Around The Horn – 4.08.10

April 8, 2010

Bob Feller at 91
Unless you’re a Clevelander, a baseball fan, or over a certain age, you’ve probably not heard of Bob Feller, and that’s a shame.  Feller’s presence still lingers over Cleveland baseball.  His statue in front of The Jake (sorry, just won’t call it Progressive Field) with the high leg kick recalls the glory days of both the man and the team.  Here’s the first part of a two part series on Rapid Robert.  He has been forced to make concessions that come with being 91 instead of 19 (although he actually pitched – from the mound – at last year’s Hall of Fame Game).  Feller went 266-162 with a 3.25 ERA in an 18-year career, all with Cleveland (1936-1956). He missed almost four seasons because of military service. Even with the time lost, Feller ranks on any credible list among the greatest pitchers ever.  Feller burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old fireballer out of the Iowa cornfields. Seventy-four years later, the words, not the fastballs, bring the heat.

The Catholic Church’s Catastrophe
From Peggy Noonan:  There is an interesting and very modern thing that often happens when individuals join and rise within mighty and venerable institutions. They come to think of the institution as invulnerable—to think that there is nothing they can do to really damage it, that the big, strong, proud establishment they’re part of can take any amount of abuse, that it doesn’t require from its members an attitude of protectiveness because it’s so strong, and has lasted so long.  And so people become blithely damaging. It happened the past decade on Wall Street, where those who said they loved what the street stood for, what it symbolized in American life, took actions that in the end tore it down, tore it to pieces. They loved Wall Street and killed it. It happens with legislators in Washington who’ve grown to old and middle age in the most powerful country in the world, and who can’t get it through their heads that the actions they’ve taken, most obviously in the area of spending, not only might deeply damage America but actually do it in.  And it happened in the Catholic Church, where hundreds of priests and bishops thought they could do anything, any amount of damage to the church, and it would be fine.

Failure: The Last Taboo?
David Murray writes: One great taboo remains in America. Failure. Until the recession. In 12 months, more than 4 million workers lost their jobs. On a single day in January 2009, 70,000 people were laid off, and another 50,000 or 60,000 lost their jobs on each of the 10 days that followed. Most of these people were hard-working, reliable, and conscientious – usually guarantees of success in America. And yet most of these 4 million had to endure a deep sense of personal failure, which affected not just their bank balance, but their marriages, their health, and often their relationship with God. Failure is no longer taboo in suburban America.

How to become a legalist:
1. Make rules outside the Bible.
2. Push yourself to try and keep your rules.
3. Castigate yourself when you don’t keep your rules.
4. Become proud when you do keep your rules.
5. Appoint yourself as judge over other people.
6. Get angry with people who break your rules or have different rules.
7. “Beat” the losers.

Uncle Jay Explains the News

The Real Rules for Time Travelers
This fascinating article from the March 2010 issue of Discovery Magazine on time-travel notes the scientific implications of a closed timelike curve upon predestination, of all things.  Very interesting read:  The issue that troubles us, when you get down to it, is free will. We have a strong feeling that we cannot be predestined to do something we choose not to do. That becomes a difficult feeling to sustain if we have already seen ourselves doing it.  Of course, there are some kinds of predestination we are willing to accept. If we get thrown out of a window on the top floor of a skyscraper, we expect to hurtle to the ground, no matter how much we would rather fly away and land safely elsewhere. The much more detailed kind of predestination implied by closed timelike curves, where it seems that we simply cannot make certain choices (like walking away after meeting a future version of ourselves), is bothersome.

Top 10 Features of the Kindle
A few weeks ago I purchased a Kindle.  I am loving it.  Here’s a nice article by Ray Fowler highlighting the top 10 features of the device.

Most Dangerous States
Guess where South Carolina ranks.

One response to Around The Horn – 4.08.10

  1. Steve, do you get a commission from Amazon if someone orders a Kindle through your link? 🙂