Friday, December 28, 2012

College Football Spotlight:Bowl Game Action

A very late and protracted game delayed publication tonight.In an earlier contest,Virginia Tech had edged Rutgers 13-10 in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando,Florida.The game was decided in overtime when VA Tech made their field goal attempt,but Rutgers missed theirs.
Later,Texas Tech and Minnesota engaged in a very scrappy battle at the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas in Houston that saw a lot of penalties and booth reviews of close calls.Texas Tech was booked for five personal foul penalties of unnecessary roughness after the whistle.
Despite the superlative effort of graduating senior Michael Carter,who made five tackles and two interceptions,as well as a pass broken up,and was ESPN's Player of the Game,Minnesota was slightly outplayed by the more experienced Texas Tech Red Raiders.
The Seth Dedge pass to Eric Ward in the end zone with 1:10 left in the game was the beginning of the end for the Minnesota Golden Gophers,and an interception by Texas Tech's D.J. Johnson at 0:43 led to Ryan Bustin's game-winning field goal.The final score was 34-31,giving the Red Raiders a good record of 8-5 on the season,while the Golden Gophers failed to break even,closing out with a disheartening tally of 6-7 for the year.
Winter weather plastered the US with everything from tornadoes to blizzards this week.At least 13 storm-related deaths were reported in the East alone.More snow is expected in the East for Saturday morning.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fine Arts Review:The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour

It is almost the 45th anniversary of the first airing of Beatles' short film "Magical Mystery Tour."On December 26,1967,the BBC broadcast the film,which was Sir Paul McCartney's brainchild,to a national audience.The film was panned by the public and savaged by critics.It lacked a clearly defined plot,they complained;it was just a load of rubbish.
That was before the era of music videos.Clearly,sensibilities have changed.Today,it's hard to understand what the British were so outraged about.Watching a newly restored colour edition of the film proved to be a thoroughly entertaining experience.
To begin with,the music is as strong as ever.Classics such as "I Am The Walrus" and "Fool On The Hill" haven't lost any of their clever appeal.This witty film only accentuates them.
Some of the dialogue between Ringo Starr and his Aunt Jessie:
"I've had enough of it.I can't stand it anymore."
"Don't get historical."
It does indeed have a plot and a fine sense of place,although not completely linear.There are several dream or daydream sequences in the course of a grab bag sort of bus ride from the city into the British countryside.There is a distinct carnival atmosphere pervading the mystery tour."Roll up for the Magical Mystery Tour.Step right this way."
The picture is a montage of fun moments and songs that arise as the bus careens and cruises into the countryside:a game of tug of war;a love sequence between Aunt Jessie and the bus driver Mr.Blood Vessel;a manic army sergeant portrayed by comic actor and Beatles favorite Victor Spinetti;John Lennon's fatherly affection for a little girl on the bus;a singalong with an accordionist;even a fairly graphic striptease in a nightclub when darkness falls and the bus returns to town.
You feel you really have felt some magic,peering through a window at the vivid colours of the British imagination in the 1960s.It's a pity the original showing was met with such a lack of one.
"Magical Mystery Tour" is available on DVD.It runs about 53 minutes.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fine Arts Review-Annie Leibovitz:Pilgrimage

I started at the top.The first photography exhibition I ever attended is by the brilliant and controversial American portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz.Oddly enough,there isn't one portrait in it.Leibovitz has photographed celebrities from John Lennon to Queen Elizabeth II,but took a break from her metier this time.
"Annie Leibovitz:Pilgrimage" is a fascinating ramble through the worlds of some celebrities she didn't get to photograph,including American writers Emily Dickinson and Ralph Waldo Emerson.She photographed Dickinson's last surviving dress-a white lacy affair-and Emerson's hiking hat.
She visited Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion and captured a television he shot a hole in.She took a picture of Thomas Jefferson's experimental garden and Abraham Lincoln's stovepipe hat that he wore the night he was assassinated.
This exhibition is an historical magic carpet ride,principally through Americana,with a few diversions such as Sigmund Freud's famous couch in London.There is a soft,painterly quality to the photos.Indeed,Leibovitz began as a painter while attending the San Fransisco Art Institute.
It's something I will reflect on for a number of days,at the very least.In my book,that's a considerable success.
Leibovitz,63,was the longtime chief photographer for Rolling Stone magazine and,more recently,Vanity Fair.She was the subject of a PBS "American Masters" program,and received the Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship(HonFRPS) for a sustained,significant contribution to the art of photography.
The exhibition is at Gettysburg National Military Park's Museum and Visitor Center through January 30.Admission charge.No flash photography or videotaping is permitted in the Museum.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lakers Lose Again;Senden Leads Aussie Open

This guy is off the charts,said  commentator and NBA great Magic Johnson of Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook.All season long,he has been in control,leading in points and assisting,too.He learned from losing to the Miami Heat last year and worked on his game all summer.
The Thunder are too fast and too athletic for the Los Angeles Lakers,Johnson added.
The Thunder edged the Lakers 114-108 Friday night at Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City.It was the Thunder's seventh straight victory,bringing their record up to 16-4.The Lakers are bitterly disappointed with their 9-11 tally.
Kevin Durant was the standout for OKC with his 36 points and 9 rebounds,while Westbrook added 33 points and 1 rebound.For the Lakers,Kobe Bryant scored 35 points with 3 rebounds.
At the Emirates Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney,Australia's John Senden shot a third round 7 under par 70 Saturday to surpass England's Justin Rose's 5 under par 70.The late spring sky was clear,but blustery winds marred the Saturday afternoon play.
Justin Rose said the boys are having a tough time.It's difficult to hit the ball in from 3 feet.I think everyone's gonna have problems like that out there today.
Rose had ended his round with a double bogey.
Colorado's ski resorts are looking forward to more snow this weekend.Steamboat Springs,Vail and Aspen may get 6-12 inches through Sunday.Northern Minnesota is also expecting snow.The Midwest has been gravely short on snow so far this year.

Friday, November 30, 2012

McDowell Leads in Thousand Oaks;Orangemen Overcome Razorbacks

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell established a comfortable lead in the World Challenge Presented By Northwestern Mutual at Sherwood Country Club,Thousand Oaks,California.McDowell shot a cushy second round  9 under par 66,praising the golf course's undulating backdrop.It's a fun course,he said,noting that his win there in 2009 was a prelude to his successful 2010 season.
The course is set in the scrubby beauty of the Santa Monica Mountains.After the tournament,McDowell plans to take ten weeks off to spend time with his family and work on his game for 2013.The PGA 2013 season begins with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii from January 4-7.
In college basketball,Syracuse handled Arkansas 91-82 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.James Southerland came off the Syracuse bench for a career night,scoring 35 points with 6 rebounds.Arkansas' B.J. Young posted 25 points with 5 rebounds,while teammate Marshawn Powell added 19 points and 7 rebounds.
The Orangemen's victory puts the Big East over the SEC 5-2 in the conference Challenge.#6 Syracuse is 5-0,while Arkansas is 3-3.
A zonal flow jet stream pattern is keeping most of the cold and snow locked up in Canada,ensuring a generally mild to moderate week ahead for most of the US.

Friday, November 23, 2012

McNeil River Brown Bears

Alaska brown bears(Ursus arctos) are visible from the viewing platforms at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's McNeil River Wildlife Sanctuary and Refuge.The record is 74 bears at one time as the fearsome animals flock to McNeil River and Mikfik Creek in search of spawning salmon from June to August.
A photo of a brown bear cub taken at the site is featured in the previous post.It was a National Geographic Photo of the Day.
A bearcam also streams live webcasts from the area.
Spots on the viewing platforms are allocated by lottery under the strict conservation regimen imposed by the Department.Viewers are escorted by guides and accompanied by an armed warden.To date,no bear/human incidents have occurred at the site.
The roadless Sanctuary and Refuge consist of some 200 square miles.
Grizzly bears(Ursus arctos horribilis) are a subspecies of brown bear with grizzled fur that has also been called silver-tipped.They are smaller than the brown bears of Southern Alaska because the southern bears have a richer diet and warmer climate.The Kodiak bear(Ursus arctos middendorffi) is another subspecies of brown bear that is limited to Kodiak Island and is the world's largest brown bear.
Brown bears also occur in Western Europe in very small numbers,and in large numbers in the wildlands of Russia.The grizzly bear subspecies once ranged into Mexico and as far east as Lake Erie.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Grizzlies Replace Knicks;Air Force Earns Bowl

