Month: November 2016

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Joe Medwick

Position: Outfielder Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, 1932-1940; 1947-1948; Brooklyn Dodgers,1940-1943; 1946; New York Giants, 1943-1945; Boston Braves, 1945

Joe was never one to back off from an altercation on or off the field. It was no accident that he was an instigator in one of the most famous World Series incidents. In the seventh game of the 1934 classic between the Tigers and Medwick¡¯s Cardinals, Joe slid hard into Detroit third baseman Marv Owen. Too hard, thought partisan Detroit fans, who began to pelt him with fruit and refuse when he tried to take his position in left field at the bottom of the inning.
Finally, so much debris had been hurled onto the field that Commissioner Landis ordered Medwick to be removed from the game for his own safety. Since the Cardinals were cruising to an 11-0 victory, Joe departed without argument.

Born in Carteret, New Jersey, Joseph Michael Medwick (1911-1975) was one of the greatest all-around athletes in the Garden State¡¯s history. He was a high school star in track, football, basketball, and baseball. After school, Joe turned down a football scholarship to Notre Dame to sign with the Cardinals organization.
His first season in pro ball, 1930, was a huge success. He batted .419 with 22 homers in 75 games for Scottsdale of the Middle Atlantic League. He then played two years for Houston of the Texas League, batting .305 with 19 homers and 126 RBI in 1931, and .354 with 26 dingers and 111 RBI in 1932.

Medwick was deemed ready to replace defending batting crown winner Chick Hafey in the St. Louis lineup late in 1932. Joe hit .300 every year from 1933 to 1942. He had over 100 RBI each season from 1934 to 1939. He reached his peak in 1936, when he led the National League in hits and RBI and set a new loop record with 64 doubles. The following year he became the last player in National League history to win a Triple Crown. Even though Medwick hit .332 in 1939, he was dispatched early the next season to Brooklyn.

Here are Joe Medwick’s major league totals:

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New York Yankees

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Can solar energy power everyday objects efficiently?

It’s hard to argue against solar energy. The sun sustains most life on our planet. Plants absorb energy from the sun and convert it into chemical energy. Herbivores get energy by eating plants while carnivores get energy by eating herbivores and other carnivores. Trace the energy back to the source and you arrive at the sun.
But converting solar energy into electricity is tricky. Photovoltaics can do the trick. These are materials that can absorb photons — the basic quantum units of light — and convert them into electricity. Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect in 1839 while experimenting with an electrolytic cell. Becquerel noted that the output of the cell increased when exposed to light. But it would take more than a century to advance photovoltaics to the point that they were efficient enough to generate the electricity needed to power simple electrical devices.
In 1954, Bell Telephone Laboratories built a solar cell with an efficiency of about 6 percent [source: American Physical Society]. That means the cell was able to convert 6 percent of the total energy it received into electricity. That’s incredibly inefficient — 94 percent of the energy from the sun goes to waste. You’d have to link many solar cells together into solar panels to generate a significant amount of electricity.
Today, engineers and scientists have advanced solar panel technology so that efficiencies of 30 percent or greater are possible. That means you don’t need as many of today’s solar cells to generate any given amount of electricity. And you must align the cells in a single layer across an area to receive enough sunlight to meet electrical needs. For a home, this might mean covering a significant percentage of the roof with solar cells or building a freestanding solar panel somewhere on the property. Large businesses might need enough solar panels to cover a football field or more to meet energy needs.
Solar cells are also expensive. While the energy solar cells provide is free, the cost of materials and installation tend to be high. Installing solar cells for your house requires a significant up-front investment. Some states provide tax incentives to help offset the cost and you may even be able to sell some power back to the electrical grid, depending upon your power company. But solar cells are still a hefty investment in the short term.
Despite all those caveats, solar cells are still a great way to get electricity. They can pay for themselves after a few years and the energy they provide doesn’t contribute to pollution. Once a system pays for itself, the electricity it generates is essentially free!
Next, we’ll look at some efficient uses for solar energy.

