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Rangers like to count March 14, 2006

Below are some factoids from Burton on the Open. We know it is a little heavy on the marketing side but we decided to sell out since Burton promised to rename the Jussi to the GonzoRanger next season.

US Open

Count on the 2006 Burton US Open to be the Best in the Event’s 24-year History

Check out the numbers below and you’ll see why this year’s Burton US Open, taking place at Stratton Mountain, Vermont March 17-19, is adding up to be the best event in the contest’s 24-year history.

1 snowboard contest has been run by snowboarders, for snowboarders for over 24 years – The US Open.

2 is the number of all-new Volvo C70 Convertibles that will be given away at the US Open – one car to the best female and male rider at the US Open.

3 is the number of new handset styles (RAZR, PEBL and SLVR) Motorola will have on display at the HELLOMOTO lounge in the US Open sponsor village.

4 is the number of US Open halfpipe contests Danny Kass has won.

5 Burton Open Snowboarding Championships currently take place around the world – one in Switzerland, one in Japan, one in the United States, one in New Zealand and one in Australia.

6 SoBe Sick Trick awards worth $1000 each will be awarded during Friday night’s Quarterpipe contest.

7 current and past Olympic medalists will compete at the Open, including Shaun White, Hannah Teter, Ross Powers, Kelly Clark, Danny Kass, Gretchen Bleiler and Markku Koski.

10 is the number of consecutive snowboard events Shaun White has won this season alone – the Open could be his eleventh.

13 is Burton’s lucky number.

22 feet is the height of this year’s superpipe – the biggest in the event’s history.

35 feet is how high the hand-dug quarterpipe walls will be.

38 is the number of kids from 14 cities across North America that Chill, a non-profit intervention program that teaches disadvantaged kids to snowboard, will bring to the US Open.

52 Nintendo systems will be available to play the latest and greatest games at the US Open.

200 is the number of limited edition US Open t-shirts that will be given to the first people to show up at the Open on Saturday, March 18 outfitted in their best backwoods gear.

250 GORE-TEX® gloves and 100 GORE-TEX jackets are made exclusively for the Open.

373.84 is the number of points top-ranked female Ticket To Ride (TTR) leader Natasza Zurek has earned so far in the TTR World Snowboard Tour, which culminates at this year’s US Open.

420 hours is the amount of man time Stratton has put in to creating the US Open halfpipe, which is 450 feet long.

550cc is the displacement of the new 2007 Ski-Doo Freestyle Back Country snowmobile that will be awarded to both the female and male US Open Rookie Award winners.

848.55 is the number of points top-ranked male Ticket To Ride (TTR) leader Risto Matilla has earned so far in the TTR World Snowboard Tour, which culminates at this year’s US Open.

1983 is the year Stratton Mountain, which has hosted the Open for 22 years, opened its trails and lifts to snowboarders.

2007 Burton boards, boots and bindings will be available to demo at the US Open – six months before they arrive in stores.

3,000 April issues of FHM magazine featuring the US Open special-section will be given out at the event.

$5,000 is the amount of cash Snickers will give to each male and female rider who pulls off the best trick in the slopestyle contest.

7777 Paul Mitchell product samples will be given away at the Open.

220,000 people will join Myspace.com during one day of the US Open.

$250,000 is the total amount of money and prizes awarded to winning riders at the Open – one of the only snowboard events in the world to offer equal prize money to men and women.

28,800,000 gallons of water have been used by Stratton to produce 144.4 acres of snow for this year’s event.

110 million households can get NBC, which is broadcasting the Burton US Open on April 15, 2006 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. EST.

Free the Music March 9, 2006

This is totally off the topic of snowboarding, but WTF, we’re going to have to start writing about something else sooner or later. Today we’re writing to you about Eliot “Free the Music” Spitzer, the New York state attorney general who has filed yet another payola law suit, this time against a major radio conglomerate, Entercom.

First, a caveat: normally, we hate attorney generals of just about any kind because we believe in Freedom, and usually, attorney generals despise it. Spitzer, however, has used his time as an attorney general to tackle bloated, iron-fisted corporate tyrant and seven headed Hydra that is the music business, which has enslaved music fans and artists alike.

If you were brave enough to follow the link above, we’ll be the first to agree with you that this whole topic is boring as shit, especially as reported by the MSM. Anything dealing with corporate doings and big business is generally really lame, but this particular topic is important, because it deals with what you are hearing on the radio, in the ski lodge, on the TV, every day of the week. So, here’s a condensed version of what happens with the payola scam, and why it is important.

