Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Joshua Manocherian Sports Blog | Monmouth’s Sudden Demise

Joshua Manocherian: Monmouth and the Art of Not Dancing

Joshua Manocherian is a fan of teams with good bench mobs, and by “bench mob”, he’s referring to in-game celebrations. Last year’s Monmouth Hawks had everything – scorers, dunkers, signature wins, bench mobs – except an NCAA Tournament slot. And now, it seems they’re going to miss the Big Dance again.

This year was supposed to be Monmouth’s year. One season removed from an NCAA basketball season marked by highs and lows, Monmouth was pegged to finally break through the MAAC conference tournament and on to the NCAA Tournament with a 27-6 overall record.

Siena, who entered MAAC tournament play at 16-26 after starting the season with four wins and 11 losses, had other plans. The Saints were down by fifteen at the half, but rallied to take the lead with four minutes remaining. It was a monumental upset by Siena as Monmouth had beaten them twice in the regular season, but if the Saints make it all the way to the Big Dance, it won’t be their first time – they had a string of appearances from 2008 to 2010.

As for Monmouth, they might have to wait another year. Their last appearance was in 2006.

This is no doubt frustrating for the Hawks and their fans, who surprised the world in 2015-16 with their high-octane running game and colorful bench celebrations. They even made the highlights of ESPN SportsCenter on the strength of their celebrations alone, but on-court, were also making a strong case for an at-large bid.

The Hawks opened their season with wins at UCLA, Notre Dame, USC, Georgetown, and Rutgers, with Notre Dame ranked at #17 when they played. Normally, that type of performance would net a team an at-large NCAA Tournament bid. However, they went on to lose conference games to teams who were ranked much lower than them, lost to Iona in the MAAC championship game, and they didn’t get to hear their name called on Selection Sunday. Instead, they played in the NIT, losing to George Washington by 16 at home in the second round.

This season, the non-conference slate was significantly weaker than the previous season’s. Instead of playing against teams that traditionally had high RPI rankings, they played just two teams with top-50 RPIs: North Carolina and South Carolina. The former blew the Hawks off the Dean Dome, beating them by 28. The South Carolina game, however, was decided only in the final seconds. In hindsight, with the Gamecocks standing fourth in the competitive SEC, it was a good loss. But of course, a really good win is a lot better when it comes to computing for at-large slots.

The rest of Monmouth’s schedule doesn’t look good on paper, either. They only won against two teams in the top 100 of the RPI rankings: Princeton and Iona, and Memphis, which now plays in the American Athletic Conference, isn’t the same as the Derick Rose-led Memphis team that almost won the NCAA championship game against Kansas. Princeton leads the Ivy League and has a pretty good non-conference record. Iona, while third in the MAAC, is ranked 33rd among all Division I teams for scoring and has signature wins against WAC leader Nevada, MAC runner-up Ohio, and not much else.

If you were ticked off that Monmouth did not make it to the tournament last year, you might as well skip Selection Sunday and watch something else. And maybe wait for the NIT or CIT to come around and hope that the bench is still worth watching.

Keyword: Joshua Manocherian Joshua Manocherian Sports Blog | Tim Tebow’s Unusual Road to Major League Baseball

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Joshua Manocherian: Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Arizona Wildcats Preview

Preview: Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Arizona Wildcats

Emily Muhleman is a sports blogger based in Seattle. She writes mostly about the NFL, the Pac-12, and the West Coast Conference. When she’s not writing about sports, she likes long walks on the beach in Olympic National Park.

This Sunday’s matchup between the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Arizona Wildcats is expected to be an exciting affair. Gonzaga and Arizona are ranked #10 and #16 in the AP Poll, respectively, and each have exciting players that might just be NBA draft first-round picks next year.

The Zags are coming off six straight wins to start their season. Their last two games were against #21 Iowa State and Florida (who were unranked last week but now sit at #24), and winning a third straight game against a ranked, high-major opponent will only boost their confidence heading into the rivalry game against Washington. It will also help them make their case for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.

Arizona, on the other hand, had their own little run scuttled by the Butler Bulldogs. While the Wildcats are in the AP rankings right now, it isn’t exactly because of their strength of schedule. Their past four wins have come against Santa Clara, Northern Colorado, Sacred Heart, and Cal State Bakersfield. A win against a higher-ranked opponent, such as Gonzaga, could make a difference on Selection Sunday, especially with UCLA expected to run the table in the Pac-12.

