Elton John’s Blue Steel rivals Derek Zoolander’s

Zoolander

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Derek Zoolander may only have one look, but he puts everything he has into it

Ben Stiller has been doing the rounds to promote Zoolander 2 in the UK, and Graham Norton asked him how he achieves that ridiculously good-looking expression of his.

Stiller explains that Blue Steel is more of a state of mind, and we find out that Elton John can Blue Steel with the best of them. He totally gets the inspiration — it’s Victoria Beckham, right?

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I tried a trendy ice rink workout, and I was a total disaster

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LONDON — Working out is hard. I don’t care what anyone says. So, naturally someone decided exercise needed to be made even more difficult — just in case you weren’t sufficiently challenged — by adding ice to the equation

London’s latest fitness class takes exercising on ice to a whole other level, with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on ice. Forget elegant pirouettes, this is a workout full of high knees, lunges, squats and planks on a slippery ice rink designed to give your core, glutes and quads the workout of their life Read more…

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Clinton leads Democratic and Republican competitors in Maine money race

Hillary Clinton raised significantly more money from Maine residents last year than her Democratic rival and each of the Republican contenders for the White House, according to an analysis of campaign contributions.

Clinton’s campaign reported $233,198 in contributions from Maine residents through Dec. 31 – the last date for which data is available – compared to $133,560 for Republican Jeb Bush and $128,628 for Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The next biggest recipients – all Republicans – were businesswoman Carly Fiorina with $67,566 in contributions, neurosurgeon Ben Carson with $50,984, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at $24,627, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at $20,683 and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at $14,642.

All told, Mainers had contributed just over $712,000 to 19 candidates running for president through Dec. 31, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. By comparison, Mainers had donated more than $816,000 to the presidential contenders by this point in the 2012 campaign, including more than $580,000 to President Obama’s re-election campaign.

Mainers appear more enthusiastic about giving to Republican candidates this presidential campaign than during the 2012 race, although the field is larger this year. Maine residents had contributed roughly $340,000 to Republicans so far this election cycle as of Dec. 31 compared to about $230,000 in 2012, an analysis of the FEC data shows.

Maine Republican Party executive director Jason Savage attributed the higher contributions to a number of factors that include the large, diverse field of Republican candidates, Mainers’ growing unease with the direction of the country under Obama, and promises from both Clinton and Sanders to take those policies even further.

“There really is something happening in our party,” Savage said, citing a recent Gallup poll that showed Maine shifting from a Democratic-leaning to a “purple” state. “Maine is trending Republican and people are waking up to the damage that $19 trillion in debt is going to do to our kids’ future.”

Federal election law requires campaigns to identify the sources of all donations of $50 or more, and sets a maximum donation of $2,700 per person per race. The donations analyzed for this report were made to the candidates’ campaigns and don’t include contributions that Mainers may have made to political parties or political action committees involved in the presidential campaign.

In the Republican field, Bush has raked in a hefty chunk of his contributions – $33,225 of his $133,560 – from residents of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport near his family’s coastal estate. However, Falmouth residents contributed the most to the former Florida governor, $34,600. Bush’s list of top contributors includes the husband-wife team of former Gov. John “Jock” McKernan and former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, both Republicans.

Clinton, meanwhile, had received the most donations from Portland residents, who accounted for $49,132 of her $233,198 total contributions. Donations from residents of Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Cumberland and Brunswick also exceeded five figures. Among the better-known contributors to the former secretary of state and first lady were U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-District 1, who is serving on Clinton’s Maine leadership campaign team, and Karen Mills, former head of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Sanders has received roughly 10 percent of his $128,628 in contributions from Portland residents, followed by residents of South Portland, Brunswick, Scarborough and Freeport. But while Clinton and Bush had received the maximum donation of $2,700 from dozens of individuals, Sanders received that amount from only one donor, reflecting his campaign’s focus on smaller-dollar donors.

