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Opinion Blogs
Summer 2015 and the Climate Change of the Atlanta Braves
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Summer 2015 and the Climate Change of the Atlanta Braves

Summer 2015 and the Climate Change of the Atlanta Braves
Photo Credit: Atlanta Braves
Braves' VP Mike Plant says the team wants LED lighting at the ballpark.  He says the quality's better for fans in the stands and watching on TV.

Summer 2015 and the Climate Change of the Atlanta Braves

What a hot start to Summer 2015. Atlanta’s already recorded record breaking temperatures and technically Summer just started last weekend. These high temperatures are not only in Metro Atlanta, but around the country as well.  Apparently these hot Summer temperatures are a trigger to meteorologists and climatologists, promoting the annual Global Warming and Climate Change discussions at the beginning of Summer.

This strategic scientific marketing is similar to sports teams rebranding and rebuilding. Marketers and General Mangers think that if they update their team’s color scheme, uniforms and build shiny new stadiums then suddenly fair-weather fans will suddenly flood the stadiums and buy the updated merchandise and follow the rebranded team without any concern for the mediocre product on the field. Yes, friends I’m complaining about the Atlanta Braves.

We’ll get back to the Braves, but Climate Change has followed a similar marketing trajectory. Why? Because Global Warming was the hot topic of the early 2000’s and was a profit driver for the Green Revolution. I’ll explain, during the 2000’s, the U.S. experienced some of the hottest years on record, alarming climatologists that the Earth was warming at an unprecedented rate. Scientists convinced businesses that the trend would continue. When the warm trends shifted and mild summers followed from 2009 onward, the marketing buzz words changed from Global Warming to Climate Change.

Earlier this year, the Atlanta Braves traded away their top 3 hitters and top two bullpen pitchers for prospects and a shot at the future. Admirably, the 2015 Braves are playing above expectations and staying fairly competitive in a weak division, but this rebuild was done at the expense of the fans and intentionally utilized to draw attention to the Braves’ new stadium, Sun Trust Park. Trust me, they’ll try to tell you otherwise. These marketers want the fans back from the 1990’s that came out to support the winning product on the field, but there’s no guarantee these new prospects will work out. I’m a huge Braves and I’ll admit that this year’s team is mediocre and wasn’t built to compete. This year’s team was sacrificed to draw attention to 2017 when the shiny new stadium will open in Cobb County and all the fans will dreamily come running back. It’s an assumption that Braves management made without clear evidence that the team would actually be better in 2017. Attendance has been dwindling over the past couple of years and the Braves needed something to convince the fans to come back. So similar to the original Global Warming scientists, the Braves’ management team has essentially played us and now expect us to stick with the team and willingly fall for their future forecasting.

Follow me here, in the early 2000’s you could not turn on the news without hearing a story about Global Warming and the detrimental impact humans were causing to Earth. The U.S. did have some insanely hot summers and the temperature trends appeared to be rising, but climatologists saw the polar ice caps melting, panicked, and alerted the world of Global Warming. Businesses saw an opportunity and the Green Revolution ensued, companies profited from the change scientists were predicting. Again, this warm trend corrected and the Summers and Winters are starting to average pre-global warming levels. The Scientist’s promise wasn’t fulfilled and we were played.

Look, I’m not denying that the earth’s climate doesn’t change and I legitimately hope that the Braves are contenders in 2017. We’ve got to be realistic and gather the research. For example, the Toronto Blue Jays haven’t made Major League Baseball’s postseason since 1993, despite predicting playoff expectations in many of those seasons.

The Earth naturally changes and humans definitely have some impact on the environment, but the Earth’s climate also changes naturally.  It may appear irregular to us, because we’re associating this shift to the limited records we have on file. We need to measure the data and be careful with our predictions, because the implications are huge on modern society. The Atlanta Braves are showing us a ray of hope, but if the rebuild fails, an new empty stadium will follow, if scientists continue their profit driven motives then their credibility will dwindle.

