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Off the News

For Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Grunt your way to victory on court

For years, top tennis players have sounded off on the practice of grunting during matches, with critics calling it a form of cheating.

Now, a Canadian study co-authored by University of Hawaii-Manoa assistant psychology professor Scott Sinnett suggests that when Maria Sharapova lets loose a 100-decibel shriek while slamming a 100-mph serve it really does give her an unfair advantage by distracting opponents just enough to slow their reaction time.

Under current International Tennis Federation rules, a player can be awarded a point if an opponent's grunting is deemed a hindrance. But it's a judgment call, and the ITF is considering tougher enforcement.

Tennis' anti-noise faction no doubt is hoping that Sinnett's study hastens the day when the chair umpire simply says, "Shut up and play."

Kamehameha, Burns: They're no Dan Inouye

It may be time to defend the big statue in front of the old courthouse on King Street.

Reports Washington Post reporter Jason Horowitz yesterday about Sen. Daniel Inouye, with a Honolulu dateline: "More than any other statesman in the history of these volcanic islands -- more than Kamehameha the Great, who united them into a kingdom in 1810, or Gov. John Burns, who led the political revolution that established Democratic Party rule here in 1954, Inouye, 86, has ruled over Hawaii."

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