The Guardian recently published this story about a longitudinal Harvard study of 51,000 female coffee drinkers followed over ten years. They found that there was a 20% lower risk of clinical depression in the women who drank four or more cups of coffee a day compared to non-drinkers. This is consistent with a previous study of 86,000 female nurses followed over ten years, where they found that the relative risk of suicide was reduced even for moderate to low coffee drinkers, defined as drinking two or three cups per day.
While I was working out at the gym last night, I watched a riveting documentary, Catching Hell, a detailed account of the 2003, Steve Bartman fiasco at Wrigley Field, Chicago.
As longtime readers of this blog may know, group madness and the psychology of scapegoating are areas of great interest for me. Catching Hell is certainly a story of scapegoating and group madness. First, though, some backstory before getting into the meat of this excellent documentary.
In 2003, the Chicago Cubs (baseball team) were up against the Florida Marlins in game 6 of the National League pennant playoff series. The Cubs were leading 3 games to 2 in a best of 7 series. It was the 8th inning; the Marlins were at bat, down by a score of 3-1. With the Cubs just 5 outs from a victory that would have put the team into the World Series for the first time since 1908, the home crowd at Wrigley Field was going berserk.
If you're not from Chicago, it might be difficult to appreciate the rabid fan devotion to this perennially losing ball club. Games are always sold out, which is otherwise unheard of for a losing team that plays in a very old ballpark that offers none of the amenities of a modern stadium.
Back to the 8th inning. With the Cubs 5 outs away from the World Series, everything turned ugly in an instant. Chicago Cubs left fielder, Moises Alou, leaped for a routine popped foul ball off the bat of Florida Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo. The ball was coming down right over the left field wall. If the ball followed its path unimpeded, it might of landed in the first row of the stands, or it might have bounced off the top of the wall, or it might have hit the inside top of wall. As many times as I've seen the replay since 2003, I can't tell.
As the ball fell, several first row fans reflexively reached out to make the catch. It looked as if the ball bounced off the hands of 26-year-old, lifelong Cubs fan, Steve Bartman. What's clear is that the ball bounced back onto the field, and Alou threw a shit-fit over what he saw as fan interference. My take watching the video repeatedly is that Alou probably wouldn't have made the catch, even if the fans hadn't reached for ball. The wall is pretty high at that point, and I don't think Alou was on target to make the catch. But I could be wrong.
Here's a 30-second clip of the play. See if you can tell.
Whatever the case, a near riot ensued. It appeared that every fan in the stadium was on their feet, screaming at Bartman who remained seated wearing headphones and listening to a radio broadcast describing the melee. Beer, pretzels and trash were hurled at Bartman and fans near Bartman. Because of a 7-second delay in the radio broadcast, Bartman was confused. He didn't realize that the riot being described on the radio was about him. Then he got it; he lowered his head, as all hell rained down on him from above.
Hartgrove Hospital is a corporate-owned psychiatric facility in Chicago. In addition to accepting insured patients, the hospital treats children for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
In a damning new report, experts from the University of Illinois at Chicago paint a grim portrait of conditions at a Chicago psychiatric hospital, describing an environment of chaos, physical attacks and sexual assaults that regularly puts its young patients in harm's way.
Eat The Rich is the title of this post by Roger Simon. I guess the 15% capital gains on growth in the value of investments, which is only paid when and if the money is taken out, is just too much for decent people to stand. There's also a 15% tax rate for incentive stock options that make top execs rich. No payroll tax on any of it. Same situation for those those megabuck-earning hedge fund managers who take their compensation as investment income, rather than as managers who are providing a service, which is what they're really doing. So they all pay the long-term capital gains rate of 15%; no social security tax and no bracketed income taxes.