Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bottom of the 33 inning the longest baseball game in history

Some people complain about the pace of baseball, calling a nine-inning game an eternity. These people obviously had never heard of the 33-inning game in 1981 between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings. This week, Bill interviews author Dan Barry about his book, Bottom of the 33rd.

Click on the listen link above to hear the interview.

Bill’s Thoughts on Bottom of the 33rd

At 8:00 PM on April 18th, 1981, two triple A teams, the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings, settled in to play a game of baseball. It was a cold, windy night, and it would get colder.

Eight hours and thirty two innings later, each team had scored two runs, and neither team appeared capable of scoring any more.

The game was mercifully suspended. The weary players and a handful of fans made their way home for Easter.

Two months later, the longest game in the history of organized baseball was completed. The 33rd inning took eighteen minutes.

Of this game and the players and others involved, Dan Barry has made Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game.

Barry isn’t kidding about the “redemption.” In the prologue, he writes:

Why did you keep playing? Why did you stay?

Because we are bound by duty. Because we aspire to greater
things. Because we are loyal. Because in, our own secular way
we are celebrating communion, and resurrection, and possibility.

That tone notwithstanding, Bottom of the 33rd also provides some pretty funny stories: Wade Boggs napping on the field with his head on third base, for example, and the “mischievous wind” that blows a sure homerun that would have ended the game in the 27th inning back into the glove of the disappointed Rochester centerfielder.

Some of the stories of what happened years later to the players involved in that game in Pawtucket are heartening: both guys who played third base that night, the aforementioned Boggs and Cal Ripken, Jr., made it to the Hall of Fame. On the other hand, Dave Koza, who finally won the game with a base hit, never made the jump to the Majors and struggled in his life after baseball.

Dan Barry’s account bravely aspires to be more than the story of an exceptionally long ballgame, and it succeeds. And of course the great thing about Bottom of the 33rd is that you can relive the adventure of that weird game in some warm, well-lighted place.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding of Prince William & Catherine Middleton

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Monday, April 25, 2011

The kennedy Lincoln coincidence essay...

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.

Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.

Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.

Both were shot in the head.

Lincoln's secretary, Kennedy, warned him not to go to the theatre.
Kennedy's secretary, Lincoln, warned him not to go to Dallas.

Both were assassinated by Southerners.

Both were succeeded by Southerners.

Both successors were named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald was born in 1939.

Both assassins were known by their three names.

Both names are comprised of fifteen letters

Booth ran from the theater and was caught in a warehouse.
Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater.

Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Real Housewives of Wall Street

Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs?
by Matt Taibbi
America has two national budgets, one official, one unofficial. The official budget is public record and hotly debated: Money comes in as taxes and goes out as jet fighters, DEA agents, wheat subsidies and Medicare, plus pensions and bennies for that great untamed socialist menace called a unionized public-sector workforce that Republicans are always complaining about. According to popular legend, we’re broke and in so much debt that 40 years from now our granddaughters will still be hooking on weekends to pay the medical bills of this year’s retirees from the IRS, the SEC and the Department of Energy.

Christy is the wife of John Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley. Susan is the widow of Peter Karches, a close friend of the Macks who served as president of Morgan Stanley’s investment-banking division. Neither woman appears to have any serious history in business, apart from a few philanthropic experiences. Yet the Federal Reserve handed them both low-interest loans of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars through a complicated bailout program that virtually guaranteed them millions in risk-free income.

The Real Housewives of Wall Street

The technical name of the program that Mack and Karches took advantage of is TALF, short for Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility. But the federal aid they received actually falls under a broader category of bailout initiatives, designed and perfected by Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, called “giving already stinking rich people gobs of money for no fucking reason at all.” If you want to learn how the shadow budget works, follow along. This is what welfare for the rich looks like.

Five Pakistani men freed of rape charges

By BNO News
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) -- Pakistan's Supreme Court on Thursday acquitted five men accused of participating in a 2002 gang rape in southern Muzafargarh district, Geo Television reported.
The Court upheld the verdict of the Lahore High Court (LHC) of exonerating the five men and sentencing another one, Abdul Khaliq, to life in prison. The Supreme Court suspended the initial 2005 verdict of LHC.