A spate of late games delayed publication tonight.At FedEx Forum in Memphis,the Memphis Grizzlies knocked the New York Knicks out of top position in the NBA and seized it for themselves with their 105-95 victory.Down by 21 points in the fourth period,the Knicks reduced that gulf to eight points,but couldn't close the deal.Shooting was lackluster by the Knicks,who had come into the game with a 6-0 record.
Leading the Knicks was Raymond Felton with his 18 points and 3 rebounds;Zack Randolph notched 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Grizzlies.At 7-1,the Grizzlies have a 4-0 record at home.The Knicks continue to top their Atlantic Division,with the Brooklyn Nets being second at 4-2.
In college football,Air Force dominated Hawaii 21-7 at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs,earning bowl eligibility for a school record 6th straight season.The Falcons scored all their points on the ground;indeed,they didn't throw one pass the entire game.Cody Goetz ran for one touchdown,while Wes Cobb added two more.
Goetz says he is mocked for his diminutive stature by opponents,but they shut up when he runs the football into the end zone.He is able to hurtle over them.
Air Force held Hawaii to zero first down conversions in the second half.They are expected to play in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on December 29 in Fort Worth,Texas.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Knicks Stay On Top;Sandy Suffering Continues

The New York Knicks continued their outstanding start to the new NBA season Friday night,topping the Dallas Mavericks 104-94.The Knicks are now 4-0,and are the only unbeaten team in the NBA.It is their best start since 1993-94,when they went on a 7-0 run to begin a road to the NBA finals.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 31 points and 7 rebounds.For the Mavs,OJ Mayo contributed 23 points.
Let's pause to remember the suffering that still goes on in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.Our thoughts,prayers and other support are needed in the New York/New Jersey area,where many thousands continue to lack lights,heat and easy access to food and medicine.Some are stuck on the upper floors of high rises.They rely on the American Red Cross and other helpers.
The lower third of Manhattan remains in the dark.To contribute,please visit

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Terrific Sandy Telethon;Knicks Win

It was a big Friday night for New York/New Jersey as a terrific telethon was held for Hurricane Sandy relief and the New York Knicks won their NBA season opener.The telethon,"Hurricane Sandy:Coming Together" was broadcast on the networks of NBC Universal.The phones will be open all night at 1-800-HELP-NOW,1-800-435-7669.Proceeds go the American Red Cross for hurricane relief.
We will do all we can to help,because every one of you matters,promised Christina Aguilera.The singer opened the live performance before a studio audience at Rockefeller Center with her strong and amazing voice in "You Are Beautiful.".She is a native of the devastated Staten Island.
Host Matt Lauer noted that,ironically,the people we're trying to help can't watch the telethon because they have no power.Text 90999 to donate 10 dollars to the Red Cross.
Steve Tyler,Jimmy Fallon,Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen joined in a rendition of the classic "Under The Boardwalk,"so appropriate given that much of the Jersey Shore boardwalk was lost to the superstorm.Donate to the Red Cross on Twitter at #SandyHelp.
Jon Bon Jovi performed a mournful medley of "Who Says You Can't Go Home" and "Living On Prayer."He is a New Jersey native and resident.
The music was interspersed with film clips of the destruction and survivors pleading for assistance.
Aerosmith performed  the haunting "Dream On."Sting rendered an acoustic version of "Message In A Bottle"with its apt refrain "Sending out an SOS."
Corporate sponsors of the program included Allstate;Bank of America;State Farm;Google;and JP Morgan Chase.
One affecting still photo shown on the telethon depicted National Guard troops rescuing an English sheepdog from the flood.The show was concluded by Bruce Springsteen singing a committed "Land Of Hope And Dreams."
In  NBA basketball,the New York Knicks reopened the sporting life of their damaged but not defeated city with a 100-84 victory over the Miami Heat.Carmelo Anthony starred with 30 points for the Knicks,while LeBron James led with 23 points for the Heat.
The phones are open all night at 1-800-HELP-NOW,1-800-435-7669 to donate to the American Red Cross hurricane relief.Twitter #SandyHelp.Thank you from another New Jersey native.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Giants Blank Cards;Autumn Mist Abounds

The San Francisco Giants pinned the St.Louis Cardinals down at Busch Stadium in St.Louis Friday night.A strong pitching performance by Barry Zito ensured that Frisco will live another day as the National League Championship Series returns to their Bay Area for its conclusion.
Zito pitched 7 and 2/3rds shutout innings and Sergio Romo closed the contest out,at least delaying a second straight league crown to the World Champion Cardinals.
I had all my pitches working tonight,Zito said.The most important thing is getting it back to San Francisco so our fans can be a factor.For me,the most important thing is getting everything done for San Francisco.
The next game of the series will be played at 7 pm Eastern,4 pm Pacific on Sunday.Fox Television will broadcast it.
The iconic autumn mist obscured some parts of the Mid-Atlantic region Friday night,making road travel more hazardous.Jupiter has remained a brilliant feature in the eastern sky over recent nights.At times,Jupiter can reach a magnitude of up to -2.6.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Frosty Starlit Night;Yankees Pitcher Dominates Orioles

Clear skies made for excellent stargazing and the promise of frost in nearly the entire Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions Friday night.Looking into the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy in which we live was eminently possible in the conditions.The Milky Way looks like a faint cloud extending across the sky and encompassing many individual stars.
It will be the first frost of the season in many areas,and record lows may be occurring with temperatures dipping as far as the upper twenties F.Those wishing to preserve sensitive plants such as houseplants on their decks covered them or brought them in for the night.
The New York Yankees extended their season Friday night by capturing the American League East crown as they overpowered the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.Yankees star pitcher CC Sabathia calmly went the whole nine innings of the game-a rarity in these times-and centerfielder Curtis Granderson hit an impressive seventh inning home run into the second deck to solidify the New Yorkers' victory over the younger Baltimore team.
The Yankees move on to meet the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series.The San Francisco Giants will play the St.Louis Cardinals for the National League Crown.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Good Views of Moon and Jupiter;Light Snow Cover at Glacier National Park

The waning moon hung low in the eastern sky,with Jupiter brilliant just above it as I stepped out for some air about 11 pm Friday night.It was an impressive view of some everyday heavenly bodies,rather than something rare.Just the way they were arranged in the night sky made them worthy of admiration.
Some people out West were able to admire light snow this week.Glacier National Park,Montana had snow from Tuesday into Wednesday.By Friday night it was 24 F with 2-4 inches of snow cover at about 4500 ft. in East Glacier Park.The wind chill was 19F.
Fire danger at Glacier is moderate,with the Avalanche Fire being 122 acres in size.Smoke and haze are also drifting in from fires outside the park.
Fall color is near peak on aspens,birches and cottonwoods.Bears are foraging up to 20 hours a day in autumn.Please do not draw near to bears or other wildlife in Glacier or other parks.They may react unpredictably.View them with binoculars or spotting scopes instead.
The popular park is on the Canadian border.
Light snow was also dusting parts of  Midwestern states North Dakota,Wisconsin and Minnesota Friday night, as well as the Front Range of the Rockies.

Friday, September 28, 2012

US Tops Ryder Cup Opener;Yankees Sustain Success

The 39th Ryder Cup began on Friday at Medinah Country Club near Chicago.The first day went to the US team 5-3.Phil Mickelson,who had been criticized for his previous lackluster performances at the Cup,fired off some of his best shots in years,winning both of his matches,as did his partner the young Keegan Bradley.
American Webb Simpson thanked his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for his success,while his partner Bubba Watson noted that this was his first Ryder Cup since his father died of cancer in October 2010,making it an incredible experience for him.
Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium was outstanding for the Europeans,scoring an eagle and eight birdies.
The Cup takes place every two years and is known for the boisterous nationalism of tens of thousands of fans.It gives the golfers a chance to experience their sport from a team perspective.Europe won the 2010 Cup.
In baseball Friday night,the New York Yankees dominated the Toronto Blue Jays 11-4 at Rogers Centre in Toronto.Catcher Russell Martint smashed a three-run homer for the Yanks,securing their one game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East.Baltimore creamed the Boston Red Sox 9-1 at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

Friday, September 21, 2012

POW/MIA Recognition Day;Yankees Top Standings

Americans paused to remember their missing service members Friday,POW/MIA Recognition Day.The iconic white on black flag of the National League of Families was widely flown and displayed in posters and Internet graphics.A total of 83,417 members of the US Armed Forces remain unaccounted for from the nation's wars.Most of the MIAs went missing in World War II,the Korean War and the Vietnam War.This blog will never forget them and supports the ongoing effort to bring them all home.
On a less somber note,the New York Yankees continued their run atop the American League East Friday night by beating the Oakland As 2-1 in extra innings in the Bronx.The Yankee stadium crowd was thrilled by catcher Russell Martin's walk-off home run in the bottom of the tenth inning.At Fenway Park in Boston,the Baltimore Orioles stayed one game back of the Yankees by defeating the Boston Red Sox 4-2.
At East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta,American Jim Furyk mastered the tricky course with an excellent second round 7 under par 64 at the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola.England's Justin Rose was second on the leader board with his 6 under par 68.Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were well back at 12th and 16th place,respectively.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Guatemalan Volcano Beckons To Tourists;Yankees Still Share First

