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  • feedwordpress 08:01:42 on 2017/08/28 Permalink
    Tags: , Dolly Gray, , immaculate inning, pitching, record,   

    “Just take the ball and throw it where you want to. Throw strikes. Home plate don’t move.”*… 

     

    In the major leagues this season, batters have been hitting the ball so hard, and so far, that pitchers are suggesting foul play. “There’s just something different about the baseballs,” one veteran reliever complained earlier this summer. “I don’t have anything to quantify it, but the balls just don’t feel the same.” It’s been an unprecedented year for home runs: hitters are on pace to shatter the previous single-season record for them (5,693), which was set in 2000, at the height of the steroid era, when sluggers were making widespread and illegal use of performance-enhancing drugs. In June, players hit more home runs than in any previous month in the game’s history (1,101), sometimes in gaudy fashion, as when seven different players hit grand slams in a single day (another record)…

    Under the circumstances, it was easy to miss another major-league record being set this week. Granted, it was somewhat obscure. It concerned one of baseball’s most pleasurable and least appreciated feats: the immaculate inning.

    Rick Porcello [above], the starting pitcher for the Red Sox, threw one in a win against the Tampa Bay Rays on [August 9]. He struck out the side—three up, three down—on nine consecutive pitches. It was the eighth immaculate inning pitched this season, which topped the previous high (seven), from 2014…

    Rarer than a no-hitter: “The ephemeral perfection of the Immaculate Inning.”

    And check out The Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s “Treasures from the Baseball Diamond.”

    * Satchel Paige

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    As we contemplate control, we might consider its opposite, recalling that on this date in 1909, in the first of two games at South Side Park, Dolly Gray of the Washington Senators entered the record book by walking eight White Sox in the 2nd inning, with seven of the walks in a row (each feat a Major League record that stands to this day). The six runs scored were enough for a 6 – 4 Chicago win, although the Sox managed only one hit against Dolly.

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:55 on 2016/09/25 Permalink
    Tags: Album, , , largest record collection, LP, , Rameau, record, , Zero Freitas   

    “That tactile feel of flipping through a stack of vinyl remains one of life’s simple pleasures”*… 

     

    Nearly everyone interested in records will have, at some point heard the news that there is a Brazilian who owns millions of records. Fewer seem to know, however, that Zero Freitas, a São Paulo-based businessman now in his sixties, plans to turn his collection into a public archive of the world’s music, with special focus on the Americas. Having amassed over six million records, he manages a collection similar to the entire Discogs database. Given the magnitude of this enterprise, Freitas deals with serious logistical challenges and, above all, time constraints. But he strongly believes it is worth his while. After all, no less than a vinyl library of global proportions is at stake…

    An interview with master collector Zero Freitas: “Inside the World’s Biggest Record Collection.”

    * Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)

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    As we drop the needle, we might send harmonious birthday greetings to Jean-Philippe Rameau; he was born on this date in 1683.  One of the most important French composers and music theorists of the Baroque era, he replaced Jean-Baptiste Lully as the dominant composer of French opera and is also considered (with François Couperin) the leading French composer for the harpsichord of his time.

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:26 on 2016/05/09 Permalink
    Tags: , brown trout, cook book, , , , , record,   

    “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me”*… 

     

    Although well-known for her massive novels The Fountainhead (about an architectural genius who blows up his own skyscraper) and Atlas Shrugged (about a group of fiercely individualistic anti—union entrepreneurs who band together and go on strike), Ayn Rand was something of a culinary devotee–or so the publication of this hitherto unsuspected book of recipes would suggest.

    Written in her trademark “romantic realist” style, this large collection includes recipes unique to its author, such as “I Need No Warrant for Being Green Beans,” “Rational Pumpkin Muffins of the Highest Intelligence,” and “Chicken Baked Only for Itself.”…

    More– including a recipe for an old standard, made Objectively better– at “Preparing Eggplant Rollatini With the Highest Competence.”

    See also Mc Sweeney’s “Recipes that would be officially approved by the Ayn Rand Institute.”

