Archive: September, 2009
Another week, another Mike Daisey giveaway: We've got 10 (ten!) pairs of tickets to the Saturday, September 12, 8 p.m., showing of The Last Cargo Cult, Daisey's second Live Arts monologue.
Here's the scoop from the Live Arts/Fringe Web site:
Mike Daisey tells the true-life story of his time on a remote South Pacific island whose inhabitants worship America. There he lived with the cult, hunted feral pigs beneath the erupting volcano of Mount Yasur, and learned of the islanders' stories of belief, faith, and sympathetic magic. Part adventure story and part memoir, The Last Cargo Cult weaves these stories with a searing examination of the international financial crisis. From the belief in the infallibility of markets to the ultimate achievement in sympathetic magic money Daisey wrestles with what the collapse says about our deepest values. He uses each culture to illuminate the other to find between the seemingly primitive and the achingly modern a human answer.
To win tickets (worth $30 apiece), answer this trivia question:
What is the name of the tiny America-worshiping South Pacific island that Daisey visited before writing The Last Cargo Cult?
E-mail email@example.com for a chance to win! (Side note: Make sure you can attend the 9/12, 8 p.m., show before answering, and please include your mailing address for our records. Thanks!)
[Update, 5 p.m., Friday]: Thanks to everyone who wrote in with the correct answer (Tanna, part of Vanuatu) this contest is now closed! Have a great weekend and enjoy the show.
To commemorate yesterday's trip-9s 9/9/09 Major League Baseball is running a series of polls they're calling The All-Time 9 wherein fans are encouraged to choose their team's all-time best lineup from the best individual seasons at each position in the team's history.
It's sort of a wonky exercise, foremost because no one player can be represented by more than one season i.e. Mike Schmidt probably has 10 seasons better than Dave Hollins' 1993, but Schmidt only gets one slot on the ballot, though that does reduce the risk of, say, Schmidt splitting the vote among himself, but I digress. It's also a little wonky because you're choosing a pitcher based on his hitting stats. But wonky and fun are not mutually exclusive. So let's jump in.
|Vote for your All-Time 9 here.|
This one's tough for a number of reasons, but most notably because it's really tough to compare numbers from different eras. Von Hayes' 1986 line would look a lot different had he been playing in a different era a few more points of batting average, about 10 more home runs as per Baseball Prospectus' translated stats. The biggest jump here is Deron Johnson's 1971 line, which jumps to .267/46/114 when adjusted for context. Ryan Howard's 2006 MVP campaign takes a slight dip when cntextualized, but not nearly enough to unseat it as the greatest offensive 1B season in Phillies history. (Baseball Prospectus' translated stats attempt to normalize all statistics are a tool used in an attempt to accurately compare players who performed in eras with drastically different offensive conditions.)
Vote: Ryan Howard
The pickings are a little slimmer at the keystone, but so far this poll puts into context just how lucky Phillies fans are to be watching the greatest ever at their respective positions. Samuel's 1987 looks quite a bit better when adjusted for era context, .265/33/102, but the numbers they don't show you here, namely Utley's on-base skills, make this a no-brainer.
Vote: Chase Utley
More competitive than you'd have thought, as Allen's '66 season looks pretty good stacked up against Schmidt's 1980 campaign. Complicating matters, Allen put up his numbers in just 141 games. Further blurring things is that even though 1980 was not a particularly fecund offensive era, 1966 was a wasteland. The translated stats suggest that Allen's 1966 season indeed bests Schmidt's 1980 effort. Translated, Allen's line .325/52/126 with a .419/.730 OBP/SLG to Schmidt's .279/63/128, .386/.695. Everyone else here is chaff. Remember that we're talking purely offense here, and there's no other conclusion. This is surprising to me, but â¦
Vote: Dick Allen
Rest of the lineup after the jump...
Slim pickings here, as the Phils have a long history of all-glove, no-stick shortstops. I do think a case could be made for including Dickie Thon's 1989 season, as it's better than both Bowa's and Hamners, but there's not a lot of room for debate here: Jimmy Rollins is the Phillies' best offensive shortstop, and his 2007 MVP season is easily his best line.
Vote: Jimmy Rollins
A tough one here, as the Phils have had a lot of guys put up decent numbers behind the plate, with none of them sticking out as "the guy." When it comes down to it, it's a three-horse race between Darren Daulton (though Dutch's 1992 is easily better than the 1993 campaign listed here), Andy Seminick and Stan Lopata (with apologies to Mike Lieberthal). And really, adjusted for context, it's still a toss-up. All three mix power and excellent on-base skills. If Daulton's 1992 campaign were in the mix rather than his 1993, he'd win by a nose, so my vote goes to him.
