20 August 2009

Daily Chat 20/08/09

Stephen I established Hungary as a Christian kingdom in 1000. The Lewis and Clark expedition suffered its only death in 1804. Charles Floyd died on a bluff by the Missouri River and was buried on a spot which is now in Sioux City, Iowa. The Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London published articles by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace on nearly identical theories of the evolution of species in 1858. Lou Gehrig hit his 23rd career grand slam* in 1938. The record still stands. Leon Trotsky was fatally wounded with an ice pick by Ramon Mercader in Mexico City in 1940. The only vaguely interesting famous birthdays today are Sylvester McCoy and Robert Plant. It is the feast day of Bernard of Clairvaux in the Roman Catholic Church.

*In case anyone doesn't know: a grand slam is a home run when there are runners on all three bases. Don't want to insult your intelligence, but don't want to leave you guessing either.


  1. Lou was a handsome man. Incredibly brave and gracious, too. He was called The Iron Man of Baseball, because he played in 2,130 consecutive games from 1925-1939. Early in the 1939 season, his power seemed to vanish overnight. On 30 April 1939, he went hitless. He voluntarily ended his 14 year streak by telling the Yankees' manager Joe McCarthy that he was benching himself for the good of the team before their next game. He never played baseball again. He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that summer and was honoured at Yankee Stadium on 4 July 1939. Here's a clip from the Ken Burns series "Baseball".

    There aren't too many universally admired figures in American sport, but Lou Gehrig is definitely one of them.

  2. I sometimes wonder how different the world would have been if Americans had not abandoned cricket for baseball -

    Probably no different I suppose but I do hope there is a parallel universe in which Lou Gehrig is remembered as a world-class batsman in the mother sport!

  3. I like baseball. Baseball fans remind me of cricket lovers in some ways - the special language, the erudite opinion, the obsessing over minutiae, the fascination with history, etc etc. I've been to Fenway Park in Boston a couple of times with American friends and enjoyed it a good deal - although the drinking might have had something to do with it.

    So, read the wiki article about Fenway Park - I defy the sports' fan not to enjoy the obsessive detail, the "retired numbers", the Lone Red Seat, and of course, the celebrated Green Monster.

  4. Just arranged to 'work from home', and on the first day of the Ashes too.....

  5. @Vari:

    Conscience got the better of me - after a couple of days "working" from home, I'm actually in the office today. But I've a telly on my desk so I'm not going to miss out.

  6. Rounders never really made it out of the girls' schools in this country, shame.

  7. "Conscience got the better of me - after a couple of days "working" from home, I'm actually in the office today. But I've a telly on my desk so I'm not going to miss out."

    Jammy git...

    I watched the 3rd and 4th tests from 2005 the other day, I have the box set. What a truly superb series that was, surely the best ever. One Simon Jones ball particularly caught my eye, very full, started off missing leg I'd say, ended up clean bowling him, off stump, at about 90mph. Incredible ball. He was a serious loss to the English team.

  8. So the Americans 'abandoned cricket'? I didn't know that. They can't be THAT uncivilised then...
    Not that I have any time for baseball either- I LOATHE 'team spirit'.

    I play backgammon. And that's about it as far as sports are concerned.

    But I have some sympathy for your point of view, mister stoat. In fact, I've been invited to a game of rounders this very afternoon (overweight adults versus a motley crew of 5 to ten year olds) but I shall make my excuses...

  9. 'I have the box set of the 3rd and 4th test matches'
    Seldom have I heard a sadder statement...

  10. @Dan:

    Better add me to the list of saddoes, then, I'm afraid...

    And in fact, the box set comprises all FIVE tests from that great series.

  11. Sad? A box set of the greatest Test series ever?

    Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

  12. Yeah, well, that probably makes ME the saddo...

  13. I'm SAD and I'm PROUD.

  14. I'm guessing you're not a cricket lover...

  15. Extraordinarily perceptive of you, Jay- almost spookily so...

  16. "Not a cricket lover..."

    Sorry, that doesn't make any sense to me at all. How on earth can that state of mind even exist?

  17. Probably dates from an unhappy childhood experience in the nets...

  18. Bizarre, I agree, Swifty. I'm in therapy with Pamela Connelly...

  19. "Probably dates from an unhappy childhood experience in the nets..."

    I had one jump off a length at the nets and hit me in the ribs from a seriously quick bowler, that really did hurt something chronic. Friend of mine also lost a front tooth in a nets session.

  20. HA! If only it was as simple as that... But I can't go into details- very sensitive issue...

  21. @Dan/Daniella (that frock really suits you, by the way):

    I too have been hit "at the top of the thigh" a number of times in my long cricketing career.

