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Friday, July 4, 2014


That was a HABOOB yesterday in Phoenix, Arizona.  Watch a You Tube clip from a resident.  How does it feel to be in that one?  Click on that link.

Speaking of haboobs, Italian Gina Lollobrigida turned 87 today (that's her at 83 below left).  In her prime (above), she was 35-20-35 at 5'5".   Sophia Loren  (also Italian, who will be 80 in September--that's her last year on the right) was 38-24-36 at 5'9".  Actress, photographer, author, celebrity and almost politician, Gina won a Golden Globe for Come September in 1961 with Rock Hudson, Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin.  She had an affair with pioneer heart transplant surgeon Christiaan Barnard.

Without doubt the most memorable speech in the history of sports came 75 years ago today  by Lou Gherig:

Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth....So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for.

Gherig won the triple crown in 1934, played in 2130 straight games (a record broken by Cal Ripken, Jr. in 1995), but learned in 1939 that he had contracted Amotrophic lateral sclerosis, when on July 4th he gave that farewell speech.  He passed away less than two years later at the age of 38, after which this ailment became known as Lou Gherig's Disease.

Expectedly, Joey Chestnut won the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest today in a driving rain on the Boardwalk of Coney Island.

He missed beating his record of dogs by nine.  Sonya Thomas, the vaunted Black Widow (in the middle, with Mayor Bill de Blasio), came in second to the new women's chomping champ, Miki Sudo, right.  Las Vegan Sudo, 5'7" and 125 pounds, consumed 34 compared to #2 Thomas at 27.

The Boston Pops' Show with the Beachboys last night was affected by Hurricane Arthur, and did not quite finish as planned.  They missed playing the traditional 1812 Overture (that was two years ago if you clicked) and cut short the fireworks:

Speaking of fireworks, Richard  Brill of the Star Advertiser detailed the chemical reactions involving potassium nitrate (also called saltpeter, Snopes debunks the "rumor" that this chemical reduces libido, and, in fact, can be dangerous to your health), carbon, sulfur and a variety of mineral compounds, all solids, which are non-reactive at room temperature, but combine to explode at temperatures over 3600 F, showing various colors depending on compounds of:
  • PURPLE:  rubidium
  • BLUE:  copper
  • GREEN:  barium
  • YELLOW:  sodium
  • ORANGE:  strontium
  • RED:  strontium
Tonight, watch your local fireworks display, plus PBS for A Capitol Fourth and NBC for the Macy's Fireworks Spectacular.  Looks like Hurricane Arthur will not trouble these extravaganzas:

Arthur will be at 90 MPH just east of New York City at the time of the show, but should be sufficiently out at sea:

There is, however, Typhoon Neoguri in the West Pacific to threaten Okinawa by Monday as a Category 4 (131-155 MPH):

The projection then is towards Kyushu.   If you're headed for Japan around mid-week, watch out!

From DC this year:

And Macy's fireworks from New York City:


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