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July 15 2008
We are so excited and proud to make this announcement today . Another Catherinian has a new book published.
Marianas Barcenilla Ygona Class 1960
Book Title: A Gift of Contentment
About the Author:
Marianas Ygona immigrated to the United States from the Philippines in1974. She worked for the United States Navy as a civilian dietitian for years and retired from the Naval Hospital, Bremerton in 2007. She had pursued different avocations since then, writing being one of them. She lives with her husband in Bremerton, Washington.
About the Book:
This novel is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, to real people, living or dead, or to real locales, are intended only to give the fiction a sense of reality and authenticity. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Allie Mendez, a forty-something Filipino nurse who lives in Chicago is awaken in the middle of the night by a phone call from home. The news she gets will send her on a journey to explore the painful past she escaped decades ago.
Although pampered and sheltered by her parents who are members of the elite of Santa Cruz, it is Tola the servant who pays her most attention and whom Allie loves most. However, she grows up hearing insinuations from the people of Santa Cruz that make her feel anxious, distrustful, and different from other people.
In her late teens, Allie meets Gerry while taking private art classes. Love grows between them. Allie goes to Manila for her studies and while there, she meets Art, whom she initially distrusts. But Art is charming and persistent and after a while, they begin a love affair. She breaks up with Gerry. Gerry is crushed. She later finds out that Art is a married man. She keeps all these love relationships secret from her parents, friends, and relations.
Her work of tending to patients consumes her during the day, but when night comes, feelings of guilt, indignity, sinfulness, and fear haunt her. As she tries to resolve these feelings and the perceived allusions, she entangles herself in more difficulties rather than solutions. Will she ever find respite and answers to her problems? Will the twists and turns in her saga of life lead her to peace and contentment?
More about the Book
1. The story about the monkey and the turtle was told to the author by her Aunt Dangdang when the author was about six or seven years old, sometime in 1950. Source of the story is unknown.
2. The author's father told her these two stories of the boy who took out his mother's heart and of the boy who tied his father to a tree when she was in fourth grade sometime in 1952 or 1953. Source of the story is unknown.
The book is available internationally at Amazon.com. It is also available at Barnes and Noble, although, Barnes and Noble does not have it physically at the store; it's in their stock and they'll get it from there.
And, specifically available at:
Copyright © 2017 by Marianas Ygona
All rights reserved. Published in the United States of America by CreateSpace, a publishing house of Amazon.com
Would you like to join the list of Catherinian authors ?
A Gift of Contentment by Marianas Ygona June 2017
There's More to Being a Catholic by Rene Evidente March 2017
A Bereaved Hybrid by Thelma Alcordo November 2006
What does the Solar Eclipse Mean for Solar Power
This unusual eclipse is a balancing act for
When the Great American Eclipse glides over the country on Aug. 21, the moon will block more than 90 percent of the Carolinas' sunshine. That much darkness presents a first-of-its-kind puzzle for the Duke Energy employees managing solar energy.
Solar energy production will dramatically decrease as demand for lighting increases in North Carolina while the sun hides behind the moon from about 1 to 3 p.m. This is normally a peak time for solar energy production, and Sammy Roberts, Duke Energy director of system operations, estimates solar energy output will drop from about 2,500 megawatts to 200 megawatts in 1 1/2 hours.
During the Aug. 21 eclipse, about 98 percent of sunlight will be blocked at Duke Energy's new 500-acre solar plant in Monroe, N.C.
This will be the United States’ first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918 and the first to affect the solar energy supply in North Carolina. So, what does that mean for the grid?
Duke Energy manages energy from more than three quarters of the roughly 3,200 megawatts of solar power in North Carolina, but because it has a diverse mix of energy sources and a plan in place, Roberts said the company expects to meet customer demand during the eclipse.
A look at where the eclipse will shade Duke Energy's solar plants.
In California, which has nearly six times as much solar as North Carolina, system operators anticipate losing about 6,000 megawatts during the eclipse. According to the California ISO, operators have a similar strategy to replace the lost energy with natural gas and hydropower.
But energy companies are not the only ones planning for the big day. Hotels and viewing events in the eclipse’s path of totality -- where the sun will be fully blocked – are sold out. The country’s last total solar eclipse in 1979 only passed through five states, but 2017’s will hover over 1
As the third largest city in the path of totality, Columbia, S.C., considers itself the Total Eclipse Capital of the East Coast. Columbia is hosting more than 50 events as part of its Total Eclipse Weekend Aug. 18-21. Viewers, according to the event website, will experience the longest period of totality for a metro area on the East Coast for up to 2 minutes and 36 seconds of complete darkness.
Duke Energy’s Oconee Nuclear Station in nearby Seneca, S.C., is also in the path of totality and has hosted a series of educational events that ends with an eclipse viewing party on its lawn. The World of Energy will have eclipse viewing glasses (NASA said the glasses are necessary), so that you’re prepared for this once-in-a-lifetime event, too.
Not near the World of Energy? No worries. NASA will live stream the eclipse and has gathered a list of places to watch across the country.
Heal Your Money Karma
BY SPENCER SHERMAN AND BRENT KESSEL
The following is an excerpt from the "Heal Your Money Karma" on-line course. If you would like to enroll in the course, click here.
When we gain awareness of our ancestral money patterns, we have the ability to create spaciousness around our unproductive money habits and beliefs. Spaciousness helps us loosen our grip on old patterns so that they can begin to unravel and we can develop new money habits and beliefs that serve us. We are often impulsive when it comes to money. Training ourselves to pause in the midst of reactivity energetically opens us up to a creative thought, a new insight, a new way of behaving. The money breath you will learn, for example, adds a much-needed pause to this contracted area in our life.
Transforming Old Patterns
The spiritual tools are now available for us to challenge our initiation into money and undo the conditioning of childhood money messages. In place of worn beliefs and undermining behaviors, we can affirm new beliefs and behaviors which align with who we are today.
Healing Emotions Around Money
Money has remained in shadow for so long that when we consciously bring it into the light and simply acknowledge the darkness, shame, and fear that we have around money, we begin to transform our old patterns. Being in denial, obsession, or resistance with any of our patterns, keeps them firmly in place. If you doubt this, observe your friends' money patterns. If they are in denial, obsession, or resistance, don't their patterns stay in place?
Discovering and Balancing Your Financial Archetype
Your life experiences caused you to develop certain ﬁnancial beliefs and habits and to avoid others. We have noticed that, although the details of people's behaviors and problems are unique, there are great similarities among certain groups of people. We've created some broad deﬁnitions of these groups, or archetypes, so that people can learn from others who have gone through similar experiences. The value of deﬁning these archetypes is that they give us a basis for understanding how we came to have our current ﬁnancial life, and practices to pursue in order to create the ﬁnancial life we most want.
Living an Authentic Money Life
When we gain awareness of the truth of our conditioning, we are naturally compelled to increase our resonance with what we really want in our lives and to create an authentic money life for ourselves.
