So Wednesday, October 1st, the Chicago Cubs begin the 2008 National League Playoffs against the LA Dodgers. In a year where the Cubs were pretty clearly the best team in the National League, this looks like their best chance ever to go to the World Series (knock on wood).
In tribute, I bring you what is probably the best 'baseball song' of all time. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present Steve Goodman's "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request":
It appears likely that this clip was shot in 1984, the last time the Cubs were really favored to go to the World Series (knock on wood), and performed on a rooftop just outside the left field bleachers (Waveland Avenue, as mentioned in the song).
The song is particularly poignant when you realize that Steve Goodman, writer of such tunes as "City of New Orleans" (made famous by Arlo Guthrie), "You Never Even Call Me By My Name," and "Go Cubs Go"
(sung after every Cubs victory at Wrigley), was dying of leukemia in
1984. He passed away four days before the Cubs clinched their first
ever NL East pennant (back then, there were only two divisions, East
and West), and was to sing the National Anthem at the first playoff
game at Wrigley Field since 1945.
It's not just a good baseball song, but a good song in general. Sure, it helps if you're a Cubs fan (who else would know who Keith Moreland is, and why he should "drop a routine fly"?), but if you've ever lived and died with a sports team, you'll hear something that resonates with you in "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request."
In the final episode of Ikkitousen Great Guardians, Ryoumou was possessed by a magic user, and her dragon taken from her. She was then sent to fight Hakufu, which would have been an interesting, if short, battle: Hakufu with her dragon is more powerful than anybody. Ryoumou at full power can (barely) stay with her; without her dragon, I'd think Hakufu'd make short work of Ryoumou.
Anyway, Ryoumou attacks by surprise, punching Hakufu through a concrete floor... and then we see her:
F1 UPDATE!: Singapore 2008!
A nice night for a drive, eh? THIS is your F1 UPDATE! for the Grand Prix of Singapore!
*GOOD NEWS: There are two things that the crew at F1U! dislike intensely... Ferrari and He Who Must Not Be Named. Well, and mushrooms, but that doesn't have any bearing on the race. So the sort of day (night?) experienced by Ferrari put a grim, satisfied smile on our faces. First, there was Massa's disaster of a pitstop, driving away with his fuel hose still attached (and sending one of his mechanics sprawling). This eventually turned into a drive-through penalty for the Brazillian, for "unsafe release into the pit lane". Then there was Kimi Raikkonen's unforced error late in the race, catching just a smidge too much curb in the Turn 10 left-right-left complex, sending him arrowing into the wall and throwing away a solid fifth place finish.
*BAD NEWS: To counter the smile on F1U!'s face, HWMNBN won the race, his first in over a year, his 20th overall, and his 50th career podium. Even this win for Renault had a slight bit of grimness to it, however, as it was handed to HWMNBN when his teammate, Nelson Piquet Jr, slammed hard into a wall. This brought out the Safety Car... one lap after HWMNBN had made his first pitstop. He was also the first driver to pit, giving him a huge boost in position when everybody else stopped a couple of laps later. Make no mistake, he was the right driver in the right car today, but jumping from 15th to a win needs help and luck, and he got it.
*SINGAPORE SWING: Hey, Valencia, were you watching? THAT'S how you do a new track.
*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Nico Rosberg. No, he didn't win, and no, he didn't pick up 14 places like HWMNBN did. He started 8th and couldn't seem to catch a break back there in the pack. To make matters worse, when the Safety Car came out, he was very low on fuel and had to pit before the pitlane was open, incurring a 10sec stop-and-go penalty. But a funny thing happened: his car came alive. He wound up in the lead by the time the safety car went back into the pits and started ripping off blisteringly fast laps. When he finally served his stop-and-go penalty, he had opened up such a gap that he only lost a small number of places. Good driving in the last few laps, particularly with Lewis Hamilton filling his mirrors, solidified his career-best second-place finish. Nicely done, Wonderboy!
*TEAM OF THE RACE: Williams. The only team with both cars in the points, and a surprise 2nd place to boot? On a night when most of the other teams didn't exactly cover themselves with glory, Williams turned in a very solid performance and earned themselves a TotR.
*MOVE OF THE RACE: On lap 42, Lewis Hamilton was trailing David Coulthard's Chin down the front straight. Out of the pits came HWMNBN, rejoining the race right in front of the two. The Chin had to slow down a bit, letting the McLaren pull right up behind the Red Bull. Heading down the short straight to Turn 7, Hamilton swung to the left side of the track and began to charge. The Chin edged left to give Lewis less room, but Hamilton just clenched his teeth and bulled through, pulling off a beautiful pass.
