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Enzo Ferrari – His Story

Enzo Ferrari – His Story

Born in Emilia-Romagna, and raised in Modena, Italy, Enzo Ferrari grew up with little formal education but a strong desire to race cars. During World War I he was a mule-skinner in the Italian Army. His grandfather, Alfredo, died in 1916 as a result of a widespread Italian flu outbreak. Enzo became sick himself and was consequently discharged from Italian service. Upon returning home he found that the family firm had collapsed. Having no other job prospects he sought unsuccessfully to find work at Fiat and eventually settled for a job at a smaller car company called CMN redesigning used truck bodies into small, passenger cars. He took up racing in 1919 on the CMN team, but had little initial success.

He left CMN in 1920 to work at Alfa Romeo and racing their cars in local races he had more success. In 1923, racing in Ravenna, he acquired the Prancing Horse badge which decorated the fuselage of Francesco Baracca’s (Italy’s leading ace of WWI) SPAD fighter, given from his mother, taken from the wreckage of the plane after his mysterious death. This icon would have to wait until 1932 to be plastered on a racing car. In 1924 he won the Coppa Acerbo at Pescara. His successes in local races encouraged Alfa to offer him a chance of much more prestigious competition and he was lauded by Mussolini. Ferrari turned this opportunity down and in something of a funk he did not race again until 1927 and even then his racing career was mostly over. He continued to work directly for Alfa Romeo until 1929 before starting Scuderia Ferrari as the racing team for Alfa.

Ferrari managed the development of the factory Alfa cars, and built up a team of over forty drivers, including Giuseppe Campari and Tazio Nuvolari. Ferrari himself continued racing until the birth of his first son in 1932 (Alfredo Ferrari, known as Dino, who died in 1956).

The support of Alfa Romeo lasted until 1933 when financial constraints made Alfa withdraw. Only at the intervention of Pirelli did Ferrari receive any cars at all. Despite the quality of the Scuderia drivers the company won few victories (1935 in Germany by Nuvolari was a notable exception). Auto Union and Mercedes dominated the era.

In 1937 Alfa took control of its racing efforts again, reducing Ferrari to Director of Sports under Alfa’s engineering director. Ferrari soon left, but a contract clause restricted him from racing or designing for four years.

He set up Auto-Avio Costruzioni, a company supplying parts to other racing teams. But in the Mille Miglia of 1940 the company manufactured two cars to compete, driven by Alberto Ascari and Lotario Rangoni. During World War II his firm was involved in war production and following bombing relocated from Modena to Maranello. It was not until after World War II that Ferrari sought to shed his fascist reputation and make cars bearing his name, founding today’s Ferrari S.p. A. in 1945.

The first open-wheeled race was in Turin in 1948 and the first victory came later in the year in Lago di Garda. Ferrari participated in the Formula 1 World Championship since its introduction in 1950 but the first victory was not until the British Grand Prix of 1951. The first championship came in 1952-53, when the Formula One season was raced with Formula Two cars. The company also sold production sports cars in order to finance the racing endeavours not only in Grand Prix but also in events such as the Mille Miglia and Le Mans. Indeed many of the firm’s greatest victories came at Le Mans (14 victories, including six in a row 1960-65) rather than in Grand Prix, certainly the company was more involved there than in Formula One during the 1950s and 1960s despite the successes of Juan-Manuel Fangio (1956), Mike Hawthorn (1958), Phil Hill (1961) and John Surtees (1964).

In the 1960s the problems of reduced demand and inadequate financing forced Ferrari to allow Fiat to take a stake in the company. Ford had tried to buy the firm in 1963 for US$18 million but had been rejected. The company became joint-stock and Fiat took a small share in 1965 and then in 1969 they increased their holding to 50% of the company. (In 1988 Fiat’s holding was increased to 90%).

Ferrari remained managing director until 1971. Despite stepping down he remained an influence over the firm until his death. The input of Fiat took some time to have effect. It was not until 1975 with Niki Lauda that the firm won any championships — the skill of the driver and the ability of the engine overcoming the deficiencies of the chassis and aerodynamics. But after those successes and the promise of Jody Scheckter title in 1979, the company’s Formula One championship hopes fell into the doldrums. 1982 opened with a strong car, the 126C2, world-class drivers, and promising results in the early races.

