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Wikinews interviews Duncan Campbell, co-founder of wheelchair rugby

Friday, September 7, 2012

London, England — On Wednesday, Wikinews interviewed Duncan Campbell, one of the creators of wheelchair rugby.

((Laura Hale)) You’re Duncan Campbell, and you’re the founder of…

Duncan Campbell: One of the founders of wheelchair rugby.

((Laura Hale)) And you’re from Canada, eh?

Duncan Campbell: Yes, I’m from Canada, eh! (laughter)

((Laura Hale)) Winnipeg?

Duncan Campbell: Winnipeg, Manitoba.

((Laura Hale)) You cheer for — what’s that NHL team?

Duncan Campbell: I cheer for the Jets!

((Laura Hale)) What sort of Canadian are you?

Duncan Campbell: A Winnipeg Jets fan! (laughter)

((Laura Hale)) I don’t know anything about ice hockey. I’m a Chicago Blackhawks fan.

((Hawkeye7)) Twenty five years ago…

Duncan Campbell: Thirty five years ago!

((Laura Hale)) They said twenty five in the stadium…

Duncan Campbell: I know better.

((Hawkeye7)) So it was 1977.

((Laura Hale)) You look very young.

Duncan Campbell: Thank you. We won’t get into how old I am.

((Hawkeye7)) So how did you invent the sport?

Duncan Campbell: I’ve told this story so many times. It was a bit of a fluke in a way, but there were five of us. We were all quadriplegic, that were involved in sport, and at that time we had the Canadian games for the physically disabled. So we were all involved in sports like table tennis or racing or swimming. All individual sports. And the only team sport that was available at that time was basketball, wheelchair basketball. But as quadriplegics, with hand dysfunction, a bit of arm dysfunction, if we played, we rode the bench. We’d never get into the big games or anything like that. So we were actually going to lift weights one night, and the volunteer who helped us couldn’t make it. So we went down to the gym and we started throwing things around, and we tried a few things, and we had a volleyball. We kind of thought: “Oh! This is not bad. This is a lot of fun.” And we came up with the idea in a night. Within one night.

((Hawkeye7)) So all wheelchair rugby players are quadriplegics?

Duncan Campbell: Yes. All wheelchair rugby players have to have a disability of some kind in all four limbs.

((Laura Hale)) When did the classification system for wheelchair rugby kick in?

Duncan Campbell: It kicked in right away because there was already a classification system in place for wheelchair basketball. We knew basketball had a classification system, and we very consciously wanted to make that all people with disabilities who were quadriplegics got to play. So if you make a classification system where the people with the most disability are worth more on the floor, and you create a system where there are only so many points on the floor, then the people with more disability have to play. And what that does is create strategy. It creates a role.

((Hawkeye7)) Was that copied off wheelchair basketball?

Duncan Campbell: To some degree, yes.

((Laura Hale)) I assume you’re barracking for Canada. Have they had any classification issues? That made you

Duncan Campbell: You know, I’m not going to… I can’t get into that in a major way in that there’s always classification issues. And if you ask someone from basketball, there’s classification issues. If you ask someone from swimming… There’s always classification issues. The classifiers have the worst job in the world, because nobody’s ever satisfied with what they do. But they do the best they can. They’re smart. They know what they’re doing. If the system needs to change, the athletes will, in some way, encourage it to change.

((Laura Hale)) Do you think the countries that have better classifiers… as someone with an Australian perspective they’re really good at classification, and don’t get theirs overturned, whereas the Americans by comparison have had a number of classification challenges coming in to these games that they’ve lost. Do you think that having better classifiers makes a team better able to compete at an international level?

Duncan Campbell: What it does is ensures that you practice the right way. Because you know the exact classifications of your players then you’re going to lineups out there that are appropriate and fit the classification. If your classifications are wrong then you may train for six months with a lineup that becomes invalid when that classification. So you want to have good classifiers, and you want to have good classes.

((Laura Hale)) When you started in 1977, I’ve seen pictures of the early wheelchairs. I assume that you were playing in your day chair?

Duncan Campbell: Yes, all the time. And we had no modifications. And day chairs at that time were folding chairs. They were Earjays or Stainless. That’s all the brands there were. The biggest change in the game has been wheelchairs.

((Laura Hale)) When did you retire?

Duncan Campbell: I never retired. Still play. I play locally. I play in the club level all the time.

((Laura Hale)) When did you get your first rugby wheelchair?

Duncan Campbell: Jesus, that’s hard for me to even think about. A long time ago. I would say maybe twenty years ago.

