Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Show Divers Messing Around On Rope Swing And 5m Springboard

show diver rope swing

If you thought you and your friends could do some pretty gnarly tricks at the local water hole, check out these show divers (including Purdue diving alumnus Steven LoBue) messing around on a rope swing and 5-meter springboard.

Apparently, Steven LoBue has been doing stunts with Mirage Entertainment since September 2009. Here’s another demo clip of his show diving stunts from Shenzhen, China.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In Brief #44

> Can it get any worse?: industrial bleach as cancer and HIV cure Science-Based Medicine
> Five things we learned at the Swimming Nationals Universal Sports
> Third Time Lucky For Silchenko Red Bull Cliff Diving
> Pinniped Party at the End of the Pier Rob Aquatics
> Thoughts on Televising Nationals Swimming Science
> Cool Fencing Picture of the Day: Ocean Fencing! Tim Morehouse
> How to Take Your Swimming Pool Workout to the Beach Mat Luebbers About.com
> Ryan Lochte vs. Michael Phelps: A Battle of the Titans Column by John Lohn

Monday, August 9, 2010

What Is Goggle Rot? Visualizing Polymer Degradation

Have you heard the term goggle rot? It’s when the elasticity is sucked from your goggle straps and gaskets, and you’re left with crumbly, brittle, easy-to-snap goggles (scientifically speaking). Let’s take a closer look at goggle rot, its cousin polymer degradation, and how to avoid inviting these unwanted visitors to the goggle party.

goggle rot

Goggle rot was easy to find on this 9-year-old pair of Speedo Sprint goggles I found in an old swim bag. Look for goggle rot on the rubbery straps, it will appear as tiny imperfections or notches along the edge of the rubber. Goggle rot becomes even more apparent when you pull on the strap. Stretch it out, and you’ll notice the little tooth marks in the rubber get deeper. Also, look for brittle, stiff rubber that holds its shape – give this section a pull and it should snap cleanly in two.

goggle rot

Goggle rot is a form of polymer degradation, which is a change in the properties (tensile strength, colour, shape) of a polymer of polymer-based product (Wiki). It is caused by a variety of environmental factors such as heat (or rapid changes in heat), light (specifically exposure to ultraviolet light), or chemicals (acids, bases, salts, and gases).

Without knowing the specific composition of goggle straps, it is difficult to tell which factor of polymer degradation is to blame – ozonolysis, however, is a likely candidate. We can assume that goggle straps fall within the polymer classification of elastomers because they have viscoelasticity properties, and elastomers are particularly vulnerable to degradation by ozone naturally present in small amounts in the air.

Compare this image of natural rubber that has undergone ozonolysis to the photos I took of goggle rot:

ozonolysis goggle rot

According to Wikipedia, cracks in the rubber caused by ozonolysis always oriented at right angles to the strain axis. Notice how the “teeth mark” tears in the goggle strap always cut into the rubber perpendicular to the direction of the stretch.

Based on what I have gleaned from Wikipedia while writing this article, I would advise keeping goggles away from prolonged exposure to chlorine (however contradictory that is for swimmers), and keeping them out of cars that heat up during the summer (avoid extreme changes in temperature). But unless you plan to keep your goggles in an air-tight box, it’s impossible to avoid all types of polymer degradation occurring in goggle straps. Silicone is more resistant to Ozone and UV light, which is probably why manufacturers have switched to these materials for newer goggles like Speedo Vanquishers and TYR Tracer goggles.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lochte Footwear Collection Official Press Release, Lochte Swimwear Coming Soon

U.S. Swim Star – And Style Icon – Ryan Lochte Designs Limited Edition Speedo

Thursday, August 5, 2010

MadeMan Article Lists Diving As Top 3 Most Entertaining Olympic Sporting Events

most entertaining olympic diving

Listed among other manly articles, like “5 Best Dunkers In NBA History,” and “10 Best Middleweight MMA Fighters of All Time,” you’ll find a MadeMan article about the Most Entertaining Olympic Sporting Events. On the top of that list: Artistic gymnastics, figure skating, and diving.

Author, Lisa Devoto, provides some support: “While swimming is also an amazing Olympic sporting event to watch, diving really demonstrates the grace of the human body. Where swimming shows pure athleticism, diving shows pure grace” (source).

