I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying that music is the international language. This statement implies that we can communicate our messages and emotions to anyone in the world through music. A person who only understands English may not understand a message when spoken in French, but play a “sad” song and I’ll guarantee that anyone, no matter what language they speak or read, will feel the same emotions when they hear that song. The greatest example of this phenomenon comes from one of my favorite bands of all time, Sigur Ros.

I guess its safe to say that not many people have heard of the band Sigur Ros, but that’s ok because the reason for this is to introduce them to you. Sigur Ros is a band from Iceland. The name is suppose to mean “Victory Rose” in Icelandic, but it was actually named after the band leader’s younger sister who happened to be born on the day the band formed. The music that the band plays has been called post-rock, experimental, classical, minimalist, etc. Some insist on putting Sigur Ros in their own category since they sound so different from others. Personally I just simply call it music.

What make’s their music though so attractive is the emotions it brings when listening to it with out lyrics being the necessity (like Classical music). Their songs are normally sung and titled in Icelandic, sometimes in their made up language Hopelandic, but even with that you can still easily understand the message their music is trying to convey. Most of their music is influenced by the people and landscape of their homeland which to me is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Iceland is anything but flat as the land transitions from the rigidness of its mountains to the smooth rhythm of its prairie hills and valleys, the settlements carry their own unique flavor and sometimes seem to be in a world of their own. Their music (as well as their music videos) seems to emulate this kind of scenery very well. Their Instrumentation is unlimited, ranging from Marimbas, Pianos, Brass and woodwinds, using a bow on the electric guitar (their signature style), etc. They even had choirs and Orchestras from London play for some of their pieces. The band also seems to keep its motives close to home, they spend most of their time at their homeland and have sometimes did a free tour around Iceland where they would set up and play at a random location, treating their fellow Icelanders.

There was this quote I found that says “And on the Seventh day, God listened to Sigur Ros”, it may sound silly, but to me that just speaks for how well their music conveys the beauty of our planet and I can’t be the only one to think of that since the documentary Planet Earth used Sigur Ros in their soundtrack. So I encourage you to check them out, listen to a few of their songs. Their music is unlike anything that you will hear on the radio (closest being Radiohead perhaps? Which by the way was influenced by Sigur Ros) and they are for once a change in pace to what we hear on the airwaves nowadays.

Hoppipolla means “Jumping in puddles” in Icelandic. Its a very happy song, puts me in a bright mood every time 🙂

Snippet from their video, Heima. The video is a documentary of the band. Talking about how much their community means to them and how they found their strike of fame to be quite scary.

This is probably there darkest song, but very emotional.

Heres one of my favorite songs by them, I love watching this live version and seeing him use the bow on the guitar.

This may be a sports article, but to those with an interest in history may find the article pretty neat as well. Personally I am huge sports fan as well as a big fan of history, so its an uber explosion when both come together in my brain 😀

Today we will look at one of the most frustrating questions in the world of sports. Why do Americans call their gridiron game football, and call what many of those in the world know as football, soccer?

To begin, American football originated sometime in mid to late 1800s. Around the same time the British created official rules for their football. At the time there was a split of two kinds of football in England, the two separate types was Football and Rugby Football. Rugby football was for those who favored the use of their hands more rather than their feet for athletic purposes. Even though football was a type of sport in which you use your feet. In Rugby at the time you scored by drop kicking the ball into the goal. Any sport at the time in which you kicked something into the goal was considered a football sport.

Now this is when American football is born. Both Football and Rugby football make their ways across the pond and become increasingly popular. But Rugby football became more popular. As the years went by in England, the word football in the name Rugby football became used less as people just used the term Rugby to refer to the sport since it was one less word to say and to prevent confusion from the original football which was growing more popular.

As for in the states, the results were almost opposite. The original football was losing ground in popularity against the Rugby football. This is where it gets tricky though because its not quite certain why Americans choose to call Rugby Football, Football rather than following the British by calling it rugby. But the Football developed by the Americans had a different direction than what Rugby was going through in England. So due to the games interesting development in the states, the name Football was more likely to be kept rather than the name Rugby including to the fact that the original Football wasn’t gaining as much attention in America as it was in England.