The Mars Volta, not playing on your local rock radioLet’s say, you go out one day and buy the new Mars Volta album, because you really sweat their unique brand of progressive rock psychedelia. In an ideal economy, your $17 vote for Mars Volta would encourage the market to produce more albums by the Mars Volta or artists like them. However, in the real world, payola pops up and totally fucks you in the ass.

Likely less than a one of your 17 dollars of it is going in to the pockets of the Mars Volta. After the retailer gets his cut, the majority of the profit gets handed over to one of the big four record labels (and no matter how “indie” the record label is, you’re just about guaranteed that it is owned by one of these evil giants.) Not that any of this is that much of a problem — yet. The record label could take that money, and invest it back into producing a new Mars Volta album, or perhaps in a new, up and coming band that might be even sweeter.

But, remember, the big four record labels (EMI, Sony-BMG, Universal Music and Warner), are evil bitches. They hate freedom, are ambivalent about music, and are determined to make as much money as possible even if it means crushing the very soul of rock music. So, they’ll take much of the profit they’ve earned off your Mars Volta purchase, and hand it over to radio conglomerates who control the playlists for most of the radio stations around the country, in exchange for spins on a pop record of their choosing. This is called payola, and it blows because instead of hearing more Mars Volta, you hear more Jessica Simpson, or Celine fucking Dion.

Why is that such a problem?

First, because Celine Dion and Jessica Simpson suck. (If you disagree, go read another blog. And yeah, we agree that Simpson is pretty easy on the eyes, but we’re talking about her music here.)

Second, because DJs, historically, provide a valuable service in that they are wading through tons of garbage music, finding spicy new cuts, and sharing them with you, so that you get to discover new artists without having to listen to shitty bands for several days on end.

This is how you remind me how shitty rock radio is becomingNowadays, though, radio conglomeration and payola have re-worked this whole process. DJs these days are spineless corporate toadies. When your local K106 DJ says “Check out this hot new track from Nickelback,” really the DJ knows the song sucks badly, but some fat, cigar smoking executive in a pin stripe suit with pointy hair is leering over him, threatening to shut the DJ out of the radio biz forever if he does play crappy music and like it. This fat executive can do this because due to radio conglomeration, his company (either Entercom, Clear Channel, or Infinity Broadcasting) owns about half the radio stations in the DJ’s city, and hundreds and hundreds more across the country. The fat executive gets paid by the record labels, the record labels sell more Nickelback and Jessica Simpson albums, and fatass executives everywhere are happy.

Meanwhile, your local rock radio has totally gone down the shitter, you haven’t heard a great new band since you bought Mack Dawg’s “From Russia With Love”, and Ashley Simpson, the no talent ass clown and biggest poser in all of rock music, inexplicably becomes a platinum selling artist. Somewhere out there, the next Radiohead or Pink Floyd is about to call it quits, because in spite of producing some incredible revolutionary and groundbreaking music, the industry just isn’t into finding new artists when it can turn a quick profit paying for spins to sell crusty, cookie cutter records.

Enter Eliot Spitzer, who like David slinging away at Goliath, is determined to break up the shady (not to mention illegal) payola cycle. In the past he’s settled with Warner and Sony which got them off the hook a little easy, but we’re hoping this new attack on radio conglomerates has legs and will hopefully ensnare the other conglomerates. We’ll be following it religiously, anyway.

In the meantime, don’t pay for your studio music anymore, because you are just feeding the Borg. Pirate your shit online, and support your favorite artist by seeing them live.

Wow, that was a long one. Hopefully we didn’t lose you — drop us comments or mail, unless you work in the music biz, in which case you should go fuck yourself.

At the top of the mountain, we are all snow leopards March 8, 2006

Careful, man, this is Bat CountryUsually, the articles in ski town local papers are pretty lame, and limited strictly to stories about fat tourists dying and local high schoolers competing in largely irrelevant contests. Everyone once in a while though, they print a total gem, like this one from last week’s Aspen Times about a crew of Aspen locals who set off to build an off-piste memorial to Hunter S. Thompson on the anniversary of his death.

The article reminds us of how ridiculously awesome it is to live in a ski town. Money Quote:

“Should we set off some explosives?” someone asked. An air horn sufficed for the time being.

An American flag was strung between two trunks, as were Tibetan prayer flags. Nearby, a man hooked up a solar panel to power an “eternal blinking light,” he said (an eternal flame in the woods not being a good idea). More marijuana was smoked. The long-term batteries for the light were lost, but the man made do with standard ones that will have to be replaced more often.

