2010 in Pictures

On Jan. 12, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, a nation widely considered the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. Disaster relief experts estimated that 230,000 lives were lost during the earthquake and in its aftermath. Later in the year, another disaster struck Haiti: a cholera outbreak. In mid-November, more than 900 people were dead from cholera and another 14,000 were hospitalized.

Roman Gladiator Diet

Roman gladiators have been glamorized by Hollywood, video games and children’s stories as almost preternaturally skilled fighters who could serve as bathing-suit models between arena bouts. When you hear of a gladiator diet, you might fantasize that eating as ancient gladiators did will turn you into a cross between a bodybuilder and the sort of action-movie hero who can bare-handedly defend innocent victims from armed drug gangs. Reality, of course, is nowhere near as glamorous as fantasy.
Information about Roman gladiators descends from Latin writers Suetonius, Pliny and Galen; portrayals of gladiators in ancient art; and archaeological evidence. Gladiators were normally slaves, prisoners of war, condemned criminals or the desperately poor who were willing to risk death for food. They were given food, medical treatment and training so they could put on a better show. The small minority of gladiators who survived a full year of gladiatorial contests gained better treatment and extra privileges.
Excavations of a mass gladiatorial grave near Ephesus have allowed scientific reconstruction of the diets of one group of gladiators by examination of bones, according to Andrew Curry in a 2008 issue of “Archeology.” Bone analysis confirms that gladiators ate primarily vegetarian diets and that, despite their attempts to supplement calcium with ground burnt bones, they often showed signs of calcium deprivation.
Archaeological evidence corroborates the ancient literary accounts that refer to gladiators by the term “hordearii” (Latin for “barley-eaters”). Since barley was used primarily as animal feed in this period, this suggests the cheapest food available was served to ordinary gladiators. Beans and barley formed diet staples, probably supplemented by other grains, fruits, vegetables, olive oil and garum — a commonly used fish sauce. References by Pliny and Galen to high-calorie diets that enabled gladiators to gain weight, contrary to one popular theory, do not suggest gladiators performed better if obese. Rather, due to enslavement, captivity or extreme poverty, new gladiators were likely to be significantly malnourished and needed to gain weight for basic health reasons. Ancient art depicts gladiators as average weight and distinctly muscular.
Urologist Dr. Larrian Gillespie’s book, “The Gladiator Diet,” is a diet book for men along similar lines as “The Menopause Diet,” a book for women, also written by Gillespie. It claims male impotence can be remedied by losing abdominal fat and includes detailed diet and fitness instructions. Originally published in 2001, it is now out of print. As erectile dysfunction can signify underlying health problems, consult a healthcare provider rather than embarking on a course of self-treatment.
The 12 dietary rules and the nutritional plans recommended by the Gladiator Fitness website appear to be well-balanced diets, emphasizing regular meals of complex carbohydrates and lean protein combined with intensive exercise. Before starting a rigorous program of this sort, check with your healthcare provider.

How Becoming a Video Game Designer Works

“Rock Band,” “Wii Fit” and “Madden Football” are all popular video games that people line up to buy upon their release. Designing these video games requires creativity and imagination. With the continuing demand for more action-packed games, careers as video game designers are expected to grow.
For those who not only enjoy playing video games, making video games requires imagination. Video game designers devote themselves to exploring every aspect of a game and to mastering its outcome.
Have you ever wondered how to become a video game designer? Video game design is a challenging, booming business with many specialized jobs and numerous points of entry. Potential video game designers typically are passionate about this highly competitive field.
Video game designers need a variety of skills and innate abilities. The skills largely involve training in computer graphics, animation and software design. Often, the prospective game designer will obtain such training at credentialed programs at technical schools.
While a student of video game design can study hard and learn the required computer skills, another aspect of this career is harder to teach. A successful video game designer needs a powerful imagination in order to construct the alternative world of the game in his mind before creating it in cyberspace.
The need for video game designers and related careers are expected to grow in coming years as consumer demand for such products increase. The U.S. Department of Labor foresees a 32 percent increase in software publishing jobs in the next five years. Meanwhile, consumer demand continues to grow. The market research company NPD Group reported in August 2008 that sales of video game hardware and software increased by 28 percent in July 2008, reaching almost $1.2 billion [source: Fox News].
Do you want to know more about how to become a video game designer? Would you like to learn about the skills you will need and how to gain experience? Do you want to know how much video game designers earn and how it differs from other video game-related fields? Read on to find out.

Alien Etiquette 101

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Monarchs Head for the Border

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The Ultimate Seattle Quiz

What do you think of when people mention Seattle, Washington? Some people might think about rain, but others remember that it¡¯s the birthplace of Jimi Hendrix, Microsoft, and Starbucks coffee. Give this fascinating town a try on your next vacation, but take our quiz first to learn more about how Seattle works.

