World Cup Soccer – The Women’s Turn

USA Women's National TeamThe Women’s National Soccer Team’s journey to capture one of the 24 spaces in the 2015 Soccer World Cup is underway.  For results, schedule, and other facts, check out my Weekly Brief – World Cup Soccer: The Women’s Turn.

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Open Letter to FIFA Ballon d’Or Contenders

Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach, Pittsford, NY Youth Clinic: Grass does grow in northern climates.

Women soccer players throughout the world have filed an application with the human rights tribunal in Ontario, Canada. Their request: provide the same pitch quality that men have had in every World Cup (and will have in 2018 and 2022) for the women’s most prestigious soccer event, the Women’s World Cup.

I have spent the day researching this issue and there is agreement on one item: turf creates a different game. The ball rolls faster, bounces differently.  The game is faster and requires a different degree of skill. This is not a problem for professional women soccer players. They can adjust their game to handle the speed and unpredictability of the ball.  For me the issue is equality and injury prevention.

Some research (see list below) indicates that there is no Continue reading

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Wkly Brief – World Cup Soccer: The Women’s Turn

The Women’s National Soccer Team’s journey to capture one of the 24 spaces in the 2015 Soccer World Cup is underway. The first phase of USA’s journey begins with the CONCACAF Women’s Championship where eight countries are vying for three definitive World Cup spots. A fourth country will have to duke it out with Ecuador for the remaining slot.

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Fear, Fraud and Fiction

In honor of my first guest post ever, Fear, Fraud and Fiction, published at the NH Writers’ Project website, I am taking today off.  I hope you will visit the NH Writers’ Project website and enjoy the post.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Wkly Brief – Mental Health Awareness

Recently, in reading an article pointing out a Data Visualization error 1, I came across a chart that compared the amount collected through social media’s Ice Bucket Challenge to the amounts collected for other “diseases that kill us”.

This chart stayed with me for two reasons:

First, it demonstrates how easy it is to produce a chart that completely misrepresents data.  For example, in my data table below, two out of three of the data points are equal each year.  In the chart I selected, although the length of each bar is correct, the volume makes it appear as though one data point is larger than the other.

Poor Chart

Based on Abraham Lincoln’s quote.

The second and more important reason the chart stayed with me, was because Suicide was included in the list of deadly diseases. Suicide prevention’s typical fundraising walk, was ranked at the very bottom for charitable donations.

Canvas of the MindsPerhaps the data and the charts do not represent fundraising activity as well as they should. Yet I know that when someone is depressed or battling a mental illness, there is very little support available, and even less understanding.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. Perhaps you know somebody who is recovering from an addiction, who has struggled with depression, or who is battling a mental illness.  Please, for their sake, consider making a donation to mental health research.


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1) The article that had the error in it, which has since been corrected was released at



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