Thursday, March 29, 2012

Online Backgammon: From The Ancient World To Wireless Networking

Sites that allow individuals to play online backgammon are the result of thousands of years of gaming. Backgammon is a well-respected game that people have loved since old days. Many people have gladly made the shift towards computerized variations. This isn't a new phenomenon either. In fact, backgammon was one of the titles that even the very first of computer game fans got to test.

There were only 4 games for the Intellivision gaming console during the time of its release. ABPA Backgammon was among these games. The name pertained to the American Backgammon Players Association, that provided the game an air of legitimateness that few titles of that time had. The title was even involved with the Intellivision Lives! game parcels that were distributed for certain current systems. The reality that backgammon was between the few titles that were featured implies that the founders understood simply how common backgammon is.

INTV Corporation later converted the software from ABPA Backgammon to create Triple Challenge. There were still probably plenty of people that continued to appreciate the initial game. The success of the Intellivision unit decreased, but backgammon thrived. The Neurogammon program was on the horizon.

In 1989 the 1st Computer Olympiad was arranged in London. Neurogammon defeated all oppositions at that occasion. Gerald Tesauro developed the software. He practiced at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, and he earned a lot of popularity for that institute by writing the initial working backgammon application that used neural net systems. Plenty of individuals consider the software to play at the level of an medium human competitor.

The computer program implemented a procedure that let seven different neural networks to choose the very best motions possible. One of the networks was committed to determining what to perform with the doubling cube. The other 6 analyzed moves from different phases of the game. Tesauro provided a record of 400 games to exercise the networks. He actually played every game independently, and designated the software to mark his particular actions as the finest achievable in a variety of scenarios. His penultimate application was still a couple of years off.

Tesauro finished creating TD-Gammon in 1992. It combined the input characteristics from the earlier Neurogammon application with a kind of unsupervised learning. TD-Gammon played at the skill level of a world-class backgammon athlete. With highly advanced computers, however, no one is required to go through all this hassle to join a game.

The world of online backgammon presents lots of possibilities for fans to play against other people. There are also plenty of websites that also allow one to check out their luck vs a computer. A player can experience his or her number one game anytime there is no one else around either way. Playing in the physical world is still the most pleasurable for some people, nevertheless it just isn't always possible

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sports Injuries and Their Complications

I have decided to write this article to highlight the importance of understanding the complications that can result from misdiagnosis and untreated injuries.

My story began back in 2001 when doing some free sparring at the gym I used to attend in Manchester, UK. Unfortunately the flooring was uneven and when I went to turn my opponent from a clinch position my right foot became lodged in part of the uneven floor and my body turned 180 agrees. I heard a pop and immediately my knee gave way. Thinking it was just a sprained muscle I just rubbed some Thai oil on it and tried to contain with the sparring session. However the knee went again and I decided to get changed and go home.

Upon returning home I felt like there was something stuck in my knee joint, which was causing this problem. I got my mother to pull my leg out straight in the hope that "something" would pop back into place. However it didn't do the trick and I thought I would just give it some rest. Over the next few months I continued to have problems with my knee going, but I still contained to train because I was actively fighting at that time and didn't want appear to be "soft" to my instructor.

I did visit the doctors a few more times after that. However they kept telling me it was just a pull muscle. The injury really came to a head one morning when my knee locked. That was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced in my life. We called an ambulance and I was taken to the local hospital where they were absolutely no help at all. Later that afternoon I discharged myself still unable to walk properly. Fortunately my knee unlocked itself later that day.

After the above happened I decided that I would go to a knee specialist to see exactly what was happening with my knee. We were well into 2002 now. After a 15 minute consultation at a cost of 150 I was diagnosed with a torn / snapped anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which would need reconstruction surgery. However the cost of the surgery was over 5000 and I didn't have medical insurance to cover it, so I would have to go on the National Health Service (NHS).