This is about healing and undoing the old programming so that we can uncover our own path towards financial wellness, generosity, and prosperity consciousness. Unfortunately, so many of us have been living the lives of our ancestors despite our best efforts not to continue this conditioning. Now, you can use revolutionary tools to birth a new relationship to money that actually nourishes our spirits and allows us to live gracefully, mindfully, joyously, and abundantly on this planet.
Seniors Mug Humor
Judy Canadian Correspondent
Life can begin at 60, it is all in your hands!
Many people feel unhappy, health-wise and security-wise, after 60 years of age owing to the diminishing importance given to them and their opinion. But it need not be so, if only we understand the basic principles of life and follow them scrupulously. Here are ten mantras to age gracefully and make life after retirement pleasant:
1. Never say ‘I am aged': There are three ages, chronological, biological, and psychological. The first is calculated based on our date of birth; the second is determined by the health conditions and the third is how old you feel you are. While we don't have control over the first, we can take care of our health with good diet, exercise and a cheerful attitude. A positive attitude and optimistic thinking can reverse the third age.
2. Health is wealth: If you really love your kith and kin, taking care of your health should be your priority. Thus, you will not be a burden to them. Have an annual health check-up and take the prescribed medicines regularly. Do take health insurance cover.
3. Money is important: Money is essential for meeting the basic necessities of life, keeping good health and earning family respect and security. Don't spend beyond your means even for your children. You have lived for them all through and it is time you enjoyed a harmonious life with your spouse. If your children are grateful and they take care of you, you are blessed. But never take it for granted.
4. Relaxation and recreation: The most relaxing and recreating forces are a healthy religious attitude, good sleep, music and laughter. Have faith in God, learn to sleep well, love good music and see the funny side of life.
5. Time is precious: It is almost like holding a horse's reins. When they are in your hands, you can control them. Imagine that everyday you are born again. Yesterday is a cancelled cheque. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is ready cash , use it profitably... Live this moment...
6. Change is the only permanent thing: We should accept change. It is inevitable. The only way to make sense out of change is to join the dance. Change has brought about many pleasant things. We should be happy that our children are blessed.
7. Enlightened selfishness: All of us are basically selfish. Whatever we do, we expect something in return. We should definitely be grateful to those who stood by us. But our focus should be on the internal satisfaction and happiness we derive by doing good to others, without expecting anything in return.
8. Forget and forgive: Don't be bothered too much about others' mistakes. We are not spiritual enough to show our other cheek when we are slapped in one. But for the sake of our own health and happiness, let us forgive and forget them. Otherwise, we will be only increasing our BP.
9. Everything has a purpose: Take life as it comes. Accept yourself as you are and also accept others for what they are.Everybody is unique and right in his own way.
10. Overcome the fear of death: We all know that one day we have to leave this world. Still we are afraid of death. We think that our spouse and children will be unable to withstand our loss. But the truth is no one is going to die for you; they may be depressed for some time. Time heals everything and they will carry on......
A MONTH IN NEED OF A FUN HOLIDAY
By: Lourdes Reroma Stone
Here we are, summer in full swing, just a couple more weeks to August and not a holiday in sight.
First a short history of how August came to be. Named after Gaius Julius Caesar Octaviamus aka Caesar Augustus aka Octavian, the month of Sixtillus was designated by the Roman senate as a most fortuitous month for the empire. After Octavian defeated the combined navies and armies of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra VII, he became emperor. This ended the civil war and brought Egypt under Roman rule. July, name after Julius Caesar, Octavian’s great uncle, had 31 days. So, the Roman senate added one more day to the original 30 days of the month of Sixtillus after it was renamed August to give it equal importance.
Yet, 21st century America has not designated an important fun day in August. January has New Year’s day which is celebrated right at the stroke of midnight. New Year’s day is actually hangover day which can be fun or not depending on how well one welcomes the beginning of the year.
February has Valentine’s day which can be fun or not depending on whether you’re the recipient or giver of dozen roses and expensive jewelry.
March has St. Paddy’s day when drinking green beer is so much fun, no argument there, even for wine and water drinkers.
April Fools’ day is followed by Cinco de Mayo. There was a ruckus at how this Mexican pseudo holiday was celebrated at a high school in my town. It had something to do with banning the US flag on that day but that is a political discussion for another day so we are not going there. There’s Mothers’ Day in May instead. A shot of tequila to all mothers young and old should do it.
Fathers’ Day in June is followed by 4th of July parades and barbecues. Weeks in July go by and a whole month of August goes by without time off before Labor Day in September comes along and school starts in earnest.
Kids and parents alike wait in anticipation for Holloween in October, if they’re into that kind of thing. Then, after all the costumes are put away and before all the Halloween candies are eaten, Thanksgiving in November comes. And before all that turkey and pumpkin pie have been digested, December and Christmas is just around the corner.
But what about August? Internet search yielded the following: Colorado Day (Colorado), Tisha B’Av (Jewish), Victory Day (Rhode Island), Assumption of Mary (Christian), Statehood Day (Hawaii), Bennington Battle (2) Days (Vermont), National Aviation Day, Senior Citizens Day, and Lyndon Baines Johnson Day (Texas). How boring. August 21 - Senior Citizens Day? Arise all seniors! Let’s dance, eat and drink! Never mind joints that are shot, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. This is our chance to get our National Holiday; maybe not. Why not go on holiday for the whole month of August as Europeans do? Studies show that Americans are such workaholics, it will never work.
Our Covenant-Keeping God
When God promised to give Abraham land, Abraham asked, “God, how can I be sure?” And as if His word wasn’t good enough, God went one step further and cut a covenant with Abraham, binding Himself irrevocably to it to reassure His friend that He would do as promised (Genesis 15:7–8, 18).
Let me say something about God’s covenants. They can never be broken, only replaced with a better one. My friend, God will do as He has promised you, and to set your heart at ease, He bound Himself to a covenant with you when He cut it with your representative, Jesus, at Calvary.
So rest easy in the knowledge that you have a covenant-keeping God who CANNOT break His covenant or renege on His promises. Simply lean on His faithfulness and like Abraham, you will walk in your inheritance and healing.
Who-Knew Uses for Aluminum Foil
Lauren Piro Refresh
It's handy for much more than just wrapping leftovers.
You already know that aluminum foil is a kitchen must-have, but its pliable, metallic structure makes it super-useful all over the house. Here's why you should stock up:
1. Line cabinets and drawers.
Not only is the foil easy to clean with a damp sponge, but it will help reflect light in a cabinet's dark corners.
2. Polish silverware.
With this nifty trick, a chemical reaction causes tarnish to transfer from your silver flatware to the aluminum foil. Line a plastic bin with the foil (shiny side up), and place the silver pieces inside. Pour in a 1/4 cup washing soda, and a gallon of boiling water. Stir and let soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Get more details about this method here.
3. Clean the grill.
A ball of foil makes quick work of de-gunking a grill of any burnt-on barbecue leftovers.
4. Protect pie crust.
Worried about burning your famous apple pie? Cover the edges with a ring cut out of aluminum foil to keep the crust from getting too brown.