In 2012, Mainers contributed just over $4.1 million to all presidential candidates throughout the election cycle.

 

UMaine’s Frank Del Duca on fast track with spot on top U.S. bobsled team

Until last summer, Frank Del Duca’s only connection to bobsledding was viewing the Winter Olympics on TV.

“I would always watch it and say, ‘That’s pretty cool,’ ” he said.

Suddenly, Del Duca’s connection to the sport is far more hands-on. He now sits directly behind legendary driver Steve Holcomb on the United States’ top four-man bobsled team, competing on the World Cup circuit and chasing Olympic dreams of his own.

“It’s hard to believe,” said the 24-year-old Del Duca, who grew up in Bethel and graduated from Telstar High and the University of Maine.

Not bad for a guy who was waiting tables six months ago. So how did he rocket from novice to riding with the nation’s top bobsledders?

Del Duca was born in Florida and moved to Bethel in 2001. He played soccer and skied at Telstar High, but his greatest success was in track and field. Del Duca still holds school records in the 100, 200 and 400 meters and the 300-meter hurdles.

David LeClerc, a history teacher at Telstar and Del Duca’s track coach there, said Del Duca was a rare student/athlete.

Frank Del Duca of Bethel works out at Gold’s Gym in Bangor. At Telstar High School in Bethel and later at the University of Maine, Del Duca was a top sprinter and jumper. “He just has a lot of natural talent,” says his Telstar track coach David LeClerc.“ But he didn’t settle for that. Frankie works his butt off to get better all the time.”

Frank Del Duca of Bethel works out at Gold’s Gym in Bangor. At Telstar High School in Bethel and later at the University of Maine, Del Duca was a top sprinter and jumper. “He just has a lot of natural talent,” says his Telstar track coach, David LeClerc. “But he didn’t settle for that. Frankie works his butt off to get better all the time.”

“First, he just has a lot of natural talent – he’s coordinated, strong and has natural athleticism,” LeClerc said. “But he didn’t settle for that. You have a lot of natural athletes who settle for that. Frankie works his butt off to get better all the time.”

TOP SPRINTER AT UMAINE

At UMaine, he was one of the top sprinters and jumpers in the America East conference, winning the conference’s long jump title in 2014 as a senior.

One of the assistant coaches at Maine was Dave Cusano, now the head men’s and women’s track coach at Colby College. Cusano would tell Del Duca and others about his tryout with the U.S. bobsled team, how it was a way to transfer their track talents to another sport. Sprinters, with their years of training to perfect explosive starts, often are sought out as bobsledders.

Jimmy Reed, another sprinter and teammate of Del Duca’s at Maine, tried out for and made the U.S. bobsled team a year ago. He is now on the No. 2 sled, piloted by Nick Cunningham.

Del Duca wasn’t ready to follow Reed to bobsledding. So he took a year off after graduating and returned to Bethel to help his father, Frank Del Duca III, open a new restaurant in addition to the Crossroads Diner the family runs.

“He was doing anything I asked,” said Frank Del Duca III. “He would make pizza, deliver pizza, wait on tables.”

He was also earning certificates to become a strength and conditioning specialist. At about the time Del Duca decided to try to play football for the semipro Southern Maine Raging Bulls, he got a note from Reed asking him to try out for the U.S. bobsled team.

So he went to a combine, where his speed, acceleration and strength were all assessed. Team officials loved his strength and size. At 5-foot-10, 210 pounds, he’s not too big to be uncomfortable in a bobsled.

Next Del Duca went to a push camp, where he and others pushed a retired bobsled that has wheels and runs on tracks. Again, the staff was impressed.

“We really liked what we saw,” said Mike Dionne, an assistant coach on the U.S. bobsled team. “And we loved the other part about Frank, his personality and other traits. We thought he fit in with the team well, so we invited him back for October, to the national team trials, where he could actually get on the ice.”

Jimmy Reed, left, and Frank Del Duca were track and field teammates at the University of Maine. Reed joined the U.S. bobsled team a year ago and asked Del Duca to try out.

