Thursday, May 24, 2007

Nerds and Geeks of the World Unite!

If you don't already have plans for this weekend check out the Los Angeles Convention Center for one of the largest fan conventions in the country. This Memorial Day Weekend Los Angeles is hosting the Star Wars Celebration IV convention. Fans from all over the world are expected to arrive. Also of note, much of this convention is put together by the fans themselves.

I've never been a huge Star Wars fanatic, but I have many friends who are. I'm thinking about showing up for one of the days just to check it out.

Click here for the general information:

Click here for the Convention Blog:

The pic above comes from a place I can't find anymore, so I can't link it. I think I found it via Yahoo. Anyway it is a Darth Vader balloon from Belgium.

Japanese Baseball

Have you ever wondered how did Baseball reach the shores of Japan? Was its advent like that of the United States? Was it a children's game that turned into a national obsession? How long have they been playing Baseball?

In a way, Baseball hit Japan in much the same way as America. The difference is that Baseball was an import from a far away land for the Japanese, whereas, Baseball was born and bred in America. As most of you know, Baseball in America was a children's game that evolved from the game of cricket and rounders. In Japan, an American instructor introduced the game in 1873. His name is Horace Wilson.
"It was very important that it began inside a school. It didn't develop from games played by children. The fact that it started on the campus of Japan's most prestigious school, and that it was taught by a teacher, determined the fate of Japanese baseball.

The students of the time tended to stay in the classroom and study or debate constantly. But they didn't play any sports, and they were physically weak. They were unhealthy.

That was a problem. So [Horace Wilson] said, look, if you are going to lead Japan in the future, you have to be strong. You have to study, but you also have to be healthy. And baseball was his way of bringing the students outside and into the sun.

He just happened to know baseball, which he learned in the Civil War. That was very fortuitous for Japan. It could have been any sport. But the students loved baseball. They were fascinated."

Like in America, Japan owes its Baseball obsession to the American Civil War. Baseball spread like wildfire in America after the war. Soldiers would play the game and passed it along to fellow soldiers throughout the country. The Japanese discovered Baseball because a teacher learned the game when he was a soldier during that War.

It's funny how things can be different, yet eerily the same.

Horace Wilson was elected into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Hat Tip: Net54 VBCF: Adam:
Photo Link: Japanese BHOF:

LA's Forgotten Man- Ramon Martinez

With all of the talk about Russell Martin's leadership, Furcal's recent offensive push, Juan Pierre's scary defense and Willie Mays Hayes-like fly balls, the trouble at third, Tomko's demotion, Yhency's return and Saito's continued mastery, who has seemingly disappeared? Well it's Ramon Martinez.

I feel like this is a game of Where's Waldo. Is he here? Is he there? Where has he gone? Where is he? Has he run off to some distant land hoping that the Dodger faithful can find him before it's too late, or that management will finally let him play? Ramon has not been in a game since May 14th. That was 10 days ago. Of course, hitting .170 might have something to do with it. On the other hand, I think it's a message of the time.

We are in the midst of experiencing the fruits of our teams labor as our young infielders invade town. Abreu, LaRoche and Loney are chomping at the bit. They are ready to start their own dynasty. As a result, our super-reserve has been relegated to super bench warmer. Do you think he would have any trade value today?