Skip to main content

What's Up Magazine

The Look

Last Updated: May 02, 2012 08:08PM • Subscribe via RSSATOM

What's Up Magazine
Never Too Old to Play

May 02, 2012 ● By Anonymous

The May 2012 theme for Older Americans Month is, Never Too Old to Play. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging, the month-long event salutes the contributions of Americans in the 65+ age category. The theme also encourages older Americans to maintain a healthy lifestyle. “Americans are living longer,” said Vivienne Halpern, MD, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. “The average life expectancy is 83 years of age. More than 39.6 million Americans are over age 65. By comparison, there were just 17 million Americans over age 65 when President Kennedy created Older Americans Month in 1963. Back then, the average life expectancy was just 69.9 years.” Walk & Talk - The West Wing Reunion from Martin Sheen The ensuing 49 years has challenged Baby Boomers to remain active. “Thirty minutes of moderate physical activity each day is vital,” said Dr. Halpern. “Physical activity can help guard against the three leading causes of death today - heart disease, cancer, and stroke.” Physical activity can: Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseaseLower blood pressureImprove cholesterol levels Reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes by helping to control glucose levelsReduce the risk of colon and breast cancerStrengthen bones and musclesKeep thinking, learning and judgment skills sharpMaintain a healthy weight“A 30 minute walk each day, a bike ride, swimming, a round of golf, or playing with grandkids are activities that can keep the heart pumping for years to come,” said Dr. Halpern. For information on physical activity and vascular health, log onto: www.VascularWeb.org.

Read More »
San Francisco Tragedy Leaves Sailing Community Reeling

Apr 19, 2012 ● By Anonymous

The flags outside San Francisco Yacht Club were flying at half mast yesterday, when the U.S. Coast Guard officially announced their suspension of the rescue mission for the remaining members of Low Speed Chase, a Sydney 38, was competing in the 105th annual Full Crew Farallones Race. The events of the tragedy are clear cut. At roughly 3 p.m., Low Speed Chase was rounding Southeast Farallon Island, characterized by steep rock faces that make rounding too close a very treacherous endeavor. But it was a race, and in sailboat racing as in everything, risks often prove rewarding. The boat was initially hit by a powerful wave that reportedly caused the boat to pitch pole and sent five experienced crewmembers overboard. Three crew who were able to stay on the boat, including skipper and owner James Bradford, managed to turn it around and head back for a rescue, but they were hit by another wave that pushed the boat into the rocks. Two more crew were sent overboard, where they clung to rocks in 50-degree water while Low Speed Chase rolled multiple times before it was slammed into the island. An EPRB onboard Low Speed Chase was activated immediately, which greatly assisted in the Coast Guard’s ability to affectively recover crew. After 30 hours, only four male crewmembers were recovered by MH-65 helicopter dispatched from San Francisco, one deceased. The remaining four are still missing. The San Francisco Giants held a moment of silence on the field for Alexis Busch, the 28-year old sailor who was the daughter of former Giants executive Corey Busch. Earlier in her life she was a batgirl for the team, and made an impression on fans when she was the only member of the team to greet Barry Bonds at the plate when he hit his 500th home run. After such a tragedy, it’s easy to begin the second guessing. Questions were immediately raised as to why the crew weren't wearing tethers, and why they were so close to the rocks in an area that is known to be dangerous. The 1982 Double-Handed Farallones Race, which had the same course, saw seven boats abandoned along with the deaths of four race participants. “They were inside—too close to the rocks,” commented Steve Hocking, an experienced single handed Bay racer who finished the race on his Beneteau 45f5, said of Low Speed Chase's position. “Once you get in that close and a wave hits you like that, it rolls you over. There’s not much you can do.” Every sailor has that one memory of throwing caution to the wind for the sake of rounding a little sooner. It happens on Wednesday nights, and it happens in offshore racing. And while the Chesapeake Bay is an entirely different environment than the San Francisco Bay, we’re still met with challenges that take some sailors out of their comfort zones. We asked Chip Thayer, Race Chairman for Annapolis Yacht Club whether or not tragedies like the ones in the Farallones Race make race committees reconsider their safety guidelines for races like the Annapolis to Newport Race to Bay standbys like the Oxford Race. In racing, “the difference between a day ending safely and a tragedy is a thin line,” Thayer said. “I am a strong believer in the use of harnesses. We have learned a lot over the years about the design of harnesses location of jacklines. Nonetheless, in the study of both the Rambler 100 capsize in last year’s Fastnet Race and the Wingnuts tragedy at the Chicago-Mac, issues about releasing the harnesses nearly contributed to tragedy. While we require harnesses for our overnight race and for the Annapolis to Newport Race, I don’t think it’s reasonable to try to legislate when they must be used. The time to use them is whenever they’re needed, and that is dictated by all sorts of things—the weather, the size of the boat, the water temperature, daylight/nighttime and the size of the waves. But it is the inescapable truth that the responsibility for the safety of every boat and crew lies with each skipper and crew.” Sailing season in Annapolis has already begun, and while it’s time to celebrate getting back out on the water, events like the Farallones Race remind us that it’s also a time to go over our safety procedures and reassess our boat’s resources. And it’s time to assess our own risk management policies for the upcoming season. The best sailors are those who have the ability to anticipate the risk, the reward, and the potential calamity. But that doesn’t necessarily happen in the heat of racing. It happens long beforehand, when you’re still on land, looking at the water and envisioning getting out for a beautiful day of racing. Photos courtesy Brant Ward, SF Chronicle; Kat Wood, SF Chronicle. Video courtesy US Coast Guard