    * Ayn Rand

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    As we decide to diet, we might recall that it was on this date in 1992, at 11:00 a.m., that the current world record brown trout was caught on the Little Red River in Arkansas by Howard “Rip” Collins.  At forty-pounds, four ounces, it far exceeded the previous record-holder, a 38-9 brown caught by Mike “Huey” Manley of North Little Rock four years earlier.

    Collins and his catch

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  • feedwordpress 09:01:53 on 2016/03/07 Permalink
    Tags: bricklaying, Guinness world record, , , Livery Stable Blues, record, The Original Dixieland Jazz Band,   

    “Few of them were to be trusted within reach of a trowel and a pile of bricks”*… 

     

    email readers click here for video

    It is oddly mesmerizing to watch Robert Boll win the the 1st annual World Champion Brick Olympics– and set a Guinness world record– by laying 914 bricks in one hour.  Boll’s feat has been bested several times since, most recently, by Travis McGee:

    email readers click here for video

    * P.G. Wodehouse

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    As we get set for the paint drying event, we might recall that it was on this date in 1917 that the Victor Talking Machine Company released two songs recorded by The Original Dixieland Jass Band — “Livery Stable Blues” and “Dixie Jass Band One Step”– as two sides of a 78 rpm disc…  the first jazz record ever released.  As readers can see in the photo below, the band changed the spelling to “Jazz” later that year.

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  • feedwordpress 09:01:44 on 2016/02/28 Permalink
    Tags: , Codeminders, , , record, snow, temperatures, ,   

    “Pray don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr. Worthing”*… 

     

    If you’re planning to relocate but want to live somewhere with a near-exact temperature profile, where should you go?

    That depends: Folks in San Francisco might choose San Luis Obispo 200 miles south, or Portugal’s Cabo Carvoeiro 5,600 miles east, as these locales have 99 percent similar monthly temperatures. Chicagoans could go to Ottawa or Dalian, China, whereas New Yorkers will feel at home in Dover, Maryland; Milford, Delaware; or Makhachkala, Russia.

    That’s according to an engrossing map tool from Codeminders that compares places with equivalent climates…

    More at “A Guide to Finding Cities With Nearly Identical Temperatures“– and try it for yourself here.

    * “Pray don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr. Worthing. Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else. And that makes me quite nervous.”

    – Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

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    As we ponder the differential impacts of climate change, we might recall that it was on this date in 1900 that a massive storm spread record snows from Kansas to New York State. Snowfall totals ranged up to 17.5 inches at Springfield IL and 43 inches at Rochester NY, with up to 60 inches in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State.

    Central Park, after the storm

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:12 on 2015/09/22 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Musial, Private Snafu, , record, , , ,   

    “All art is propaganda”*… 

     

    Between 1943 and 1945, with the help of Warner Bros.’ finest animators, the U.S. Army produced a series of 27 propaganda cartoons depicting the calamitous adventures of Private Snafu.

    Read the extraordinary story (replete with a cameo by Bugs Bunny) and learn how one of the cartoons inadvertently let slip one of the war’s greatest secrets– “Ignorant Armies: Private Snafu Goes to War.”

    And watch the Private Snafu films here.

    * Upton Sinclair

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    As we stand to attention, we might recall that it was on this date in 1947 that Stan Musial tied Ty Cobb’s record for the most five-hit games in a season (four)– and he did it in style, hitting successfully on the first pitches from five different pitchers.

    “How good was Stan Musial? He was good enough to take your breath away.”
    — Vin Scully

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  • feedwordpress 09:01:19 on 2015/02/20 Permalink
    Tags: athletics, , , , , New Zealand, record, , , Yvette Williams   

    “If the people of New Zealand want to be part of our world, I believe they should hop off their islands, and push ‘em closer”*… 

     

     

    World Maps Without New Zealand is a stupid side project an attempt to raise the awareness of a very serious and troubling issue we are seeing taking place all around the world: the disrespectful cartographical neglect towards the country that gave you such amazing things as Lord of the Rings, Flight of the Conchords, Lorde, and ZORB. Here, we collect and share the real world examples of this atrocity.

