Friday, February 22, 2013

Accenture Match Play Championship Underway at Dove Mountain,Arizona

Australian Jason Day and Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell are among the leaders after two rounds at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana,Arizona.It is being played on the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course of The Golf Club at Dove Mountain.
Dove Mountain is a master planned resort community with a hotel,spa and golf club.It is located in the Tortolita Mountains just south of Tucson in the high Sonoran Desert.With more than 3,000 homes in distinctive neighbourhoods,the community was dusted with snow on Wednesday.Temperatures are running from the thirties to the fifties Fahrenheit at this time.The Golf Club is a Ritz-Carlton property.Saguaro cactus and other native vegetation surrounds the greens in the foothill which range in elevation from 2300-3000 feet.
Besides Day and McDowell,other winners of the second round included Bubba Watson(USA),Nicolas Colsaerts(Belgium),Fredrik Jacobson(Sweden),Martin Kaymer(Germany) and Ian Poulter(England).The match play one-on-one scoring is being used,not the customary system.Few Americans are familiar with this aspect of professional golf.It's the scoring system which is used at the Ryder Cup and a handful of other tournaments.
In NBA basketball,the Golden State Warriors defeated the San Antonio Spurs 107-101 in overtime Friday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland,California.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Russian Meteorite and the Asteroid:Complete Details

An explosion that had the force of a nuclear weapon occurred over Chelyabinsk,Russia Friday morning,injuring more than 1,000 people,as a 10 ton meteorite blew up in the earth's atmosphere.The space rock,a chunk of a comet or asteroid,was about 49 feet wide and traveling at a speed of at least 33,000 miles an hour when it disintegrated,resulting in a sun-like fireball and destructive shock waves.
The meteorite broke into pieces 18-32 miles above the ground over the Ural Mountains city of about a million people about 930 miles east of Moscow.Some of the fragments fell in a reservoir outside the town of Cherbakul,leaving a 26 foot wide crater in the ice.
Over 4,000 buildings were damaged in the Chelyabinsk area,including 6 hospitals and 12 schools.Most of the damage was in the form of shattered windows from the sonic boom the explosion created,but the roof of a zinc factory partially collapsed as well.School had just opened when the meteorite hit at 9:20 am local time.Flying glass injured 258 students.
Around 1100 people received medical treatment,and 48 of them were hospitalised.The broken windows will expose area residents to the region's bitter cold,which dips below zero Fahrenheit at night.
Chelyabinsk is 3,000 miles west of Tunguska,Siberia,site of a 1908 cataclysm caused by a 10 megaton explosion of a space rock.That blast flattened some 80 million trees and was the largest recorded explosion of a space object.
NASA scientist Jim Green said that fireballs happen once a day or so,but go unseen because they are over the ocean or remote areas.An event of the magnitude of  the Chelyabinsk blast happens about once every 10 years.
In a separate and unrelated incident Friday afternoon,asteroid D-14 made a near-earth visit at 2:25 pm EST,coming within the geosynchronous orbit of 22,236 miles.That means it was closer to the earth than weather satellites.The asteroid is about 150 feet wide,or three times as large as the Chelyabinsk object.
Scientists said they would study the asteroid with radar to determine how fast it was spinning and perhaps its composition.It was invisible to the naked eye.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Pebble Beach Golf;Knicks Win;Northeast Blizzard

At the AT and T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am,celebrities and PGA Tour members played rounds together Thursday and Friday.Notables ranging from Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren and comedian Bill Murray,to NFL star quarterback Aaron Rodgers and actor Josh Duhamel,navigated three different Monterey Peninsula golf courses on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
Bill Murray joked with armed forces personnel attending the tournament.
At the end of the second round along the sweeping Pacific vistas,the leader board was as follows:
Ted Potter,Jr. USA -8
Brandt Snedeker USA -8
Patrick Reed USA -7
Frederick Jacobsen SWE -7
John Merrick USA -7
Hunter Mahan USA -7
Jason Day AUS -6
Patrick Cantlay AUS -6
Nick O'Hern AUS -6
James Hahn USA -6
In NBA action,the New York Knicks edged the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-94 at Target Center in Minneapolis.Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 36 points and 9 rebounds,while Ricky Rubio contributed 18 points and 2 rebounds to the Wolves' effort.The Knicks are now 32-16,in second place behind the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference;the Wolves are well back in 12th place in the Western Conference at 18-29.
A major winter storm lashed the Northeast with snow and hurricane force winds Friday.Topping snow totals as of midnight were:
Mt.Sinai,NY 19.0 inches
Manchester,CT 18.5
Boston,MA 14.0
Blizzard warnings were posted from coastal Maine to New York City.
On the Maryland-Pennsylvania border,there were just a trace of snow,some light rain and blustery winds-the fringes of the storm.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mickelson's Great Start;Lakers End Road Woes

Phil Mickelson continued his dominance at the Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on Friday,pretty much coasting to a 17 under par 65.His superlative performance was only marred when he botched the 18th hole,where he double-bogeyed,derailed by a water hazard.Nonetheless,Mickelson,42,had a magnificent day overall,and felt that he was playing really well.
Also playing well before the huge,raucous Arizona crowd of more than 100,000 golf fans at Scottsdale were Bill Haas,with his 13 under par 64;and Keegan Bradley,who shot a 12 under par 63.
The atmosphere was more like that of an NFL football game than a typically polite golf tournament.TPC Scottsdale is singularly boisterous among PGA Tour venues.Weekend attendance will surely top that of the Super Bowl in New Orleans.
In NBA action Friday night,the Los Angeles Lakers ended an eight game road slump by besting the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center in Minneapolis 111-100.The crowd of 18,547 saw the Lakers nearly drop another away game when the Timberwolves drew within 4 points of the Lakers in the fourth period.A strong showing by Pau Gasol,however,helped save the night for Los Angeles,as he refurbished their lead with several baskets.
Gasol led the Lakers with 22 points,12 rebounds,2 assists and 3 blocks.Koby Bryant added 17 points,7 rebounds and 8 assists;and Steve Nash contributed 17 points,7 rebounds and 7 assists.Bryant said we're playing pretty well.All in all,we're pretty pleased with the performance,playing for each other.I like where we're at right now.
For the Timberwolves,Alexey Shved led with 18 points,4 rebounds and 6 assists;followed by Derrick Williams with 15 points and 9 rebounds;and Nikola Pekovic with 14 points and 9 rebounds.
It was 3 degrees F outside Target Center,while much further south the Mid-Atlantic region felt their own bitter winds and low wind chills on Friday as the seesaw temperature regimen of this winter continued.