So Rugby football in America became to be known as “American football” or to the Americans, Football. This was acceptable though. Because American football involved alot of footwork. It was popular in the game to move the ball by drop kicking it also known as the running punt kick. There was the option to lateral it, but the lateral had to be from side to side and can in no way go forward, which made the lateral much less popular.

But then at the turn of the 20th century, American football attempted to become more professional such as Baseball had become. It was consider a rough sport though, including slugging, gang tackling, and unsportsmanlike conducts. College kids only played it at the time. There were a few attempts to make a professional league, but it failed many times due to the fact that many deaths occurred. In 1905 alone, 20 died from football injuries.

This is when an unlikely hero came to save football. Theodore Roosevelt played the game in his college days and became a huge fan of the sport. He said the sport built strong bodies and good character; in fact ten of the Rough Rider soldiers who fought with him in Cuba in 1898 gave their occupations as football players. Roosevelt supported the idea of having a professional league. So he invited Representatives of the Princeton, Yale, and Harvard, the first three colleges to play the sport, and with those representatives, they changed the rules of the game to make it less brutal. The rules contained the introduction of the forward pass, the first down system, and the banning of gang tackles. This eventually saved American football, but with the forward pass, It became obsolete to kick the ball. The game progressed into what it is today as the use kicking became almost non-existent, all while the name never changed because there wasn’t really any need at the time to. The only remains of what American football once was are kicking field goals.

So now we know why American football, the game that ironically isn’t dominated by kicking of any kind, is still called Football. The rules of the sport adapted to appeal more to the public, but that adaptation was long after the sport was well known as Football in America.

But what about the original Football? Why is it called soccer today?

Well the answer goes back to when Rugby football was becoming known as Football in America. The original Football in America became known as Association football to create less confusion from what Americans called Football. But those who referred to Association Football did not want to call their sport “association Football” or Association. The name was shortened to “Assoc. football”, but that meant a mix up in pronunciation as it could easily be referred to as “Ass sock football”. So the sound in the word “assoc” was reversed to make it easier to pronounce. It’s a popular way of pronunciation called metathesis. But then this meant the name would sound like “sock ass”. So to prevent embarrassment they went even further in the assessment in the name and the name was changed by losing the “ass” and putting in an “er”. Hence it became known as “soccer”.

So the name Soccer really came from a confusing process of shortening the word “association” by using metathesis and adding in filler to create a shorter, yet efficient name for the public to use.

So now you know why we call American Football, Football. And where the heck we got the name Soccer.

I’m sure this is a common problem that many kids or college students come across. Out of all the subjects, mathematics and science seem to be the most frustrating. To me its easy to understand through my experience in HS and how most of the tutors at my college are specifically for math and are constantly busy. As for Physics, it was a different story. So if you find yourself in this dilemma, then perhaps you can use technology towards your advantage. One of my recommendations for those who are challenged by the difficulty of math (or even the sciences) is to check out the internet as you can certainly find videos and blogs about a certain topic in math or science.

For my first source, Its youtube, the place were you can find videos of the keyboard cat and amazing basketball trick shots. But beyond all of that material used for our daily procrastination is some really productive video. My favorite youtube channel to get a shot of knowledge is the Knan Academy (http://www.youtube.com/user/khanacademy). This guy is a phenomenal teacher in my opinion, his approach is calm and he explains the technicalities of the subjects in a simple way that average joes can understand. I can admit that he has helped me a ton getting through my Calculus and Physics courses. If you have a nerdy side (like me) and find a great fascination in science then check out the Sixty Symbols (http://www.youtube.com/user/sixtysymbols), which is basically a channel made from the University of Nottingham and they have their professors and staff Vlog about random science and mathematic topics (from Pi to the Large Hadron Colliders)

Another place to find some great teacher videos is MIT Open course ware (http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm), I used this site specifically for Physics and they have great video lectures from Walter Lewin who is considered a legendary physics professor, making the stingy subject very fun through his hands-on experiments and energetic lectures.

My other and final place that has helped me with my math and/or science school work is a site called Wolfram alpha (http://www57.wolframalpha.com/), this site is the future of the internet and perhaps the nerdiest search engine. You can do plenty of things such as typing in problems from Algebra, Calculus, Physics, etc. and the site, just like a calculator solves the problems for you! Its also a great site to calculate nutrition, getting calculated results on mixtures of colors, and a whole bunch of other things that for me are irrelevant, but still fun to use.

