Thursday, July 30, 2009

Keeping Score

Throwing An Adage A Curveball - Studies Show That the Curveball Isn’t Too Stressful for Young Arms

For almost as long as children have been throwing baseballs, adults have been telling them about the worst thing they could do to their still-developing arms: throw curves.

The warnings go back to the earliest days of sports medicine, orthopedic surgeons say, at least to the 1950s. In the 1970s, Robert Kerlan, the eminent surgeon who cared for Sandy Koufax, condemned curveballs as murderous on the elbows of professional pitchers, “to say nothing of the young athletes whose bones and joints are still growing.”

That remains the mantra of many sports medicine experts. The orthopedic surgeon James Andrews, who performs more than 100 Tommy John ligament-transplant operations most years, cautions that children should not even think about throwing curves until they are 14.

Are those doctors all alarmists?

Maybe so, according to two studies in which scientists and surgeons evaluated more closely than before the effects of curves on young arms. The studies were done independently by research teams in Connecticut and in Alabama. Each compared the forces across the elbows of pitchers as they fired fastballs and curves. (The Alabama study also included changeups). Each study concluded that curves are less stressful than fastballs and, based on the data collected, contributed little, if at all, to throwing injuries in youth players.

click here for complete NY Times article by MARK HYMAN

Baseball Continued:

When pitch counts reach the century mark, the end is near ... but why?

Baseball's magic number: 100

Subject Update:

Arms-Control Breakdown

More and more youth pitchers are having operations on their elbows and shoulders. So why aren’t the grown-ups doing something about it?

click here for NY Times article by Ron Berler

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Selling Short

Creekside Cabaret 5th Anniversary Celebration featuring Bridget The Midget

Wed July 29th thru Sat Aug 1st

Pictures, signings, and couch dances will be available

3225 Advance Lane
Hatfield, Pa 18915

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Pope and the Business Man (*)

Holy See (Sancta Sedes) offers ideas about the economic crisis

By Joseph N. DiStefano

Pope Benedict has reviewed the world economy in crisis and drawn up a 79-point list of problems and recommendations, laid out cost-benefit-analysis style and footnoted from his predecessors' pronouncements, and from the Bible.

Catholic social teaching, citing Isaiah and James, Aquinas and Leo XIII, fueled the rise of the labor-union movement and of the Christian Democratic parties that ran Western Europe and competed in Latin America and parts of Asia after World War II.

The church has less social influence now. But Benedict sees a strategic opportunity in today's crisis to get people thinking about big questions. Some highlights:

Who asked him? "The Church does not have technical solutions to offer and does not claim to interfere in any way in the politics of States. She does, however, have a mission of truth. . . ."

Profit "is useful if it serves as a means towards an end that provides a sense both of how to produce it and how to make good use of it. Once profit becomes the exclusive goal . . . it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty."

Economic growth "continues to be a positive factor that has lifted billions of people out of misery."

But: "This same economic growth has been and continues to be weighed down by malfunctions and dramatic problems, highlighted even further by the current crisis," such as "the damaging effects on the real economy of badly managed and largely speculative financial dealing," which he blames for unemployment, mass immigration, and pollution.

The culture of poverty: "In some poor countries, cultural models and social norms of behavior persist which hinder the process of development."

Trade: "The principal form of assistance needed by developing countries is that of allowing and encouraging the gradual penetration of their products into international markets."

Open sourcing: "On the part of rich countries, there is excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care."

Blind science: "Technological development can give rise to the idea that technology is self-sufficient when too much attention is given to the 'how' questions, and not enough to the many 'why' questions underlying human activity."

Synthetic life: "Human knowledge is insufficient and the conclusions of science cannot indicate by themselves the path towards integral human development. . . . Moral evaluation and scientific research must go hand in hand."

Blaming the traders, not the trades: "Instruments that are good in themselves can thereby be transformed into harmful ones. But it is man's darkened reason that produces these consequences, not the instrument per se. . . . Every economic decision has a moral consequence."

He likes credit unions, nonprofits, and consumer cooperatives: "Space also needs to be created within the market for economic activity carried out by subjects who freely choose to act according to principles other than those of pure profit."

He doesn't like spot markets: "What should be avoided is a speculative use of financial resources that yields to the temptation of seeking only short-term profit, without regard for the long-term sustainability of the enterprise, its benefit to the real economy."

click here for complete Philadelphia Inquirer article

(*) During a Papal audience, a business man approached the Pope and made this offer: Change the last line of the Lord's prayer from "give us this day our daily bread" to "give us this day our daily chicken." and KFC will donate 10 million dollars to Catholic charities. The Pope declined. 2 weeks later the man approached the Pope again. This time with a 50 million dollar offer. Again the Pope declined. A month later the man offers 100 million, this time the Pope accepts. At a meeting of the Cardinals, The Pope announces his decision in the good news/bad news format. The good news is... that we have 100 million dollars for charities. The bad news is that we lost the Wonder Bread account!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Robert Pollard - New Release

Artist: Robert Pollard
Album: Elephant Jokes
Release Date: August 11
Label: Guided By Voices, Inc.