*MOOOOOO-OOOVE OF THE RACE: While in general, we here at F1U! prefer to give these awards to the actual drivers, there are moments that are so egregious that they must be honored. Today's winners are the Ferrari engineering staff, for creating the stupid "automatic lollypop" that led to this:
If Felipe Massa loses the Driver's Championship by a couple of points, this is why. Bravo, Ferrari, here's your Moo.
BMW-Sauber has to be pretty happy about today's race, since both of their cars finished higher than either of Ferrari's cars. (Heh heh heh...)
So with three races left, Hamilton is 7 points ahead of Massa and 20 points ahead of Kubica. Wonder if he can hang on to win the season? I'd love to see Hamilton #1 and Kubica #2, just to spite Ferrari.
Fuji is going to have some big shoes to fill, track-wise, after such glittering debut of the Singapore track.
The only thing that spoiled it was HWMNBN winning it.
Posted by: Mallory at September 29, 2008 06:57 AM (3sife)
I'm actually happy that HWMNBN took the win, his luck has been horrible lately and it's good to see it swing the other way. That's part of whats exciting about F1, luck is still a huge factor. A lot of people complain about the SC rules but don't offer any legitimate alternatives. HWMNBN has been driving the wheels off the Renault (which had a very competitive setup for Singapore) and it was very savvy move of him to start on a light fuel load on soft tires. Fortune favors the bold!
Posted by: RobertV at September 29, 2008 10:41 AM (DSGv+)
Not that it would ever happen, because it was committed by a Ferrari, but I would love to see a penalty for Massa for causing an unnecessary accident. Yeah, he was in a bad spot, but he should have let the JordanMidlandSpyker Force India go by, instead of cutting him off and sending him into the wall. I never was a Ferrari fan and today I found myself yelling "Black Flag" after the Pit debacle, team or driver, I couldn't care less.
Posted by: Buttons at September 29, 2008 11:35 PM (DSgje)
Buttons, I'm just happy that Massa got hit with the drive-through. Even though it was pointless (Massa being dead last on the track at the time), it at least showed that yes, the stewards CAN rule against Ferrari if the infraction is obvious enough.
As far as the Sutil accident goes, Massa probably did the right thing. If he hadn't've moved when he did, Sutil would have t-boned him. And if the Force India didn't, someone else would have, as Massa was pretty much blocking the track at that point. It's unfortunate, but I think it was a "racing incident."
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 30, 2008 12:38 AM (AW3EJ)
FIA confirmed that they are investigating a report that Nelson Piquet was ordered by the team to crash on purpose (source - Motorsport.com).
For fifteen years, Rumpole was the greatest cat ever. He wasn't the smartest of cats, and there's no way anybody who saw him try to jump on the couch would call him graceful, but he was everything you'd want in a cat. Affectionate, playful, funny, and almost never grumpy. Essentially, he was my cat. When I went to visit Momzerduck and Ph.Duck, he'd always come running and be waiting at the door for me. When I was sick, say from having a tooth removed, he'd come stay with me at Pond Central for a week or two, just to help cheer me up. He was my buddy, my pal, and a great friend. Just a week ago, he came back from the vet, with a diagnosis of "okay, but old." He'd lost a few pounds since his last visit, and had slowed down dramatically.
Over at Fark, someone made a LOLcat out of his picture that perfectly summed him up:
Today, we had to put Rumpole to sleep. I can't stop crying.
Oh, I am so sorry to hear that. Sincerest condolences on the loss of your wonderful pet. "Pet" just doesn't seem like the right word, though, when a cat becomes a member of the family and a pal and a ray of sunshine.
He was a beautiful cat!
Posted by: Mallory at September 27, 2008 05:28 PM (WJ2qy)
I'm so sorry to hear about your dearest kitteh. Be thankful for your happy memories to get you through this difficult time.
- A fellow Farker.
Posted by: Tara at September 28, 2008 11:14 AM (7oz4E)
3WOW! I am soooo sorry to hear about your loss. It's never easy to lose a loved one. Our furry family members can be the most dear to us, and as such, so much pain is involved when they pass on. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.
Posted by: Libz at September 29, 2008 07:32 PM (UdB9M)
F1 Practice: Singapore 2008!
Wow. Just... wow. I have no idea how the race will go on Sunday, I have no idea how the track will be for actual racing, but I do have one idea...
