Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Blogball Tribute

With Memorial day coming up we sometimes (Including myself) look at this day as just another three day weekend.
I thought this poem was a good reminder of what it’s all about.

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1915.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Here is some information on Flanders Field I found interesting:

Inspiration for the PoemOn 2 May, 1915, in the second week of fighting during the Second Battle of Ypres Lieutenant Alexis Helmer was killed by a German artillery shell. He was a friend of the Canadian military doctor Major John McCrae. It is believed that John began the draft for his famous poem 'In Flanders Fields' that evening.

Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial lies on the southeast edge of the town of Waregem, Belgium. At this peaceful location rest 368 American military Dead, most of whom gave their lives in liberating Belgium in World War I.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Blogball Current Event

When listening to and reading about the recent news events involving Newsweek and the Koran desecration in Afghanistan, Rumsfeld was quoted saying “I think it was Mark Twain who said Something that's not true can speed around the world three or four times in a matter of seconds … while truth is still trying to put their boots on”.
I have had other people qualify a quote by starting off with: “I think it was Mark Twain who said… and then kind of had a feeling that Mark Twain didn’t say it but it is a good name to use so the quote they are about to say would have more validity. Anyway I couldn’t find that quote anywhere. I even went to this great website called and did a search. “Nothing” I know this does not compare to sloppy reporting plus he did say “I think” so he would be off the hook if MT really didn’t say this. I just thought it was ironic that it was said while talking about inaccurate reporting.

If anyone can find that quote please let me know. Maybe he really did say it.
If MT didn’t say it I am surprised the political machine hasn’t picked up on it.

I think it was Mark Twain who said… “If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything” Yes, he really did say that. I checked my sources.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Tall Buildings But Were Afraid To Ask

When I was a kid I always kept track of the tall buildings going up in the world and was always a little worried that another country was going to build one taller than us. (I guess I didn't have too much to worry about back then)

With all the talk about this new building going up in New York called the Freedom Tower, (Planned for a symbolic 1776 Ft tall) I was curious to see where the tallest buildings are now. I was surprised to see that the Empire State building now ranks 9th. I was also surprised to see that the Sears tower now ranks 4th. I guess I haven’t been keeping up with my buildings. Apparently there were two buildings (kind of like the twin towers) built in 1998 in Malaysia called the Petronas Towers. The Petonas are 33 Ft taller than the Sears Tower, which measures 1,450 Ft. Then in 2004 an even taller building was built in Taiwan called the Taipei 101.That building measures 1,670 Ft.

There is an official council that measures all the buildings in the world called the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
These guys take their buildings very seriously.

Here's the deal on how they measure buildings and how they rank them.
(This kind of reads like what team is getting into the NFL playoffs).

The height of a building is measured from the sidewalk level of the main entrance to the structural top of the building. This includes spires, but does not include television antennas, radio antennas, or flag poles. Height is listed in both meters and feet and is rounded to the nearest integer.

Ranking is determined by height to the structural top of the building. If there is a tie, the building with the larger number of stories is ranked higher. If a tie still remains, the building which was completed first is ranked higher. If a tie would still remain, the buildings would be ranked alphabetically.

Anyway it will be good to have the tallest building in the world back in the good ole USA. "One less thing to worry about".

Friday, May 13, 2005

Blogball’s Born On This Day In History

Joseph Louis Barrow Born May 13 1914, better known in the boxing world as Joe Louis and nicknamed The Brown Bomber

Every time I read something or watch a special on Joe Louis I am always more impressed with Joe Louis’s character and class than his impressive boxing record. (Total Bouts: 71 Won: 68 Lost: 3 Drew: 0 KOs: 54) I guess he was best known for his 2 fights against Max Schmeling. During the Nazi up rise. He also served in the Army during WW2. As I was looking through more information on Joe Louis I saw this quote by a reporter named Jimmy Cannon he said, "Louis was a credit to his race ... the human race."

Here’s more on Joe Louis:
Boxer, born in Lafayette, Alabama, USA. His reign as heavyweight champion of 11 years and eight months is the longest in boxing history (1937–49). He turned professional in 1934 and won the heavyweight title in 1937 with a knockout of James J Braddock in the eighth round. He defended his title 25 times, a record for any weight division, and posted a career record of 68 wins, three losses, with 54 knockouts. He retired in 1949, but made a comeback in 1950. He lost the world title fight to Ezzard Charles (1921–75), and had his last fight against Rocky Marciano in 1951. Nicknamed, ‘The Brown Bomber’ he was a devastating puncher with either hand. His grace and seeming invincibility inspired African-Americans and won him fans throughout the world.

