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Today In History
On July 8, 1907
Florenz Ziegfeld staged 1st `Follies on NY Theater roof

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IF YOU’VE GOT QUESTIONS ABOUT SOLAR ENERGY ... Not all that long ago now President Barack Obama "announced that ... grants will be available for those wishing to do research in renewable energy ... such as wind [and] solar." The next day "German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG said ... it will acquire a 28 per cent stake in Archimede Solar Energy S.p.A. to expand its expertise in solar thermal power plants." Meanwhile, for mere mortals who just want to know more the OpenSolar blog in the San Francisco Bay Area has been expanding its resources for letting you "ask questions about solar technology and get personal answers from experienced solar professionals and installation owners." All this remains one big piece in the big new clean-energy future that lies ahead. You can check it out in depth at ABOUT OPEN SOLAR!

THE SPARROW’S GUIDE TO BASEBALL BLUE JAYS 2009 .. year of youth and hinge of fate ..  
Written by Robert Sparrow  
Wednesday, 08 April 2009  

As we slowly edge into spring after a long winter of much economic turmoil it is once again time to focus in on more simple pursuits. The economic tsunami has engulfed the world, and its reach and effects extend to all corners of the global village. With that in mind, we begin our annual baseball journey with the recently completed World Baseball Classic (WBC), and look for wider answers in some perhaps unlikely places. Then we consider "baseball as microcosm," to probe underlying fault lines that may have rumbled the US economy too. We go on to look at the increasing number of Latin American ballplayers — as a case of what's called the outsourcing trend in other branches of American business. Then we explore the theory that baseball will be the first of the major sports to be hurt by the general economic downturn in North America. Finally we turn directly to our beloved Blue Jays. We start with a review of the mediocre life and times of general manager JP Ricciardi. Then we offer our Blue Jays outlook 2009. We have to happily note that they have already won their season opener against the Tigers at the Rogers Centre, on a snowy night in early April (and their second game as well). But our sense is still that the 2009 Jays are mostly trying to get their youngsters ready for 2010 and beyond. They are willing to sacrifice this season for a hopeful later harvest.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 10 June 2009 )

BACK TO THE FUTURE .. can 2008 Blue Jays really return to old golden age?  
Written by Robert Sparrow  
Friday, 04 April 2008  

Are you ready for some baseball? As we now finally hang up the thick coat and put away the toque and mitts, after a winter that has battered and bruised this land from coast to coast to coast, it is time to focus on more summery pursuits. This season promises to be one with many storylines — and one which could potentially provide Canada with a team reminiscent of those of the 80s and early 90s, when competitive and exciting fall baseball was a yearly ritual. There has been some broader stirring that must be looked at first — the steroid era and all that! And even if you set this aside, it has been a strange offseason in the American League East. Then there are the all too formidable Blue Jays' rivals in their own backyard — the Yankees and the Red Sox (who are also starting off the season, home and away). As the Jays tune up we can only ask: will youth be served? Finally, we ponder the defining season of the seven-year itch. What can be said about J.P. Ricciardi’s seven years at the helm of the franchise? And will this be the season when the Toronto Blue Jays compete with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees for first or second place, and possibly the wild card? Or is that just another impossible dream?


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Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 May 2008 )

COLBERT DAY IN OSHAWA, ONTARIO .. stuff like this just never happens around here  
Written by Dominic Berry  
Friday, 23 March 2007  

What can a person who resides elsewhere in the Greater Toronto Area really say about Stephen Colbert Day in Oshawa, Ontario — Tuesday, March 20, 2007? Even (or especially) if you know Oshawa a little, and support the business concept that such places, in all regions of North America, should try to do a bit more with themselves? On the intelligent teenager level at which Mr. Colbert’s own remarkable TV show is pitched, there is little doubt that the verdict must be harsh. From that side of the tracks, Colbert Day in Oshawa can only be judged pathetic. But when you ponder the more mature depths into which the real Stephen Colbert is presumably finally urging our teenage minds to look, there was some local political satire. And at least hockey icon Don Cherry showed up. As one resident put it: "stuff like this just never happens around here." Now it has, and it must be good for something.


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Last Updated ( Monday, 10 December 2007 )

ARE YOU READY FOR BASEBALL BLUE JAYS? .. the succession of seasons 2007
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