Battered Blue Jays

The Blue Jays season veers from bad to worse…

Brett Lawrie escapes major harm despite falling into the camera well in Wednesday afternoon’s rain-shortened 6-0 loss at Yankee Stadium.

Lawrie fell approximately six feet onto a concrete floor while attempting to make the catch and also had his right leg hit an unprotected metal pole on the way down.

Jose Bautista is out at least until the beginning of August after injuring his left wrist during Monday night’s game against the Yankees. That came on the heels of losing starting pitchers Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison within the span of five days in June.

Toronto also has pitchers Sergio Santos, Dustin McGowan, Luis Perez and Jesse Litsch on the 60-day disabled list with various injuries.

Not a great season and its turning out to be one to forget in a hurry…




We have been incredibly blessed as family in the last few weeks and really seen God’s provision for us. Not only in terms of finance (via a pay rise, IRD rebate and more maternity cover pay) but also practically through a car (the GWS!) and through gifts and donations of toys and clothes for Jake.

We have also been blessed by the amazing support of our church family at Capital Vineyard; we have had an endless supply of dinners and baked goods arrive at our house on a regular basis. Its been really great to have some time with our friends from church and also get to know a few people that bit better too.


Its been sad to say goodby to Peter and Liz who have returned to the UK, but they have very generously given Ingrid and I their car as parting gift!

It’s a huge blessing and very timely as now Jake is with us, our 93 Corolla is a bit short on space and its also become a bit long in the tooth.

Peter and Liz gave us their 1996 Mitsubishi Legnum ST-R; its a 2.5L V6 4WD station wagon that they called The Beast. I have renamed the GWS (Great White Shark) as its long, powerful and snappy…

It was great fun driving it down from Auckland to Welly on Friday (despite lugging a 100kg pinball table that i was delivering back here for a friend) and with the roads pretty quiet it was really enjoyable driving through the North Island.

Its already proving its worth with me picking up 1m3 of firewood on Saturday and with all the baby gear we now have to carry around.

And im sure it will be very useful for mountain biking too!

Ups and downs

It’s been a hard first month of being a parent; lack of sleep, health issues with Jake, inconsistent feeding, eating on the run, and the change in lifestyle that comes with having a child.

Many people say it is hard transition but to be honest, I don’t think Ingrid and I expected to be quite hard as it has been…

…but in spite of this, we are beginning to embrace and cope (most of the time!) with having Jake in our lives. His tongue tie operation went well and he is beginning to feed better already which is great. He is growing really well and beginning to get into a good pattern of sleeping longer at night, which is a blessing!

Certainly all the books on childbirth and parenting don’t adequately portray the reality of being a parent and we are aware that our experience has been very hard compared to most.

Because of this, we have learnt fast to let go of expectations and to trust God to see us through. As we have done so, we find each day is just that bit more enjoyable and manageable than the day before and we learn to treasure more our beautiful and precious son.

Relativistic baseball

Briilliant fun from

What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?

Let’s set aside the question of how we got the baseball moving that fast. We’ll suppose it’s a normal pitch, except in the instant the pitcher releases the ball, it magically accelerates to 0.9c. From that point onward, everything proceeds according to normal physics.:

The answer turns out to be “a lot of things”, and they all happen very quickly, and it doesn’t end well for the batter (or the pitcher). I sat down with some physics books, a Nolan Ryan action figure, and a bunch of videotapes of nuclear tests and tried to sort it all out. What follows is my best guess at a nanosecond-by-nanosecond portrait: The ball is going so fast that everything else is practically stationary. Even the molecules in the air are stationary. Air molecules vibrate back and forth at a few hundred miles per hour, but the ball is moving through them at 600 million miles per hour. This means that as far as the ball is concerned, they’re just hanging there, frozen.

The ideas of aerodynamics don’t apply here. Normally, air would flow around anything moving through it. But the air molecules in front of this ball don’t have time to be jostled out of the way. The ball smacks into them hard that the atoms in the air molecules actually fuse with the atoms in the ball’s surface. Each collision releases a burst of gamma rays and scattered particles.

These gamma rays and debris expand outward in a bubble centered on the pitcher’s mound. They start to tear apart the molecules in the air, ripping the electrons from the nuclei and turning the air in the stadium into an expanding bubble of incandescent plasma. The wall of this bubble approaches the batter at about the speed of light—only slightly ahead of the ball itself.

The constant fusion at the front of the ball pushes back on it, slowing it down, as if the ball were a rocket flying tail-first while firing its engines. Unfortunately, the ball is going so fast that even the tremendous force from this ongoing thermonuclear explosion barely slows it down at all. It does, however, start to eat away at the surface, blasting tiny particulate fragments of the ball in all directions. These fragments are going so fast that when they hit air molecules, they trigger two or three more rounds of fusion.

After about 70 nanoseconds the ball arrives at home plate. The batter hasn’t even seen the pitcher let go of the ball, since the light carrying that information arrives at about the same time the ball does. Collisions with the air have eaten the ball away almost completely, and it is now a bullet-shaped cloud of expanding plasma (mainly carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen) ramming into the air and triggering more fusion as it goes. The shell of x-rays hits the batter first, and a handful of nanoseconds later the debris cloud hits.

When it reaches the batter, the center of the cloud is still moving at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light. It hits the bat first, but then the batter, plate, and catcher are all scooped up and carried backward through the backstop as they disintegrate. The shell of x-rays and superheated plasma expands outward and upward, swallowing the backstop, both teams, the stands, and the surrounding neighborhood—all in the first microsecond.

Suppose you’re watching from a hilltop outside the city. The first thing you see is a blinding light, far outshining the sun. This gradually fades over the course of a few seconds, and a growing fireball rises into a mushroom cloud. Then, with a great roar, the blast wave arrives, tearing up trees and shredding houses.

Everything within roughly a mile of the park is leveled, and a firestorm engulfs the surrounding city. The baseball diamond is now a sizable crater, centered a few hundred feet behind the former location of the backstop.

A careful reading of official Major League Baseball Rule 6.08(b) suggests that in this situation, the batter would be considered “hit by pitch”, and would be eligible to advance to first base.