5. Conceal a credit card.
If you have a "swipeless" credit card with an RFID chip (not a traditional card with a magnetic strip), it's possible that con artists can scan it and collect certain account information through your wallet. The risk is very minimal — these scans won't give thieves enough information to make a fraudulent purchase in your name. But if the thought still makes you uneasy, wrap your card in a piece of aluminum foil to deflect the scanner.
new uses aluminum foil
6. Scrub dishes.
Like steel wool, a ball of aluminum foil can help clean cookware you can give a good scrub, like glass casserole dishes or cast-iron skillets.
7. Scare away birds.
Chances are you love seeing brightly colored feathered friends around your garden, but if you have a fruit tree, you might not want birds feasting on your bounty. Like the reflective tape sold at garden stores, strips of aluminum foil hung in your tree can help keep them away.
8. Move heavy furniture.
Wrap the feet of your couch in a few layers of heavy duty foil to help scoot it across carpeting (but avoid using this trick on delicate surfaces or furniture that the foil could scratch).
9. Iron clothes faster.
Aluminum foil reflects heat, so try placing a sheet under your ironing boards cover, to smooth wrinkles a bit quicker.
10. Make a funnel.
In a pinch, create a makeshift funnel (which you can even bend to fit in tight spaces) out of a piece of foil fashioned into a cone.
11. Soften hard sugar.
When a recipe calls for a tablespoon of brown sugar but you'd need a chisel to carve it out, a little heat can help. Wrap the sugar in a piece of aluminum foil and toss it in a 350-degree oven for five minutes.
|This Handy Chart Tells You How Many Miles You Can Drive on Empty|
BY BRIAN SILVESTRO Refresh
Ever wonder what that little low fuel warning dash light actually represents in your car? Wonder no more, because this helpful chart tells you how many miles are left when your tank reaches empty.
The chart, put together by YourMechanic, lists the 50 best-selling cars in the United States in 2015. Everything from the Chevy Silverado all the way down to the Ford Mustang is present, which means your car might be on it too.
For each model, the chart identifies just how much fuel is remaining when the light comes on, and approximately how many miles remaining the car has before it actually runs out of gas.
So, next time that fuel lights pops up, just remember not to panic. Instead, reference this chart, and stop sweating about how you might not make it to the next rest stop. Most cars keep at least two gallons in reserve just in case, so chances are, you'll make it.
A simple shift in attitude can help us recognize the hidden potential for fulfillment in every event.
There is no secret recipe for happiness and contentment. The individuals who move through life joyously have not necessarily been blessed with lives of abundance, love, success, and prosperity. Such people have, however, been blessed with the ability to take the circumstances they've been handed and make them into something great. Our individual realities are colored by perception--delight and despair come from within rather than without. Situations we regard as fortuitous please us while situations we judge inauspicious cause us no end of grief. Yet if we can look at all we have accomplished without dwelling on our perceived misfortune and make each new circumstance our own, the world as a whole becomes a brighter place. A simple shift in attitude can help us recognize and unearth the hidden potential for personal and outer world fulfillment in every event, every relationship, every duty, and every setback.
The universe is often an unpredictable and chaotic place, and the human tendency is to focus on the negative and assume the positive will care for itself. But life can be no more or no less than what you make of it. If you are working in a job you dislike, you can concentrate on the positive aspects of the position and approach your work with gusto. What can you do with this job that can turn it around so you do love it. When faced with the prospect of undertaking a task you fear, you can view it as an opportunity to discover what you are truly capable of doing. Similarly, unexpected events, when viewed as surprises, can add flavor to your existence. By choosing to love life no matter what crosses your path, you can create an atmosphere of jubilance that is wonderfully infectious. A change in perspective is all it takes to change your world, but you must be willing to adopt an optimistic, hopeful mind-set.
To make a conscious decision to be happy is not enough. You must learn to observe life's complexities through the eyes of a child seeing everything for the first time. You must furthermore divest yourself of preconceived notions of what is good and what is bad so that you can appreciate the rich insights concealed in each stage of your life's journey. And you must strive to discover the dual joys of wanting what you have. As you gradually shift your perspective, your existence will be imbued with happiness and contentment that will remain with you forever.
Joseph Prince Delivered A Powerful Message :
ManPower Experience ( Megafest 2017 )
APPLE NEWS August 12
bi Molly Rubin
On Aug. 21, millions of Americans will turn their eyes upward to witness a rare natural phenomenon: a complete solar eclipse.
The eclipse is the first in decades that will be completely visible in the United States, no matter where you live. No one outside of the US will be able to see it, which is why it’s been dubbed “The Great American Eclipse” and why eclipse excitement in America is reaching a fever pitch. The total solar eclipse will only be viewable for a few minutes—and only along the eclipse’s “path of totality“—but there will be much more time to catch a glimpse of the partial eclipse that day.
Here is what you need to know about the most anticipated astronomical event of the summer:
What is a solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, with the moon’s disk covering the face of the sun.
That Earth experiences eclipses at all is actually kind of a cosmic coincidence: Though the diameter of the sun is about 400 times greater than the moon’s, they appear as the same relative size in our sky because the sun is so far away. When the moon passes between Earth and the sun, it blocks its light while exposing the corona (the sun’s atmosphere). If the moon were smaller, or if the sun was closer to Earth, the moon’s disk wouldn’t cover the sun completely, and we would never experience solar eclipses.
Solar eclipses happen at the new moon phase because that is when the Earth, the moon, and the sun align. The elliptical path of the moon around the Earth intersects the Earth’s elliptical path around the sun twice each lunar month because their orbits are titled 5º from each other instead of being in the exact same plane. The intersecting points of the Earth and moon’s elliptical paths are called lunar nodes. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and sun at a lunar node, blocking the sun’s light from hitting Earth. During a total solar eclipse, the sky darkens and the air gets colder by about 10ºF (5.5ºC).
A solar eclipse is not the same as the much more common lunar eclipse, which happens when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon, blocking sunlight from reaching the moon.
When the moon formed over 4 billion years ago, it was much closer to Earth, so it appeared much larger in the sky. Early solar eclipses were darker, with the moon not only blocking the sun, but also its corona. The moon is slowly receding from the Earth at a rate of about an inch per year. In the distant future, Earth won’t experience total solar eclipses because the moon will be so much smaller relative to the sun in the sky.
What are the kinds of solar eclipses?
There are a four kind of eclipses: total, annular, partial, and hybrid. The size of the moon and the sun in the sky do actually vary slightly because the moon orbits the earth in that elliptical path, and the earth orbits the sun in the same way. They can present as bigger or smaller depending on where they are in their respective orbital paths.
An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, but the moon’s disk doesn’t completely cover the sun’s body. The last annular eclipse in the US occurred in May 2012 and the next will be in October 2023. Because the sun’s disk is still visible during an annular eclipse, viewers on earth can’t see its corona. It is never safe to look directly at an annular solar eclipse.
