Sunday, August 5, 2012

Scoring baseball via good old radio: lazy play by play and neo-liberal macro-engineering

Wrote this yesterday while scoring a Blue Jays' game off the radio, at The FAN 590 Toronto (see link to the scorecard below):

Accurate Reporting & Scoring

Scoring off the radio broadcast today on the FAN 590 Toronto with Jerry Howarth and Alan Ashby, and I'd just like to provide some constructive criticism by saying that I've had to go the MLB Gameday Play by Play 'thinger' on several occasions so far today beacause the broadcasters are not narrating the story concisely.

For example, in the Jays' 2nd on Gose's double to left centre, no one mentioned that it was CF Reddick who fielded the ball and threw to SS Rosales at cut-off (who then threw to Toronto's own, C George Kottaras for the out at home). That happens often, especially with lots going on.

I should note ESPN's automatic Play-by-Play narrative also does not mention who threw the ball to whom on that play. As well, the ESPN widget regularly calls 1B to Pitcher covering a "ground out to first" - which in my universe means 3UA, rather than 3-1 (out by pitcher covering). It makes a big difference in the stats: the way the widget records the play, the first baseman gets a Put Out; the way it actually happened, the pitcher gets the PO and the 1B gets an Assist.

As we advance towards much better defensive stat keeping it would be nice if the old school stats we do keep for defence were at least accurately kept. MLB Advanced Media supplies all the necessary info for a complete and accurate record of each game; it is all available through an API - it's just a matter of building an interface which supports the data stream. (I guess I''ll have to do it.)

The Radio Meme

The between inning advertising on the FAN590 features an ad from the Power Workers Union that starts off with 'did you know that wind power generators are off half the time?' ... and later, 'instead we can use bio-mass technology to fire generators that are carbon neutral'.

What they're talking about is 'strip mining' the northern boreal forest. The northern boreal forest is a band of forest that starts generally, on a latitude marked by the northern edge of Lake Superior (see image).

Northern Boreal Forest - image via Wikimedia commons -

'Strip mining forestry' (my term) is a new kind of forestry practice. The industry here in Ontario calls it 'whole tree harvesting'. Basically they harvest all the trees in a forest as in clear-cut forestry - but now, towards a leap in efficiency, they harvest the tops, the branches and now - the stump and roots as well.

With almost all funiture now made out of fibreboard, and most housing sheathing materials made out of composites, these new sources of chipped wood and fibre are important; but now the forest industry sees a slow down in consumer demand. Housing starts in the US are down due to the housing collapse, the continuing global economic crisis and the neo-liberal remedy - austerity - is reducing demand for new disposable furniture; like that which Ikea sells. How is the forest industry to maintain profit rates during an forced economic slow down while at the same time maintain their control of global forest sources going forward? The brilliant plan: burn biomass from whole tree harvesting.

Makes you want to vote for more nuclear power stations, doesn't it?

The Northern and Southern boreal forests are one of the biggest 'Carbon Sinks' on the planet. Biomass fired electricity generators are not carbon neutral at all. What we're doing is reducing the planet's ability to sequester carbon; and at the same time releasing thousands of years of natural biomass carbon sequestering through burning. By my reading of several papers on this, it appears, depending on species, that about half the biomass of a tree is in the root system - that biomass in the ground rotting then returns nutrients to the soil that inturn feeds the next generation of growth.

The Power Worker Union claim they are lobbying the Provincial government to go with biomass electricity production - but it's more likely that the Union and the Province are working together - just like they did in the run up to the last Provincial Election. This play by the Province - where the Power Workers Union play the ignorant blue collar moron; and the Province plays the prince all shinny in white to the rescue with the science, the white collar smarts, the nuclear solution - is a play designed to divide the sentiments of the environmentally aware, university educated, white collar urban voter. The thing is, we have to double electricity rates because the nuclear power stations only last half the time we thought they would when we we built them - so now: How to raise electricity rates by 100% and at the same time build 4 Trillion dollars worth of new reactors?

Macro-engineering of the population through deception - that's how.

In my opinion, wind, solar, tidal power and perhaps orbital solar collection delivered by lasers are the answers. We need to invest in these technologies and perfect them; along side a rebuild of existing reactor cores and a modest expansion of this very expensive nuclear power technology to serve the gap in the near term.

Because of the macho-war-culture jingoism in all the ads on Rogers Inc, I can't watch baseball on TV with out muting commercials; now I have to turn off the radio between innings now too because of these evil doings there.

Looks like it's Toronto Maple Leafs semi-pro ball at Christie Pits, or the University League at Stan Waldlow for me... .

Maybe that was always where I had to end up. Outside, in a Park.

This media is no country for old men.


Blogger Baseball Scorecard | 08/04/2012 Blue Jays at Athletics Game 3 Scorecard |

Government of Canada | Canadian Forest Service Publications | Effects of forest biomass harvesting on soil productivity in boreal and temperate forests – A review. 2011. Thiffault, E.; Hannam, K.D.; ParĂ©, D.; Titus, B.D.; Hazlett, P.W.; Maynard, D.G.; Brais, S. Environ. Rev. 19:278-309. -

Government of Ontario | Ministry of Natural Resources | A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE ISSUES SURROUNDING FULL TREE HARVESTING [PDF] | by Alan Wiensczyk |


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