Algae Olympics July 2, 2008Posted by davegoblog in Environment, Pollution, Sports.
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With about five weeks until it plays host to the Olympic sailing regatta, the coastal city of Qingdao, China, is experiencing a huge algal bloom that covers a third of the course. Local officials have mobilized 20,000 people and 1,000 boats to help with the clean-up and haul away the algae. They believe the sailing area should be clear by July 15, and the government plans to install a fenced perimeter in the Yellow Sea more than 30 miles long in attempt to block the algae from floating into the area.
Water quality has been a concern for the sailing events, given that many coastal Chinese cities dump untreated sewage into the sea. At the same time, rivers and tributaries emptying into coastal waters are often contaminated with high levels of nitrates from agricultural and industrial runoff. These nitrates contribute to the red tides of algae that often bloom along sections of China’s coastline.
However, Qingdao officials say there isn’t a “substantial link” between the pollution & poor water quality and the current algal bloom. They instead blame it on increased rainfall and warmer waters in the Yellow Sea.
Either way, algal blooms can result in dead zones (where many fish and aquatic insects cannot survive) like the one in the Gulf of Mexico. With the world watching the upcoming Olympics, I hope that this event will bring more needed attention to what’s happening to the oceans and seas as a result of our actions.
Childhood Crush Confession 101 December 6, 2007Posted by davegoblog in Blogging, Movies, Personal, Pop Culture, Sports, Star Wars, Television.
It started one week ago tomorrow. The confessions of your childhood crushes was spawned as an idea by Gedeon Maheux during an exchange on Twitter last Friday. Here’s a list of the participants, so you can see for whom we swooned:
And now, these are my confessions:
Who remembers the Ice Princess? It was said to be the world’s largest uncut diamond. What world was that? The wonderful soap opera world of General Hospital in the early 1980s. With it in his possession, the evil megalomaniac,
Dr. Evil Mikkos Cassadine, wished to harness the power of the Ice Princess to control the weather…and the world! Mooohahaha!!! Who would save Port Charles and make my heart skip a beat while doing it? Why none other than Laura Spencer (Genie Francis) and…oh yeah, some guys named Luke (Anthony Geary) and Scorpio (Tristan Rogers).
From Luke & Laura and the Ice Princess to Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. I always wanted to be Luke when playing with my Star Wars action figures as a kid, and my friend (Donnie) would be Han Solo. Prior to Return of the Jedi (1983), both of us would vie for the affections of the young senator from Alderaan. After RotJ, it got a little weird because Luke had a ssssister, a twin sister. However, that no longer mattered as any red-blooded adolescent boy growing up in 1983 had the image of Carrie Fisher dressed in a metal bikini permanently burned into their memory banks. Not even Bail Organa could memory-wipe that from my mind.
When Gedeon initially proposed this blog idea, one of the first names that popped into my head was Christine “Moose” McGlade from the Canadian imported You Can’t Do That On Television, which ran on Nickelodeon in its early days. I’m not sure why I was attracted to her. Maybe it had something to do with her saying, “I don’t know” and getting slimed in a Flashdance fashion. When did that ever happen? Maybe this falls under the Too Much Information category. Ged, I thought you said this was supposed to a guilt-free chance to share our crushes with the world!
During the summer of 1984, I became infatuated with a certain 4′ 9″ gymnast by the name of Mary Lou Retton. America (and I) had their eyes glued to this energetic, leotard-clad student of Bela Karolyi. She scored a perfect 10 (because she was) in her final vault to give her the gold medal in the individual all-around women’s gymnastic competition. Even though she was 16 and I was 13 at the time, John Williams would have played the “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” at our wedding. Da-Da-Dant! Da-Da-Dant! Dant-Da-Dant-Da-Da! Hey, Anakin was just 9 when he fell in love with the 14-year old Padme.
