Will Ultimate Be In The Olympics?

In 2015, Ultimate Frisbee was officially recognized by The International Olympic Committee as a sport. This got many people in the community excited to see ultimate in the Olympics. Is it actually possible?

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Nah…Don’t Believe the Hype About Oregon!

Let me clarify, I was born in Portland and can proudly call myself a genuine Oregonian, a unicorn perhaps, but I am a now a minority in my own state. Last it was check, only 46% of the Beaver state’s residents were born here. For the past 20 years, my sleepy ugly duckling imgresstate has been transformed into a beauty queen.  Oregon was the geeky kid that you ignored in high school but today has the fame, fortune, and social status that makes the girls swoon and the guys jealous.

I left the state in 1991 for college at the precipice of the Grunge movement before everyone could smell Teen Spirit or know that Pearl Jam was something you should spread on toast. When I told them that I was from Portland they would say, “isn’t that on the East Coast?”  When I would tell them, “No, that would be Portland, Maine and there was in fact a sizable city in Oregon called Portland,” the shock and awe ensued.  After correcting their pronunciation of my beloved state (numerous times) and dispelling the myths that we were a wet, backwards state, I would go into a sales pitch, defending my beloved state against all else. I would focus on the picturesque beauty, ability to ski and surf on the same day and how imgres-1honest and friendly the people were.

I had no idea that my (and every other Oregonians’) sales pitch would be so damn effective because after 24 years away I came home for good to over 1.37M more residents clogging up our archaic transportation network and buying houses that are 194% more expensive than they were in 1990.

Yes, I get that my sleepy city and by extension, my podunk state is now the hot commodity. Thanks to marketing we have attracted television shows which display our gorgeous scenery for everyone to lust for, we are home to some of the world’s most iconic brands, and despite the influx of outsiders, we are still genuinely nice folks. imgres-2

But this is the classic problem of social exuberance. If one person rides a Harley-Davidson or has a tattoo, then society thinks that the behavior is unique and “weird”  but when you pass the tipping point where Grandma is sporting a tat and driving a Harley does it differentiate you from the rest of society?

By the same token if it is hip and cool to move to Oregon and this mass exodus has resulted in a 53% increase in population in the past 24 years. At what point must we acknowledge that the Oregon brand has been diluted, and we are now a homogenized shadow of what made this state so desirable.

Don’t get me wrong I have plenty of good friends that moved here and now identify as Oregonians and I would be genuinely heartbroken if they left.  However, my point is when is enough enough?  When can Oregon go back to being a nice place to live and raise a family? When can we turn our attention to cleaning up the mess that double-digit growth rates have had on our infrastructure?

In fact, there are at least 99 documented reasons why Portland sucks which is sure to dissuade someone from moving here.

My personal pet peeves are that traffic sucks, we have taken politically correct to the extreme for fear of telling people the truth and the amount of people living on the streets is a disappointment.  Oh and one more thing … when will the sun come out?   It is July 28th can I please wake up to the sunshine?  FYI, to a native Oregonian, the day after July 4th is when summer weather officially begins.

Case in point, it used to take me 15 minutes to get from SW Portland to anywhere in the metro area now I can’t even get from the west hills to downtown Portland in 15 minutes thanks to the constant traffic on HWY 26.  Think about this, in the past 25 years, Oregon’s only major strategic transportation project other than the light rail has been the Tilikum Crossing, albeit pretty but doesn’t exactly alleviate the transportation issues. Stereotypes aside, pretty or bridge or not, not enough people are going to trade their car for a bike to truly make a difference on the roads.  It is my belief that the Metro planners failed to plan for the tremendous success that we have witnessed in the past 2.5 decades.

Portland was an urban planning mecca but lost sight of the famous quote from the movie Field of Dreams “It reminds us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”  The quote articulates Portland and by extension, Oregon’s problem, when you create something good people will want to be a part of it.  IE “Success begets success” so you have to plan accordingly for success or in this case more people coming to Oregon.

A quick check on the 2016 Portland’s population growth rate shows that we are settling down to a sustainable metro growth rate of 1.8%.  If this trend continues then maybe, the Metro planners can focus on infrastructure projects that improve the quality of life for Portlanders such as expanding HWY 26, developing a west side freeway past Hillsboro that takes interstate traffic off of I-5 in the metro area corridor with a third bridge crossing over the Columbia River.

