Monday, April 18, 2005

Mount Everest Getting Taller? Darwin Award Contestant. Marathon Monday Musings. Trivia Clarification.

Mount Everest Still Growing. K2 Alleges Steroid Use.

Apparently Mount Everest is taking allegations of K2's comparable size to heart, and is reacting to the upstart by beefing up. Full story from Yahoo News below:

BEIJING, (AFP) - A team of Chinese scientists began to remeasure Mount Everest for the first time in 20 years, checking theories that it is growing one centimeter (0.4 inch) annually, state media said.

Six scientists, four mountaineers and four Sherpa guides will use radar and global positioning equipment to re-survey the peak, the world's highest, said expedition head Zhang Jiangqi. The official height of the mountain, straddling China's border with Nepal, is currently 8,848 meters (29,500 feet), but it is believed to be growing, Xinhua news agency said, citing the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

"The height and environment of Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) has changed greatly in the past 30 years and the re-survey of the region will help to understand the mountain's reaction to global climate change," said Zhang.
It is China's fourth such expedition following others in 1959, 1966 and 1975.

The scientists will also conduct research on the impact of global warming on glaciers and make observations of atmospheric physics and chemistry, bio-diversity, and environmental changes in the Himalayan region, Xinhua said.

K2 reacted harshly to the news by claiming that Everest doesn't put in as many hours in the gym as it used to, and is taunting the giant peak to get tested to prove itself clean. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) says he will use his influence in a manner similar to that in which he got baseball to come up with a tough testing program. McCain will send a team of analysts to examine the runoff of Everest's glaciers to see if the mountain has been doping. However, there has been no mention of any type of punishment should tests come back positive.

Early 2005 Darwin Award Candidate

This tidbit from Reuters. The headline reads: Police advise against lying in the road. It could just as easily read: "Duh!" Apparently the motorist in this story didn't have the Canadian equivalent of AAA...

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Police in a Vancouver suburb issued an unusual warning to drivers on Monday: If you run out fuel, do not lay down on the road to get assistance.

Police were alerted to a man's body laying along the Trans Canada Highway in the predawn darkness only to discover he was "quite alive", but that his car had run out of gas and he "wanted to attract someone's attention".

"Guess it worked, but police don't really recommend this method," the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Burnaby, British Columbia, said in a press release. The man's car was towed, but no charges were filed.

How about charging him with extreme stupidity?

Marathon Monday. Sox Pound Blue Jays. George Steinbrenner Is Not Happy.

In this year's Boston Marathon, Ethiopia's Hailu Negussie covered the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boston's Back Bay in 2:11:45 for the men's title. Kenyans had won 13 of the previous 14 men's races. Catherine Ndereba of Kenya won the women's title with a time of 2:25:13. Ernst Van Dyk of South Africa won his fifth consecutive wheelchair race, finishing in 1:24:11.

The Red Sox pounded the Blue Jays 12-7 in a sloppy game that saw Manny Ramirez lose two fly balls in the sun, but also lose two balls into the seats for home runs (one of which was a controversial call that was originally ruled a double, and which earned Blue Jays manager John Gibbon an ejection) as Curt Schilling won his first game of 2005.

But the best news of the day came in the form of George Steinbrenner's latest outburst after the Yankees got swept by the Orioles in a weekend series. Excerpt from the ESPN story:

The New York Yankees have stumbled to a 4-8 start, drawing the ire of owner George Steinbrenner. Meanwhile, the rival Boston Red Sox are hitting their stride. Steinbrenner lashed out at his $200 million team Sunday, moments after Baltimore beat the Yankees 8-4 at Camden Yards to complete a three-game sweep. New York has dropped four straight and eight of 10 overall.

"Enough is enough. I am bitterly disappointed, as I'm sure all Yankee fans are, by the lack of performance by our team," Steinbrenner said in a statement issued immediately after the game.
"It is unbelievable to me that the highest-paid team in baseball would start the season in such a deep funk. They are not playing like true Yankees. They have the talent to win and they are not winning. I expect Joe Torre, his complete coaching staff and the team to turn this around."

You've gotta love this. Especially the part about "not playing like true Yankees". Christ, Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera were part of the Yankee clubs that won four World Series Championships in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000, but now that they, and the rest of the team, are off to a bad start they are no longer "true Yankees". I am a Yankee hater, but even I have to say that this rant is pure bullshit, even from a man known for spewing this type of fertilizer. Full story:

Trivia Clarification

Thanks to ken kanniff of connecticut, I see that I should clarify two of yesterday's trivia questions. Here they are again, with some notes to clear up a couple if issues:

1. Name the only major league player to lead his league in stolen bases and number of times having grounded into a double play in the same season. This one is fine...

2. Name the only player to lead his league in batting average and strikeouts in the same season.

3. Name the player with the most strikeouts in a season in which he lead his league in batting average (NOT the same as number 2).

Notes: What differentiates questions 2 and 3 is that the player who is the answer to question 2, while having led his league in striking out during the same season in which he won a batting title, did NOT compile the highest strikeout total ever for a player who won a batting title in the same season.

The player who is the answer to question 3 actually struck out more often during the season in which he won his batting title than the player in question 2 did during his season, but he did NOT lead his league in strikeouts that season. So, to sum up, I am looking for two different players here. I apologize for the confusion, and hope this helps.

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