Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Men in (silver and) black

Raiders fans out there -- or folks from So Cal -- probably remember Todd Marinovich. His former NFL dad raised (engineered?) him to be the perfect athlete. He played briefly for the Raiders, but his tale is really one of drugs ruining his life. He might be the only pro quarterback who's thrown ten touchdown passes in a game while going through heroine withdrawal :) Since the article was published this month, he's been arrested yet again. It's a sad but surprisingly interesting story:
For the nine months prior to Todd's birth on July 4, 1969, Trudi used no salt, sugar, alcohol, or tobacco. As a baby, Todd was fed only fresh vegetables, fruits, and raw milk; when he was teething, he was given frozen kidneys to gnaw. As a child, he was allowed no junk food; Trudi sent Todd off to birthday parties with carrot sticks and carob muffins. By age three, Marv had the boy throwing with both hands, kicking with both feet, doing sit-ups and pull-ups, and lifting light hand weights. On his fourth birthday, Todd ran four miles along the ocean's edge in thirty-two minutes, an eight-minute-mile pace. Marv was with him every step of the way.
Well, from Silver & Black to black ops: I was googling for something else tonight and was reminded of a crash in the mountains east of Bakersfield about in 1986. Amazing that after a secret airforce clean-up (it was a F-117 stealth aircraft before they officially existed), adventurous hikers were still finding pieces (scroll down toward the bottom, and try not to let the red text on black background get to you).

There are people whose avocation is finding crash sites of experimental planes. It's amazing the X-15 debris they found years later -- (including a big piece of a horizontal stabilizer, and an information plate) -- after a crash where the X-15 was descending at 166,000 feet per minute!