Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Iron Horse Roundup- October/November 2010 Edition

BBC Photo
INDONESIA: At least 36 people were killed in an October 2nd collision between two trains at the Petarukan station on the island of Java.
Officials believe that a signalling error one one of the trains was what led the Jakarta-Surabaya train to collide with the rear cars of the stopped Semarang-bound train.

That same day, another accident in nearby Solo resulted in at least one fatality.

UKRAINE: At least 43 people were killed when a train collided with a bus packed with commuters in the eastern part of the country on October 12.

Officials from Ukraine's interior ministry said eyewitnesses reported that the bus ignored warning lights and bells from the level crossing in the town of Marhanets in the Dnipropetrovsk region that indicated an approaching train.

All of the fatalities were on the bus.

Doyle Massey
UNION PACIFIC: Aside from it's regularly featured stint of hauling visitors between Denver, CO and Cheyenne, WY for Cheyene's annual Frontier Days, Union Pacific's 4-6-6-4 Challenger #3985 also got to stretch its legs hauling the Ringling Bros. Circus train from Cheyenne southbound to Denver at the end of September. The #3985 then continued on with the scheduled Missouri River Eagle excursion to Kansas City and St. Louis after briefly returning to Cheyenne.

Here, the 3985 is seen racing southbound through Platteville, CO with the circus train on its way to Denver on September 28, 2010.

Cody Zamostny
FT. WAYNE RAILROAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY: The gem of the FWRHS's collection, 1944 Lima-built Berkshire Nickel Plate 2-8-4 #765, has been pretty busy since Labor Day. In September, she was deadheaded over the Norfolk Southern and Wheeling & Lake Erie to Akron, OH where she operated a series of excursions over the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

In October, the 765 powered a series of excursions out of Owosso, MI for the Steam Railroading Institute while their own Berkshire- Pere Marquette #1225- is being disassembled for it's 15 year FRA boiler inspection.

Upon completion of her whirlwind tour through the Buckeye and Great Lakes State, the 765 returned to the FWRHS facilities in New Haven, IN where she'll go into storage for the winter.

NORTH CAROLINA: The Aberdeen, Carolina & Western has acquired a pair of former Canadian National, nee Wisconsin Central SD40-3 locomotives for service on it's line between Gulf and Charlotte, NC.

CONNECTICUT: Six cars of an 80 car unit ethanol train derailed in the late night hours of November 9th at the Providence & Worcester yard in Willamantic, CT. The derailment took place within yard limits, which meant that the train was travelling at a slow speed. None of the derailed cars ruptured, and the contents of the tank cars were transloaded from the two that had actually hit the ground. The train had arrived from Rail America-affiliated New England Central and Brattleboro, VT.

There were no injuries and the FRA continues to investigate the cause of the derailment.

NORTH DAKOTA: Officials from the Dakota, Missouri Valley & Western are disputing the FRA's findings regarding a March 2010 derailment in Washburn, ND that killed DMV&W conductor Jeff Heitzmann and injured the train's engineer. The FRA's report stated that an obstructed drainage ditch contributed to that saturation and undermining of the roadbed which in turn sent the lead two locomotives down an embankment.

The DMV&W, however, said that the stretch of track where the derailment took place had been inspected regularly in the weeks prior to the derailment and hasn't been a problem in their nearly 20 years of operating the line between Bismarck and Max, ND. Railroad officials insist that it was an underground spring located some 6 or 7 feel below the roadbed that undermined the track, causing the derailment.

10 Reasons Why I Parted Ways With Sanctimonious, Dishonest, Ponytailed Blogger

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of husky, pony-tailed blogger Charles Johnson making his contrived, self-serving ideological pivot official on his blog. On November 30, 2009 Charles Johnson officially 'broke' with the vast right wing conspiracy in a lengthy, petulant screed titled 'Why I parted ways with the right'. The thing is, when he had been earlier linking to conservative sites like Pajamas Media or Hot Air, he claimed that he never was a conservative or part of the right to begin with- which made his blatant attention whoring all the more disingenuous.

There's also the notion that Johnson bailed because he wanted to remain on the side of whoever was in charge. During LGF's heyday, that was the Bush Administration- and now, during it's precipitous, inevitable decline, Johnson and his hangers-on are making every effort to rally around the Obama Administration and portray the GOP as greedy, racist, clueless obstructionists (which also proves that Johnson's pretty bad at math too, since the GOP won't be able to 'obstruct' much of anything until January when 63 new members will be sworn in to the House of Representatives).

Speaking of, I wonder how it feels to so publicly and vocally attach yourself to the Democrats and progressives before their worst Congressional losses since the end of WWII. Also keep in mind Johnson was pretty much finished with the right when Chris Cristie, Robert McDonnell and Scott Brown won their respective elections in late 2009 early 2010.

Still, in the spirit of the 1-year mark, I thought I'd make my own list of why I broke with Johnson's blog

10) Moderate and popular New England Republicans like Scott Brown supposedly are the spearhead for some massive Tea Party/Ron Paul/John Birch Society/Big Oil/Gold Merchant/Climate Denier conspiracy according to speculation by Johnson.

9) Johsnon's supposedly well thought out and introspective reasons for parting with the right read like a half-assed laundry list of boilerplate talking points from Media Matters or Act Blue. Seriously, it might as well have been titled 'Me! Me! Me! It's all about me! Now praise me for how principled I am!'. This is conduct I'd expect from an attention starved 6-year old, not a middle aged man with a once-credible blog that had tens of thousands of hits a day.

8) Besides longtime conservative posters, the 'purges' from LGF in late 2009 included a large number of both Jewish and Military veteran posters. I'm convinced that was by design on his part.

7) Open hostility or antipathy towards religion- with two notable exceptions; Islam and the Church of Climate Change

6) Encouraging disdain and outright dismissal of any news story that ran on FOX News (even if the same story was running concurrently on other news outlets) while posting as gospel truth opinion pieces from blogs such as crooks and liars, media matters or the Huffington Post.

5) Encouraging disdain and outright dismissal of any news story and public or media figure that appeared on the FOX network UNTIL Johnson's appearance on Alan Colmes' radio show....which aired on FOX News/Talk radio.

4) Flags.....Good Lord. For a man of Charles Johnson's supposed intellect, he sure gets worked up (and frequently tripped up) by easily researched matters such as flags. Seriously.

3) Contrived guilt-by-association from Johnson, but only directed at those on the right. Apparently the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Glen Beck and talk radio were responsible for the death of a Kentucky Census worker or the Texas man who flew an airplane into an IRS Field office. But as far as the Discovery Channel gunman or homicidal University of Alabama-Huntsville professor Amy Bishop and their political leanings are concerned, then the 'No true Scotsman' argument applies there.

2) The other remaining posters at LGF. Ever have to visit some particularly activist, obnoxious, strident and in your face relatives for the Holidays? They're on the opposite end of the political spectrum, but will take advantage of having a quasi captive audience to lecture and browbeat you, even though it will do little to change you mind? That's what the majority of the 'new' LGF posters were like, emboldened after the 2009 bloodletting.