If nothing else, this race is going to be amazing visually. Under the track lighting, these cars just glow; to whit:
There's a reason I call it The Glare With Wheels, y'know...
The lighting gives us great views of other things, too:
Ferrari tests their new jet engine technology.
The circuit itself looks like a winner, too, challenging and hard, but fair, with a lot of unique bits to give it some flavor (unlike, oh, say, Valencia). I suspect there's going to be a problem with the pit-out, however. It releases right into the driving line for Turn 1, and even in P2 today, we saw the Toro Rosso of SeaBass squeeze himself as close to the inside wall as possible because Grizzly Nick Heidfeld was coming down hard on him... and despite SeaBass' giving him as much room as he could, Heidfeld still blew the turn. It's not a stretch to imagine there being a nasty crash at that point during the race.
But the above pictures just don't do the look of the cars under the lights justice. When the McLaren first came on track, I gave one of those low whistles of amazement... it was just that stunning.
It didn't rain, which is surprising as it always rains in Singapore, but we did get an idea about what'll happen if it does: plank dust. As the cars ran over rough spots on the track, they wore away bits of the FIA legality plank, throwing what was essentially sawdust into the air... where it hung around. It was quite thick in the air at some points, and didn't much want to disperse. It was almost like a thick fog, which could play hob with the drivers if it really DOES rain.
Still, this is at least a promising beginning for the Grand Prix of Singapore.
Finally, who says the F1 teams can't have a little bit of fun once in a while?
The rain will, indeed, settle the dust... but then you have rain. Imagine, if you will, being in a heavy rain, at night, on a highway... and then you turn on your highbeams.
Right, now do it at 200mph. Visibility will go from "ugh" to "AIEEEEE!" in a heartbeat.
The legality plank is there to prevent teams from setting their car too low (in response to the Senna crash, and perhaps to prevent ground-effect cars from sneaking back in), yes. I can only remember one time in the past 10-15 years that someone's been DQ'd for wearing the plank down past the maximum allowable 1mm. In 1994, Michael "Planky" Schumacher was DQ'd and hit with a 2-race ban for having worn 2.6mm off his at Spa.
Benneton, the team he was with at the time (which eventually became Renault), had been caught cheating repeatedly that season, interestingly enough.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 27, 2008 12:24 AM (AW3EJ)
Okay, yes, it looks a little weird to our eyes, but there was a good concept behind it. Since the biggest cause of drag on a F1 car is the tires, and by the rules you can't cover the tires with bodywork, just make the front tires smaller! Brilliant!
Of course, by reducing the size of the steering tires, you lose grip. No problem, just add another set! Add a well-faired nose, and you've almost managed to cover the tires completely and still stay within the rules. Now THAT'S how F1 is supposed to work. Brake cooling was a constant problem however, and the front tires constantly distorted at high speed (being smaller than the rears, they rotated faster. Stresses easily dealt with by the larger tires became much more pronounced in the 10" fronts). The car also had unique steering properties... so much so that while Patrick Depailler was able to figure it out, his teammate Jody Scheckter was never comfortable behind the wheel.
In 1976, the P34 actually finished 1-2 at the Swedish Grand Prix, took 2nd at the Japanese Grand Prix in a huge rainstorm, and had some other podiums as well. While it competed in 1977, shortly thereafter the rules were changed to define a F1 car as having four wheels, consigning the car to the ash heap of history.
Can't say for sure, but I'm about 99% certain that the photo is from the Long Beach Grand Prix. I wasn't there in 1976 or 1977, I was there in 1979!
Posted by: madmike at September 25, 2008 10:43 AM (mV2q+)
I found a great site a while back with all sorts of info on the development history of that car, I'll have to see if I can find it again. One of the interesting tidbits was that Goodyear already had its hands full, and didn't want to have to do F1 level development of a third tire size, and so was one of the stronger agitators behind the 4 wheel definition. That lack of development support from the tire manufacturer is also listed as a big reason why the car didn't place high consistently during the seasons it ran.
Posted by: David at September 25, 2008 12:59 PM (khRGN)
The extra wheels aren't the only reason that car looks odd to the modern eye. There's also the lack of an air scoop!
David, I think you're probably thinking about the Project34 website, which I actually just discovered this morning as I was throwing this post together. Anything you could possibly want to know about the P34, all in one place.
