Friday, June 19, 2015

Meet the Youngest Ever Winner of the Daytona 500.

At 20 years and one day, in only his second Sprint Cup drive, Trevor Bayne rewrote the Daytona 500 record books. He attributes all of his accomplishments to his deep faith in Christ. 

The Next Challenge: Diagnosis with multiple sclerosis:

"He was completely fine and cleared after it and the reality of it is if Trevor wasn't a race car driver and didn't have the means, he probably would never have been diagnosed," Newmark said. "It was through his determination of just regularly getting checked that it came to light."

Source: Trevor Bayne has MS but will continue to race in NASCAR.

Finish of the 2011 Daytona 500. "This is a fairy tale." (NASCAR commentator)

I wasn't sure if I should post this as it may be private, but it's on You Tube, so...This is engagingly beautiful, the stuff of dreams.

Trevor Bayne

Friday, June 5, 2015

"Mango Man"

A poor, wayfaring Man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I had not pow'r to ask his name,
Whereto he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love; I knew not why.

(James Montgomery, "A Poor Wafaring Man of Grief" [1826])

Thanks to a friend, I stumbled across this story this week, the "Mango Man" of Hawaii.

Some say that "Mango Man" is a "scary figure", but others say that he's nothing more than a harmless itinerant. According to reports, "Mango Man" has been an itinerant resident of Kailua for more than 30 years.

Nevertheless, when the ubiquitous homeless figure recently disappeared, it got everyone wondering.

John Cruz aka "Mango Man" recovering following Good Samaritan's effort.

Some Kailua residents say they knew Cruz was suffering for a long time up until this point and refused to accept medical care. That was until last week when a group of concerned residents contacted community physician Dr. Chad Koyanagi. Koyanagi organized a homeless outreach team from the Waikiki Health Center and along with HPD, HFD and EMS and the group went to help Cruz.

Cruz was taken to a hospital for treatment. We're told he's still undergoing medical attention and will likely remain hospitalized for an extended period of time.

Residents of Kailua even created a Facebook page for "Mango Man", and some of the comments there are real gems.

John Cruz was a bright young track star at Castle High school. He graduated Class of 1967. He went on to join the military and fought in Vietnam...and he is now homeless. You may know John as Mango Man.

Mango Man is a monument to those of us who have grown up on the windward side. When I was a kid, I took the bus to school from Kaneohe where he used to hang out. I would get an extra musubi every morning and we would sit silently eating it. He hardly talked but as a young girl I somehow always felt safe having him there, even protected. On days he wasn't there I would get worried, and would drive around looking for him. To this day I keep track of him.

I'm not alone. I know many of you have your own Mango Man story. One of the things I love about this town is how we all take care of him.

With all the new people coming here, we need to make sure more than ever to watch out for him, and make sure people know he's not just some bum homeless man but a part of our Windward Ohana. I will post this every few months so new people will see it. And we can also keep track of him collectively.

Do you have a Mango Man story or photo to share?

There was no shortage of comments.

Cousin Vinnie Ward I don't know why he is called mango man so I feel kind of funny telling my story because it involves a mango .John was sitting on a bus bench and I was sitting just a little ways away from him waiting for the bus he took a mango out of his bag and I remember thinking to myself is this guy going to break out a knife and cut open this mango with these children so close by they might be afraid to see somebody like that with a knife but boy did he really surprised me he kneaed the mango like it was bread dough squeezed it over and over and over and over then he took his little finger and poked a hole in it and drank the mango through the hole it was the coolest thing I have ever seen and to this day I smash up my mangoes and eat them that way!

Cheryl Medeiros Does anyone know why he is called Mango Man? I myself think it is disrespectful and bullying! He has a name and is a Vietnam War Vet and should be treated with kindness and respect!

I Love Kailua! People call him John when they talk to him, most people aren't referring to him as Mango Man in person. It's nice you are concerned but it's not meant negatively. Early on people did not know who he was so the name caught on. It's a term of affection though. Bullying is in the intention. No one is making fun of him. As you can see he gets so much love and respect here.

Kealii Kila I just remember him always being around and seen him on my way to school after school on the way to the pool. He never was scary In fact he was always nice and he would wave and say hi when we would. My mom always told me not to disrespect or fear him cause he is just a man like all of us and he has is own story in life. I always new he was a veteran and respected him for that cause so was my oldest brothers and oldest sisters father who after he came back from Vietnam war sadly took his own life due to PTSD.

Chica Roberts I met John many times, and even helped serve him many years ago during a lengthy time of need a Castle Medical Center. He has a beautiful spirit and a warm smile, though not often seen. Whenever someone called him Mango Man I would correct them and say "his name is John"! A true child of God who embodies the admonition of Christ "if you have done this unto the least of these, you have done it unto me." -- Kevin Roberts (AKA, Chica....its a long story...)

Amee Enahh He is not homeless. He has a beautiful home. It's called Kailua. The people there take care of him. Teach our children to do the same.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Dale Earnhardt Story.

"You win some, lose some, and wreck some." - Dale Earnhardt Sr.

