Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tuesday’s Child is full of grace ... Happy Birthday, Alex!

by Carol and Pam

August 24, 1976 is a Tuesday. In Canberra, Australia a little bub is born and named Alexander.

Although he is not aware of it yet, Alex O’Loughlin has entered a bustling and evolving world.

Inflation continues to be a problem around the world. Concorde enters service and cuts transatlantic flying time to 3 1/2 hours. One year after Microsoft was formed, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak bring Apple into being. Nadia Comaneci scores the first ever perfect score in Gymnastics. In South Africa riots in Soweto mark the beginning of the end of apartheid. In music the first of the Punk Bands appear. The Damned release New Rose, classified as Punk Rock Music.

What do these birthday boys have in common?
Alex shares his birthday with:
  • Duke Kahanamoku  1890
  • Stephen Fry  1957
  • Marlee Matlin  1965
  • Dave Chappelle  1973
  • Kyle Schmid  1984
  • Rupert Grint  1988

In the United States on August 24, 1976:
  • Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler is on the cover of Rolling Stone
  • President Gerald R. Ford plays golf in Vail, Colorado.
  • The Mike Douglas Show has Keith Carradine as co-host; guests are actor Lee Marvin, Blood, Sweat & Tears, singer-actress Michelle Phillips and comedy puppet act Wayland Flowers and Madam.
  • Flip Wilson is the guest host on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson which features Franklin Ajaye and The Spinners.
  • Frank Sinatra performs at the Garden State Arts Center, Holmdel, New Jersey.
  • The radio is playing big hits Dancing Queen by ABBA and Magic Man by Heart

In Australia in 1976:
  • There are 13,548,449 people counted in the census. 13,548,450 after Alex is born.
  • The Monarch is Queen Elizabeth II; the Governor General is Sir John Kerr; and the Prime Minister is Malcolm Fraser.
  • Tom Burlinson (Man From Snowy River) graduates from NIDA.
  • The 1976 Logie winner of “Best Individual Performance By An Actor” is Chris Haywood, Essington, on ABC.
  • The 1976 Australian Film Institute Award for “Best Lead Actor In Television” is a tie: Simon Burke and Nick Tate in The Devil's Playground. 
  • The Number One best-selling album in Australia in August 1976 is Beautiful Noise by Neil Diamond.
  • Cigarette and Tobacco advertising are banned on TV and Radio.
  • The Great Barrier Reef is declared a marine park and Australia joins the global pro surf circuit with the establishment of Australian Surfing Professionals.
  • Australia defeats the West Indies 5-1 in the cricket test series.

At O'Laughing Press we raise our glasses for
an Aussie toast to Alex:  "Up your bum, mate." 

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Waves of Passion

    By Pam
    Alex O'Loughlin has found a new love. Surfing! Being born and raised in Australia, and now residing in Hawaii, the sport brings him to both roots. It's no wonder he has embraced it with such fervor.

    "Surfing is my great passion in Hawaii," he says. "I have a bunch of boards--all of which I ride badly."
    “I was actually deeply humbled by God yesterday when I went for a surf,” he says. "I learned how to surf when I got here [to Oahu for Hawaii Five 0],” says O’Loughlin. “It’s the most amazing scene here, almost life-changing."

    Surfing has been a cultural activity on the Hawaiian Islands since ancient times, and it represents far more to the natives than just an entertaining sport or leisure activity. Traditionally, surfing was used as a means of keeping powerful leaders in top form. Early Hawaiian surfing competitions were used to settle disputes between islanders. Constructing surfboards was also viewed as a sacred act. 

    Probably the most famous surfer in the world, Duke Kahanamoku, resurrected the sport of surfing in Hawaii and introduced it to the world. By 1911, he was breaking world records all along the Hawaiian beaches. In 1912 Duke qualified for the Olympics, where he brought home three gold medals, two silver medals, and a bronze. He was instrumental in the development of surfing in Australia. In December of 1914, Duke gave a surfing exhibition at Freshwater Beach in Sydney. The Australians embraced surfing right away, and they hail Kahanamoku as the father of Australian surfing to this day. 

    There is a progression in surfing. When a beginner surfer starts out, they usually ride in the whitewater until they get comfortable at paddling and performing the pop up and getting into their surf stance. Once the beginner surfer is comfortable with riding in the whitewater the next progression is moving outside and trying to ride the curl, or face of the wave.

    "So I'm surfing stuff that's as high as me and when a wave comes with a six foot face, I'm like oh my god okay okay. And everyone is like kook.*  I love it. I love it," O'Loughlin said.

    Surfing is one of the few sports that directly utilizes the power of nature; nothing mechanical — purely natural. 

     Surfer jewelry has similar characteristics to surfers themselves: natural, comfortable and beautiful. Since Alex might consider  himself a child of nature who spends most of his time outdoors, it appears he prefers jewelry made of natural, Eco-friendly materials.  It seems he has chosen the leather or cotton cord over the silver or gold bracelet. Like the tribal man on the hunt,  keen on every sound and movement of the wind, the surfer's senses are wide awake to the signs of the weather, which will or will not bring the next big wave. Surfer jewelry is rich with tribal and ancient symbolism – a link to a distant past, and yet, to a new and exciting future.

    And Alex's future looks very exciting.

    * A kook in surfing is someone posing very hard as a surfer