Showing posts from June, 2010

Non-profit of the Month: June 2010 - UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Since June is the month of graduations, I thought I'd donate to the two departments where I got my degrees.

UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

UC Irvine Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry within the School of Biological Sciences.

Sports: Will Bob Bradley's Team USA Coaching Contract be renewed?

The LAT has this item recapping Coach Bradley's thoughts on Team USA's run at the World Cup.


A couple of errors led to the round-of-16 loss to Ghana, which scored on its first shot in the game and on its first shot in overtime, but there were two factors, above all, that characterized the Americans in South Africa.

The first was the inability of the forwards to score goals. The U.S. netted five in total, all of them by midfielders, including three by Landon Donovan.

Forwards Jozy Altidore, Robbie Findley, Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez did not find the back of the net.

The second identifying characteristic of the team was its habit of yielding early goals. In two of its four games, the U.S. was scored upon within five minutes of the start and in another it was scored upon within 15 minutes. In a rather startling statistic, over the course of four games, the U.S. held a lead for a total of barely three minutes.

On Sunday, Bradley talked about both issues.

"Goals d…

Sports: Memo to FIFA - Instant Replay on Goals

There is no perfect system to make calls in sporting events of any type.  Replay can't be done on everything.

In futbol/soccer where goals are so rare, mistakes that could be easily corrected with replay on when to rule a goal is a goal is ridiculous.

FIFA's governing body has its head in the sand by not even considering replay on goal rulings.

This item in makes the case for replay quite well.  Excerpt:

In a sport where a score of, say, 5-2 is considered an offensive onslaught of massive proportions, a legitimate goal must be counted. If the ball bounces over the line, it's a goal. End of story, no debate, case closed. True, other sports are not perfect when it comes to scoring. A mistaken non-call on goaltending might take away a legitimate field goal in an NBA game, for example, but that's two points out of 200. And replays are now allowed to determine if a shot counts for two points or three. In major league baseball, a sport that takes to change the way a s…

Sports: 2010 NBA Championship!

Woo Hoo!

Sports: "A Goal, A Ghost" ESPN Outside the Lines

The story of Joe Gaetjens, a Haitian immigrant, who scored the lone USA goal that beat England in 1950's World Cup match. Sadly, Haiti came under a brutal dictatorship and Gaetjans died as a political prisoner.  ESPN followed the tale of his son's return visit to Haiti to be reunited with relatives, see the prison his father was held and hear that his father was remembered for that shining moment in 1950.

Sports: England vs. USA

Okay, so the hype is a little (ok, a lot) over the top!

According to the SPI ratings at, the USA (#15) isn't in the same tier as England (#3); thus, the USA is not expected to win.

But in rivalry games, you never know!

For trivia fans, the voice-over narration in the commercial is an opening passage from Thomas Paine's "The Crisis" published December 23, 1776. Excerpt:THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.I wonder if the English will fire up their fans with a little Henry V St. Crispin? Excerpt:This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,

Life: John R. Wooden, 1910-2010

John Wooden was welcomed into the full presence of God and reunited with his wife Nell today.

Thanks Coach Wooden for the example, the wisdom and the impact that was your life both on and off the court.

A video recap of Coach Wooden's story by Jim Hill.

Tribute web page at to John Wooden.

Travel: Hotel Clean Up

Saw this item via Drudge.

Helpful hints from CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg:

This is what you do, in order, from the moment you enter your hotel room:

CLEAN THE TV REMOTE AND PHONE: You may not realize what the SINGLE DIRTIEST item in your hotel room is but -- go directly to the one item in the bedroom that has the highest levels of bacteria, the TV remote control unit. Wipe it off thoroughly. Next up, the telephone handset, especially the mouthpiece.

CHUCK THE BEDSPREAD: Walk over to the bedspread, lift it off the bed, throw it in the corner, never touch it again. Many hotels still only clean those bedspreads intermittently.

RINSE OUT THE GLASSES: Go into the bathroom -- and the culprit here is not what you think. It's not the sink, or the toilet or the bathtub. It's the -- water glasses! Here's how this is a problem: Most hotel maids are tasked with cleaning up to 15 or 16 rooms in any given eight-hour shift. That's a lot of rooms. And usually, by the time…

Devotional Thoughts: Blog Through the Bible

Previously, I had cross posted items from Blog Through the Bible over here under the Devotional Thoughts label.

Have decided that future posts of "BTB" will only be hosted at that site.

The Devotional Thoughts label will continued to be applied to various reflective postings. Hope you will be encouraged and challenged by the content within the Devotional Thoughts and be willing to check out the Blog Through the Bible materials as well.

While I'm at it, I hope to be more consistent in the usage of the tag system here at Blogspot. The theology tag will be for matters of Christian doctrine. The religion tag will be for items beyond Christian doctrine and practice. The faith tag will be for matters of Christian belief aside from doctrinal matters.

Politics: Yes on Prop 14

Prop 14 changes the primary and general election system for many offices. The plan is to have a primary election where the top two advance to the general election. The idea is to make some races more competitive.

In races where there is only one competitive candidate such as a strong incumbent running for re-election, the Prop 14 system will not change the end result.

In races where there are two strong candidates and they are from different parties both would win in the primary stage and advance to the general just as happens now.

It is hard to predict how Prop 14 would effect races where there are 3 strong candidates or multiple (3+) weak candidates.

The only type of race where the proposed new system makes any difference is when there are two strong candidates and they are from the same party. Under the current system, one of those two strong candidates would be eliminated in the primary stage. In the Prop 14 system, those two candidates would advance to the general election …

Politics: Yes on 17

Prop 17 changes an aspect of auto insurance regulation. Currently, auto insurers can give loyalty discounts to customers who have been in good standing with their company but its not transferable. As in the cell phone business, it is easier to try to keep customers than try to find new ones. Thus, hypothetically, if customer Albert has been with Mercury Insurance in good standing for at least a certain number of years, they could offer him a discount. Prop 17 allows insurance companies to make that discount portable. As a result, the Progressive Insurance lady with the price gun could offer Albert that type of discount to lure him away from Mercury.

I do wonder how large this discount will be as there is a practical limit to how much the insurers can discount to both lure and keep customers and yet retain enough premiums for loss payouts and profits. Additionally, the primary determinant of insurance rates remains driving record and distance driven per year. Thus, to the extent t…