Saturday, October 31, 2009

Yankees @ Phillies, 2009 World Series Game 3 LiveBlog @ Michael Holloway's BaseballBlogs

From: Yankees @ Phillies, 2009 World Series Game 3 LiveBlog @ Michael Holloway's BaseballBlogs

"Here we are, 'virtually' in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia and actually in Toronto. This LiveBlog is a new idea to me; I write - as it's happening, in real time - my observations, analysis, opinions and if they're good - re quotes from the Fox Sports announcers.

When I complete an idea and there's a break in the action I record the time and push the 'Publish Post' button in Blogger which then updates Michael Holloway's BaseballBlogs in real time."

Happy to announce that during Game 3 a baseball fan, somewhere in the world, with out a way to watch or hear, followed along - which is the point of the thing!

Check out The 2009 World Series Game 3 and Game 2 LiveBlogs written as they happened @ Michael Holloway's BaseballBlogs.

Also, I'm planning to LiveBlog Game 4, November 1, 2009 at 8:00 EDT also at Michael Holloway's BaseballBlogs.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Swine Flu Inoculations Probably Useless

The best defence against the flu is plenty of rest, some chicken soup and plenty of fluids. Flu kills people every year, this year is no exception.

I don't get the yearly flu injection because I think the wide spread inoculation of the population is a bad idea, it leaves the culture in question open to a out-of-left-field virus. I do my part by being one of those who will get the odd flu and build an immunity to it, your welcome.

I know the new swine flu vaccine being circulated now is a Tami-flu type and is unlikely to be effective against the new round of H5N1, as it has mutated around the world in the interim.

In fact (and - this is entirely my take - I haven't seen anyone suggest this possibility) the inoculation of farm-workers with this Tami-flu type vaccine may introduce the morphed disease back into the swine population - resulting in the next round - being a truly pandemic version. I am of the opinion that the source of the swine flu is the inhuman conditions in which we raise livestock - in the current industrial farming model the flu jumps from swine to human farmer-worker and back to swine and so on until it morphs enough to jump from human to human. The key though, I reiterate is the in-human conditions animals are subjected to in factory farms.

Last years events that resulted in the WTO declaring a Pandemic, and the Bird flu hysteria a few years back, have taught me the experts don't know how to predict the coarse virus's will take over generations - there are too many variables. The impetus towards researching and distributing these vaccines isn't therefore good science - but rather the private profit and the funding of the process. Don't get me wrong I believe we need the infrastructure to create vaccines, and this may be one of the reasons we're going through the process - those in positions of power realize that a vaccine for a true pandemic will take months to produce and months more to produce widely enough to have effect - the result will be 1000's of deaths and injury. With out this hysteria the funding for the process's we're going to need Someday will fall idle and become necrotic.

Finally, President Obama is surrounded by advisors who are telling him scary things - but if I have gleaned these ideas surely he must be aware of these other perspectives as well - he therefore must be aware when he talks to his close advisors on health care he is looking into the eye-ball of the private medical colossus. He thus has to choose which fight to fight first.

The public consultation process which is leading to a health reform bill in in it's final phases, he knows this same attempt by the Clinton administration resulted in it's neutering (yes, my allusion is intentional). I expect President Obama has chosen to put this to one side; by calling this an emergency he on the one hand shows the benefit of a centralized health care system and on the other, satisfies the greedy beast with the subsequent cash flow in the near term. Win Win.

This from who's article entitled "Obama Administration Launches Deceptive Swine Flu Propaganda Blitz" is slightly hysterical - in the opposite direction to the spectacle media - but has some data to back up their assertions:

"The recent CBS Investigative Report, published on October 21, is one example. After the CDC refused to honor CBS’s Freedom of Information request to receive flu infection data for each individual state, the network performed independent outreach to all fifty states to get their statistics. Their report contradicts dramatically the CDC’s public relations blitz. For example, in California, among the approximate 13,000 flu-like cases, 86 percent tested negative for any flu strain. In Florida, out of 8,853 cases, 83 percent were negative. In Georgia and Alaska, only 2.4 percent and 1 percent respectively tested positive for flu virus among all reported flu-like cases. If the infectious-rate ratios obtained by CBS are accurate, the CDC’s figures are significantly reduced and agree with earlier predictions that the H1N1 virus will be simply an unwelcomed annoyance. So we are in the midst of an enormous medical hoax, a design and purpose that has yet to unfold completely, that will nevertheless reap huge revenues for the vaccine industrial complex."