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News

  • A New Jersey judge who said a teenage boy accused of rape deserved leniency because he came from a 'good family' and got good grades has resigned. >>Read more trending news Monmouth County Superior Court Judge James Troiano resigned Wednesday, the New Jersey Supreme Court announced. The resignation came after weeks of criticism from the public and death threats to Troiano's family, The New York Times reported. In 2018, Troiano, 69, was called out of retirement to hear the case of an alleged rape involving teenagers at a party the previous year, The Washington Post reported. Police said a 16-year-old boy recorded cellphone video of himself sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl. The boy allegedly sent the video to others with the caption, “When your first time having sex was rape.” Both teens were intoxicated during the incident, prosecutors said. Prosecutors in the case pushed for the teen to be tried as an adult, calling his alleged crime 'sophisticated and predatory,' CNN reported. Troiano denied prosecutors' request. He wrote in his July 2018 decision that he didn't think the teen's actions were necessarily rape, because in 'traditional' rape cases there are 'two or more generally males involved, either at gunpoint or weapon, clearly manhandling a person.' Troiano further wrote, “This young man comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well. He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college. His scores for college entry were very high.” The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court reversed Troiano's decision in June, and sent the case back down for further judgement, CNN reported. Monmouth County prosecutors are planning their next move in the case. 'While we have the utmost respect for the Family Court and the judge in this case, we are grateful that the Appellate Division agreed with our assessment that this case met the legal standards for waiver to Superior Court,' Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a statement. 'As with all cases, we are assessing our next steps, which will include discussions with the victim and her family.
  • The first trailer for the upcoming musical film 'Cats' has been released. >>Read more trending news 'Cats' is an adaptation of the 1981 Broadway musical of the same name. Based on a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot and featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Weber, 'Cats' follows a tribe of cats called the Jellicles as they decide which cat will come back to life, according to the film's Internet Movie Database page. The original Broadway production ran for nearly 28 years and won several awards, including the 1983 Tony Award for Best Musical. The movie's star-studded cast includes Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden and others. It introduces ballerina Francesca Hayward in her first movie role. Viewers tweeted their reactions to the trailer. Many reactions were negative, as viewers said they found the appearance of the cat characters unsettling. 'Cats' is set for a December 20 release date.
  • A photo of a dog tied up on the back of a tow truck as it goes down busy Massachusetts highway has upset so many drivers who saw it that they now won't stop calling the tow company. >> Read more trending news The Animal Rescue League and Massachusetts State Police are now investigating the alleged crime. The picture snapped by a Brockton, Massachusetts, man and posted on Facebook drew instant criticism. People quickly began posting their objections and flooding the towing company with calls. Apparently, the two people in the van being towed were in the cab of the tow truck and that's why the dog was chained to the bed. The dog is owned by the driver of the truck. The man who took the picture, Mike Gerry, also has a dog: Molly.  Mike says he saw the dog on the flatbed while driving down Route 128 near Route 2 on Wednesday. He beeped and tried to get the tow truck driver’s attention but had no luck. 'I posted it on Facebook for my buddies to put it out there. and it went unreal, it went ballistic,' Gerry said. 'And ever since then people have been commenting on it, 'you're doing the right thing.'' To be clear the company told WFXT the dog being chained to the back of a flatbed truck is not their policy. The driver has reportedly been fired and the dog is OK.  The company also says it is donating $1,000 to the MSPCA and has set up a call center so it can answer and return every single call about the incident.
  • An Oklahoma man is in custody after allegedly raping a 4-year-old girl in a McDonald’s bathroom while the child was on a field trip with her day care class, according to news reports. >> Read more trending news  It happened Tuesday inside a McDonald’s in Midwest City in metro Oklahoma City when the little girl went to the bathroom alone, WXIN-TV reported. Day care employees told responding officers they went to check on the girl after she had “been gone for a while.”  They said they found the bathroom door locked and when they knocked, a man opened the door.He allegedly came out with his hands up and said, “I was just washing my hands,” the news station reported. The 4-year-old allegedly told police she was touched inappropriately by the man, identified as Joshua Kabatra, 37. Police arrested Kabatra at the scene, according to WXIN. He’s facing two rape charges and a count of lewd acts with a child.
