February 2008

Newspaper Surf Writer Fired For Plagiarism

by The Editors on February 27, 2008

David Burroughs, the writer of a weekly surf column for the Ventura County Star has been picking up stories all over the place and running them as his own according to a story in Editor & Publisher.

In an unbylined story, the Star said evidence of the plagiarism emerged when the paper was contacted by the news director of Southern California Public Radio, who pointed out that a Jan. 22 column about a proposed highway that would go through a surfing spot included seven paragraphs apparently taken directly from an online version of its story on the highway expansion.

When editors at The Star looked into it they found even more.

Further investigation by The Star uncovered a Feb. 5 column by Burroughs regarding the theft of a web camera trained on a popular East Coast surfing spot. . . . Much of six paragraphs in that column came from a Jan. 27 story in the New York Times by Corey Kilgannon.

Burroughs apparently admitted that he had used the information but said that since he was using “mostly quotations from other sources that it was not plagiarism.” The paper said Burroughs had no journalism experience when he was hired. Guess that’s how newspapers do it these days.

[Link: Ventura County Star via Editor & Publisher]


The Surfing, Snowboarding Physicist Interview

by The Editors on February 27, 2008

Garrett Lisi 630X

We told you about A. Garrett Lisi months ago. He’s the surfer/ snowboarder who claims to have created a unification theory called, “Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything.” But world physicists didn’t buy it and, in fact, still haven’t. Wired Magazine interviewed Lisi recently. Here’s what he had to say:

It is extraordinarily difficult, even in academia, to find a job that will let you do whatever you want with your time. If you are determined to spend your time following your own interests, you pretty much have to do it on your own. After my Ph.D., there just weren’t any positions open to support the research I wanted to do. And, of course, the surfing and windsurfing in Maui is amazingly good. I did the best I could to make my daydreams happen — and that didn’t put me in an office.

For the rest of the interview (which is mostly about string theory and physics) click the link.

[Link: Wired.com]


Man Beaten With Skateboards

by The Editors on February 27, 2008

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

A 20-year-old man was found beaten and unconscious in Ocean Beach Wednesday morning.

The man was found covered in sand and blood just before 6 a.m. just north of the lifeguard tower near Abbott Street and Santa Monica Avenue, San Diego police said.

Witnesses told police they saw two men hit the man with skateboards, police said.

[Link: San Diego Union-Tribune]


Hayes Brother Snowboards Sold

by The Editors on February 27, 2008

According to a press release on The Earth Times:

Ault Glazer & Co., Inc. recently acquired the Hayes Brothers Snowboard Company. Financial terms were not disclosed. One of the founders, and current manager, Mr. Stephen Hayes, will remain at the helm as the firm seeks to embark on their second decade in the snowboard industry. Mr. Hayes said, “This is an incredibly exciting time for Hayes Brothers and we expect this to be the year Hayes Brothers takes it to the next level.” . . . Ault Glazer & Co., Inc. is a diversified holding company that maintains stakes in various companies through its minority interests and wholly owned subsidiaries, and is involved in merchant banking, corporate lending, shareholder activism, real estate, healthcare, energy, consumer products & services, insurance and media.

[Link: The Earth Times]

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Dude, Wall Street Says Volcom Rules

by The Editors on February 26, 2008

According to Shop-Eat-Surf.com‘s coverage of analyst Mitch Kummetz’ survey of board sport retailers (how’s that for third hand information) Volcom is the “hottest men’s and women’s brand.”

Hottest men’s brands
1. Volcom
2. Billabong
3. Quiksilver
4. Matix
5. KR3W

Hottest women’s brands
1. Volcom
2. Roxy
3. Billabong
4. Matix
5. O’Neill

[Link: Shop-Eat-Surf.com]


Andy And Bruce Hosed By Money Manager

by The Editors on February 26, 2008

From the Honolulu Advertiser:

World-class surfers Andy and Bruce Irons are among dozens of investors owed millions by now-bankrupt Kaua’i mortgage lender James W. Lull.

Lull, Kaua’i branch manager of mortgage lender U.S. Financial Mortgage Corp. from 1994 to 2006, filed personal bankruptcy papers in December 2006, listing more than $31 million in debts and $6.7 million in assets.

The total amount owed by Lull is now believed to be $50 million, according to Stephen Jones, attorney for the trustee overseeing Lull’s bankruptcy case.

The trustee, Ronald Kotoshirodo, alleged in court papers that Lull operated a massive “Ponzi scheme” that duped investors with false promises of high interest rate returns on low risk investments.

Andy and Bruce’s Dad Bill Irons says his boys are lucky. “They’re young, they’re successful, but some of the people here, they’ve lost their life savings,” he said.

[Link: Honolulu Advertiser]


Harvard’s Creative Writing Skater

by The Editors on February 24, 2008

JohnstonboardThough we’ve seen reviews of his book Corpus Christi: Stories we don’t remember reading Bret Anthony Johnston’s work in any of the skateboard magazines. Maybe that’s because he is a good writer.

The skateboarding novelist is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and is now the director of creative writing at Harvard University.

Johnston says: “The skills required to be a successful writer or a successful artist of any kind are the same skills that are required for being a successful skateboarder. You really see the world differently than everybody else does and you have a patience and a perseverance and maybe a penchant for masochism in ways that most other people don’t.” . . . “You have to be able to stay there, hour after hour, and hurt yourself, do splits on the banister, whack your shins and stay there bleeding and sweating until you can make the trick that you want to make. It’s the same thing for writers. You have to log the hours. You have to look at the world in a different way and be prepared to sit in a chair as long as it takes to render that world and the characters in your imagination truthfully.”


[Link: Radio Iowa]


Canada Mints A Snowboard Quarter

by The Editors on February 24, 2008

Photo-11442In celebration of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, the Canadian Mint is releasing a quarter with a snowboarder on it.

“With two years to go until 2010, the Mint is delighted to be launching its second wave of circulation coins to commemorate the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “Featuring the dynamic and energetic sport of snowboarding is a fantastic way to kick off 2008.”

Seems like snowboarding would have at least been worth a Loonie, huh? Then again, they’re probably saving those for curling.

[Link: CNW Group]


Kids Push Snowboarding As Official Vermont Sport

by The Editors on February 24, 2008

From Foster’s Daily Democrat:

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Sen. Harold Giard says he was skeptical when he first saw the bill on the agenda of the Senate Education Committee. “When I first saw it, I said, “What is this?”

But after he heard from the sixth graders from the Swanton Central School, Giard, D-Addison, said he was convinced the idea of making snowboarding the official state sport had a chance to make it into law.

The class descended on the Senate chamber Tuesday afternoon to testify in favor of the idea.

“I think they really did their homework and gave us the facts to back it,” he said.

Katie Cleary, Myriam Bouti, Jocelyn Shusda, Rachel Greenia, Alex Benckert and Michael Wilks took turns at the witness table to tell Senators about their research.

[Link: Fosters.com]


Brangelina Goes Snowboarding At Mammoth

by The Editors on February 22, 2008

0221 Brangelina 04 Splash Full

We’re not usually into this (well, maybe just a little), but this is a damn cute photo of Brad Pitt and Maddox. Seriously.

[Link: TMZ.com]