Month: October 2016

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Period: Late Jurassic
Order, Suborder, Family: Saurischia, Sauropodomorpha, Diplodocidae
Location: North America (United States)
Length: 120-140 feet (36-42.5 meters)
Nearly half as long as a football field, Seismosaurus is possibly the largest dinosaur from North America. The single skeleton of this genus was excavated in central New Mexico. It was given its name because of its great size-“earth shaker reptile.”
This giant sauropod reached an estimated length of 120-140 feet. If this is correct, it is the record length for a dinosaur. The skeleton is mostly joined (articulated) and consists of the front half of the tail, the pelvis and sacrum, and the vertebrae in the rib-bearing region. In future excavations, paleontologists hope to recover the front legs, neck, and skull. Some paleontologists feel that the partial Sesimosaurus skeleton simply represents a particularly large specimen of Diplodocus.
Like other diplodocids, Seismosaurus probably had a long slender neck, large bulky body, short front legs, tall rear legs, and long heavy tail. “Stomach stones,” or gastroliths, have been found with the skeleton. It is one of the few articulated (joined) sauropod skeletons that had gastroliths in place when it was excavated.


How the NFL Pro Bowl Works

The anticipation of football season is electric. Its preamble happens in waves. First comes the NFL Draft — a well-publicized three-day celebration of “What If,” as the leagues’ newest members give fans reason to dream of a successful season in the fall. Then there’s training camp, offering the first glimpse of the new-look teams. The preseason begins, and this very closely resembles actual football except for the second- and third-stringers that find their way into the lineups. Finally, the fantasy football drafts happen and office betting pools begin to form. No other sport builds up to the season the way football does.
Of the four major American professional sports organizations, the National Football League in the past two decades has risen above Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League in the two areas that matter the most — revenues and the all-important game attendance.
On average, each NFL game during the 2009 season drew 67,509 fans [source: Harris]. Compare that to baseball, which attracted an average of 30,338 fans per game during the same season, and it’s easy to see why the National Pastime seems to be shifting from the diamond to the gridiron [source: Harris]. That’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison considering the disparity in the lengths of each sport’s seasons. Because MLB plays so many more games, even with half-empty stadiums the sport plays to more than 70 million spectators in a given year. The NFL can’t come close to matching that, with a total of just over 17 million taking in games in 2009. Despite such a large gap in ticket sales, the NFL still earned a cool billion dollars more than MLB in 2009 [source: Trowbridge].
The NFL stands head and shoulders above other professional sports, but it has one weakness when compared to its counterparts — the Pro Bowl. Of all the major all-star games, the Pro Bowl is the only one that actually draws a smaller audience than regular-season games [source: Fletcher].
In this article, we’ll discuss how the Pro Bowl works, who gets to play and what factors contribute to this being such an anticlimactic end to sports’ most intense season.


How to Put a Belt on Football Pants

Every item a football player wears, including his belt, plays a significant role in his safety and ability to play well. Although a belt might not present itself as being particularly important, it keeps a player’s pants in place when running and can keep protective hip and butt pads in place during a game. The fit between a belt and football pants is a tight one, but it is not impossible to manage.
Place your football pants on a flat surface with the waist section within easy reach.
Slide an index finger and thumb into the slot to the left side loop in the pants. This refers to the side that is on your left when wearing the pants. Push one end of the belt toward your thumb and finger sitting inside the first loop. Pinch the belt with your finger and thumb. Pull the belt through the loop.
Pull the belt through the front loop slit until the free end sits six to eight inches away from the front edge of the loop. Continue working the belt through each loop until you reach the mounting point of the left hip pad. Align the slots of the pad with the corresponding loop in the pants. Slide the belt through both sets of slots. Move to the next pant loop and push the belt through.
Align the slots of the butt pad with the corresponding pant slots. Push the belt through. Make sure the pads remain in place as you continue putting the belt in the pants until you reach the right side pad. Repeat the alignment and threading procedure as described for the left side pad.
Finish putting the belt in the pants until you reach the opening located at the groin.