While much has been said about both teams’ backcourts, the must-see matchup will be the one inside. Gonzaga’s Przemek Karnowski was projected to be a first-round pick this year, but opted to take another year of college eligibility after missing most of last season due to back injuries. This season, the seven-foot Pole is looking every bit the NBA player, averaging 11.5 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 block per game. Facing him is the Finnish phenom, Lauri Markkanen, who is already being compared to the New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis this early. Markkanen is averaging a team-high 18.2 points and 7.8 rebounds a game, and the contrast between Karnowski’s bruising inside game and Markkanen’s finesse will be intriguing to watch.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Joshua Manocherian: Markelle Fultz: NBA Star in the Making

Why Washington’s Markelle Fultz Might Be Next Year’s Number One Pick

Emily Muhleman writes about sports in the state of Washington. While she studied at Washington State, she keeps close tabs on the state’s other collegiate teams, including the Washington Huskies, the Seattle Redhawks, and the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
The Washington Huskies might be a middle-of-the-pack team right now, losing their season opener to Yale and dropping two straight games against TCU, but it isn’t keeping the crowds away from home games. The reason? A 6-5 freshman guard named Markelle Fultz.
A five-star recruit out of DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland, Fultz chose Washington over 21 other schools that included Xavier, Texas, Maryland, North Carolina, Connecticut, Georgetown, Arizona, Kansas, and Louisville. He averaged 19 points as a senior and was named MVP at the FIBA Americas U-18 Championship. What makes his story even more impressive is the fact that he started playing varsity ball only as a junior, being assigned to DeMatha’s junior varsity team as a sophomore. He joined the Huskies as part of the eighth-ranked 2016 recruiting class, which included three other ESPN 100 players.
Fultz started the season strong in Washington’s loss to the Yale Bulldogs, logging 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Prior to the November 30 game against TCU, he averaged 23 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game. These are all impressive numbers for any NCAA player; what makes them all the more impressive is that Fultz is a true freshman. Against TCU, he had a highlight play where he crossed over a defender before dunking over another with one hand on a fast break. This shows Fultz is not just a scorer – he can also be very entertaining.
Draft Express has ranked Fultz as the possible number one pick in next year’s NBA Draft on the strength of his performance so far. I wouldn’t bet against it even if Washington doesn’t get into the NCAA Tournament. After all, if Ben Simmons failed to lead LSU to the Big Dance and was still drafted first overall, Fultz could do it too.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Travel Photography Gear: What To Pack?

If you’re reading this, chances are, you’re a new travel photographer, planning to be one or you just booked your dream vacation and wanted to capture every moment of it. You won’t want to go out without these essential items. These aren’t really expensive but they are necessary for your travel photography.

Extra Batteries

Make sure to put these on your pack as soon as you get a hold of them. They’re very important but they’re easily forgotten. Your trip might take days and a fully charged battery won’t be enough.

Image source: staticflickr.com
Recharger

Most cameras today come with a rechargeable battery. Make sure to bring these so when you swap out your battery for a new one, they will go straight to the charging dock. Make sure to bring a power adapter as well if you’re traveling overseas.

Basic cleaning gear

Take a lens cloth to wipe dust off your lens and a cloth for wiping down the outside of your camera.

Filters

Bring your UV filters with you. They’re not only used to protect your lenses, they also cut flares.

Image source: squarespace.com
Memory cards

There is no such thing as too much space in storage. Capturing high resolution images will rack up data faster than you’ll expect. Especially when you’re on your dream vacation. A good practice is to get multiple memory cards instead of buying the one that has the largest storage capacity. It’s safer because you wouldn’t know if your card gets corrupted, lost, or stolen.

Joshua Manocherian here. Thanks for visiting my blog. If you want to get more of these, you can follow me on Twitter.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Joshua Manocherian on Creating a Solid Business Plan

Joshua Manocherian on Writing a Strong Business Plan

Joshua Manocherian is a retired professional photographer who now runs his own small restaurant in San Francisco, together with his wife. This post focuses on the importance of writing a good and solid business plan—and how time and effort are necessary sacrifices in the process.
You may have had a random idea about a business venture during your lunch hour, and not wanting to forget it, you wrote it down on a napkin. Or you may have had several discussions with your friends about starting a business and you're all quite excited about it. If you're serious about starting a business, however, you've got to put your ideas on paper—on an official, carefully written and well-researched document.
A detailed and well-written business plan can get you funding, get you the right suppliers, and pretty much provide you with a concrete compass as you navigate the world of entrepreneurship. The first three details will guide you towards the direction that you wish to take; these are identity, problem or need, and solution.
Identity
Your identity is who you are; how you wish your target audience to perceive you. For our restaurant, my wife and I decided to create an intimate space where good food and service are available. We also wanted our customers to see our restaurant as their friendly neighborhood diner where everyone is treated like a beloved member of our family.
A lot of ideas started flowing from there. Now that we know who we wanted to be, we were able to identify a need that we knew we could expertly address; my wife, after all, is an experienced chef!
Problem or need
Whatever type of business you'd like to get into, you must have something to offer to your consumers—a sound solution to a problem or need that's easily accessible. My wife and I saw that with a lot more consumers now being more conscious about what they eat, which means that there's a higher demand for organic food. There is also an increasing awareness about humane animal treatment. Both these premises gave us the inspiration for our restaurant.
Solution
Seeing that the market for farm-to-table specialty restaurants still had plenty of room for new players, this was the direction that we took. Add to this the fact that my wife isn't really a huge fan of processed and pre-packaged food, and what we had was someone with the experience and expertise in creating unique recipes using the freshest ingredients from local farmers and artisanal food producers.
In other words, to address the increasing demand for organic food, and the consumers' support for humane animal treatment, we went in the direction of an intimate farm-to-table restaurant that offers unique dishes and fresh takes on a few favorites at affordable prices.
So there you have it; the three key components of a business plan that will help you work on other details of your proposed business.
For questions regarding this post, please feel free to leave Joshua Manocherian a comment below. Rest assured he will get back to you promptly.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Joshua Manocherian Invites You to Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market