    Normally causes great hilarity, unless you actually throw up as a result, which I did once. Which caused even greater hilarity.

  22. We also have the box set, although we've never actually watched it, which probably makes us even sadder!

    What a truly superb series that was, surely the best ever. I suspect that our australian friends might argue the case for last year.....

  23. Thank you, Swifty, thought you'd never notice...

  24. @ Montana

    If you hearts desire comes to pass and you get to join us - you can put me down for £100 as a small contribution to your moving expenses.

    Best W.

  25. Does anybody know why I cant get to post here if I use Firefox ver 3.5 as my browser?

    At this post I'm having to use Internet Explorer ver 8

    WTF is wrong with Firefox. It used to be fine until the latest version installed itself on my machine.

    Belated birthday wishes to Annetan and Edwin - couldn't post yesterday.

    Regards to all.

  26. deano - im havign massive problems with the latest version of firefox too, crashes about 6 times a day now.

  27. I see that its another record breaking year for 'a' levels.....

  28. @Vari:

    We've just been talking about that at work. I took my A-levels in 1985 - I'd be interested to see a 2009 exam paper in, say, French, German or History...

  29. Difficult to get one, try this link, will give you some insight;


    Sample essay question;

    How significant were the Huguenots as a factor in explaining the
    outbreak of the French Wars of Religion?

  30. I may live to regret saying this, but is anyone else really hoping for a CiF article about the Semenya case?

  31. 'How significant were the Huguenots as a factor in explaining the
    outbreak of the French Wars of Religion?'

    Dearie me, hat an oddly expressed question.

  32. @Vari:

    How significant were...

    Ah, before my period of study. I did Modern (British and European) post 1789. Basically all the cool war stuff and some dull shite about Chartists and Corn Laws.

  33. I think I may have done the same course, the most recent event we did was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

  34. @Vari:

    Blimey, looking at that PDF has taken me back. It's been 24 years since I gave more than a second's thought to the Risorgimento. Or indeed to Camillo di Cavour.

  35. @Vari:

    is anyone else really hoping for a CiF article about the Semenya case?

    Well, you have your wish. And it has 5 comments already.

  36. 'Choose your heros well'

    posed the cynic

    'Haven't heard of John Damiano in relation to Dob Bylan?'

    'Course you have........... but it's NOT interesting and best ignored.............. good pettiquette Huh?'

    said the wise fool

    'and guess who Dob shares legal services with?'

  37. (but) also because it relies upon a gender binary that is nothing more than a comforting illusion...???

    I love CiF!

    I am looking forward even more to the articles when the test results are revealed. Regardless of the outcome....

  38. @Vari:

    If the tests prove she's a woman, BiBuBiBuEll will be queuing up to lambast the patriarchical IAAF for subjecting her to this indignity.

    If they prove she's a bloke, BiBuBiBuEll will be queuing up to lambast the patriarchical IAAF for not getting the results of the test right.

    Whatever happens, there'll still be a gig in it for our fave fems.

  39. I know, I can't wait! This one has everything - feminism, equalities, genital organs, sports, maybe even a race card to be played at some point.....

    Just had a heated debate with our equalities person who claims that irrespective of biology, if heshe makes claim to being a woman then they are a woman.

    Unfortunately, he put the phone down on me so I couldn't continue my enjoyment...

  40. @Vari:

    ...if heshe makes claim to being a woman then they are a woman.

    Shame he hung up on you. Mind you, Reg and his comrades in the PFJ would undoubtedly have agreed with him, sister, sorry, brother, erm.

  41. "BiBuBiBuEll"

    My money's on Biddy for this one, and she will definitely get the race card in.

  42. I wonder what odds I might get if I try and put a bet on that this years GCSE results will also break all records....?

  43. @Jay:

    I may introduce the race card myself.

    "I think one of the issues we're overlooking here is race. If she was white and British, there wouldn't be all this fuss about whether she was a man or not, we'd be celebrating a splendid athletic achievement".

  44. ... our equalities person who claims that irrespective of biology, if heshe makes claim to being a woman then they are a woman

    Right on sister. I hereby make claim to being a woman and demand my right to hang around in the women's showers.

  45. As you wish it, so hath it come to pass, Vari. Although to be favour, the comment will probably be deleted, given that some humourless twat has just accused me of being a sex tourist.

  46. Right on sister.

    Sorry LordS, despite me being in possesion of what could be described as a 'non-tail', I would now like to be considered a brother.

    Thanks Swifty, will sit back and watch with interest that particular grenade go off.....

  47. @Vari:

    And I will defend to the death your right to be a man, sister, sorry, brother.

