April 19, 2009

Computer Assisted Writing

For the story about the history of Cycles in major league baseball the writer needed to use computer assistance. They used the computer to look up information on large number and statistical databases that hold millions of dates and scores from over a hundred years. It would takes years to sort through these files if they were filed in paper form. Instead they are stored on computers and the writers can assist their articles by going through them. The writer just needed to know how to correctly search the information. They also need to know what sites to use and which ones are trustworthy. It would not be good to use a site that stores the information randomly and also that stores information that might not be correct.

14 Horses Collapse and Die

In one of the weirdest stories of the year, 14 full size horses collapsed and died Sunday before they were scheduled to compete in a polo match. The horses were going to play polo in Florida when 2 horses collapsed before the match. Doctors tried to revive those horses and while doing so 5 others got dizzy and collapsed. A total of 7 horses died at the scene of the polo match. The other 7 died en route to the hospital. It is not yet known what caused the horses to die. Typically there are over 50 to 60 horses that compete in the polo matches. They are constantly being subbed out so that no one horse gets too tired. These horses never made it to the match. Doctors are now running blood samples and attempting to figure out what could have caused such a bizarre event. Blood tests results and the cause of the deaths are expected to be released this week sometime.

Pirate attack stopped

Yet another pirate attack was stopped this weekend by NATO forces in the Gulf of Aden. There have been numerous pirate attacks over the past couple of weeks, some of which have turned deadly. Things really started to take a turn when a US captain was taken hostage by pirates when his ship was attacked off the coast of Somalia. Three of those pirates were shot dead by snipers almost four days later and the captain was saved. Since then, in what pirates have said is revenge for the killings, the pirates have been attempting to hijack more and more ships. The pirates were stopped in this attempt and apprehended by the NATO forces. They were then questioned and released. There is no procedure for catching pirates at this time so most of the time they are warned and then released.

Mauer to Return

Minnesota Twins All-Star catcher Joe Mauer could return to the lineup as early as May 1st according to reports from the Twins clubhouse. Mauer sustained a back injury in spring training and has been trying to get the back healthy for the last few weeks. The team is 7-7 without him and has been depended on veteran catcher Mike Redmond to get them through this tough time. Mauer was a batting champion and is perhaps the best defensive catcher in the league. Having grown up in Minnesota he is also one of the fans favorite players. Mauer is expected to play in some extensive minor league games where he will have the option to hit leadoff every inning and also log some time behind the plate. Assuming his back holds up he will return to the team before their series against the Kansas City Royals starting on May 1st. The Twins will welcome him back with open arms and are hoping he can get the team going in the right direction. They have struggled a little bit with the bats early on this season and he will no doubt help set a fire in the Twins lineup.

Wolves Improve Chances

The Minnesota Timberwolves took a step closer to winning the NBA lottery on Friday. The Wolves finished with the same record as the Memphis Grizzlies so a tiebreaker needed to be set to determine who would have a better shot at winning the lottery. The league conducted a random drawing between the two teams and the Timberwolves won that drawing. They now have the fifth best chance to win the lottery, coming in at 7.6 percent. The Grizzlies now have the sixth best chance and are coming in close behind the Wolves at 7.5 percent. The draft does not take place until June, but the NBA lottery is only a month away. The Wolves, like 14 other teams, are hoping to get lucky and win the first overall selection in the NBA draft. Last year the Wolves won the third overall pick and coincidentally traded it to the Grizzlies. The two teams struggled this year and find themselves in similar situations. Now the Wolves must scope out potential draft candidates and play the waiting game for the lottery.

Twins Sweep Angels

The Minnesota Twins were off to a rocky start before they opened a three game series against the Anaheim Angels on Friday night. In fact, after seven and a half innings of play in that game they were still rocky, but that all changed when Jason Kubel hit a grand slam to win the game for the Twins. They carried that momentum into Saturday's game and right on into Sunday's game. They Twins completed a sweep Sunday behind the arm of Glen Perkins, who pitched 8 innings of baseball for the third time this season. Perkins earned his first win of the season giving up just 4 hits and 1 earned run. The Twins are back to .500 for the season and now head to Boston with a lot more confidence than they had just three days ago. Perkins was hit in the leg by a line drive in the seventh inning but remained in the game and pitched one more inning after that. He most likely would have pitched the ninth inning as well but the leg was getting a little tight due to the hit he took. The Twins have Monday off before playing a two game series at Boston starting Tuesday night.

April 12, 2009

Beavers are 14,000 Strong

No one expected the Bemidji State Hockey team to go anywhere this season, much less to the NCAA Frozen Four. The only person that isn't surprised is the head coach, Tom Serratore. He says this isn't a fairy tale, and is proud of his team for showing everyone that a little campus of 14,000 can play with the big universities. The team has taken the town by storm, and everyone is supporting them. The school bookstore has run out of Beaver gear, and is constantly trying to order more. The team, which features no drafted players to the NHL as of yet, has outplayed teams that are filled with first round NHL draft picks. The players are a tight-knit group, who are around each other year round and usually for four years, as not many of them leave early for the pros. Many see the team as David, and they must constantly battle Goliath, week after week. One thing is for sure, the team has brought a lot of pride to the small Minnesota town from up north, and even more respect from teams across the country.