Good sum up of the science, with out so much hysteria at

CBS News Investigates - October 21, 2009.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

2009 World Series Live Blog Game 2

Ball hit down the third base line by Raul Ibanez in the top of the second inning is called fair, the replay from the the left field corner camera shows the ball was one ball width foul. The extra left field umpire, was 15 feet away - he was in an excellent position to make the call - I think the sliding Johnny Damon blocked his view. The Ground rule double puts Ibanez at 2nd.

He scores on a base hit by the next batter Matt Stairs that should have been ruled an error that sneaks under the glove of A-Rod. A-Rod should have had his glove down and come up to the ball, because he did not, the ball fooled him on it's third bounce and slow rolled out to left field. Dameon doesn't have a good arm anymore but he tries to go home with the throw instead of to the cut-off man (A-Rod). The ball flies high over the cut-off man and off-line to catcher Posada; but Stairs stays put at first; he could have gotten to second easily, if he had been watching the throw, and knowing Dameon had a bad arm, and the speed of the hit ball he should have been rounding first, anticipating a opportunity.

... LIve Blog

Bottom of the 3rd inning Announcer says, "Isn't funny how speed slows a game Down?"

...Live Blog


Announcer says, "First walk for the Yankees in the World Series", Catcher Jose Molina (not Posada) draws a walk from Pedro. Derek Jeter strikes out looking as Pedro 'fast pitches' him, Jeter tries to swing at an off-speed pitch right down the middle, but Jeter can't get the bat around in time!

Live Blog...

Jose Molina throws behind Jason Worth at first in the Ibanez at bat, looked like the tag misses the base runner getting back but, I wasn't there, the umpire was - and nobody argues. Strike out, fly out ends the top of the forth.

Yankees First baseman Mark Teixeira homers to right centre. Tie game 1 - 1.

Live Blog...


Molina's expanding the strike zone by pulling his glove in just a touch on the out side to the right hand batter Carlos Ruiz, top of the 5th. Ruiz hits a double to left centre fence. Announcers all over Yankee pitcher A.J. Burnett's focus.

Live Blog...

Strike out, pop out to third ---> to the bottom of the 5th

Live Blog...


Pedro Martinez faces 8th, 9th and 1 hitter Jeter. 1 out, 2 outs, then Jeter hits a double off the wall in the left field corner. Pop out to first ends the inning.
A 1,2,3 inning except for the un-worldly Jeter. Is Jeter an Alien disguised as a baseball player?

Live Blog...

Announcers bring up an E-mail from the B.C. interior comments "Middle aged Canadians", refering to Matt Stairs 41 year old man. A middle aged country? Not really, but we're getting there it looks like.

Live Blog...

Molina's cheating the strike zone again...

A.J. 1,2,3.


Live Blog...

Bottom of the 6th, 1 - 1 tie, Pedro back out there...

With no hits yesterday and nothing so far today, is the resurrection of A-Rod over? Is it back to the post season dog house for Alex Rodriguez? What will Phillies manager Charlie Manuel do/not do, to ensure he stays there?

Godzilla hits a homie to right, Matsui golfs it off the plate about 8" off the ground - a really good pitch!

Live Blog...


A.J. shuts 'em down, preserves the lead. 1 - 2.

Pedro back out - bottom of the 7th, over 100 pitches now...