((Laura Hale)) Were you involved in creating a special chair, as Canadians were pushing the boundaries and creating the sport?

Duncan Campbell: To a degree. I think everybody was. Because you wanted the chair that fit you. Because they are all super designed to an individual. Because it allows you to push better, allows you to turn better. Allows you to use your chair in better ways on the court. Like you’ve noticed that the defensive chairs are lower and longer. That’s because the people that are usually in a defensive chair have a higher disability, which means they have less balance. So they sit lower, which means they can use their arms better, and longer so they can put screens out and set ticks for those high point players who are carrying the ball. It’s very much strategic.

((Hawkeye7)) I’d noticed that in wheelchair basketball the low point player actually gets more court time…

Duncan Campbell: …because that allows the high point player to play. And its the same in this game. Although in this game there’s two ways to go. You can go a high-low lineup, which is potentially two high point players and two very low point players, which is what Australia does right now with Ryley Batt and the new kid Chris Bond. They have two high point players, and two 0.5 point players. It makes a very interesting scenario for, say, the US, who use four mid-point players. In that situation, all four players can carry the ball; in the Australian situation, usually only two of them can carry the ball.

((Laura Hale)) Because we know you are going soon, the all-important question: can Canada beat the Australians tonight?

Duncan Campbell: Of course they are. (laughter)

((Laura Hale)) Because Australians love to gamble, what’s your line on Canada?

Duncan Campbell: It’s not a big line! I’m not putting a big line on it! (laughter) I’d say it’s probably 6–5.

((Hawkeye7)) Is your colour commentary for the Canadian broadcast?

Duncan Campbell: That was for the IPC. I did the GB–US game this morning. I do the Sweden–Australia game tomorrow at two. And then I’m doing the US–France game on the last day.

((Laura Hale)) Are you happy with the level of coverage the Canadians are providing your sport?

Duncan Campbell: No.

((Laura Hale)) Thank you for an honest answer.

Duncan Campbell: Paralympic Sports TV is their own entity. They webcast, but they’re not a Canadian entity. Our Canadian television is doing… can I swear?

((Laura Hale)) Yeah! Go ahead!

Duncan Campbell: No! (laughter) They’re only putting on an hour a day. A highlight package, which to me is…

((Hawkeye7)) It’s better than the US.

Duncan Campbell: Yes, I’ve heard it’s better than the US. At the same time, it’s crap. You have here [in Great Britain], they’ve got it on 18 hours a day, and it’s got good viewership. When are we going to learn in North America that viewership is out there for it? How many times do we have to demonstrate it? We had the Paralympics in Vancouver two years ago, the Winter Paralympics, and we had crappy coverage there. There was an actual outburst demand to put the opening ceremonies on TV because they weren’t going to do it. And they had to do it, because everybody complained. So they did it, but they only did it in BC, in our home province, where they were holding it. The closing ceremonies they broadcast nationally because the demand was so high. But they still haven’t changed their attitudes.

((Laura Hale)) I have one last question: what did it mean for you when they had a Canadian flag bearer who was a wheelchair rugby player?

Duncan Campbell: I recruited that guy. It was fantastic. I recruited him. Found him playing hockey. And that guy has put in so much time and effort into the game. He absolutely deserves it. No better player.

((Laura Hale)) Thank you!

((Hawkeye7)) Thank you! Much appreciated.

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Canterbury farmers to get aid because of snow

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The New Zealand government officials have announced that it will give NZ$160,000 in aid to help farmers who were affected by the huge amounts of snow in Canterbury, New Zealand two weeks ago.

The aid package will provide four regional offices for co-ordination, food supplies and ongoing support.

The Federated Farmers for mid Canterbury say that the aid will be a start to what looks like a tough winter. President of the mid Canterbury Federated Farmers Rupert Curd says, “It is too early to say exactly how much help the relief package will provide.”

The snow has not yet reached a crisis point.

The Insurance Council has estimated the cost of the snow storm has reached $35 million so far. Chief Executive of the Insurance Council says, “There has been damage to homes, commercial premises both on farms and in town and vehicles. Businesspeople who have been without power are also claiming for loss of income.”

The Minister of Agriculture Jim Anderton has said that they are not ruling out giving further aid.

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Mobile Audio: Top Ten Tips For Practicing Drumming Anytime, Anywhere, Without Waking The Neighbors

Mobile Audio: Top Ten Tips For Practicing Drumming Anytime, Anywhere, Without Waking The Neighbors

by

Mark Etinger

Three questions:

1. Are you one of those mobile audio freaks who can’t rock out without drumming the steering wheel, the dashboard and the passenger beside you when you cruise down the road with some phat tunes blasting?