All of this may be crazy talk, and I might be a little jaded that people have discovered the secret of Portland but to keep on “Keeping Portland Weird” we should try harder at making Portland habitable for everyone even the Californian transplants.  And yes, I do remember the famous Tom Mcall signs welcoming Californians to Oregon for a vacation then promptly reminding them to go back to California.

What the H*ll is a Fairy Penguin?

An Adorable Bundle of Fluff – That’s What!

Back in May [yes, The Bronx Zoo has been keeping this level of cuteness from us for imgres-3months!] a Fairy Penguin was born in for the first time in the Zoo’s 120-year history.

imgres-2So, what does it mean [aside fro bringing a smile to you face]? Well, these little guys are the smallest of the 18 penguin species. Apparently our friendly tuxedo’d friends have many more cousins than I knew about. These tiny balls of fluff grow barely a foot tall in their six years of life but at least they get to live it in Australia.

The birth of this chick a huge success for both the Bronx Zoo and their sister breeding program at the Taronga Zoo is Australia and The Wildlife Conservation Society is also quite elated. Not only does this birth further conservation efforts but the birth in the US adds genetic diversity to the breeding program.

Why The Willamette MBA Program Was Right For Me

Willamette Fall
After making the decision to attend graduate school, I did the usual research of soliciting advice from other professionals, my own catalog list of local universities and of course went to the fall back of any question, Google.  Given the auto populate, you can see others have sought Google’s advice as well.
There are 12 different MBA programs available in the Portland area so it was hard to narrow it down to Willamette. Here are some of the criteria that I used:
  1. Cohort style – Building a two-year long relationship with other professionals creates support and life long bonds.
  2. Executive Program – Being able to attend classes at night was a requirement to keep with my work schedule. This program is designed for working professionals. The ability to apply concepts immediately is key in retaining and understanding the material.
  3. Structure – The schedule is set for you for the whole two year program (including books), which eliminates figuring out registration and the complications of which class to take next.
  4. Reputation- Willamette University has continued to be recognized by several organizations, including Forbes for being an outstanding MBA program.
  5. In 2015, Forbes ranked Willamette’s MBA Program number 60 on their bi-annual list of the “Best Business Schools.” Willamette was the only Oregon school to make the list. Read the original article here: http://bit.ly/2avL22g
  6. Dinner – Small thing, however, not having to plan or buy dinner every school night is a good thing. After a long day of work, it’s nice to have someone else do the cooking and the dishes. Whole Foods catering anyone?

Who is the Richest Person in the World?

The Richest Person in the World is Bill Gates.

bill-gates-funny-meme

There, that was easy–simple question, simple answer. But you probably have some follow-up questions so here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers:

How rich is Bill Gates?

His 2016 estimated net worth is $75 Billion.

Why an “estimated net worth” rather than a set, known dollar amount?

The average global investor maybe has a modest savings that can easily be found with a few clicks into their online banking or a quick accounting of cash in the shoebox buried in the backyard. Unlike them, the extremely wealthy have large portions of their wealth tied to portfolios and investments which fluctuate every day.

Bill Gates real-time wealth
Bill Gates real-time wealth

These portfolios are often private and can only be estimated based on public records of the companies they invest in. Forbes has a pretty good tool to help track and show these known public wealth sources and how they fluctuate on a real-time basis.

How did Bill Gates get so rich?

Well, this part may surprise you. Bill Gates was born in Seattle, Washington to wealthy and successful parents. He attended exclusive private schools with the intent of following in his father’s footsteps as a lawyer.

Eventually, he discovered a passion for computers and dropped out of Harvard to start a software company with some of his (now also extremely wealthy) school friends. His wealthy parents helped support Gates while he started We now know this company as Microsoft, a business with a $447 Billion market cap.

Gates is most famous for this clip of the Windows 95 launch:

Who else is in the Top 10?

  1. Amancio Ortega, Spain, $67 Billion*
  2. Warren Buffet, United States, $60.8 Billion*
  3. Carlos Slim Helu, Mexico, $50 Billion*
  4. Jeff Bezos, United States, $45.2 Billion*
  5. Mark Zuckerberg, United States, $44.6 Billion*
  6. Larry Ellison, United States, $43.6 Billion*
  7. Michael Bloomberg, United States, $40 Billion*
  8. Charles Koch, United States, $39.6 Billion*
  9. David Koch, United States, $39.6 Billion*

* 2016 estimated net worth

Who’s the most likely person to succeed Bill Gates as the richest person in the world?

