Tuesday, August 30, 2005

It's Downtown Baghdad!

This comment seems to be a little bit in poor tasts
[A] tourist from Philadelphia, stood outside and snapped pictures in amazement.

"It's[New Orleans] downtown Baghdad," the housewife said. "It's insane. I've wanted to come here for 10 years. I thought this was a sophisticated city. I guess not."
But I guess if a reporter asks for a comment you don't have to be a genius to figure out how to get in the paper...

Rumor Mongering

Mark Buerhle sort of implied that the Texas Rangers are using a light in center field to electronically steal signs. The Tribune article notes that
Texas, which has played itself out of the playoff picture because of the usual lack of pitching, is hitting .285 at Ameriquest Field, which ranks third in the AL, and a woeful .256 on the road, which ranks 11th. It is averaging 5.9 runs per game at home and only 4.8 on the road.
To put some perspective on that, there are only 14 teams in the American League, so going from ranked 3rd to 11th is quite dramatic. I looked at a lot of statistcs to see if I could improve on this circumstantial evidence. At this point in the season, Texas has played 65 games both at home and on the road. For Texas,
HR's at home: 125
HR's on road: 86
So we see a 1.45 ratio of HR's at home vs. the road. I thought perhaps that this could be accounted for by the Ameriquest Field (their home stadium). So I checked Texas pitchers to see if their was also this discrepency. To the contrary
HR's at home given up by Texas pitching: 66
HR's given up on the road: 70
For those of you who have read this far I probably don't have to contexualize this:
Dimensions: Left field: 334 ft.; left-center: 388 ft.; center field: 400 ft.; right-center deepest: 407 ft.; right-center: 381 ft.; right field: 325 ft.; backstop: 60 ft.; foul territory: small.

Fences: Left field: 14 ft.; center and right fields: 8 ft.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


The ostensible reason for adults giving minors alcohol goes something like this: the kids will be safer with adult supervision. Inserting a couple adults among dozens of intoxicated teenagers doesn't really seem safe to me. Recently, a teenager drowned at one of these safe parties, and here is a list of the charges against the safekeeper:
[The mother] and [20 year old son] were charged with unlawful delivery of liquor to a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a child, endangering the life of a child and gathering prohibited persons.
The maximum punishment is not much more than a slap on the wrist. Police Chief Will said
"This case has certainly been a sad commentary about the careless and negligent acts of adults," Willing said in a prepared statement. "Those that provide alcohol to minors need to be held accountable for their actions."

Friday, August 26, 2005

Protest at Walter Reed Hospital

I first came across this story from Ankle Biting Pundits (best blog name ever) Although word on the street is that Drudge first broke the stroy. It seems that Code Pink has held a weekly protest at Walter Reed Hospital. WRH is a military hospital that is treating wounded military personnel. The protesters carry signs such as
Support our Troops: Bring them Home
Maimed for Lies!
Enlist here and die for Halliburton
Stop the War
Here is an article in CNSNews that has a video report if you'd like to see it. The video is recommended, as it is pretty fair and not just a conservative video blogger trying to make Code Pink look bad.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

So True

The batboy for the Marlins was suspended for 6 games for accepting a dare from the opposing pitcher. Brad Penny of the LA Dogers offered the batboy $500 if he could drink a gallon of milk in under an hour and not throw up. (side note: this is next to impossible b/c milk expands in your stomach. In my farternity days I saw many attepts and no successes). Anyway, the boy couldn't complete the milk and failed the dare (it was not even a bet). He did not throw up. After hearing he had been suspended for 6 games Penny offered this
It's kind of ridiculous that you get a 10-game suspension for steroids and a six-game suspension for milk.
So true

Business in Front, Party in the Back

On Friday Sept. 2 the Chicago White Sox will be having a promotion. What's that? You want to know what's the promotion? The very first Mullet Night. I searched for a better link, but apparantly management is just as embarrassed as the announcers. (Have you heard Ed Farmer and John Rooney cringing when they read that ridiculous advetisement?) Before the game, there will be free mullets provided by great clips and an on field mullet march. The last thing I need is to get into photoblogging.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Spare some change to get me out of jail?

The dirty south just won't let up. ATL just made begging illegal. Apparently, it works like this:
Under the ordinance, beggars get a warning on the first offence and referred to social services on the second. They can do a short time in jail if they get three citations in one year.
The whole reason is to curb panhandling near tourist spots, but I feel it's more aimed at hiding a serious societal issue. With a disproportionate amount of the homeless having mental health issues, treating them as criminals is not a solution (not to mention the infringement upon civil liberties).

