Compiled and Written by Lenny Giteck
New IMF Head: Synchronized Swimming
Champion and Whip-Wielding Dominatrix?
Christine Lagarde — who was named head of the International Monetary Fund following Dominique Strauss-Kahn's hasty resignation under suspicion of sexual misconduct — knows her way around swimming pools. According to the Web site dailymail.co.uk, Lagarde was a member of the French national synchronized swimming team when she was a teenager.
Perhaps more pertinent to her new role, she also is a highly accomplished and experienced attorney, holds a Master's Degree in political science and has served as France's Trade Minister and the country's first female Finance Minister. Perhaps even more pertinent to her IMF job, she reportedly gets a big charge out of being caricatured — Ripples presumes in editorial cartoons — as a dominatrix literally whipping bankers into shape.
Ripples wishes Lagarde the best of luck in her new role. She'll need it considering everything that is on her plate at the IMF: financial crises in EU member states Greece, Portugal and Ireland, among other problems.
Our only advice to Mme. Lagarde — to paraphrase what Teddy Roosevelt famously once said — is...speak softly, Christine, and carry a big whip.
Photos: To read more about Christine Lagarde and see photos of the silver-haired lady, click here.
Note: Some Web sites may open behind this screen.
Lithuanians Hold Blow-Up Sex Doll Swim Competition
Speaking of dominatrixes and that sort of thing...oh, those zany Lithuanians!
The wonderfully named Web site Jezebel.com relates that "a Lithuanian radio station organized a men-only field day of sorts, with the main event being a race in the water with a 'special' twist." Twisted is right! Each male competitor had to swim accompanied by a blow-up female sex doll. (Apparently, the issue of same-sex couples did not arise at the event.) The thrilled winner — in an amazing feat of strength — actually held his companion above his head with just one arm.
What does Ripples think about this? Obviously, the IOC should convene and immediately make Blow-Up Sex Doll Swimming an Olympic event. We can't wait to see Michael Phelps and his inflated teammate Windy Wendy standing tall and proud atop the winners platform in London next year!
Video: To watch this cutting-edge aquatic competition with a twist, click here.
Michael Phelps Brings Water Education Program to 14 States
While we're on the subject of Michael Phelps, Ripples was pleased to read that the eight-time Gold Medal winner at the 2008 Beijing Olympics is taking his "im" swimming education program beyond his native Maryland.
From the Web site BaltimoreSun.com: "The Michael Phelps Foundation announced...that it is expanding its signature 'im' program through the Boys and Girls Club of America, making it available in 16 clubs across 14 states this summer.
"The program — which is named in recognition of one of Phelps' signature events, the individual medley — aims to teach children the basics about water safety, and encourage kids to use swimming as part of a healthy, active lifestyle."
Ex-Kansas City Chiefs Star Leonard Pope Saves Child, Promotes Water Safety
"Bravo!" also goes to Leonard Pope, former tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs.
According to chiefsblog.kansascity.com, "Pope was attending a youngster's pool party June 11 when 6-year-old Bryson Moore slipped into the deep end. His mother, Joann, called to other patrons for help, and Pope reacted, running through the house and jumping into the pool. Pope handed the youngster back to his mother, and after a smack between his shoulders to clear any water from his airways, young Bryson was fine."
Following the rescue, Pope decided to redirect some of the efforts of his C.H.A.M.P. Foundation, which works primarily with children, to the cause of water safety. Pope reportedly said that "his own mother emphasized water safety when he and his brother were children, and they were eventually given a medallion when they learned to swim."
Video: To watch a heartwarming news report about Leonard Pope — including his reunion with the young boy he rescued — click here.
French City Turns Magnificent Art Deco Pool Into Museum
Finally, one more item related to France. In 1985, the French city of Lille's stunning Art Deco swimming pool — which was constructed between 1927 and 1932 and was considered a masterpiece — was declared unsafe because the support underneath it had become weakened through the years.
Mon Dieu!...what to do?
According to the Web site neatorama.com, "Instead of abandoning the building, the city undertook an extensive renovation project, turning the facility into a museum called the La Piscine-Musée d'Art et d'Industrie André Diligent. The locals just call it La Piscine."
Oh, those tasteful French!
Photo: To view an image of the beautiful facility, click here.
Until next time...happy watershaping to you!