2. Are you a drummer who’s sick of hauling heavy equipment and setting up an elaborate kit every time you want to play your music someplace new? (I mean, transporting a dusty rug? Are you kidding me?)

3. Have your neighbors ever (be honest) complained about the noise you made practicing the drums, rather than just being appropriately grateful that they were exposed to the sickest rhythms they’d hear all day?

If you answered yes to those questions, this article is for you.

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In case you haven’t guessed, I am a person who would answer yes to those questions! I could not even roll forward downhill in my car if I didn’t have mobile audio, and it would be humanly impossibly for me to listen to the sweet sounds being emitted by my car audio speakers without pounding out the beat.

Anyway, I have compiled my own TOP TEN list of tips for practicing the drums anytime, anywhere, and (most of them) without making the people around you crazy.

1. Chopsticks. Ha. Anytime I’m out for Chinese or Thai, I take the opportunity to practice drumming.

2. Pot lids. Heck, yes. Just like in the movies.

3. Garbage cans. A variation on pot lids, I know, but have you seen some of these guys set up on the street or in the subway stations? They’re awesome.

4. Finger strengthening: squeeze a hacky sack ball while you’re on the phone with your mom. It helps.

5. Push-ups, pull-ups or rock climbing. Upper arms and forearms, man. The stronger you are, the longer and harder you can hit the drum skins.

6. Use a soundproof practice room at a school or university. Make nice with a security guard or a band teacher.

7. Get an electronic drum kit. I have one (Electric Thunder PED02M, if you must know all my secrets) that has an MP3 recorder on it. Sweet. It feels like real drums, but all the noise goes into your headphones. Plus, how rad is it that you can record it and play it later in the car? For that matter, how rad is it that it’s like the easiest thing to carry in the car if I do want to go play a gig without carrying my whole freaking kit?

8. On the other hand, I don’t have to carry anything at all in the car if I don’t want to. What’s wrong with good old dashboard pounding while I’ve got the mobile audio turned up? Isn’t that what stoplights are for?

9. Toothbrush. Live with someone? Borrow theirs to make it even. Don’t tell them, though. Especially if you practice tossing them and it lands in the toilet. People are sensitive about that.

10. Visit the music store, man! Practice on the stuff you dream of owning someday! Best thing is, you don’t have to dress up, since all the real rich rockers look just like we do, ripped jeans and T-shirt. All they have to do is check out your arm muscles to know you’re for real.

In conclusion, may I say: party hard but respect your neighbors. And most of all…drum on!

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NHL: Shorthand a success in Penguins win over Rangers

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Pittsburgh Penguins 4 3 New York Rangers

Today, the Pittsburgh Penguins took on the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden, New York.

Jaromir Jagr struck first for New York, with Michael Nylander following suit in the final 2:30 to give the Rangers a comfortable 2-0 lead at the end of the second period. Staal’s shorthanded goal came 76 seconds into the final period, with Staal beating Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist with a soft forehand shot. Penguins winger Colby Armstrong continued the shorthanded show, scoring less than 2:00 later with a bad angle shot, which would ricochet off of Lundqvist’s pad.

When all momentum had seemingly crossed to the Penguins, Blair Betts fired a goal to restore New York’s lead at 3-2. Sergei Gonchar tied it up again late in the 3rd, with a blistering shot on a Penguins power play to level the score at 3-3. In the shootout, not a single score occurred until NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby took the ice. With the shootout tied 0-0, and a point on the line, Crosby beat Lundqvist, lifting Pittsburgh to victory. The game was not a total loss for the Rangers, though, as they picked up a precious point by forcing overtime.

Penguins rookie Jordan Staal wasn’t supposed to make the team, and once he did make it, he wasn’t expected to contribute more than assisting on the penalty kill and filling in on the fourth line. Not much could be expected of an 18 year old rookie not named Sidney Crosby. That was the premise before the season started, at least. Now, heading into the stretch run toward the NHL Playoffs, Staal leads not just rookies, but the entire National Hockey League in shorthanded goals, after notching his 6th of the season, his 26th total goal.

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Athletes prepare for 2012 Summer Paralympics at the Paralympic Fitness Centre

Monday, August 27, 2012

London, England — As Paralympians ready for the Games which are set to open later this week, they have access to a world class fitness center inside the Paralympic Village which is designed to maximise their pre-Game preparations.