In a partial solar eclipse, the umbra (the moon’s shadow) misses the Earth, so the sun appears only partially eclipsed to viewers, no matter where on Earth they are. Partial eclipses are also very unsafe to look at directly without proper viewing equipment.
A total solar eclipse happens when the orbital paths of the sun and the moon care aligned, so the moon completely covers the sun’s disk. The umbra hits Earth directly, and sky-gazers can see the sun’s corona radiating from behind the moon. This is the type of eclipse happening Aug. 21.
A ‘hybrid’ solar eclipse (also called an annular-total eclipse) occurs when an annular eclipses changes into a total eclipse, or vice versa.
How often do solar eclipses occur?
Solar eclipses are not as rare as you might think. There are, on average, 2 to 3 every year. About once every 18 months, a total solar eclipse is visible from some location on Earth.
The maximum number that can happen in one year is five, a very rare occurrence. The last time Earth experienced five solar eclipses in a year was 1935 and the next time will be in 2206.
When was the last total solar eclipse in the US?
The last complete solar eclipse in the US happened in July 1991 and was only visible in Hawaii (apparently the sky was cloudy that day—eclipse viewers had much better luck in Mexico). The last total eclipse in the continental US occurred in February 1979 and was visible in many parts of the northwestern US and Canada.
The total eclipse on Aug. 21 is the first ever to happen exclusively within the United States and also the first continent-wide eclipse visible in the US since 1776.
Check out how many solar eclipses have occurred in your lifetime with this neat tool from the Washington Post.
What are the best places to see the 2017 solar eclipse?
No matter where you live in the US, you’ll be able to see at least a partial solar eclipse on Aug. 21. The lucky Americans who live within the “path of totality,” the narrow area spanning the continent where the moon’s shadow will sweep across the Earth, will experience a total solar eclipse. Twelve US states fall within the path of totality: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
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Partial solar eclipse will be visible from North America, but only certain cities will be able to see total eclipse. http://abcn.ws/2v1UW3t
9:13 AM - Aug 3, 2017
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Some large US cities like Nashville, Tennessee and Columbia, South Carolina are directly in the eclipse’s path, but smaller towns are going to have the best views and are preparing for an influx of eclipse-related tourism. In fact, interest in the eclipse for people who fall within the totality path is so fervent that a frequency map of recent Google searches almost exactly mirrors the arc of the eclipse.
Check out NASA’S full interactive map of the solar eclipse’s path that shows the times for the partial and total eclipse to see if you’re one of the lucky few that live within the totality.
What time will the solar eclipse be on Aug. 21?
The eclipse will begin in the western US and move east. The partial eclipse will kick off at 9:05 am PDT in Oregon, which will experience the total eclipse at 10:16 am PDT. South Carolina will be last, with the viewing window for the total eclipse ending at 2:44 pm EDT. The eclipse will be viewable in any given location for about 3 minutes, and it will cross the country in about an hour and a half.
How do I safely watch the solar eclipse?
Sky-gazers should be very cautious—looking directly at the sun can permanently damage your eyes. NASA has an entire portion of its website dedicated to tips for watching the eclipse. According to NASA, looking directly at the sun during an eclipse is never safe unless during the brief total eclipse, when the moon’s disk blocks the sun’s entirely (this only occurs within the path of totality, and only for a few minutes). Otherwise, you should be using proper safety viewers for any kind of eclipse viewing.
A safe way to watch the partial solar eclipse is with special “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar filters (you can also make a homemade pinhole projector as an alternative method). Regular sunglasses, unfiltered cameras, or homemade filters are not safe and shouldn’t be used. Eclipse glasses must meet some basic criteria to be considered safe:
Glasses should have ISO 12312-2 certification (that is, passing a particular set of tests set forth by the International Organization of Standardization)
They should have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product,
They should not be older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses.
You should put your glasses on before looking at the eclipse and remove them after you’ve completely turned away.
NASA has a list of approved brands that manufacture glasses for safe eclipse viewing. Use caution: The huge interest in the solar eclipse has led to a cottage industry of fly-by-night manufacturers looking to turn a quick profit. There are hundreds of listings on Amazon from vendors trying to sell subpar and potentially dangerous glasses to eclipse enthusiasts, so be sure to do your due diligence.
What happens if you look at a solar eclipse?
If you look directly at solar eclipse without proper safety glasses, your eyes are exposed to huge amounts of ultraviolet radiation and you could experience photokeratitis, which is like sunburn in the eyes. It is incredibly uncomfortable and makes sufferers extremely sensitive to light. Staring directly at an eclipse can also cause solar retinopathy, in which excessive light hits your retina and causes permanent damage to rod and cone cells. Looking directly at the sun, even for a few seconds, can burn your retina and lead to partial or total blindness.
If you think you might have damaged your eyes by looking at the sun during an eclipse, you should visit an optometrist immediately.
While there isn’t data on eclipse-related eye injuries (doctors report cases anecdotally, but no one is specifically collecting the information), the risk is high enough that NASA created a PDF on eclipse safety you can print from its website.
When is the next total solar eclipse after 2017?
If miss this summer’s total solar eclipse, you aren’t completely out of luck: The next total solar eclipse with a path of totality that falls within the continental US will happen on April 8, 2024 and be viewable from Texas to Maine.
illustration of lularoe leggings
Multilevel-marketing companies like LuLaRoe are forcing people into debt and psychological crisis
The foundation of Western philo
Eclipse Aug 21
For the first time in a century a total solar eclipse will pass through the United States. On August 21, citizens will be able to look outside – with something protecting their eyes – and see the sun in all her glory blocked by the shadow of the moon.
If that doesn't get you excited, just know that the next total eclipse won't be for a while. Meaning, everyone should be gearing up to take advantage of nature's beauty however they can.
While everywhere in the United States will not be able to see a completely blacked-out sun, much of America will be able to see at least something. However, for those experiencing a completely blacked out sun, OpenTable has prepared a list of the best places throughout the country where you can eat, drink, be merry, and watch the sun disappear together.
Portland, Oregon – Eclipse Viewing Time @ 10:19 a.m. PT
Currents at the Riverhouse
Hayden's Lakefront Grill
Kansas City, Missouri – Eclipse Viewing Time @ 1:09 p.m CT
Gram & Dun
La Bodega - Kansas City
The Well- Bra, Grill, Rooftop
St. Louis, Missouri – Eclipse Viewing Time @ 1:19 p.m. CT
Katie's Pizza & Pasta
Nashville, Tennessee – Eclipse Viewing Time @ 1:28 p.m. CT
Etc. Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurant - Nashville
Charlotte, North Carolina – Eclipse Viewing Time @ 2:43 p.m. ET
Nellie's Southern Kitchen
Red Rock's Cafe – Charlotte
Vivace – Charlotte
Greenville, South Carolina – Eclipse Viewing Time @ 2:39 p.m. ET
Larkin's On The River
Pomegranate On Main
Charleston, South Caroline – Eclipse Viewing Time @ 2:46 p.m. ET
BLU Restaurant & Bar
Charleston Harbor Fish House
Eleve Restaurant Rooftop
Middleton Place Restaurant
Tavern & Table
The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits
Water's Edge – Charleston
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GAPS: A Healing Diet for Body and Mind
by Kelley Herring
Our modern world is awash in chemicals and food-like substances that wreak havoc on your health. While these compounds can adversely affect any system in the body, it is often your gut where the greatest impact occurs. And when your gut is disturbed, the problems you experience are not only digestive… it can also affect your brain.