The day after the Games of the XXIII Olympiad ended on August 12, 1984, a short-lived ABC TV show Call to Glory premiered and helped start the career of Elisabeth Shue. She played Jackie Sarnac, the teenage daughter of the fictitious USAF pilot Colonel Raynor Sarnac (Craig T. Nelson) at Edward Air Force Base in the early 1960s. Earlier that year, she captured my heart as well as the heart of Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid. She would later marry Tom Cruise in Cocktail (1988) and become Mrs. Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part II (1989). How could I compete with them?
Crazy Eights November 12, 2007Posted by davegoblog in Blogging, Books, Movies, NaBloPoMo, Parenting, Pop Culture, Sports, Star Wars.
By starting to blog this year and participating in NaBloPoMo, I’ve met a lot of interesting people and have learned some new terms to add to my lexicon. Thanks to the witty Sandy at Momisodes, I’m doing my first meme. Enjoy!
8 things I’m passionate about:
- My daughters (Rosie & Lily) / Being a good father
- My wife (Anna) / Being a good husband
- Science especially chemistry – so much so that I got my B.S. and M.S. in it.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – I was born and raised (for three months) in the Steel City of the Three Rivers.
- Creating peace – I imperfectly try to hammer swords into plowshares as in Micah 4:3 and transform arrows into flowers like Siddhartha did while under the Bodhi tree.
- Star Wars, Star Wars, Star Wars!
- Argyle socks – I love ‘em!
- Reducing, reusing, and recycling – Remember the law of conservation of mass/matter that says matter cannot be created/destroyed, but it may be rearranged.
8 things I want to do before I die:
- Go into space.
- Visit Stonehenge (before spellcheck it was Stonehedge).
- Decide how to use my body for science after I die (stay tuned for future blog post).
- May be have another kid. And, by “have” I mean Anna carrying the baby for nine months and delivering the child. Seriously, I’m okay with the two girls, but who knows what the future holds.
- Live another 64 years. Just realized the “numbers” involved…36 + 64 = 100 or using perfect squares 62 + 82 = 102. Spooky!
- See humans land on Mars and return to safely.
- Visit this statue.
- Finish this list.
8 things I say often:
- “Ro-SIE!” – It’s the Dad voice.
- “Good job, Rosie!”
- “Not for Lily / not for babies.”
- “Hello, Bumbo!” – how I greet Lily.
- “I love you.”
- A G-rated expletive such as my current favorites of “Dagnabbit!” and “Mother Superior!”
- “Have you seen my slippers?”
- “It’s possible, pig.” – Potential response to any question asked in our house. A reference to The Princess Bride for those who don’t know.
8 books I’ve read recently:
- The Orc King by R. A. Salvatore (in process)
- The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
- Spook Country by William Gibson
- Mr. Pine’s Purple House by Leonard Kessler (Thanks Purple House Press!)
- Goodnight Moon
- Peek-a-boo I See You (Lily’s favorite Sesame Street book)
- The American Way (DC Comics)
- Discontinuity and Hope
8 songs I could listen to over and over:
- The Star Wars Main Theme by John Williams – I get chills down my spine every time I hear it and sometimes when I just think about it.
- Anything by “Weird Al” Yankovic – Yep, it’s out there now.
- A Mighty Wind soundtrack
- “Ana Ng” by They Might Be Giants – The ringtone on my cell phone for when Anna calls.
- “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix – The ringtone for when everyone else calls.
- Anything by Baron von Stinglehoffer, the Stingasaurus, or the Stinganator.
- “In Da Club” by Assassin – This was a free song download from iTunes, otherwise I would have never heard it.
- “Spybreak” by Propellerheads – Music played in the lobby scene when Neo and Trinity go to rescue Morpheus in The Matrix.
8 things that attract me to my best friends:
- Sense of humor & laughing at / with me
- Love of monkeys
- Playing games (board, card, video, RPG, etc.)
