Question #1: Since the Most Valuable Player awards in the National and American Leagues were intrododuced in 1931, only twelve (12) players have been selected by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) in consecutive years. Who were they?
Who was the last switchhitter in either league to win the MVP award?
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I heard interviewer extraordinaire, Krys Boyd, on KERA (NPR – 90.1) interview William Rosen, the author of The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention. (you will be able to track down the podcast here – it aired on July 26, 2010).
Here’s the Description:
What does the world owe to steam? We’ll look back this hour at the marvelous invention that started the modern era with William Rosen.
The interview described the catalyst that led to so many leaps forward made since the arrival of the steam engine, (after literally millennia of stagnation), with a discussion of education, the 10,000 hour rule, the 14 year life span for the first patents, and so much more.
Here are some lines about the book from its Amazon page:
Rosen modulates his mechanical zeal with contexts underscoring that Thomas Newcomen and James Watt did not operate in a social vacuum. Fixing on patents as one prerequisite to their inventions, Rosen describes intellectual property’s English legal and philosophical origins as he segues to Newcomen’s and Watt’s backgrounds. A degree of social mobility in eighteenth-century Britain enabled their rise, but it was the specific economic situations in mining and textiles to which they responded that ensured it. These business matters provide Rosen with storytelling opportunities that feature capital investors, scientists studying heat, and over time, innovators who improved the steam engine from a stationary to a mobile power source: Rocket, the famous railroad engine built in 1829.
It was a really fascinating interview, and now I have another volume to add to “if only I had time to read everything” list.
So many books – so little time.
This is just an “isn’t this interesting” thought.
Here’s a little exercise. We pretty much publicize the First Friday Book Synopsis with Constant Contact, and nothing else. (I’ll leave out our web site as part of this little exercise). We used to simply use our own e-mail program. This is so much better!
We send out three e-mails a month for each monthly event. One original e-mail, then ever so slightly adapted versions for two reminder e-mails. Total yearly cost: $454.68.
Let’s break it down.
I just sent out the first of two reminder e-mails about our August First Friday Book Synopsis. We pay $35.00 per month, plus tax, for a total of $37.89 per month. This allows for unlimited e-mails, and more than enough storage for e-mails and images. (We have lots of book cover images).
I’m not smart enough to figure out the share of cost for my computer cost, and my internet access. But, Constant Contact just added a new feature, at no additional cost, where they tweet my e-mail to my Twitter account – thus they create a web page for my e-mail for the tweet link. (you can follow me on Twitter here). Here is the link to the e-mail, provided by Constant Contact.
So – after being grateful for this new feature, I decided to figure out what it would cost to mail this in the old fashioned way – you know, with paper, and envelopes, and postage. Of course, our mailing list is substantially larger than the number of folks who actually, regularly attend. If you have ever had an old-fashioned mailing list, this is usual practice…
Here’s what I came up with, for our current mailing list size:
Postage (figured at First Class – we could save with some form of bulk mailing): — $865.92
Envelopes (the inexpensive kind): — $ 35.89
Copies of “flier” – (I figured this black and white, one side of one page) — $100.00
Administrative time (to stuff, seal, etc…) — $60.00 (a guess – I think conservative).
Total cost for one mailing: $1061.81
Let’s pretend we mail it twice a month (we send three Constant Contact –e-mails a month – we discovered that with travel, etc., two reminders works better than just one reminder): monthly cost, $2123.62
Money saved per month: $2085.73
Money saved per year: $25028.76
This one page flier would have much less info that we can put in our e-mails. And the images we use would not look as good on the flier. In fact, we still distribute a paper flier at the event itself, for the next month. The e-mail looks a lot better!
I’m sure I have forgotten something in this calculation. But if you consider what Constant Contact saves us, then you begin to see how technology has an impact on productivity, and job creation or loss, in a multitude of ways.
(And, in case you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of Constant Contact).
I waited all weekend for it, and it finally came on Sunday morning. It was my most vivid Daniel Schorr memory.
Though he started his broadcast career when I was two years old, and I knew of his CBS career (especially the moment when he discovered, and read aloud in the midst of a broadcast, his own name on Richard Nixon’s enemies list), and I knew something of the controversy during his CNN says, I knew him most in his later years on NPR. His death was sad… there is simply no one else anywhere who brought the decades long context to his news reporting.
But it was one segment that I most vividly remember. It aired in some very dark days of job loss in July, 2008. The report included this paragraph:
Hard times may not be the most obvious topic for a joyous Independence Day Weekend. But with payrolls down another 62,000 in June and President Bush going to Japan to brood about economic conditions with others of the G-8 industrial powers, I have found myself reflecting on the recession – no, Depression, that I experienced in my youth.
At the end of the segment, he sang two verses of the depression-era song “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime.”
SCHORR: There’s one song over this three-quarters of a century that I can still remember from memory.
LIANE HANSEN: Really?
HANSEN: Which one?
Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!
Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Why don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?
Liane Hanson re-played the segment on Sunday morning, in one of many remembrances of Daniel Schorr over the weekend on NPR. It captures the anxiety of that era, and this, so vividly….