Jimmy Reed, left, and Frank Del Duca were track and field teammates at the University of Maine. Reed joined the U.S. bobsled team a year ago and asked Del Duca to try out.

And that’s important, because, Dionne said, “We’ll find sometimes that athleticism doesn’t transfer immediately over to the ice. There are so many other things to think about when you’re on the ice, like loading the sled.”

Del Duca passed that test, too. Dionne placed him on the national team. “We named him to USA 1 with Steve Holcomb,” Dionne said.

Holcomb has competed for the United States at the last three Winter Olympics, driving the gold-medal winning four-man bobsled at the 2010 Vancouver Games and collecting bronze in the four-man and two-man events at Sochi in 2014.

‘DESTINED TO BE AN ATHLETE’

Del Duca was stunned at first. And grateful for having Reed there to not only push him, but show him the way.

“He was there, asking me how my training was going,” Del Duca said. “We would brainstorm a lot on what types of exercises we should be doing. When I got there, he gave me a tour of the Lake Placid facilities. He was there for my combine. To have that support from a teammate and friend was really special.”

Del Duca’s rapid ascent in the sport doesn’t shock those who know him.

“I was surprised when I heard that Frank was doing it,” said Mark Lech, the UMaine track coach. “I’m not surprised that he made the team.

“He had a really, no-holds-barred, go-after-it attitude. He put everything on the line and went full speed ahead. Because of that attitude, he had some off-and-on injuries here. But when he was healthy and on, he was like a locomotive. You couldn’t stop him.”

Bobsledding can be an adrenaline rush. The sport is contested in either two-man or four-man sleds. (Women only compete in a two-person sled.) The crews push at the start, jumping into the sled and then sliding down an ice-covered track which includes at least 15 curves and one long straightaway. Speeds can reach up to 75 mph.

Del Duca got a taste of how fast it can be when he competed in a two-man sled with Holcomb in Konigsee, Germany, in December. He was a last-second replacement for an injured teammate and he was in the second run. The team finished seventh. “It was an experience I’ll never forget,” he said. “It’s hard to describe. It just felt amazing. It was fun to be in the sled. It was intense and I enjoyed it.”

The next Winter Olympics are in 2018, in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Del Duca appears to be on the right track to get there.

“We’ve seen a lot of athletes over the years and I think he has all of the right things,” Dionne said. “Is he ready to go to the Olympics tomorrow? No. But he certainly has the potential to go to an Olympics in the future.”

Frank Del Duca III is not surprised that his son has made it this far.

“Frankie was destined to be an athlete,” he said. “It runs through his veins. His blood is of a different blood of normal people.”

‘I LIKE RACING ANYTHING’

Del Duca is in Europe now in the final leg of the World Cup season, with a race in St. Moritz, Switzerland, this weekend. So far he has competed in five four-man bobsled races – one with Cunningham in the No. 2 sled – and two two-man bobsled races. Holcomb’s sled is ranked 12th in the world right now. Cunningham is ranked 10th.

The best finish so far for Holcomb’s sled has been a seventh at Park City, Utah, on Jan. 16. The week before, at Lake Placid, the sled finished eighth. The difference between a podium finish (top three) and seventh place is often less than a half-second. Holcomb and veteran Carlo Valdes join with rookies Del Duca and Sam McGuffie (a former wide receiver who was on the New England Patriots practice squad in 2013) in the No. 1 sled.

“We’ve been narrowly missing the podium,” Del Duca said. “We want more. … I know I want to be pushing Holcomb to the podium every week.”

Frank Del Duca of Bethel trains in Park City, Utah.

Frank Del Duca of Bethel trains in Park City, Utah.

His job in the No. 2 seat after he jumps in is simple, he said: “First I lock in the guy behind me, I push back into his head to lock in. Then I stay off the driver’s helmet so he is nice and comfortable in the sled. We can hit over 5Gs at a time, which is fast. If I hit him hard, it’s just not good.”