Steven, it's funny you should say that... the prototype of the P34 actually did have an airscoop, but sometime before the car took the track for the '76 season, it disappeared.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 25, 2008 07:59 PM (AW3EJ)
Um... I hate to disagree with you Steven, but... well... you're incorrect. I understand why you thought that, though. In fact, it's partially because we're not used to seeing the engines on cars racing today and partially because it's such an odd design feature. But yet, there you are: an exposed engine with an airscoop. The Project34 website doesn't clarify why it was designed that way, nor why the 'scoop went away, but I'm guessing there were engine overheating problems and removing the bodywork around it made life cooler.
Then there was this weird configuration used only at the P34's first race and never seen again. Let's slowly move away and forget we ever saw that... eesh.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 19, 2011 07:49 PM (W8Men)
I just went through my folder of pictures from the historic races at Laguna Seca last year, and there were at least five F1 cars from that era that had a partially covered engine. Some had air scoops, others just had bodywork running over the top of the engine but big air gaps on the side for the exhaust and presumably cooling. I suspect they were trying to get good airflow to the wing while still keeping the exhaust at reasonable temperatures. I wasn't able to determine what they all were from my photos, but I was able to identify two as the March 76, and Lotus 77. I suspect two others were March bodies in other livery. I'll have to look up what the Shadow team was using, and whether Jagermeister was just a sponsor or what.
The McLarens of a little after that era showed what seemed to be the trend, the top of the engine was exposed, but the bodywork was fully enclosed on the sides with the exhaust in ports like we see now.
Posted by: David at February 19, 2011 10:10 PM (xcVNq)
Hamilton's Appeal Ruled "Inadmissible."
The FIA's International Court of Appeals has thrown out Lewis Hamilton's appeal of his 25 second penalty, applied post-race at Spa, on the grounds that the appeal was "inadmissible".
In their decision, the International Court of Appeals cited Paragraph 5 of Article 152 of the International Sporting Code, which
states: â€œPenalties of driving through or stopping in pit lanes together
with certain penalties specified in FIA Championship regulations where
this is expressly stated, are not susceptible to appeal.â€
Even if they were applied in error.
Color me shocked.
So Felipe Massa is now officially the winner of the 2008 Grand Prix of Belgium, Hamilton is dropped officially to third, and the FIA has taken yet another step towards complete irrelevance.
The person that crossed the line first at Spa, having done nothing wrong, has had his victory taken away... and I'll going to go so far as to say that it was taken away because he was driving the wrong color car.
We here at F1 UPDATE! will finish this season, but then we'll be taking a long look at whether we want to be associated with this sport any more.
All drivers asked in the press conference before Italy about it were UNANIMOUS that Hamilton breached the regulations. How can you say that he "has done nothing wrong" when people who actually drive these things agree that he has?
MASSA: "What's happened is that he took an advantage by cutting the
chicane. You can ask other drivers how many overtaking manoeuvres you see
there: no overtaking. Going from the last corner to the first corner is such
a small straight, so he took an advantage, that's clear, that's my opinion,
so it doesn't change."
FISCHELLA: "I have just seen pictures, so it is difficult for me to say whether what
happened was right or not. For sure, maybe, he took a small advantage,
that's why he had the possibility, as Felipe said, to overtake him again in
braking for turn one."
BOURDAIS: "Yes, I think the rules are very clear. Maybe the penalty was a bit hard,
but I think he's made the same mistake twice: he's done it in Magny-Cours
and he's done it again in Spa. I don't really understand why there's been
such a mess around it."
ROSBERG: "Yeah, I definitely agree, because he did get an advantage, because he
wouldn't have been that close behind Kimi had he not cut the chicane."
TRULLY: "Well, I agree completely with my colleagues. The penalty was quite big
but I'm not a steward and I cannot decide what kind of penalty should be
given. But on the other hand, it was very clear that he got an advantage out
of it, so that's where it is. The rules are very clear."
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at September 23, 2008 06:44 PM (/ppBw)
How can I say it? Easily. I've watched the incident countless times, I've seen Hamilton avoiding a collision with Kimi (who, let it be said, left the racing line to shove Hamilton off course), then relinquishing the position AS PER THE RULES, then beating Kimi in the next turn.
Yes, as the rules are now written, that's not good enough, he would have to stay behind Raikkonen thru the next turn. But that's not how the sporting regs read before the incident.
Yes, I'm not a F1 driver. The drivers probably have a better insight into the situation than I do. But, and I can't stress this enough, neither are the stewards. If you can tell me at what point he violated the rules as written at the time, please do!
