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How To Ride A Hoverboard

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The first time that I saw a hoverboard was three years ago at my friend’s house. I was surprised to find that a hoverboard does not actually hover. It is a two-wheeled self-balancing scooter. Still, “hoverboard” is something that rolls off the tongue. I had a hard time getting on the hoverboard in the beginning because it requires a lot of core strength to maintain the balance. Thankfully, I had a friend able to show me how to ride it. I have to admit that it looks much easier to ride it than it really is. However, it ends up being a lot of fun.

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FLYING-ANT Hoverboard is UL-certified and has Bluetooth built-in. It also has a built-in speaker as well. In other words, you may listen to music by connecting your phone to the hoverboard while you ride it. You do not have to wear a headphone or bring an extra speaker if you are a music lover. The sound effect is unbelievable and extraordinary. The hoverboard has a stylish design because the wheels, front and rear of it are installed with LED accent lighting. You will feel like you are the coolest guy in the world when the lights are turned on. They provide additional lighting at night. Since lots of reports indicated some kids got injured because hoverboards caught fire, UL Standard Technical Panel (STP) of UL 2272 was approved and published in 2016. UL 2272 evaluates the safety of hoverboard’s electrical drive train system and battery and charger system. FLYING-ANT Hoverboard passed all the electrical and fire-safety testing, so you do not have to worry about it catching fire like others on the market.

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It only takes a few minutes to learn how to ride the hoverboard. The first thing is to press the power switch ON to start the scooter up. The next thing is to trigger the foot-switch by placing one foot on the non-slip footpad. After the automatic balancing system has been turned on, place your second foot on another footpad. Remember to stand straight all the time. You can balance the hoverboard to your center of gravity once you stand on it successfully and safely. To move forward, you may simply tilt your body forward. If you want to move backward or stop, you can tilt your body backward. To turn left, you should tilt left foot forward. But remember to keep your right foot leveled. The right turn works the opposite way. When you get tired of riding it and want to get off of it, you have to stop moving first and place the right foot on the floor and then left foot.

Even though FLYING-ANT Hoverboard is a perfect gift for holidays, there are few reminders. Kids under 8 years old should not ride the hoverboard alone without parental supervision. It is better not to ride it outside when it rains. Beginners and kids should wear a well-fitted helmet and wrist guards with padding to avoid getting injured. No one should wear flip-flop to ride the scooter. Moreover, you can’t use other battery chargers to charge this hoverboard.

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Sports

Should I Subscribe To MLB.TV?

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Baseball (MLB.TV)

For a few glorious hours last night, baseball was back. The New York Yankees faced off against the Washington Nationals in what felt like a throwback to a bygone era. In preparation for the game, I tried to bring to mind the last time I had sat in front of my television with America’s pastime on the screen. That would have been a World Series game, also featuring the Washington Nationals, but at over 250 days ago, it might as well have been a different lifetime. Who was I in November 2019? Who were any of us, pre-2020, pre-coronavirus, pre-quarantine, pre-fraying of our country’s social fabric? The champion Nationals were certainly different, with a roster that boasted the likes of Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman and Juan Soto, all absent from Opening Day.

The optimism that came from actually starting a baseball season did not last long, overshadowed by Soto’s positive COVID test and an hour-long rain delay that eventually led to the game being called after 5 innings. Another baseball game was played later that night on the West Coast, showing the San Francisco Giants versus the L.A. Dodgers and newly-minted gajillionaire Mookie Betts, but by 10 p.m. ET the images on the screen were so ominous with downpour and bursts of lightning as to cast a pall upon the upcoming 60-day season.

This is all to ask: With Game 1 in the books, how likely is it that we see this “season,” even in its truncated form, to completion? Or put in a more practical way in line with the mission statement of this website: Is it worth subscribing to MLB.TV this year?

I’ve subscribed to MLB.TV as long as I’ve earned a salary. Every February, the $120 charge on my credit card comes as a somewhat welcome surprise, a reminder that baseball is coming. Except for this year. As the calendar whooshed past what was supposed to be Opening Day, through April and May and June, that $120 charge came to symbolize a payment for a service that was never delivered. I kept expecting Major League Baseball to refund me, or at least send me an email about their cancellation policy, but they never did, nor was there any information on the topic on their website. Eventually I called, complaining about what was essentially an interest-free loan, and the fee was returned in full.

