Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Molly Helmuth - A Rising NASCAR Star?

“My ultimate goal is to make it into any of the top series of NASCAR. Whether it's Trucks, Nationwide, or of course, Sprint Cup. I don't want to make any huge jumps, I'm just going to keep progressing and work my way up to the top.” - Molly Helmuth.

I came across Molly's You Tube videos quite by accident, while searching for something about Danica Patrick. So I decided to check it out some more, and came up with these links:

Molly Helmuth (You Tube).

Molly Helmuth Racing.

Molly Helmuth Facebook.

Molly Helmuth: I AM a racecar driver.

Frontier Teams Up With Molly Helmuth.

Molly Helmuth - The Fast and The Furious.

I'm always heartened to see ambitious young people trying to make their mark on the world, especially females in male-dominated sports (I suppose it's an "underdog" thing). Molly is not only a talented driver, but it seems a skilled business woman (okay, "young lady"), with the full support of her mother and father and an expert crew.

It doesn't take the sharpest tool in the shed to realise that Danica Patrick has long been a victim of redneck, beer-swilling male egocentrism, and sometimes even "educated" male bias. Women are best suited for being barefoot, pregnant, vacuuming, ironing and doing laundry, not driving race cars approaching 200 mph. Or so the male chauvinists say. 

You can mark my word that they'll run down Molly just like they did (and still do) Danica.  They'll be looking at every crash, and putting it on You Tube as fast as they can.

Nevertheless, NASCAR'S diminishing popularity and failing financial fortunes may be  revived with an influx of female drivers.

She quickly became a crossover star as the attractive female race car driver. She appeared in a Jay Z video and guest cohosted The View. Her impact on IndyCar was massive. Her merchandise at the Indy 500 in 2005 outsold the other 32 other drivers combined. When she left IndyCar for good after the 2011 season, TV ratings for races on the NBC Sports Network dropped 27%.

A Winning Danica Patrick Is Nascar's Biggest Hope To Restart Growth.

The fact is that in spite of all the ballyhoo and sexist whinging about "second rate"  female NASCAR drivers (hint: Danica is the only female driver In NASCAR at the moment), NASCAR appears set to be revived by a new wave women drivers, beginning with Danica and continuing with young drivers like Molly Helmuth.

And it's not all about "looks".

Saturday, August 23, 2014

There Is No Such Thing As Failure.

The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. To spread these principles is to build up a strong and more valiant and, above all, more scrupulous and more generous humanity."  

Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee, and "father of the modern Olympic Games".

Without failure, perfection would have no meaning. It is because of failure, that perfection is admired.  If everyone could achieve a "perfect 10" in gymnastics, then it would become quite pedestrian, even boring.

When I look at champions like Nadia Comăneci, or Olga Korbut, I am in awe, but, ultimately, they don't define the sport of gymnastics (which is actually quite a dangerous sport). The people who define and make the sport of Gymnastics (or any sport), are not only the winners, but those who "fight well", even when they face failure, because that is the story of human existence. I think we can justifiably look at "failure" as a great act of courage, because all those who go into the sporting arena with hopes of glory, sometimes fail. And this is where Pierre de Coubertin's words mean so much:

....the important thing in life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

Friday, August 22, 2014

In Short....

“Tall men are the most romantically successful group on earth, bar none: more successful than rich people, accomplished people and educated people.”

― Arianne Cohen, The Tall Book: A Celebration of Life from on High

But there's another kind of "height":

The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Height of Famous Short People. 

Famous Short People.

18 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Really Short.

PoliticsWorld's Leaders Don't Stand So Tall.

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

David and Goliath.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Death of an Extraordinarily Gifted and Funny Man.

"Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody."

- Mark Twain. 

My most explicit memory of Robin Williams doesn't come from any of the movies he made, but from an interview with Jana Wendt on "A Current Affair" (Australian television) in the late 1980s. After losing the connection, Williams improvised with a brand of spontaneous never-to-be-forgotten humour. It was a stunning performance in ad hoc improvisation, and an insight into his extraordinary talent as an actor and comedian.  

When I read about Williams' death by apparent suicide, the first question that came to my mind was "why?"

Although I've been concerned about suicide for a long time, because it's a leading cause of death in Australia, and claims more lives than motorcar accidents annually, I could never quite determine why. A blog post by a friend of mine, "Runtu" (John Williams, no relation to Robin), helped me to at least understand depression-related suicide. I highly recommend reading John's blog post about Depression.

Meanwhile, unfortunately, Twitter once again shows its true colours:  Robin Williams' daughter Zelda driven off Twitter by vicious trolls.

See my previous post about Twitter: Farewell To Twitter.

It's just dumbfounding how low some humans can go, and one need look no further than the so-called "social media" to see that, which is why I avoid all of them. 

RIP Robin Williams.


Robin Williams 'started to disconnect', says friend.

Facts and stats about suicide in Australia.