    The blog is curated by this guy, who is a humble Auckland based web developer by day, and an extra lazy one by night…

    Many, many more at “World Maps Without New Zealand“–“It’s not a very important country most of the time…”

    * Lewis Black

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    As we get antipodeal, we might recall that it was on this date in 1954, at an athletics meeting in Gisborne (New Zealand), that Yvette Williams broke the long jump record held by Dutch athlete Francine Blankers-Koen.  Williams record of 20 feet 7½ inches (6.29 m) stood for another 18 months.

    Williams had already achieved international recognition by winning Gold in the Long Jump event at the at the 1950 Commonwealth Games and at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952.  She took Gold again at the Commonwealth Games later in 1954, but did not surpass her own record.  She was inducted into the New Zealand Hall of Fame in 1990.

    Williams, mid-jump

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  • feedwordpress 09:01:43 on 2015/01/27 Permalink
    Tags: basketball, Bruins, Knicks, record, spa, Stoudemire, UCLA, , wine bath   

    “There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them”*… 

     

    New York Knicks power forward Amar’e Stoudemire let the world in on his body-rejuvenating beauty secret via Instagram as this year’s NBA season began: red wine baths… The 31-year-old basketball veteran is soaking his muscles in a blend of vino and water to “create more circulation” in his red blood cells. In addition to red wine, Stoudemire takes a dip in an “ancient tub,” a cold-plunge pool, and tops off his spa session with a massage.

    But before you start dumping Two Buck Chuck into your tub, Regine Berthelot, a vinotherapist and treatment manager for Caudalíe Spas in North America, Brazil, and Hong Kong, says that bathing in booze will actually dehydrate your skin. Instead, it’s the extract from the red vine leaf that is shown to strengthen capillaries, stimulate blood flow, and detox the body—a cup of which is incorporated into the Red Vine Barrel Bath ($75) at the brand’s spa at The Plaza in New York City. Polyphenols and resveratrol (a molecule deemed as one of the most powerful antiagers by professor David Sinclair at Harvard Medical School) are other trace elements that can be found in this treatment, although Berthelot says higher concentrations of both ingredients can be found in a simple glass of wine…

    While one hopes that Stoudemire found the soak soothing, one notes that that Knocks are in the midst of a disastrous season (8-37 so far, with a franchise record 16b games loosing streak…

    Still, readers who want more information can find it at “Why Drink Red Wine When You Can Bathe in It.”

    * Sylvia Plath

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    As we practice three-pointers, we might recall that it was on this date in 1973 that UCLA’s basketball team won its 61st consecutive games, an NCAA record, on the way to an undeafeated season and a record 89 wins (and 1 loss) over a three-year span.  The Bruins won a(nother) National Championship that season.

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:50 on 2014/04/21 Permalink
    Tags: Alf Dean, Great White, household items, , , poison, record, shark,   

    “That’s All Folks!”*… 

     

    If you drink two ounces of Windex glass cleaner within an hour you’ll be drunk. Fourteen ounces will shut down your nervous system. 

    You can poison yourself with water: drink over a gallon in an hour and you’ll be irritable, drowsy, suffering from a headache, and behaving strangely. If you consume another three quarters of a gallon in that hour, your nervous system will shut down

    From carrots and chewing gum to Pantene hairspray and Centrum vitamins– “How Not To Kill Yourself With Household Items.”

    Epitaph of Mel Blanc, “The Man of a Thousand Voices.”

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    As we practice the precautionary principle, we might recall that it was on this date in 1959 that Alfred “Alf” Dean, fishing in south Australian waters, used a rod and reel to land the largest great white shark recognized by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA).  Weighing 1,208 kilograms (2,664 lb), it was 16′ 10″ long.

    Several larger great whites caught by anglers have since been verified, but were later disallowed from formal recognition by IGFA monitors for rules violations– the most common of which rule violation is using mammals as bait…  which Mr. Dean apparently also did (“I used kittens”).  But at the time of his catch this practice was not against IGFA rules, so his record stood.

    Dean and his catch

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