Jerry Hairston hits an un-hittable pitch high and away out of the strike zone - blop to right - for a single. With closer Rivera warming, Joe Girardi wants an insurance run, puts in Pinch runner Brett Gardner. Gardner going on the pitch! - another blopper to right moves the Gardner to 3rd.

Pedros GONE (maybe forever?) Chan Ho Park in.


Live Blog...

Posada in for Molina, base hit! Scores Gardner from third. Joe Girardi manages a run. Score: 1 - 3.

Jeter out on stikes 1 out runners 2nd and 1st. Charlie Manuel takes out Park brings in Scott Eyre to face the left handed hitting Johnny Damon.


Live Blog...

Damon hit the ball line drive to first, first replay shows clean catch, all the first baseman has to do is step on the first base bag to double off Posada, (perhaps he's thinking the Umps might call it wrong so he starts the double play by throwing to short stop Rollins, almost throws the ball away. Rollins hears its a caught ball and thinks he can tag Posada for the double play, but posada's on the bag; the only way to get the second out is to throw to first, touch the bag and appeal to the umpire. ??? Replay from the right side camera after the commercial break shows the ball skipped into the glove - so that's why he threw to second.

Should be 1 out bases loaded; instead: end of inning!!!

Live Blog...

Rivera in, and Rollins works a walk from the master, speed on first.

Base hit, runners at 2nd, 1st - no one out.

Announcers asking whether Rivera had time to warm with the funny way the last inning ended, Bad calls influence the game going forward in almost countless ways...

Live Blog...

Correction 1 out...


Double play ball! 4 - 6 - 3; but to me the runner at first was SAFE!!! Umpires trying to make-up for bad call?

Live Blog...

Mark Teixeira leads off and is hit in the knee. Announcer thinks it may have been a purpose pitch. Will this wake up A-Rod, up now?

Live Blog...

A-Rod strikes out 0 for 8 in World Series. 1 out.

Live Blog...

Ryan Madson pitching from the start of this, bottom of eight.

Matsui down on strikes, 2 outs. Gardner's first at-bat after pinch run, run scored.

Gardner strikes out swinging.

---> top of the ninth, Phillies have three outs to play with.

11:15 Live Blog...

Rivera back on the mound, of coarse...

Ryan Howard leads off. Stikes out looking. Replay shows the ball was high and outside - bad call on a third strike in the ninth.

Chase Utley, soft liner to Cano leaping like a dancer to his right.

Ibanez doubles to left centre. Matt Stairs up. Déjà Vu from the scoring play in the second? Nope. Goes down swinging.

Phillies 1 6 0
Yankees 3 8 0

Series tied 1 game a-piece.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

President Barack Obama Outlines His Vision at MIT

At MIT on Friday, October 23, 2009
President Barack Obama delivered an overarching talk on his administrations raison detre entitled, America's Leadership in Clean Energy.

Half way through he codifies his vision(@14:10)
"And that's why the world is now engaged in a peaceful competition to determine the technologies that will power the 21st century. ..nations everywhere are racing to develop new ways to produce and use energy. The nation that wins this competition will be the nation that leads the global economy - I'm convinced of that, and I want America to be that country - it's that simple."

- President Barack Obama

The Presidents vision not only points the direction he intends to lead America but also How - in an era of military industrial preeminence in a
perpetual war economy. With the investment of billions of dollars through the Recovery Act, the the aim of which is a re-newing the American economy through leading edge high efficiency technology across the breath of the economy. In doing so the President hopes to win over - or leave behind - opponents who have only fear to offer - while his vision offers solutions to militarism, global warming and the current crisis in the globalization of the economy.

As an example of this political progress he points to the Pentagon who have just declared that the military's dependence on fossil fuels is a strategic liability. This declaration is as important as the realization by the world powers in 1940 that access to oil would determine the victors of WW ll.

Mr. Obama must have been reading FilterBlogs as this has been the vision around here since 2007. FilterBlogs: Transportation Sector Should Follow Boeings 787 Lead

Rocky Mountain Institute, Winning The Oil End Game; Executive Summary.