1) The administrators or 'monitor lizards'. Just as bad as the posters, only they had the ability to make your posts disappear for high crimes like mentioning President Barack Hussein Obama's middle name. Attempting to debate them was even worse, since they'd simply deny, dodge and obfuscate- then after moving around the goal posts on their terms, claim they had prevailed. 'Monitor lizards' were also known to type out lengthy, vitriolic screeds hoping that global warming skeptics would be rounded up and put into prison camps, opponents of a civilian trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be deported to North Korea and members of the Tea Party would be publicly shot and killed...and I won't even start with the disturbing fixation regarding Sarah Palin some of them maintain. Keep in mind these are the sort of individuals Johnson not only wanted to keep around on his blog, but granted them admin status while others were banned for pointing out how much the blog had changed.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Feds Arrest Somali Immigrant in Oregon Terrorism Plot

A 19 year old Somali-born immigrant was arrested by the Feds in a sting on Friday after twice dialling a number on a cell phone he believed would detonate explosives in a van parked adjacent to a crowd gathered to watch a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, OR.
U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton released federal court documents to The Associated Press and the Oregonian newspaper that show the sting operation began in June after an undercover agent learned that 19-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud had been in regular e-mail contact with an "unindicted associate" in Pakistan's northwest, a frontier region where Al Qaeda and Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents are strong.

An FBI document reveals that Mohamud had contact with the suspected terrorist in Aug. 2009. In Dec. 2009, Mohamud discussed the possibility of traveling to Pakistan to engage in violent jihad.

Mohamud was arrested at 5:40 p.m. Friday just after he dialed a cell phone that he thought would set off the blast but instead brought federal agents and police swooping down on him. The bomb was an elaborate fake supplied by the agents and the public was never in danger, authorities said.
Already there are sob stories circulating of how poor young Mohamud was the victim of entrapment. For those of you who feel that way, ask yourself if you would feel the same if the lad's name was Billy Jo from Tennessee who had been corresponding regularly with senior members of the KKK or Aryan Nation plotting to do the exact same thing.

Grounded Mexicana Stewardesses Raise Funds by Debuting Sultry Calendar

Aeromozas Mexicana Facebook

After 89 years in business, Mexicana Airlines suspended service in August of this year after competition from newer low-cost regional carriers, disputes with labor unions and a US$125 million debt caused it to file for a Comercia Concurso (the equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy). Negotiations are underway to resume limited service and bring back about 30% of the Mexicana employees next month.

10-year Mexicana veteran Coral Perez came up with the idea of the calendar in the hopes that the publicity would help revive the grounded carrier (one of the world's oldest international airlines) and cover their expenses since Mexicana ceased operations at the end of August. She and nine other former co-workers posed for pictures and planned to release about 1000 copies of the Calendar. The first run had sold out even before they were released last week, prompting the 'aeromozas' (flight attendants) to release a 2nd edition of 3000 additional calendars.

The high-flying Latina calendar girls have even set up their own Facebook page (in Spanish) as well.

"We're not models, we don't have perfect bodies, but we want to keep going," said Rozy Arcos, one of the stewardesses who presented the calendar late Thursday.
Despite Sra. Arcos' insistence that she wasn't a model with a perfect body, I wasn't exactly cringing and averting my eyes upon first glance at the calendar.

I'll let you be the judge, however.

[Hat tip: Wyatt Earp]


"Laurence Olivier of Spoofs" Passes Away in his Sleep at Ft. Lauderdale Home.

Nielsen, best known for his portrayal of bumbling detective Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun series of movies (as well as the short-lived Police Squad! TV series) was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and would go on to enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force before becoming a disc jockey.

From there, he managed to land a number of roles in Toronto and New York, and starred in 'serious' films and TV shows like Hawaii 5-0, The Poseidon Adventure and Alfred Hitchcock Presents before leaving his mark in the disaster film parody Airplane! in 1980. Like his later work in the Naked Gun series, Nielsen's specialty seemed to be portraying a serious, stoic individual that was oblivious to the absurdity taking place around him.

Turkey Sports Chowdah Recap- BC End Regular Season w/Orange Crush; Huskies BCS Bound? Pats Lion Down on the Job; B's Thrashed; Land that Shaq Forgot

NCAA FOOTBALL: Holy crap, where to start?

Boston College finished up its regular season with a road trip to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY to renew their rivalry with the Syracuse Orangemen. This would be the first meeting between the Orangemen and Eagles football since Boston College left the Big East in 2004. And BC would have to get it done without RB Montel Harris, who underwent surgery on his left knee after last week's game against Virginia.

Stepping in to fill the void was freshman tailback Andre Williams, who's increased playing time saw him net 185 yards on 42 carries and BC's only TD on the day. The Eagles carried a 6-0 shutout into halftime thanks to two Nate Freese FG's from inside the 30 yard line before Syracuse briefly took a 7-6 lead in the 3rd quarter.

BC would go on to take the lead for good on the following possession which started from their own 22 and culminated with Williams TD run from inside the Syracuse red zone after shaving 4 and a half minutes off the game clock. Freese would add a FG to round out the Eagles scoring and LB Matt Herzlich intercepted Ryan Nassib's pass on the following Syracuse possession with 1:28 remaining to ice BC's 16-7 win over the Orangemen.

Both Boston College and Syracuse finish the 2010 regular season with identical 7-5 records, with the Eagles winning their last five straight- including four against ACC opponents. Saturday was a fairly quiet day for Eagles QB Chase Rettig, going 11-19 with 110 yards and rushing for 13 more.

It was looking pretty bad with all of BC's losses coming in 5 consecutive weeks, but the Eagles were able to persevere and finish strong, and hopefully this will be rewarded with an invitation to their 11th straight bowl game.

ELSEWHERE IN THE ACC: The University of Miami fired head football coach Randy Shannon after the Hurricane's 23-20 OT loss to the University of South Florida. The Hurricanes had lost two straight and like BC and Syracuse, finished with a record of 7-5.

*The ACC Championship game will kick off at 7:45 PM Saturday night at Charlotte, NC. #21 Ranked Florida State will take on #15 Virginia Tech for the conference title and a BCS berth.

BIG EAST: My my....the plot thickens in the Nutmeg state.

With a 7-4 record after easily handling defending Big East Champions Cincinnati on Saturday night, the UConn Huskies may be heading to a BCS bowl with at least a share of the Big East title.

Although it got as close as 24-17 at one point in the 4th, the Huskies led the whole night in their 38-17 win over the Bearcats. RB Jordan Todman had 31 carries for 175 yards and 3TDs while Huskies QB Zach Frazier went 11-24 with 121 yards, a touchdown and an INT and DT Kendall Reyes ran back a Zach Collaros interception 70+ yards (it was initially run back all the way, but a blocking penalty nullified the TD and gave UConn the ball on the Bearcats 15).