We would joke these guys, but shit, how can you? How awesome is it to get up in the morning, possibly on your day off and possibly every day is off for you, and set out to ride into the woods to pay tribute to one of the century’s greatest counter-cultural icons?

That’s right. Pretty fucking awesome. Yeah, you have to worry about being able to afford your next Ramen dinner, and you deal with the occasional eviction or repo crew, but all in all the ski bum life is the bomb.

Injury Prevention Dot Com March 5, 2006

Snowboarding.com is the worst fucking snowboard site on the planet, but we can’t stop going there.  Don’t ask us why, as we know that the only way to be stupider that to be an online editor there is to be one of it’s readers.  Yet we check it every week.  Tonight our excuse is that we’re trying to avoid watching a bunch of self-absorbed yet surprisingly fragile “artists” whack each other off at the Oscars.  A reasonable excuse, but it still doesn’t explain the 35 other times we browsed over there this week.  We must be total idiots.    

Anyway, join us in our tard worship by checking out this article that showed up on Snowboarding.com this week, which we’ve conveniently replicated for you below, with our own amplifying comments.        

Common Snowboarding Prevention Tips

There are a number of general precautions you can follow to minimise your risk of a skiing or snowboarding injury:

* Fitness
Make sure you’re fit to ski. Prepare for your winter sports trip with a conditioning programme to improve core stability and strength. Leg strength and endurance is particularly important to help prevent injury.

OK… sounds reasonable enough.  And we dig the Brit spelling because we like Brits, inspite of their ongoing national lack of real mountains crisis. 

* Warming up and cooling down
Warm up and cool down, just like any other sporting activity.
Before you get on the slopes spend a few minutes warming up and stretching to help prepare your body for activity.

Thanks Mom. 

* Clothing
Wear appropriate layers of clothing, that don’t restrict your movement.

Does this mean no skin tight Lycra?  What about my blue jean overalls?  What about my super huge and super kewl backpack?  

* Wrist Guards
Snowboarders should wear wrist guards as they significantly reduce the incidence of wrist injuries during falls.

Reasonable advice which we will keep in mind if we ever have a severe head injury and completely have to learn to snowboard again. 

* Crash Helmets
Helmets are effective in reducing the incidence of minor concussions during low velocity collisions.

Very loud headphones in your helmet will help reduce the incidence of strangers chaffing you on the lift, too.   

* Equipment
Don’t borrow equipment from friends – it significantly increases your risk of injury.
If you are hiring equipment make sure you hire from a recommended store. Ensure that all the equipment fits properly.

* Bindings
Use ‘multi-mode’ release bindings if possible. The superior release available in modern bindings is just one factor that has helped prevent injuries. Rear release boots can significantly reduce the risk of ACL injury.

Self-test your bindings every day. Self testing of bindings is simple. Step into the binding and then twist to the side to release the toe-piece under the control mechanism. The heel can be tested by stepping into the binding and leaning forward, to release the heel-piece. Both the toe and heel should be able to release if properly adjusted.

Wait.  What? 

* Walking in Ski Boots
Don’t walk on your ski boots too much. It can affect the fit with the binding and interfere with the release mechanism.

Dude.

* Ski Poles
Don’t put your hands inside the ski pole loop when skiing. This greatly increases the risk of sustaining a ‘Skiers thumb’ injury in the event of a fall.

Yep.  This was really on Snowboarding.com.   

* General Conduct
Follow the FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski) Rules for Conduct in Winter Sports Centres. FIS Rules for Conduct

Terje is sooooo pissed too about the FIS comment.  Fuckin’ A, we should have just watched the Oscars.  Still though, can anyone explain how the ski boots and ski poles thing ended up in this article about snowboarding?  Drop us some comments or mail.       

Another one bites the dust……and a camera March 2, 2006

Cat FightWe hate to be brining up old shit but we have been sleeping on the Flavor of Love. Last week, we were fortunate to witness a violent cat fight of an elimination ceremony. When Flav called out Pumpkin, she lost her shit and spit in the face of New York who in turn pushed her into a camera. Pumpkin got ruled. TV does not get any better than that.

Crazy New York

Alia has asked us if New York is heading out the door. That is a tough question but the answer is yes. The reason is simple…..from all the promos, it seems that New York will give up the goods to Flav. Game Match Set! Like all normal men, Flav wants what he has yet to have.
New York is also a whack job! Thanks for the question Alia.

Who do you think will get to freak the funk with Flavor when all is said and done?

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