  • Do you feel you’re better focused on the job with a little light background jazz or coffee shop chatter compared to pin-drop silence? Scientists might know why. >> Read more trending news According to Onno van der Groen, a researcher with Australia’s Edith Cowan University school of medical and health sciences, some background noise can actually be beneficial for our senses. This phenomenon is called “stochastic resonance.” First studied in animals, stochastic resonance experiments suggest “sensory signals can be enhanced by noise and improve behaviour in various animals,” van der Groen wrote for The Conversation last week. “For example, crayfish were shown to be better at avoiding predators when a small amount of random electrical currents were added to their tail fins. Paddlefish caught more plankton when small currents were added to the water.” In human experiments, where noise levels were manipulated by getting participants to listen to noisy sounds or feel random vibrations on the skin, people were better able to see, hear and feel at “a certain optimum noise level.” If it were too loud, however, performance dropped. Van der Groen pointed out that stochastic resonance has several real life applications for humans, too. “Adding noise to the feet of people with vibrating insoles can improve balance performance in elderly adults,” he wrote. For patients with diabetes or those recovering from stroke, this can also be used to augment muscle function. His own research has found that when brain currents are applied to participants’ brains with random noise stimulation, “it improved how well they could see a low-quality image.” When he and other researchers applied the same technique to other groups, they noticed “decisions were more accurate and faster when brain cell noise levels are tuned up.” Transcranial random noise stimulation also influenced what participants saw during a visual illusion, suggesting noise could help people approach a situation from multiple perspectives. But the thing about stochastic resonance is it differs from person to person.  The optimal amount of noise for top-notch cognitive function depends on a variety of factors, such as brain variability. Excessive brain variability, van der Groen wrote, is common in those with autism, dyslexia, ADHD and schizophrenia. Elderly folks also tend to have more brain noise (or brain variability) than younger individuals. However, because brain noise can be altered with random noise stimulation, van der Groen believes there are opportunities to explore “interventions or devices to manipulate noise levels, which could improve cognitive functioning in health and disease.”  For example, a study of children with ADHD found white noise delivered specifically through Etymotic earphones at 77 decibels improved memory and concentration. Plenty of downloadable ambient, white and “pink” noise apps have also popped up in recent years. There’s Coffitivity, which plays an infinite loop of coffee-shop sounds — and Noisli, which suggests different sounds for different goals. If you want to improve productivity, you might mix raindrops and train tracks. For those who want to relax, listen to crashing waves. Generally, ambient noise is ideal for creativity, white noise is sound for concentration and pink noise might be most helpful in improving sleep quality. But remember, finding stochastic resonance isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Play around and see which background noises and volumes work best for you. This guide from Techlicious is a good place to start.
  • An act of kindness extended by three young men has gotten a lot of attention on social media since then.  >> Read more trending news Sean Wetzonis says it all started when he, Pedro and two other friends from Malden planned to attend the game.  But one friend backed out, leaving Pedro with an extra ticket.  'And Pedro's father had suggested, he was like, 'find a girl. Find a girl to take to the game,'' Sean Wetzonis told Boston 25 News. But he said Pedro had another idea.  'He said, 'you know, I'll give it to a homeless person. If I could find a homeless person,' Wetzonis said. Finding a homeless person in Boston is not difficult. Enter John, who was sitting on a stoop near Fenway Park. 'When Pedro asked him if he wanted to go to a Red Sox game, at first I wasn't sure if he was going to get up, but then he said sure and he got up and he seemed pretty excited about it,' Wetzonis said.  He admits he was skeptical about taking a homeless guy to the game. 'I was kind of shocked. Everyone was like, 'dude. You got another ticket. You could try and sell it to make some money back.,' Wetzonis said.  But then he saw something you don't see enough of these days at professional sporting events: a fan actually watching the game.  'Everyone's there sitting on their phones, texting and looking around. He was really immersed in the game. He was there to enjoy the game,' Wetzonis said.  The Red Sox lost Tuesday night. But for three young men from Malden, it was, perhaps, the winningest night at Fenway ever.