01 Things Have Changed (Down in Mexico City)
02 Johnny Optimist
03 When a Man Walks Away
04 Parts of Your World
05 Symbols and Heads
06 I Felt Revolved
07 Epic Heads
08 Stiff Me
09 Compound X
10 Accident Hero
11 Tattered Lily
12 Hippsville (Where the Frisbees Fly Forever)
13 Newly Selected Dirt Spots
14 Jimmy
15 Pigeon Tripping
16 Spectrum Factory
17 Perverted Eyelash
18 Cosmic Yellow Children
19 Blown Out Man
20 Desiring
21 (All You Need) to Know
22 Architectural Nightmare Man

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Believe It Or Not

Columnist Christine M. Flowers: Que Sarah, Sarah

I COME not to bury Sarah Palin, but to praise her.

Of course, after that somewhat rambling resignation speech last Friday where she talked about migrating fish and point guards in virtually the same breath, the praise part becomes trickier.

Sarah P has never made it easy for those of us who admire her, who see through the idiotic stereotype of the bumbling rube created by a puzzled and threatened liberal intelligentsia.

Then, just when we think she's nailed it, as with her clever and righteous manipulation of the Letterman bumble (boy did it feel good to see him sweat), she sends us scrambling to defend her latest unorthodox move.

But for all that, Palin deserves the thanks - and respect - of her loyal supporters, even those of us who sometimes wince at her missteps. Because, despite what the sneering, supercilious and oh-so-sophisticated Palinphobes think, Sarah P is no joke. And those who treat her like she is are in for a very rude awakening.

I DON'T AGREE with everything she's done since she burst on the scene last August.

And I admit to being thrown for a loop when she announced her resignation from the governorship, effective almost immediately. It seemed to be a foolish, almost petulant and certainly amateurish move.

Most of the commentators, including some conservatives like Charles Krauthammer and George Will, saw it that way.

Palin supporters at the National Review and other right-leaning publications seemed to scratch their heads about the wisdom of abandoning elected office with the job little over half done.

And, sure, it does seem a little odd to just walk away from the single most important accomplishment on your resume. (If you don't count making Katie "I'm such a cutie" Couric look competent.)

But there may be a method to this perceived madness.

First, Palin has been crippled by a series of ethics complaints filed against her, many of which appear to be opportunistic attempts to kick a moose when you think she's down. So far, she seems to have been cleared on every count. (And as far as we're aware, she doesn't have any Appalachian hiking trips planned for the near future.)

But even unsubstantiated claims take their toll, keeping her constantly on the defensive instead of tending to business.

That might be one of the reasons Sarahcuda sightings have been few in the lower 48, much to the dismay of the same conservative commentators who've jumped on the "Hit the Road, Sarah" bandwagon.

She just can't win.

When she stays in Juneau, they complain she's undermining her national profile. But make a trip south, like when she gave a rousing speech at a pro-life conference in Indiana a few months ago, and they say she's ignoring her duties at home.

And that's just the conservatives. Liberals have been vicious, especially the women.

When Maureen Dowd starts typing these days (her own thoughts, we hope), you can almost hear the creaking of her arthritic joints. This chick is so jealous of Palin's youth and star power that her columns - once enjoyable in a a poisonous sort of way - have become tiresome, the journalistic equivalent of Tina Fey's one-note shtick.

MoDo and sister-in-arms Gail Collins are like ink-stained Miss Havishams, waiting for someone to call and tell them they're still relevant.

The men aren't much better.

Todd Purdum's hit job in Vanity Fair made much of the anonymous (and guaranteed to be male) McCain staffers who blamed Palin for everything from sinking the campaign to suffering from post-partum depression. (Imagine if someone had said Hillary's tears on the campaign trail were the result of a Boniva overdose.)

Still, I think Sarah might end up having the last laugh.

Of course, it's quite possible that leaving the scene this way will turn out to be political suicide. If it does, she has only herself to blame.

But who's to say that this woman, who's risen from several funeral pyres already, doesn't know what she's doing? After all, a few years ago, she was just a lipstick-wearing pit bull.

So I think this political funeral may be just a bit premature.

Published Friday, July 10, 2009
Philadelphia Daily News

Letters To The Editor:

Palin served Alaska well

In your flippant mention of Sarah Palin's resume ("The pit bull limps away"), you forgot to say that she brought down the crooked chairman of the Alaska Republican Party, and the corrupt governor. She oversaw the completion of the Alaskan natural-gas pipeline, which had languished for years. She brokered a great deal from the energy companies for her constituents, who don't receive a tax bill every year, but instead receive a check from the state!

Whatever Palin decides to do with her life, she has served Alaska well. If she leaves public life, who could blame her, outside of the yapping political elites?

Fran Steffler


Paper is unfair to Palin

I can't believe the hit job you conducted on Sarah Palin. The coordinated and unnecessary besmirching demonstrates that she is still an existential threat to your political orientation.

