Dad Catches Foul Ball, Daughter Throws It Away

I’m not sure how many of you remember this but this was a father at a Phillies with his family where he made a fantastic grab of a foul ball by leaning over the railing. What happened following that catch though, no one expected.

Turns out this guy, Stephen Monforto, went to the same school as me albeit several years earlier.

“While at Stevens, Monforto member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and played on the varsity lacrosse team, as well as intramural and IFC sports teams.

He worked in the Physical Plant Department during freshman year as a work-study student, and then worked in the Athletic Department for Russ Rogers.

Monforto graduated with an Engineering Management degree and earned his master’s degree in Technology Management from Stevens in 2007. He is an engineering program manager for Lockheed Martin in Moorestown, N.J., supporting efforts in renewable energy.”

Kudos to him for his national spotlight and hopefully he catches a foul ball soon enough that he can bring home.

Source: Stevens Alumnus Becomes Internet and TV Sensation

MLB Contest: World Series Prediction

Well unfortunately the World Series has been set with the New York Yankees hosting the Philadelphia Phillies starting Wednesday. I’ll explain the point system in detail for the final round but make sure to have your picks in time before the start of the game Wednesday night. Make sure to read the Points and Bonus Points carefully and if you have any questions, to ask. I think it is explained relatively well but this is written at 2:30 AM so obviously I could have missed something.

Correct Team Prediction: 4 points
Difference in Total # of games: -1 per game
Incorrect Team Prediction: -4 points

Bonus Points:
Make Perfect Prediction: Double Your Points For The Round*
World Series Most Valuable Player: +2 points

* (As long as your prediction is perfect, your round total will be doubled. World Series MVP Bonus is optional bonus.)

If Yankees win the World Series in 6 games with Alex Rodriguez being the MVP and that was your prediction.
You could get a maximum of (4 points for prediction + 2 points for MVP)  x 2 for perfect prediction = 12 points.

If you had picked Yankees in 7 but A-Rod MVP, you would get (3 points + 2 points)  = 5 points.
If you had picked Yankees in 6 but Derek Jeter MVP, you would get (4 points) x 2 = 8 points.



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MLB Contest: Round 2 Update

Well this potential World Series match-up is definitely going from bad to worse with each passing game now that the Phillies have returned to the World Series for a second straight year.

Here are the updated standings after the Phillies/Dodgers wrapped up. Negative 3 points for calling an incorrect series, 3 points for a correct pick but minus 1 point for each game you were off.


Blog Action Day: Desert Ecosystems

I had been thinking for a couple of weeks on what topic I should write about for this upcoming Blog Action Day, which is today, when quite out of the blue I was talking to my friend Alex and we managed to stumble onto the obscure topic of desert ecosystems. The fact that they might be able to change if exposed to an unnatural amount of water or an alternating wind current in a varying time frame was a very appealing topic. So it looks like I have an off the wall topic but I say its close enough to be considered climate-related and this is what I will talk about.

First what my issue of discussion is — Are desert ecosystems changing at all? If they are, is it for better or for worse? If for worse, can we reverse course?

Let me just start by saying I am no expert on desert discussions. I had not even read anything on the matter until earlier yesterday and then all of a sudden I’m talking to someone about it. That’s just how things go sometimes. Given that, I think it is very fair to say that desert ecosystems are constantly changing all the time. Until only a few years back, we did not really know how the desert ecosystem interacted with others and what impact this has had on local environments.

That all changed when scientists at the Carnegie Institution Department of Global Ecology conducted a study between these ecosystems back in 2004 which analyzed said impacts on climate change and its effect on the ecosystem. One of the main things it noted was that as much of an effect water may have on the environment and the fertility level of the ground, not enough attention is paid on wind currents and dust being blown into these areas which drain the ground of a lot of its nutrients.

Wind erosion, as it is called, is a considered a very fundamental process in systematic changes for ecosystem through the transportation of dust which have the ability to affect the entire planet. Understanding the dire consequences of such wind erosion on vegetation and soils will play a vital role in our understanding of the ecosystems at play. To an extent, these particles are any dust and sand particles that travel through the air as a part of the wind erosion. They have the ability to drain the nutrients and certainly over time can dry up an entire region of its vegetation.

Although that is a very basic summary of how wind erosion may affect the desert ecosystem, one question that lingers in my mind is can there be a reverse course using similar methods? Hypothetically, if the wind current were to shift patterns where these depleting nutrients were carried out, would that make way for non-desert-like vegetation to survive in such conditions? Can enough water accumulate over time to allow for such growth and drastic change in the environment?

Obviously, I am not knowledgeable enough to answer that question but I would think such a thing would be possible — whether it is naturally done by Mother Nature or by the ways of human-intervention to change course in an ecosystem.

Anyone who knows anything about this topic is more than welcome to correct me on anything I said, any assumption I made and certainly please enlighten me on the topic as I would love to learn more.

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MLB Contest: End of Round 1

Well all series have now ended with Mike DiAmore being our leader with 4 points after the League Divisional Series. I expect everyone to have their predictions for the Championship Series in well before they start Thursday night.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. New York Yankees

Also, just a reminder: these series will now be a best-of-7 from now on – the League Championship Series and the World Series both.

Get your picks in now fools. Also if anyone wants to get in on this contest, you can do so but your score will be one less than the lowest score on the board to begin that round. It’s going to be ridiculously difficult for you to win now but that’s what you get for not participating from the start.


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