However, the three-member bench of the apex court maintained the LHC verdict in the case of the gang rape against Mukhtaran Mai, a 30-year-old resident of Meerwala village.
On June 22, 2002, Mai was gang raped in her village under orders of an influential local Mastoi tribe council. The victim said on Thursday that she will consult with her attorney the possibility of filing an appeal.
Initially, fourteen individuals were arrested and accused for their involvement in the gang rape. Eight of them were acquitted and the remaining six were sentenced to death penalty.
Afterwards, the Lahore High Court acquitted five of them and changed the death penalty to a sentence of life in prison. Mai filed petitions in the apex court against Khaliq and the other five people.
(Copyright 2011 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info:
Thursday, April 21st, 2011 at 12:35 pm | BNO NEWS |
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Toronto janitor shocked to find out about $16.6 million Lotto Max win

TORONTO - A Toronto janitor is cleaning up after learning his Lotto Max ticket bagged him a $16.6-million payout.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. says John Addo checked his ticket Saturday at a local store and found he had one of the three winning tickets in Friday's $50-million draw.

The Ghana native, who came to Canada 20 years ago, has been working seven days a week for an industrial cleaning company to make ends meet.

Addo said his friends teased him about his weekly ticket purchase, but he always believed he would win one day.

He plans to buy a home and visit his family in Ghana with his winnings, and also wants to invest some of the money.

Addo, who moved from Montreal to Toronto three years ago, said he couldn't stop crying when he found out that he had won.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pia scores record deal after shocking idol elimination

EXCLUSIVE: American Idol's Pia Toscano Scores a Record Deal!

Credit: Kaminski/Splash News

Saturday – April 09, 2011 – 10:55am

Comments (73) » 

Well that was fast!

Less than 24 hours after her shocking early American Idol exit, season 10 finalist Pia Toscano has scored a record deal, has exclusively confirmed.

PHOTOS: Idol's most shocking elliminations ever

The 22-year-old New Yorker -- booted from the Fox series Thursday -- will record her debut album under the Interscope Records imprint, which is chaired by Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine.

"Pia is being signed to a deal with Interscope Records who are rushing her into the studio to record an album ASAP," a source familiar with the contract talks tells Us. "Starting [Thursday] night after the show, Interscope told her they wanted her and first thing [Friday] morning Interscope brass started calling every top songwriter and producer in town to get an album together and rush release it."

VIDEO: Watch Pia's soaring rendition of "I'll Stand By You"

As for the contract, the insider says, "Papers are being finalized. It's basically a done deal. She's signing. They rushed everything but she's so excited."

Though Idol fans are still coming to terms with her dismissal, Toscano -- who will hit the road this summer for the Idols LIVE! concert tour -- is taking her bad news in stride.

PHOTOS: Idol stars' fashions critiqued

"You don't know for sure why things happen, but you know, it did!" she told reporters during a Friday conference call. "It was my time to go on the show and I'm excited to see what my future holds."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ignatieff misses 77% of the the job 77 % of the time


Reality check: The Ignatieff stand-up and be counted tour?

JANUARY 12, 2011
“He is standing up and willing to be counted” Martha Hall Findlay, Globe and Mail, January 10, 2011

Standing up to be counted? Sounds like a great theme for a tour of Liberal ridings! Let’s check the record:

Michael Ignatieff was absent for a shocking 77% of House of Commons votes in 2010. That’s 107 votes missed.

That compares to 44% for Stephen Harper, 12% for Gilles Duceppe and 7% for Jack Layton.

And on confidence votes? Michael Ignatieff missed 76% of those.

If Michael Ignatieff misses work 77% of the time, is he really interested in being Prime Minister?

Harper wins English debate

Analysis: who won the debate?
Canadian federal election leaders' debate

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, right, gestures to Prime Minister Stephen Harper as the debate during the English language federal election debate in Ottawa Ont., on Tuesday, April 12, 2011.
Photograph by: Adrian Wyld, CP Images
Dr. Royce Koop is a Post Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Studies at Queen's University. Royce is an expert in the structures and operations of political parties in Canada. His areas of expertise include how members of Parliament construct, maintain and benefit from the local party organizations in their constituencies.

Sandford Borins is Professor of Strategic Management in the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. He has been a visiting professor at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley, and Scholar-in-Residence in the Ontario Cabinet Office. Professor Borins is the author of eight books, numerous articles on public management and a blog on information technology, politics, and government.

How well did the four leaders present their points?

