Thursday, October 28, 2010

Buckyballs, Halloween, Obama and an "Attaboy Babe-ee!"

If you guessed that the pitching duel between Cy Young winners Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee would result in 18 runs, 10 doubles and Lee's first loss in the post season in his career, well, good guess. The Giants throttled Lee, who gave up 6 earned runs after allowed 2 runs total in his last two starts. Tim "If You're Going to San Franciso, Be Sure to Put Flowers in Your Hair" Lincecum pitched a subpar game by his standards, but they got a win, and they don't have to face Cliff Lee again for at least a week.

Scientists have confirmed the existence of buckyballs (see below, you don't need to know this off the top of your head) around not three but four! dying stars within our very own galaxy. Buckyballs are complex sphere-shaped bundles of carbon and were first created in a lab on earth by scientests and named after designs by a famed architecht, Buckminster Fuller. More importantly, the balls of carbon are located in vast quanitites and in regions of space with confirmed high levels of hyrdogen; scientists had thought that the existence of buckyballs would be impossible in the vicinity of hydrogen, which would compress the carbon and result in a chain structure. Why does this matter to you? It doesn't. It is just a good reminder that we do not know everything, we know almost nothing, and there is nothing wrong with trying to learn more. The universe, my friends, is a profound mystery.

French officials have announced the discovered a video reportedly featuring Osama Bin Laden, threatening the country as a result of its attitude toward America, its Muslim population and Islam in general. The French said, "Eh." France, where protests are winding down after weeks of strikes and demonstrations, recently passed a bill that will raise the retirement age to 62, as covered in a previous Update. The population ignored this tape and its threats throughout the strikes, and only now is the terror threat being taken seriously. When asked on the street, Frenchman Pierre Rousseau said, "We don't care, we are French, nobody attacks us anymore." True, Pierre, true. President Sarkozy will go ahead with plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in 2011. Good! We should all get out; we didn't find a single WMD in Iraq, and not one afghan blanket in the whole of Afghanistan.

It's almost Halloween, and a quick, you-probably-already-know-this tip on the origin of the holiday. Many link the holiday to a Roman holiday, but it is more likely descendant of the Celtic holiday Samhain. The Celts believed that on this day each year, the murky boundary between the living and the dead was especially thin, allowing the dead to walk among the living for the night (Mickey Rooney got lost 46 years ago and stayed with us ever since). The Romans converted the Celts, and everyone else they conquered, to Christianity, which meshed well the established relgion of the Celts. So, the holiday of Samhain became the Roman holiday of Pomona, which, as the "Universal" Church gained power, became Christianized as All Saints' Day. However, the tribes refused to give up their customs. They kept October 31st as "All Hallow's Eve", which became shortened to what we know today, and partied in costume and drinking and feasting before having to sit in church all friggin' day the next morning. Just like Christ taught...

Big "Attaway, Babe-ee" to Jon Stewart, who asked the tough questions of President Obama last night on "The Daily Show". Obama stood his ground; what some might have thought to be just a photo-op became one of the most respectable, honest discussions in all of the media interviews with the current President. Stewart, thank you for seizing the opportunity and refusing to pander. We respect you and Obama more for it.

Finally, the Bohunk will be travelling up north for a cyclocross race this Saturday. There are only 6 people registered; sign up, and I will ride with you in your Group C race. Just let me know if you'll be there. With no one else signed up in my category, I may be racing myself; my most feared enemy and rival.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the NBC line-up, they have the best Halloween episodes. Don't forget to check out "Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy, there will be a Book Club membership application soon.

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