February 23, 2013 - Curling Is Cool Day

I bet you're wondering “Curling what is cool?"

Curling hair can be a pretty warm activity, if you use an electric curling iron.

Curling ribbon is temperature-neutral but not “cool” enough in the hip/fashionable sense to earn it a holiday.

Curling strips of paper to be used in quilling is pretty cool...is that what today is all about?

No, today is about the sport of curling.

Curling combines the chilly fun of ice skating with the techniques of bowling and shuffleboard and also the household skill of sweeping the floor! 

 There is a lot of strategy to the game, so some call it “Chess on Ice.”

Curling was invented in medieval Scotland. It has been an Olympic Sport since 1998.

Stones, Brooms, and Teflon Shoes

Curling is played on an ice rink that has been sprayed with water droplets that freeze into a surface called pebbled ice. Curlers slide the curling stones, which are literally granite stones fitted with colored handles, over this pebbled surface. Any rotation a curler gives to the stone causes the stone to travel in a curved path—in other words, the stone curls inward or outward. The stone's path may also be influenced by the sweepers who use their brooms to slightly melt the ice in front of the stone.

Curling shoes have different soles. One shoe is a slider shoe, and it is typically made of Teflon. The other shoes is called the hack foot shoe. It is more like a regular athletic shoes, made for maximum traction. By the way, there are rubber hacks on the ice to help players push off as they start their bowling-like delivery of the stone.

The goal of curling is to accumulate the maximum score, determined by the stone's distance to the center of a target. Stones must at least touch the outer rim of the target to score any points.

Sliding the stones to the target is only part of the goal, however—because the other team is also taking its turns in sliding their different-colored stones. Each team can put two stones into positions that “guard the house” (the house being the target)—and these stones are not allowed to be touched. After the guard stones are in place, however, the two teams often deliberately aim their stones to hit the other team's non-guard stones out of play. The trick is to (1) avoid your opponent's guard stones, (2) hit your opponent's scoring stones out, and (3) still leave your own stones in a good scoring position.

Check out curling in this short video

Here, NHL (pro-hockey) players try curling. 

By the way...

I guess I would have to admit that curling really is cool! All that ice, you know....

Also on this date:

Anniversary of the writing of the song “This Land Is Your Land”

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