By the way, if you want to hold Massa's comments up to the light, it must be pointed out that he's hardly a disinterested bystander here. It did involve his teammate, after all, and oh by the way, he only got a race win out of it.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 23, 2008 08:47 PM (AW3EJ)
They asked 5 drivers and all of them agree, I wouldn't use a capitalized unanimous to deliver that point, especially when one of the drivers asked is a direct beneficiary of that decision. Nikki Lauda thought that was the worst judgment in the history of F1, does that count? He was a former driver after all.
So why is this appeal inadmissible, when Toro Rosso was allowed to appeal a 25 second penalty last year? Because there was no red car involved?
As for the rule itself, what is the exact wording? Is it position, or is it advantage? Because I can't argue much that he didn't relinquish the advantage back. Cutting the chicane did put him in a position much closer to be able to overtake Kimi at that corner.
The thing is, this just add to the whole FIArarri image. That's why people are upset. No black flag for Kimi to fix that broken exhaust? No penalty for that unsafe release of Massa? Really? How do they justify those? Oh, sorry, I forgot about that unwritten 'Let the red car win' rule.
Posted by: pxcasey at September 23, 2008 10:19 PM (+wspV)
PX, the stewards' statement after Spa used the word "advantage." Planet-F1.com has a very interesting article about the stewards' decision, and how the Three Wise Men of Spa were a little unclear on the subject.
The problem is, the actual rule on cutting a corner says "position", as in "the driver who has cut the corner must relinquish the position." Nothing about advantage.
Please note that in actuality, Hamilton was penalized for violating rule 30.3(a), which states that a driver can only drive on the racetrack. So he didn't get dinged for cutting the corner, he got dinged for being forced off-circuit by Raikkonen in the final chicane.
Now, never mind that both Ferraris left the track in Spa (Kimi multiple times, AND passed Hamilton under a yellow flag, to boot) and they didn't get penalized...
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 23, 2008 11:00 PM (AW3EJ)
As Duck is saying, the real problem is that the rules aren't applied universally. They're kind of vague and kind of open to interpretation and frankly, there's already a perception of advantage to certain race teams which will remain nameless, unless you've ever read an F1 post on this blog. ;p
If someone commits a technical violation, sportingly relinquishes the lead that it gave him, and then comes back to win the race, that's just great racing and a gentleman at the wheel. To then take the race away from him after the fact makes a mockery of that gentlemanly act; it's to say "there's no point in driving honorably, because the stewards will end your racing day anyway; if someone is moving toward you, you had best hold your course lest you stray off the track, as they might not actually hit you, but if you go off the track to avoid him, you might as well pull into the pit now."
That kind of thinking is going to cause crashes, and in F1 that means people can get killed. You -don't want- people to drive in such a way as to promote collisions!
Maybe talking in terms of gentlemanly behavior is old-fashioned of me, but by golly, this is F1 racing, not the Detroit Pistons.
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at September 24, 2008 04:46 PM (pfysU)
F1 on SPEED: Singapore 2008!
While we wait for a decision to be made on Lewis Hamilton's appeal of his penalty at Spa, let's take a look at the this weekend's race at Singapore.
This is a race that will consist of a number of firsts: first time at the Singapore circuit, first F1 night race, and potentially the first wet night race (60% chance of rain at race time). There's not a whole lot we can say about the circuit yet because, unlike Valencia earlier this season, this really is a street circuit, like Monaco, while Valencia's circuit ran around a marina. As a result, the Valencia track could easily be set up for other races. The Singapore circuit, on the other hand, runs on working city streets. Here's the track map:
Happily, this is the first new F1 racecourse NOT designed by Hermann ("I hate passing") Tilke. It's based off a suggested trackplan by him, though. The fastest spot on the circuit is expected to be the run-in to Turn 07, where the simulations suggest the cars will be hitting about 200mph before slamming on the brakes. Twice the cars will be running across bridges over water, between 12 and 13, then 13 and 14. The run to the first turn takes the cars UNDER a highway, as does the turnout from 21.
Very interestingly, the short straight between 18 and 19 seems to run UNDER a set of temporary grandstands as well. Hopefully, there won't be any car fires or blown engines at that point. Yeesh.
Simulations also indicate that this course is going to be the highest downforce track on the calendar... even more than Monaco, which doesn't seem possible. Lots of 90-degree turns out there, though, which one would expect from a modern city.
