If you were watching the Orioles-A's game from Camden Yards tonight, you saw a guy playing the National Anthem on an electric violin made out of a baseball bat. This is how that looks and sounds. This is the guy talking about and showing off his Louisville Slugger violin. And this is the Washington Post profile of Glenn Donnellan, a violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra and the maker and player of the world's only electric baseball bat violin.
Open air sports stadiums often have issues with birds, insects, and other wildlife. Common preventative measures include ultrasonic devices and bird netting. But Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium - one of the venues for the 2010 World Cup - has taken an all-natural approach. It is working with the Urban Raptor Project to install raptors, bats, and owls to patrol the stadium for various pests, while a trained peregrine falcon chases away crows. This is not a new technique - Millennium Stadium in Wales has long used a Harris Hawk for bird control. But according to the NMB stadium manager, it "is the only stadium with a programme like this in place as a pest deterrent".
Swinging Away: How Cricket and Baseball Connect Five minute slideshow with audio from the BBC of historical images to coincide with an exhibition at Lords on the linked histories of the two bat and ball sports.
You've seen the national anthem sung at baseball games, but have you ever heard the national anthem played on a baseball bat? (SLYT)
Long revered for its value as a fertilizer, and as a raw material for explosives, guano is the dried droppings of various birds and bats. The New York Times has published an excellent account of the Peruvian harvest of this valuable resource including a multimedia slideshow. Guano was superseded by synthetics in the early part of the 20th century, due to the development of the Haber Bosch process, which fixed atmospheric nitrogen. An attempt to harvest bat guano from a Grand Canyon cave in the late 1950’s was beset by technical problems and was ultimately unsuccessful. The remaining structures at the canyon rim are now a tourist attraction.
Barry Bonds has broken the all-time record with the benefit of a controversial technological revolution in the game, derided by traditionalists: The Maple Baseball Bat. Using technology and woodworking techniques pioneered by Sam Bat, Bonds helped develop and popularize the bats that are just as responsible for the advent of the Juiced Ball Era as, well, the other thing.
Winthop Kellogg was a psychologist in the early and mid-20th century who studied echolocation in animals and people. He is most notorious, however, for an experiment in which he raised an infant chimpanzee named Gua alongside his own baby son Harold. They seemed to get along pretty well (.mov).
They are not the prettiest creature's around. More information and links here. The aye-aye is endangered mainly because Malagasy regard them as unlucky and kill them on sight. [more inside]
It's a queer world after all. A series of animated documentary shorts about homosexuality in the animal kingdom.