Read More »
What's Up Magazine
Details Announced for 30th Annual St. Johns v. Navy Croquet Match

Apr 10, 2012 ● By Anonymous

Bring the whole family to the heart of historic Annapolis for a genteel lawn party. The 30th Annual Annapolis Cup—a croquet match between St. John’s College and the U.S. Naval Academy—promises superb intercollegiate competition and a festive lawn party where watching the spectators is as much a sport as croquet. Since the contest began more than two decades ago, the Johnnies have dominated, winning 24 matches out of 29. Who will win the 30th? This year, the Johnnies and the Mids meet on the St. John’s campus in a rivalry for the Annapolis Cup on Saturday, April 28 at 1 p.m. This event is free. Rain date: Sunday, April 29.Please note the new ground rules: No outside alcohol permitted on campus, however, food, soft drinks, beer, wine, and champagne will be available for purchase; tent spaces must now be reserved in advance. For more details, click here. The Annapolis Cup brings together two starkly different institutions for an event that has “no parallel in intercollegiate sports,” according to “Sports Illustrated.” At St. John’s College, home to the great books program, students read and discuss seminal works of Western civilization, and at the U.S. Naval Academy, Midshipmen and women train for military careers. The annual croquet match allows Johnnies and Mids to establish a common ground.Croquet spectators don elaborate fashions reminiscent of the stylish lawn parties depicted in books like “The Great Gatsby.” The festive atmosphere includes lavish picnics, nostalgic gowns and hats, serenades by the St. John’s Freshman Chorus, and swing music provided by the Naval Academy’s Trident Brass Band. The event draws approximately 2,000 spectators, many of them St. John’s College alumni who see it as a springtime reunion, Navy families who relish a chance to cheer for their team, and regional residents who enjoy an old-fashioned community event and a visit to historic Annapolis. The Johnnies play in uniforms—ranging from camouflage khakis to USNA imitation Crackerjacks to Vikings to bare feet—that change each year and are kept secret until the opening of the match. The Mids adhere to the United States Croquet Association’s code, wearing spotless white shirts, pants, sweaters, and shoes, and change only their ties from year to year.For both teams in this nine-wicket game, “the purest intercollegiate athletic event in America” according to “Gentleman’s Quarterly,” the rules of play and sportsmanship are paramount. The Johnnies and Mids combine their competitive zeal with the genteel demeanor demanded by croquet’s rules of etiquette, which include no audible swearing or tantrum-like displays such as throwing a mallet in protest of a referee’s call. For more information, visit St. John’s College website: http://www.stjohnscollege.edu;

