Can You Stay Fit In London? We Bet You Can!

August 28th, 2015
by Laggin' Len

londonfitEnglish-style riding, squash, billiards and sightseeing make for a jolly good time while also trimming away unwanted Yorkshire pudding pounds.

Devonshire clotted cream. Warm, friendly baked scones. Roast beef with Yorkshire pudding. Desserts drenched in more cream. Traditional British food is wonderful, but it’s not exactly spa cuisine. So how do you survive a trip to London and not come back looking like Robert Morley?

Fortunately, the British have discovered fitness. Throughout London there are health clubs, hotel fitness centers and dance studios where you can combat the effects of too much bread pudding.

One of the more sophisticated health clubs is at the top of the Hyatt Carlton Tower in Knightsbridge. The Peak is a two-story fitness center with a curving skylight that offers vistas of Cadogan Gardens and central London. The gymnasium is equipped with Power Cam fitness machines and some free weights. Aerobics, stretch, jazz exercise and yoga classes are also given in the aerobics studio. Circuit …

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A Story About Private Times

August 24th, 2015
by Laggin' Len

storytimesI ONCE BEARD Kenneth Tynan tell a joke (which he admitted stealing from George Jean Nathan) about the Noel Coward school of comedy. He remarked that this species of theater is like a game of billiards with a perfectly felted table, exquisitely polished cues, and no balls.

As always, Tynan was being fashionable. At the time he exhumed that squib (which is ben trovato but totally false), it was terribly chic-in fact, radically chic theatrically-to mock Coward and his plays. In Britain, at least, that sort of silliness did not survive for long, and even Tynan himself eventually revived Coward at the National Theater. In more recent seasons London’s West End has seen revivals of the old master’s work attract audiences and make them as happy as ever they did in the Thirties and Forties. Coward’s status as a classic is now so well established that some London critics, far from knocking his work, use its excellence as a criterion …

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The Quick Way to Remove Skin Tags

August 20th, 2015
by Laggin' Len

skintagsI love skin tags, don’t you? Ok, no really I don’t, and if you’re anything like me, you aren’t a fan of them either.  The question is what do you do about them?  There are so many skin tag treatments and remedies available on the market today, how do you know which is the right one?  How do you know it will work?

I know if you have skin tags, you want to get rid of them as quickly as possible.  Especially if they are in an area on your body that you feel embarrassed about.  Skin tags can be very unsightly, especially in high numbers. The good news is they are relatively common, completely harmless and benign.  Virtually everyone in the world has experienced at least one skin tag.  People get them in high traffic areas (where the skin rubs together), if they are overweight or through genetics.  If either of your parents have them, you will most likely …

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Disabilities Don’t Stop A Shark

August 16th, 2015
by Laggin' Len

billiards1When the founding member of The Silver Spokes 8-Ball Classic was asked what his first thought was after recently winning a national tournament in Las Vegas, he said he thanked God, then broke down and cried. This was the reaction of Randy Florez following the victory he and his partner, Gary Corcoran, captured.

Randy and Gary, along with Homer Townsend and Grant Berthiaume, are the four members of The Black Bull’s Silver Spokes Billiards Team. What makes this team unique is the members are all physically challenged. Due to accidents while in their early 20’s, they are all in wheelchairs.

Randy, the driving force behind the group, was injured in a construction accident. Married and the proud father of a young son, leading an active life, he grew despondent. He went to bars and drank heavily. Then he was divorced. Randy hated the world and himself.

The one night at a local bar, a friend suggested they play a game …

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Neiman Wood Designs For Life

August 12th, 2015
by Laggin' Len

neimanwoodJudging from the super-cool, ultra-designed space by designers Neiman Wood, their client could well be a sophisticated secret agent like James Bond. “Our client has residences all over the world,” says designer Jim Wood, who, with his partner Tim Neiman, recently completed the 5,300-square-foot loft renovation in New York’s Greenwich Village. Though 007 he’s not, his background is virtually as impressive. “He’s a doctor and a lawyer, interested in photography, art, and jazz music. I think he’s moving in the direction of doing something different again and this apartment is the beginning of that.”

The fact that this high-tech palace has all the elements that would appeal to an epicurian smoothy like Bond is no accident. “The intention really was James Bondian,” says Wood with a grin. “Our client has a great sense of humor.” Located in a former glass factory, the space houses a number of luxuries: a professional kitchen, billiards area, dressing room, sauna, exercise and laundry rooms, …

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Custom Cues Are The Business

August 9th, 2015
by Laggin' Len

customcuesAlmost everybody dreams of transforming a hobby into a business. But few succeed on the scale of Dan Janes, an inveterate artisan and self-described “pretty good pool player.” His Towson, Md., company, Joss Cues Ltd., is widely recognized as one of the best makers of cue sticks in the world.