Now here's where it gets a little strange- although #23 West Virginia thrashed the Pitt Panthers by a 35-10 final and have a better record than UConn at the moment, UConn holds the tiebreaker over both Pitt and #23 West Virginia. Whether or not UConn can get at least a share of the Big East's BCS berth will come down to whether or not they can win their remaining regular season game, a road game against the 7-4 South Florida Bulls (keep in mind USF just came off a win against Miami (FL) in OT on Saturday).

Kickoff will be at 8PM ET at Tampa on Saturday night.

OTHER BIG EAST NEWS: The Texas Christian board of directors announced that they have accepted an invitation that will send the Horned Frogs to the Big East conference effective July 1, 2012. TCU had been with the Mountain West conference since the 2005 season.

ELSEWHERE IN NCAAF: Huge upset in Reno, NV where the #19 Ranked Nevada Wolfpack bested the #3 ranked Boise State Broncos in overtime on Friday night, handing the Broncos their first loss since the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl. After taking a 24-7 lead into halftime, it appeared as though the Broncos were just toying with Nevada, seemingly able to put the game out of reach at any given moment.

While Nevada was able to come back and tie up the game at 24-24 in the 4th quarter, the Broncos pulled ahead on a Kellen Moore pass to Doug Martin for 79 yards that put Boise State up 31-24 with just over 5 minutes to go.

Nevada would respond with a 4 and a half minute drive from their own 21 and managed to tie the game at 31-31 with 17 seconds left in regulation. Incredibly, with only 9 seconds left in regulation and starting out on their own 38, Broncos QB Kellen Moore made a 53 yard completion to WR Titus Young setting up a go-ahead 26 yard Field Goal attempt by Kyle Brotzman with 2 seconds left in the 4th.

Inexplicably, Brotzman's kick missed, sending the game to OT, where one would assume he'd have the chance to redeem himself. However, with Boise getting the 1st possession of OT, he would end up missing from the 29 yard line as well while Nevada's Anthony Martinez would boot the game winning FG on the Wolfpack's only possession in OT.

The 34-31 OT win puts the Wolfpack at #17 in the BCS standings and drops Boise state to #11.

NFL: For the first time since 2002, the New England Patriots wound up playing on Thanksgiving Day against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

The Patriots actually headed into halftime in this one trailing 17-10 and would actually go on to trail 24-17 in the 3rd before Brady connected with Deion Branch for 79 yards and a TD to tie everything up at 24-24.

The 4th quarter was all New England, though, with Brady connecting with Wes Welker and Branch (again) for a pair of TDs and Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis rushing for one inside the Lions 5 to put the game away and give the Pats a 45-24 win.

Branch had 3 receptions for 119 yards and two TDs while Welker had 8 catches for 90 yards and two TDs of his own. As far as the running game was concerned, the law offices of Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis had 12 carries for 59 yards and 2 TDs and Brady went 21-27 for 341 yards and 4 TD passes.

On the defensive side of the ball, CB Devin McCourty had two INTs and the kicking game was perfect with Shayne Graham making his only field goal attempt to the day,

This is starting to feel a little like a bye week, with the Pats having played 3 days before most of the other teams and having until Monday, December 6 for their next game. The Pats will host the Jets at Foxboro for their final Monday Night football appearance of the 2010 season. Interestingly, the Jets also played on Thanksgiving, easily dispatching the Cincinnati Bengals by a 26-10 margin for the late game on Thanksgiving.

NBA: The Celtics managed to bounce back from a narrow loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday night, this time manging to down the Raptors 110-101 on a busy night from 'old timers' Kevin Garnett (26 points, 11 rebounds) and Shaquille O'Neal (16 points) for their third win in a row.

Their next game will be against the Cavs at Cleveland on Tuesday night.


You may not be the only one thrown off by the C's light schedule over the weekend. None other than Shaquille O'Neal missed a scheduled practice on Monday after forgetting the start time. Glen Davis took his spot among the starting players though.

NHL: The Bruins have managed to lose two in a row and three out of four to Southeast Division opponents. After getting shut out at home 3-0 to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Bruins travelled to Atlanta Sunday where they were downed 4-1 by the home team. Tukka Rask stopped 22 of 26 shots faced and Blake Wheeler had the only goal for Boston (with assists from Ryder and Lucic) midway through the 2nd period.

For their next game, the Bruins will be travelling to Philly to take on the 15-6-4 Flyers on Wednesday night.

MLB: Victor Martinez and the Detroit Tigers have reached a 4 year $50 million deal- pending a physical- while the Red Sox declined salary arbitration with Jason Varitek. The Red Sox are likely interested in retaining Tek's services, hoping he could mentor Jarrod Saltalamacchia who was picked up from the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline in 2010. By not offering salary arbitration to the veteran catcher, the Sox are likely attempting to retain his services under reworked contract.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Today's Train of Thought- Foliage Along the Main Street of Montana; Nov 26, 2010

Proving that the northeast doesn't have the monopoly on fall colors, today's Train of Thought comes to us from Big Sky Country as the aspens in the Rockies begin to turn to gold courtesy of railpictures.net contributor mtgteam2.

Here, a duo of new Montana Rail Link's new SD70ace's lead westbound manifest freight LM (Laurel, MT to Missoula) through Nimrod, MT with a few miles remaining before reaching its destination of Missoula. The SD70ace's were purchased new in 2005 and have begun gradually replacing the older SD40s and SD45s that were purchased secondhand, some of them dating as far back as the 1987 formation of the MRL.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving From Not Another New England Sports Blog!

Just a quick note to wish all the visitors of this blog a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

There actually isn't a whole lot known about this image in terms of date and title, just that this was the creation of New Zealand born artist Ted Withers, who was active between 1950 and 1961 with the Minneapolis-based Brown & Bigelow, an advertising and promotions company that also holds the right to works by Frederic Remington, Gil Elvgren and Norman Rockwell.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pre Holiday Sports Chowdah- Peyton's Misplaced; Recchi-ng Ball Hits NHL Milestone; BC, UConn Can Go Bowling; C's Oversee Net Losses

NFL: Wow....I've been meaning to get caught up on this for awhile now.

So...did any of you see that Colts/Pats game on Sunday? And with less than a minute to go in the 4th, Peyton Manning was all 'I think I'll put us in position for the game tying field goal or even get a game winning TD' and James Sanders was like all 'Nuh-uh!' and 'Yoink!' when he intercepted Manning's 1st and 10 pass attempt at the Pats 6 yard line?

Yeah- that was pretty awesome.

You know what else was awesome? When Danny Woodhead scrambled for that 36 yard TD run to make it a 28-14 New England lead towards the end of the third quarter. Seriously, thank you Jets for giving up on the diminutive RB and cutting him loose at the start of the season.