Technically, the lighting system is quite complex. First off, they won't be using the traditional flagging system for the race. Instead, there'll be 35 LED panels around the circuit that'll act as the flags. For illumination, however, there'll be between 1500 and 1600 "light projectors" at 2000w each, with one roughly every 10 feet or so. They'll be using 12 electrical generators to generate the 3.2 million watts required, with almost 109km of cable. The lights will be hung off of 6km of truss surrounding the track.
They ran a test of the lighting system this past weekend; the above shows the "Fullerton Road" bridge, between 12 and 13. The lights will be on one side of the track only, to reduce glare on the TV cameras. Since the cars are only three feet high or so, shadows aren't expected to be a problem.
This'll be a fun one, that's for sure, and SPEED will be bringing us their usual expert coverage. Friday, we have the usual Practice 2 session, from 830a to 1015a, which will be 930pm local time. Late night for the F1 Circus!
Saturday, from 9a to 1030a, we get the first ever night Quals session. Even later night for the F1 boys, as that session won't start until 10pm local!
Finally we get the race on Sunday, from 630a to 9a. It'll be quite the spectacle, that's for sure, and F1 UPDATE! will be all over it.
See you then, but check in on Tuesday for the results of the Penalty Appeal!
Ikkitousen Great Guardians: This One's For Steven.
I admit, I'm way behind the curve on watching Ikkitousen Great Guardians. I'm only up to ep05 at the moment, and I'm really not enjoying it all that much. Sure, sure, there's fanservice everywhere, and that's nice and all, but the creators seem to have a hard time figuring out if this is going to be a serious series (like Dragon Destiny) or a comedy.
As a result, we've gotten a good intro episode, two serious eps (02 and 03), and now two particularly stupid ha-ha episodes (04 and 05). And when I say "particularly stupid", I mean "as stupid as you can imagine Ikkitousen can be, except worse."
Episode 05 is so mind-numbingly dumb that I've taken two days to watch 12 minutes of it. My IQ level, none too high to begin with, plummets every second I watch.
However, it's not entirely bad. It's a beach episode, and at roughly the 9:38 mark, this appears on the screen:
Cubs Win! Cubs Win!
The Cubs are heading back to the postseason! Not only that, but this is the first time in 100 years that they've made it in back-to-back years to boot. AND, just to make it a little bit sweeter, they clinched today by beating the hated Cardinals, 5-4, at Wrigley.
It's a big first step, but it's just a first step... next, they've got to win the first round of the playoffs. Then the league championship series. THEN the World Series.
But boy, it was nice to see 'em win today!
UPDATE: The view outside Wrigley Field just after today's game:
The Shortest Trial In History
It was so short that we the jury never even made it into the courtroom. Plea bargain... we sat around in the jury room for a couple of hours twiddling our thumbs. It appears, however, that the defendant had a poor attitude towards the legal system, as he apparently caused a little ruckus in the courtroom. Exciting, yay. Of course, we weren't there, but that's what the judge told us when he came in to tell us that we were free.
So, my jury duty has been discharged for at least a year, and so ends my fourth experience in the jurist pool... in 10 years. I'm just lucky, I guess.
Really, I'm not complaining. This country doesn't ask us for much in return for being citizens... taxes and the occasional stint on a jury. I'm okay with that. It's not like mandatory military service or the like.
That's it, we scared the defendant. Right, that's the ticket.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 16, 2008 10:58 PM (AW3EJ)
Apparently a good number of trials end that way, many a defendant holds out until the very last moment before deciding that no, facing a jury isnt the right answer.
My funniest jury duty story is the time I get the summons, report to the criminal courts building in the morning, sit around till lunch when I walk up to the 18th floor to talk to my Dad (a D.A), then we go down to court room 109 to grab a judge that is a close family friend and go to lunch. After lunch I get selected for a jury, and we all tramp off to court 109. Needless to say, when the judge and the prosecuting attorney both know me by name, and I'd been out to lunch with the judge just minutes before, I did not get on that panel....
Posted by: David at September 17, 2008 12:30 PM (khRGN)
I've only been summoned for jury duty once. We all sat around because there was a cocaine-possession trial scheduled, and early afternoon the bailiff walked in and told us all to go home because the accused had agreed to a plea bargain. As you say, that's apparently quite common.
Okay, so they're not new episodes, exactly. Something called "picture dramas," actually, which were included on the ARIA the Origination DVDs.
