# Back-to-back Billy

For one day, at least, Billy Wagner stopped feeling like a part-time reliever. Ever the competitor, Wagner had become a little antsy at not being permitted by the Red Sox to pitch on back-to-back days, even if he was only a year removed from Tommy John ligament transfer surgery.

On Friday, Wagner worked for the second straight night, retiring two batters and throwing eight pitches.

“I think it’s something you need to go through. I think it puts their mind at ease,” said Wagner. “I felt strong all along. They wanted to play it cautious. We’ve got a deep bullpen and they didn’t want to sit there and feel like they had to use me more than they needed to. This was just, I think, peace of mind.”

It was a little odd for Wagner to have to give manager Terry Francona the ball after facing just two batters.

“Well, of course. I’m used to finishing my own innings. But it’s a different role. Just hand him the ball and walk off,” said Wagner. “That’s his decision. I don’t question him.”

*Ian Browne*

Skipjack,

I’ll start with my cat story. I had a cat about 30 years ago that I found abandoned in a trash can. She was so small she fit into the palm of my hand. I would carry her around in my coat pocket. She had a couple litters before I had her spayed and while she was pregnant the second time I noticed she brought home a mouse, actually a vole, a big mouse. She was a fabulous hunter, when she was still a kitten she brought home a full grown rabbit that was bigger than she was. Anyway, she ducked behind one of the Yew bushes and came out a few seconds later without the mouse. She always ate everything she caught so I was curious. I looked behind the bush and she had 5 mice hidden under there, stacked up like cord wood. She was planning for when she had her kittens and would be unable to go off and hunt for a while. I’ve never heard of a cat doing that. She had to have had an awareness of being close to giving birth and a memory(maybe) of the first time she had babies and knew what was in store , and she had a plan for the future. A couple days later she had her kittens.

The squirrels: When I lived in the older section of Boulder I was close to some old walnut trees that had a nice crop of nuts sometimes and I would pick quite a few. One fall I had a metal flour bin half full of nuts and a heavy old screen on top to keep the squirrels out. One Schwartzenegger of a squirrel managed to lift the screen off the bin and stole some walnuts. So I put a brick on top of the screen. Next day he was back and tried and tried to lift that screen but couldn’t. So off he went, over the fence and gone. Wouldn’t you know, half an hour later he’s back and this time he has a friend with him! They each took a corner of the screen and were pushing and heaving trying to lift that screen off the flour bin. I was amazed! I never knew they could communicate like that. You think he went up to his squirrel buddy and said, “Hey Rocky, I know where there’s some walnuts. Give me a hand so we can get some.”

Anyway, they do some amazing things. A friend had a cat and a small dog. Sometimes he’d leave a frozen package of food on the counter to thaw. His cat Bob would jump up onto the counter, knock the package down and the dog would rip it open. Then they’d share.

Why can’t Wagner finish the inning? Look what the Yanks have done to the the kid, totally messed up his mind and body, the so called Joba Rule.

Dave: I can’t stop. On the subject of space travel, I am immediately thinking of time travel. It’s conceptually possible with Einstein’s Special Relativity Theory. How so? Can you tell us what’s General Relativity Theory and Special Relativity Theory. That’s enough entaglement for you for the week…………

Bosox-this PR should make you smile.

The Toronto Blue Jays have fired general manager J.P. Ricciardi.

Said Paul Beeston, the team’s acting president, and CEO: ?This was a tough decision and a difficult one for me personally as I have enjoyed J.P.’s friendship and his perspective on the game.?

Andrew,

I just finished three lectures for Naomi on variable stars, comets and binary stars but here we go:

What you care about for time travel is special relativity. General relativity deals with gravity and space time. Special relativity deals with time travel…sort of.

The problem developed in measuring the speed of light. Take Josh Beckett. When he throws a 93 mph fastball, we measure the speed as 93mph. If we take into account the earth’s rotation then we can actually measure a speed that is significantly faster because whatever you are traveling on speeds you up.

This is why we have seat belts. Imagine going 120 mph. You are in a car and think you are at rest. No sir. You are going 120 mph because of the speed of the car.

All well and good. Here’s where it breaks down. Light speed was measure in a lab. You get 300,000,000 m /s or whatever the miles per second number is. You should be able to aim the light in the direction of the rotation of the earth and get a faster speed. Didn’t happen. No matter how many experiments were conducted, light remained the same speed in the vaccum.

That stumped everyone. You can’t make light go faster or slower. It just does that speed for whatever reason. Our universe decided on that speed. It doesn’t make sense right?

Consider x = vt. that’s the basic formula. Rearrange and you get V is a constant? In the case of the speed of light, how do you explain how light can travel the same speed no matter what?