However, Gilles Villeneuve was killed on May 8th 1982, and teammate Didier Pironi had his career cut short in a violent end over end flip on the misty backstraight at Hockenheim in August. Pironi was leading the driver’s championship at the time; he would lose the lead as he sat out the remaining races. The team would not see championship glory again during Ferrari’s lifetime.

Enzo Ferrari died in Modena in 1988 at the age of 90 at the beginning of the dominance of the McLaren Honda combination. The only race which McLaren did not win in 1988 was the Italian Grand Prix – this was held just weeks after Enzo’s death, and, fittingly, the result was a 1-2 finish for Ferrari, with Gerhard Berger leading home Michele Alboreto. After Enzo’s death, thee Scuderia Ferrari team has had further success, notably with Michael Schumacher from 1996-2005.

Made a Cavaliere del Lavoro in 1952, to add to his honours of Cavaliere and Commendatore in the 1920s, Enzo also received a number of honorary degrees, the Hammarskjöld Prize in 1962, the Columbus Prize in 1965, and the De Gasperi Award in 1987. In 1994, he was posthumously inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Enzo famously used purple ink in his fountain pen, although the reason for this remains unclear.

After the death of his son, Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari, Enzo wore sunglasses just about every day to honor his son.

4 Epic Days Of Powder Skiing

4 Epic Days Of Powder Skiing

Grab your skis and get out here!

Those seven words were the start of the most epic adventure of my life. They came in the form of a phone call from a remote lodge in Eastern British Columbia.

“Man you will not believe what the last 2 days were like. It hasn’t stopped snowing here for 42 hours. Dude it is almost waist deep. We signed up for another 4 days. There is one spot left. Grab your skis and get out here.

“I am in” I hastily declared not quite sure how I was going to get away from work.

When it is waist deep I can always find a reason for getting out of work. I was buzzing. It has been a long time since I have gone skiing in the back country. I quickly threw a couple changes of clothes into my pack, gloves, helmet, goggles, in also. Transferred some money around and I was on my way to the adventure of a lifetime, literally.

I was going to Golden BC to enjoy some great snowcat skiing about 80 north of the small mountain community. Some guys I knew from Calgary were up on a 3 day tour at Chatter Creek and called me after their second day in waist deep powder. The excitement in their voice (and probably a bit of alcohol as well) had me vibrating within seconds of hearing the words “waist deep”.

Of course with a lot of snow falling in the past several days the mountain pass between Golden and neighboring Revelstoke was treacherous to say the least. Traffic had been getting through intermittently between closures for avalanche control.

Getting into Golden was a relief since the helicopter flight to the lodge was in just under an hour. I had just enough time to stop at 7-11 for gum and other junk food, get to the airport, sign a waiver and board the chopper.

The 22 minute flight was something else. We skirted up the valley from Golden with the Selkirks on the left and the Rockies on the right. A final quick jump over the Kitchen Range and we were into the Chatter Creek Drainage. I could see the blue roofing of the lodge appear like a sapphire in the green and white of the surrounding terrain.

The first night of the trip was a blur of food, booze and faces. 35 other people with the same crazed look of powder that I had. It was hard to get to sleep the first night but before long I was woke up by my watch. First thing was to look out the window to see how much new; 22cm on top of the 96 cm that fell in the last 4 days.

The morning continued with breakfast at 7:30 followed by a safety briefing about the snowcats and more importantly avalanche safety and the use of transceivers. This was followed by boarding the cats for a 15 minute ride to the East Ridge.

Running almost east to west for 7 km, the East Ridge is 2200 vertical feet of north facing trees and south facing cut blocks.

The snowcat stopped at the top of a run called Bad Boys. The top 1/3 of the run in the alpine and continued down through old growth spruce and larch. Bad Boys certainly looked great. Our group of 12 got out, the cat roared off to the bottom to wait for us. We all got geared up and followed our guide to where we would drop in. The guide said to stay center and stop at the tree line. With that he turned and disappeared into a cloud of white.

I sliced my way past a couple of my buddies and dropped in. The first turn took me by surprise. It was like there was no bottom. By turn three I was able to get a glimpse of where I was and pointed to where I needed to go. With that the most epic 4 days of powder skiing began.