I am willing to give this accomplished woman, mother, politician, and wife the benefit of the doubt. By your antics, you have turned The Inquirer into a tabloid.

Frances Lempa


Both letters published in the Philadelphia Inquirer

Politics Continued:

Disgraced State Senator Victor Fumo, convicted on 137 counts of fraud, stealing millions in taxpayers' money for his own personal gain, and obstructing a federal investigation is sentenced to 55 months in prison.

local coverage:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia Daily News

Metro Philadelphia

The Clog - City Paper's Staff Blog


Letter To The Editor:

Jail for Fumo is a real injustice

THE WHOLE idea of Vincent Fumo going to jail is ridiculous. He's a great man who's done many good things for this state, and he made a mistake.

There's a reason no one noticed the money he took - all the other good things he was doing in the Senate. If anyone thinks Fumo is an example of corrupt politics, they need to look into a lot of politicians in Philadelphia.

Nick DiDonato, Philadelphia

published Wed, Jul. 15, 2009
The Daily News

click here for letters sent to the presiding Judge in praise of Disgraced Senator Fumo

Bonus Round via Fitted Sweats:

The Great American Bubble Machine

From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression - and they're about to do it again

Click here for article

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Recipe - Deviled Eggs

Bacon and Cheddar Deviled Eggs

Makes 6 servings

6 eggs, hard-boiled, halved, with yolks separated out into a bowl

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons rendered smoked bacon fat

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

For garnish:

Julienned, slow-cooked bacon

Crumbled cheddar cheese

1. Make a stuffing with all ingredients. Pipe into eggs.

2. Garnish with slow-cooked and julienned bacon and crumbled cheddar cheese.

Per serving: 141 calories, 6 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace sugar, 12 grams fat, 216 milligrams cholesterol, 120 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber.

Chevre Deviled Eggs With Asparagus

Makes 6 servings

6 eggs, hard-boiled, halved, with yolks separated out into a bowl

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons fresh goat cheese

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon chopped chives

Salt and pepper to taste

Asparagus tips, blanched and thinly sliced

1. Make a stuffing with all ingredients. Pipe into eggs.

2. Garnish with thinly sliced and blanched asparagus tips.

Per serving: 132 calories, 7 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace sugar, 11 grams fat, 215 milligrams cholesterol, 123 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber.

Classic Deviled Eggs Recipe

Makes 6 servings

6 eggs, hard-boiled, halved, with yolks separated out into a bowl

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon sour cream

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Make a stuffing with all ingredients. Pipe into eggs.

Per serving: 130 calories, 6 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace sugar, 11 grams fat, 215 milligrams cholesterol, 120 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber.

All recipes from chef Mitch Prensky at Supper

Two tips: Prensky stuffs a pastry bag with the yolk fillings and pipes them into the eggs. You can get the same effect by spooning the filling into a Ziploc baggie, toting it to the picnic separate from the whites, then snipping off a corner of the baggie and piping the filling in at the last moment.

Second, if you refrigerate finished eggs, take them out at least 20 minutes before serving. They don't have much flavor if they're chilled.

Click here for related Philadelphia Inquirer article by Rick Nichols

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Albums, EP's, & 7"s

A day of vinyl nirvana! ICA hosts the annual benefit for Vox Populi, Philadelphia's acclaimed artist-run collective and gallery. Flip through bins... Find your treasure.



The current economic situation has spurred a debate over Pennsylvania's state budget and the reality that ALL funding for arts and culture could be eliminated. Nonprofit arts organizations are finding less support from corporate and philanthropic institutions despite the fact that the arts make a significant impact.

In Southeastern Pennsylvania, visits to arts and cultural organizations total over 15 million, or four visits a year per resident, and 43% of these visits are free of charge. These organizations provide children with educational programs that keep them engaged, improve their creative thinking and cognitive development. And these organizations provide more than 19,000 jobs.*

For every dollar that the state spends, only half a penny goes to arts and culture, so the investment is small! We cannot afford to lose State funding for our museums, theatres, artists, historical homes and the Institute of Contemporary Art at Penn.

Save Pennsylvania's Cultural Funding. Act Now!

While ICA's state support has been declining each year, at this time we would be hard pressed to replace the annual operating funds from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. This budget fight is not over yet and we need you to tell legislators that you care about state funding for arts and culture!

* Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance 2008 Portfolio Report

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


The Port Richmond Library Branch (Free Library System of Philadelphia) will be closed Friday, July 10th. No reason was given for said closure.

More Book News:

World's Oldest Christian Bible, Codex Sinaiticus, is reunited & digitized

Background Article

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Open Letter To The Citizens of New York City

Dear Fellow Americans,

I regret to inform you that when Mayor Michael Bloomberg is forcibly removed from said office by the New York National Guard in the year 2010 and exiled to other parts because his re-election was illegal and an affront to all who believe in voter enacted city by-laws, I will not be offering the ex-mayor sanctuary in my Philadelphia, PA. apartment.

Please look elsewhere.


"Allan Smithee"

postscript: Have a Happy Fourth of July!