This morning I watched an interesting movie, "The Dale Earnhardt Story". It's not Spielberg or Oscars quality (it was a television movie), but a touching "rags to riches" movie depicting a young man (Earnhardt) at the crossroads of whether to continue working at menial jobs to support himself and his young family, or risk it all on becoming a successful racing driver. Earnhardt's sometimes tumultuous relationship with his father plays a major theme in the movie, and in a karma-like way Earnhardt's relationship with his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr. mirrors Earnhardt's relationship with his own father.

In spite of some historical inaccuracies and anachronisms, most of which are technical and don't detract from the overall theme, and which seems to be part and parcel of most "life stories" depicted in film other than documentaries, the movie is worth watching. Obviously, followers of NASCAR will have a greater appreciation for the movie, but the complex relationships in the movie, Earnhardt's single-minded "driving ambition" to escape relative poverty, the father-son relationships, and his sentiment that his ambition cost him two marriages, is something even non-followers of NASCAR will be able to relate to. Earnhardt does eventually find true love, and in spite of apparent premonitions to quit racing, continued until what is known to NASCAR fans as "The Day", the 2001 Daytona 500.

The Daytona 500 is known as "The Great American Race", and to NASCAR fans Dale Earnhardt is known as "The Great American Hero", and to this day the Earnhardts are referred to, in a land which has never embraced a monarchy, as "Racing Royalty".


To be fair to the movie critics, if you're interested in an accurate documentary of Dale Earnhardt:


Dale Earnhardt

3: The Dale Earnhardt Story

Remembering Dale Earnhardt Sr. (NASCAR)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Danica Mania.

Win, lose or draw, fans have taken to Danica Patrick in legions. She's amassed more than a million followers on Facebook and Twitter, and as the only female driver in NASCAR, her every move is watched with interest.

I've followed Formula One since a teenager, and my hero was the legendary Ayrton Senna.  Senna brought more to motor sports than speed and skill; he brought to motor sports a conviction and determination based on his belief in his God-given talent. He was far more than a racing driver; he was an artist, a perfectionist, an idealist who once said that if you see a gap, and don't take it, "you're no longer a racing driver".

It's this sort of passion that creates immense interest in motor sports. Characters like Senna who bring it alive.

While I wouldn't place Danica Patrick in Senna's league as a racing driver (frankly, I would place anyone in Senna's league), she's what I would call the female Ayrton Senna of motor racing as far as her influence is concerned.  

The simple fact is that Danica has drawn thousands, if not millions of people towards motor racing. The diminutive 5' 2" (some reports say 5' 1") lass from  Roscoe, Illinois, has inspired millions.

And that's not only what motor sports needs, but all sports. It needs "hero figures" who dare to stand above the crowd, win or lose, and sports especially needs female pioneers. That's why the crowd at Daytona in 2013 went wild when Danica led a lap (likewise when she led the 2005 Indy 500 for 19 laps), becoming the first female to lead a lap at Daytona under green.

If Danica were to retire tomorrow, her legacy would still be forever embedded in both Indy Car and NASCAR, and the many fans she drew to the sport, who might otherwise not be bothered.

Flashback Friday: Patrick's father recalls start of Danica Mania.

“It wasn’t even in my realm of thoughts,” T.J. Patrick, Danica’s father, told “People don’t realize I’ve been coming to the Indianapolis 500 since 1974. I’m on the North Forty partying, getting drunk and then coming in here and watching the race all hung-over. I never dreamt that I would have my kid in it, let alone my daughter. Then to have her be as good as she is here I never dreamt that.”

“Leading up to it, it was almost like a blur because it happened so fast,” T.J. Patrick said. “Even the race was crazy. I met with her after that and she was changing clothes. She was upset. She was crying and said, ‘I should have won the pole.’ I told her, ‘Danica, you gained more respect today by saving that car, not crashing and keeping your foot in it than if you had won the pole. If you had won the pole they would have said you had the fastest car. You proved today you can drive the race car.’

Lest we forget Paul Dana , a team mate of Danica's whose tragic death in 2006 deeply affected all of his family, friends, fans and team mates.  RIP.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Incredible Human Machine.

"The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe." - Michio Kaku.

Incredible Human Machine.   (Full series)

Do We Live in a Multiverse?

"It is really quite amazing by what margins competent but conservative scientists and engineers can miss the mark, when they start with the preconceived idea that what they are investigating is impossible. When this happens, the most well-informed men become blinded by their prejudices and are unable to see what lies directly ahead of them." - Arthur C. Clarke.

 "Modern science should indeed arouse in all of us a humility before the immensity of the unexplored and a tolerance for crazy hypotheses." - Martin Gardner.

"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."  - Arthur C. Clarke's First Law

At one time we thought human flight was impossible. Leonardo Da Vinci speculated about it, and the Wright brothers proved it was possible. Before the era of "flying machines", who ever dreamed that one day humans would land on the moon?

Rolling out the "caveman" image, what would a "caveman" think of modern computers? What would someone even living in the 19th century think of them? Although experimental at the time, what would "the man in the street" in 1950 think of "email"?

What ever happened to telephone boxes? Did you notice that they're all gone? This is why they're all gone.

But what about almost bizarre theories that tax our wildest imagination? Like the possibility of there being a billion other universes, some, or maybe all of which have different "laws" of physics than our universe?

Although the video is a bit blurry, Michio Kaku was one of the first physicists to speculate about a Multiverse.


The World is Not Enough: A New Theory of Parallel Universes is Proposed.

5 Reasons We May Live in a Multiverse.