Volcan del Fuego,the Volcano of Fire near the picturesque Guatemalan city of Antigua,caused a welcome tourist boom for local tour guides as it eased up Friday.Authorities lowered the alert level from red to orange when the lava flow died down to two 3,000 foot streams from the big flow it had been.It was the volcano's biggest eruption since 1974 by Volcan del Fuego,the country's most active volcano.
Antigua is a colonial era city with cobblestone streets and Baroque church architecture.About 5,000 people had evacuated;they began returning home to their villages as the danger lessened.The volcano is 12,346 feet high,or 3763 meters,looming over the region of widely scattered aboriginal villages.
Tour operators scheduled hikes beginning at dusk to observe the rare sight of the ribbons of fiery lava.Heavy ash fall continued to pose a health hazard for the sick,elderly and the very young.
On Friday night,the New York Yankees lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 at Yankee Stadium,but still held on to share of first place in the American League East with the Baltimore Orioles,who lost to the Oakland A's 3-2 at Oakland Coliseum.Yoenis Cespedes hit the crucial home run for the A's.More than 35,000 fans provided loud support for their San Francisco Bay Area team.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Haunted By Hanta;Vijay Leads at Crooked Stick

Americans are worried about their outdoor activities because of two viruses popping up this late summer.The hantavirus,which is transmitted by inhaling or direct contact with the droppings and urine of deer mice,is troubling visitors to Yosemite National Park,California.The virus has killed three so far and sickened five others.About one in three infected by the virus die.Although there is no cure,those who seek early treatment have the best chance of survival.Early symptoms are flu-like.
It is believed that deer mice got inside of tent cabin walls and campers inhaled the virus that they deposited there.The National Park Service has warned 29,000 recent visitors from around the world about early symptoms from hantavirus.
The other viral threat is much more widespread.West Nile virus has appeared in all lower 48 states.The mosquito-transmitted illness has sickened 1993 people and killed 87,the highest death toll in years.There is no cure for this virus,either.Those in good health usually recover from flu-like West Nile within a few weeks.
Vijay Singh,49,is feeling well atop the BMW Championship leader board at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel,Indiana.The Fiji citizen shot a 13 under par 66 in the second round,while world number one Rory McIlroy was secondafter his 12 under par 68,joined by Tiger Woods with a 12 under par 67.
Phil Mickelson was tied for 13th place with several others,firing off an 8 under par 67.The course has been wet the first two rounds,resulting in a lot of precise shots and the many low scores.
The New York Yankees pulverized the Baltimore Orioles with six homers in Baltimore Friday night,retaking first place in the American League East from them.All of the Yankees' runs were from their home runs.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue Moon and Blue at the Pumps;Calvillo Sets CFL Record

Friday night saw the last Blue Moon until 2015.A blue moon is when there are two full moons in one month.It doesn't look any different from a normal full moon.It's a calendar oddity that makes for an interesting little experience.It's free of charge-good news for the cash-strapped American consumer,who is suffering the highest gas prices for Labor Day weekend in history.
The average price for gasoline is now 3.80 a gallon.Prices rose up to 15 cents in one day.In Illinois and California,gas is going for over 4.00 a gallon.It's on account of a number of factors,including Hurricane Isaac shutting down oil rigs and a pipeline;a refinery fire;and the expensive ethanol blend that must be used in summer.By the holidays,gas should go back down to about 3.50 a gallon.
Speaking of the moon,let's pause to remember Astronaut Neil Armstrong,the first human being to set foot on the moon,who died this week in Ohio at age 82.His private funeral was Friday with hundreds of close friends attending.This Blue Moon is dedicated to him.
Another type of hero,quarterback Anthony Calvillo,40,who plays for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League,set a new record tonight as the Alouettes edged the BC Lions 30-25 at McGill University stadium in Montreal.Calvillo is the first quarterback in CFL history to toss for 300 yards in eight straight games.The game was broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network.Possibly the unassuming Calvillo is the greatest quarterback in the history of  all of North American football.
The Alouettes and Lions are leading their respective divisions with a record of 6-3 each.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tiger Woods in the Hunt;TS Isaac Getting Near

It was a sunny day at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale,New York as Tropical Storm Isaac drew closer to South Florida,darkening skies at Key West,the southernmost tip of the United States.Sergio Garcia of Spain and America's Nick Watney shared the lead of The Barclays,the first of the four PGA Tour Playoffs  for the FedEx Cup,at the difficult and classic public golf course,part of Bethpage State Park on Long Island.
Each of the park's five courses has a color for a name.Bethpage Black was designed in the 1930s and features numerous huge bunkers with amoeba shapes.The greens of the lengthy course were drying fast,making them firm and bouncy.Garcia and Watney managed the tough old course better than most,ending the second round at eight under par.Tiger Woods finished just three strokes back at -5.American Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland just made the cut with even par,eight strokes back.
Snoopy 1,the famous MetLife blimp,provided views of the eccentric bunkers,which reach an extreme at the eighteenth hole,flanking it with their surreal menace.Garcia was coming off last week's victory at the Wyndham Championship with a lot of momentum,while Watney had been having a nondescript season so far.
Down in Florida,tropical storm conditions are expected for Monday and Tuesday.Coastal bay flooding may be a threat on Tuesday and Wednesday,with hurricane conditions possible.A Tropical Storm Warning and a Hurricane Watch have been posted for South Florida.It was already raining heavily in Miami at an NFL preseason game between the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons.The Falcons beat the Dolphins 23-6.
TS Isaac is currently blowing at 70 mph,moving NW at 14 mph and will soon cross Haiti,then go back over open water before crossing Cuba.It could be a category 1 hurricane by Monday evening.Heavily affected areas could range from Mississippi to Georgia.Category 1 is the weakest hurricane.On the twentieth anniversary of mighty Hurricane Andrew,TS Isaac bears scant resemblance to the devastating hurricane.
Update:At Bethpage Black,Sergio Garcia took sole possession of the lead of The Barclays,finishing round 3 at ten under par.Nick Watney was in second place on the leader board at -8,while Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were in 10th place with their four under par.Mickelson had improved from his even par second round by shooting a fine 67 on Saturday.
Tropical Storm Isaac ravaged Haitian refugee camps,killing at least seven people,and shifted a bit westward.About 10,000 people in the Dominican Republic were dispaced when 724 homes were damaged.At last check,it was a 60 mph storm,moving NW at 17mph.It is expected to cross close to Key West,so the Key West High School shelter is filling up. By Sunday evening,it will be a category 1 hurricane,with at least 75 mph winds,as it traverses the Gulf of Mexico.Landfall will be Tuesday evening at a minimum of category 2,with at least 105 mph winds,somewhere between Mississippi and Alabama on the Gulf Coast,according to the latest forecast model.

Hurricane Andrew's 20th anniversary a reminder of storms' power

Hurricane Andrew's 20th anniversary a reminder of storms' power

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hurricane Season At Apex;Yankees Hit Five Roundbaggers

Hurricane season is at its statistical peak now.There are several tropical systems active in the Western Hemisphere.Tropical Storm Helene will soon make landfall on Mexico's east coast,if it has not already done so.Tropical Storm Gordon is moving in an easterly direction,away from North America.It may strike the Azores and then Portugal about mid-week if it continues on its present track.
Another system,a tropical wave,is moving off West Africa toward the Caribbean.It will be carefully scrutinised by meteorologists next week.
Rain pelted Yankee Stadium in the Bronx,New York Friday night for a brief time,but Curtis Granderson hit a home run anyway.His teammate Nick Swisher hit two more,one from each side of the plate,and Russell Martin added a fourth as the New York Yankees slammed the Boston Red Sox 6-4.Derek Jeter also homered,making a team total of five for the night.Jayson Nix batted in the other two runs with a single.
It doesn't look as though the Red Sox will make the postseason this year,as they are in last place in the American League Wild Card race.That would be the third consecutive season they have failed to advance to the playoffs.The first place Yankees are coasting into the postseason with their remarkable firepower,smiling all the way.

