Monday, November 7, 2016

Evanston: a city turned upside down

        As presumably all of you know the Chicago Cubs won the World Series after a game seven that ESPN called ‘the greatest game ever’ and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED on its cover called ‘The Greatest Game of All Time.’  I don’t know about ‘greatest’, but it was certainly a dramatic, great game. 
        We lived in Boston when the Red Sox ended their 86 year World Series drought in 2004.  That was big, but the Cubs’ victory even bigger.  In both cities generations of fans lived their entire lives without seeing their teams win.  The NY TIMES reports:  During the previous two days, legions had visited cemeteries around the Chicago metropolitan area. Perched on tombstones and laid across grave markers were an assortment of Cubs caps and pennants, both new and vintage.
        It is not by chance that Theo Epstein was on hand for both the Boston and Chicago victories.  General Manager of the Red Sox; President of the Cubs.  He deserves to go into the Hall of Fame.
        The city has been turned upside down.  Literally in the photo above, posted as the Astronomy Picture of the Day.  It was taken on a flight approaching O’Hare when the reflection of the downtown skyline was inverted on Lake Michigan.


        Two other streaks ended in Chicago this weekend, one a losing streak even longer than the Cubs, one a winning streak, when Ireland defeated New Zealand 40-29 in rugby at Soldier Stadium.  The match was said to be a sell out and when the camera panned to the stands, all 61,500 seats certainly seemed to be full.
        This was Ireland’s first win over the All Blacks ever, going back to their first meeting 111 years ago.  And it was New Zealand’s first test match loss after a world record setting eighteen wins in a row.
        I watched a delayed television broadcast.
        The two sides meet again in Ireland in a few weeks.  I doubt it will be telecast here.
        I did not see any mention of the match on Chicago television or in the news.


        Chicago’s lovely autumn continues.  Yesterday we went for a bike ride, my first since last March.  The day was warm and sunny.  The lake was flat, blue and beautiful.  Red and gold leaves were falling from trees.  And the bike path was filled with people oblivious to that beauty and their surroundings, from young eyes locked onto phone screens, to a middle aged man walking a dog, to older women just walking.  All apparently under the delusion that they were alone on deserted islands and not surrounded by ten million other people, some of them on bicycles.

        NASA’s Earth Observatory site has run two interesting ocean photos the past two days.

        These are Von Karman vortices in the lee of St. Helena, whose highest peak is 2,685’/820 meters above sea level.  St. Helena is 8.5 miles long and by my rough measurement disturbs the air for more than 100 miles.
        I’ll try to remember that next year and head north for a while before I turn northwest.

        Today’s Earth Observatory photo looks to me like a painting.  It is of the Little Bahama Bank.