Saturday, March 24, 2007

Three cheers for Joe Queenan.

From his op-ed, "Life in the Mean Seats", in today's New York Times, discussing proposals to ban booing (I'm not making this up) at sports events:

First, no booing high school teams. Then no booing the Fighting Irish. Before you know it, Mets fans will be getting ejected from their own stadium for booing the Yankees. And if Mets fans can't boo the despicable Yankees, why go on living?

Update: Twiffer asks, rhetorically, who would want to make A-Rod cry?

In my experience, more likely Yankees than Mets fans.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


A few days before tonight's equinox, I saw this fellow above my path through the small wooded area adjoining the South Cove at Battery Park City.

Monday, March 19, 2007

One galaxy, over easy.

This image, taken from Astronomy Picture of the Day, is of a nearby (only 60 million or so light years) group of galaxies called Hickson 44, in the direction of the constellation Leo. There are four galaxies in the picture. Three of them lie roughly in a row extending diagonally from just to the right of the bottom center to the upper left. The lower two of these are spiral galaxies similar to our own; the other, which looks like a slightly misty bright star, is an elliptical galaxy (the bright, bluish object at the upper right is a star in our galaxy).

What I find fascinating is the galaxy that is just above and to the right of the largest spiral galaxy. It looks like it's doing a backflip in space. Perhaps this contortion is caused by the gravity of the other, nearby galaxies.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Is blogging like baseball?

There's an interesting parallel between this post on blogging and marketing by Kathy Sierra (found through a link posted by bEnder on WikiFray) and this New York Times column on baseball by David Brooks (linked to helpfully by sydbristow on Iraqwarit).

Note especially Sierra:

You must be willing and able to turn off (temporarily) The Voice inside that says, "We'll never get away with this. People will hate it." ... [T]his is somewhat like The Inner Game approach or Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain or any of the other approaches to creativity that get your logical "talking" mind out of the way so all the more useful but non-speaking parts of your brain can get on with the important things you're trying to accomplish.

and Brooks:

[B]aseball has accomplished [an] ... important feat. It has developed a series of habits and standards of behavior to keep the conscious mind from interfering with the automatic mind.

Baseball is one of those activities in which the harder you try, the worse you do. The more a pitcher aims the ball, the wilder he becomes. The more a batter tenses, the slower and more tentative his muscles become.

So, I suppose I need to approach each post with the same insouciance with which Jose Reyes regards a split-finger fastball or a Baltimore chop. But, perhaps more importantly, a la Sierra, I need to find a way to make you hate me.