Anywhoo, granted that this is old news, but I thought worth re-visiting by virtue of the outcome. The Pats led by as much as 21-7 until the closing seconds of the first half and 31-14 early in the 4th quarter. However, New England would watch its once sizable lead evaporate when Peyton Manning put together two TD drives, each clocking in at about two and a half minutes and working on what could very well have been a 3rd touchdown drive were it not for Pat's safety James Sanders timely interception at the New England 6 yard line.

Seriously- even tho' Manning almost managed to dig himself the early hole with those two earlier interceptions, did anybody think that the Colts would jusr roll over like spayed cocker spaniel? Me neither...

New England hangs on to win by the final of 31-28- not pretty or the strongest of finishes, but certainly effective. Brady went 19-25 with 186 passing yards and two TDs. Danny Woodhead had 7 carries for 69 yards and the TD while Brandon Merriweather, Devin McCourty, and of course James Sanders, each had interceptions on the day.

The Pats will travel next to Ford Field to take on the Detroit Tigers on Thanksgiving Day at 12:30 PM ET, 9:30 AM Pacific

Joel Auerbach/Getty
Coming off of a brief 2-game skid in which they lost in overtime at home to the LA Kings over the weekend and were downed by the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 on Monday night, the Boston Bruins would continue their swing through the sunshine state in the hopes of halting their losing streak- or at least having Mark Recchi score his 1500th career point- while visiting the Florida Panthers Wednesday night.

Hmm...How about both?

After falling behind 1-0 late in the 2nd, the Bruins responded by scoring a shorthanded goal from Brad Marchand only 8 seconds into the third period to tie the game up at 1-1. Just under 3 minutes later, Recchi got the go ahead tally on an even strength goal as well as an insurance goal that came on a Bruins power play with 4 minutes remaining in the 3rd. Bruins win by the final of 3-1. Tim Thomas now has an 11-1-1 record after stopping 31 shots faced and Mark Recchi now becomes the 13th player to reach the 1500 point mark.
The Bruins will next take on the Carolina Hurricanes at noon Eastern on Friday, Nov. 26.

NCAA FOOTBALL: After dropping five straight, including four against ACC opponent, who would'vc thought the Boston College Eagles would be bowl-eligible?
But that's exactly what happened after BC's 17-13 win over Virginia on Saturday, although with one game remaining against Syracuse this season, it begs the question of whether or not BC will even get an invite.

Speaking of Syracuse, that's exactly who the UConn Huskies had as their opponent at an away game inside the Carrier Dome on Saturday night. With the 23-6 win, Connecticut is now bowl-eligilbe as well, with a 6-4 record. The Huskies will take on the Cincinnati Bearcats at home on noon Saturday before closing out regular season play on the road against the South Florida Bulls the following weekend.

ELSEWHERE IN NCAA FOOTBALL: Two different ballparks were put to use in the offseason by the NCAA as football venues. Wrigley Field hosted it's first football game in nearly 40 years when the Wrigleyville Classic between Northwestern and Illinois. Less than 36 hours before kickoff, Big 10 officials announced that due to the tight confines of the East end zone up against a brick wall, plays would only be run towards the west end zone (Wrigley's 3rd base dugout). The only time there was any action in the West End zone was when Northwestern safety Brian Peters returned an interception 59 yards to the forbidden end zone in Northwestern's 27-48 loss to Illinois.

Halfway across the country, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish beat down the US Army Black Knights in the Bronx in a game that was primarily noteworthy for being the first NCAA football game in the new Yankee stadium. The 27-3 win for the Irish means that they are now bowl-eligible after garnering a 6-5 record while Army came into Yankee stadiun already bowl-eligible after their 45-28 win over Kent State on Nov. 13.

NBA: After losing two fairly close games to a Kevin Durant-less Oklahoma City Thunder and the Toronto Raptors, The C's won back-to-back games starting with a 99-76 blowout of the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of Wednesday's mathchup against the Nets was how well Shaq was playing (9-10 with 25 points and 7 of 13 from the free throw line) after losing Rajon Rondo to a hamstring injury while losing Delonte West to a broken right wrist in the 89-83 win over New Jersey.

The C's next game will be at home against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

North Korea Shells Populated South Korean Island- South Korea Scrambles Fighters, Returns Fire

North Korea fired artillery rounds at a South Korean military garrison on Yeonpyeong Island on Tuesday, killing a South Korean Marine and setting buildings on fire while prompting the South to return fire. The shelling took place in the midst of South Korean military exercises in the area.

South Korea's YTN TV network aired footage showing columns of smoke rising from the island of about 1300 inhabitants, with the White House issuing a statement condemning the attack while China and the Kremlin cautioned both sides against escalation.

The latest provocation from the North comes only a few days after the isolated, communist state revealed that it was enriching uranium at a facility visited by the US Special envoy on North Korean denuclearization Stephen Bosworth and about a month after an ailing Kim Jong Il announced his son Kim Jong Un as his heir apparent.

In March of this year, a North Korean submarine torpedoed the corvette ROKS Cheonan, killing all 46 South Korean sailors on board.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hundreds Dead in Cambodia Stampede

Thousands of Cambodians at a riverside festival in the capitol of Phnom Penh stampeded across on an island and across a bridge killing at least 350 people on Tuesday. Some of the victims were spectators lined along the bridge leading off to the island who were knocked into the water or trampled as the fleeing crowd surged its way across the bridge.

An eyewitness said the trouble appeared to start after a concert on the island when about 10 people in the crowd fell unconscious, which in turn set off a panic.
Prime Minister Hun Sen made two live television broadcasts after midnight, giving a preliminary death toll of 181 that he later increased to 190. The website of the newspaper Kampuchea Thmey cited Gen. Sao Sokha, chief of the military police, as saying the death toll could be close to 300, according to information from four hospitals to which bodies were taken.

Authorities had estimated that upward of 2 million people would descend on Phnom Penh for the three-day water festival, which marks the end of the rainy season and whose main attraction is traditional boat races along the river.

The last race ended early Monday evening, the last night of the holiday, and the panic started later on Koh Pich -- Diamond Island -- a long spit of land wedged in a fork in the river where a concert was being held. It was unclear how many people were on the island to celebrate the holiday, though the area appeared to be packed with people, as were the banks.

Seeking to escape the island, part of the crowd pushed onto a bridge, which also jammed up, with people falling under others and into the water. So Cheata said hundreds of hurt people lay on the ground afterward. Some appeared to be unconscious.

Cambodia is one of the region's poorer countries, and has an underdeveloped health system, with hospitals barely able to cope with daily medical demands.
The 3-day water festival, which features traditional boat races, was expected to draw 2 million visitors to Cambodia's capital city.

Germany's Reichstag Dome Closed off in Face of 'Credible' Terror Threat

German authorities have closed the top of Berlin's Reichstag building and stepped up security after an informant and Western intelligence agencies have passed along intelligence regarding a suspected Islamic Jihadi plot to storm the Reichstag building and take hostages while demanding Germany's withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Germany's interior minister raised the country's threat level and the FBI forwarded intelligence to the Germans warning that an Indian crime lord residing in Pakistan and with ties to radical Islamic groups could be dispatching operatives to Germany to take part in attacks against targets in that country.

