Perfect Game Blown Call, the iPad, and Other Summer Musings

Some random thoughts for a summer Friday.

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By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Some random thoughts for a summer Friday:

1. Major League Baseball has a new asterisk. Armando Galarraga got cheated out of an “official” perfect game when the lords of the league refused to overrule a call that even the umpire in question says was wrong.

But there’s no need to weep for Armando. Over time, Galarraga’s sublime effort will be mentioned and remembered more than any other perfect game--except that thrown by Don Larsen in the 1956 World Series.

Galarraga will get a footnote in every baseball book and a display of his own in Cooperstown, no doubt, as the victim of the worst call ever. And, hopefully, he’ll go down in history as the guy that brought instant replay to the sport.

2. Whole Foods has the absolutely worst excuse for a bagel ever offered to the American public.

3. Having had the chance to watch The Hurt Locker and Avatar again on television, I have to say that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences blew the call for best picture. Avatar had a hokey plot and mediocre acting, but so did The Hurt Locker. (Tick, tick, tick…which wire should I cut?!) And Avatar was, as a piece of movie-making, quite spectacular.

The Oscars, more than ever, have become a popularity contest. You get rewarded because it’s your turn, or to redress old grievances over race or gender.

4. I’m going to miss Lisbeth Salander.

5. Historian Robert Selim is right. Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage, by Noah Andre Trudeau, may be the best single-volume history of the famous battle.

6. And Bill Gates is correct about the iPad. It is a terrific toy, and will only get better as more software developers and media vendors tailor applications for the gizmo. Hats off to the New York Times, which is making steady progress improving its app. And to ABC and other pioneers.

But the real revolution comes, said Gates, when somebody makes a tablet with all the iPad’s great existing features, and a slick way to input work as well.

7. Does anyone know how to replace the cracked upper sash of an Anderson double-hung window? I think, sometimes, that I should not be allowed to play with tools.

8. Kudos to the University of Vermont for calling out every graduate’s name this year, and allowing them all to stride across the stage. The ceremony started at 8 a.m. and didn’t end until 2 p.m., but the weather was gorgeous, the lake glittered, and somewhere in the cosmos John Aloysius Farrell I, II and III were exchanging high fives as V got his diploma.

Way to go, son.

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