Here are some highlights from his memorable fights:

In one of his most memorable bouts, Louis took on light heavyweight champion Billy Conn on June 18, 1941 at the Polo Grounds in New York. Conn, a masterful boxer, was ahead on the scorecards after 12 rounds. But miraculously, Louis scored a 13th-round knockout to save his title. After the war, during which Conn served in the Navy, they met again and Louis scored an eighth-round knockout.
In 1947, Louis was dropped twice by Jersey Joe Walcott but managed to hang onto the title by a controversial split decision. The end was nearing for the great champion and shortly after he knocked Walcott out in a rematch, he announced his retirement.
In 1950, at the age of 36, Louis returned to the ring to challenge heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles but lost a 15-round decision. He fought nine more times over the next year, beating the likes of Lee Savold and Jimmy Bivins but announced his permanent retirement when Rocky Marciano knocked him out on October 26, 1951.

I thought this was interesting too:

A few years after his retirement, a movie about his life, The Joe Louis Story, was filmed in Hollywood. Louis remained a popular celebrity until his twilight years, when he began suffering various illnesses (Pugilistic Parkinson's syndrome) and ran out of money. In his later years, he got a job welcoming tourists to the Caesar's Palace hotel in Las Vegas, where many world boxing champions and legends from other walks of life, including old rival Max Schmeling, would visit him. In fact, they became close personal friends over the years, and the compassionate Schmeling would often send him money. They remained friends until his death, when Schmeling paid for the funeral and was one of the pallbearers.

Joe Louis died of a heart attack in 1981. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I haven’t seen your child but he feels fine to me.

I know I might be breaking the No Agenda Zone rules but
I think Political correctness might have gone a little too far here

This is a true story out of Colorado.

DENVER — A judge has cleared the way for a blind couple to open a day-care center in Colorado, saying the state's refusal to issue them a license violated the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Christine Hutchinson said she and her husband, Thomas, will move ahead with plans to open a facility, although they are worried they will be hounded by inspectors looking for problems.
If they stopped now, she said, "We felt it would be an injustice to the kids we fought so hard to care for."
Administrative-law Judge Matthew Norwood last week overturned a state decision denying the Hutchinsons a day-care license.
They would apparently be the first blind couple to operate a day care in Colorado, one of only a few states where courts have allowed blind people to run day cares, the couple's attorney, Scott LaBarre, said yesterday.
"It's yet another victory in a long string of victories for blind and disabled people, demonstrating to the public as well as our government that you can't discriminate solely on the basis of blindness," said LaBarre, who is also blind.
Liz McDonough, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services, said the state has not decided whether to appeal.
The couple, who live in Grand Junction, worked at Thomas Hutchinson's sisters' day-care center until it closed down two years ago, then applied for a license to operate their own.
Both hold bachelor's degrees in child and family studies and have taken first-aid courses. Before applying for a license, they also bought safety devices to help them run a day care. Thomas Hutchinson has been blind from birth; Christine Hutchinson can perceive light.
Human Services denied them a license last year after Christine Hutchinson's doctor suggested her blindness could "adversely affect" children.
In his ruling, Norwood said the state could not deny the license based only on the couple's blindness, especially when the Hutchinsons have shown competence in caring for children.
He said the license would include restrictions the Hutchinsons would impose on themselves, including no children under 3, no more than four children at a time and no overnight stays

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Blogball’s This Day In History

May 11, 1997 Deep Blue beats Kasparov

I thought this was interesting.
This made me think that I hardly ever hear about big chess matches anymore. Back in the early 70s everybody was getting into chess because of those great matches between Fisher and Spassky . This was when the cold war was in full swing so it made the matches even more interesting. My father used to tell me that a computer could never beat the best chess player because a computer is only as good as the information you program into it. Then he would say “now if they could program a computer that can think and learn from it’s mistakes like man that would be a different story.”
When Deep Blue beat the best chess player in the world it probably generated a lot of excitement from a computer programmers point of view. For me it has taken a little romance out of the game.

May 11, 1997 Deep Blue beats Kasparov
IBM's supercomputer Deep Blue makes chess history by defeating Gary Kasparov, the chess champion widely regarded as the greatest who has ever lived. The Russian master conceded defeat after 19 moves in the sixth game of the tournament, losing the match 2.5 to 3.5. It was the first defeat of a reigning world champion by a machine in tournament play.
Big Blue, which can analyze 200 million chess moves a second, had met Kasparov once before, but the human had been able to hold his own against the computer. Before their second meeting, Kasparov had never lost a professional chess match.