Amory Lovins On winning the oil endgame at TED Feb. 2005 Ideas worth spreading.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sean M Carroll Re-writes The Big Bang Theory

(Sean M Carroll is a senior research associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology.)

When I began to research this article I had no idea the originator of the Big Bang Theory, Georges Lemaître was a Roman Catholic priest...

Cosmology is the science of telling the story of the history of the universe. Unlike regular story telling where facts and characters are created to fit a story arch intended to reveal a truth, cosmology takes all the known facts and characteristics we understand of the universe and attempts to write it's history, to reveal truths that we can build on.

Cosmological understanding is a foundation stone of the world we build, a 'house of science' that results in new technology that will make our lives better (hopefully). The cosmological story also helps us to define ourselves in the world we build. It gives us place in time, it puts our for-bearers in context and it lights the path ahead. Our understanding of the cosmological order has a great deal to do with our identity; past, present and future.

Without a scientifically based story opportunists, snake oil salesmen, and the fear-mongers of the ultra-conservative right begin to gain traction amongst young people the ill-informed and addle-minded. Intelligent Design is an example of this - it is essentially disguised racism and attempts to obfuscate Natural Selection which when understood, remains a progressive idea when applied to issues of equality.

(NOTE: A fundamental miss-understanding of Darwin persists in popular America thought; the phrase, 'survival of the fittest' is used out of context in discussions about class and economics - and misrepresents On the Origin of Species. That, for another article.)

The truths scientists reveal that describe the universe have always been a product of a symbiosis of fiction and science. The paths we choose to investigate are in part determined by the stories we write. H.G. Wells's science fiction of the 1800-1900's - itself a product of the leading edge science of his time - showed a path forward. Wells's book The First Men in the Moon (1901) inspired us such that when J.F. Kennedy proposed we go there in 1961 the idea resonated with people. Rather than being ridiculed it was embraced by the globe as a way forward to a future we had already collectively envisioned.

When the Big Bang Theory was proposed by Georges Lemaître in 1927 it fit the current scientific understanding and a theocratic mythos as well;

Wikipedia reports,
(my high-light)

In 1930, Eddington published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society a long commentary on Lemaître's 1927 article, in which he described the latter as a "brilliant solution" to the outstanding problems of cosmology.[5] The original paper was published in an abbreviated English translation in 1931, along with a sequel by Lemaître responding to Eddington's comments.[6] Lemaître was then invited to London in order to take part in a meeting of the British Association on the relation between the physical Universe and spirituality. There he proposed that the Universe expanded from an initial point, which he called the "Primeval Atom" and developed in a report published in Nature[7]. Lemaître himself also described his theory as "the Cosmic Egg exploding at the moment of the creation"; it became better known as the "Big Bang theory," the term having originally been a sarcastic remark of Fred Hoyle's.

Lemaître's 'Primeval Atom' or singularity, the starting point of the big bang theory - the time before which is not addressed by the theory - is not unlike the first lines of the bible, in Genesis:


First God made heaven and earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light"

And Poof!(bang) there was light.

When I began to research this article I had no idea the originator of the Big Bang Theory, Georges Lemaître was a Roman Catholic priest. I assumed the Christian creation myth was ubiquitous enough in western culture that the mythos had sneaked into cosmological thinking inadvertently. Nope, it was front and centre in Lemaître thinking - any theory that challenged the creation myth would have to allow for a meshing of the two ideas, a theocratic way out for Lemaître's higher ups.

The similarity between the two stories became apparent to me several months ago, but it was not until I listened to Sean Carroll's talk to the American Association of Science's 212th Meeting: Session 94: The Origin of The Universe and the Arrow of Time (courtesy Google Video) - where he broke down the Big Bang Theory as part of a reconsideration of the standard model - that I felt I could write on the idea. Sean Carroll leaves it alone, the similarities between the Big Bang Theory and the creation story in the bible are never mentioned in his talk, probably on purpose. Sean M Carroll turns the big bang inside out, upside down and backwards to show how flawed it is, but also to show a way forward. He asks, "What happened before the big bang?" Pointedly he tells the story of the big bang backwards to show how many question are left un-asked and, unanswered.