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Itchy Skin Between the Toes

You can¡¯t feel comfortable when you have itchy feet. Whereas the skin on the soles of your feet is tough and hardened, the skin between your toes of soft and supple ¨C and prone to infection if not cared for properly. Dry, itchy skin between your toes is often a sign of a fungal infection. The infection can often be cleared using over-the-counter medications. If left untreated, the infection may spread to your toenails or other areas of your body, requiring more extensive treatment.
The appearance of the skin between your toes may give clues as to the cause of the itching and redness. Red, dry skin that sloughs off may be a sign of a fungal infection such as athlete¡¯s foot or ringworm. If you see a red rash with bumps, it may be a sign of scabies, which is caused by mites burrowing beneath the skin. See your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment of itchy skin between your toes.
Feet and toes provide an ideal environment for fungi. The area between the toes is warm and often damp, and dead skin cells contain keratin as a food source for the fungi. Tinea pedis, also called athlete¡¯s foot or ringworm, is the most common fungal infection between the toes. Scabies, or dermatophytes, may also cause a dry, itchy rash between the toes. Scabies are caused by mites burrowing beneath the skin.
Tinea pedis thrives in warm, damp areas, such as locker room floors and pool areas. The fungus spreads from person to person through direct contact with the rash and indirectly, for example, sharing towels or walking barefoot in public shower or locker room areas. Scabies are common in areas where people are in close contact, such as dorms, day care facilities or classrooms. The mites may also transfer to another person on clothing, sheets or towels.
Most fungal infections clear with over-the-counter creams or lotions. Fungal infections between the toes may cause the skin to crack, which can allow bacteria to enter the body and cause a secondary infection. Bacterial infections must be treated with antibiotic cream or oral medications. If left untreated, fungal infections easily spread to other toes and toenails. Widespread infection requires treatment with oral antifungal agents, such as griseofulvin. Scabies respond to prescription creams, but the itching may continue for several weeks after treatment begins.
Prevent fungal infections by drying your feet thoroughly after bathing and before dressing. Change socks once daily and wear socks made from a breathable fabric, such as cotton or wool. The best way to prevent scabies is to avoid direct contact with an infected person’s skin. Avoid using brushes, towels or bedding used by the infected person as well.

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The History of Physical Education in Rome

Of the many contributions made by the Greeks to Classical culture, the notion of a mutual dependence between a sound mind and a healthy body persisted in Rome throughout the republican and imperial periods. Yet the Romans were intent on making practical use of physical training, beyond its favorable impact on general health. Roman political ambition incorporated physical education into a national program for military preparedness. Centering on boys and men, physical education focused on activities that built and maintained warriors.
Upon throwing off the rule of the Etruscan kings in 510 BCE, Rome found herself in a perpetual state of hostility with her Italian neighbors, with secession movements, and later embroiled in a series of Punic and Macedonian wars. Places for exercise and physical fitness were limited to the properties of the patrician class, and only then in the waning days of the republic. These well-to-do Romans built gymnasiums and palaestrae (areas for boxing and wrestling), in keeping with the Greek ideal of mind-body synergy.
Although the Romans adopted large swaths of Greek culture, war-fighting was not among them. Greeks fought in phalanxes, which were large and densely packed infantry formations surrounded by a wall of shields. As the Roman army grew in size and professionalism, it adopted versatile strategies, many requiring a soldier to fight out in the open. As the Roman Empire expanded from 27 CE onward, training of boys aimed at developing loyalty, discipline and physical prowess through activities like running, jumping, boxing, wrestling, equestrian handling, swordsmanship and use of bow and arrow. Boys as young as 10 years old were taught to race chariots.
Many city plans, in Pompeii for example, accommodated gymnasiums, palaestrae and courtyards that were flanked by lengthy porticoes. These covered areas were used for foot races as well as public thoroughfares. Other athletic venues included a natatio, or large swimming pool. As there were no dedicated places for bases or barracks, military training often took place in these public facilities. Adjacent to these athletic locales was the destrictarium, where oils, salves, balms and herbal remedies were applied and scraped off prior to bathing.
Ancient Rome did not make physical education, or any education, a priority for women. Aquatics, dance and acrobatics for entertainment were the extent of female athletic training. For a brief period, during the reign of Septimius Severis from 193 to 211 CE, women were thought to have participated in gladiator sports. Like the male warriors-in-training, women were permitted in the bath houses, although usually at different times.

