How We Count

A while ago, I came across a neat little video by Dutch filmmaker Jeroen Wolf. For fun, apparently, he filmed people from 1 to 100 saying their age.

http://www.imaginevideo.nl/docu/100-5050-years-in-150-seconds/

It’s a pretty cool look at the human lifetime, but as I was watching it, I noticed something interesting. Numbers in Dutch are different from those in English. Not the numbers themselves, of course, but the names we give those numbers.

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Book Review: “World War I: The African Front” by Edward Paice

Wars, for much of history, have been filled with drama. The epic clash of huge armies, with the fates of nations at stake. At the personal level, there are tales of heroism and endurance. Most often, our attention is focused on a main front – that’s where all the big battles are. Yes, battles between many thousands of men can be interesting, but so can the battles on the fringes and flanks where the numbers are only in the hundreds.

Subtitled “An Imperial War on the African Continent”, Paice’s book looks at World War I in East Africa. The fighting there was basically the last mad grab for colonies, as Britain went after German East Africa (modern Tanzania). Belgium (Belgian Congo, now DR Congo) and Portugal (Portuguese East Africa, now Mozambique) were also dragged into the fighting.

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A Visit to Nationals Park

On Thursday the 31st, I drove down to D.C. to see the Nationals host the Phillies. Not giveaway day, but another first-place team (the Nats). A fairly straight drive down Route 295. ON the way down, you pass a lot of exits for government and military facilities. Including – maybe (grin) – the “Employees Only” exit for the NSA.

Unlike Camden Yards, Nationals Park is off in the fringes of D.C., on the Anacostia River waterfront. Despite the stadium’s presence there for six years, there hasn’t yet been any significant development in the area. Still a lot of vacant lots and miscellaneous industry. One hopes that will change in the future.

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A Visit to Camden Yards

Baltimore loves its Orioles (And presumably ravens too, when they are in season). This year marks the 60th anniversary of the team’s move (and name change) from St. Louis to the city, and signs are everywhere. Especially on the main streets downtown, where Southwest Airlines is paying for some street light banners…

There are also plenty of orange shirts to be seen, especially around the stadium near game time. In cities like New York or even Philadelphia, the number of pro sports teams creates divided loyalties and a diluted fan base. So there, you don’t see a city truly rallying around a team like Baltimore does with the Orioles.

I was able to attend two games during my visit

July 30, 2014: Orioles 4, Angels 3:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL201407300.shtml

August 1, 2014: Orioles 2, Mariners 1:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL201408010.shtml

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A Trip to Baltimore

I recently spent a few days on vacation in Baltimore. When you’re an older, single guy like me, it’s not easy coming up with vacation ideas when all the big resorts, destinations, et al. are geared towards either families or couples.

As it happens, I am a baseball fan, and I am not averse to driving for several hours. Here in the northeast, that combination means there are six Major League teams within my driving range. I’ve been to Citi Field in New York City to watch the Mets, and I have no desire to pay far more than necessary to see the Yankees.

So I checked maps and team schedules to see just how many different teams I could see in one week. It turned out that if I went to Baltimore, and took a day trip to DC, I could see five teams in three days.

But before I get into my experiences at the ballparks, I thought I’d talk about “Charm City” from a first-time visitor’s perspective.

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