Friday, August 10, 2012

London Olympics Notebook:Paige McPherson Wins Taekwondo Bronze-plus the battle of the Russians

American Paige McPherson,21,won the bronze medal in the women's 67kg,or welterweight,taekwondo class Friday.McPherson took the United States' eighth Olympic medal in the fighting sport,defeating Slovenia's Franka Anic 8-3.McPherson,the pride of Sturgis,South Dakota,was raised by her adoptive parents in a family of adopted children.
Kicking seems to be the heart of taekwondo,although punching may also yield points.It's not a sport the masses are too familiar with yet,but it's definitely exciting to watch-and listen to,as the competitors are quite vocal with their battle cries,if you will.
There is a definite culture of respect underpinning the fierce contests,with competitors and officials bowing to each other at various points.
The Bahamas won their first gold medal in history Friday,upsetting the US men in the 4x400 meter relay.The US had won gold in the relay at every Olympics since 1984.
In the overall  London Olympics medal count Friday,the US was first,with 94 total and 41 gold;China was second,with 81 total and 37 gold;and Russia held third place,with 63 total and 15 gold medals.
Update:In Olympics action Saturday,Mexico took the gold in men's soccer,beating Brazil 2-1.It was Mexico's first medal of any kind in soccer.
Russia took both gold and silver in the women's 20 km race walk,as Elena Lashmanova,20,bested the defending gold medalist Olga Kinistina,27.It was a thrilling finish on the Mall in London,with Lashmanova slowly yet steadily reeling Kinistina in,finally eclipsing her in the final moments of the race.Lashmanova blazed a new world record of 1:25:02 in the process,extinguishing the old record of 1:25:08.

Irish delight as Taylor wins gold - London 2012 Olympics

Irish delight as Taylor wins gold - London 2012 Olympics

Friday, August 3, 2012

London Olympics Notebook:Richards-Ross Cruises Through Quarter Final

Sanya Richards-Ross,the Jamaican American who has won Olympic gold twice on the US 4x400 meter relay team,is seeking to make her own mark at that distance in London.Richards-Ross made the quarter finals seem like a jog in the park Friday as she totally dominated the field to qualify for Saturday's semifinals.The Christian athlete gave all the glory to God.She is so thankful to be chasing her dream,she tweeted Friday night.1 race at a time!
Richards-Ross,who is married to NFL player Aaron Ross of the Jacksonville Jaguars,who has two Super Bowl rings from his time with the New York Giants,is considered one of the world's fastest women.She graduated from the University of Texas in 2006,having attended St.Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft.Lauderdale,Florida.
Jamaican-born athletes have been global leaders in track and field for a long time,and that tradition seems certain to continue at the London games as Richards-Ross and others pursue their dreams of talent realised.
In other Olympics action,the Canadian women defeated Great Britain in soccer quarterfinals 2-0 Friday,advancing to the Monday semifinals,where they will face off with Team USA,their longtime rivals.
The match will be broadcast at 2:45 pm Eastern.
French swimmer Florent Manaudou,21,came out of nowhere to clinch victory in the 50 meter freestyle.His older sister Laure,25,who won swimming gold at the Athens games in 2004, gave him a long congratulatory hug poolside,and he threw her his bouquet at the medals ceremony.France has won four swimming golds so far in London,which is more than the three they had won in their entire history.
The total medals leaders Friday were the US,43 and 21 gold;China,42 and 20 gold;and Russia,23 and 3 gold.
Update:While American Serena Williams took the gold medal in women's tennis on Saturday,defeating Russian Maria Sharapova,the Russian men overcame the US in volleyball,winning 3 sets to 2.Both teams are now 3-1 in Group B pool play.
Sanya Richards-Ross qualified for Sunday's 400 meter final.
Update 2:Sanya Richards-Ross won the gold medal in the 400 meter final on Sunday,joining her hands in prayer when she had crossed the finish line.
I've dreamt about this moment over and over the past four years.I'm just so blessed to have this experience,the Christian athlete said.Her parents,husband and cousin had witnessed her race in the stands.

Friday, July 27, 2012

London Olympics Notebook

The opening ceremony at the London Olympics went off smoothly Friday evening.Yahoo labeled the Queen's reaction to British athletes walking by "embarrassing,"however.They thought she had a bored expression. Sir Paul McCartney performed at the end of the program,singing Beatles songs "The End" and "Hey Jude."His voice was flexible at 70 years of age.
An impressive simulation of the Industrial Revolution featured smoke stacks belching acrid smoke.
There wasn't a famous torchbearer to light the cauldron at Olympic Stadium.Instead,a group of 16 young athletes,future Olympians,carried torches to a ring of copper leaves.They lit the leaves,which were then mechanically raised to form the Olympic cauldron.
Former Olympian Muhammad Ali,the boxer,was there to touch the Olympic flag,still able to stand despite his Parkinson's disease.He had lit the cauldron at the 1996 games in Atlanta,shaking from the illness even then.
The games begin in earnest today,Saturday.The soccer tournament actually began on Thursday,before the opening ceremony.The U.S. women's team beat France 4-2.The U.S. men's soccer team failed to qualify for the London games.
Update:Saturday saw continued good weather for the London Olympics.In the cycling road race,Kazakhstan's Alexander Vinokourov won the gold as he wrested the lead from Colombia's Rigoberto Uran near the end of the race,which passed Buckingham Palace.Vinokourov,38,became quite emotional,with many tears for his victory as he embraced his friends.He wasn't the favorite,having retired from the sport at one point.
The Russian women defeated China in beach volleyball.
The U.S. women's soccer team silenced Colombia 3-0 in Glasgow,Scotland.They qualified for the quarter finals,but have a match with North Korea first to finish up group play.
In tennis,American Serena Williams bested Serbia's Jelena Jankovic 6-3,6-1 to advance to the second round.The match was held at Wimbledon,with U.S. first lady Michelle Obama attending and applauding Williams.

Wolf Picture -- Animal Photo -- National Geographic Photo of the Day

Wolf Picture -- Animal Photo -- National Geographic Photo of the Day

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tiger Woods Electrifies British Crowd

He may not be dominant again,but Tiger Woods has definitively rediscovered his old competitive fire,taking the British Open crowd along with him.On his final hole of the second round,Woods pinpointed a superb birdie from a bunker,igniting the British fans and impressing the gaggle of photographers huddled nearby,eager to snag an image of greatness reborn.He modestly downplayed the shot afterward,saying it wasn't that hard as it was from a slope in the bunker.British bunkers are like lunar craters,however.There's really nothing easy about getting out of them,let alone holing from one.
Woods shot his second consecutive 67 in the tournament,placing him in third position with his six under par behind fellow American Brandt Snedeker at -10 and Australian Adam Scott at -9.The venerable Tom Watson, 62,another favorite of the British fans,rallied at the end of his round,ensuring himself another weekend at the oldest major tournament in professional golf.The Open Championship,as it is formally known,is being held at the Royal Lytham &St.Annes Golf Club.
Leader Brandt Snedeker,31,who is from Nashville,Tennessee,said I love playing golf over here.I've been putting great all year.I knew if I got on the greens,I'd have a good chance.The soft-spoken Snedeker,a graduate of Vanderbilt University,equaled an Open Championship record low score of 130 for the first two rounds after his six under par 64 on Friday.
ESPN is carrying the tournament,which is being underwritten by luxury watchmaker Rolex.
Update:On Saturday,Adam Scott seized the lead from Brandt Snedeker with three straight birdies,ending the day with a two under par 68,-11 for the tournament.Snedeker was tied for second  at -7 with Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell,his close friend from their college golfing days.Tiger Woods was in fourth,distinguished by his 30 foot putt at the sixth hole,and goes into the final round still in contention,five strokes back of the lead in his quest for the claret jug.
The golf club adjoins the town of Lytham St.Annes,Lancashire.It is the 11th time the Open Championship has been played there in the tournament's 141-year history.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Law Enforcement Jobs:University Police

The University of Maryland in Baltimore,the Founding Campus,is recruiting for University Police Officers I,II.Deliver quality crime control services that support the University's mission of education,research ,and service.Join a department of 43 sworn officers,69 security officers,along with administrative staff.All UM Police Officers are fully commissioned and certified by the Maryland Police Training Commission.
Level I requires HS diploma or GED
Level II requires HS diploma or GED+MD Police Training Commission
Excellent benefits are offered.Interested candidates may visit their website and apply online at

Friday, July 13, 2012

Out of the Quagmire:Mickelson Brilliant at Scottish Open

Phil Mickelson's career seemed to be on vacation.Last week,he didn't even make the cut at The Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia.Before that,he only tied for 65th place at the U.S. Open and had withdrawn from the Memorial Tournament because of fatigue,a reason that was mocked by TV commentators.On Friday,however,the 42-year old Arizona State alumnus launched an eight under par 64 at the Scottish Open on the Castle Stuart links course at Inverness.Mickelson made an eagle and six birdies on the British style golf course.It's not to the level I would like yet,Mickelson admitted,but I get closer each day.
Mickelson's eagle two was from 60 yards out on his first hole.This level of play was in stark relief to his previous eight rounds over par-the worst stretch in his career.I'm really glad I added this tournament,the popular San Diegan remarked on the European Tour website,and it's very helpful to see my game progress so quickly.Mickelson is preparing for next weekend's British Open,the third major tournament on the PGA Tour calendar.
Swede Alexander Noren topped the leaderboard at Inverness,followed by Argentina's Ricardo Gonzalez.Mickelson was tied for 19th position after Friday's round in the overcast but dry conditions,seven under par for the tournament and five strokes off the lead.
Update:Phil Mickelson had another sharp round on Saturday at the Scottish Open,shooting a seven under par 65,including eight birdies,and moving up to a tie for fifth place on the leaderboard from 19th.Italy's Francesco Molinari took the lead at -17.Mickelson is now -14 for the tournament and three strokes behind Molinari.

