Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why hoops star needs such dark goggles

Baylor's Melissa Jones (AP Photo) 

Baylor's Melissa Jones was running down the court recently when something scary happened. 

The Blind Leading: Baylor Player Fights Through Freak Injury

Fear was not in the falling. That felt normal, just a typical tumble in a typical basketball game. Nor did Baylor forward Melissa Jones worry much about the crash of a player on top of her, or the thumping of her head upon the floor. These things happened all the time. She stood up afterward and ran down the court. No, panic wouldn’t come for several more minutes when the vision in her right eye clouded, then slowly faded away..
Until there was only darkness.
That’s when she knew something was very, very wrong.
This was just two weeks ago, at a game at Oklahoma, right before the end of the regular season. As a senior she was already facing the final month of her college career. And standing there that night on the court in Norman, she was filled with a flood of dread.

Was she going blind?
Was this something more?
What about basketball? What about her career?
Then nothing seemed normal anymore.
It would take more than a day before doctors told her this was the result of swelling around the optic nerve. And once she learned that this was not serious, that it would indeed go away and that someday the vision would return, she did what any basketball player would do with the last postseason of her career coming fast.
She said she would play.
“I want to help the team any way I can,” she said by phone on Tuesday night, not long before Baylor beat West Virginia in the second round of NCAA tournament.
So a week after wondering if she’d be blind forever in one eye, Jones pulled on a pair of dark glasses like the kind a bicycle racer might wear and walked onto the court in Kansas City for the first game of the women’s Big XII tournament. The glasses provided protection for her good eye in case she got poked or hit there. In a way she felt awkward wearing them. "I feel like a big goof," she said.
Then Jones played 25 minutes in the conference tournament opener against Kansas, running the court just as she had for the 3 ¾ seasons before, only this time with sight in only one eye. The other was still dark.
It was an odd experience, playing basketball with one eye. At first she was certain her depth perception would be off, and everything would be too short or too long. Instead, her muscle memory took over. Shooting turned out to be easy. Playing defense, the one thing she thought she’d be able to do with little trouble, was much harder.
“You can’t see the screens,” she said. “And when you are guarding someone you can lose your man. Over there everything is black.”

Elimination night drama on 'Idol'

(L-R) Judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson at the American Idol Season 10 Top 11 live performance show, March 23, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Becker/Fox/PictureGroup)  

In a shocking turn, a former front-runner must sing for his life while the judges debate his fate.

Top 11 'Idol' Results: Most. Dramatic. Elimination. Episode. Ever. 

You know how writers like me tend to lapse into hyperbole, and use that hackneyed old phrase "Best ______ Ever"? Well, believe it this time. This ain't hyperbole here. Thursday's "American Idol" top 11 results show was in fact The. Most. Dramatic. Ever.


The show started out innocently enough, with a Motown-soundtracked birthday celebration for 63-years-young judge Steven Tyler (who doesn't look a day over fabulous), complete with a cake the size of J.Lo's dressing room and a surprise "Happy Birthday" serenade by Motown legend Stevie Wonder. Good times, good times. But I couldn't quite enjoy the spectacle, because at the back of my mind was Ryan Seacrest's ominous announcement from the top of the show: "Tonight's result might shock you." And with this being one of the highest-staked elimination episodes of the season--the one that determined which contestants get to go on the Idols Live Tour this summer--that didn't sound like cause for celebration at all. What a party pooper that Seacrest is.

Then Ryan, evil man that he is, nearly gave me my biggest "Idol" scare since that horrible night Adam Lambert was in the bottom two, when he told two of my favorites, Paul McDonald and James Durbin, that they were "not safe." But this was, thankfully, just an elaborate setup for a gag starring one of wrestling fan James's idols, Hulk Hogan, who crashed the stage to tell the boys that they'd actually made the top 10. Not cool, Ryan. I got my revenge when Hulk body-slammed Ryan into the crowd after that, but I didn't think that was punishment enough for such cruel fakery.