By dismissing the magical starting point and asking what happened before the poof!, Carroll takes us back in the history of science to Sadi Carnot who in 1824 laid out the properties of thermodynamics, the foundations of which began with an understanding of the Laws of Motion quantified by Sir Issac Newton in 1687!

Never mind brushing up on your understanding of Einstein's General Relativity or Edward Witten's "Matrix" or "Magical Mystery" String Theory with its eleven dimensions, we're headed back to Newton for a refresher coarse.

Sean Carroll's talk revolves around the idea of entropy; the central construct of the second and third law of thermodynamics. Scientists through experimental results in many disciplines of science have found that matter tries to find it's simplest, stable state. The degree to which matter is away from this ultimate stable state is described as it's degree of entropy. The highest state of entropy is a Singularity - for example the "Primeval Atom", the moment in time when all the matter in the universe became packed into a single infinitely dense ball with an infinite gravitational pull; the moment of the beginning of the universe according to the Big Bang Theory. A state where all elements have an infinite potential for change. The universe, now some 14 billion years later, is at a relatively lower state of entropy, with-in the Big Bang model.

Carroll points out that here on earth we have plenty of evidence that the functioning of entropy is not so simple. We see that the universe has a changing "potential for disorder" at certain places and time; like the birth of a star, the event horizon of a black hole or the extremely high state of entropy we observe in the earth's biosphere.

Carroll predicts that over the next ten years out of this reconsideration may come a Grand Unified Theory. I think this re-dux is long past due. Sean Carroll has challenged us with a new creation myth. Or as Northrop Frye postulates, a new 'Great Code'; a new way of telling stories.

( this is a re-write of a piece entitled: "Sean Carroll's Re-writing of The Great Code aka: The Big Bang Theory." mh)

Photo of Sean M Carroll World Science Festival.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Yankee Mystique Fools the Foolish in Game 4

"No, the strike zone isn't an excuse for tonight's lousy loss... . We're pretty sure they'd have lost anyway. But is there anything more frustrating than watching a game umpired by Tim McClellan? We think not."

Old picture of Tim and quote from Royals Corner Blog.

The Yankee mystique makes time stand still and memory go foggy. Some weird innings Tonight Game 4 in Los Angeles...

Third Base Umpire Tim McClellan missed a double play at third. Posada was caught in a run down between third and home after a bases loaded fielders choice, with Cano forcing to third. Cano didn't seem to want to take the base away from the infield captain, the veteran Yankee - respect - so he never touched the bag! As Posada was being forced back to third by Mike Napoli, the Yankee catcher acquiesced off the back of the bag for Cano to take it; Napoli saw the situation immediately. The Catcher straddled the bag like a third baseman, touched Cano, then Posada - one two. Tim McClellan - standing right there - missed it and called only Posada out. As the Yankee Veil began to draw across our collective memory - as it became apparent nobody was quite sure what had just happened - he failed to ask the home plate umpire for help - or the extra left-field-line umpire either.

AND probably because Tim McClellan is crew-chief neither umpire offered any help, to make sure they got it right, which is politically correct in Umpire World, but wrong in baseball.

Earlier in the inning on a play at second Swisher was thrown out by Napoli, but the umpire called it safe.

An inning before Swisher left the bag early on a sac fly and was called out by Tim McClellan, double play - run doesn't score - end of inning. The replay was too close to call.

Magic is one way to look at it.

Another is that Tim McClellan leads a really bad umpiring crew.

(update @ 11:46 10/20/09)
New York Yankees 10 - Los Angeles Angels 1. Yankees lead the series 3 - 1. C.C. Sabathia wins his second of this series on short rest.

The Angels beat themselves tonight - they need to regroup to play a game six.