    We'll see if said grenade does go off, it may not, given that I'm not usually outspoken about "racism" (by which I mean the Graun's hyper-twitchy-arsed version of racism, obviously).

  48. SwiftyBoy !! Cos of your gag about s@x tourism ?!!! FFS!!!!

    And people wonder why we gets so angry...

    Jesus wept man. I'll be over there again in a minute...

  49. I wonder if the recommends are all familiar with your sense of humour....

  50. I see - it was Bergamotte.
    Ho hum.
    Good reply though.

  51. From yesterday's UT:
    "If the tests prove she's a woman, BiBuBiBuEll will be queuing up to lambast the patriarchical IAAF for subjecting her to this indignity."

    Is it sexist, patriarchal or just ironic that vocalising BiBuBiBuEll makes you say "boobie"?

  52. Jesus there are some cretins on that thread...

  53. If you put Golf Betrayal and Channel Bee into YouTubue it should bring up a video which links nicely to this.....

  54. @Jay:

    Well, let's see how long my reply to your vicious ad hom lasts...

    Might draw a few more cretins out of the woodwork, as well. At least, here's hoping.

  55. Just arrived back...hehehe...see the lads are up to no good.

  56. i hope those two come back, swifty, im sure their responses will be precious.

  57. Christ all bloody mighty!

    Why are so many Ciffers unable to tell the difference between etiquette and rules?

    The only answer I can think of that they are so insecure about having some element of freedom and therefore taking responsibility for their own actions that they actually want to be told what they can and cannot say and for some sort of Big Brother to control and protect them.

    As the fourth best band in Hull once said, it’s sheep we’re up against...

  58. Ha!

    traneroundthebanned has got his Cif links thing to work again.

  59. Andy - i tried to clear up the confusion about 4 times but people just wont listen, what can you do...

  60. people just wont listen, what can you do...
    We could ban it. Whatever 'it' is.

  61. Look at it this way, Jay -- if nothing else, the thread obviously bugged the living shit out of BTH. That, alone, was worth the price of admission.

    @Deano -- that's really sweet of you to offer, but I could never accept.

  62. @ Montana

    Should one day I ever read that you are on your way here I would be delighted and I would insist you accept - I would call it a a simple down payment (or if you would prefer, a grant) for future and necessary supplies of Jaffa Cakes if that would make it OK.

    One day a way to your wish will I am sure present itself. I hope that it is soon and your
    latest friend can help to find a way.

    It is one of the delights of our land that not only do we tolerate assorted nuts and eccentrics but we have tramps (like myself) who insist on being contributing patrons to artists (like yourself)

    I must say that I also agreed with your other new friend that your writing over here on CiF is a delight and thus I hope that he/she can persuade herm contact to give you a chance.

    Best W I hope your emails bear fruit

  63. *************
    I have a PDF copy of Paul Foot's 2001 special report, Lockerbie - The Flight From Justice

    Send me an email if you want a copy. If you don't have my addy, leave a message below with some ***** above it so I definitely see it.

    Given today's announcement, it's well worth a look.

    Could you possibly post this on a new thread tonight/tomorrow in case this one's had its day and my offer gets missed??

    Thanks !


  64. @ andy

    From my van, on a clear night I can just about see the lights of Hull (Kingston upon) so I know that the Marts were never considered fourth best band here around.

    Sorry to read of the distress on the road home from your holiday. Hope the rest of it was great.

    Last time I saw you around you were dealing with job applications - hope they turned out as you would have wished them to.
    I like Cornwall a lot and have it on my list of things to do to complete the SW Coastal footpath - I've done about 40 miles of it so far.

    I think it's probably the best long distance footpath in the UK - 600+ miles long so I've still a long way to go!

  65. My grateful thanks to one heyhabib who let me take the 1000th on the etiquette thread.

  66. Hi deano
    Had to express my undying, etc., to habib there.
    How's things?

  67. That heyhabib is an uncommonly polite poster. "No, after you, MsChin". Didn't you feel patronised?

  68. Damn, just cocked up a link on CiF. Don't even ask how...

    Been that kind of day.

    Nite youse guys.

  69. "Kinky as a row of whips". Nice one, BW.


  70. martillo
    Patronised? Moi?
    Tonight, any dander to be got up is reserved for the BNP thread.
    On second thoughts, others are doing an excellent job there & it's late.

  71. @ MsCh

    Things well friend.

    Got the 1000th - saw it coming up earlier in the day and hoped it would go to someone I knew/liked. You can never predict it exactly. I tried to ensure that Kiz got the 1000 on the God bus thread way back but we missed it by one!

  72. deano
    You're a sweetie plus.
    Must away, off work tomorrow but going out in the morning.
    Take care.