According to the information, two operatives are already in the Berlin area while 54 year old Dawood Ibrahim- on the run from authorities in India since a spate of 1993 bombings in Mumbai that he was allegedly the mastermind of which killed 257- will attempt to smuggle the remaining members of the cell into Europe via the United Arab Emirates.

Equipment the German cell allegedly requires for the possible Reichstag attack reportedly had to be brought in from the Balkans, while an informant said that at least four other men were in the advanced stages of training at an al Qadea camp in Pakistan.

Malfuntioning Robot, Hard Rock Hinder Rescue of Trapped New Zealand Miners

Efforts to reach 29 miners trapped by an underground explosion on New Zealand's South Island ground to a halt as a military robot that was relaying images from inside broke down in a passageway.
Police superintendent Gary Knowles said the army robot sent in to transmit pictures and assess toxic gas levels was damaged by water and out of commission. Authorities were urgently seeking other such robots from West Australia and the United States to replace the broken one, Knowles said.

"I won't send people in to recover a robot if their lives are in danger," he said. "Toxicity is still too unstable to send rescue teams in."

Making matters worse, the drilling team boring into the mine tunnel had hit "very hard rock" overnight, Knowles said. The police superintendent's statements came as rescuers waited impatiently for a chance to test if air quality underground was safe enough for them to go in to pull out the miners, who have been trapped for nearly five days.

Family members have expressed frustration with the pace of the response as officials acknowledge it may be too late to save the miners, who have not been heard from since a massive explosion ripped through the Pike River Mine on the country's South Island on Friday.

A buildup of methane gas is the suspected cause of the explosion. And now the presence of that gas and others — some of them believed to be coming from a smoldering fire deep underground — are delaying a rescue over fears they could still explode.

A diamond-tipped drill was put to work as workers hit layers of hard rock and came within 33 feet (10 meters) of the tunnel where they believe some of the miners are trapped, police superintendent Gary Knowles said. The 500-foot (160-meter)-long shaft they are creating will allow them to sample gas levels — including explosive methane and carbon dioxide — and determine if rescuers can finally move in days after the blast.

Knowles said rescuers planned to drop a listening device down the hole to see if they could hear anything — such as tapping sounds — that might indicate that the miners were still alive.

"This is a very serious situation and the longer it goes on, hopes fade, and we have to be realistic. We will not go underground until the environment is safe," Knowles said.

Two workers stumbled out of the mine within hours of Friday's explosion, but there has been no contact at all with the remaining 29. A phone line deep inside the mine has rung unanswered.
Police on Tuesday said that a second robot from New Zealand's military was being flown in by helicopter from Wellington that that a robot specialized for underground work was being flown in to Auckland from Australia or the USA and onto Greymouth from there. I'm hoping that this will have a similar outcome to the Chilean miners' saga last month, but unfortunately that may not be the case at this point.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sanctuary? Beseiged Iraqi Christians May Find New Home in Kurdistan

Overlooked by many in the news leading up to the 2010 mid-term elections was the terrorist massacre of at least 50 worshippers and clergy in Baghdad's Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Catholic Church on November 1st. Terrorists thought to be with al-Qaeda in Iraq initially targeted the Baghdad stock exchange before moving to the church across the street. Iraqi security forces quickly cordoned off the area surrounding Our Lady of Salvation and attempted to negotiate, but the attackers threw grenades and detonated explosive vests when the Iraqi forces stormed the church, killing 49 parishioners and 9 policemen.

In the days following the church attack, more Iraqi christian were targeted by car bombs and mortar attacks, killing at least five more. Some of the survivors of the terrorist attacks were given asylum by France and flown to Paris for medical treatment.

Many of Iraq's remaining Christians are concerned for their own safety after the latest attacks and want to leave Iraq. However, leaders in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq have invited Iraqi Christians to relocate to Kurdistan from elsewhere within Iraq. Kurdistan's autonomy during the final decade of Saddam Hussein's regime and after Operation Iraqi Freedom has meant that for the most part the economic and security situation is far more stable than elsewhere in Iraq.

Iraq's president Jalal Talibani (a Kurd himself) has even raised the possibility of establishing Christian-majority provinces within Iraq in an interview with France 24 television.

Hmm....wait a second. The sanctimonious self-appointed righteous indignation brigades that were out in force preaching tolerance when that douchebag Florida pastor promised to burn a bunch of Korans on September 11 have been pretty quiet since the Our Lady of Salvation massacre.

This would mean Iraqi and Kurdish Muslims have shown more concern over the plight of Iraq's Christians than the professional whiners and victims in their perpetual seethe-apalooza trying to hold up even token opposition to the 9/11 mosque in Manhattan as bigotry and Islamophobia.

Even if the Our Lady of Salvation massacre never took place, there's still the matter of Egyptian Muslims torching the homes of Coptic Christians over rumors a Coptic man was in a relationship with a Muslim woman. Or the Pakistani Christian mother of two who was reportedly sentenced to death for 'blasphemy' after she rebuffed efforts by Muslim co-workers to convert her.

Just some food for though the next time the head of an Islamic organization says that pointing out what's taking place in the Islamic world is akin to '1930s Germany'.

[Hat Tip: Eat it or Wear It; Weasel Zippers]

Friday, November 19, 2010

Campbell's Bitter Sports Chowdah Update- Bruins Be-Devil NJ, Rangers, Panthers; NHL Official's Damning E-Mails Unearthed; Fish Squished

NHL: It's been quite the week for the Bruins so far, both on and off the ice.

On Thursday night, the Bruins won their third straight game of the week after shutting out the Florida Panthers 4-0 at the Garden. Tukka Rask got his first win and first shutout of the season, stopping all 41 shots faced and Milan Lucic had a natural hat trick, scoring the first three goals on the night.

This would be the Bruins second shutout of the week, when Tim Thomas shut out the slumping Devils by a final of 3-0 on Monday night. On Wednesday night, the Bruins managed to survive a late rally by the NY Rangers- including a minute and a half of a Ranger's 5 on 3 man advantage late in the 3rd- to hold them off with Thomas stopping 24 of 36 shots faced and Mark Recchi getting what would turn out the be the game-winner just one minute and 10 seconds into the third. Boston won that one by a final of 3-2 on Wednesday night.

The three wins puts the Bruins back in 2nd place in the Northeastern conference (and 4th overall in the conference)- two points behind Montreal and four points ahead of Ottawa. The Bruins next game will be on Saturday night against the LA Kings at the Garden.

ELSEWHERE: For those of you who thought NHL Senior VP and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell was a vindictive douche with an axe to grind, some e-mails that were presented to an Ontario Labor Relations Board in a hearing for former NHL official Dean Warren have substantially backed up your claims.