In recent years, the gut has been called the “second brain” due to its unique relationship to cerebral health. It is also understood that over 70% of your immune system resides or is produced in the gut. This is thanks to a diverse population of organisms (or flora) and the gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) that mediates immune response. Even conventional medicine now recognizes that a healthy body and brain are dependent on a healthy gut.
Gut & Psychology: Build a Stronger Brain with a Healthy Gut
Long before these ideas were mainstream, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD made the connection. In her book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, ADHD/ADD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Depression and Schizophrenia, she shows that many physical and neurological disorders can be attributed to dysbiosis – or an unhealthy imbalance – in the gut.
As we deviate from our ancestral diet, the symbiotic relationships between microorganisms in our gut change. These changes can cause the population of healthy and beneficial microbes to decline while harmful and pathogenic bacteria proliferate. The combination of dysbiosis in the microbiome, chronic inflammation in the gut and irritants from our modern diet, can cause tiny perforations in the sensitive lining of the gut.
The resulting “leaky gut” allows harmful microbes, food and fecal particles and other toxins to enter the bloodstream. These compounds can cause a host of inflammatory and allergenic responses throughout the body and lead to dysfunction and disease.
So how do you seal and heal the gut and restore a healthy microbial balance?
Getting Started with the GAPS Diet
Dr. McBride has created a safe and effective protocol, designed to provide the body with an array of healing nutrients and flora-friendly foods while eliminating potential irritants. The protocol is broken into six phases, each lasting three to five days.
Here is an overview of the protocol and what to expect:
Stage 1: In this phase, the focus is on nutrient-rich and easy-to-digest meat stock. This allows the gut to heal as it is not taxed with by breaking down foods.
Stage 2: In this phase, raw, organic egg yolks are added to meat stocks to provide additional nutrients for repair. Animal fats from pasture-raised animals – like tallow and lard – are especially important at this time to seal and heal the gut. These healthy fats also provide a concentrated source of energy.
Stage 3: Onions cooked in grass-fed fat (great immunity-boosters) and avocados are added at this time. Probiotics should be taken before meals to help restore healthy gut flora.
Stage 4: Grass-fed burgers, roasted pastured chicken and wild fish are added in this stage, as well as sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions. The juice of organic vegetables is also introduced at this time.
Stage 5: As the gut lining strengthens and your ability to digest improves, foods that are more difficult to digest are introduced, including apples cooked in coconut oil or ghee and raw veggies.
Stage 6: Raw fruits and GAPS-approved desserts (like cinnamon baked apples and coconut macaroons) are allowed in this final phase of the Introduction Diet.
Is The GAPS Diet Right for You?
Thousands of people have found significant relief from the GAPS diet. If you try the introductory diet and notice you’re feeling better, following the Full GAPS diet (which lasts for at least two years) could be a beneficial next step to improve your overall health.
Have you tried the GAPS diet? If so, what was your experience?
The Endless Health Benefits of Water…Drink, Drink, Drink
The Eternal Liquid That Heals
Alex Daily Superfood Love
You can go about five weeks without food…but only a few days without water. You could think of water as an essential nutrient.
The human body is a water machine that is made up of over 70% water. Our body relies so heavily on water that every healing process that happens inside our body depends on it. The health benefits of water are endless:
Water helps regulate body temperature
We need it to breathe
It promotes weight loss
Our brain tissue is 85% water and when we are dehydrated our energy levels decrease. Fatigue and depression are a result of dehydration.
Your kidneys needs it in order to remove waste and flush out toxins
It improves your skin complexion
Acts as a natural headache remedy
And prevents cramps and sprains by keeping the joints lubricated and muscles more elastic
Should You Drink 8 Glasses a Day to Receive the Health Benefits of Water?
Forget the “eight glasses of water a day” rule. No one knows who even came up with that.
Nutritionists don’t even know.
Some say the number was derived from fluid intake measurements taken decades ago among hospital patients on IVs.
What you should do is simply drink water in excess of thirst. And that means something like 3 quarts of water a day – that’s 32 ounces more than the mystery “eight glasses” rule. And you need more if it’s very hot or if you’re working outside.
One thing you should know is that the mainstream notion that it’s OK to get your water from juice, soda, tea, coffee or processed beverages is wrongheaded.
Let me explain…
Acid vs. Alkaline Why PH Matters In Your Water
You probably already know how they keep swimming pool water clean and clear. Among other things, they balance the pH of the water. PH is a measure of how acidic or how alkaline a liquid is. The scale goes from 0 (acidic) to 14 (alkaline), with 7 being neutral.
To keep pool water from turning corrosive so that it doesn’t eat away at your pool and cause it to decay, it’s best to operate your pool with water that’s slightly alkaline. You try for a very tight pH range…and the ideal is around 7.35. health benefits of waterSave
In a very similar way, your body also has a small pH range in which it can operate. Your body prefers a slightly alkaline pH level between 7.365 and 7.390. Anything outside this range causes stress. The farther you go outside this range, then the stress on the body goes up exponentially.
The reason is that the distance from the neutral value of 7 is not just numeric. It’s logarithmic. That means each tiny change in pH makes something exponentially more acidic or alkaline the farther you get from 7.
For example, a pH reading of 6 is 10 times more acidic than 7. Sounds like a lot. But a pH of 4 is a thousand times more acidic than 7. So a small change in pH is really a big deal to your body.
Why is this important to you?
Because when you consume processed sugary drinks, especially sodas that have lots of acids in them, or even coffee or tea, it turns your system acidic. Which means corrosive.
This has a huge impact on your system. A body that’s become slightly acidic will attempt to balance itself by dissolving everything in contact with it in order to build up its pH.
Your body will use up important alkaline minerals you need for optimal health like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium to neutralize the acid and return your pH to normal.
Avoid acidic foods like pasta, lentils, mustard, olives and sugar. To offset any acidizing effect, eat coconuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, and even honey. All are alkalizing.
But you can also drink naturally alkaline spring or mineral water. It passes over rocks in the earth and picks up various minerals, which affect its pH. Good spring water usually has a slightly alkaline pH of about 8 or even 8.5.
Some good examples are:
➢Eternal– naturally alkaline water from New Zealand
➢Iceland Spring – Some of the lowest levels of chemicals ever recorded in spring
➢Pleasant Springs– Alkaline spring water from high altitude in the mountains of Georgia
➢ Saka– Pure alkaline spring water from a protected aquifer in the Koroglou Mountains of Australia
But remember, the reason to drink alkaline water is not just to avoid drinking acidic beverages, but to replace lost minerals from acidizing drinks and foods.
