JustClik News and Blogs

Views, news and features about the Goulburn Valley. Showcasing a variety of local writers and their views.

Ultimate Frisbee Fiasco

Ultimate Frisbee Fiasco

A work colleague has an unusual sporting interest.  He plays Ultimate Frisbee in the evenings at the Shepparton Lake precinct.  You can see him and his mates leaping, catching and throwing their high-tech plastic discs in a designated field.

I guess you could say it's a bit like rugby without the contact.  Loads of fun played enthusiastically by Shepp locals on a Monday evening.

The aim of the sport is to get the frisbee from the "end-zone" to the opponents "end-zone."  Teams number how many people turn up. It's unisex. Points are scored by passing the disc to a teammate in the opposing end zone. Other basic rules are that players must not take steps while holding the disc, and interceptions, incomplete passes, and passes out of bounds are turnovers. Rain, the wind, or occasionally other adversities can make for a testing match with rapid turnovers, heightening the pressure of play.

Today, my work mate turned up sporting a leg injury — a pulled muscle or something similar. He didn't complain much, but the limp is obvious.  Reminded me of seeing AFL's Chris Judd limping off the field. Ultimate frisbee is not supposed to be a contact sport, but I suspect the injured party didn't warm up properly.

Throwing a frisbee with an amount of accuracy is quite a skill.  Advanced players can bend it with precision.  Others like to use little tricks like the skip throw, where the frisbee bounces around the legs of an opposing player.  A nutmeg (where the frisbee splits through the legs of an opponent) is highly-regarded.

Players call their fouls and dispute a foul only when they genuinely believe it did not occur. Playing without referees is the norm for league play, but has been supplanted in club competition by the use of "observers"/"advisers" to help in disputes, and the first professional leagues even employ empowered referees.

In 2012, there were 5.1 million ultimate players in the United States. The most recent World Ultimate Club Championship was in Lecco, Italy in July 2014 where US teams took Gold in all three divisions. In 2016, the World Ultimate & Guts Championships will be held in London where teams will be composed of their nation's best players.

"I just remember one time running for a pass and leaping up in the air and just feeling the Frisbee making it into my hand and feeling the perfect synchrony and the joy of the moment, and as I landed, I said to myself, 'This is the ultimate game. This is the ultimate game.'" said Ultimate inventor Jared Kass.

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Accidental Queue-Jumping

Accidental Queue-Jumping

Good social skills are essential. The understatement meter in my pocket just exploded, but seriously, good interpersonal communication skills are primarily the oil which lubricates relationships.
 
When the giant standing next to me at the counter of the local takeaway place delivered his order over the top of mine and then said he was next, I realised two things immediately. One: the man had poor interpersonal skills and two; I had inadvertently jumped the queue. I apologised and made a quip about how I had never seen a line at this particular fast food venue. (In fact, people typically stand parallel to the counter and take note of who was already there when they arrived.)

The man's response to my apology was delivered in a gruff and aggrieved tone. "Just don't jump the queue mate. I don't want to argue about it."

"I don't want to argue about it" is in the same category as statements beginning with "to tell the truth" and "I don't want to say I told you so...". Like the positive onset with an obvious inflection broadcasting, a big "but' will follow.

Whether the big man with serious indignation at the take way joint was naturally rude and ungracious, or whether he had merely exhausted his reserves of bonhomie at the end of a bad day, I do not know. I've been unjustifiably short with people too on occasion, but I reckon a sincere apology ought to extinguish the flames of ire. Most people have varying degrees of serious drama and affliction in their lives. Why bother straining at gnats?

It's pretty easy to be nice, even to people who aren't kind to you. It is not difficult to back down and walk away. The offended behemoth and I left the car park of the takeaway shop at the same time: I was on foot, and he was safe in his world on wheels. He might have looked at me, or he might have simply been checking for oncoming traffic, but, in any case, I threw him another smile. His stony face was the epitome of recalcitrance. As he drove away, I wondered if he was a blogger like me.

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A Bunny, a Bilby — a Chocolate Tradition

A Bunny, a Bilby — a Chocolate Tradition

I have a friend who just loves this time of year.  For her it's all about the chocolate — supposedly it tastes better than plain chocolate.  In truth, it's probably more about the texture and the crunch of snapped off pieces of dairy milk but who am I to say.