Also referring them to social services is a complete waste of time. The homeless are well aware of the various shelters around town. However, if you've ever spent time in a shelter, you'd know why most people avoid them.

In my experience, all (yes, I said ALL) panhandlers will leave you alone if you afford them some dignity and respect.

Your downtrodden citizens are not an inconvenience.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Party of Ideas

It is an old saying that in politics you can't beat somebody with nobody. A natural corrolary is you can't win a debate wothout ideas. Since Democrats have been woefully failing in their opposition role, there have been numerous competing agendas within the Republican party. In fact, it seems Newt Gingrich is spearheading an alternative conservative platform, as is evidenced in this interview.

In what was probably less than 15 minutes of interview time, Newt articulated substantive positions on the war in Iraq, Health Care, balanced budgets, immigration policy, religions role in society, gay marriage, the Terri Schivo fiasco, John Roberts, and how he orchestrated the GOP takeover in 1994. Wow, I must confess I never read anything he ever wrote or heard anything first hand before I saw this, but it s thoroughly impressive. His clarity of thought juxtaposed with specific proposals are a compelling read.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

No Comment

I recently had a conversation with a family member about the utility of blog comments. Personally, I can not recall very many comments that shed any more light on the discussion. The ones I do remember, I remember because the host blog promoted them to "post". The reason it came back to me was Forbes put together a "Best of the web" list of political blogs, and sidebar notables Powerline and Michelle Malkin (who is on vacation) were both criticized for not having comments. The Forbes report said in part
WORST[part of powerline]: No comments. Power Line could be as big as Daily Kos, but by not giving readers a voice, it gets about a tenth the traffic.
Is it a good thing that Daily Kos is the gold standard in blogging? Perhaps success is measured in more than "hits". It reminds me of a Chinese proverb:
Elephant tusks cannot grow out of a dog's mouth.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Crickey! That Croc's Gonna Explode

A recent Slashdot post mentions a new possible way to fight HIV: Crocodile blood. Aparantly, thousands of years of evolution in a swamp has generated a blue-ribbon immune system. Not only that, but it has the makings of a hollywood blockbuster. Consider this excerpt from the article
Britton said the crocodile immune system worked differently from the human system by directly attacking bacteria immediately an infection occurred in the body.

"The crocodile has an immune system which attaches to bacteria and tears it apart and it explodes. It's like putting a gun to the head of the bacteria and pulling the trigger," he said.
However, as with all medical science, there are issues
"We may be able to have antibiotics that you take orally, potentially also antibiotics that you could run topically on wounds, say diabetic ulcer wounds; burn patients often have their skin infected and things like that," said Merchant.

However, the crocodile's immune system may be too powerful for humans and may need to be synthesized for human consumption.

"There is a lot of work to be done. It may take years before we can get to the stage where we have something to market," said Britton.
Maybe we should test it first on a cloned human-crocodile. It is a great day to be a Crocodile Hunter.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Go Roger Go!

Everyone has their favourite film critic, and mine is Roger Ebert. A bit predictable yes, but honestly I love the passion he has for movies. Also, I find myself agreeing with him more often than not. His recent review of Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo was brilliant (do you think he liked it?). What's interesting is that Roger makes it personal and drops his "I won a Pulitzer Prize" (which he usually doesn't mention at all). The truth is that a review bashing a movie is always more entertaining than 5 paragraphs gushing about the new foreign language picture opening at the art-house cinema downtown. Here's a great collection of Ebert's best disses. My favourite:

"'Mad Dog Time' is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time."