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Bear Bryant

Paul Bryant began his college football career as the “other” end to Don Hutson on the University of Alabama¡¯s 1935 Rose Bowl team.
Don Hutson went on to become one of pro football’s all-time stars, but Bryant, though drafted by the NFL in 1936, opted to become an assistant coach at his alma mater. It was a decision that would eventually lead him to an eminence in college football even greater than what Hutson achieved among the pros.
In 1940, Bryant (1913-1983) took a position as assistant to Henry “Red” Sanders at Vanderbilt, but after two years he left to serve in the Navy during World War II. He received his first chance as a head coach at the University of Maryland in 1945, where he compiled a 6-3-1 record.
The following year, he moved on to the University of Kentucky. Over the next eight seasons, he took the Wildcats to a 60-23-5 record and victories in three bowl games.
Among the All-American players he developed were quarterback Babe Parilli and tackle Bob Gain. Bryant coached from 1954-57 at Texas A&M, where he developed back John David Crow into a Heisman Trophy winner. His 25-14-2 record included the 1956 SWC championship.
In 1958, he was called to Alabama, which was then in a down cycle. Bryant turned that around and went on to his greatest success. He coached the Crimson Tide for 25 seasons through 1982. His teams won or shared 13 SEC titles and were named national champions six times, in 1961, ’64, ’65, ’73, ’78, and ’79. Overall, they were 232-46-9 and fielded such stars as Joe Namath and John Hannah.
Bryant was named the national Coach of the Year three times, and when he retired, his 323 career victories were the most ever achieved by a college coach up to that time. Only Grambling’s Eddie Robinson has since surpassed that mark.
Nicknamed “Bear,” Bryant was a large, powerful man with a growling voice and a gruff manner. Although he was a strict disciplinarian, he also earned his players’ deep loyalty by taking a concerned interest in their lives.

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Cal Hubbard

Position: Umpire

A hunting accident in 1951 impaired the vision in Hubbard¡¯s right eye, forcing him to retire from active umpiring. He was named the assistant supervisor of American League umpires that year, and was promoted to supervisor in 1954. He remained in that position until 1969, the same year he was elected to Cooperstown.

See more information on the Baseball Hall of Fame:

See the players in the Baseball Hall of Fame by position:
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New York Yankees

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Roosevelt Brown

Roosevelt Brown wasn’t the Giants’ first pick.
In the 1950s, the NFL’s annual player draft went 30 rounds. Toward the end of the sessions, teams often found themselves casting around desperately to find names to fill the last few draft slots.
When the New York Giants reached the 27th round in 1953, they had no one left on their “wish list.” Fortunately, someone in the Giants’ front office dimly remembered reading about a big tackle from Morgan State on a Black All-America Team published in the Pittsburgh Courier. And thus, Roosevelt Brown became a Giant.
After signing a contract for $2,700, Brown (born 1932) arrived in training camp with a confidence based on his mistaken belief that he couldn’t be cut from the squad.
Early in camp, Giants coach Steve Owen saw Brown’s size (6’3″, 255 pounds) and speed, but Owen also realized the young man was woefully lacking in technique. As a test, he set Brown in a one-on-one drill with New York’s All-NFL defensive tackle, Arnie Weinmeister.
The result was predictably brutal. But even though Brown took a fearful beating, Owen recognized Brown’s potential. Technique, after all, could be taught. Within a few weeks, Brown became a starting offensive tackle for the Giants, a position he held for the rest of his 13-season career.
The Giants won the 1956 NFL championship and added five division titles from 1958-63. Most of the headlines went to the famed “DEE-FENSE” or such offensive stars as Frank Gifford and Chuck Conerly; as usual, the offensive linemen were more or less anonymous to the public. However, close observers recognized the contributions of Brown. He was named All-NFL nine straight years, and he was selected to nine Pro Bowls.
When Brown was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1975, he was the second lineman to achieve that honor on the basis of playing offense only.