Edmonton blogger mc79hockey has the specifics in which Campbell sought to pressure or sanction officials who made calls against his son Gregory Campbell (then of the Florida Panthers, now with the Bruins) back in 2007, and reveal a long-standing grudge against Marc Savard, whom Campbell coached when both were with the NY Rangers.

Perhaps even more damning is Colin Campbell's decision to let Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke off without a suspension after a cheap shot against Marc Savard last season in which Savard received a concussion and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher. Separately, neither one of them is incriminating, but with Campbell's e-mails seeing the light of day now his inaction against Cooke seems to only be explained by some sort of grudge against Savard [the fact that Savard and Gregory Campbell are now teammates will make the next several weeks interesting, imho- NANESB!]

Without addressing the e-mails that were made public on Sunday, Campbell defended the e-mail correspondence to officials as 'typical hockey dad venting'.

Speaking of Marc Savard, head coach Claude Julien has stated that he could start practising with the team shortly, but isn't expected to return to the lineup until at least December.

NEW JERSEY: Former Habs, Bruins, Leafs and New Jersey Devils coach and Gatineau, Quebec detective Pat Burns passed away from cancer at a Sherbrooke, Quebec hospice on Friday. Besides coaching in the Junior leagues, Burns was the recipient of three Jack Adams awards and was at the helm in 2003 when the New Jersey Devils won their most recent Stanley Cup trophy.

NBA: Not quite as busy a week for the Celtics as it's been for the Bruins. With that said, the C's are 1 for 1 this week with the bench doing most of the heavy lifting in Boston' 114-83 win over the Washington Wizards on Thursday night.

Boston will next play host to the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Garden on Friday night.

NFL: More Thursday night action, although unlike last week, I think the phrase 'action' is a tad charitable as the Chicago Bears came into Miami and completely shut out a depleted Dolphins team, winning by a final of 19-0.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pole-ing the Electorate- Campaign Posters of Bikini Clad Candidate Make Appearence in Warsaw in 1st Of It's Kind Campaign

Municipal elections in Poland's capital have never been so hawt!

Some political news out of Poland that, mercifully, doesn't involve the President of Poland and his cabinet dying in a horrific plane crash. That's right- just because most of the elections are over and done with in the USA doesn't mean there are others that we should be paying attention to.

While it's not that unusual for pop stars or beauty queens elsewhere in the world to run for office (Venezuela pops to mind right away), the campaign for a seat on a district council in Warsaw is the first of it's kind for Poland.

WARSAW - A Polish singer and tabloid celebrity has put up posters of herself stretched out on the sand in a provocative bikini as part of her campaign to win a Warsaw district council seat in municipal elections on Nov. 21.

Several of the posters — http://www.saramay.pl/blog.html — are to be seen around Warsaw’s Bemowo district bearing Sara May’s slogan: “Beautiful, independent, competent.”

“The deeds count, not the words, so I will not promise anything. I live in Bemowo in Warsaw,” May, whose real name is Katarzyna Szczolek, wrote on her English language website, adding that she would try to make the city a better place to live in.

Internet users who posted their comments below May’s poster on various websites were not interested in her political views, preferring extensive discussion of the extent to which her photograph had been digitally enhanced.

I am by no means the first blogger to post the story of Katarzyna Szczolek and her bid for the municipal seat, so the image of her campaign poster has been pretty widely circulated.

So I took the liberty of posting some other images from Katarzyna Szczolek/Sara May's portfolio so visitors can get a better idea of how she looks in a wet sari her qualifications for office.

I'll let you be the judge.

[Hat tip: Jammie Wearing Fool; Support Your Local Gunfighter]

Monday, November 15, 2010

Today's Train of Thought- Cardinal Truth About Passenger Rail in Kentucky, Nov. 15, 2010

Louisville, KY lost it's most recent incarnation of passenger rail back in 2003, with the cessation of Amtrak's Louisville Cardinal, an extension of Amtrak's Cardinal that ran from Chicago to Washington D.C. via Indianapolis and Cincinnati. The Louisville section of the Cardinal would simply operate over the Louisville & Indiana line between Indianapolis and Louisville after splitting off with the Chicago-D.C. section of the train, but the odd arrival and departure hours and 30 MPH track speed on the L&I eventually doomed it.

That's not to say there isn't any interest in passenger rail in Kentucky's largest city. In September 2008, a delegation of Kentucky transportation officials and commuter rail advocates travelled to Nashville, TN to inspect that city's Music City Star commuter rail service in the hopes of starting up a similar service in the Louisville area.

Approximately two months later, Four Rivers Transportation arranged a trainset for a trial run on the Paducah & Louisville line between Louisville and Cecilia, KY southwest of Louisville. Powered by PAL GP38-2 #3801 (painted in Louisville University Cardinals colors) and PAL GP38-2 #1998 (painted in University of Kentucky Wildcats colors), railpictures.net contributor Alex Moss caught the special passing through Muldraugh, KY (just North of Ft. Knox) on its return trip to Louisville, KY on November 8 2008. Even among the fall foliage, the consist stands out in contrast to the Paducah & Louisville's fleet of two-tone green diesels.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Steely Sports Chowdah Update- Pats Steel the Show in Pittsburgh; Sens Oust B's; BC Bests the Blue Devil They Know

NFL: What loss in Cleveland?

You had a feeling that New England would bounce back in some way shape or form from their embarrassing 34-14 loss to the Browns, but to be honest, I didn't think it would be this quickly, this convincingly and against such a quality opponent [That's not to say I wasn't confident they'd win, I just thought the might outlast Pittsburgh and hang on to win by 3 or 4 points- NANESB!].

Tom Brady connected with TE and 2nd round 2010 draft pick Rob Gronkowski not one, not two, but three touchdown passes on Sunday night while the shaggy QB even managed to rush for one of his own. As an added bonus, the Pats D (and Pittsburgh O, now that I think about it) managed to keep the Steelers out of the end zone until the beginning of the 4th quarter.

New England was able to get a TD on their opening possession of the game and followed that up with a FG from freshly-signed kicker Shayne Graham. Aside from a 76-yard, five and a half minute drive that resulted in a FG, the Steelers hardly seemed able to move the ball in the first half. This was compounded by a number of dropped passes inside the end zone that would've brought Pittsburgh within striking distance. The Patriots ended up taking a 10-3 lead into halftime.

To start off the 2nd half, the Pats would march the ball 78 yards down the field for a TD to make it 17-3. After both teams went three-and-out on their subsequent possessions, the Steelers were able to sustain a long drive that started at their own 33 thanks to a pass interference penalty against Pats Safety Brandon Merriweather where the Steelers were able to move inside the New England 10 yard line- but that's as close as they would get after Pittsburgh's receiver's dropped short passes from QB Ben Rothlisberger. To make matters worse, Steelers kicker Jeff Reed would miss a FG from point-blank range and New England would march the ball back down for another TD (where Brady himself ran it in from the Steeler's 3) to make it a 23-3 game (although Graham would miss the point-after attempt).