Joss cues are tooled from an array of exotic woods, and–depending on the customer–precious inlays such as gold and diamonds. They command prices that begin at a few hundred dollars per cue and quickly climb into the thousands. Customers include collectors, world-class billiards players, and movie star Tom Cruise, who used Joss cues in his role as an expert pool player in the 1986 film “The Color of Money.”

“They’re one of the elite cues in the industry,” says Harold Simonsen, publisher of Pool & Billiard Magazine.

Pool is growing in popularity. The Billiard Congress of America says more than 37 million Americans played the game in 1992, up from …

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Seeing Billiards In The Stars

August 5th, 2015
by Laggin' Len

billiardsintsIn fact, the star appears so ordinary at first glance that no one even recognized it as a binary system until this century. It wasn’t until 1921 that German astronomer Cuno Hoffmeister discovered that SS Lac varied regularly in brightness. The pattern of the variations showed the characteristic signature of an eclipsing binary, proving the dual nature of the star.

In an eclipsing binary, two stars orbit each other in a plane that lies nearly edge-on as seen from Earth. Once during every orbit of the pair, the brighter star, called the primary, passes in front of the fainter secondary and blocks some or all of its light from view. Then when the stars reach the opposite ends of their orbits, the secondary star eclipses the primary. For most of the stars’ orbital period, astronomers see the combined light from both stars, but the light dims slightly when the primary blocks the secondary from view and to a greater …

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Dead Men Don’t Play Pool

August 1st, 2015
by Laggin' Len

playpoolBraving the minus-20 degree temperature, “we bound and gagged Doe with duct tape and poured blood all over his face,” says Sgt. Toews.

The goal was to make it look as though Doe had been shot in the back of the head, with the bullet emerging from the side of his face. Animal blood was sprinkled around Doe’s head as he lay in the snow and a blood-stained iron bar was placed nearby to make it look like he was clubbed prior to being shot. The crime scene expert decided fake blood would not look convincing, so the Mounties brought along animal blood and had a doctor draw several small vials of blood from Doe to splash on his mouth, face and neck. “It was perfect,” says Sgt. Toews, “except that Doe was alive.”

The police officers snapped some Polaroids of Doe and 20 minutes later everyone headed back to Edmonton. “Doe was getting pretty cold, but he never complained,” …

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If Loving Pool Is Wrong, I Don’t Wanna Be Right

July 29th, 2015
by Laggin' Len

lovingpoolMaybe it all started when I got kicked out of the women’s powder room at the Masonic Lodge. I was, I don’t know, four or six–old enough to be lovestruck over my oldest sister’s friends and young enough to be more or less invisible to them. I’d play quietly in the corner and sneak looks as these young women applied fresh lipstick, as they adjusted their bras just so and rolled pale stockings into the dark region between their pale legs. Sometimes, I wouldn’t even have to look–I’d just close my eyes and breathe in their perfume, a scent as beautiful as their orchid corsages.

“Hey–what’s he doing in here?” one woman I was in love with said, whereupon I was scooted out of the women’s powder room forever.

The door shut behind me with a little whoosh of perfumed air, and I slowly scuffed my way downstairs to the poolroom, which right then happened to be empty I was …

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Prison: Hardcore Billiards Training Ground?

July 26th, 2015
by Laggin' Len

prisonSomewhere Steve West is laughing. During the mercurial Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA’s nine-month stint as Alberta solicitor general in 1992, he slashed creature comforts in Alberta’s nine provincial jails. Colour televisions with cable access were replaced by 11-inch black-and-white sets with rabbit-ear antennae. Pool tables and weights were gone. Extra pay for good behaviour was phased out and inmates were put to work pulling weeds and building picnic tables. Harshest of all, bacon disappeared from cafeteria menus and toilet paper was rationed.

In December 1992, Premier Ralph Klein replaced Mr. West and it was expected that the cuts would slowly be reversed. They never were. Now, the austerity of life inside the provincial jail system has made the plush confines of federal prisons look mighty sweet to criminals.

Just ask Edmontonian Neil Edward Adamson, who pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon in Provincial Court two weeks ago. On April 9 Adamson took a knife and one of his pals to Kingsway …

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