Read More »
America's Pastime for a Beautiful Mind

Apr 10, 2012 ● By Anonymous

A baseball game can be watched from two basic perspectives—from the heart or from the head. You can “root, root, root, for the home team” and “if they don’t win, it’s a shame.” Or you can look at it as a numbers game between rival theorists. In reality, most seasoned observers of the game look at it both ways—they have a favorite team and favorite statistics and satisfy both the longings of their hearts and the thoughts in their heads. Novices have their favorite teams, but know little about the validity of the statistics behind the numbers game. If you are a novice, why not add another dimension to your game—try watching baseball like a statistician. If you decide to do this, you will immediately encounter a problem. A statistician is not a statistician is not a statistician. There are different ways to rate the performance of teams and players and there is no agreement on which is the best. Different statisticians look at it in different ways. The four most widely used measures of a hitter are batting average (AVG), on-base percentage (OBP), slugging average (SLG), and on-base plus slugging (OPS). They are routinely quoted and regularly discussed by television commentators and newspaper columnists. Other measures have been developed—total average (TA), linear weights (LWTS), and runs created (RC), for example—but because of their technical nature they are not generally quoted or discussed by the press. How can a novice decide what statistics to use if the experts disagree? The answer stems from a fundamental baseball fact—no run has ever been scored, or can ever be scored, unless the runner travels around the bases from first to second to third base and, finally, to home plate. Bases are the building blocks of runs. The further around the bases a runner gets, the more likely it is he will score. Thus, the team that accumulates the most bases will generally score the most runs.     Five of the seven measures of hitting use bases in their calculations. Two of them—batting average and on-base percentage—do not count bases. Batting average counts hits and on-base percentage counts times on base. Statistical studies show that these two measures correlate least of all with runs scored. The granddaddy of the five measures that count bases is slugging average. It counts one base for a single, two bases for a double, three for a triple, and four for a home run. Unfortunately, slugging average excludes walks and hit-by-pitch—two events which contribute to the scoring of runs. On-base plus slugging reflects the weaknesses of on-base percentage and slugging average. Total average applies the same weight to singles, walks, and hit-by-pitch, but with runners on base singles can advance runners two bases whereas walks and hit-by-pitch can only advance a runner one base and only when there is a runner on first base. The calculations for linear weights and runs created are more complicated and too time-consuming for novices. My book, The Runmakers, also uses bases in its calculations. It counts bases made by batters for themselves and also counts bases earned for advancing runners on the bases and for driving in runs from the bases. The result, potential runs per game, correlates best of all with actual runs per game. In this article’s sidebar is a form for counting bases. Before setting out to use it, however, remember that Rome was not built in a single day. Look at counting bases as a process. It is not as easy as it may look. Adopt an incremental approach. Start out by counting bases that batters accumulate by themselves. Then, in subsequent games, gradually add the other steps. Once you become adept at counting bases, you need to interpret the results. Remember that position in the batting order is very important. Number three, four, and five batters have more opportunities to advance runners and drive in runs; number one and two batters have many fewer opportunities. But what about pitching and fielding? I have not yet developed a comprehensive theory of pitching and fielding. Branch Rickey said there wasn’t much one could do with fielding. Some progress has been made since then, but fielding remains a very difficult subject. Perhaps the most important point about pitchers is the need to categorize--starters, middle inning relievers, set-up men, and closers. Earned runs-per-inning is the most important statistic for pitchers in each category. Games won or games lost are irrelevant because they reflect the contributions of entire teams from both the defense and the offense. Other pitching statistics—strikeouts, walks, hits, etc.—are secondary to earned runs. If a pitcher has a lot of strike outs, his earned runs should be lower; if he has a lot of walks or hits, his earned runs should be higher. Games are won or lost based on the number of runs not the number of strike outs, walks, or hits. I do, however, favor one adjustment to earned runs. If pitcher A allows three earned runs in six innings (.50 per inning) and pitcher B allows four earned runs in nine innings (.44 per inning), the latter has clearly pitched a better game. The format for recording pitcher performance is at the end of this article. Looking at baseball from the perspective of a statistician may seem tedious to a novice. But if you stick with it, the rewards will be great. In the meantime, don’t forget to enjoy the game by rooting for your favorite players and teams. Baseball will always be a game of the heart and the head.  Dr. Frederick E. Taylor is the author of The Runmakers: A New Way to Rate Baseball Players, published in 2011 by The Johns Hopkins University Press. He is a resident of Annapolis and was educated at the University of Rhode Island, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Georgetown University which awarded him his Dr. of Philosophy degree. He worked for the Departments of Commerce and Defense and taught at several universities. The Runmakers is his first book. It is available in bookstores and on-line.

Read More »
What's Up Magazine
First Female Doctor in Dorchester County Honored

Apr 09, 2012 ● By Anonymous

She was a pioneer throughout her life and, with the addition of her portrait to Dorchester General Hospital’s “Hall of Fame,” continues to be a pioneer decades after her death. Dr. Lida Orem Meredith, the first female doctor to practice medicine in Dorchester County, became the first female doctor to have her portrait added to the DGH hallway featuring other physicians and leaders who have made significant contributions to the Dorchester County medical community. Dr. Meredith was born in Bucktown in 1895 and passed away at the age of 57. She specialized in women’s and children’s health and spent much of her medical career serving her community in Dorchester County. “She lived a life so full, it is hard to see how she fit it all in,” said James Meredith, her great-nephew. “She had a love of learning and a love of service that inspired many other women to pursue their own careers in medicine.” Dr. Meredith’s portrait, which was commissioned by the family, was created by local artist George Wright. “It is a very special occasion when we can honor one of our own and the legacy that she continues to carry today. The walls of our hospital carry so much history and the addition of Dr. Meredith’s likeness to those walls is a historic day for all of us,” said Ken Kozel, President and CEO, Shore Health System, at a portrait unveiling ceremony on February 14.  “Dr. Meredith’s commitment and service is apparent and the Meredith family continues to carry forth that legacy today. We are so grateful to celebrate of her life and her legacy by adding her portrait to the hall of doctors at Dorchester General Hospital.”

Read More »