Dr. Royce Koop: Harper is very effective at getting his message across. He is very clear, disciplined, and it's tough to knock him off his game. Ignatieff is not communicating as well as I thought he would. He's clearly new to this debate format.

Were there any knockout blows?

Dr. Royce Koop: There have not been any knockout blows thus far and I don't expect there to be any. There have been a few opportunities for Ignatieff to land some real blows on Harper, but he hasn't taken the opportunity. He is new to this debate forum and I do not think that he recognizes these opportunities when they present themselves.

Who were the clear aggressors and/or defenders throughout the debate?

Dr. Royce Koop: As can be expected, the three opposition leaders are the aggressors and Harper is the defender. However, Duceppe has distinguished himself as an aggressor. His opening comment was a strong, sharp attack of Harper. However, Harper is effectively defending himself in this debate. His strength is being disciplined, and he's keeping his cool very well.

Who preformed best?

Dr. Royce Koop: Harper behaved like the PM-in-waiting. These debate formats actually favour the incumbent PM. Everyone is attacking them, and so they are able to rise above it all and act prime-ministerial. This is how Chretien survived the debates in 1997 and 2000, by riding above all the attacks, and Harper is doing so very effectively tonight.

What was your impression of the Harper-Ignatieff face-off? Who won that tete-a-tete?

Dr. Royce Koop: I think that Harper won that exchange, but it was a close call. Ignatieff has to be able to knock Harper off his game, and he hasn't been able to do so effectively. He came close at the conclusion of the first exchange between them, but Harper came out on top.

Did anything unusual or surprising jump out at you during the debate?

Dr. Royce Koop: I was surprised that Duceppe was as aggressive as he was. It was clear that he was injecting issues into the debate that he intends to pick up in tomorrow's French debate. But it's clear that he perceives the Tories as a threat in this election, and his conduct in this debate proves that.

© Copyright (c) CW Media Inc.

Canada has the 4th election in 7years blame coalition


Ex Prime Minister Harper must now call an election after he lost his job today. MP Harper must now see the Governor General on Saturday and Announce he lost and will call a new election on Saturday. Election is suspected to be in the next 60 days
It’s official — the government has fallen from power, clearing the way for a spring election.

The opposition Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois came together Friday afternoon in a historic vote to say they no longer have confidence in the Conservative government.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed reporters after the vote and said he would meet with the Governor General on Saturday “to inform him of the situation and to take the only course of action that remains,” referring to the dissolution of Parliament and an immediate election campaign.

Harper began his remarks by saying that while Canada’s economic recovery has been strong, the global economy is still fragile.

“The budget presented this week by the minister of finance, the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, is critically important,” Harper said.

“There’s nothing — nothing — in the budget that the opposition could not or should not have supported. Unfortunately Mr. Ignatieff and his coalition partners, the NDP and the Bloc, had already decided they wanted to force an election instead,” Harper said. “The fourth election in seven years. An election Canadians clearly don’t want.”

“Thus the vote today that disappoints me, will, I expect, disappoint Canadians,” Harper said.

He did not take questions.

Opposition leaders react

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Harper showed his contempt for democracy by not taking questions.

“We’ve seen an historic moment in our democracy … a prime minister condemned by the chamber for contempt,” Ignatieff said. “He’s lost the confidence of the House of Commons.”

“Over 36 days we’ll present an appeal to Canadians who don’t just want to restrain him but replace him,” Ignatieff said in reference to the campaign.

Ignatieff was repeatedly pressed by reporters to state “yes” or “no” to the question of whether he would seek to form a coalition government in the event of another Conservative minority, but he would only say he was focused on presenting a Liberal alternative to the Conservatives.

“If you vote for the NDP, if you vote for the Bloc, if you vote for the Greens, you will get more of this,” Ignatieff said, gesturing back to the House chamber. “More contempt for democracy, more neglect of the priorities of Canadian families.”

NDP Leader Jack Layton portrayed his party as the alternative to the Conservatives.


