Steve Bartman

Yesterday a friend told me the story of Steve Bartman. It’s a baseball story; an American story. I was fascinated by the outcome,  trying to give it some frame of reference.

America is baseball, as hockey is Canada. As a Canadian I was born a hockey fan. Hockey Night in Canada was our church, Don Cherry became the preacher. With this perspective I tried to understand the Bartman case. Try as I might, I couldn’t see this happening in Canada. I thought about Stanley Cup riots, which I immediately dismissed as apples and oranges. I pondered until my head hurt and still drew a blank. Sports fans are superstitious, that’s a given, but to blame one man for your teams demise was astounding.

Steve Bartman was a 26 year old Chicago Cubs fan in 2003. Game six of the National League Championship at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The Cubs are up three runs against the Florida Marlins. The Cubs lead the series three games to two, a win will clinch a spot in the World Series. The eighth inning, bases loaded for the Marlins, Florida batter Luis Castillo hits a foul ball, several fans reach for it, appearing to interfere with Cubs fielder Moises Alou. The game is tied, Florida goes on to win the game, and ultimately the series.

Steve Bartman is singled out as the fan responsible. Security has to escort him from the stands as fans shower him with garbage, uttering death threats. Removed from Wrigley Field in disguise, fans won’t let it go. Bartman’s name and address are published shortly after, six police cars station themselves outside his home. Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich offered Bartman entry into the witness protection program, and Florida Governor Jeb Bush offered asylum. The baseball in question was sold at auction for over $100,000 dollars, then ceremoniously “blown up” at a local restaurant to rid Chicago of the curse.

Steve Bartman has never spoken publicly about the incident, refusing lucrative offers to tell his story.

Hockey is a religion in Canada, in America baseball must be God.


Associated Press photo

I Promised You Auroras

For anyone pondering the activity of our sun – The solar magnetic storm of the past few days has delivered.  Solar energy hurled our way over the last couple of days may be on its last gasp, as the current solar storm is settling down, yet it delivered an amazing display of Auroras for anyone lucky enough to be within the Auroral Oval.

I encourage everyone to bookmark, linked below. Check it every day. Did you know that solar wind is measured in Km/second? Try to wrap your head around a speed of 500 Km/sec.

Photo of the Auroras NE of Calgary from

A Starry Nemesis

Something to ponder – not fact – at the moment, scientific speculation….

At least two thirds of the stars in our universe are binary stars. Meaning they orbit in twos. It was always believed that our sun was an exception. Now scientists aren’t so sure.They noticed that approx. every 26 million years something catastrophic happened to earth. We’re talking an event like the extinction of dinosaurs.

Asking themselves how this was possible with such regularity, the theory of a binary star was born. They have dubbed this star Nemesis. They believe Nemesis is a red dwarf star. A Red Dwarf is known as a “dull” star, not giving off much light would explain why they haven’t seen it.

The Oort cloud, named for Dutch astronomer Jan Oort, was theorized in the 1950s. It is believed to be a spherical ring of comets, at the farthest edge of the suns gravitational pull, the origin of most comets. Scientists have noticed that something is disrupting the Oort ring. This disruption always happens from predictable points, as if effected by gravitational pull.

Many now believe that the orbit of Nemesis is the explanation. Not to worry, the return of Nemesis; should it exist is still millions of years away


File photo of a Red Dwarf from NASA