According to volunteers staffing the center, instead of being a single large room, as in Beijing, the building has numerous rooms. It, along with the adjacent Village Services Centre, is designed to be converted into a school after the games conclude. Rooms have been structured as a gym, an auditorium, and science laboratories.

Gym equipment is supplied by Technogym, an Italian firm that has supplied gym equipment for the Olympics since 2000. Equipment has been provided not just for for the Fitness Centre, but for gyms at all the Olympic venues. The newest equipment is oriented toward maximum flexibility, allowing athletes to exercise the particular muscles that they most require for their sport.

In addition to the equipment, the Fitness Centre also provides instructors trained in the use of the equipment, the likes of which athletes from many countries have never seen before. There are also a number of instructors available to provide motivational training.

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Stabbing at Massachusetts high school leaves one dead

Friday, January 19, 2007

In the United States, a stabbing at the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Sudbury, Massachusetts has left a 15-year old student dead.

The stabbing happened around 7:20 am EST, before classes had started. A fight broke out in a boys’ bathroom between the 15-year old victim, James Alenson and 16-year-old suspect John Odgren, the fight spilled out in the hallway, where the stabbing occurred.

The school was sent into a “lockdown” and students were ushered into the gym, cafeteria and various classrooms. Alenson was rushed to Emerson Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 8:15 am EST. Odgren admitted to the stabbing and was in the principal’s office saying “I did it, I did it,” to police. However, Odgren also reportedly said “Is he OK? I don’t want him to die,” according to a police report.All students were released at 10:20 am EST.

Odgren was diagnosed with severe Asperger’s syndrome, an autistic spectrum disorder has been on medication for years, was a special education student at the school and had no history of violence according to his lawyer, Jonathan Shapiro. He is being charged with “murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and carrying a knife onto school property” and was arraigned in Framingham District Court where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Shapiro also asked if his client could go to secure facility at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Judge Paul Healy denied the request saying he did not have “enough assurance that Children’s Hospital would be secure.” Instead, he will be held at Middlesex Jail in Cambridge outside of the general population.

According to the school’s website, there will be a community meeting tonight in the school’s auditorium at 7pm EST.

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Auto Loan Helpful Knowledge Base}

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If your major interest is information related to Auto Loan or any other such as Very Bad Credit Auto Loan, Auto Loan Calculator Extra Payments, Calculating Car Loans or Compare Auto Loan Interest Rates, this article can prove useful.

When purchasing or financing a new or used vehicle, never accept the first offer. Dealership financing is quick and simple. Hence, many car buyers choose this option. However, consumers may obtain better rates by applying for an auto loan with a credit union or auto loan broker. It’s important to use a reputable lender online to make sure your personal information is secure. Even though new cars are more appealing and attractive, they lose their value very quickly. In fact, within the first two years, a new vehicle will depreciate by 40%. If the car was purchased without a down payment, and the interest rate on the loan is high, the chance of an upside down loan is great. If possible, choose a used automobile. Used cars also depreciate. However, they hold their value longer than a new car. Although credit scores will not improve overnight, little things may add a few points. For example, paying bills on time will increase your credit score each month. Furthermore, paying down credit cards will also add a few points. Settling past due and collection accounts is another way to quickly add points to your credit score. If considering financing a used car with bad credit, attempt the previous suggestions. This could make the difference in acquiring an auto rate of 12 percent and 9 percent. Don’t forget that even if your immediate Auto Loan quest isn’t answered in this article, you could even take it further by doing a search on Google.com to get specific Auto Loan information.The better your credit score, the better your rates. So if you don’t have great credit, look for someone who does. By having them co-sign for your loan, you can find yourself qualifying for much better rates. Lenders look at your co-signers record, but you pay for the loan. Dealerships usually provide a partial warranty for their used cars; they also charge more. You may be able to find an excellent deal in the classifieds, but there is a level of risk with that purchase. However, the difference in interest rates between these types of loans is more than 1%.Experts also recommend that you try to put at least 20% of the car price on the loan as a down payment toward the purchase of the vehicle, either in cash or in the trade equity of your current vehicle. Why? Well, so many people are being put into loans these days with longer and longer payback periods and little down payment and the net result is that if they want to trade that car in within the first year, or so they find that they actually may owe more on the car than it is even worth. So using sound financial decisions beforehand can prevent this from happening. Many people searching for Auto Loan also searched online for Bad Credit Auto Loans No Money Down, Car Loan Financial Calculator, and even Auto Lease Buy Out.