Pittsburgh would put together a 71-yard drive of their own culminating in a TD to open up the 4th quarter, but on their next possession Rothlisberger would be picked off by Pats safety James Sanders, who would run it back 32 yards ro make it a 29-10 New England lead, and although Pittsburgh wasn't done scoring in the 4th, it was too little, too late. New England wins this one by a final of 39-26- and it wasn't even that close- to give them a 7-2 record.

Brady was outstanding, going 30-43 with 350 passing yards and 3 TD passes as well as a TD run of his own. Rob Gronkowski would have 5 receptions for 72 yards, including his 3 TD receptions. Deion Branch would get 7 receptions for 71 yards and Wes Welker 8 receptions for 89 yards. Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis had 18 carries for 87 yards on top of another 36 yards receiving on 4 receptions. In other words, firing on all cylinders. On top of that, the New England D was able to sack Rothlisberger 5 times on Sunday night.

Next week, the Patriots will host the Indianapolis Colts in Foxboro at 4:15 ET/1:15 PT.

NHL: Tim Thomas' unbeaten streak ended at 8 consecutive games on Saturday night at the the Garden. Sens goaltender Brian Elliot turned aside all 31 shots faced while Erik Karlsson and Daniel Alfredsson notched the only goals of the night in Ottawa's 2-0 win over Boston.

The loss gives Boston an 8-5-1 record as the Sens move past them for 2nd place in the division. The Bruins will next host the New Jersey Devils at the Garden on Monday night at 7 PM.

NCAA FOOTBALL: Try as they might to give away Saturday's game, the Duke Blue Devils weren't taking up Boston College on their generosity. Not 100%, at least.

Taking a 21-9 lead into the the start of the 4th quarter and looking for more, Boston College was knocking on the door inside Duke's 10 yard line. However, RB Montel Harris would fumble the ball at the Duke 5 and Blue Devils LB August Campbell would run it back 95 yards to make it a 21-16 contest.

With just under 5 minutes to go in the game and starting at their own 37, the Blue Devils were able to march it down as close as the 2 yard line, but BC was able to stop them on 4th and goal with 49 seconds left in the game to hang on and win by the 21-16 final.

Eagles QB Chase Rettig was 12-24 with 230 yards and two TDs while fumble notwithstanding, Montel Harris had a rushing TD of his own while racking up 109 yards on 23 carries.

BC's record is now 5-5 and they'll host the Virginia Cavaliers on Chestnut Hill next Saturday.

NBA: I was only marginally aware that the Celtics were playing on Saturday night, but they seemed to have survived a scare from the Memphis Grizzlies to go on and beat them 116-110 in OT. Kinda surprising Saturday's game was that close, given the way they jumped all over the Heat on Thursday.

The C's are idle until Wednesday night when they host the Washington Wizards at the Garden.

Burmese Junta Releases Nobel Laureate Dissident Aung San Suu Kyi From House Arrest

Opposition leader and daughter of one Burma's architects of independence from the British, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been released from house arrest. She had spent the last 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest on orders from Burma's ruling military junta.

The Burmese military (aka the Tatmadaw) seized power in an August 1988 coup and have operated under the banner of the State Peace and Development Council since the 1990s- the South East Asian nation has been governed by one faction of the military or another since 1962.

Among the accomplishments the State Peace and Development Council can take credit for is renaming the country to 'Mynmar', moving the capital from the country's largest city Rangoon (aka Yangon) to the newly-constructed inland city of Naypyidaw, adopting a new flag as recently as last month (see below), or crushing the 2007 'Saffron Revolution'.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won 59% of the votes in a 1990 election called by the Burmese junta, which would've given her party roughly 80% representation in Parliament and effectively made her prime minister. Instead, the junta had nullified the election results and placed Suu Kyi under house arrest

Suu Kyi's release came a few days after widely criticized elections in which the ruling junta and their proxies retained power, leading some to believe that Suu Kyi's release (which isn't unconditional) was a diversion to prevent further scrutiny of the Nov. 7 balloting.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Not Over Yet! At Least 6 U.S. House Races Too Close to Call; Irregularities Reported

Some 10 days after Election day, a number of seats in the House of Representatives are too close to call, pending either a final tally of absentee ballots or recount.

NY-1: After the Associated Press called the race for incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop in the eastern Long Island Congressional district, Republican challenger Randy Altschuler has taken a lead of nearly 400 votes after a re-canvass of voting machines.

However, there remains more than 10,000 absentee ballots to be counted.

NY-25: The Syracuse Post is reporting that GOP challenger Ann Marie Buerkle increased her slight lead over incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei as abesentee ballots from Cayuga County were counted on Friday. This increases Buerkle's overall lead to just over 700 votes in the Central New York congressional district. Onodaga County is expected to start tallying their absentee ballots starting next Wednesday- Maffei carried that county by 8 points on election night.

IL-8: Incumbent Mellissa Bean finds herself trailing GOP challenger Joe Walsh by roughly 350 votes in the northern Chicagoland district. Clerks in Cook, McHenry and Lake counties are expected to begin counting the estimated 1500 remaining absentee ballots starting next Tuesday.

NC-2: County election boards across North Carolina certified their election results on Friday, but incumbent Congressman Bob Etheridge reiterated his request for a recount after picking up approximately 150 absentee and provisional votes. Even with the 150 vote pickup, Republican challenger Renee Ellmers maintains a nearly 1500 vote lead over Etheridge.

TX-27: The Texas Secretary of state's Office has approved a request from 14 term incumbent Solomon Ortiz Sr. for a recount of the election that showed him losing to Republican challenger Blake Farenthold by just under 800 votes.

Election officuals began counting absentee and provisional ballots one week after election day, with Ortiz showing no significant gains.

Earlier in the campaign, Ortiz had attempted to make hay out a photo of his opponent posing in duckie pajamas with a statuesque, lingerie-clad blonde at a birthday party/fundraiser for the Gulf Coast Humane Society and American Heart Association in a Corpus Cristi nightclub.

Actual 'Crush Girl'- but apparently not the one in 'scandalous photo'

The bash took place in December 2009, and since it's billed as a pajama/lingerie party I'm not sure what the big deal is about posing for photos with attractive lingerie or pajama clad young women at the aforementioned event. Featured at the event were the Crush Girls, who routinely show up at events and fundraisers in the area, although the woman photographed with Farenthold was reportedly tending bar at the party.

CA-11: With ballot counting continuing through the weekend, Democrat incumbent Jerry McNerney maintains a lead of 1681 votes over GOP challenger David Harmer. There are about 12,500 absentee and provisional ballots left to count in Santa Clara, Contra Costa and San Joaquin counties.

However, it's worth noting that the ballots are being counted by the employees represented by the SEIU, a labor union that has donated to McNerney's campaign.