Phil Mickelson Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story -

Phil Mickelson Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story -

Friday, July 6, 2012

Brown Bear Conservation

Tonight I am commemorating the brown bear,Ursus arctos,the species of bear with the widest distribution,which was just featured by National Geographic in its Photo of the Day feature.In its various subspecies,this large animal is found from North America to Siberia.In North America,there have been some brown bear attacks on humans and livestock.Nonetheless,conservation efforts have been strong and have brought the species back to healthy numbers there.Their situation is worst in Western Europe,where,outside of Scandinavia,they are only few in number in the face of such a heavy human presence.Russia is the brown bear capital of the world,with a population in excess of 100,000.
The beauty of bears is their range of colouration.There are even blond and grizzled brown bears with white-tipped guard hairs,the grizzly bear,in North America.Rare blue and white variants of the black bear,Ursus americanus,also occur and are often mistakenly labeled brown bears.
International in range,the brown bear is a powerful image for the wildlife conservation movement wherever it still survives.

Brown Bears - Brown Bear Facts, Habitat

Brown Bears - Brown Bear Facts, Habitat

Bear Picture -- Animal Photo -- National Geographic Photo of the Day

Bear Picture -- Animal Photo -- National Geographic Photo of the Day

Friday, June 29, 2012

Washington,DC Area Pounded By Heat,Derecho Storms

After a day of triple digit heat,the Washington,DC area is being pounded by ferocious derecho thunderstorms,with straightline winds ranging from 70-80 mph and massive lightning strikes.The high winds ripped the roof off a seven storey apartment building in Prince George's County,Maryland,leaving more than 500 people homeless.About 1.5 million residents have lost power,raising health concerns with the air conditioning being shut down in the brutal temperatures.Several jurisdictions set up cooling centers for those in need of a haven.
Roads were strewn with traffic barrels and trees,hindering motorists.In Springfield,Virginia,a tree fell on a car,killing one person and injuring three others.Also in Northern Virginia,another tree fell on a home,killing an elderly woman inside.Flash flood warnings were issued in Maryland.The storms began moving east from the Midwest earlier in the day.Hail up to an inch in diameter was observed.Another round of storms was reportedly on the way from the Ohio Valley,and it was feared it would hit the area before sunrise,but thankfully that did not occur.WTOP radio reporter Hillary Howard saw rare cloud to cloud lightning in the initial line of storms.
A PEPCO power company spokeswoman said it would be very safe to say that it would be days before power could be restored.A good assessment wouldn't be possible till morning light.On the National Mall,tents for the Independence Day celebration sustained damage.
The big heat wave followed a few days of pleasant,dry weather likened to that of California.
A derecho-pronouced "deraycho"- is a huge,protracted straightline windstorm preceding a squall line of swift and severe thunderstorms,typically moving from west to east across the continent.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Commentary:A Baseball Hero Helps Out

Hearing that Johnny Bench had a brush with skin cancer brought back summertime memories of being a baseball fan in the 1970s.At that time,baseball cards were unbelievably popular among boys,and Johnny Bench's card was one you held onto.He was the greatest catcher of his era,excelling in both the offensive and defensive aspects of the game.Finding out he'd been ill was concerning to his many fans;but it was a relief to learn he'd been effectively treated for basal cell carcinoma.
It's potentially a teachable moment when a celebrity is sick.Many of them,such as Johnny Bench, go on to use their fame to help combat the illness,alerting the public to ways it may be prevented,detected or healed,if prevention fails.
Greater meaning is given to their entire experience of the health problem,and people they never met may be aided by their sharing.This is the case for Johnny Bench as he participates in the Major League Baseball/American Academy of Dermatology Play Sun Smart skin cancer awareness program

Play Sun Smart™ with Major League Baseball |

Play Sun Smart™ with Major League Baseball |

Johnny Bench Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story -

Johnny Bench Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story -

Friday, June 15, 2012

Watching Wallenda

Nik Wallenda provided an unparalleled boost to binational tourism as he also entertained a worldwide television audience Friday night in the first crossing on foot directly over the brightly illuminated Niagara Falls from New York state to Ontario,Canada.The walk,which made even TV viewers feel some vertigo,went off without incident.Indeed,Wallenda,a man with clear eyes and a ready smile on his open face,a member of the legendary acrobatic family The Fying Wallendas,answered several questions from ABC journalists as he negotiated the daunting traverse over one of the natural wonders of North America and the globe.The hazards he faced included the prodigious mist generated by the falls;unpredictable swirling winds;the endurance required to make the trek with a huge balancing pole;and the sheer magnitude of the concentration needed to navigate various lights,crowd noise,and the extreme visual stimuli of crossing the precipice of the river dropping 158 feet into the chasm below.Many prayers sustained the acrobat's spirit,as did the thought of his great grandfather and German emigre Karl Wallenda,the family patriarch who fell to his death off a tightrope in Puerto Rico in the 1970s. The master of the tightrope Nik Wallenda said his next goal was to walk across the Grand Canyon at a height of 1400 feet and a width of more than a mile.Permits have already been secured and ABC,part of the Walt Disney Company,is no doubt eagerly seeking that broadcast as well. Walt Disney(DIS)

Niagara Falls High-Wire Walk: Nik Wallenda Crosses Falls, Fulfills Lifelong Dream - ABC News

Niagara Falls High-Wire Walk: Nik Wallenda Crosses Falls, Fulfills Lifelong Dream - ABC News

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Sun and Venus From Mauna Loa

Many of us watched the Venus transit on a live feed from the NOAA observatory at 11,000 feet on Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano.Light winds pushing the telescopes caused the images to shimmer.Venus was a big black dot much larger than the sunspots also visible on the sun's surface.Sunspots are magnetic storms a few hundred degrees cooler than the surface of the sun,hence darker in appearance.They have a black umbra,or center,and a gray penumbra,or border.Giant convection cells of heat rise from beneath the solar disc;they are from hydrogen bubbling up from below the surface,causing lighter and hotter regions on the sun.We are near a solar maximum,when there are a lot of sunspots and other activity on the sun.It is the peak of a solar cycle.This was the longest period of time-45 minutes just before sunset-that I have ever observed the sun.It's so liquid and alive:an aspect of the sun we aren't normally aware of.The astronomer Galileo first discovered this;but,in his ignorance of the danger,paid with his priceless eyesight,his retinas damaged by the intensity of the solar rays.Now Venus moved along the sun's rim;but the sun itself,looking blue,red and yellow in the telescopes' filters,had become my fascination.

Venus Transit 2012 Pictures: Last Looks for a Century

Venus Transit 2012 Pictures: Last Looks for a Century

Friday, June 1, 2012

New Mexico Fire Sears Gila National Forest

New Mexico's Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire had grown to 217,988 acres as of 6 hours ago.The fire began as a result of a lightning strike on May 16.It is burning east of Route 180 on Gila National Forest,which contains about 3.3 million acres.The wildland fire has destroyed 12 homes and several outbuildings.The community of Mogollon remains under mandatory evacuation.Some 1257 personnel are engaged in firefighting at this time,including 15 hotshot crews and 12 hand crews,utilizing 60 engines;27 water tenders;7 dozers;and 10 helicopters.The largest fire in the state's history,it covers steep stands of ponderosa pine and formidable canyons,consuming mixed conifers and grass with heavy concentrations of deadfall as well.Growth potential is high on the extremely difficult terrain.Wildlife such as elk,mule deer,bear and antelope are abundant in the national forest's Reserve Ranger District,where much of the fire is located.It is an isolated mountainous area in Southwest New Mexico.Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument has been closed by the incident,as have the Catwalk Area and Snow Lake/Dripping Vat Campground.Smoke impacts are likely in Mogollon,Glenwood and Silver City,so heart and lung patients,as well as children and the elderly,should avoid prolonged activity in the out of doors.Tony Sciacca is Incident Commander.Some New Deal era Historic Landmarks,some old fire lookout cabins,are being protected by the wildland firefighters.New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez visited the Incident Command Post on Thursday and was briefed by staff on the situation.The very low humidity of 5% is ensuring quite a struggle ahead for all concerned for a number of days and indeed weeks.The forest is world famous among hunters. Update:The fire has grown to 227,000 acres.Wildland firefighters are now utilizing 64 engines and 28 water tenders.Heli-rappelers have also been brought in.They are a specialized resource for early stage remote fires,rappeling from helicopters to extinguish fires or gather reconnaissance on challenging terrain.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Winter Weather for West Yellowstone

A Winter Storm Warning has been posted for the West Yellowstone,Montana area.The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is expected to see wintry conditions this Memorial Day weekend,especially above 6,000 feet/1828.8 meters.Snow heavy at times will continue in the mountains of Southwest Montana through Sunday morning.Below 6,000 feet,there will be a rain/snow mix during daylight hours,with mainly snow at night.The heaviest snowfall will be Saturday through Saturday night.Total accumulations will be 12-24 inches in the higher elevations,and 3-6 inches at the lower elevations.Visibility could drop to under a mile during heavy snowfall.Mountain passes and roads will be snowy and slippery,with slush at the lower elevations.Among affected areas will be Battle Ridge Pass;Targhee Pass;West Yellowstone;Chief Joseph Pass;Norris Hill;and Twin Bridges.Emergency travel only is recommended.Keep an extra flashlight,food and water in your vehicle.