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Police arrest train passenger for a 16-hour loud cellphone conversation

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A 39-year old woman, Lakeysha Beard, talked for more than half a day while on an Amtrak train going from Oakland, California to Portland, Oregon. The loud cellphone conversation lasted sixteen hours last Monday, after which police stopped the train for twenty minutes at Salem, Oregon to arrest the woman.

According to the British newspaper Daily Mail, Amtrak has no policy forbidding passengers from talking on the phone on a moving train.

In the train’s car, a few passengers asked the woman to put the phone away or to stop a few times during the conversation prior to notifying the train staff. Staff members were unable to convince the woman to end the conversation and stopped the train to arrest the woman and halt the disruption.

As British newspaper Metro mentioned, this cellphone conversation doesn’t beat the record 51-hour phone call by Sunil Prabhakar of New Delhi in 2009.

Sydney, Australia etiquette expert Alex Travers, remarking on a train incident in March, said there is a lack of respect for public transportation from younger generations. The U.S. woman in the current incident, Lakeysha Beard, is 39 years old. Travers said, “I’m afraid we are all in a very bad place as far as we feel about our public transport. People think poorly of it, so therefore they are getting on it with a poor attitude.” She called youths “me-oriented” and said that they “do what they want to do” without thinking about others on the vehicle.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Jim Reeves, York-Simcoe

Monday, October 1, 2007

Jim Reeves is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the York-Simcoe riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Civilians testify to Halliburton fraud, coercion

June 28, 2005

The Democratic Party held a public committee, aired on C-SPAN 3, at which former civilian employees based in or administering operations in Iraq, testified to specific instances of waste, fraud, and other abuses and irregularities by Halliburton and its subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR).

Allegations of fraud by Halliburton, specifically with regard to its operations in Iraq, have persisted since before the Iraq War. The associations between U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and Halliburton, have been the basis for repeated speculation over possible political improprieties and business profiteering from the war.

Among the senators and representatives present at the hearing were Byron Dorgan (presiding), Henry Waxman, Frank Lautenberg, and Mark Dayton.

Among those testifying were Bunny Greenhouse, former Chief Contracting Officer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rory Mayberry, former Food Program Manager for Halliburton subsidiary, and Allan Waller, of the Lloyd-Owen International security and operations firm.

Greenhouse, who provided the bulk of testimony, spoke for several minutes about her involvement in the evaluation and crafting of government Army contracts, and how explaining how superiors undermined and dismissed her concerns of illegal business practices. “Ultimately my main concern was the repeated insistence that the Rio contract be awarded to KBR without competitive bidding,” Greenhouse said. She testified to have been given misinformation in answer to her complaints, and being “overtly misled” by KBR managers.

Mayberry, still in Iraq, testified by video from questions prepared by the committee. He said that KBR routinely sold expired food rations to the Army. The interviewer asked, “Are you saying that Halliburton deliberately falsified the number of meals they prepared and then submitted false claims for reimbursement and that they did this to make up for past amounts auditors had disallowed?” Mayberry firmly answered “Yes.” He said that serving expired food ration was “an everyday occurrence, sometimes every meal.” He explained that Halliburton systematically overcharged for the number of meals as well, saying, “they were charging for 20,000 meals and they were only serving 10,000 meals.” Dorgan later commented, “obviously there’s no honor here, by a company that would serve outdated food to our troops in Iraq.”

Mayberry also claimed would-be whistleblowers were threatened “to be sent to Falluja” and other “places under fire” if they talked to media or governmental oversight officials. In 2003 and 2004, Falluja had been well known as dangerous for foreign troops and civilians. “I personally was sent to Falluja for three weeks. The manager told me that I was being sent away until the auditors were gone, because I had talked to the auditors,” Mayberry said.

“The threat of being sent to a camp under fire was their way of keeping us quiet. The employees who talked to auditors were sent to camps under more fire than other camps, and Anaconda.” This report led Dorgan and others to voice considerable outrage that U.S. citizens would be personally threatened with harm for talking to oversight officials or media.

Allan Waller testified to specific examples of how KBR officials had conspired in blocking Lloyd-Owen fuel transports, and using other coercive means against its competitor. The British Lloyd-Owen has a direct contract with the Iraq government to provide fuel to various parts of the country.

In his introductory remarks, Dorgan explained that Senate Republicans had blocked or ignored any requests by Democrats to have a formal bipartisan hearing, resulting in the need for an independent committee.

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