Top U.S. figure skaters fighting for a spot in Sochi

December 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

The U.S. figure skating nationals have always been a highly competitive event, but it takes a greater meaning this season, since it will also serve as a qualifier for Sochi. The top 3 women finishers and top 2 men’s finishers at this competition will represent the U.S. in the Sochi Olympics. Expect lots of drama as well as heartbreaks at the nationals (which is set for January 5-12. Check out the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships TV Schedule.

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My Top 5 Most Interesting People of 2013

December 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

1. Pope Francis. The newly elected pope’s humility and warm personality have earned him plenty of fans both inside and outside the Roman Catholic Church. He offers a breath of fresh air to a church that is facing a multitude of problems.

2. Nelson Mandela. The former president of South Africa may have left us this year, but his legacy will remain with us for quite some time. Rest in Peace.

3. Bashar al-Assad. At the beginning of 2013, few people thought the Syrian president could survive through this year. But he did just that. With help from reliable allies, Assad survived paper threats from the Obama administration and managed to turn the tide against the insurgency. He has even managed to soften his “dictator” image to some in the West.

4. Barack Obama. The first year of the president’s second term was nothing short of a disaster. His support for the insurgency in Syria backfired on him. His health care program has faced one problem after another. The so called Arab Spring is falling apart. Finally, Obama faced criticisms from both friends and foes on the over-reaching NSA spy program.

5. Shinzo Abe. The prime minister of Japan has taken a risky approach to solving his country’s long-standing deflation problem, by pumping money into the system. As a result of a devalued yen, the Japanese stock markets soared and the economy has seen higher growth. But there will grave consequences for these maneuvers.

The 2014 PGA Tour season starts in earnest

December 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Due to the PGA Tour’s new wrap-around schedule, the 2014 season actually starts in October 2013. While the Sony Open in Hawaii is no longer the official first full-field event of the season, many of the tour’s top players still prefer to start their season in Waialae. A total of four PGA Tour events are scheduled for January. I will be covering these events on my sports blog. (Read my 2014 Sony Open in Hawaii Predictions).

My Top 5 News Events of 2013

December 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

1. The Retirement of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) as the next head of the Roman Catholic Church.

-The Catholic Church is an organization with over 1 billion followers. Every decision made by the Pope has wide-reaching social, political and moral impact. Every time there is a new pope, it is a significant and historic event.

2. Terrorist bombings at the Boston Marathon.

-This is the most significant terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. The attacks are raising questions as to whether or not U.S. national defense and intelligence have become more lax and less effective. Some have criticized the CIA for not heeding Russian warnings regarding the two terrorist brothers. 

3. Elected president of Egypt Mohamed Morsi was overthrown and imprisoned in a military coup d’état.

-Morsi’s attempt to radically modify the constitution to bring Islamic rule upon Egypt was met with protests. As the protests grew in numbers, the powerful Egyptian military instigated a coup d’état and removed Morsi from power. This event signals the end of the so called Arab Spring. Obama’s foreign policy in Egypt and in the Middle East has been heavily criticized. 

4. American defector Andrew Snowden brings to light the over-reaching spying program run by the NSA and the Obama administration. In addition to ordinary Americans, many U.S. allies and news organizations have also been targeted by the program. Snowden has defected to Russia and is facing extradition from the U.S. government.

5. Typhoon Haiyan kills thousands in the Philippines & Vietnam and displaces millions more. 2013 was a bad weather year for the Philippines and Haiyan is the culmination of all the disasters. While some have used to this opportunity to push for their anti-global warming causes, others have instead focused on the recovery.

My Winner Pick for 2014 BCS Championship

December 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

I am happy to report that my alma mater SDSU has notched a rare bowl victory, routing the hapless Buffalo team 49-24. The team was 1-5 in its previous six bowl games. The college football season as a whole has been an interesting one with lots of intriguing storylines. Back to the BCS Championship, this year’s title game will be between Florida State and Auburn on January 6. The Seminoles have been imperious all season, while the Tigers are this year’s Cinderella team. While Auburn is the sentimental favorite (due to their struggles last season and some of their miracle finishes this season), FSU is the definite favorite to win this game. The Seminoles have an edge on the Tigers on nearly every statistical category except for strength of schedule. As much as I like Auburn’s comeback story, I will have to go with my head and pick Florida State to win this one. (Read my 2014 BCS Championship Prediction.) What is your pick for this game?

Enjoy the game and may the best team win!

Happy New Year!

December 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday with your family. On these final days of 2013, I wish everyone a Happy New Year 2014! May all your goals come true and remember to take good care your health. 

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