Probably Ortega. Gates and Ortega have been battling it out for the top 2 spots for the last several years. At one point in 2015, Ortega was in the number 1 spot ahead of Gates since the portfolios fluctuate so frequently.

Others on the rise include Bezos and Zuckerberg due to the projected growth of their companies over the next 5-10 years.

What does Bill Gates do with $75 Billion?

After he splurged on a Seattle mansion and, presumably, a collection of fine sweaters, Gates and his wife Melinda started a charitable organization known, naturally, as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates has contributed at least $23 Billion to this organization. Fellow Top 10 Wealthiest People in the World member, Warren Buffett, also contributes $1-2 Billion per year to this organization as well.

What would you do with $75 Billion?

Thanks, that’s kind of you to ask! Wow, think of all the possibilities and good this would do for the world. I’d probably splurge and buy a professional sports team (just for the perks of good seats), buy the rights to remake the movie The Sting and then not do it (that movie is a classic), and then contribute most of the rest of the wealth to charity too.

How rich is Donald Trump in comparison?

Ranking at #324 on Forbes’ list of 2016 wealthiest people in the world, Donald Trump has an estimated net worth of $4.5 Billion. His wealth was primarily generated from television, real estate, and steaks sold at Sharper Image.

Why doesn’t Bill Gates run for President of the United States?

Well unfortunately, “being extremely wealthy” isn’t an automatic qualification for any job, let alone the most important job in the country.

How do I get $75 Billion?

As with everything in life, in order to achieve a lofty goal, you have to start somewhere. If your goal is to get $75 Billion, you should probably start with a job. So, here’s our 3-part series on getting a job:

Russia and Doping

 

epa05017959 (FILE) A file picture dated 21 February 2014 of the Doping Control Station in the Laura Biathlon Center during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. On 09 November 2015 an independent commission set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will publish a report on its findings of an investigation into allegations of widespread doping in elite Russian athletes.  EPA/HENDRIK SCHMIDT
Photo Credit EPA/HENDRIK SCHMIDT

A controversial topic these days is Russia and their use of doping. With the Summer Olympics just around the corner, athletes are under a microscope. Unfortunately for Russia, the microscope has been a rather harsh view into the expectations of Russian athletes. Looking at the 2014 results of doping violations, Russia led the way with the majority of doping violations (110). India was close behind with 91 violations in 2014. With that level of violations, is it considered unfair to review the majority of Russian athletes as it appears to be a countrywide accepted process?

Russia has barely kept any athletes in the Olympics as a blanket ban had been considered. Currently over 100 athletes have tested positive for doping and are currently banned. Putin feels that his athletes are being discriminated against as no other country has had such a high count. The appeal process has already started for several athletes that felt they had been unfairly targeted, such as Yuliya Stepanova, who had been a whistle-blower. Currently, any Russian athlete that has been associated with doping and Russia has been banned, which may seem unfair and unjust. For those athletes that have been unfairly banned, one can only hope their appeals are reviewed in a timely manner and get them back on their way to Rio.

File photo dated 23-02-2014 of The Olympic flag flies next to the Russian flag during the Closing Ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday November 9, 2015. The London 2012 Olympics were "sabotaged" by the "widespread inaction" against Russian athletes with suspicious doping profiles by the IAAF and the Russian federation, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commission has found. See PA story ATHLETICS Doping. Photo credit should read David Davies/PA Wire.
Photo credit David Davies/PA Wire.

As stated above, India had 91 doping violations in 2014. Are their Olympic qualifying athletes under the same scrutiny as Russia? Belgium had 71 violations, which is still no laughing matter. It will be interesting to see the total count of banned athletes for doping and their home countries.

To dope or not to dope? That shouldn’t even be a question. It’s the Olympics. Take pride in  yourself and your skills.

Sources:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/rio-2016/2016/07/27/vladimir-putin-russia-athletes-track-and-field-doping/87606852/

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/07/26/5-russian-canoeists-including-olympic-champ-get-rio-bans.html

https://www.graphiq.com/vlp/ltNl28rVGHH?utm_source=viz&utm_medium=viz.referral&utm_campaign=viz.ref&utm_viz_id=ltNl28rVGHH&utm_pubreferrer=www.foxnews.com%2Fworld%2F2016%2F07%2F26%2F5-russian-canoeists-including-olympic-champ-get-rio-bans.html

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/jul/25/yuliya-stepanova-whistleblower-rio-olympics-ban-ioc