Truck campers offer obvious advantages in their mobility, as well as lower gas mileage and lower profile than RVs or pop up campers. However, do not let their smaller size fool you, they can be incredibly well appointed and more spacious than one would imagine. Like all recreational vehicles, they range in size, features, and price.

Starting with a smaller and more basic model, one would typically find a truck camper that offers floor space that is roughly eight feet in length. While that may sound small, a well designed truck camper can pack a lot in that little space. You can expect to find that even the more basic, lower priced truck campers will have features like an ice box, a sink with hot and cold water, a stove top, Porta-Potti storage area, an outdoor shower with privacy curtain, a sitting area, and a generously sized bed. When combined with propane gas and water storage ability, even a basic truck camper can allow you to venture far from the beaten path without sacrificing comfort or ignoring any of your basic needs.

If you have a taste for things that are anything but basic there are truck campers for you as well. Deluxe campers can stretch to as much as twelve feet of floor length and have a list of features that you would expect to find on a full sized RV. How about a bathroom and shower, flat screen television with surround sound system, refrigerator and freezer, multiple burner stove top and oven, heating and air conditioning, and a queen sized bed? Yes, all of those things and more can comfortably fit in a first rate truck camper.

The truck camper that is best for you depends on several things. Your wants and needs, your budget, and most important, your truck; all of those factors will drive your ultimate decision. Some campers can not fit in the bed of smaller trucks, and some smaller trucks can not handle the weight of the largest truck campers (which can exceed three thousand pounds). Once you find a combination that meets your criteria then your destination is up to you! A truck camper is your key to anywhere you want to go, and you can go with as much style as your heart desires!

[Reproduced with permission]

Deciphering Skateboarding Languages

Deciphering Skateboarding Languages

By the time a skateboarder has refined their techniques and styles to a level that meets all the requirements for competition, they have also had time to amass a whole new language that is understood by all skateboarders around them. As they perform various skateboarding tricks, there are certain terms that they will use to let others know that they bested their best score and feel ready to try something else.

A parent might be totally lost around youngsters as they begin their training, but by the time the adolescent reaches the competitive levels of skateboarding, they are sure to be well-versed in what is said and know enough about the sport to look favorable in the social circles that develop at these events. Some parents have learned to carry a skateboard trick glossary with them, and others simply prefer to keep a skateboard parts glossary in the glove compartment that they can use while shopping for parts to a skateboard.

These reference materials will be very helpful when parents need to find out what was said over the loudspeaker at an event. The strange word might deal with the name of a trick, or the term might be a simple word that skateboarders speak all the time. No parent wants to stand out in the crowd as the one that does not know what is going on, so these parents rely on the handy reference materials to keep them informed.

Some parents find that learning about the differences in wheels will help them when they must shop to replace some. If the skateboarder is kind enough, they might just provide the number which is on the wheel and take all the guess work out of getting the right wheel for the skateboard they use for street skating. Harder wheels stand up better when used on the streets and parents like them more because they do not have to be replaced as often. Some skateboarders will change wheels out just because they want a better grip even though they are using a longboard.

With some type of reference material on hand, it might be impossible for a parent to shop for an axle. They might get word from the skateboarder that the wheels are starting to slide, and they might believe that the wheels need to be replaced. If the parent knew that there were several reasons why this type of slippage could occur, then they might be able to negotiate their way around a sports shop and buy a new truck, or a new hangar if that is the cause of the slippage.

A skateboarder will know the difference between the bushings and the deck, and might even have a favorite brand of grip tape that they want to use. A seasoned skateboarder will be in tune with the sport enough to know when they need new trucks or need to replace the risers and the shock pads. All of these items will keep a skateboarder skating and they make it a point to know the terminology just so they can tell their parents what to pick up at the store.

7 Secrets To Shoot Video Like A Pro

7 Secrets To Shoot Video Like A Pro

A lot of us get inspired by movies to want to shoot great video with our video cameras – unfortunately there is a difference between want and being able to. Like photography, good videography requires a level of competence and artistic know-how. After all, there’s more to shooting great footage than pressing the record button.

For good or bad, I learned the hard way how to shoot professionally. I’m not promising you’ll get an oscar for your efforts but you’ll avoid giving viewers that amateur-I-can’t-hold-a-camera-steady look.