Now, MLB.TV wants longtime subscribers back. They’ve decided to price this season at $60, which, as noted by Yahoo! Sports, is actually more expensive per game. Those who bought the package in February and March were given a $76 credit, lowering their cost to just over $45. The MLB is also making this reduced price available for consumers like me who canceled in the summer.

Should I do it? Though the prospect of watching unlimited baseball after four months starved for sports is undeniably appealing, I just can’t shake the feeling that the promise of the 2020 season is nothing but a mirage. In all likelihood, baseball (as well as basketball and hockey, set to return in the next week or so) will be put on hold again after a soft opening. It will follow the well-worn path of offices, restaurants and amusement parks, all ready to reopen with social distance precautions in place, only to be shuttered again by authorities anxious to maintain the illusion of control.

My advice is this: Enjoy baseball while you can. If you have the money to spend, go ahead and treat yourself to as much of the sport that is made available for consumption. Just don’t be surprised when the angry gods of 2020 strike again, taking away one more thing for us to love.

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Books

‘K: A History in Ten Pitches’ Review: Make This Your Fathers’ Day Or Graduation Present

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K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches” is the best baseball book I’ve read this year. Okay, the competition isn’t steep, but Tyler Kepner’s book is aided by the fact he did not have to grovel to any front office types to get it written. (If any groveling was done, it was to very old, very illustrious baseball men whose snarky memories make the whole thing worth it).

Here’s a question for you, dear reader (the same one I asked myself before acquiring a copy of this book): Can you even name 10 pitches? Here was my effort: 4-seam fastball, 2-seam fastball, curveball, cutter, slider, knuckleball, knuckle-curve, circle-change, splitter, sinker…

Eight out of 10 ain’t bad. The 10 pitches whose histories’ are detailed in Kepner’s book are the 10 above, minus the circle-change and knuckle-curve (surprising! given the amount of space devoted to recently enshrined Mike Mussina) plus the screwball and spitball, two pitches that for all intents and purpose no longer exist in the modern Major Leagues. (By that measure, I consider myself 8 for 8).

Baseball books come out in spades every spring, and while they all have their merits, I was surprised at how illuminating I found “K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches” to be. Throughout, Tyler Kepner tells way more than 10 compelling stories, providing a solid mixture of hard facts and baseball lore. This book has something for fans of all ages — from the curious young fan wondering just what is the difference between a slider and a cutter, to the crustiest old-timer who remembers Tommy John from his Hall of Fame-worthy career rather than the eponymous and now ubiquitous arm surgery.

I don’t care if you’ve been watching America’s pastime since before they banned the spitball; no matter how much baseball you know going into “K,” you are guaranteed to learn something. Need a gift idea for Father’s Day or a graduation party? You could do a lot worse.

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Sports

This Putting Green Is The Best Way To Improve Your Golf Game For Under $40

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All golfers, no matter how green they may be at the sport, know the importance of the short game. I don’t care if you can drive the ball 300 yards; if you 3-putt every hole, you aren’t going to win many rounds.  

The good news is that if your putting is a problem, it is a relatively easy fix. Or at least an inexpensive one. Whereas a long game deficiency requires repeated trips to the driving range, you can work on your short game from the comfort of your home or office. About a year ago, I invested in a putting green for my apartment. It only cost me $40. Now, whenever I have a free second or am otherwise sedentary watching the TV, I get up and putt a bit.

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This effort has had a huge impact on my game, and I’ve already shaved off 5 or 6 strokes. The great part was that I was able to continue practicing all throughout the winter and never lose any of the gains I made over the course of the golf season. I am hoping that by the end of the summer, sinking 7-foot putts will be my competitive advantage.

I’m trying to think of another way a simple $40 expenditure could have such a significant impact on one’s golf score. I think this is hands-down the best investment any amateur golfer can make. The putting green comes with three holes and a small ridge right before them, so if there is any downside here it is the lack of diversity of putts you can workshop. That is a small price to pay for the literal small price you pay, however.

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