Elizabeth Taylor's humorous final request

Elizabeth Taylor 's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 23, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage) 

In a private ceremony, the screen legend is laid to rest in her own, unique way.

UPDATED: Elizabeth Taylor Laid To Rest Near Michael Jackson At Forest Lawn Cemetary In Glendale

Dame Elizabeth Taylor has been laid to rest.

The Oscar winner, Hollywood legend and AIDS activist's funeral took place on Thursday afternoon at Forest Lawn Memorial Parks & Mortuaries in Glendale, Calif.

Inside the world's 'most dangerous' volcano

A scientist walks on the cooled lava floor of a volcano. (Carsten Peter/National Geographic) 


Scientists descend into a lake of lava as they attempt to learn how to predict eruptions.

Incredible photos show inside of world’s ‘most dangerous’ volcano

For scientists, sometimes the best way to study a volcano is from the inside out. That's exactly what volcanologists Dario Tedesco and Ken Sims did when they descended deep into Nyiragongo, one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
Because of its location in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where constant warfare has raged for decades, Nyiragongo has barely been studied by scientists. This lack of knowledge could prove catastrophic for the city of Goma, located at the base of the volcano -- according to Tadesco, an eruption could potentially transform the city of one million into "a modern Pompeii." By coming face-to-face with boiling lava, Tadesco and Sims hoped to gather data that could help predict an eruption. Intrepid photographer Carsten Peter was there to capture incredible photos of their journey.
Slideshow: See more from deep within Nyiragongo

Carsten Peter/National Geographic
If a major eruption were to occur, molten lava could be the least of Goma's worries. Nearby Lake Kivu is infused with methane, and the force of an eruption could trigger a cloud of deadly gas to rise over the city. A unique, interactive National Geographic map illustrates the numerous threats posed by the terrain surrounding Goma.

Startled baby becomes a Web sensation

Baby Emerson (ABC) 

To Emerson, the sound of Mommy blowing her nose wasn't exactly soothing at first.

How Olsen twins created $1 billion empire

Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen (L-R).  (George Napolitano/FilmMagic) 

 Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen have moved far beyond just movies and television.

Billionaire Olsen Twins: We're Legitimate Designers!

Unlike some celebrity clothing designers, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are involved with each aspect of the apparel-making process.
PHOTOS: Who's who at Fashion Week
As the head designers of three separate clothing lines -- The Row, Elizabeth & James and Olsenboye -- the 24-year-old sisters have brought in $1 billion in retail sales through their company, Dualstar. Still, Mary-Kate and Ashley tell Vogue's April issue that buyers weren't always so supportive of their fashion venture.

119-year-old not recognized as oldest

Rebecca Lanier celbrates her 119th birthday in Warrensville Heights, Ohio. (WEWS)
Rebecca Lanier, who has outlived her two children, could be a Guinness record-holder.

Why Are Banks Afraid of This Woman?

Image: Elizabeth Warren (© Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP) 
Elizabeth Warren wants to protect consumers when dealing with banks & credit card companies. What could be wrong with that?

They're Rich, Famous & They're Renting

Image: (From left) Diane Keaton & Meg Ryan (© Steve Granitz/Getty Images; Jean Baptiste Lacroix/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Celebrities who can afford to buy a home are leasing their digs instead, sometimes from other stars. Diane Keaton likes Meg Ryan's place.

They're rich, they're famous and they're renting

Celebrities who can afford to buy a home are leasing their digs, sometimes from each other. Diane Keaton likes Meg Ryan's place.

Diane Keaton (© Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images) 

More people are becoming renters these days, some by necessity and some by choice.

Among those are celebrities who surely have the money to buy a home, if they chose.

Is That a Giant Salmon on My Airplane?

Image: Alaska Airlines' Salmon-Thirty-Salmon airplane (© Alaska Airlines)

Alaska Airlines had a king salmon custom painted on its jet but NFL teams & anime characters also have been scrawled on planes. See 16 crazy plane paint jobs.