A picture drama is more like an comic book with audio. The seiyuus read their lines over still pictures, in other words. For a show like, oh, Dirty Pair, this would be awful. However, this is ARIA we're talking about here: slow-paced, relaxing, casual. There was hardly any action to animate to begin with (though the animation quality was very good in the final series), so this is perfect.
And the art is pretty solid, too:
It's ARIA... of course the costumes are cute. Everything in ARIA is cute!
The camera pans over the picture, so there is SOME motion, but you're still just looking at one still shot... but then again, who cares? It's more ARIA! More ARIA is always better than no ARIA!
I haven't had a spare minute to watch the three Picture Dramas that have been 'subbed yet, but they're pretty short, around about seven minutes or so. Maybe Monday, after I get back from performing my civic duty and showing up for the Jury Pool at the Courthouse. Be a good way to unwind, that.
Thanks, BSS! First you finished up ...the Origination when it was dropped, now you do this for us fans (not to mention the KimiKiss special)? You like us, you really really like us!
F1 UPDATE!: ITALY 2008!
It never rains at Monza. Never. Never ever. But it did in practice. It did in Quals. Did it during the race? THIS is your F1 UPDATE!
*WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS: The last time there was a wet race at Monza was 1985. By coincidence, that was also the first year in F1 for a little independent team from Italy named Minardi. There have only been four rainy races in the 59 year history of the Italian Grand Prix. Make it five, as it was so wet today that the race started behind the safety car. It appeared that Toro Rosso's gamble on a wet-weather setup had paid off, but would Sebastian Vettel be able to hold off the McLaren of Heikki Koveleaninninnie, starting right behind him? Very quickly it became obvious that the answer had a seriously good chance of being "Yes", as Vettel ran away from the rest of the field when the safety car went in on lap two. By the end of the first flying lap, the Toro Rosso driver had a two second lead on Koveleinaninninnie, and it was growing every lap. Then the question became "how much fuel does Vettel have?" He must be light, how else could he fly away so quickly? Well, yes, he did have less fuel, but only by a couple of laps... after his pitstop on lap 18, he fell back to fourth, but everybody else still had to stop. After the leaders had all stopped... Vettel was leading again, by a good 15 seconds. Lewis Hamilton, who started 15th, was on a one-stop strategy and had closed up on the Toro Rosso, getting as close as one second behind, but he had to stop and disappeared. Vettel was never challenged again, and cruised to a 12 second win for his first victory, his team's first victory, and becoming the youngest winner in F1 history.
In 2005, Minardi was sold to Dieter Maeterschitz, founder of the Red Bull empire, to become Toro Rosso.
*YOUTH IS WASTED ON THE YOUNG: Not only did Vettel win the race to become the youngest winner in F1 history, but with Heikki Koveleaininninnie finishing second and Robert Kubica third, this was the youngest podium in F1 history. When Michael Schumacher retired after the 2006 season, people said that F1 was doomed. Then some kid named Lewis Hamilton appeared, and now Vettel, Kubica and Heikki have all won their first races this season. Michael who?
*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Duh. Sebastian Vettel made a grand total of zero mistakes on a slick, slippery track and never had to worry about a serious challenge as a result. Yes, he had the advantage of driving at the front of the thundering herd, meaning he was the only person to actually be able to see all day, but at any second he could have skidded into a graveltrap or a wall. He didn't, and completely earned this victory.
*TEAM OF THE RACE: Double Duh. Minardi Toro Rosso had the perfect strategy for the race, executed it perfectly, and timed their pitstops to perfection. Those two stops went flawlessly, and as a result, they were rewarded with a dominant victory. Toro Rosso has about 1/10th the number of employees of McLaren, and are considered the "junior team" of the two Red Bulls. Yet Minardi Toro Rosso has entirely crushed their more senior teammates. Embarrassing for Red Bull, great for F1. Bravissimo, signores! Now do it again and we'll start talking about a fourth "big team". Darn shame SeaBass stalled his car on the grid, otherwise we might be talking about a double podium for y'all.
*MOVE OF THE RACE: On lap 36, Lewis Hamilton had to go back into the pits to switch from full-wet tires to intermediates. He was still getting the speed from the heavy weather rubber, but they were quickly going away on him; it wasn't wet enough for them. Into the pits he went, and on cold tires he was forced to watch Mark Webber steam past him in the first chicane. Immediately thereafter, the McLaren went ripping off after the Red Bull, and with a grand total of one turn's worth of experience on the Intermediates (which couldn't've been heated to race levels yet), Hamilton outbraked Webber into the second chicane. Nothing more than a driver at the top of his profession showing what could be done, and how to do it.
