Monday, July 04, 2005

Baseball Updates. House Attempts To Block Unocal Sale To China. Screw The Environment. Deep Impact Arrives!

Catch-Up Time. Biggio Still Number Two. Raffy's Quest For 3,000.

Since my last entry, I've taken part in my softball team's latest victory, an 18-6 win that, combined with a visit from relatives, has taken time away from updating this blog, but here's a quick baseball roundup:

Since baseball stat people like to draw an artificial line between the way the game was played in the 19th century, and the way it has been played since the beginning of the 20th, it is my duty to report that the Houston Astros Craig Biggio is still chasing the absolute HBP record held by Hughie Jennings, a 19th century shortstop, and manager of the early Ty Cobb-era Detroit Tigers, who was hit by 287 pitches in his career. Thanks to Ken Kanniff, Connecticut's Most Wanted Gangsta for the subtle reminder.

And as long as we are discussing milestones, Rafael Palmeiro of the Baltimore Orioles, had an RBI single today in the O's 13-8 loss to the New York Yankees to raise his career hit total to 2,993. Palmeiro, owner of one of the sweetest swings in baseball, and a sure bet for the Hall of Fame, is also in ninth place on the all-time home run list where he shares a spot with Reggie Jackson at 563. Is 600 out of the question?

Also, the Red Sox will be sending David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon to represent the team at next week's All-Star game in Detroit.

House Attempts To Block Unocal Sale To China

In an unexpectedly bold move by the US House of Representatives, a resolution was passed to urge President Greedy Oil Bastard to step in and block the sale of oil giant Unocal to the Chinese. Washington Post excerpt:

SHANGHAI, July 4 -- The Chinese government on Monday sharply criticized the United States for threatening to erect barriers aimed at preventing the attempted takeover of the American oil company Unocal by one of China's three largest energy firms, CNOOC Ltd.

Four days after the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution urging the Bush administration to block the proposed transaction as a threat to national security, China's Foreign Ministry excoriated Congress for injecting politics into what it characterized as a standard business matter.

Full story:

If there was anyone else, other than the current gang of thugs running things in the White House, the statement that this is "a standard business matter" would be met with the derision it deserves. But, since a greedy oil man and his cronies act as if the world is their own private resort where they can act boorishly with no fear of reprisal, since nobody seems to have the balls to tell them to stop, the statement will draw little notice. And since China now owns most of our trade deficit, I guess it only makes sense to sell them our oil companies. Can you imagine what the headlines would have read if any of this shit happened under Bill Clinton? Well, at least Bush isn't having sex with an intern...

Screw The Environment

In a related story, we see yet another chapter in the Bush administration's pooh-poohing of science in which the Bungler in Chief is sticking to what passes for his principles by telling the world he has no intention of doing anything to decrease pollutant emissions that could accelerate global warming. Bloomberg News excerpt:

July 4 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush ruled out any accord on climate change at the Group of Eight summit that involves limiting carbon emissions as a threat to the U.S. economy.

U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is hosting leaders of the largest industrial nations in Gleneagles, Scotland July 6-8, is seeking agreements to cut poverty in Africa and curb climate change, which he describes as the single greatest threat facing the world. Blair is asking G-8 partners to recognize the science of climate change and wants a plan to deal with the problem, according to his representative at pre-summit talks in London over the weekend.

When he was elected president in 2000, Bush rejected the 1997 Kyoto treaty that sets targets for developed nations to reduce emissions of gases linked to global warming. He said any similar proposal this week would be rejected.

Full story:

When the Greedy Oil Bastard ran for the first term he stole, he pledged, as part of his campaign, that he would try to lessen the amount of carbon dioxide and monoxide that heavy industries pump into the air. Once he stole his way into the White House, he promptly revered that position, as anyone with an IQ over 50 knew he would. The bottom line with this subject, as with all other topics that involve the Bush administration, science and a bit of humanity, is that the world will get nothing and like it, because, if this son of a bitch and his backers can steal just one more nickel by letting polluters pour that shit into the air than he could by stopping them, then we will continue to see this type of environmental abuse.

Deep Impact Arrives!

The Deep Impact comet probe landed successfully on the surface of Comet Tempel 1. Sky and Telescope excerpt:

July 4, 2005 NASA scientists and engineers celebrated Independence Day with a bang by successfully slamming Deep Impact's 372-kilogram (820-pound) projectile into Comet Tempel 1 today at 5:52 Universal Time (10:52 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on July 3rd). The head-on meeting took place at more than 37,000 kilometers (23,000 miles) per hour, generating the explosive force of nearly 5 tons of TNT.

This is big. How big? Read on...

Comets are likely unaltered collections of volatile ices and rocky material left over from the creation of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago. Short-period comets like Tempel 1, while relatively easy to reach by spacecraft, are exposed to strong sunlight each time they enter the inner solar system. So Deep Impact's main objective was to excavate pristine materials from far below the surface of the nucleus. According to principal investigator Michael A'Hearn (University of Maryland), infrared spectra acquired during the collision have already revealed the presence of yet-to-be-identified compounds.

Full story:

Next time you're stuck for an ice-breaker at a party, try busting that out to the little hottie you are trying to impress.

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