Some day he may be doing the steering. Dionne said team officials have asked Del Duca if he’d be interested in driving. “He’s very young, which is what we look for,” Dionne said. “It takes a lot longer to develop drivers in terms of the path they travel. I think we’ll give that a try at the end of the year.”

Del Duca has some experience driving race cars with the Cumberland Motor Club. He likes to go fast. “I’m a gearhead,” he said. “I like racing anything.”

But now “my focus is just learning as much as I can about bobsledding and being as good a teammate and as good a pusher as I can,” he said.

After all, there are still times he wonders how he got this far this fast.

“I think it’s finally settled in,” he said. “I’m very grateful for this opportunity, but I’m very focused and think I’m getting better every day.

“But sometimes I land someplace and say to myself, ‘Man, I just landed in Germany.’ ”

 

Docker Images To Be Based On Alpine Linux

New submitter Tenebrousedge writes: Docker container sizes continue a race to the bottom with a couple of environments weighing in at less than 10MB. Following on the heels of this week’s story regarding small images based on Alpine Linux, it appears that the official Docker images will be moving from Debian/Ubuntu to Alpine Linux in the near future. How low will they go?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Banged up and beautiful: Short oval racing the UK’s most unruly sport

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It’s a rainy and miserable midsummer Sunday in Thurrock, Essex, in the southeast of England. A middle-aged man, drenched to the bone, sits in the mud. 

The raincoat he has drawn up over his head does nothing to keep him dry, nor does the large umbrella which sags beneath the volume of rain bearing down on it. He yells some indecipherable orders to his son, Jack, who sits inside the car, twisting the steering wheel to the left and right. Jack, currently in second place in the 2014 PRI Junior Banger championship, is only slightly more sheltered from the rain. His dad aggressively works away at tightening the bolts on the front wheel of the battered car, reclaimed, reinforced and ready for today’s race. Read more…

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Weather phenomenon on Sebago Lake causes bizarre “waves of snowballs”

About a month ago, Stone Point Studio of Maine posted an amazing video to their YouTube page of a rare weather phenomenon taking place on Sebago Lake: The video, which has roughly 183,000 views on the studio’s Facebook page and 17,000 views on their YouTube page, has also been shared widely …

Weather phenomenon on Sebago Lake causes bizarre “waves of snowballs”

About a month ago, Stone Point Studio of Maine posted an amazing video to their YouTube page of a rare weather phenomenon taking place on Sebago Lake: The video, which has roughly 183,000 views on the studio’s Facebook page and 17,000 views on their YouTube page, has also been shared widely …

Avast SafeZone Browser Lets Attackers Access Your Filesystem

An anonymous reader writes: Just two days after Comodo’s Chromodo browser was publicly shamed by Google Project Zero security researcher Tavis Ormandy, it’s now Avast’s turn to be publicly scorned for failing to provide a “secure” browser for its users. Called SafeZone, and also known as Avastium, Avast’s custom browser is offered as a bundled download for all who purchase or upgrade to a paid version of Avast Antivirus 2016. This poor excuse of a browser was allowing attackers to access files on the user’s filesystem just by clicking on malicious links. The browser wouldn’t even have to be opened, and the malicious link could be clicked in “any” browser.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Boy ordered to take off Princess Elsa costume during his school’s Disney day

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A California middle school is facing backlash after a 13-year-old student was ordered to remove his Princess Elsa costume during a Disney dress-up day

Austin Lacey, an eighth-grader at Ethan Chase Middle School in Riverside County, was among many students who came to school in costume for a Disney-themed spirit day Thursday, and decided to dress up in a sparkly blue gown and blonde braided wig to emulate Frozen‘s Princess Elsa.

“I wore it for fun because I’m just one of those people,” Lacey told KTLA. “I like to go all out.”

Other students liked the costume, too, Lacey said, and asked to take selfies with him Read more…

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