So use the internet to your advantage. Not to cheat, but to find help and perhaps inspiration. Its amazing how much help there is nowadays, you shouldn’t even need an excuse on why you failed that Calculus or Physics class.

Today I want to explain the benefits of running, not exercising in general, but just running as in getting up and going out for a 3-5 mile jog everyday. I want to emphasize running over any of the other exercises because I feel that out of them its the best form of exercise. Unfortunately its also feared by many, runners seem to sometimes be looked at as insane for enjoying something that other sports use as a form of punishment. So I want to get that fear out of your head and hopefully embrace you to a healthy life style.

Physical health Benefits

Just like any form of exercising, there are physical health benefits that improve the structuring and mechanics of your body. Running is a Cardiovascular exercise meaning that it focuses on your Lungs and Heart making them stronger and more efficient. In result you decrease your risk of blood clots, you gain more white blood cells which defend the body from diseases, and it also encourages more usage of your lungs giving you the ability to take in more oxygen. Running also gives your arteries quite a work out, making them stronger, in result you lower your blood pressure reducing the risk of heart attacks. If your looking to running as a way to lose weight (which most are), running has been well know to burn fat, in fact it burns more calories per minute than most cardiovascular exercises, as a bonus you also lose your bad cholesterol and replace it with good ones. Other benefits of running include the prevention of bone and muscle loss as well as the prevention of disease. As you can see running has a wide range of benefits to keep your body strong and well tuned.

Mental Health benefits

Unlike many exercises, running also builds your mental state of mind. Its a great way to build confidence as you can easily feel yourself getting stronger and stronger the farther you go on runs, each run has its own obstacles and its your goal to overcome those. Even better is that this mental strength builds and you teach yourself how to focus and concentrate better. For anyone in school, running has been proven to improve your grades. In running you can find ways to get a sense of accomplishment, whether it be overcoming a huge hill, or running your best time in a 5K race, the journey may be tough, but once accomplished its a feeling like no other, the sense of accomplishment is almost addicting and soon you find yourself wanting to run better. Its a great exercise to “defeat your demons” as well such as anger, aggression, and depression as fast runs or even intervals (even better in the snow or rain) are just as affective as pummeling a punching bag.

Besides using running as a way to “explode”, it also can be used in time of peace. If your life is feeling chaotic, going for a simple run can easily take away the headache and clear the mind. Its a great excuse to “run” away from life for a while (pun intended). If you are stuck on a life problem and need some alone time to think, go out for a run. The scientific reason that causes this relief in stress and gain in confidence by running is caused by a release in Endorphins that create this “runners high”.

“You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.” -Steve Prefontaine

Social benefits

Running has a big following, and in result is a great way to not just meet people, but great people as well. People who have goals in life and/or look to better themselves whether it be from obesity or a bad addiction. Running is well accepted as a way to socialize with friends. From my personal experience, I would run with a group of friends and just gossip while running, even better is that you tend to run more when your all caught up talking to your friends. Personally I also think that the runners tend to be very friendly, its a sport where everyone roots for each other and If you ever join a XC team or something similar, you will create a family bond.


Probably the best thing about running that overdoes any other exercise or sport is its affordability. Sports and exercises usually require equipment and that means money. Running is very natural and fundamental, all you need to pay extra for are shoes and some runners don’t even wear shoes. You can also do it anywhere and practically anytime. How much easier can that get?

Well I don’t know for some, but for me college starts back up in a couple of days which means to get out of “laid back” mode and back into being focused and thinking to myself “nothing is impossible”. For some it may mean summer fun is over, but either way here is my own collection of inspirational words that get me back up after falling down.

Enjoy! 🙂

Not really into the Nike brand, but they sure make some darn good commercials.

And a few of my favorite motivational quotes…

“Our Greatest Glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”  -Dr. Seuss

“Just because you are one man and they are many, doesn’t mean they are right.” – Steve Prefontaine

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss

“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” – Eriksson

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison

“Fall seven times and stand up eight.” -Japanese Proverb

“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean

Does anyone have any inspirational words that they live by? Any quotes, proverbs, verses, or even a story?