That means that artificially increasing the pH of water with an ionizer or other electrical device is not a good idea.
Putting tap water through a machine that runs the water over platinum and titanium plates to change the pH does not replace the important minerals lost when your body cannibalizes them after becoming acidic. It also doesn’t filter out metals from the tap water, and might put the metal from those ionizing plates into your water.
There’s nothing wrong with filtering your water, but it’s best to stick with nature and drink pure, natural mineral water for optimal health.
If you’d like some flavoring, use a cucumber, or even fresh squeezed citrus fruit.
Even though citrus fruit has citric acid, it has an alkalizing effect on the body. Especially lemons. The benefits of drinking lemon water is so great and refreshing.
health benefits of waterSave
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Baseball WHY BASEBALL MATTERS – STILL
"This is the last pure place where Americans dream. This is the last great arena, the last green arena, where everybody can learn lessons of life."
- A. Bartlett Giamatti, former Commissioner of Major League Baseball
Nevertheless, as the 2015 baseball season began, the national pastime was faced with a slew of questions about its future. Perceived problems with the game went to the core of baseball’s sustainability, as the Washington Post’s Marc Fisher wrote:
“Baseball has lived for the better part of a century on its unchanging character, its role as a bond between generations, its identity as a quintessentially American game that features a one-on-one faceoff of individual skills tucked inside a team sport. Can a game with deliberation and anticipation at its heart thrive in a society revved up for nonstop action and scoring?”
Indeed, baseball’s deliberate pace in a high-speed world is one of the sport’s major challenges.
Before rule changes took effect this season to speed up play, the game had been taking longer at a time when Americans have been moving at an increasingly frenetic rate at almost every juncture of their lives. On average, games lasted three hours and two minutes in 2014, up from two hours and 33 minutes in 1981.
The slower pace was accompanied by fewer runs being scored, including fewer home runs, always a fan favorite. In 2014, major league teams scored about 5,000 fewer runs than in 2000 and about 1,500 fewer homers were hit. The lack of offensive spark became jarring to Americans accustomed to bells-and-whistles entertainment.
The sport faced other realities as well.
Upon Derek Jeter's retirement at the end of the 2014 season, baseball had few bona-fide superstars capable of drawing national attention to the game. No player in 2015 can compare in popularity with the glory days of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, or, in more recent times, Johnny Bench, Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan and Cal Ripken.
In proof of this point, no baseball players were listed among the 30 favorite sports figures in ESPN’s most recent survey of American youths.
A CONVERSATION WITH MLB COMMISSIONER ROB MANFRED AND PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
On March 20, 2015, lifelong baseball fan President George W. Bush moderated a conversation with Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, touching on a wide range of issues and topics related to the game. Watch Manfred discuss goals as commissioner | Watch full conversation video
Like much else in American life, competition matters. Baseball is in the marketplace with other sports and entertainment options. “We sell competition,” Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred told a Bush Center forum as the season began. Alas, all sports sell competition.
Attracting fans to the park is only part of the challenge. Television contracts and merchandise sales depend, in part, upon the fan appeal of the players on the field. Absent today's generation of players and fans passing their love of the game on to a new generation, baseball will survive as the national pastime in name only.
Local communities and their teams in smaller media markets have become baseball's biggest success stories. They have risen as big city teams with national followings, like the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, have underperformed in recent years. There is a downside, however, to the rise of smaller-market teams. The 2014 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals went seven games, but it was the lowest-rated Fall Classic ever in the Nielsen ratings.
In spite of these challenges, baseball maintains that enduring connection with America. The sport even extends into the life of the Oval Office.
This symbiotic relationship gives baseball a unique place in our national life. The game still matters because through baseball we gain insight into our own national issues. Baseball helps us understand ourselves.
Baseball, Immigration, and the Quest for Freedom
Immigration has been a major story in America over the last two decades, but a big force in baseball longer than that. With each succeeding decade, the game has become more of a global enterprise and shows how open arms to people beyond America’s shores can enhance an operation. Major league games are now routinely broadcast in other languages and the international media, particularly from Japan and the Far East, send reporters to cover games from spring training through the World Series.
Adrian Beltre, from the Dominican Republic, represents one of 15 players from eight countries and territories that play for the Texas Rangers. Photo by Eric Enfermero
What’s more, Major League Baseball reports that 230 out of the game’s 868 players on rosters at the start of the 2015 season were born outside the United States. This year, the Texas Rangers have 15 players from eight countries and territories. That is the most of any club for the second consecutive year, prompting the Dallas Morning News' Gerry Fraley to call the Rangers "a team of nations."
The thorough integration of the game did not just happen. For many years, baseball scouts have actively evaluated young talent from the Dominican Republic to Venezuela to Japan to Australia.
The growth in players from Latin America and the Caribbean has arguably been the most transformational element of the game since the 1980s. Beginning in the 1950s, players like Minnie Minoso from Cuba and Roberto Clemente from Puerto Rico made it to the major leagues and became stars.
Yet Minoso and Clemente were among the few Latino players during the Fifties and Sixties. Today, Latin superstars have become a dominant force. The 2015 season began with 83 major league players from the Dominican Republic alone.
Baseball long had been a popular sport in the Caribbean and Latin America. Yet baseball academies that major league teams built and staffed soon became a key step toward the big leagues. They welcomed the most talented Latin American players, even from closed societies like Venezuela. This season, 65 Venezuelans started the year in the major leagues.
Teams have not operated academies in Cuba, but 18 Cuban were on rosters as this year began. The list included Yasiel Puig, the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder. His harrowing story of escape from Cuba includes being raced to Mexico on a cigarette boat, being held in a Mexico motel at the mercy of human smugglers and eventually winding up a Dodger in June 2012.
Los Angeles Dodgers Yasiel Puig (66) and teammates stand for the National Anthem before spring training game vs San Francisco Giants at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, AZ on March 9, 2014.
(Photo by Brad Mangin /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
Puig is not the only player to escape oppression through baseball. Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos made it out of Venezuela through his baseball prowess, but kept returning home after each season. After being kidnapped in Venezuela while visiting his mother in 2011, he eventually decided to seek a U.S. green card. "It's not easy to be with a bodyguard all the time," Ramos told the Wall Street Journal. "It's not the life you want to live."
Indeed, the desire to be free extends beyond the political world. Athletes seek open societies, just like those who are imprisoned for their beliefs. When players like Puig and Ramos take to the field in a major league ballpark, they personify the human search for freedom and the opportunity to maximize one’s potential.
Of course, the baseball diamond reflected the quest for freedom and equal rights long before players suffering oppression abroad came to the U.S.
With his 1947 trailblazing entry into the major leagues, Jackie Robinson became a leading figure in the American civil rights movement. When the Brooklyn Dodgers’ star infielder could finally play on the same team as white players, stay in their hotels, and eat at their same restaurants, America took a huge step away from its stained past. Baseball became integrated before the American military did, and 17 years before the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964.