Skiing Picture - Utah Photo - National Geographic Photo of the Day

Skiing Picture - Utah Photo - National Geographic Photo of the Day

Friday, May 18, 2012

Gladiator Fire Threatens Arizona Towns

The Gladiator Fire is frightening small communities near Prescott National Forest between Prescott and Phoenix,Arizona.The historic mountaintop mining town of Crown King,as well as Battle Flat,Pine Flats and Turkey Creek have been evacuated.Four homes were burned and there have been four injuries reported.The fire began on May 13 at 11 am,originating from a structure on private property.Fuels being consumed include chapparal and ponderosa pine.Threats are posed to Forest Service campgrounds;lookout towers;communications sites;power lines;and historic sites on Prescott National Forest.The fire is on steep and rugged terrain that is difficult of access.Some 640 wildland firefighters were engaged against the fire as of Friday from 14 states,including New Jersey,Texas and California.It has cost around 2,788,553 dollars so far.Several Forest Service roads are closed,and the Red Cross has established a Care and Reception Center at Mayer Elementary School.The five p's of immediate evacuation are people and pets;papers;prescriptions;pictures;and personal computer.The fire is 5% contained and is now believed to be more than 10,000 acres in size,according to a local TV station.It is the number one priority fire in the nation.As winds gusted more than 50 mph,air tankers were grounded for most of the day Friday,but Type 1 helicopters were used to dump water on the fire as much as possible until 7:22 pm.Joe Reinarz is incident commander. Update:By Saturday morning,the Gladiator Fire had grown to 12,898 acres.It was 10% contained.The number of wildland firefighters involved had risen to 882. Update 2:As of late Saturday night Mountain Time,1048 wildland firefighters had gotten the Gladiator Fire 12% contained.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Yankees Pitching Great Responds To ACL Tear

New York Yankees pitching great Mariano Rivera has made clear his intentions with regard to the ligament injury he sustained during practice Thursday.I AM COMING BACK,he said Friday.Write that in big letters.I don't want to go out that way,the future Hall of Fame candidate insisted.He will be able to begin working out in five months.Until then,the Yankees will surely miss his imposing presence on the mound at the end of most games.

Super Moon To Rise Over Tri-State Area Saturday Night And Hailey's Comet To Produce Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower « CBS New York

Super Moon To Rise Over Tri-State Area Saturday Night And Hailey's Comet To Produce Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower « CBS New York

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Blustery Day:Looking For Enterprise

I took up a position along the Pennsylvania-Maryland border,looking for the space shuttle Enterprise to possibly fly over on the way to New York.It was a cool,blustery day.After some weeks of heat,it had become below normal.That alone made it worthwhile to stay outdoors for a while. A man mowing his lawn may have thought I was crazy with my lawn chair and binoculars.I was crazy for history and I needed more fresh air in my lungs,sir.In the end,I didn't sit very much.I walked around watching all the jet aircraft.Most of them headed west,and a few south.No one was going north like the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and its august passenger,the flight test space shuttle Enterprise. It was a memorable time anyway.It's good to be bonkers about something constructive like exploring the heavens.

Shuttle Enterprise arrives in NYC - New York News | New York Breaking News | NYC Headlines

Shuttle Enterprise arrives in NYC - New York News | New York Breaking News | NYC Headlines

Friday, April 13, 2012

Market Corrects Some More;Braves Over Brewers

The stock market continued to correct excessive enthusiasm as the S&P 500 Index fell 1.99% on the week.On the year,the S&P has gained 8.96%.Major concerns included a slight slowdown in China;a drop in consumer sentiment at home;and an uptick in worry over Spanish financial news.
Major League Baseball is well underway now.On Friday night,there were some high scoring contests,such as the Atlanta Braves beating the Milwaukee Brewers at Turner Field in Atlanta by a 10-8 margin.The Braves were led by catcher Brian McCann and his two home runs.In another big score game,Boston downed Tampa Bay 12-10 at the Fenway Park opener in Boston.
Next week will see a lot of economic data and major earnings reports crossing traders' desks.Among important considerations will be the Empire State and Philly Fed manufacturing reports;Leading Economic Indicators;existing home sales and retail sales;and earnings from Citigroup;General Electric;IBM;and McDonalds.
Citigroup(C),General Electric(GE),International Business Machines(IBM),McDonalds(MCD)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mickelson Moves Up;Market Slips

Stocks suffered their worst fall of the year this week,with the S&P 500 Index dropping 0.74% on fears about Spain's debt problem and the Federal Reserve's reluctance to provide further aid to the market.For the year,however,the S&P is still up an impressive 11.17%.
The CBOE VIX Volatility Index rose 7.74% on the week.
At The Masters golf tournament in Augusta,Georgia,Phil Mickelson,41,continued to progress,shooting a second round two under par 68 after Thursday's initial struggles had yielded only a 74.Mickelson's round was second only to 52 year-old Fred Couples' 67.Couples and Jason Dufner shared the top of the leaderboard at five under heading into Easter weekend.
Tiger Woods cursed as he shot a poor second round 75 at the majestic Augusta National course famous for its pine trees.It is the first of the year's four major tournaments.
The S&P futures fell a modest 3.48 on Friday in response to the Labor Department's disappointing employment report showing a March jobs gain well below expectations.Bond index futures rose in price.
Next week,earnings season gets underway with Alcoa reporting its Q1 results.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Mavs Best Magic;Market Claims Quarter

The Dallas Mavericks were behind most of Friday night's game at Amway Center in Orlando,but the Orlando Magic's poor ball handling finally caught up with them,yielding a 100-98 victory to the Mavs.Dirk Nowitzki powered the Mavs with his 28 points,while Jameer Nelson and Ryan Anderson topped the Magic's scorecard with 24 and 21 points,respectively.
The Magic committed 16 turnovers in the game,costing them 20 points.
It was completely irrational,but many Americans plunked down cash for the Mega Millions multi-state lottery,which has a payout of more than a half billion dollars.They would have a much better chance playing other,less popular drawings-even the regular state lottery drawings.
The stock market was totally healthy in Q1-its best quarter since 1998,with the S&P 500 Index appreciating a terrific 12%.Many retail investors completely missed out on the rally,as revealed by the persistently anemic volume.On the week,the S&P rose 0.81%,elevated by positive consumer sentiment and spending growth.
Next week will be backloaded by the Labor Department's unemployment report released on Good Friday.Eastern Orthodox Holy Friday will be a week later.The S&P futures climbed to a 5.00 gain on Friday evening,while bond index futures receded.

Friday, March 23, 2012

NCAA:Ohio Almost Prevails;So Too the Market

The Ohio Bobcats almost dealt the North Carolina Tarheels' hopes a fatal blow Friday night at the NCAA Midwest Region semifinals in St.Louis.Walter Offut could have scored a 3-point shot to win the game for Ohio,but,in the end,he missed and the Bobcats had to settle for a 2-point that sent the game into overtime.
This put a great burden on the Bobcats and they were unable to deliver,already tired by the effort needed to match the #1 Tar Heels.North Carolina won 73-65,led by Tyler Zeller and his hefty 20-point,22-rebound performance.
Disappointing home sales figures,as well as concern over slower Chinese and European growth,held the stock market back this week.The S&P 500 Index slid 0.50% on the week,although still up a strong 11.09% on the year.Next week will see few reports.Durable goods orders and personal income and spending numbers will be evaluated.On Friday evening,the S&P futures climbed a modest 5.20,and bond index futures also made an ascent.
Update:North Carolina will play Kansas on Sunday at 5:05 pm Eastern on CBS.