After a few months I got to see a knee specialist on the NHS and underwent a MRI scan to see the extent of the damage. The results of the MRI scan were not good. I had actually snapped the ACL and had done a lot of cartilage damage. This could have been avoided if the doctors I initially saw didn't tell me it was a pulled muscle, which made me play down the injury and keep training on it.

I was informed that they would be able to do the surgery to repair the ACL in 6 - 12 months. Having just finished my degree I decided that I would go travelling in south east asia. I brought an ACL brace which was damm expensive and off I went. 3 months later I returned to the UK and another 3 months passed and I was finally in hospital for the surgery. It was now 2003 by this time!

The surgery went smoothly. They took some hamstring tendons and strapped them across my knee and put a few screws in there to hold everything in place. Now it was time for the real hard work. 18 months of physiotherapy to build up the muscles! This was bloody hard work and I found in the winter months I would get a dull aching pain in my knee, which whilst not painful it was very uncomfortable.

I was told after the surgery that I would never train Muay Thai again. However a year after surgery and physiotherapy I did go back to train and teach, but I have never taken place in competitions since. It's just not worth the risk.

You might be thinking what is the point of this story! Well what I would like people to take away from this is that when you get an injury don't down play it. If you feel it's not improving then get specialist advice. You know your body better than most people and you know when something is seriously wrong. This is something I didn't take notice of and was brain washed by people that I was just been "soft", which was compounded by misdiagnosis by general practitioners.

They took x-ray after x-ray and because they couldn't see anything broke then they just assumed it was a pulled muscle. A MRI scan is the only way that I am aware of that will show tendon and ligament damage. However they are reluctant to do this on the NHS, because it costs them a lot of money.

In any sport you are at risk of injuries. However knowing how to treat and look after them could make the difference between recovery and surgery. In my case I would have needed surgery regardless. However I could have saved some of the cartilage in my knee and a lot of pain if I was diagnosis correctly and didn't ignore what my body was telling me.

Now in 2012 I seldom think about the injury and it doesn't cause me any problems. However during the time I had the injury and a few years later it did effect me physiologically, because I always had it in the back of my mind that if I do this then my knee might give way and it will cause me a lot of pain. I hope you found this post helpful and if you are suffering an injury that isn't improve please get the proper advice.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How to Launch Your Pilates Instructor Career

Being a Pilate's instructor is a career choice that many people think about. Of course in order to launch this career you need to have training. This training is the best way to start your career but you have to know some things before going on a course. You first have to identify if you really want to be a Pilate's instructor or if this is just a stepping stone to something else. Once you have figured this out you have to look into the different courses and the advantages they have.

Do you want to have a Pilate's career?

What exactly do you want to do with your life? Do you want to teach Pilates as a career or is it more a hobby? Are you going to teach Pilates as a way to get into a different career? These are all questions you have to ask yourself before you start any courses. If you are planning this as a stepping stone then you have to think about whether it would be easier to simply do a different course.

What Pilate's courses should you take?

When you look into Pilates courses there are some things that you should be aware of. You should always find out if the course you want to take is accredited. This can be done by either contacting the institute running the course or the professional body for Pilate's instructors in your area. If the course is not accredited then you may want to look around for one that is. The reason for this is that accredited course will hold more power when you look for work.

Find out if the people teaching you are properly qualified. Again you can find this out from the course institute or you can go onto the website of the professional body and see if the teachers are registered. The reason for this is that you need qualified teachers to properly train you.

Look at what will be taught in the course. There are certain things that you should learn in a course. One of these is the theory behind Pilates. By knowing the theory you can better understand the practical aspects. You should also learn about anatomy as you have to know how the body works and how certain actions will affect the body.

The techniques and methods of doing Pilates need to be a part of the course. This should not only be covered in theory but also in practise. You should be shown a few different techniques as well as the ways to properly instruct other people. If this is not covered then you may find yourself having a hard time when it comes to actually teaching other people.