Acrobatic Exercises

Doing crunches and sit ups aren’t the only way to get in shape. Flips, climbs, spins and other acrobatic moves can also yield the results you desire in an exercise regimen. Several sports such as gymnastics, pole dancing and parkour involve different types of acrobatic exercises. In addition to adding variation to your normal workout routine, acrobatic exercises can improve flexibility and build strength. And you don’t need to be a trained acrobat to do some of them. Many acrobatic exercises are simple enough for beginners to learn.
A somersault is an acrobatic move in which a person’s body moves in a circular motion with feet passing over head. Somersaults are not only a beginner acrobatic move that helps improve flexibility but also a move that can assist with improving stability. Start with your feet tucked in a squat position, placing your hands on the ground at shoulder width apart. Tuck your head forward so your chin is in your neck and begin moving forward so your head is touching the ground. Follow the momentum, moving forward so you begin to roll with your back rounded.
Cartwheels are an acrobatic exercise commonly found in gymnastics. It is a sideways rotary movement in which you travel to the ground while the body inverts and legs travel over the body to land in a standing position. Cartwheels are the foundation to more advanced flips practiced in acrobatic sports. Begin by doing a lunge with your favorite foot in the front while reaching your arms over your head. Follow by transferring your weight to your front leg, and place your hands on the ground one at a time. The first hand down should be the same side as the leg in front in the lunge. Kick your legs up in a handstand keeping your body sideways with your legs forming a “v-shape” in the air. Then bring your feet down in a split leg format, remembering that the first leg to come down is the last leg to go up.
A handstand in which you balance on your hands with your feet up in the air is an acrobatic move often found in gymnastics, cheerleading, dance and even karate. It also a basic exercise that helps build the strength and core muscles that can be applied to more complex moves and tricks. Doing them can also strengthen your arms and shoulders. Handstands are much easier to learn while leaning against a wall. Begin by placing your hands about 6 inches from the wall. Then kick your feet up while pressing your head into the wall. Once you feel you are in a stabilized position, slowly move your legs away from the wall so they are not resting on it. Finally, move your head away and hold the position for a few seconds.
Aerial silk performances are often recognized as acrobatic exercises done in circus acts. However, it’s now an acrobatic exercise that can be done in gyms. The exercise involves climbing two long pieces of fabric suspended from a high ceiling. While most moves involve being suspended at least 19 feet in the air, beginners won’t make it past about 1 foot off the ground. A common beginner exercise involves pulling your body up from your hands similar to pullups on a bar. First hold the fabric and wrap it around your arms twice. Put your feet together and lift your legs to a 90-degree angle, using your core and arm strength.

How are the college football rankings determined?

Football Image Gallery
BCS stands for Bowl Championship Series. It turns out to be one of the most complex statistical systems that we can encounter in daily life. Unlike other National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sports, college football does not have an end-of-season tournament or playoff series. Instead, any Division I-A team with a winning record can play in a post-season competition called a bowl game. These games bring publicity and money to the colleges and universities that participate in them. But with winners of 25 different bowls all claiming to be the number one, it’s been hard to call any one team the “National Champion.” In 1998, the Bowl Championship Series debuted and promised to solve this problem. The BCS divides the glut of post-season games into two groups:

Teams compete throughout the year to participate in one of the four high-profile BCS games. To figure out who gets to play, a complex, mathematical formula is used to rank the top 25 teams throughout the season. Each Monday, the BCS ratings are updated based on the teams’ performances during the previous week. At the end of the regular season, the top two teams in the ratings play each other for the national championship. The calculations performed by a small number of mathematicians and statisticians off the field are more important to a team’s chances of being in the final game than their efforts on the field. No college football fan can deny how important mathematics is to everyday life after seeing this formula.
The competitors for the other three bowl games are chosen from teams who end up in the top 12 of the final ranking. These bowls don’t pair off No. 3 vs. No. 4, No. 5 vs. No. 6, and No. 7 vs No. 8, because bowl organizers also factor in regional considerations, like what conference a team comes from. They want to pick a team that will attract a lot of fans and advertising dollars to their game. Once again, math plays a role in these financial forecasts.

Basketball Training Camps in & Around Pittsburgh

Basketball is one of the world¡¯s most popular sports for boys and girls of all ages and abilities. Things are no different in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania¡¯s second-largest city. This can be evidenced by the array of basketball camps in and around the city, all of which give players and coaches the ability to register online.
The University of Pittsburgh holds weeklong day camps for both individuals and basketball teams at different times during the summer, usually late June through all of July. The camps are held on campus and include instruction from the Panthers head men¡¯s coach and some members of the Panthers basketball team, along with area college and high school coaches. University of Pittsburgh Men¡¯s Summer Basketball Camps P.O. Box 7436 Pittsburgh, PA 15213 412-648-8350 pittsburghpanthers.com/camps
Basketball Stars of America is a Pittsburgh camp that is sponsored by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and Nike. It stages camps both boys and girls all over the Pittsburgh area, from Robert Morris University to North Allegheny High School to the Monroeville Sports Center. Basketball Stars of America also consists of 12 coaches, including former NBA player Chris Taft. It runs throughout July and into the early part of August. Basketball Stars of America c/o Coach Daryn Freedman 547 Burkes Drive Coraopolis, PA 15108 412-375-7420 basketballstarsofamerica.com
Robert Morris University is located in the Pittsburgh suburb of Moon Township and offers camps for both boys and girls ages 10-17. It features day camps as well as overnight camps, and instruction from Colonials coaches and players. Like most other basketball camps, Robert Morris also offers team camps. All camps are held in June and July. Robert Morris University 6001 University Blvd. Moon Township, PA 15108 412-397-2402 rmucolonials.com
Duquesne University, located in the center of downtown Pittsburgh, offers basketball camps for both boys and girls most summers. The camps are held in June and July, and typically are scheduled to not coincide with those held at the nearby University of Pittsburgh. Duquesne offers individual and team camps, and instruction from Dukes coaches and players. Duquesne University 600 Forbes Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15282 412-396-6000 goduquesne.com
California University of Pennsylvania is located about 40 minutes south of Pittsburgh, and offers boys and girls camps for students entering first through 12th grade. Camps are available for both individuals and teams in July, with various costs for overnighters and commuters. California University of PA Athletics Department 250 University Ave. California, PA 15419 724-938-4360 calvulcans.com/sports