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Games for Effective Communication

Communication skills are important regardless of what you choose to do with your life. Effective communication skills often correlate with personal success, whether you're hosting an international business meeting or simply interacting with family. Communication games can hone your skills whether you're trying to improve poor skills or keep excellent ones up to par.
This game develops descriptive and instructional skills as well as teamwork. The game works best with small groups–a minimum of three people, up to six or seven–and requires two identical sets of building blocks. Four roles are involved: director, runner, builder and observer. One person is the director, one the runner and one the builder. Everybody else is the observer, but if the group has only three people, all share the observer role. Put the director and builder on opposite sides of the room, with their backs to each other, each with their own set of building blocks. You, as the facilitator, are to build something with the director’s blocks. The director must then give instructions to the runner, who must relay those instructions to the builder in an attempt to have the builder create an exact replica of the director’s blocks. Limit the activity to 10 minutes, then compare the builder’s construction with the director’s. Have the group reflect on the exercise. Take feedback from all four roles, then run the exercise again–make sure to create a new original model for the director–to see how the team improves.
The goal in phrase ball is to encourage rapid-fire thought and communication to help prepare for the moments when you might be put on the spot and have to speak without preparation. Organize your group–you need at least five–into a circle. In the first round, group members take turns throwing the “phrase ball”–a small, soft ball–back and forth. As each member catches the ball, he must say a simple descriptive phrase, such as “the friendly kitty” or “the funny movie.” When everybody is comfortable with creating phrases on the fly, change the game slightly for the second round. The person who holds the ball must start a phrase–“the happy puppy,” for example–then throw the ball to the next person, who must finish the phrase–“barked with excitement”–and start a new phrase. Game play continues until everybody seems comfortable speaking extemporaneously. At that point, stop the game to discuss the activity: how each participant's feelings changed throughout the game and which round was easier.
This game builds your team's descriptive, listening and voice-recognition skills and helps develop trust amid confusion. Divide your group into pairs. One person in each pair should be blindfolded. It is the job of the blindfolded person to retrieve specific items from the center of the circle based on the cues given by his partner. This exercise seems simple enough when it starts, but it becomes more complicated as more blindfolded people enter the circle and begin trying to find items. At the end, discuss the methods people used to tune out others' noise and confusion and focus on working as a team.
Bull ring is a physical challenge that reinforces effective communication and teamwork. Tie several pieces of string or twine–one for each member of the group–to a 1.5-inch metal ring. The group’s mission is to carry a ball, such as a tennis ball or softball, through, over and around a series of obstacles and place the ball on a goal–perhaps a water bottle or a piece of pipe. If the team drops the ball, it must start again from the beginning. When the team has reached its goal, discuss the challenges, what team members learned and how people took the lead.

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What does a county board of commissioners do?

The board of commissioners is the oldest form of county government in America and is still very common. In colonial times, it was particularly prevalent in the South, which was less densely populated than the Northern colonies, and it spread across much of the rest of the country as the nation grew. These days, it is seen less in New England, where local government is usually administered at the town or city level. Connecticut, Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts have no county governments at all [source: Kemp].
In a county commission form of government, a body of elected commissioners serves both the executive and the legislative duties, meaning they enact local ordinances and administer them. They approve budgets, oversee spending and hire county employees. The commission usually consists of three to five officials. In some states, they are known as supervisors. In New Jersey, they’re called “chosen freeholders.” And in Louisiana, they’re often known as “parish police jurors” [source: Kemp].
The commissioners are responsible to the voters, but their duties are defined and controlled by the state constitution and state statutes. Their actions can be overturned by state courts. Some department heads, such as sheriff, clerk, treasurer and coroner, are elected rather than appointed by the commissioners [source: Kemp].
When many counties were still rural, the duties of the board of commissioners were limited. They kept vital records, assessed property, administered elections and maintained roads. With the spread of suburbs, many counties grew in population and began offering a far wider range of services. It is not unusual today for a board of commissioners to oversee consumer protection, economic development, planning, environmental quality and social welfare programs [source: Kemp].
Other duties that the board of commissioners may be responsible for or oversee include:
In recent decades, government reform movements have criticized the commission form of county government for not having a single chief executive in charge. Some counties have moved to one of two related forms of government in an effort to solve the issue [source: League of Women Voters]:
Today, more than 40 percent of counties have adopted one of these alternative forms [source: Kemp]. In some states, such as Tennessee, state law requires that counties be led by an elected executive [source: Kemp]. Many others, however, have continued to use the traditional county commission form of government.
Read on for more information about local government and elected officials.


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