CBS College Basketball Theme Song

CBS College Basketball Theme Song

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lehigh Upends Apple Cart;Market Smiles

The Lehigh University Mountain Hawks dismissed the expert opinion Friday evening when they handled the Duke Blue Devils 75-70 at the NCAA college basketball tournament at Greensboro,North Carolina.Lehigh,the number 15 seed,upended number 2-ranked Duke's apple cart with strong defensive play and a superior proficiency in 3-point shots of 33.3% versus 23.1%.The two teams had identical regular season records of 27-7.
Also sustained by the performance of number 5 NCAA scorer C.J. McCollum's 30 points,the Mountain Hawks gave the entire Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania one of the happiest memories of their lives.They also greatly pleased University of North Carolina fans who loudly cheered them on,detesting rival Duke University's team.
Lehigh coach Brett Reed said they ignored the prognosticators and just believed in themselves.Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski felt that his team wasn't a juggernaut.In fact,they hadn't been doing well offensively the last few weeks of the season.
It wasn't just our doing,he added-they played that well.
The stock market also excelled this week,with the S&P 500 Index posting a weekly gain of 2.43% on a decline in new filings for jobless benefits,as well as solid manufacturing reports.On the year,the S&P is up 11.65%.
Next week,the market will evaluate housing numbers,plus earnings reports from General Mills,Oracle and FedEx.The S&P futures tacked on 2.50 Friday evening,while bond index futures slipped in price.
General Mills(GIS),Oracle(ORCL),FedEx(FDX)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Superstar On Snow:Lindsey Vonn Takes Fourth World Cup

Americans are feeling much pride this weekend in their champion skier Lindsey Vonn.She captured her fourth World Cup overall title at Are,Sweden with a win in the women's giant slalom race Friday.Her points total of 1808 puts her in rarefied territory.The great Austrian Hermann Meier-the Hermannator-holds the all-time season record of 2,000 points.
There are five more events to go this season.Vonn said she is exhausted,but always excited for a race.Mentally,it feels like the first week of the season.
Friday's win was her tenth of the season,and the 52nd of her career.No other American has won more World Cup overall titles.She is 27 years old,and the new trophy can only increase an already prominent profile in the advertising world.
While cognizant of her own achievement,Vonn is quick to give credit to the other skiers on the World Cup tour.It's a balanced perspective that has served her well.
The stock market also won this week on a better than expected employment report and news of a short term success in managing the Euro debt crisis,with the S&P 500 Index advancing 0.09% on the week.On the year,the S&P is up 9.01.
Next week traders will assess inflation figures;industrial production;retail sales and consumer sentiment;the Federal Reserve interest rate decision;as well as the Empire State and Philly Fed manufacturing surveys.
The S&P futures rose 6.20 on Friday evening,while bond index futures lost value.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Market Quiet;Tornadoes Strike

The stock market was slightly positive this week,with the S&P 500 Index managing a gain of 0.28%.This mirrors the economy,which is growing at a leisurely pace of 1.8%,according to the latest GDP number.PIMCO's new normal hypothesis is definitely being borne out by such reports as the recovery fails to gather much steam,but is nonetheless real.The prospect of further economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve is unlikely as long as data continue on the current positive track,which leaves traders in a guarded mood in light of the Iranian situation,high oil prices and question marks in Europe.
Frankly,things are looking a bit toppy at this point,in the absence of further indications.One could come next Friday with the employment report due from the Labor Department.The Institute for Supply Management will also release its service sector data next week,but the winding down of earnings season leaves everyone feeling a little flat.
An early severe weather season is punishing the Midwest and South as tornado outbreaks from Indiana to Alabama had fatal consequences.Entire small towns were razed to the ground by fierce winds that left 31 dead in Indiana,Kentucky and Ohio.A cold air mass from the Rocky Mountains clashed with warm air,resulting in the unusually violent beginning to meteorological spring,which started March 1.
The Phoenix Suns bested the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix.Jared Dudley,26,led the Suns to their conquest,scoring the game high 22 points,with 7 rebounds and 4 assists.For L.A.,Blake Griffin topped the stats with 17 points,7 rebounds and 1 assist.The Clippers fell to 21-12 on the year,while Phoenix still lags behind them with a record of 16-20.
The S&P futures dropped 5.70 Friday evening,while bond index futures rose.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Saskatchewan Screamer Reaches East;Patrick Takes Daytona Pole

A late winter storm,the Saskatchewan Screamer,has reached the East coast,giving Connecticut five inches of snow and knocking power out.It had been moving across Colorado and the Dakotas,where it left more than nine inches of snow.It then dropped hail on Georgia and high winds on Alabama,where it ripped off a school roof while 62 children were inside,but escaped unhurt.
Winds from the Saskatchewan Screamer could top 50 mph,or 80 kmh,this weekend,threatening more power lines and disrupting air travel.At 5:16 pm,the Screamer's winds were noted arriving on the Maryland/Pennsylvania border.They were noticeable,but not catastrophic at that point.Winds could reach up to 60 mph,or 96 kmh.
Danica Patrick came back from crashing Thursday to win the pole position on Friday for Saturday's DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.She was in her backup car after hitting the wall,caught up in someone else's crash the day before.Patrick is the first woman to take the pole at a NASCAR race since Shawna Robinson in 1994.In the Sprint Series Daytona 500 on Sunday,Patrick will start in 29th position out of 43 because of Thursday's crash.She left Indy car racing to concentrate on stock cars this year,having been the first woman to win an Indy car race and achieved a third place finish at the Indy 500-the best ever by a female driver at that event.
The stock market logged a slight gain for the week,with the S&P 500 Index gaining 0.33%.Volume was extremely light as traders hesitated in the face of headwinds such as the Iranian crisis and a drop in new home sales.
Next week,the calendar has many data points to contemplate,such as durable goods orders,auto sales,the GDP reading,and manufacturing numbers from the Institute for Supply Management.There will also be a European Union summit on Thursday.The S&P futures rose 0.40 Friday evening,and longer maturity bond index futures gained as well.
Update:Danica Patrick finished 38th after being bumped by another car in Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Daytona,having started in the pole position.She will start in 29th out of 43 in Sunday's big Sprint Series Daytona 500 race.The Sprint Series is the major NASCAR racing series.
The Saskatchewan Screamer left property damage from Ohio to Pennsylvania.In Prince George's County,Maryland,seven firefighters were burned when high winds from the Screamer caused a fireball to form while they were fighting a house fire.The oxygen in the wind literally ignited during the house fire.Two of the firefighters were severely burned by it.
Update 2:The Daytona 500 was postponed because of rain.They will try again Monday at noon,but there is more rain in the forecast.
Update 3:Now they will attempt to start the Daytona 500 at 7:02 Monday night.Fox Sports will broadcast starting at 7:00.If it is still raining then,they will consider Tuesday.All the teams have to leave for Phoenix,Arizona by Thursday for this weekend's race there.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Knicks Lose;Market Logs Modest Gain

Jeremy Lin could not get his team to victory Friday night as the New York Knicks lost to the New Orleans Hornets at Madison Square Garden.The 89-85 loss breaks a 7-game winning streak that saw the celebrated point guard emerge from media obscurity.The full glare of the spotlight will be on Lin Sunday as the Knicks play on national television.The game will be carried by ABC beginning at 1 pm Eastern.
Commentator and NBA legend Magic Johnson was critical of Lin's performance.He's got to get a better understanding of the point guard position,Johnson feels.You've got to turn to Amare Stoudemire,who scored 26 points on the night along with Lin.Lin's job is how to win tonight,turning the ball over to Carmelo Anthony and Stoudemire.He must not get caught up in the hype.This was great for Jeremy Lin tonight.It's not all gonna be well.I just want him to go back and watch the films and get better for Sunday,Johnson counseled.
Lin turned the ball over to the Hornets nine times-the worst in his career.
The market did well this week,adding a modest 1.38%,or 8.24 on the year.Positive manufacturing reports from the Empire State and Philly Fed led the way,and hope for a Greek debt deal also assisted.
Next week will be conditioned by the Greek outcome,as well as earnings reprts from Wal-Mart,Home Depot and Hewlett-Packard.In additon,home sales and consumer sentiment numbers will be released.
The S&P futures added 4.89 ahead of the long Presidents' Day weekend,and bond index futures declined.
Wal-Mart(WMT),Home Depot(HD),Hewlett-Packard(HPQ)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Knicks Win,Electric Lin