Vote: Darren Daulton
This one's tough, and right about now my analytical patience is running a tad thin, so let's set some quick rules: There should be a CF, and two corner OF represented, which makes things a little less muddled. At CF, you've got juice enthusiast Lenny Dykstra squaring off against Richie Ashburn's excellent 1951 campaign and Cy Williams' excellent 1923. Not considering defense, I think you have to go with Williams, whose 41 home runs are impossible to ignore. At the corners, Chuck Klein's .386/40/170 season cannot be matched, but picking a second corner is a bit tougher. Ed Delahanty is a hall of famer, but most of his best seasons came before the turn of the century, which seems to be the cut-off point for this poll, and translating his 1901 line results in a big uptick in HR and a drop-off in batting average. Lefty O'Doul's near .400 campaign is largely the product of an insane offensive era, and I have a problem putting such a flash in the pan on my all-time team. I'm gonna go on a limb here and make Bobby Abreu's 2004 campaign my second corner OF, as his combination of power, speed and insane on-base abilities will look nice anywhere in this order.
Votes: Cy Williams, Chuck Klein, Bobby Abreu
This one's tough because pitchers have such small at-bat totals in any given season. Lefty's got rep as a pitcher with a good stick, and it was deserved. Randy Wolf was also good with the bat in his time here. But since we're dealing with such paltry sample sizes, I think it's fair to focus in on individual game performances and give the nod to Rick Wise for the June 23 no-hitter he threw, during which he hit 2 home runs, marking perhaps the best single-game performance by a pitcher ever (note, not the best pitching peformance, which likely goes to Harvey Haddix). Besides, Wise deserves a little recognition for a lifetime spent as the answer to the trivia question: Who did the Cardinals get in return for Steve Carlton.
Vote: Rick Wise
So that's my lineup, and here's how I'd bat them:
*CP was asked to change the title of this post; since the event was open to all â and therefore un-"crash"-able â we said ok.
Muffled applause, shouts and cheers could be heard above the fiddle band playing at West Philadelphiaâs Millcreek Tavern last night as seventeen Obama supporters congregated in an upstairs room to watch the president deliver his health care speech at a "watch party." The event was coordinated by Organizing for America, the post-election incarnation of Obamaâs political machine, which now exists to promote the presidentâs agenda.
These were not, obviously, people who needed to be sold on the president's health care proposals. They beat Nancy Pelosi to the applause several times, and booed the dour Republicans. The harshest criticism levied against the speech was that it had not occurred early enough to avert weeks of misinformation and congressional inaction.
"It was indeed a speech that, had it been given months ago, would have prevented some of the vacuum, some of the distortions,â said attendee Dennis Jaffe.
Part of the idea of such an event is of course to rebuild â or re-harness â the record-breaking volunteer base that fueled Obamaâs presidential campaign, which at its height enlisted approximately 2.5 million volunteers.
Organizing for America hasnât attracted quite the same following. Alison Hirsch, who arranged last nightâs watch party, admitted that "weâre building back up again.â
Most who volunteered for Obamaâs presidential campaign still support the president â but taking the time to volunteer on his behalf is another question.
Elliott Griffin, a student at Temple University, discovered this firsthand while trying to get former Obama volunteers involved in Organizing for America over the summer.
In a "sign of the economic upturn,â Griffin rather optimistically said, two or three out of the hundred people she called each day had been unemployed during the campaign but now had jobs and hence could not resume their volunteering activities. Then there were the occasional former volunteers who, alienated by the lack of a single-payer option in Obamaâs health care plan, didnât want anything to do with Organizing for America.
"I got both people who would say, âIâve been waiting for you to call, where have you been?â as well as people who were so drained from the election they didnât want to pick up another phone,â recalled Griffin.
She won one new potential volunteer last night. Jaffe didnât volunteer for the presidentâs pre- or post-election campaigns, but after last night, he said, he hoped to get more involved.
"This is an extraordinary, extraordinary opportunity,â he reflected. "And thereâs still such a huge lack of understanding [of] the proposal.â
What We've Found: DoJ internal inquiry, Afghan recount, casino losses, brain illness, headache congress and Mongolian hip hop
Julia Harte with your morning fix.