Einstein came along and said…no problem. If v is a constant than its time that’s the variable. That threw everyone a headache. That simply means that time must slow down to have the speed of light be the same. IN other words, when you travel the speed of light, time crawls. Therefore you can travel the speed of light for a while and find yourself in 2013. Everybody around you wonders where you went. You were gone for a few seconds but time, having slowed down to let you go at the speed of light, years have passed. Now everyone around you is an old man.

It’s a wierd theory. This is the case where the math fits the data. Does this actually happen? Technically of course, nobody knows since we can’t travel the speed of light.

Think about that and I’ll continue in the next entry.

OK…back. Remember v = x/t. That means no matter how I change the distance the time has to keep up to make the speed (v) or the speed of light which is known as (c) be the same. Ya, weird stuff.

So what about us? Well, when you travel you have to deal with momentum. p = mv or m = p/v It’s easy since v is a constant. Well, you increase your momentum continuously to get to that speed of light. That means mass has to explode in size. Nope, you can’t get to the speed of light…mathematically speaking and the math works.

Now…backwards in time. Theoretical physicists LOVE to play around with this idea. It plays around with the idea of symmetry. Since we have matter symmetry (sort of with anti matter) or in other words since the universe can create antimatter then it must be able to create anti-time and allow you to go back in time.

This is one of those things that mathematics will let you do whatever you want. Is there anti-time? You can create any idea you want but you have to have evidence to support it. There is none so its the realm of science fiction. In Star Trek they got around it with temporal particles. Temporal meaning time.

Well, unfortunately just like our eyes can only see visible light and not Radio, infrared, x-ray, gamma, submilimeter, etc. so our brains can’t seem to wrap themselves around the idea of time travel.

Maybe when we discover more about time and how it affects the universe we’ll know more.

General relativity.

This came about because Newton’s equations had a few issues in outer space. They broke down real quick. Here is the situation I was taught. If the sun exploded, we know that the light will reach us eight minutes later. Yet according to Newton, the earth will break out of orbit immediately. Can’t happen. Assuming of course earth survives the explosion of the sun it will take time for the gravitational pull of the sun to release the earth.

Einstein came along and developed REALLY hard math to explain it. He envisioned the universe as a grid. You have four dimensions. x,y,z which are the cartesian coordinates that defines length, width and height, and time. By incorporating time into the equation this solves the dilemma of the earth NOT breaking out of orbit. (Note this has nothing to do with time travel) but now the equations account for the delay.

Einstein saw gravity as a force the created warps in the nice lines of space. Due to these mathematical warps (like striking a trampoline with your feet, it bends the material) and that gravity is the person squishing material. This explained gravity very well in space. Now we could see gravity as an equation that bent space/time and since space/time was bent that’s why the earth needed time to move out of orbit since time had to, in a sense, turn into a straight line again. (confused yet)?

Now Einstein also calculated that there could be objects that really warp space/time and those of course turned into black holes. The equations break down into the old x/0 problem and Steven Hawkings came along and rectified some of the math to compensate for black holes.

Einstein’s equations collapse in the atomic world where masses are too small. Again lots of x/0 problems.

Everyone is looking for that universal equation that relates the atomic world with the large world.

Incidentally, Newton is still used. We went to the moon with Newton’s equations. Einstein might…sort of…be considered the math you need to solve the special cases and it does it extremely well.

Finally, we have theorized a particle called a graviton that is part of the standard model of the atom. The graviton (not found yet) explains what causes gravity in the universe. Einstein’s work is just math. It still doesn’t tell us what gravity is but gives us a far greater picture of it.

Dave…

Incidentally,

the speed of light is our clock. Things work relative to that speed. Techncailly if the speed of light were to increase, the rate of change in our universe would be faster and vise versa.

Here again, Dave, I am not even going to pretend I can engage this discussion intelligently.

GO SOX!

Good stories, Arnie. Thanks. My parents had a golden retriever/Irish setter cross. That dog was tormented by cats and squirrels. When she was a puppy, the cat would torment her into chasing him. The chase would begin in the living room and the cat would run out of the living room onto the linoleum floor of the kitchen with the dog in hot pursuit. At the far end of the kitchen, the cat would leap up onto the counter. The dog would slam on the brakes and crash into the cabinet, with the cat looking down on her. This was a daily occurrence.

As a grown dog, she would be tied in the back yard on a chain. Every day a squirrel would come out, stand on his hind legs and taunt the dog. The squirrel knew exactly how long the chain was. Sure enough, brilliant dog would charge at the squirrel, only to be brought up short by the end of the chain! Again, a daily occurrence.

I don’t know if those stories are more reflective of a smart cat and a smart squirrel, or of a dumb dog!

That’s a riot, Skipjack47! We have a cat who will zip all around the house, at all hours, before sliding “safe at second” into a cabinet or table! Not the brightest bulb in the box. GO SOX!