Canadian leaders debate is 330 million worth of bull crap- fire them all

By Reality Check Team on April 12, 2011 5:59 PM
Categories: Leaders' debate
Debate's on and we're off to our fact-checking pile of facts and figures.
First up tonight was Conservative Leader Stephen Harper answering a question about corporate taxes and how he would justify them.
Ready for the recession?
It quickly turned into an attack by Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe, who charged that the Conservatives were unprepared for the recession in 2008, when they introduced Jim Flaherty's fiscal update in November 2008.
That was the statment that led to the prorogation of Parliament and the attempt to form a coalition between the Liberals and NDP.
Harper said his government was in close consultation then with other G8 countries about the recession and how to respond with a stimulus package.
But at the time, Flaherty said: "We may have a technical recession when the next quarter is put with this quarter. It may be that both quarters will be slightly negative for Canada," Flaherty said. "At that point we will have had a technical recession." 
A few months earlier, he said the Conservative government will not go into deficit to cushion the economy from the slump in the U.S., the global credit crunch, or the strong dollar.
Canada and jobs
In his defence on handling the economy, Harper said the Canadian economy has created more than 480,000 new jobs - more than were lost during the recession.
That's true if you measure from trough to peak. But looking at the job situation over the longer term, Statistics Canada says there has been a net increase of 53,000 jobs between October 2008 and March 2011.
That's due to an increase of 64,000 part-time jobs but a decline of 11,000 full-time jobs since the recession began.
More on the economy

Obama gives in to ruthless GOP cuts against poor rich keep tax breaks

Inside The Budget Deal: Vulnerable Populations Targeted, But Family Planning Saved
First 12-04-2011 11:44 AM EDT | Updated: 12-04-2011 12:00 AM EDT

But not the budget items that are off limits during elections...both democrats and republicans avoid the big three where the most money is wasted...

WASHINGTON –- Congressional leaders unveiled their final budget deal early Tuesday, a $1.049 trillion spending plan that axes billions of dollars for some of the most vulnerable populations while preserving a handful of priorities for both parties.
The budget, which will keep the government funded through the end of September, includes an across-the-board cut of 0.25 percent to every domestic agency.
Key highlights include:
$600 million in cuts to community health centers.
$414 million in cuts to grants for state and local police departments.
A whopping $1.6 billion cut in the Environmental Protection Agency's budget, of which nearly $1 billion comes from grants for clean water and other projects by local governments and Indian tribes.
Cuts to homeland security programs for the first time ever, though much of the agency's two percent decrease stems from a $786 million cut in first responder grants to state and local governments.
A $7 million cut to the Bureau of Public Debt, which accounts for and provides reports on the debt.
A $1 billion cut to HIV and disease-prevention funds.
A $3 billion cut to agriculture programs, the biggest portion of which comes from the Women Infants and Children fund, which loses $504 million.
A $390 million cut to low-income heating assistance; Community Development Funds are cut by $942 million.
Contributions to the United Nations and other international institutions are cut by $377 million.
$45 million pulled from nuclear nonproliferation funds.
A $650 million cut to federal highway investments.
A rider tucked in by lawmakers from Western states that allows states to remove wolves from the endangered species list.
Democrats were able to preserve some of their education priorities, including keeping Pell Grant awards at $5,550 and giving a slight boost to funds for Head Start. They also prevented Republicans from slashing funds for the National Institutes of Health: The agency will absorb a $260 million cut, rather than the $1.6 billion cut sought by House Republicans.
Democrats also rescued family planning programs from elimination; instead, they will face a five percent cut. But the budget does restore the D.C. abortion ban, which prohibits the city from using federal or local funds for abortions, for five months.
Republicans can claim victory in defunding two programs under health care reform: the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan and Free Choice Voucher programs. They also succeeded in eliminating several of the Obama administration’s “czars” for healthcare, climate change, autos and urban affairs.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Glen beck gets fired for talking against fox politics on birther issue

The big story of the week is the end of Glen Beck’s show on Fox News. Has he been cancelled? Is this a reaction to claims Beck’s show was too divisive? Had the sponsors pulled out? Well Beck claims he is ‘transitioning” off the air. His boss, Darth Vader made flesh, Roger Ailes has offered a helping hand: “Half of the headlines say he’s been canceled, The other half say he quit. We’re pretty happy with both of them.”


For those unsure on Beck have a look at this video. It’s essentially as if Jeremy Clarkson lost the plot, hosted a News show and was watched by millions.

Trump challenges Obama to produce birth certificate...


Donald Trump is potentially going to run for the Republican Nomination for President. Yep. Donald Trump. Host of the American version of “The Apprentice.” That’s the equivalent of Alan Sugar going for Prime Minister.