The legal fate of the Black Panthers who stood outside a North Philadelphia polling place last November 5 wearing uniforms, black jackets, combat boots and berets was once again uncertain as the Justice Department re-examined its decision to drop allegations of voter intimidation against them.
As an Afghan election commission recounted votes in the recent presidential election and appeared to confirm the original outcome, in which incumbent Hamid Karzai won by a small margin, his main challenger accused the commission of being corrupt.
Casinos and lotteries reported losses for the first time, leading industry experts to speculate that the market has become saturated from states building too many new gambling facilities across the country to raise revenues.
Scientists found that chronic wasting disease, a fatal brain illness that has spread mysteriously quickly through elk, deer and moose in the West and Midwest, is spread through infected animals' feces long before they manifest the illness.
More than one thousand experts on headache treatment and research arrived in Philadelphia for the International Headache Congress, a convention that will last the next four days.
Young Mongolian hip hop artists were using the medium to call out political corruption, promote nationalism and explore the history of their country, where hip hop music has attracted a large following in recent years. "Some say hip-hop comes from Africa. But I think it also comes from the way the shamans used to chant in the Genghis Khan period," said the creator of the country's first techno rap band.
There are several watching parties scheduled in the area, and you can find them at Organizing for America, but for starters, there's one at Rotten Ralph's, one at the Millcreek Tavern. Remember how involved people used to be with the Obama web site hosting parties and volunteering and now not so much? Maybe that's part of the problem the big guy's having getting his healthcare stuff through. The zealous have become content, and the discontented whack jobs have become the zealots.
Where are you watching the speech? You are watching it, right?
What We've Found: Budget hoopla, oversight report, NASA's finances, Russian rumors, new malaria and the Strange Case of Dr. Borkson
Julia Harte with your morning fix.
Mayor Nutter prepared to launch the first stages of his "Plan C" contingency budget, which would close every Philadelphia library and rec center and eliminate 3,000 city jobs, as the Pennsylvania State Legislature continued to seek compromise over a budget plan that would raise sales tax 1 percent and briefly stall pension payments.
The U.S. government will probably not recover all of the $74 billion it invested in the auto industry to save GM and Chrysler from bankruptcy, according to a new congressional oversight report. Yet in preserving the 6.5 percent of manufacturing jobs represented by the industry, the investment "might have resulted in savings for the government in other ways."
NASA is too broke to return to the moon without an annual budget increase of at least $3 billion, according to a White House panel of independent space experts.
Russia's foreign minister denied rumors that a Russian-crewed freighter was bearing S-300 missiles destined for Iran when it was hijacked by pirates in the Baltic Sea over the summer.
A malarial parasite thought to only infect monkeys was found to be widespread in Malaysian humans. The form of malaria is deadly if not treated quickly, and can reproduce more quickly than its more popularly contracted relatives.
Called a "Jekyll-Hyde" figure by his judge, a 66-year-old Philadelphia doctor was sentenced to five years in federal prison for illegally providing his patients with oft-abused drugs such as Percocet, OxyContin and Xanax in exchange for money and oral sex while his wife lay dying from diabetes.
Don't know what to do tonight? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
Every so often life affords a second chance that allows us to cast aside regret or to simply come to our senses and seize the moment. Such is the case with the Troc's showing of Crank: High Voltage tonight. Unlike a certain Rob Zombie-directed film about a guy who just won't die, Crank is gleefully self-aware, delivering non-stop hilarity through a continuous thread of action that quickly leaps from the improbable to the outright ludicrous. Then again, you need to have a sense of humor when you resurrect your lead character after he face plants on the streets of L.A. from a helicopter at the end of your first film
The premise is simple: Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) needs to keep his temporary, mechanical heart charged with electricity by any means necessary, while hunting down the original (this, opposed to maintaining a super high heart rate in Crank I due to a nasty poison). Some films are made to be dissected on so many levels, while others are meant to be enjoyed with a few beers and the riotous laughter of your friends surrounding you. This is one of the latter.
Crank: High Voltage, The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St., 8 p.m., $3 goes toward a drink or a snack.
To paraphrase the Minutemen, what makes a team stop hitting?
The Phillies mighty offense has, in the last week, gone ice cold. During that stretch, the starting pitching has gone a bit haywire and the already-fraying bullpen has come further unravelled.
The bullpen problems we're all aware of and will hopefully be ameliorated once the Phils get some of their injured guys back, healthy and in rhythm.
The starting pitching is what it is: Capable of amazing stretches, but also capable even Cliff Lee as it turns out of nights where the pitches all look like beach balls. (J.A. Happ's oblique strain is looking particularly bad-omen-y, I'll admit.)