Joshua Manocherian on His Weekly Trips to Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market

When my wife and I came up with the idea of a farm-to-table restaurant, we knew we needed to build strong and mutually beneficial relationships with local farmers and artisans so we will never run out of a fresh supply of our ingredients. Hi, friends! This is Joshua Manocherian and I'd like to extend a personal invitation to all of you to come visit Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market to support our local farmers and grab the best and freshest produce you will ever find in San Francisco.
For the reader's information, the Ferry Plaza Famers' Market is one of the most popular and widely visited farmers market in the country, averaging about 40,000 visitors per week. This California-certified farmers market is an ongoing project of the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA). Launched in 1999, the goal was to bring the freshest farm products, as well as artisan food to consumers in order to spread awareness about sustainable agricultural practices.
Apart from bringing consumers the best and freshest local produce and artisan food products, the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market, through the initiatives of CUESA, also features cooking demos, especially market to table demos; cooking classes, and panel discussions.
What can you buy at the farmers market?
Practically every type of fresh produce from local farmers and artisans are available here; from fruits to herbs, meats, eggs, cheeses and breads, jams, and even flowers! If you're hungry, there is also a wide selection of freshly made street food available on Thursdays like wood-fired pizza, grilled meats and sandwiches, tacos; and on Saturdays, hot and delectable meals.
When my wife and I go, we always run into other local restaurateurs and chefs. And occasionally, we would also see famous chefs from all around the country doing their shopping here. Whether you're a chef or a foodie, you will definitely have an amazing experience at the farmers' market!
Schedule
Where: Ferry Building Marketplace (along the Embarcadero) When: Tuesdays and Thursdays,10 am to 2 pm
Saturdays, 8 am to 2 pm
Please take note that on weekday schedules, the smaller markets are located at the front of the building. On Saturdays, the markets are at the front of the building and at the back end.
Trips to the farmers market are my personal style of therapy. I find my weekly jaunts to Ferry Plaza relaxing and extremely enjoyable. There, I get to catch-up with suppliers-turned-friends, other restaurant owners, chefs, and practically everyone within my immediate circle.
On days when my wife couldn't go, my trips to the farmers market are instantly turned into my alone time—a luxury that I haven't been able to enjoy all that much since we opened our restaurant. But whether alone or with my wife, one thing's for sure: I never miss the weekly famers market in SF!
I encourage you to visit the official website of CUESA to learn more about their farmers markets, including upcoming events that you could be interested in. I also invite you to visit your local farmers market if you can't make it to this one in SF. It's the best way to support local farmers and artisans.
If you find yourself in San Francisco, feel free to look me up! This is Joshua Manocherian, and I hope to see you at the farmers' market!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Photography And Psychology: A Good Match?

Many of you don’t know this, but there is very good reason to believe that getting into photography can do wonders for you psychologically. It is therapeutic and calming. This fact makes photography all the more appealing. When you’re doing the thing you love, and you find out it’s great for your mind, that’s a wonderful feeling any way you put it.

Image source: tripadvisor.com
The specific observation was that studies showed how the mind reacts when information taken in from shooting pictures arrives.

The first fact you have to be aware of is that shooting images produces happiness. A number of recent studies have already showed how photography positively affects how people appreciate their everyday endeavors. When photographers are really into what they’re doing, they are living in the moment. The rush that comes with this stimulates brain activity and keeps the brain active and healthy.

Image source: iso.500px.com
Along with an alert mind, your brain will also gain more focus, and learn to be more creative. Focus comes with never breaking contact with subjects of their images, as well as their background. Creativity on the other hand, stems from the need for photographers to tell stories with the images they capture.

Hello, I’m Joshua Manocherian, a retired photographer. Check out this page for more on me and my passions.