CA-20: With roughly 10,000 absentee and provisional ballots to count in Fresno and Kern counties, incumbent Democrat Jim Costa declared victory earlier this week. Updated totals from Friday afternoon showed that Vidak went from trailing Costa by 1200 votes to 1100 votes with Vidak having yet to concede.

Blogger Robomonkey also has done a bang-up job of rounding up reports of disenfranchisement, suspect activity and outright electoral fraud from throughout the country in his Grand Theft Democracy series (up to Part 11 now!).

[hat tip, Lonely Conservative; Robomonkey]

Army Chow-dah Recap- Hall Of Fame Broadcaster Niehaus Passes Away; After Pen-ing Come From Behind Win, B's Are Hab Nots; C's Stifle the Heat

MLB: Seattle Mariners hall-of-fame Broadcaster Dave Niehaus passed away in his Bellvue, WA home after suffering a fatal heart attack. The 75 year old play by play announcer had intended to return to the booth for Seattle's 2011 season.

After graduating Indiana University and entering the military in 1957, Niehaus spent time as a broadcaster for Armed Forces Radio. In the late 1960s, he was a broadcast partner with Dick Enberg while calling games for the California Angels. After also doing some radio work with the UCLA Bruins and Los Angeles Rams, Niehaus was in the broadcast booth for the Mariners for their inaugural season in 1977 and has called games for Seattle ever since, making him one of the few broadcasters in any sport who has been calling games since their team's inception.

In 2008, Niehaus entered the Baseball Hall of Fame as a broadcaster by being named the winner of the Ford C Frick Award.

In the Pacific Northwest, he's probably best known for calling Edgar Martinez's walk-off hit in the deciding Game 5 of the 1995 ALDS.

NHL: Wow...the intra-conference matchups giveth, but they sure as hell taketh away, too. Figures I'd miss the game where Boston scores 5 unanswered goals (in one period, no less) but be able to tune in to the one where they get stonewalled in a 3-1 loss.

After the Penguins took a pretty formidable 4-2 lead into the 3rd period on Wednesday at the brand-spanking new Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, the Bruins came right back with goals from Nathan Horton and Zdeno Chara less than 30 seconds apart to tie the contest up 4-4 early in the 3rd. This was followed by what would be Shawn Thronton's game-winner and insurance from Blake Wheeler and an empty netter from Milan Lucic. Tim Thomas would stop 42 of 46 shots faced that night.

Thursday night's game at TD Banknorth Garden was a different story, with Montreal netminder Carey Price turning away all but one of the 35 shots he faced from the Bruins in Montreal's 3-1 win. Although Montreal got on the board quick in the first before Zdeno Chara tied it up at 1-1 with 4 minutes to go in the opening period. Montreal appeared poised to take a 2-1 lead in the second, but a review of the goal indicated that Canadiens C Jeff Halpern redirected the puck with his skate, so the goal was disallowed.

Tukka Rask was in net for Boston, giving Thomas the night off - Rask is still looking for his first win of the 2010-2011 season as Boston comes up short in their first game against the Habs (who were the only team in the Northeast division with a record better than Boston's). Instead, the Habs would make it a 2-1 game on a power play goal by Brian Gionta not even a minute into the 3rd and then get some insurance from a Scott Gomez tally.

The loss puts the Bruins in a virtual tie for 2nd place with their next opponent, the Ottawa Senators (also with 17 points, but with a worse intra-divisional record). The two teams will drop the puck Saturday night at the Garden at 7 PM Eastern, 4 Pacific.

NBA: Hmmm....so much for handing the Miami Heat the Eastern Conference title before the ink on LeBron James' new contract had dried.

Ray Allen, on the other hand, had 35 points including going to 7 for 9 in three point attempts in Boston's 112-107 win in Miami on Thursday night- and even then it wasn't quite as close as the scoreboard indicated. Throughout the game, every time the Heat threatened to close the gap, the C's would start to pour it on and increase their lead.

Despite the late surge by Miami, it was all Boston pretty much all night, with the Celtics never trailing in the contest. Although LeBron James matched Ray Allen's production with 35 points of his own, the C's held Dwayne Wade to just 8 points (more than half of them coming from the free throw line).

The C's will next travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies on Saturday night at 8PM Eastern, 7 Central.

NCAA FOOTBALL: The Pitt Panthers appeared to be in control of Thursday night's game with a 21-13 lead against the UConn Huskies well into the 3rd quarter.

However, the Huskies responded right away with a kickoff returned 95 yards for a UConn touchdown thanks to Nick Williams to make it a 1 point game before another UConn drive was capped off with a 25 yard Dave Teggart FG to make it 23-20 UConn lead.

Pitt gave UConn another opening when the ensuing kickoff was fumbled at the Pitt 25 yard line and the Huskies were again able to find the end zone, extending their lead to 21-30. The Panthers were able to put together a quick drive and make it a 28-30 game on a 20 yard pass to Pitt WR Jon Baldwin, but once UConn got the ball back, they were able to bleed out the clock thanks to some key 4th down conversions by RB Jordan Toddman (who already had 200+ yards on the night.

The Huskies run out the clock and come away with the 30-28 win over Pitt- their 1st lost to a conference opponent this season.

UConn's next game will be on November 20th against the Syracuse Orangemen at the Carrier Dome.

NFL Are you ready for some Football? Some Thursday night football?

Thursday night was the debut of NFL's Thursday night games for the 2010 season. OK- a couple of things to start off with; I remember the Thursday Night games

A) Starting a few weeks later in the season- like after Thanksgiving

B) Usually being a lopsided contest between two cellar dwellers (like Buffalo versus Carolina)

In years past, Thursday night's contest between the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens might've matched that description, but not last night.

In the interest of full disclosure, last night I mostly spent the night after work doing some errands and taking Applebee's up on their Veteran's Day promo, so I was almost constantly flipping between the Bruins/Habs, Celtics/Heat and UConn/Pitt game on the satellite radio. I did however, tune into the the final couple of minutes of regulation in the Falcons/Ravens game. Turns out that was a very pivotal final few minutes....I snuck in on the game earlier and figured with the score being 20-7 Atlanta, it was more or less over for Baltimore.

Flash forward to the 4th quarter where after starting on their own 25, Ravens QB Joe Flacco engineered a five and a half minute, 75-yard drive to the Falcons end zone to make it 14-20 and a 1-score game.

After the ensuing Atlanta drive sputtered mid-field Baltimore got the ball back on their own 28 yard line with just under three minutes in regulation. This time Flacco and the Ravens offense put together a much quicker drive, including a 22 yard gain from WR Derrick Mason and 25 yards from RB Ray Rice to put them on top 21-20.

But with just a minute left in regulation, Boston College alumni Matt Ryan would put together a drive (aided by some Baltimore penalties) from the Atlanta 20 to put the Falcons up for good. The 2-point conversion attempt failed, but Atlanta hangs on to win by a final of 26-21.

Hope all the Thursday night games will be this interesting.