July 30, 2003

Martial Artist as Pass Rusher

Mercury News | Carter shaping up into elite pass rusher

The Niners have always gotten into the martial arts thing--even Joe Montana shilled for George Chung's TKDaerobics video.

Added strength ought to help a player who already has tremendous quickness. (Andre) Carter earned a black belt in karate at age 12 and still uses martial arts in his training. The rapid hand movements help him shed blockers, and the mental discipline keeps his game in control.

For an example, Jones pointed to a drill in which the player glides back and forth on a sliding board and knocks down weighted balls. Nobody does it better than Carter, who knocks down the props with his eyes fixed straight ahead.

"In martial arts, they teach you to let everything be fluid," said Carter, a former Oak Grove High star. "Instead of thinking about it, go ahead and do it. For me, pass rushing is all about a smooth motion."

For more on football players who study martial arts, see my Celebrity Martial Artists article.

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July 29, 2003

A Killer Punch - Commotio Cordis

Punching Game Leaves San Jose Teen Dead

A while back I wrote an About.com article on commotio cordis--a little-known situation where a blow to the chest can interrupt the rhythm of the heart and cause immediate death.

It's sad, but this looks like one of those cases.

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July 26, 2003

The Not So Big House

I've been reading Sarah Susanka's books, The Not So Big House and Creating the Not So Big House. These books promote a design philosophy contrary to the "more is better" school--they promote finesse along with form and function.

So much of my work as an information architect has been influenced by the constraints of the Net; bandwidth, search engine optimization, etc. Real-world architecture also always has constraints: the nature of the building site, local codes and ordinances, and most often, the depth of the owner's pocketbook.

Susanka's books are perfect for those of us who live in crazy housing markets like Silicon Valley. You can't find a big lot to build on anymore, and even the small lots are too expensive. When a starter "fixer upper" home costs half a million dollars, you look for ways to optimize your design.

The other book on home design I revere is, naturally, Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings, by Edward Morse. Kevin Driscoll, my boss at Netscape, told me about it. So many ideas, so little time.

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July 25, 2003

Why this blog is here

I've been on the Web since 1995, with the Usability Methods Toolbox. That reference site works well as quick articles about each method.

I had dabbled with the blog format when I ran martialarts.about.com (MAAC). Blogging seemed like a better way to write about what I was interested in--new, interesting things in the martial arts.

I no longer had the time to write the epic, multi-page magazine articles I loved to do. The research, editing, lining up interviews, all of that took too much time. But About.com wasn't set up to do blogs--each MAAC blog entry was a self-contained article.

All that has changed after I've left About, naturally. They're even using MT too. Sigh.

Nevertheless, it's better to be independent.

Here, I'll post about all of the crazy things I find interesting--from martial arts to usability to design to programming. And MAAC is better off with Geoff at the helm--his fresh viewpoint will revitalize the site. Folks can always visit martialarts.jameshom.com for the Frank Dux article, or advice on choosing a martial art.

Thanks for visiting.

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First Post!

Finally got around to installing MT. Hope you enjoy the blog.

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