We all know that Easter is a significant time on the Christian calendar.  But what about this bunny?

The Easter Bunny (also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare) is a folk figure and symbol of Easter, depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. This symbol originated among the German Lutherans — whereby the bunny played a role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behaviour at the start of the season of Eastertide.

The Easter Bunny is occasionally depicted with clothes.  In legend, the creature carries coloured eggs in his basket, candy and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such show similarities to Santa Claus or the Christkind, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holidays.  The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau's De ovis Paschal ibis (About Easter Eggs) in 1682 referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter eggs for the children.

An Australian twist on the tradition is the Easter Bilby.  

The idea of the chocolate bilby came from a story written by a nine-year-old girl, in March 1968. "Billy The Aussie Easter Bilby," was published as a book 11 years later. The story helped catalyse the public's interest in saving the bilby. In 1991 Nicholas Newland from the 'Foundation for Rabbit-Free Australia' also developed the idea of the Easter Bilby to raise awareness about the environmental damage that feral rabbits cause and to replace the Easter bunny with true native wildlife.

The first Chocolate Easter Bilbies were sold at the Warrawong Sanctuary when it was owned by John Wamsley. Chocolate manufacturers that donate towards Bilby conservation include Pink Lady and Haigh's Chocolates.

In 2014, Pink Lady donated 30 cents from every large bilby sale and $1 from every ten pack. Parent company Fyna Foods manufactures chocolate bilbies as well as other iconic Australian fauna in their Australian Bush Friends Easter chocolate. 20 cent from every Bush Friends collection is donated to the Save the Bilby Fund. 2015 saw these chocolates raise over $33,000 for the fund.

Cadbury's also produce Chocolate Bilbies, although they do not donate or support any bilby conservation projects. This had led to a backlash against Cadbury with many Australians derogatorily referring to their Bilby products as Easter Bludgers. Before their store closures in 2012, Darrell Lea donated approximately $60,000 per year to the Save the Bilby Fund from the sales of the Darrell Lea chocolate bilbies.

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I'd Call it "Bugsy"

I'd Call it "Bugsy"

Every so often I get an email that I actually enjoy.  Rare but fun when it happens.  I was doing some research about screencasts and their effectiveness and came across "Bugsy."

Our brains process visuals 60,000x faster than text? With that fact in mind, it’s no surprise that videos have become one of the primary ways new and existing businesses educate consumers on their products and services.

Thanks to video hosting sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and the plethora of video creation software tools that now exist, it’s never been easier for businesses to create and share high-quality videos with people online.  Watch the video at the end of this story, you'll get what I mean.

Bugsy, actually a SKEYE Nano Drone, in the video below it is shown off like a dragonfly on steroidsThe drone weighs less than 12 grams and comes in at just 4 centimeters across so it can take off right from the palm of your hand. Like a bug!!!

It can be flown with incredible precision. Thanks to the low weight and high thrust capability, this drone is small enough to fly under the radar yet powerful enough to slip forward and backwards, handle banked turns, and even barrel roll.

All of these skills and tricks can be easily mastered over time using the easy to use handheld controller which is powered by two AAA batteries. As soon as you switch on the SKEYE Nano Drone it begins to calibrate itself and prepare for flight. Select your gyro sensitivity; adjustable between beginner, mid-level, and expert; and watch as the 6-axis flight control system keeps steady during all stunts and tricks.

You can enjoy flights up to eight minutes and go as far as 50 meters with the built in LEDs lighting the way.

Included with the SKEYE Nano Drone is the 4-channel 2.4Ghz controller, a USB charging cable, four replacement rotor blades, a protection guard, and user guide to get you off the ground.

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February 29 — Today is Leap Day

February 29 — Today is Leap Day

The name "leap year" comes from the fact that while a fixed date in the Gregorian calendar normally advances one day of the week from one year to the next, the day of the week in the 12 months following the leap day (from March 1 through February 28 of the following year) will advance two days due to the extra day (thus "leaping over" one of the days in the week).

Women Propose to Men
According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years.

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