I can see no reason why he wouldn’t be a great President. I mean he recently bankrupted his own casino company. A casino. His own casino. Only a very special person could do that.

He also gets on with the common man. Recently saying in an interview:

“You know the funny thing, I don’t get along with rich people. I get along with the middle class and the poor people better than I get along with the rich people,”

He probably makes these friendships with comments like: (From the same interview) “Part of the beauty of me is that I’m very rich.”

Word of advice Trumpy. Don’t call them poor to their face and don’t bang on about how rich you are. They tend not to like that, the poor. Apart from that I’m sure you get on great.

Extra Trump

One more thing on DT. Donald the Trump has been doing interviews all over lately. My personal favourite was this one which included the opening gambit of:

“I mean this is very serious, I always take things seriously but, I’ve never taken it seriously like this, this is a very serious time in my life.”

Sound serious.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Trump says Obama not born American

Trump trumped in 'birther' campaign

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The billionaire businessman Donald Trump, star of the US version of The Apprentice and aspiring Republican presidential candidate, may have put the brakes on his campaign before it even got off the ground.

Interviewed on the Fox television network on Monday, Mr Trump appeared to throw in his lot with the "birthers" who question whether President Barack Obama was even born in the US, and therefore his right to hold the White House. Producing what he claimed was his own birth certificate, Mr Trump boasted: "It took me one hour to get my birth certificate. It's inconceivable that, after four years of questioning, the President still hasn't produced his birth certificate. I'm just asking President Obama to show the public his birth certificate. Why's he making an issue out of this?"

However, the stunt produced more questions than answers after it was revealed that the document could not, in fact, have been the proof Mr Trump had hoped would legitimise his own claims on the presidency.

Officials in New York said that all genuine birth certificates are issued with the Department of Health's seal, as well as the signature of the city registrar. Much to Mr Trump's embarrassment, his document carried neither.

Mr Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961, before moving with his mother to Indonesia five years later.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Branson unveils amazing submarine

Leo- Tuesday, April 5, 2011

There is nothing to be gained by taking a pessimistic view of life at a time when the sky has so much to offer you. A successful outcome to a particularly difficult dilemma awaits you. Don’t take anything too seriously. The universe will soon deliver a run of positive news much to your joy. Proof is on the way.

Richard Branson unveils deep-sea submarine plans

REUTERSAPRIL 5, 2011 7:42 PM

Virgin Group head Sir Richard Branson sits on top of a solo piloted submarine during a photo opportunity at a news conference in Newport Beach, California April 5, 2011. Branson and explorer Chris Welch announced plans to launch the submarine to the deepest points of the world's five oceans.
Photograph by: Alex Gallardo, Reuters
LOS ANGELES - Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, known for such exploits as trying to balloon around the world, said Tuesday he planned to explore the deepest parts of the world's oceans with a jet-like submarine.

The 18-foot vessel is capable of descents of more than 36,000 feet below the surface, said Branson at a news conference in Newport Beach, California.

His project, called Virgin Oceanic, will undertake five dives over two years. The first is set for later this year, when the team plans to explore the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench at a depth near 36,000 feet.

Branson plans to pilot a second dive himself, into the Puerto Rico Trench in the Atlantic Ocean.

Other areas to be explored are the Molloy Deep in the Arctic Ocean, South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean and Diamantina in the Indian Ocean.

"There is just so much to explore, so much to discover," Branson told reporters. "We are going to obviously come across some fascinating creatures and learn some fascinating things that will hopefully be useful for mankind."

Branson said he expects the project to cost less than $10 million.

Branson said Virgin Oceanic could one day take passengers on deep sea dives, just as his Virgin Galactic project may one day take wealthy passengers on suborbital spaceflights.

Branson launched the Virgin chain of record stores in the 1970s, and his business holdings have grown to include a music recording label and Virgin Atlantic Airlines.

He has used his fortune to fund such efforts as trying to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon and set sailing records.

Last month, a suborbital spaceship owned by Branson's Virgin Galactic was attached to a carrier aircraft on a three-hour flight over California's Mojave Desert.

Its test flights are scheduled through 2011 with commercial operations targeted for 2012.

The company has collected deposits and fares from more than 330 aspiring amateur astronauts, who will each be charged $200,000 to experience suborbital spaceflight.

© Copyright (c) Reuters

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