*MOOOOOO-OOVE OF THE RACE: What happens when you take the best drivers in the world... and you remove their brain for a second or two? You get the Mooooo-oove of the Race. Today's Mooo-oove goes to Giancarlo Fisichella (again). On lap 13, he somehow managed to run his Farce India into the back of David Coulthard's Chin's Red Bull in the first chicane (top speed: 45mph) with enough speed to damage his front wing. The wing, wobbling as he went, stayed on the car just long enough to fall off in Parabolica, sending Fisi straight off into the wall... where his entire car got borked, thereby becoming the first and only car to retire from the Italian Grand Prix. At his home race, too! Bravo, Giancarlo, Qui Ã¨ il vostro premio della mucca!
Well, I don't know that I'd go quite that far, but it sure didn't hurt that he didn't have to deal with the spray. He still had to keep the car on the track, and by all rights Kovaleinninnie should have been able to give him a race, and... and...
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 14, 2008 03:52 PM (AW3EJ)
If either Farce India or Honda wins a race this year, I'll have to designate this as Bizarro Season.
It's interesting that this is the first time ever that a Ferrari-engine customer team has won a race.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 14, 2008 09:30 PM (AW3EJ)
Actually, Vettel said in the FIA Post-race Quote that the team gambled on running a dry setup. Apparently everyone else was running a wet setup, as they should. But a wet setup carries generally more wing, which is disadvantageous in Monza.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at September 15, 2008 10:25 AM (/ppBw)
I think if we'd gone a whole year without highly-disputed penalties for drivers, then it would be bizarro season.
Fantastic race, so happy for Toro Rosso, so good seeing how much the whole team enjoyed that.
Posted by: flotsky at September 15, 2008 11:38 AM (cnPFe)
I was so glad to see Vettel pull this off! When can anyone remember having such a wave of new talent as we have in F1 today?
Posted by: madmike at September 15, 2008 11:43 AM (mV2q+)
Jeez, if Vettel was running a dry setup in that weather, the win is even bigger news!
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 15, 2008 03:38 PM (DcSb+)
F1 Quals: MONZA 2008!
It never rains at Monza. Never. Never ever. So what happened in the Quals session today?
It rained. A lot. Unfortunately, it was raining here in Duckford as well. A lot. Six inches worth overnight, some reports are saying.
As you can imagine, The Pond's satellite feed was pretty much borked, so I haven't even watched quals yet! While I'm trying to d/l it as I type this, it's going to take some time. So instead of waiting, here's the provisional grid:
Grizzly Nick Heidfeld
David Coulthard's Chin
Nelson Piquet Jr
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's Bizarro Grid! Sebastian Vettel on the pole? Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen AND Robert Kubica not making it out of Q2? Three Red Bull cars in the top four? Vettel becoming the youngest pole-sitter in F1 history? Inconcievable!
It becomes somewhat clearer when you realize that it's NOT expected to rain tomorrow, so the heavy hitters are probably set up for a dry track. The other teams, like STR, are probably gambling and dialed themselves in for wet weather, which helped them today, but could kill them tomorrow.
After I watch the quals, I'll throw in some more info here if warranted. But still... TORO ROSSO???
This is madness. MADNESS, I tell you. The mind boggles!
Iffy. That's the problem with high-speed circuits. There's two ways to pass someone: under braking, and through raw speed. Raw speed is out, since everybody is going 200mph. Unfortunately, there are so few turns at Monza, you don't get much of a chance to outbrake someone.
Don't get me wrong, passing is possible, surely, but it's no Suzuka or Spa.
As far as the wet setup goes, yes, they've got no shot at 1st, but they'd likely be in the points, which is the first step to go for podiums. If the track is dry on raceday, though, with their wet setup they've got a great shot for last place.
Every position counts in F1, whether it be for the championship (if Hamilton and Raikkonen tied on points last year, Hamilton would have won it on a tiebreaker: how many 7th place finishes did they have?) or just for cash (the FIA gives out money all the way down to 20th place, essentially). These payouts can be huge; remember Monaco, when Kimi rear-ended Adrian Sutil's Force India and cost him a potential podium and/or 4th place, and knocked him out of the race? That 3rd place finish might have been worth nearly $6 million in FIA prize funds, or roughly 1/10th of Force India's yearly budget.
Still, I agree with you: you've got a shot, why NOT take it? Isn't that what sports is about?
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 13, 2008 06:39 PM (UdB9M)