Friday, May 06, 2005

This is a Conspiracy

There have been times I will be in a conversation with someone that seems normal in every way and then the conversation will turn to some historical event or someone famous. Then this happens: The person says something like you know what REALLY happened don’t you? I am now talking to someone completely different from the person I started the conversation with. At this point I am hoping my cell phone will ring. Then I can excuse myself so I don’t have to nod my head and say stuff like well “yea that’s an interesting theory”. Or “yea I heard a lot of people believe that”. These people are really convinced about stuff like:

·The government is hiding the fact that there was a past civilization on mars.
·We never really landed on the moon it was all a Hollywood set
·Lady Di’s accident was all a set up and she was murdered.
·Space Shuttle was shot down by a laser

I have compiled a list of reasons why people might believe in unlikely conspiracies
I guess you might call this my conspiracy theory about conspiracy theorist

1.They were born with conspiracy DNA and can’t help it
2.They can’t face the fact that normal things happen to famous people.
3.They don’t believe in a higher source so they tend to believe in anything
4.Their parents constantly lied to them so now they don’t trust any form
of authority.
5.They were kicked in the head by a unicorn
6.The government has lied to us in the past so now everything the government
does is some kind of vicious plot against them.
8.All of the above
9.Everything they are saying is true and I am the most naive person in the world.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Blogball’s This Day in History

I thought this was interesting because it was 51 years ago today that Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile. They used to make a big deal out of this when I was a kid but now all races are in meters so I guess it’s kind of a lost art now.


May 6, 1954
In Oxford, England, 25-year-old medical student Roger Bannister cracks track and field's most notorious barrier: the four-minute mile. Bannister, who was running for the Amateur Athletic Association against his alma mater, Oxford University, won the mile race with a time of 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds.
For years, so many athletes had tried and failed to run a mile in less than four minutes that people made it out to be a physical impossibility. The world record for a mile was 4 minutes and 1.3 seconds, set by Gunder Hýgg of Sweden in 1945. Despite, or perhaps because of, the psychological mystique surrounding the four-minute barrier, several runners in the early 1950s dedicated themselves to being the first to cross into the three-minute zone.
Roger Bannister, born in Harrow, England, in 1929, was a top mile-runner while a student at the University of Oxford and at St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London. In 1951 and 1953, he won British championships in the mile run. As he prepared himself for his first competitive race of the 1954 season, Bannister researched the mechanics of running and trained using new scientific methods he developed. On May 6, 1954, he came to the Iffley Road track in Oxford for the annual match between the Amateur Athletic Association and Oxford University. Conditions were far from ideal; it had been windy and raining. A considerable crosswind was blowing across the track as the mile race was set to begin.
At 6 p.m., the starting gun was fired. In a carefully planned race, Bannister was aided by Chris Brasher, a former Cambridge runner who acted as a pacemaker. For the first half-mile, Brasher led the field, with Bannister close behind, and then another runner took up the lead and reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 3 minutes 0.4 seconds, with Bannister at 3 minutes 0.7 seconds. Bannister took the lead with about 350 yards to go and passed an unofficial timekeeper at the 1,500-meter mark in 3 minutes 43 seconds, thus equaling the world's record for that distance. Thereafter, Bannister threw in all his reserves and broke the tape in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. As soon as the first part of his score was announced--"three minutes..."--the crowd erupted in pandemonium.
Bannister went on to win British and Empire championships in the mile run, and the European title in the 1,500-meter event in 1954. At the end of the year, Bannister retired from athletic competition to pursue his medical career full time and in 1955 recounted his experiences in the book The Four Minute Mile. He later earned a medical degree from Oxford and became a neurologist. In 1975, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
His world record in the mile did not stand long, and the record continued to be lowered with increasingly controlled climatic and surface conditions, more accurate timing devices, and improvements in training and running techniques. A "sub-four" is still a notable time, but top international runners now routinely accomplish the feat. Because a mile is not a metric measurement, it is not a regular track event nor featured in the Olympics. It continues, however, to be run by many top runners as a glamour event

Here’s some more stuff I found on the mile run

·The current world record in the mile is 3:43.13, set by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco on July 7, 1999. The current women’s record is 4:12.56 by Svetlana Masterkova of Russia, set on August 14, 1996.

·The first American to break four minutes was the University of California’s Don Bowden, who ran 3:58.7 on June 1, 1957.

·The fastest mile by a high school runner is 3:53.43, by Alan Webb of Virginia on May 27, 2001.

·The word "mile" comes from the Latin "mille," meaning thousand. A mile was 1,000 Roman strides, a stride being two paces.

Bolgball Tidbits

I am going to start posting little tidbits of information that I find interesting (I might be the only one) from the websites I have favorite placed over the years.
I am hoping this will keep me posting on a more regular basis. (Like maybe 5 times a year instead of 2)
Below is just a sample of excitement to come.

More than 70 percent of all bagel shops in the United States are found in New York, New Jersey, Florida, and California.

Now that's Exciting!

This one is in honor of George Molchan (Little Oscar) who passed away recently

The 2000 Oscar Mayer Wienermobile has a GMC W-series chassis and a 5700 VORTEC engine, which makes it the most powerful Wienermobile in the fleet. It measures 27 feet by 8 feet by 11 feet, or 55 hot dogs long, 18 hot dogs wide and 25 hot dogs high.