The New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin was described by his coach Mike D'Antoni as being just an unbelievable point guard,and he certainly justified that description Friday night as he led the Knicks to a 92-85 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden.The amazing rookie scored a career high 38 points.
A product of Harvard University,the Asian American said I'm just gonna thank my teammates.It's fun just to play basketball with these guys.I'm just thankful to God.This is my dream.
Surrounded by the media,lionized by fans chanting "MVP" and even congratulated by Lakers players after the game,it could scarcely get more intense for the young man,who has four consecutive 20+ point games to his name,all of them Knicks victories.
The stock market,haunted by Greek troubles and a decline in consumer confidence,did not fare as well.All three major averages declined slightly on the week,with the S&P 500 Index stepping down 0.17%.For the year,the S&P remains in the green,up 6.76.The CBOE VIX Volatility Index climbed 21.58 on the week,signaling a resurgence of fear among the traders.
Next week,the market will deal with a number of reports,including the Empire State and Philly Fed manufacturing readings,as well as the Leading Economic Indicators and retail sales.General Motors,HJ Heinz and Campbell Soup will issue earnings figures.
The S&P futures lost 7.70 Friday evening,while bond index futures gained.
HJ Heinz(HNZ),Campbell Soup(CPB),General Motors(GM)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Celtics Continue Streak;Economy Looking Strong

The Boston Celtics won their third game in a row Friday night at TD Garden in Boston,edging past the New York Knicks 91-89.Ray Allen put Boston ahead with a three-pointer in the 4th period,followed by another three and a two.
The Celtics defense stopped the Knicks in the second half.Our defense is keeping us around the game,Boston coach Doc Rivers told his team.Your energy is good.
The Celtics have won seven of their last eight games.Carmelo Anthony has returned to the court for the Knicks,but his 26 points on the night weren't enough to overcome the Boston defense in the second half.
The Denver area is overcoming something most of the rest of the country hasn't seen much of this winter: heavy snow.Denver itself reports 13 inches of accumulation,but the foothills of the Rockies west of the city got up to four feet,or just over one meter of snow.
The market had a smooth journey on Friday when the unemployment rate dropped to 8.3% for January-its lowest level since February 2009,and the economy added a better than expected 243,000 jobs.The Institute for Supply Management also reported bigger than predicted growth in both the manufacturing and service sectors for January.For the week,the S&P 500 Index rose 2.17%,yielding a gain of 6.94 on the year.
Next week,earnings season continues with data coming in from Disney,Coca-Cola,PepsiCo,Visa and Time Warner Communications.Consumer sentiment will be reported on Friday.
The S&P futures climbed another 16.40 Friday evening,while bond index futures dropped.
PepsiCo(PEP),Coca-Cola(KO),Disney(DIS),Visa(V),Time Warner Communications(TWX)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Heat Hot;Market Cool

The Miami Heat overpowered the New York Knicks 99-89 Friday night at American Airlines Arena in Miami,bringing their record up to 14-5.After missing six games with a bad ankle,Dwayne Wade returned to the court for Miami.The story here is Dwayne Wade,said commentator and NBA great Magic Johnson.He makes everybody on the Heat team that much better.Wade scored 28 points on the night.
New York's Billy Walker was outstanding from a distance,shooting a career high seven three-pointers,ending up with a total of 21 points.As a team,the Knicks hit a remarkable 18 threes on the evening.They did little else well,however,missing their star Carmelo Anthony,who was sidelined with wrist and thumb injuries.
The market was nondescript this week,with the broadly based S&P 500 Index basically flat with a tiny weekly gain of 0.07%.Several mixed earnings reports were received from the likes of Ford,3M and AT&T,and GDP growth was a disappointing 2.8,missing the estimate of 3.0 for Q4 2011.So far this earnings season,only 59% of reports have exceeded estimates,which is below average.
Next week,earnings from Exxon Mobil,Pfizer,Qualcomm and Sony are on the calendar,as well as the important monthly readings from the Institute for Supply Management and the January employment report.The sports scene will be in the grip of pre-Super Bowl excitement as the New York Giants and New England Patriots complete their preparations for the mega American football game.
The S&P futures dropped 2.80 Friday evening,and bond index futures rose.
Exxon Mobil(XOM),Pfizer(PFE),Qualcomm(QCOM),Sony(SNE)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Market Strong;Lakers Weak

The market turned in a strong scorecard on Friday.Although trading volume remains thin,all the major averages gained more than 2% for the week.The Dow added 2.40%,while the NASDAQ notched 2.80 and the S&P climbed 2.04.The tech sector powered the rally on good earnings reports from Intel,IBM and Microsoft,although Google issued a poor one.The market was also cheered by a positive existing home sales number,up 5% to an 11-month high.
The Los Angeles Lakers were not cheerful on Friday night,however.Their road record fell to 1-6 as they were held to a season low 80 points by the Orlando Magic in Florida,falling by a score of 92-80.Dwight Howard led the Magic with 21 points and 23 rebounds,while Kobe Bryant continued his excellent season for the Lakers with 32 points.Howard attributed their success to the fact that they decided to play good defense,and his offensive approach was just to attack.
Commentator and former NBA star Magic Johnson noted that,although the Lakers were shooting 28%,they continue to shoot jump shots.I don't understand that.A lot of guys are open for a reason.When you struggle,you've got to take it to the basket,Johnson said.
The market will have plenty to digest next week as a torrent of data and earnings reports pour in.McDonald's,Apple,Procter&Gamble and AT&T are among the giant companies reporting,while durable goods,new home sales,consumer sentiment and Leading Economic Indicators figures will also be released.Europe and Iran may continue to factor into trading as well.
On Friday evening,the S&P futures edged up 0.40,and bond index futures fell.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Processed Meat and Cancer:What To Remember

The most important thing to remember is,it isn't the meat itself that raises cancer risk;it's the sodium nitrite-the chemical most commonly used to preserve the meat's color and freshness.Sodium nitrite can in turn form the carcinogen known as nitrosamine-especially when cooked at high heat,such as in frying or flame broiling,and subjected to our stomach acid.This has long been known with regard to colon cancer.The new study from Britain mentioned below now links processed meat to pancreatic cancer risk as well.
Completely understanding the complex chemistry of food additives probably isn't in the future of most of us.What we all can understand is,an extra risk,however small,may have been resulted in by their usage.
Probably few people will totally change their diets over as small an extra risk as this.They may cut back a little,though.In any event,the food industry needs to get on this and start researching a substitute for sodium nitrite,if it isn't already doing so.They owe it to their customers and themselves.

Bacon, Sausage Linked To Cancer Risk - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston

Bacon, Sausage Linked To Cancer Risk - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston

Friday, January 13, 2012

Celtics Rally,But Not Enough

The Boston Celtics staged a spirited rally against the Chicago Bulls Friday night,but could not close the deal in the end,losing by a score of 88-79.At one stage of the game,they had been down by 20 points,but climbed to within one point of the Bulls in the 4th quarter.
The win moved the Bulls to a record of 11-2,with seven of their wins on the road.Celtics coach Doc Rivers said we're a defensive team.We've got to get stops.That's the game.Commentator and NBA legend Magic Johnson described the Celtics as being too old and non-athletic.It doesn't look good.
Standouts at the TD Garden matchup in Boston included Derrick Rose of Chicago with his 25 points;and Ray Allen,who notched 16 points for the Celtics.
Stocks closed modestly higher for the week,with the S&P up about 1%.The S&P futures closed down 3.30,however,as Standard&Poor's announced it had downgraded the credit of France,Spain,Italy and others.Bond index futures rose.
A number of the financials will report earnings next week,including Citigroup and Goldman Sachs,as well as GE,which gives its results out on Friday.U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday,but global markets will be open.
General Electric(GE),Citigroup(C),Goldman Sachs(GS)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Market and Arkansas Razorbacks Achieve Goals

It was a good week for the stock market and the Arkansas Razorbacks.Encouraged by a positive employment report and a promising result from the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing survey,the Dow logged a 1.17% weekly gain,while the NASDAQ led the way with a 2.65 uptick and the S&P added 1.61 to its ledger.
Some dismissed the expansion of employment by 200,000 jobs in December as a result of seasonal hiring.They also pointed out that the number of long term unemployed remains at 5.6 million.The Euro-zone debt crisis,Iranian behavior and U.S. deficit issue remain significant headwinds as well.
The Arkansas Razorbacks won their school record 11th football game of the season as they soundly beat the Kansas State Wildcats 29-13 in the AT&T Cotton Bowl in Arlington,Texas.It was the Razorbacks' fourth Cotton Bowl trophy,the last one being earned in the year 2000.The game was held at the NFL's largest venue,Cowboy Stadium,before a spirited sellout crowd of 80,000.
AT&T,which is based in nearby Dallas,has been a Cotton Bowl sponsor for 16 years.
Next week,earnings season begins as Alcoa reports its Q4 results on Monday.Also on Monday,German Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on European financial problems.In addition,retail sales and consumer sentiment reports could color the market's performance.The S&P futures rose 1.10 on Friday evening,and bond index futures edged higher as well.