(video update @ 3:06 PM 10/21/09)
Here's the video from ALCS game 4 (Evil-FOX-network video - which will be pulled down soon).

GONE! (9:56 PM 10/21/09) Coutesy of MLB Advanced (?) Media

Tim McClellan is Fooled by a smooth Cano move. Cano causualy places his foot on the bag after he's tagged, thinks he's called out and starts for the dugout, Mike Napoli hears he's safe so he tags him again because he's off the bag again!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

You Still Can't Get Topography on Google Maps - Almost.

New map added October 13, 2009 10:11 PM

Despite my fascination with the Google Street View of Toronto, it was time to go home; so I got on my bike and cycled from Dawes Rd. @ Taylor Creek to Leslieville, (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). At the one third mark all your work is done. After you reach the peak at Woodbine, it's downhill all the way.

(Click image for larger view)A route map I made with the Sport Distance Calculator grabbed with Screen Grab Pro Deluxe and edited with ACDSee photo editor.

I Scouted the route and used Google Maps (Regular) to learn what will be a regular path.

Here's a topographical picture of the ride from the Sport Distance Calculator Altitude application. Woodbine is at the 2.3 km point.

Also learned to gear up at danger points - so you can power out of breaking inertia's - and gear down just before you hit those speed bumps - then shift back to the gear you were in right away - seams to preserve energy.

Tucked in over the front end most of the way.

No stops @ 3:30 AM, EDT; Wind: nil; 17 minutes! Using the Sport Distance Calculator that's 24.67 km/hr. A very good average on a traffic grid.


Looking back, I wish Google had done night shots at Richmond St. and John...


Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm 14,060,927th, I'm 14,060,927th, I'm 14,060,927th! (Hey that's a pretty small candle.)

Today FilterBlogs is the 14,060,927th most popular site on the world wide web (that's an increase of 0.00001% since last week)!

This according to Alexa The Web Information Company


Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Canadian War Artist in Khandahar

(Originally published 10/1/09 12:34)

"The War is over. All that's left is withdraw troops; which is after all, the only way out of a war." *

Karen Bailey was asked by the medical corp. at Khandahar through the "Canadian Forces Artist Program" to come paint their phenomenal work. In an interview with Rita Celli on CBC's Ontario Today, Bailey paints a picture with words that tell me what kind of hell it is over there.

I paraphrase:

"..the first thing that struck me was that I expected to see Canadians being treated... ..but it was all Afghani, and children too"; and later, "It's a triage hospital... ".

Canadian Forces are not amused. Karen Bailey's depictions of civilian death helps to illustrate the reason for the Taliban's building momentum in the last year - civilian deaths. Afghans have no choice, they're caught in the middle and the Taliban are always near - as they are the sons fathers and brothers of the dead.

Tim Hortons III
Acrylic and silver leaf on canvas, 30 " x 30 ", 2009

"Blast Victims" in progress
Acrylic on canvas, 60" x 90", 2008-09

Images @

Bailey must have been in-country during the recent ISAF offensive. As is usual in war, the civilians are taking the brunt of it. This is ugly, by many accounts - including the British High Command, the Karsai government itself and General Stanley McChrystal, the top American General in the field - we have by now, or are on the brink of losing the hearts and minds of the Afghani.

From The Times Online September 21, 2009

"Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months)... risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible," writes General McChrystal.

For most Afghani this has become a war of National Liberation. The best strategy now is withdraw respectfully - leaving aid to no side; and be ready with aid and 'assistance' when a new Taliban inclusive coalition government re-appears.

The War is over. All that's left is withdraw troops; which is after all - the only way out of war (drawn from, "The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara").


FilterBlogs: Civilian Casualties Wiki Tries To Document Afghan War
You should go..

Wikipedia: Civilian casualties of the War in Afghanistan (2001–present)

"Ontario Today" with Rita Celli Thursday October 01, 2009 - War Artist Snubbed.
(CBC 30 Day Archive - until October 31, 2009. Runtime 8:33 - RealPlayer)