But what the deuce is up with the offense? Yes, the Phils offense, even as recently as last season, was prone to extended dry spells, only to bounce back with a 10-run frame. But this season the engine even despite Jimmy Rollins' early struggles and Raul Ibanez' more recently seemed to be humming like a well-oiled machine.
It's often said that facing a really tough pitcher a Randy Johnson circa 2001, say can disrupt a lineup for weeks. Is it possible that the Giants Jonathan Sanchez and/or Tim Lincecum completely threw the entire lineup's mojo out of whack?
What do you think is wrong with the Phils?
What We've Found: Dying elephants, Japanese carbon, Van Jones goes, Speechgate, work deaths, mayor booed and a giant rat
Julia Harte with your morning fix.
Over 40 elephants have died in Kenya over the past two months in what the government originally thought might be an anthrax attack, but was instead found to be malnutrition: a result of the worst drought the country has faced in a decade.
In a sharp departure from his predecessor's energy policy, Japan's incoming premier pledged that by 2020 the country will emit 25 percent less carbon than it did in 1990.
President Obama's "green jobs czar" Van Jones resigned amid furor over a petition he signed in 2004 calling for an investigation into whether the government allowed the 9-11 attacks. A new "auto czar," who will oversee manufacturing policy, was appointed in his stead.
Conservatives feared that a virulent partisan agenda was embedded in Obama's first-day-of-school speech to students, which urged kids to stay in school so they'd be able to perform meaningful jobs.
Out of the 5,000 workplace fatalities in 2008, workers in finance and insurance had the highest survival rate and fishermen had the lowest, an annual Department of Labor Report revealed.
Philadelphia union members, angry about a budget proposal that would stall payments into the municipal pension plan, booed Mayor Michael Nutter as he spoke at the Sheet Metal Workers union hall before the annual Labor Day parade.
A species of rat weighing 3.3 lbs and measuring 82 centimeters from snout to tail was discovered in the crater of an extinct volcano in Papua New Guinea by researchers from the BBC Natural History Unit.
- Ask A Man-About-Town
- Award Tour
- Bad Idea Factory
- Below the Curve
- Brian Hickey
- Budget Fuss
- City Council
- City Hall
- CP Abroad
- CP in the Community
- Criminal Justice System
- Day Tripper
- Death and Taxes
- Delaware River
- Dubious Distinction
- End of Days
- Film Fest
- Financial Meltdown
- Free Library
- Gay Stuff
- Get Lit
- Hall Monitor
- Health Care
- Hello, Kitty
- Ice Cubes
- In Memoriam
- Marcellus Shale
- MUST READ
- Mysterious Mysteries
- Non Sequitur
- PA politics 2010
- Parking Wars
- Parks and Recreation
- People Send Us This Stuff
- Philadelphia Police
- Philadelphia Union
- Philly From Scratch
- philly madness
- President Obama
- Print Edition
- Readers Write
- Real Estate
- Rock Bottom
- Screwing Philly
- So Lush
- Sporting Life
- Sports Complex
- State Politicians
- State Politics
- Street Art
- Stuff We Like
- Taxi Drivers
- Tech Fetish
- The Budget Crisis
- The City Paper
- The CLOG
- The Human Condition
- The Mayor
- The Phightin Phils
- The World
- Things that make you go hm
- Tinfoil Hats Off
- Under the Table
- Under the Tables
- Urban Development
- Urban Planning
- urban wildlife
- Video Poker
- We Call Shenanigans
- Web Junk
- Weekend Omnibus
- White House
- What We've Found
- Women's Issues
- Flyered Up!
- How 'Bout That Weather?
- it's always sunny in philadelphia
- get out
- 10-track mind
- Bruce Being Bruce
- Gigantic Surprises
- Hello Canary
- Hello Puppy
- get lost
- Inside The Fishbowl
- Library Closings
- Local Support
- Night Moves
- Skeeze Police
- State Politicians Screwing Philly
- That's a cool stencil!
- Things We See
- This Week
- This Week in Oates
- University City
- What we don't heart
- what we heart
- Feeling Guilty
- Broke in Philly
- Dear Paper Doll
- Do A Good Thing
- Film Fest Schism
- G20-20 Vision
- Great American Heroes
- Pearl Jam Week
- Stars of the Photostream
- Lower Merion Webcam-Gate
- The Cycle
- Equality Forum
- Bureaucrat of the Week