How to Get a Snag Out of Polyester Shirts

Polyester comes in a variety of knits, styles and weaves, but this durable fabric has one weakness ¨C snagging. No matter how careful you are, catching your polyester shirt on a ring or any sharp object happens. If you find a snag, resist the urge to tug at it or cut it away with scissors. This can lead to an even larger snag or a noticeable hole in your shirt. Preserve your polyester shirt by patiently working out the snag. In some cases, you may have to take your snagged garment to a professional seamstress for help.
Turn the shirt inside out and place the shirt on a flat, clean surface, such as a table or an ironing board. Smooth out the shirt with your hand, removing creases and wrinkles.
Examine the shirt for bunching or gathering. Use your fingers to pull around the bunched area and smooth out any puckering. Locate the snagged thread.
Poke the smallest loop of the snag with a blunt needle tip. Ease the polyester thread into shape, using the needle head to manipulate the fabric from stitch to stich. Smooth the fabric with your hands.
Turn the garment right side out and examine the snag. Set your ironing board to the polyester — or cool — setting. Press the fabric to get the shirt back into tip-top shape.


Daily Meal Plans for Athletes

Performing at your athletic best starts with a healthy diet. Getting the proper nutrition is essential for your body to operate at its peak capacity. The key is to eat a well-balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, fiber and healthy fats. You also need to eat more than the average person, but be sure to make healthy food choices for the best results.
When engaging in any sort of physical activity on a regular basis, you body will require additional calories to compensate for the calories burned during the activity. As an athlete, you need to consume plenty of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats for energy and increased muscle capacity. Teenage athletes may require anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 calories per day, according to the TeensHealth website. If you¡¯re an adult athlete, your daily calorie requirements will vary depending upon your age, gender, body type and type of activity you’re engaged in.
Eating healthy plays a significant role in how your body performs during any strenuous activity. Without an adequate amount of carbohydrates and fats in your diet, for instance, your muscles will not get the energy they need to perform at optimal levels. According to Colorado State University, endurance athletes need as many as 70 percent of their daily calories to come from foods high in carbohydrates, such as potatoes and cereals. CSU explains that carbohydrates supply 40 to 50 percent of your energy requirements during the early stages of exercise.
You can benefit from increased energy levels throughout the day by eating frequently. Eating every two to four hours, or the equivalent of four to six meals a day, is ideal for most athletes. By eating smaller meals more frequently, you can meet the daily calorie requirements your body needs to perform, keep your metabolism high and maintain a steady blood sugar level. Consuming foods and drinks filled with sugar, such as soda, can cause blood sugar spikes and is not ideal for athletes who rely on endurance or prolonged energy sources.
You need plenty of carbohydrates and protein for breakfast after a good night’s sleep. Some good food choices include fruit, oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, skim milk, eggs, turkey bacon and, for vegetarians in particular, soy products. Breakfast will help give you energy right from the start of the day. Eat a small snack two to three hours after breakfast to keep your energy levels high.
As an athlete, you need to eat a low-calorie meal for lunch that consists of fruits and vegetables. A light pasta dish is usually a good choice. A chicken Caesar salad is also a nutritious source of protein, vitamins and minerals that is low in calories. The key at lunchtime is to maximize the amount of nutrients you consume while not going overboard on your calorie count. Eat a low-calorie snack in mid-afternoon.
Your final meal of the day should be well-balanced and rich in protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and carbohydrates. An effective sample menu would include a chicken breast, green beans, whole-wheat bread or rice and a piece of fruit for dessert. Avoid eating late; if you eat a dinner high in fiber it will help curb your appetite before bedtime.