Twins Struggle Against Sox

After jumping out and capturing the first game of the series against the White Sox, the Twins dropped the last two, and the series against Chicago. The White Sox won the series finale Sunday with a 6 -1 over the now struggling Twins. Jim Thome homered in the 6th inning to make it 3 - 1 and the Twins couldn't rally from there. Nick Blackburn pitched decently but couldn't get any run support early on. The first run scored by the Sox was unearned and caused by a throwing error from Michael Cuddyer. The Twins blew out the White Sox on the series opener Friday night, scoring 12 runs and commanding the game. After that the Twins scored just one run in the next 18 innings, a number that wont win you a lot of games. The Twins did show a sign of life late in the game Sunday. They loaded the bases with no one out in the ninth inning. Closer Bobby Jenks then entered the game and ended the threat with a strikeout followed by a double play. The Twins now head home for what they hope to be a good homestand.

School Newspaper Closes Over April Fools Jokes

A Florida school-run newspaper is being shut down for being too harsh during their annual April Fools edition of the paper. The Reporter, run through Stetson University, announced it was done for the rest of the season and has fired its editorial staff after the paper took it too far. The issue, which annually makes fun of the student body and staff on April 1st, featured racial comments and other columns advocating rape and domestic violence. The students were giving a short time to clear out their belongings and were forced to leave the paper room. The edition, dubbed The Distorter, caused everyone to lose their jobs at the paper, even students who had no say whatsoever in what was written or who chose not to be involved. Some students feel the punishment may be too harsh and that the paper is overlooking the lesson they learned.

Gas Prices Up

Over the last three weeks gas prices have gone up around 5% nationwide. Overall this means about 10 cents per gallon across the country. Most experts are contributing the rise in price to the seasonal demand that occurs every spring around this time. Consumers tend to use more gas in the spring and summer seasons when they are more likely to be out on boats and other vehicles that use gasoline. Gas is expected to rise for a few more weeks to come, but it may be no more than 10 cents in the coming weeks. The highest price per gallon in the United States right now is 2.40 in Anchorage, Alaska. Experts do not expect the gas prices to rise near as drastically as they did just a summer ago.

Pirates killed as Captain saved

After being held hostage for 4 long days, American captain Richard Phillips is now safe. Navy seals rescued Phillips from the pirates that were keeping him hostage on Sunday night. The seals killed three of the pirates with sniper shots after they were seen pointing guns into Phillips' back throughout the night. The captain and pirates had been aboard a small lifeboat and were being followed by a United States ship throughout the four days. A fourth and final pirate aboard the lifeboat turned himself in and is believed to be in negotiations with the United States. There is a fear that the violent end to this crisis could end in more hijackings. These could possibly be in retaliation to the deaths of the three pirates. The United States is expected to watch the area more closely along with other members of NATO. For now the US is happy that captain Phillips is safe and in their hands.

April 5, 2009

High School theft

Multiple students have allegedly stolen over $1300 dollars worth of goods from student lockers at Winona high school. The students supposedly broke padlocks off some gym lockers and took cash, cell phones, credit card, and an ipod among other items.
One of the student was caught with the goods in his backpack and then turned in the other two. The other two students have denied involvement but one was found with a wad of cash falling from his pants.
The students have been charged with felony counts of theft and receiving stolen property. They are due in court at the end of the month.
It is not clear if the students stole the items during school hours or if it was before or after school hours.

Diversity

The story about the life and times of a Minneapolis bus stop involves all the ethnic, cultural, and racial diversity one could possibly fit into a story. The reporter for the story not only moves beyond the stereotyping, but becomes part of the story. The story is really told in the dialect and language that occurs between the various bus patrons. This story doesn't feature the data that most stories do, but it isn't really needed. The reporter uses the quotes she hears and the situation she observes between races and cultures. These interactions are what make the story. They help the reader begin to understand about the people they share the bus with, and how they really aren't so different. Thats what I took away from the story.

Fast and Furious shatters records

Fast and Furious, which opened in theaters last Friday, did better than what most people thought it would, in fact it shattered multiple all-time records in its debut.
The movie starts Vin Diesel and is the fourth installment in the fast and furious movies. It is centered around high tech cars, fast car chases, speed, and excitement.
The movie raked in over $72 million and was the best April movie opening ever. It passed second place Anger Management by $30 million.
The movie appeals the the younger crowds and received good reviews from some audiences that may have triggered the viewing fest. Some critics were not too fond of the movie, but it appears as if they are now in the minority.
The movie now has the best three day opening for a Universal Pictures movie ever, another impressive record. With only one weekend in the books, it appears the movie may be moving up the charts very fast and furious.

Deadly Earthquake

A deadly earthquake struck Italy early Monday morning and has resulted in at least 16 deaths, some of which are children. The quake was a 6.3 magnitude quake and that it struck around 3:30 a.m. local time.
There are still dozens of people unaccounted for and 10,000 to 15,000 buildings were damaged in the quake. Over 100,000 people have left their homes.
At the moment there are policemen and volunteers desperately searching for survivors with track dogs.
The earthquake took place just 70 miles from the capital of Rome. It is the first major earthquake since 2002, when an earthquake killed 28 people.
It is reported that the area had been subject to multiple jolts over the past few days and then the earthquake hit this morning.
At least 4 of the dead are children, and there remains to be more children missing in the debris. A college dorm is among the buildings that collapsed and there are still students missing at this time.