I’m glad the readers of MadeMan can enjoy artistic gymnastics, figure skating, and diving along with articles on the Bentley Supersports Convertible GTC, Pro Platinum Blondes on Chickipedia, and How To Bar Fight Like An MMA Fighter.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ryan Lochte Shoe Only For Ryan Lochte, Flip Flops To The Rest

ryan lochte green speedo shoe

Dang! Apparently the exclusive Ryan Lochte shoe from Speedo is a little too exclusive, because, as the Ryan Lochte Official Fan Page puts it:

“While the hi-tops are specially designed by me, for me, I’ve also worked with Speedo to design a special limited edition flip flip collection – inspired by my hi-top shoe design – that will be available for purchase!” (source).

ryan lochte speedo shoe collection

If you haven’t seen Ryan’s sequined-out green hi-tops, the photos are now online. I guess whether you like them or not is irrelevant, because they’re not for us. So much for the swim blog posts speculating about the shoe’s features, or a list of criteria for a Ryan Lochte shoe from Speedo.

ryan lochte speedo shoe collection

It was an interesting marketing campaign though, and definitely got my attention. The Swimmers Circle even called the reveal at Nationals the “biggest mystery of the meet” (source).

The down side, however, is that I am left feeling inadequate. In a way, it makes Ryan’s celebrity persona more untouchable, rather than allowing him to connect to his fans on a footwear level. Why can’t we wear the same shoes, Ryan?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Water Cube Water Park Opens August 8th

water cube water park

China’s National Aquatic Center will reopen after the completion of a nine-month construction project, adding a 10,000 square meter water park to the “Water Cube.” With slides towering 23 meters over the multiple pools below, the facility that once held the dramatic aquatic events of the 2008 Olympics will now be known as the country’s most advanced aquatic amusement park (source).

water cube water park

As for attractions: “The water park has wave pools in the drift region in the eastern part and a cyclone simulation section with 11 water slides in the western part” (source).

The park also has an Aqua Loop (example) which is a water slide that actually takes riders upside down on a slightly skewed inverted loop.

As much fun as the park looks, I can’t help but think “NOOOOOOO WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO IT!!??” How can you turn the most amazing aquatic sport facility in the world into a water park?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Speedo Shoe Technology Pre-Ryan Lochte Shoe Release

ryan lochte speedo shoe

Ryan Lochte is going to debut his own Speedo shoe collection at Nationals on August 3rd, and there has been a lot of buzz and speculation about the shoes. Were they built in a secret shoe lab? Will they employ waterproof fuzz technology? What no one seems to be talking about is the fact that Speedo has been making shoes for years, so we can probably guess what the shoes will be like!

In a post on Swim Network, Mike Gustafson wrote a list of criteria for a Ryan Lochte shoe from Speedo:
1) “Slip on. Slip off. That would be ideal.”
2) I’d like to see them employ a new technology called

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Arena Print Campaign Features International “Dream Team” Of 11 Athletes

arena swim dream team

A few hours ago, the Arena Water Instinct page on Facebook posted photos from their global print campaign featuring a “Dream Team” of 11 top swimming stars. This is the first time an international line-up has appeared in the same Arena ad campaign, and it is quite the diverse group!

From the press release, the “dream team” includes:

“Brazilian Cesar Cielo, … German Paul Biedermann, … Frenchman Alain Bernard, … Americans Aaron Peirsol, … Rebecca Soni, … and Eric Shanteau, … the Dane Lotte Friis, … Swede Therese Alshammar, … British sprinter Francesca Halsall, … Tunisian Oussama Mellouli, … and the Serb Milorad Cavic” (source).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ryan Lochte Will Debut His Speedo Footwear Collection At Nationals, August 3rd

ryan lochte speedo shoe

Since Speedo doesn’t offer a line of Ryan Lochte-esque grills (grillz?), a Ryan Lochte Footwear Collection is the next best thing for this highly marketable swimming star to put his name on.

ryan lochte speedo shoe

A lot of buzz has been generated by Ryan’s immense fan base, and with the release of this teaser video, it seems everyone is anxiously waiting for the official debut during the 2010 ConocoPhillips National Championships in Irvine, California this August 3-7.

ryan lochte speedo shoe

The meet will be televised nationally on NBC, but that might not include the official shoe unveiling (assuming there will be some kind of a publicity event).

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