How to Be a Good Captain of a Sports Team

Being the captain of a sports team requires certain traits that promote other team members to respect and follow your direction. However, the captain isn’t necessarily the best player on the team. Not everyone can handle the position of team captain. The coach and members of the team generally agree on who is best for the position. Some teams have multiple captains. Understanding why the captain’s position is important to the success of a team helps you carry out your duties for everyone’s benefit.
An outgoing personality is more conducive to being a team captain, but isn’t the only important trait for motivating and supporting your team. The Association for Applied Sports Psychology emphasizes the “3 Cs” of being a good team captain. The first is caring. As captain, you must care about the success of the team as well as the success of each player individually. Courage is the second “C” and requires the captain to be prepared and work hard to set an example for the rest of the team. The third is consistency. A team captain must use consistent communication with the team members and always play to the best of his ability at each practice and game.
An effective team captain leads her team members by influencing them in a positive way. This involves putting the most effort into each practice and game and expecting the other team members to do the same. You’ll also lead by helping solve conflicts among team members, understanding all the rules of the game, building team spirit and coordinating ideas into action. The Leadership Expert website suggests taking charge, doing more than is expected, taking responsibility for your strengths and weaknesses, leading with actions rather than words and avoiding thinking you are better than the rest of the team. This will motivate your team to act the same, creating a cohesive unit that performs well and wins games.
As the captain, you might have more authority regarding some decisions, such as what plays to use or what uniforms to wear. However, working together as a team to make these decisions fosters a team feeling as well as respect among players. A captain does this by meshing the needs and talents of each team member with the ultimate goal of the team, which is winning games. For example, this might mean switching the playing position of a couple players if their skills aren’t helping your team score.
Some people are born leaders, but this doesn’t exclude others from being an effective team captain. If you’d like to be the captain of your sports team, talk with coaches and players who have held the position, advises the Association for Applied Sports Psychology. This is a valuable way to learn the attributes and skills that will help you. Reading books written by coaches and professional sports figures is another way to gather information about good techniques for a team captain.


10 Historical Untruths About the First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: the quintessential American holiday in which Americans celebrate the fact that despite superstorms, unemployment and the 24/7 news cycle, life is pretty darn good for many in these United States. And oh yeah, something about tipping a tall black hat to the Pilgrims and American Indians who got this day of eating, drinking and football watching started some 390-plus years ago.
Just as many Christmas celebrators tear through eggnog and wrapping paper with the vague notion that the event is somehow related to a Jewish carpenter’s birthday, so, too, do turkey day revelers heap on the cranberry sauce and gravy, sensing that this all has something to do with the native people and settlers who inhabited the land centuries before, but are not exactly sure what.
Perhaps the disconnect should be no surprise, given that modern Thanksgiving observances barely resemble the festivities of the “first” version of the holiday. Read on as we debunk some of the most notable mistruths concerning the original American day of thanks.


How to Play Center in Football

Playing center is one of the most important positions on the offensive line in football. The center starts every play by snapping the ball to the quarterback. This may seem simple when watching on television because the quarterback is lined up directly behind the center, but it is anything but since the snap must be delivered with the correct amount of pressure and to the right spot. He must also block powerful defensive linemen and linebackers and alert the other linemen if he believes the defense is going to blitz the quarterback.
Learn the correct position while maintaining balance and an athletic position–one hand on the ground, one hand on the ball with knees bent and the body poised to go forward as soon as you snap it. Your head must be held up and you must be able to look at the entire defensive line and the linebackers so you can let your fellow linemen know what is going on. These “line calls” are quite vital when it comes to protecting the quarterback.
Snap the ball to the quarterback. He will either be directly behind you with his hands underneath your buttocks or he will be about 5 yards behind in the shotgun position. When he is lined up behind you, you must snap the ball quick and hard to the palm of his right hand (for a right-handed passer). This is where most quarterbacks prefer to receive the ball. You must work on this regularly in practice because a failed snap attempt results in either a fumble or a botched play.
Snap or pass the ball to the quarterback when he is lined up in shotgun position. This formation is designed to give the quarterback a better perspective when looking at or “reading” the opponent’s defense. It also gives him a bit of a head start when he sets up in the pocket. Instead of merely lifting the ball to the quarterback’s hands, you must now send him the ball via an accurate backwards pass. You will still have the same position as described in Step 1, but at the last instant you may lower your head so you can look between your legs and find the quarterback. This will help you snap the ball to him accurately. It is best if you can do this without looking, but many centers prefer to take that last glimpse before starting the play.
Attack the nose tackle or defensive tackle on a running play. You also have significant blocking responsibilities when blocking for the run. You need to position yourself and thrust your shoulder and forearms into his body with enough force to alter his position and help create a hole for the running back. This is very difficult since the defensive lineman is probably a bit bigger than you are and may be more athletic. Your advantage is that you know when the play will start and where you want to block him.
Block all oncoming pass rushers that you can neutralize. You must give ground after snapping the ball, taking two or three steps back before holding your position and setting up along with the other offensive linemen to protect the quarterback. As pass rushers come storming in to try to sack the quarterback or deflect a pass, you must block them and keep them out of the area the quarterback needs to throw from. This area is called the pocket.

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