Friday, August 12, 2005

Faces of Meth ©

From the main website
Faces of Meth™ is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. This project began when a deputy in the Corrections Division Classification Unit, Deputy Bret King, put together mug shots of persons booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center.
Basically, the idea is to put the mug shot from the first arrest next to the mug shot from the last arrest and see how damaging addiction to meth can be. For a website with the pictures + stories look here. For no stories and an easier page to just view the pictures look here. *shudder*

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Rick Morrissey Takes Offense

Ozzie Gullien seems to have ruffled Rick Morrissey's feathers a little bit. Here's what happened: after an interview, Oz ran into an old friend and greeted him in the following playful way
"Hey, everybody, this guy's a homosexual! He's a child molester!"
I completely understand how this would make someone who lived through the 90's uncomfortable. As a sports writer, RM has a sort of candor that you wouldn't see froma seasoned pundit.
[Oz] sometimes makes you squirm. Other times you shrug at Ozzie being Ozzie. During spring training, I heard him tell a Japanese man that he was a such-and-such "sumo wrestler." The man laughed. Does someone have to be offended for words to be offensive?
RM is about 10 years too late with this sentiment. I have my finger on the pulse of America, and this this is exactly the kind of hyper political correctness that everyone is getting sick of. Ironically, RM displays a remarkable lack of sensitivity towards Venezualian culture
Guillen says he comes at it from a Venezuelan perspective.
"My wife's nickname in Venezuela is Negra (Spanish for "black") because she's the darkest in the family," [Oz] said. "But here in the United States, the past is real strong [with slavery]. We don't have the past in Venezuela that you have in the States. I understand. But in my country, we treat people like human beings. It's something you have to learn in this country." ... In Ozzie's world, life is to be lived fully, people are to be embraced and jokes are to be made. Problem is, not everyone gets them.

Democratic Pre-primary

Carl Nyberg has posted over at Soap Blox Chicago a hypothetical poll of potential Democratic nominees. Go take 1 min. and vote. So far Wes Clark and Bill Richardson are clear favorites (although the sample is pretty small and probably midwest dominated). You can cast negative votes so it will be fun for everyone. I noticed that Al Gore + Hillary Clinton + Madeline Albright = 1.4

Monday, August 08, 2005

Phantom Comments

Did anyone notice the comment to my previous entry by "Anonymous"? If you didn't see it, the poster pretty much called me a 'pompous fart', which I have no issues with. However, what's weird is that the comment is now gone. I didn't delete it. I'll assume the other members of the Yin Yang gang are still hiking the Appalachian trail, so I'll rule them out. Did said commenter delete their own words? Did Blogger.com remove it?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Pasty Skin Bible Thumpers vs Chief Illiniwek

Although I am not fully satisfied with the NCAA's progressiveness towards the use of Native American symbols/logos/mascots, this is a good start. It's always funny when supporters of these schools try to justify these long out-dated mascots with words such as 'tradition' and 'honour'. Give me a break.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

OK, one more post

My plane leaves in 6 hours, but I had to pass this word on from the very excellent White Sox blog on the sideroll. Ed Farmer and John Rooney have been named the best radio broadcast team in America. Congratulations!

Chicago, it's like I never knew ya!

A couple of days ago, some friends and I packed up a minivan and drove north-east towards the Canadian border, and eventually onwards to my home-town of Toronto for a couple weeks of R&R. Chicago, have you noticed?

Maybe it wasn't as good for you as it was for me. But I swear, it's me not you! It's me that feels the need to move to the rival city of New York. I promise I'll represent you well. You introduced me to great cultural activities and your circle of friends always gave me pause to think. Your beautiful lakeshore is really second to none, and I wish all cities had such great infrastructure and public transport.

Don't worry, I will always love your hot-dogs and pizza. I will always love your corrupt-but-who-really-cares mayor. He loves you too. In fact, all of your citizens love you, and you love them back.

So Chicago, do you miss me as much as I miss you? Maybe it's now that I really understand/appreciate Carl Sandburg's famous ode to you.

You took me in about three years ago, and you made me a man.

It's me not you.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

It was bound to happen

The idea behind three team members was that we could pick each other up. Finally, Jupiter is in line with pluto and is in line with the newly discovered planet and on and on. The point is the will be no posts for roughly 8 days. Enter it into your cell phone, mark it on your calender, just do whatever it takes.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Liberal Racist Media

In an effort to reraise criticisms of the media, Scoop Jackson attributes the recent attitude shift on Cub's manager Dusty Baker to racism. His thesis is essentially this: The fraternity of all-white sports columnists are selectively spreading rumors to justify the Tribune Co.'s effort to put a whiter image on one of America's most beloved franchises. Now to be fair these are my words, but if you read his column I think you'll agree that it is not a mischaracterization.

A Little Early Week Sarcasm

After liberals bashed Judge Roberts's family for being too 50's, Tammy Bruce wrote this piece entitled "The Ugly Left". If you are the type of person who takes everything seriously than be advised it might make you mad.