  1. Be A Good Student

Just like any craft you need to know your tools. For example, if your filming your son’s baseball game you need to increase the shutter speed to ensure your image is free of motion blur. If your shooting from a distance and you’ve zoomed to bring the subject closer you’ll need to pay attention to the camera’s focus and switch it to manual to avoid focus drift. It really comes down to reading the manual and learning the tools. At first it may seem daunting but if you tackle one concept at a time and apply yourself by shooting it will make sense and it will become second nature. To simplify things, I recommend keeping a cheat sheet handy if necessary.

  1. Stay Prepared

Think of videography like camping, you always need a survival kit.

  • Bring plenty of spare batteries – you never know when you’ll need them.
  • Extra blank tapes. The more quality footage you have the easier the editing process.
  • A lens-cleaning cloth. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you have a smudge and you have nothing safe to clean your glass with. This a situation where post-production will not help.
  • Bring a tripod. Steady shots go along way in preventing motion sickness. You’ll be surpised how much better your shots will look.
  • A battery charger/power supply. Having the ability charge your batteries ensures minimal downtime and more content.
  • Extension cords for long cable runs. You want to be prepared for the worst scenario. Often on jobs, I’ll bust out the cables if a local receptacle is not available.
  • Duct tape, for taping down the extension cord so people don’t trip over it. You don’t want a lawsuit on your hands.
  • Lighting gear, lens filters, and microphones, and any other accessories you may need. These are your tools to quality videography. Unless your feeling lazy, don’t leave home without them.
  1. Say YES to a tripod

The majority of home videos end up looking shaky, which is a drag to watch. Even with a small investment of $30 on a tripod, your footage look will look professional and steady. Also, you’ll have the ability to execute pans and zooms without trouble.

No tripod? Lean against a wall to minimize shakiness. OK, no wall you say? Putt your butt on the ground, bend your knees, and drop your elbows on them.

If your shooting an event where space is limited or you’re on the constant go I recommend a monopod. These are a real lifesaver. Not only can you get rock steady shots, you occupy less space and can relocate in a matter of seconds.

  1. Give me light

It doesn’t matter how good your camera is. If you have crappy lighting, it will reflect (no pun intended) in your video. A quick solution to overcome lighting issues is to shoot outdoors preferably in the morning or late afternoon hours. Why? At these times of the day the light is less harsh and produces a more pleasant softer look on the video – no shadows over the eyes, squinting, or washed out skin tones.

If you must shoot indoors take notice of which way the light is directed in the room. Avoid shooting your foreground subjects close to bright windows behind them. You don’t want your camera to expose for the background leaving your foreground subject dark. Certainly let as much light into the room as possible and try to have the light coming from behind you towards your subject. If the light levels are low, its good practice to disable autofocus or you will encounter problems as the camera attempts to focus properly.

  1. Hi-Fi Audio

Many people don’t notice good sound but they sure notice bad sound. Getting good sound does take some work but its do-able. The microphones built into most cameras are pretty basic and are not considered high-end. When your dealing with an uncontrollable environment it’s always best to get as close as possible to the source as possible to ensure the cleanest recording. You must monitor your audio with headphones to ensure the best results.

  1. Composition

Proper composition is everything when setting up a good shot. Professional videographers obey the “rule of thirds” and you should do the same. Imagine a tic-tac-toed board over your viewfinder. The lines interact in four spots. Your goal should be to frame the action using one or more of those spots.

Of course, art is subjective and you can break this rule if your feeling creative. But exercise restraint: you don’t want to alienate your audience.

  1. Shoot B-Roll

B-Roll is secondary footage that is used for cutaway shots to connect your primary shot. The cutaway of b-roll footage can also be used to hide unflattering shots or mistakes you may have made while shooting. If your filming a wedding, you might take shots of the church, the invitation, and the little bride and groom atop the cake. When its time to cut your movie, you mix in the footage to cover up mistakes and add variety.

There are no hard rules. Anything can become B-Roll. If you study television shows or news stories you’ll see a constant use of B-Roll. It’s basically the glue to connect and link scenes together. As you gain experience you will be able to visualize your edit and what shots you need before you even shoot. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect.

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