"Outta here!"—Baseball loses one of its finest voices

kalasHarry Kalas, the long-time broadcast announcer for the Philadelphia Phillies and the voice of NFL Films, passed away today. Kalas died in the booth prior to today’s game between the Phillies and the Nationals. The cause of death was not immediately known.

“We lost our voice today,” said Phillies team president David Montgomery.

In fact, baseball and football fans alike were struck dumb by the news. Continue reading

Note Bene #61

Hot links from recent days: My favorite loony elected official warns of “politically correct re-education camps” for youths … Robots are replacing humans as the great explorers, observes Jeremy Hsu … Woe is Colorado: Wildlife’s losing ground to sprawl, there’s mercury in the lakes, and forests are turning brown … RIP Tom Braden; Crossfire was at its best when it was Braden & Buchanan … The plight of Haiti continues to shame the Western Hemisphere … The surviving Beatles put on a show … Spotless minds may soon shine eternally … Howard Zinn discusses class in America … Our friend Brad Friedman says: Hey, AP nitwits, Franken won … America’s first solar-powered city? … Paging Dr. Jones: Mugabe has stolen the Ark … Would you pay for news online? … A second sequel to the animation classic Heavy Metal is in the works, and Rob Zombie might direct a segment … In other metal news, Ronnie James Dio is penning an autobiography … We’re at the dawn of personalized medicine, says Fergus Walsh … “Whanne that Aprill with its poems sote/The doldrums of March hath perced to the rote” … $150 million in Nigerian bribes are sitting in Swiss banks … Humans and aliens might share DNA roots, writes Brandon Keim. Hey, I saw that Next Gen episode! … Microsoft believes Net usage will overtake traditional TV in Europe next year … Oh, great. Now insurers will get bailed out. Developers must be next … Speak of the devils: “We clearly overbuilt.” You don’t f?!king say … Fox comes up with this week’s Sound Business Solution™: Capitalize on misery … What could possibly make Kanye West regroup his shit? This … Adam Carolla chats with Trek legend and gay icon George Takei … And speaking of gay, Matt Drudge wants you to know that he does not love sex with men. He prefers eggs. ∞

Unleashing the Green stampede

windturbines_greenWhile on the campaign trail, Barack Obama made greening America’s infrastructure a huge priority for his administration. As noted in the Los Angeles Times, Obama planned

to spend $150 billion over the next decade to promote energy from the sun, wind and other renewable sources as well as energy conservation. Plans include raising vehicle fuel-economy standards and subsidizing consumer purchases of plug-in hybrids. Obama wants to weatherize 1 million homes annually and upgrade the nation’s creaky electrical grid. His team has talked of providing tax credits and loan guarantees to clean-energy companies.

His goals: create 5 million new jobs repowering America over 10 years; assert U.S. leadership on global climate change; and wean the U.S. from its dependence on imported petroleum.

He’s currently battling Congress for the appropriations required to turn his vision into reality, and the resistance from Capitol Hill raises once again a question that’s been bouncing around the office here for the last six months: why not revise the tax code to make wind, hydroelectric, solar and other renewable technologies “like-kind” with traditional fossil technologies? This would allow energy companies that wanted to transition into green energy to employ Section 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges, thereby speeding the switch-over considerably. Continue reading

Press overuses anonymous military sources in Phillips' rescue

Many folks like a good shoot-’em-up Tom Clancy novel, filled with supersecret spy stuff, technologically amazing weapons, and daring young men and women outfitted in black with killing gizmos of all kinds. So, too, do some folks like movies that show ultra-military sophistication and operations, many adapted from those same Clancy novels.

In novels and movies, presumably, no one really dies if fictional operational details are revealed.

But should we be reading details of real, life-at-risk military operations, such as those found in The Washington Post and The New York Times and other press outlets regarding a kidnapped merchant marine captain? Especially when those stories carry not a single named source?
Continue reading

Tournament of Rock I: IAMX vs. Animal Collective

UPDATE: As of this moment (Monday, 9am MDT), IAMX leads Animal Collective by a 69%-31% margin. If you haven’t already, give both artists a listen and register your opinion in the poll box below.


First, the results. In Match #1, S&R readers preferred The Well Wishers over Andrew Bird 52-48%. The contest was a neck-and-neck, see-saw affair from the opening bell, and our congrats to both artists. Jeff Shelton and Co. now advance to the second round where they await the winner of…

Match #2. Here we see our first true clash of styles, with Indie squaring off against … let’s call it darkpop, shall we?

In the red corner, hailing from the UK, Continue reading

The Fog of Warmongering

by Jeff Huber

We’re a decade into the new American century, the neoconservatives are still leading the country on a march to the cliff, and most of the citizenry still hasn’t caught on to what’s happening.

I’ve been bumping into a wandering soul at various stops along the information highway of late who claims to have “lost soldiers in war.”In one discussion thread, this ostensible leader of lost soldiers insists that the surge in Iraq was successful because “we had the lowest number of casualties ever last month, which sounds like a win to me.”

I can’t tell if this person really commanded troops in war, or is a Pentagon viral propaganda operative, or if he’s just a computer generated personality disorder.I’d like to believe that someone who led troops in combat knows that casualty rates (aka body counts) are seldom if ever accurate indicators of how a war is going.The Union suffered more casualties than the Confederacy in the Civil War.The best Vietnam casualty figures we have indicate that roughly 1.1 million North Vietnamese Army and Vietcong personnel were killed in action compared to 47,378 Americans (U.S. combat and non-combat deaths combined totaled over 58,000). Continue reading