Jackie Robinson in 1954. (Bob Sandberg, Look Magazine, via Library of Congress)
Robinson's breakthrough was long in coming. The Negro Leagues existed in the early and middle parts of the last century. Stars like Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, and Oscar Charles were denied the opportunity to play in the major leagues during their careers, even though they more than held their own in off-season exhibition games against All-Star teams made up of MLB's best players.
This dual segregated system provided a place for talented players of both races to showcase their skills. Yet it perpetuated the image of two "separate but equal" Americas, which, in fact, were not at all equal in salaries, travel, and playing conditions. The lack of full opportunity for players of all colors robbed the major leagues of great talent for many decades.
Strategic thinking by baseball’s leaders was required to open the path to racial equality and free market opportunity, just as strategists like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thurgood Marshall planned the social and legal path to equal opportunity for African-Americans in the 1950s.
Branch Rickey played the most important strategist role in integrating professional baseball, earning him the title of baseball’s “Great Emancipator.” Rickey was the Dodgers president who signed Jackie Robinson and partnered with him in breaking MLB's color barrier. He did not sign Robinson simply because he believed it was the morally correct thing to do. Rickey also did it because having Robinson in his lineup made the Dodgers a better ballclub. In Robinson's first year in Brooklyn, he led the team to the National League pennant and won Rookie of the Year honors.
As with the larger national struggle for civil rights, the integration of baseball did not come easily or without ugly incidents. But it did come, and the game benefited from the change. So did America.
Unfortunately, the participation of African-American ballplayers has declined dramatically in recent years. Baseball is a hard sport to play without a field, which can be hard to find in America’s inner cities or poorer neighborhoods. Major League Baseball has tried to deal with this problem by providing funding to build fields in neighborhoods that lack them.
This may be one of the game’s most pressing challenges, and, in many respects, it mirrors the challenge that urban leaders across America face: How can they rebuild their inner cities and neglected neighborhoods?
Baseball and Economics
Nowhere does baseball mirror American life more than in economics. This is true whether the issue is management/labor tension, free agency and the atomization of the workforce, or managing a complex organization.
The most serious management/labor dispute ended the 1994 season. As president, Bill Clinton tried to keep the game from finishing in a strike. He convened both sides at the White House, met with negotiators, and even tried to get Congress to impose binding arbitration. Unfortunately, his efforts did not succeed. The sides could not resolve their differences, and the season ended bitterly with the cancellation of the World Series.
Fans hold up signs in protest of the baseball strike during a game between the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinios on August 10, 1994. (Jonathan Daniel / Stringer)
The right of players to leave their existing teams and sign as free agents with other clubs constituted its own protracted, disputed struggle from the 1970s through the mid-1990s. Players eventually won the right to market their services to the team of their choice, thanks in part to Curt Flood, the St. Louis Cardinal star outfielder who rejected a trade to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1969. He opposed the trade because he thought baseball’s reserve clause gave team owners too much control over ballplayers’ economic freedom and prevented them from becoming free agents.
Flood fought his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but ultimately lost. His case did galvanize other players and, by the middle 1970s, the sport was on its way to allowing free agency for veteran players.
At the same time baseball was figuring out free agency, the American workforce was about to experience its own major shift. The technology revolution would soon make employees more individualized units of production. Like baseball’s free agents signing with three or four franchises during their careers, employees found themselves on paths to multiple jobs during their working years. No longer would they be tethered to a single employer for a lifetime.
For players, free agency meant a rapid escalation in salaries. They were able to use the marketplace to get a better deal. Perhaps the most eye-striking contrast with today’s players is the salary of the legendary Hank Aaron, who toppled Babe Ruth's career home run record in 1973. Aaron earned at most an annual salary of $250,000, and it came at the end of his standout career.
In 2015, the average salary of a major league player is more than $4 million and guaranteed contracts in excess of $100 million over several years is not unusual. Even when adjusted for inflation, Aaron’s highest annual salary was less than $1 million in today’s dollars.
AVERAGE MLB SALARIES, 1969-2012
Data source: 1967 through 1988, Major League Baseball Players Association via Associated Press. 1989 through 2012, Associated Press management and player sources.
Eye-popping salaries have rewarded some athletes with economic security for life, though they have also created the game's own wealth gap. The 2015 Texas Rangers' highest-paid player, Prince Fielder, will make $24 million this season, while about half of his teammates will receive the guaranteed minimum MLB salary of $500,000.
High-dollar salaries also make the economics of running a big league team challenging, causing the Los Angeles Dodger and Texas Rangers to recently go through reorganization proceedings in bankruptcy court.
Regardless of their size, modern ballplayers’ salaries are a product of supply-and-demand, the ultimate market principle. The 30 MLB clubs carry rosters with 25 players each. (Teams are allowed 40-man rosters late in each season.) Given the vast number of ballplayers around the world, and the reality of market economics, those who make it to the big leagues and become accomplished stars there, naturally draw high salaries.
With increased technology, baseball has become a more sophisticated game in the Information Age. Each new year bring new data and performance measurements that drive decisions about lineups, field positioning, and pitching matchups. This is no different from how waves of data drive decision-making in such fields as finance, medicine and education.
Moneyball, Michael Lewis' best-seller about the modern game, explained how number-crunching professionals increasingly influence baseball. With each passing year, general managers, scouts, and managers collect and then use more information about the tendencies of their own players as well of players on opposing teams. As a manager, Tony LaRussa made full use of every piece of computerized information to micromanage his Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals to World Series championships.
Yet long before technology helped baseball develop sophisticated metrics, managers constantly innovated and were their own dynamic market force.
George Will wrote in Men at Work, his 1990 study of the craft of baseball:
"Baseball is an exacting profession with a technical vocabulary and a distinctive mode of reasoning. It involves constant attention to the law of cumulation, which is: A lot of little things add up, through 162 games, 1,458 innings, to big differences. A 162-game season is, like life, an exercise in cumulation."
Casey Stengel implemented the platoon system of creating lineups, recognizing that left-handed batters typically succeed more often when facing right-handed pitchers, and vice versa. Connie Mack began the practice of analyzing hitters’ weaknesses and then getting pitchers to take advantage of those weaknesses. Gene Mauch got his pitchers to vary their delivery in order to prevent base runners from getting too big of a lead before attempting to steal a base.
So, yes, baseball is a game and an athletic contest, but it also has provided a snapshot into the forces at play in a market economy. For that reason alone, the sport demands our attention.
Baseball and Leadership
BUSH CENTER INTERVIEW WITH NOLAN RYAN
Nolan Ryan discusses the baseball fan experience and the state of baseball. Watch video
The art of leadership is another way the sport demands our attention. Beyond the data-driven dugout decisions, or even the manager simply playing a hunch, there is the operation of Major League Baseball itself.
This season, Rob Manfred became the first new commissioner in more than 20 years. A Little Leaguer in childhood, Manfred had a successful legal career before joining MLB in 1998 as an executive and working closely in several positions under his predecessor Bud Selig.
Selig came into baseball as owner of the Milwaukee Braves and later the Milwaukee Brewers. In 1992, he became commissioner and enjoyed a long and successful tenure. That was largely due to his capacity to build consensus among MLB’s owners, especially as they faced such crises as the use of steroids.
