the screen that you can press to see how the pieces you have already played on the board like each other. Green indicates a positive relationship and red a negative one.
Some levels play out like a game of solitaire where you decide which piece is played where and when. In the earlier levels you can even see the count of pieces you have remaining. And, a s things progress, some levels present you with the exact order the pieces must be played in what can best be described as a sort of Tetris-style of gameplay. On these levels, you only know what piece is coming next. There are levels where the pieces are moving, and you must box in these pieces in order to keep them from moving about. These variations are what make each new level a challenge to complete.
There are three different acts to play out as well as a series of bonus levels. Each act is unlocked as you complete earlier acts. Within the acts there are over 100 levels with their own unique story to tell, which helps explain the rules for completing that level. For instance, you may be responsible for keeping a space next to June in the cafeteria so that Ben can sit next to her. Ben wants to ask June to go with him to the upcoming school dance. Or you may need to situate a robot between Ben and the other girls, as Ben has become quite excited to get to the dance.
With each level played, there is a thermometer that rates the total happiness of all of the pieces on the board. The more pieces that are happy, the higher the thermometer rises. Once all of the pieces are played, a final score is tallied and you are awarded from one to three happiness points. These points are collected in your Bag of Happiness. The bonus levels — or challenges as they are called — are unlocked when you earn enough happiness points in your Bag of Happiness.
As you get familiar with each of the characters in the game, you begin to look forward to learning what comes next in the story. As challenging as the puzzles can become, the story continues to string them all together into the three acts of a play. Each obstacle, additional character or new aspect to the game can be associated directly with a twist in the main plot of the story.
So this weekend you should set aside time to come to understand exactly why Girls Like Robots better than Nerds.
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Next-gen mobile Kepler graphics demoed, said to make current tablet games look like ‘vintage 1999′ (video)
Jen-Hsun Huang took to the stage during NVIDIA’s recent investor day to show off an interesting video, which VentureBeat fortunately managed to capture. It’s embedded after the break and consists of two contrasting parts: footage of a current “state of the art” iPad game that we don’t immediately recognize, and then footage of Battlefield 3 running on unknown tablet hardware containing a next-gen Kepler mobile GPU — possibly Logan. We’re not sure Huang picked the strongest iPad example for comparison, but it’s fair to say the difference is immediately obvious, with the Kepler section bearing dynamic lighting, particle effects, shadows and HDR lighting that appear to deliver a more console-level experience. All in all, it potentially looks like an NVIDIA chip to rival the coming breed of AMD Temash tablets, which we’ve already seen running Dirt Showdown at low wattages.
(Credit: Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET)
Water can be a solid, liquid, or gas — and one heck of a dazzling science experiment when you pump up the volume.
A mind-bending video by YouTube user Brusspup shows how falling water can take on a zigzag pattern after two influencing factors: a nearby device emitting a 24Hz sine wave noise and a camera recording at 24 frames per second.
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