If you are looking into a career in teaching Pilates then you need to have proper training. The courses that you look at should have adequate theory and practical aspects which will teach you all you need to know to instruct others. You also have to make sure the course is accredited and that the teachers are qualified.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Story of How Trophies Came to Be - Awards for Champions

Athletes struggle and compete against each other to win the coveted trophy and award. Trophies, awards and accolades inspire moral, and encourage the fighting sprit within people. So what are the origins of the trophy? How did the practice of giving awards come about? Here is the story.

The year is March AD 978. Britain's King Edward was riding on the outskirts of the city on a hunt. Soon, he was drinking and making merry when suddenly from behind, he was stabbed with a knife and died on the spot. Subsequently, in order to prevent the recurrence of similar assassinations, British rulers developed a banquet etiquette which doubled up as an assassination defense: a cup filled with wine would be passed around the drinkers, and people stood up to crowd around the drinker as a form of protection. After the cup was used for drinking sessions after a week later, the cup became a potent symbol of a precious gift. In later ages, people followed on this tradition to award the cup as a form of reward and recognition to the deserving recipient.

This carried on to evolve into the trophies of modern sporting competitions. With the increase in sports and competition events, the production and design of trophies, cups and awards continually underwent a process of refinement and improvement to include new shapes and styles. The trophy became pregnant with meaning and some became valued as precious works of art.

Some of the most famous trophies in the world are associated with the name of the sports sponsor or the donor of the trophy. Often, these trophies go on to become prestigious events known throughout the world. For example is the International Badminton Championships Men's Team Champions Cup, Thomas Cup. In 1939 British badminton player Thomas made a donation for the trophy. In his honor, the trophy was called the Thomas Cup. In more recent years, trophies have been associated with corporate sponsors. A good example would be the Barclay's Premier League Trophy.

Of all the trophies in the world, most are made of alloys, clay, wood, or plastic; but very few are made with gold or silver. The World Cup, also known as the "Goddess Cup", is made from 1800-grams of pure gold. Brazil won the honor to keep the cup after they won it for the third time in 1970. At present, the most expensive trophy in the World Football Cup trophy, the FIFA World Cup, which is the production of 5 kg of pure gold. This cup is made in the shape of two hands to holding high the Earth and is worth $2.5 million.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Croquet Is Good Old Fashion Fun

People have been playing croquet for years and all ages can enjoy it. Children love croquet because they have a chance to play against other family members and often they can beat an older player.

All croquet sets are basically the same. They consist of mallets, balls, and some type of wire loops that the ball goes through. The loops are called wickets. It is set up on a lawn in a pattern that allows up to six players the chance to try to navigate the course. It is different than Mimi golf, but the same principle.

Family reunions are a great place to set up a game. Lots of different generations can play and it only takes a short time to complete a game. If the weather is nice and there is a flat lawn area, the game can be set up in a few minutes. Even children can set of the basic area and have it ready to play. For years people have been playing with Franklin croquet sets and the easy to follow directions make the game enjoyable for everyone. So many games have difficult rules to follow and can be hard to understand, but this is one game that follows the traditional game rules that people have played for years.

The game can be played with teams and often that is a great option when playing with several different age groups. For family night, let the kids plays the parents and then offer small prizes for the winner. Of course everyone is really a winner because they get to be outside and have fun.

Croquet sets come in various price ranges. Franklin croquet sets are well known and can be found at department stores for great prices. They are well made and if taken care of, can last for many years. Because they are often made with real wood, they need to be put away after each use. Some of them come in a case and others sit on a stand made just for them.

Croquet sets make great family gifts at Christmas. It is a gift that can be for everyone in the family, so there is no need to buy separate things, or spend extra time and money for things most people never use. This is a game that most people have played and are familiar with. They are usually happy to have a new set to use for family picnics, birthday parties and group gatherings.

This is the perfect game for grandparents to play when the grandkids come over. It will give them a chance to enjoy each other and everyone has fun. No video games, movies or electronic devices, just plain old fashion fun. Everyone should have a set ready for a sunny day. So, go ahead, pull out the set from the back of the garage and dust off the mallets and get ready to have some good old fashion family fun.