Search: Hollywood's First Wives Club

Image: (From left) File photos of George Clooney & Talia Balsam, Julia Roberts & Lyle Lovett (© Jim Smeal/WireImage; Rex Features)

                                                    Search: Hollywood's First Wives Club

(From left) Jennifer Aniston & Sandra Bullock (© Peter Kramer/AP; Chris Pizzello/AP)
First wives of Hollywood
First wives of Hollywood
Recent reports claimed that Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock had formed a first wives club,

Latest: Lucky Escape, NCAA Preview & More

Big rig dangles off Texas highway overpass 

 Car wedged underneath; trucker and two car passengers rescued 

The cab of an 18-wheeler was left dangling over the edge of an elevated highway ramp in Texas on Thursday after an accident.
Fire Department spokesman Tim Hardeman says emergency crews rescued the truck driver from his cab that is dangling off the elevated stretch of the I-20. He was treated at the scene for minor injuries. The rig was not carrying a load, the local newspaper reported.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram also reported that the man and woman inside a sports car that was wedged beneath the giant semitrailer were cut free after more than three hours.
They were speaking to rescuers during the ordeal and were later taken to a local hospital, but their condition wasn't life-threatening, the paper said, citing MedStar, the local emergency medical service.
The cause of the accident, which occurred around 4 a.m. local time, is being investigated. It tied up traffic for hours around the flyover.
  • Image: Video still of dangling truck (© 'Today')Big rig dangles over roadway
  • Image: Arizona's Derrick Williams (© Charlie Riede/Getty Images)Four games on tap today
  • Image: File photo of worker at Toyota plant in Ohira, Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan (© Koji Sasahara/AP)Carmaker issues follow disaster









HS team loses despite having higher score

Bizarre end to softball game (Yahoo! Sports Blog) 

Oregon team wins tourney game only to be told it actually lost

They won the game. The scoreboard showed as much. What the Sunset (Ore.) High softball players really wanted to understand on Tuesday night was how they were handed a loss in what they thought was a 4-3 win at an early season softball tournament at Oregon's Hood View Park.
Sunset High School softball
According to the Portland Oregonian, the answer to that riddle has everything to do with a bizarre tournament rule aimed at maximizing the amount of games played in limited sunlight, and nothing to do with ensuring runs scored by Sunset actually counted on the scoreboard. Trailing Oregon City (Ore.) High, 3-2, entering the top of the seventh, Sunset rallied to score two runs and take a 4-3 lead.
Yet, when the all-too-appropriately named Sunset went to go defend that lead, it was told that there was suddenly not enough time to complete the final inning, thanks to a tournament time limit on individual games.
That meant the score would revert to that of the last inning completed, restoring Oregon City's lead much to the confusion of both teams. Once the rule was eventually explained to both teams, Oregon City celebrated a somewhat hollow-feeling season-opening victory while Sunset was left to fume -- and deny acceptance of -- a truly bizarre loss.
"It's a win in our book," Sunset junior pitcher Jessie Moore told the Oregonian.
It's understandable that Moore and her teammates would feel that way. Through six innings, the junior ace struck out six and allowed just five hits, all of which came in a first inning barrage that gave the Pioneers a 3-0 lead.
That's when the Apollos' offense clicked into gear, rallying with single runs in the fourth and sixth before its two-run breakthrough in the seventh, a rally which should have given Sunset the win -- Moore had retired 13 straight Oregon City batters heading to the bottom of the seventh -- only to be undone by an obscure official rule.
While the official result was frustrating, Sunset coach Spencer Mills took plenty of positives away from the tournament as his team looks to fill in significant holes left by graduations following back-to-back Class 6A state champion teams.
"We haven't been able to get outside, so it's all machine work," Mills told the Oregonian. "I'm not worried about our hitting at all. We lost seven starters, so we're trying to get them acclimated to being starters now."
A come-from-behind victory against a talented Oregon City would have helped bring more confidence to that acclimation process. In a sense, the Apollos achieved that, though officially the victory was a moral one alone.

"I definitely think we still have the ability to win the Metro (League)," Moore said. "I have no doubt in this team that we can do the exact same thing and continue the legacy that those girls left."

News Source:yahoo