Through the challenges, Selig lived on the phone not only with owners, but also with all of the game’s constituents. His approach allowed him to find the sweet-spot on controversial issues. Like a shrewd legislative leader, Selig knew when he had the votes to bring up a major decision.
Selig’s consensus-oriented style produced results, even when his final decisions generated controversy. His greatest achievements included growing the game’s popularity internationally, substantially increasing revenues for all clubs, and averting labor/management breakdowns.
Baseball’s intersection with the nation’s political leaders creates its own deep connection with Americans. There is the traditional presidential toss of the first pitch on Opening Day. More important than following tradition, presidents have recognized that the game can rally the country in times of crisis.
Americans were stunned by the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. New York City especially reeled in the emotional turmoil.
President George W. Bush acknowledges the crowd before throwing out the first pitch at Game Three of the World Series in 2001.
When President George W. Bush strode to the mound at Yankee Stadium on October 30, 2001 to deliver the first pitch in Game Three of the 2001 World Series, a perfect strike at that, the chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A” that reverberated through that venerable stadium echoed across the land and the world. The message was delivered: America may have been bloodied, but it was not bowed.
Franklin Roosevelt also understood the symbolism of baseball. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, he wrote the famous “Green Letter,” asking that baseball executives not cancel the upcoming 1942 season. He knew that families worried about their young soldiers at war could alleviate their stress and draw at least some pleasure from taking trips to the ballpark or simply gathering around the radio to hear a broadcast.
Richard Nixon grasped baseball’s importance, too. After his motorcade was stoned in Venezuela while he served as Dwight Eisenhower’s vice president, he asked the State Department to send big league players to the country on a goodwill mission. “The tour did more to clear the atmosphere than a dozen top-echelon conferences,” a former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela later said.
Of course, baseball inculcates leadership skills far beyond the presidential level. The sport starts early training youth as leaders through Little League, the YMCA and other leagues. The focus goes beyond developing athletic skills to creating situations where children can work together as a team and develop sportsmanship.
Baseball and the Military
During World War II and the Korean War, Americans saw star players trade in their teams’ uniforms for the military uniforms of the United States. Promising careers were interrupted for service to the nation.
Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox serves in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War, circa 1952. (Photo by FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
After serving in World War II, Ted Williams then flew 39 missions in the Korean War. His plane got hit on several flights, including one strike that forced him to land his burning plane on a flight deck. Fellow Marine aviator John Glenn thought of the great Williams most of all as a pilot. “Much as I appreciate baseball,” Glenn said, “Ted to me will always be a Marine fighter pilot."
Bob Feller, the Cleveland Indians Hall of Famer, volunteered for duty on the day after Pearl Harbor, and spent more than two years as chief of an anti-aircraft gun crew on a battleship.
Lou Brissie, subject of The Corporal Was a Pitcher, begged that his leg not be amputated after being severely injured in Italy during World War II. He not only kept his leg, but recovered sufficiently to become an All Star pitcher in 1949.
Sadly, not all baseball players survived their wartime service. Harry O’Neill was among them, dying in the battle for Iwo Jima.
Fast forward to today, baseball remains connected to those who serve their country in the military. Veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan face challenges as they move from the military into civilian life.
Traumatic injuries create their own special problems. Veterans coping with a lost limb or post-traumatic stress often need a variety of medical and social services to complete their reentries.
To their credit, teams like the New York Mets have stepped into the breach. Mets’ Chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon helped create the Welcome Back Veterans organization, which Major League Baseball significantly supports, to provide veterans with quality medical care.
The organization particularly assists veterans who struggle with post-traumatic stress. Welcome Back Veterans, along with partners, funds research into PTS at hospitals in New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Georgia, California, North Carolina and Illinois. The ultimate aim is to create Centers of Excellence that provide veterans the best possible treatment for post-traumatic stress.
The Mets also have implemented Military Mondays to honor individual veterans as well as provide veterans discounted tickets. Many other major league teams likewise offer current military personnel and returning veterans discounted tickets.
Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets in action against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 28, 2014 at Citi Field in New York City. Murphy wears a camoflauge jersey for the Mets' Military Monday. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Efforts like these symbolize the relationship between baseball and American society, though they go beyond symbolism. They open the door back into a world of family, community, and employment for returning service members. At the same time, they open the door back into the national pastime for returning veterans.
Baseball's Road Ahead
This unique relationship with American society is one of baseball's strengths. Yet too many pressures exist to assume this connection will continue without significant attention and nurturing.
Baseball faces the same pressure that news organizations, religious institutions, and even late-night comedians encounter: how to engage young Americans. Declining numbers illustrate baseball's problem. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the number of American youths age seven to 17 playing in organized baseball leagues declined from 8.8 million in 2000 to 5.3 million in 2013.
Specialized sports are part of the problem. Children lock into one sport at an early age and don’t play other sports in an organized way.
Still, the game benefits from being played every day for more than half the year. The sport is part of the American rhythm, as Roger Kahn captured in The Boys of Summer. Each summer, seven days a week, baseball fans listen to games on TV and radio, check their newspapers and favorite websites for the latest box scores and stay abreast of who’s injured, who’s not, who’s hot, who’s cold, who got traded and who stayed behind.
Along with those rhythms, baseball embeds itself into the American mind through the power of storytelling. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has ascribed her ability to write a narrative from her childhood days listening to the Brooklyn Dodgers on the radio. The ballgames revealed to her that they each game has a beginning, a middle and an end, making the perfect vehicles for storytelling.
Most games in the 1950s were played during the day, so the young Goodwin would keep score and report to her father when he got home all the details of that day’s game. “He made me feel I was telling him a fabulous story,” Goodwin once said. “It makes you think there’s something magic about history to keep your father’s attention.”
Today, baseball’s stories are told in new ways. MLB’s popular At Bat app. ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. You Tube. They are among the many modern opportunities to follow the sport.
NOLAN RYAN AND TOM GRIEVE
Nolan Ryan discusses the start of his minor league career at Engage at the Bush Center on May 8, 2015. Watch video
Ballplayers themselves tell wonderful stories, many colorful, many humorous. Through those stories, we learn how ordinary individuals find ways to perform extraordinary feats. Unlike many sports, baseball does not require an outsized physique. One of the greatest of all, Willie Mays, stood only 5’10” and weighed 170 pounds.
Of course, families themselves hand down their own baseball stories. Grandparents regale grandchildren with tales of their favorite players from old, while grandchildren bring grandparents up to date on what all the new categories of statistics mean. Similarly, generations of families attend games together. And parents in 2015 delight in playing catch with their children just like parents and children did in 1915.
Economics. Leadership. Immigration. The quest for freedom. Equal rights. The Information Age. Veterans. Even storytelling. These are among the ways in which this sport connects with Americans at a deep level. They also are why baseball still matters. The game provides a lens into our very society and remains one of America’s most reliable means of connecting generations.
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