- Keepin’ it real / honesty
- Some other seventh thing
- Begrudgingly agreeing to participate in this Crazy Eights meme
8 people I think should do Crazy Eights:
- Gedeon at gedblog
- firecrackerTart at Sequential Tart (or a good time to start your own blog)
- Anthony at One-Button Mouse
- Corey at Corey’s Blog
- Derek at batteredham
- Jen at In the life of me.
- SciFi Dad at Tales From The Dad Side
- Lisa at Russian Mafia Babe (I love that blog name)
Now, you know more about me than I do. It was a lot of fun and knocked off one post for NaBloPoMo.
How much is that Series in October? October 16, 2007Posted by davegoblog in Sports.
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A few weeks ago, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the Major League Baseball (MLB) salaries for the teams in the playoffs. Unlike the NFL, NBA, NHL, and other professional sport leagues, the MLB has no salary cap and teams had opening day payrolls that ranged from a high of $190 million (New York Yankees) to a low of $24 million (Tampa Bay Devil Rays). In addition, the three highest paid players (all Yankees) each made almost as much as the whole 34 man roster of the Devil Rays. The combined salaries ($68 million total) of those three (Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez, and Derek Jeter) were more than nine of the 30 major league teams, which included the Cleveland Indians ($62 million), Colorado Rockies ($54 million), and Arizona Diamondbacks ($52 million). Those teams made the playoffs as well as the Yankees.
Ben Fry has an interesting chart that compares regular season performance to team salaries. Can you spend your way to a World Series? George Steinbrenner (native of Rocky River, Ohio) tried again this year with the Yankees, but his hometown team beat them in ALDS.
Here’s a list of the other playoff teams and their opening day salaries:
- Boston Red Sox – $143 million
- Los Angeles Angels – $109 million
- Chicago Cubs – $100 million
- Philadelphia Phillies – $89 million
NOTE: The team payrolls have varied throughout the season, but the opening day numbers are a good point of reference for the year. As info, the Indians increased to $72 million, the Yankees to $216 million, and the Red Sox to $153 million.
Baseball Fever!!! October 9, 2007Posted by davegoblog in Sports.
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It’s that time of year again when teams are vying for the chance to play in the “Fall Classic” aka the World Series. I used to follow baseball more closely around the playoffs when the Pittsburgh Pirates made a few runs in the early 90s with Barry Bonds in their line up. I also have fond memories of watching them win their last World Series in 1979 with the likes of Willie “Pops” Stargell, Dave Parker, Omar Moreno, Dale Berra (son of Yankee great Yogi Berra), and John Candelaria. Part of the reason I can remember that World Series was their bright yellow uniforms. Very nice!
Well, the Pirates have not had a winning season since 1992 when they last played in the National League Championship Series and lost to the Atlanta Braves. So, I’ve been following the Cleveland Indians since Anna and her family are from there, and now we live in the suburbs of Cleveland as of last year. Rosie and I went to our first game at Jacobs Field in August when the Indians and Tigers were tied for first place in the AL Central Division. Although the Cleveland lost, they proceeded to go 31-12 for the rest of the season versus Detroit’s 22-21 and captured the AL Central title.
A Tale of Two Wedges September 25, 2007Posted by davegoblog in Sports, Star Wars.
|Cleveland Indians head coach||Rogue Squadron pilot|
|Lead Indians to AL Central title in 2007||Lead attack against second Death Star|
|From Ft. Wayne, Indiana||From Corellia|
|Red Sox #22 (1991 MLB Season)||Red Two (Battle of Yavin)|
|Red Sox #36 (1992 MLB Season)||Red Leader (Battle of Endor)|
|Belted all 5 Major League HRs in 27 games (1992 MLB Season)||Brought down first AT-AT with Wes Janson as gunner (Battle of Hoth)|
|Parents – Tim & Nina still reside in Ft. Wayne, Indiana||Parents – Jagged & Zena killed by pirate Loka Hask|
|Wife – Kate||Wife – Iella Wessiri|
|Daughter – Ava Catherine||Daughters (2) – Syal & Myri|