Archive for June, 2015

Bring in a Relief Pitcher

June 30, 2015

The Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday, June 20-21, 2015


Bring in a Relief Pitcher

“It’s hot outside. Your guests are thirsty. Mixing individual drinks would be excruciating.  So grab your prettiest pourer and whip up these large-format cocktails-the host’s strategy for slaking in quantity.”

The drinks listed are:  Suey’s Sangrita, Black Beauty Punch, Handlebar Mustache Punch, and Strawberry French 75.  They look refreshing and good!

Relief Pitcher in the heading is a play on a baseball relief pitcher to be brought in to relieve the starting pitcher.


Net Gains: The Year of the Dunk

June 23, 2015

The Wall Street Journal, SaturdaySunday, May 23-24, 2015

Net Gains: Year of the Dunk, by Asher Price

Review by Matthew Hutson

“One of the funny things about sports is that, despite their having clearly demarcated rules, we still care about style.  It’s not enough to win or lose: it matters how you do it.  This is why we teach kids sportsmanship.  It’s also why Air Jordans don’t have Michael Jordan’s career statistics branded on the back; they have a silhouette of the man flying through the air, legs spayed wide.

The dunk is one of the flashiest acts in sports, a dominant exploit with visceral impact–it exudes primal power that resonates with the most sedentary of desk jockeys.  And so when Asher Price, an environmental reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, sets out to perform the feat in Year of the Dunk, there’s no need for him to explain himself.  Who wouldn’t want to be like Mike?”

And Asher Price does try; in the book he discusses physiology and psychology in his attempt, but the reviewer leaves us guessing: “What you will learn from watching Mr. Price recruit a menagerie of supporters, however, is that no matter your natural ability, when you set your sights high, people will step in to lift you.”

For more information about the idiom, slam dunk, please go to and search for it to get the definition and usage.


U.S. Golf Open and TV Rights. Who Has the Home Run?

June 17, 2015

“Fox’s acquisiton of Open (TV) rights was a bit of a shock.  NBC wanted to retain them and thought it had.  So did ESPN.  According to a Golf Digest article, the presentation by NBC officials to the United States Golf Association in June 2013 was a home run, including an appearance on the network’s behalf by Arnold Palmer.  NBC and ESPN were planning to double what they were paying.

But by August, that equation had changed. The U.S.G.A. saw even biger money coming from Fox and a promise of innovation:” perhaps “drones,  graphics, its ball tracers, its virtual reality and its microphones at the bottom of each of the 18 holes. ”

A home run is a baseball idiom where the batter hits a ball so hard he can run all the bases to home and score a run for his team.

Legal Experts Had Expected The A.I.G. Case To Be A Long Shot

June 17, 2015

New York Times, Tuesday, June 16, 2015

DEALBOOK: Surprise Ruling Finds Bailout Shorted A.I.G.

by Andrew Ross Sorkin

A Decision That Could End All Rescues

“For year’s, critics of the bailout during the financial crisis argued that the rescue efforts weren’t harsh enough.  The chief executives of failing institutions should have lost their jobs.  Shareholders should have suffered more pain.  Taxpayers should have received substantial compensation for the risk they took.

All that did come to pass in one case: the bailout of the American International Group (A.I.G.), the large insurer and symbol of the crisis.  Yet on Monday, the judge in Washington decided that the government’s actions were too severe and the rescue illegal.

When the Federal Reserve propped up the A.I.G. in September 2008, unlike its approach with most of the big banks, it threw out the company’s chief executive and took control of 79.9 percent of the company, nearly wiping out many of its shareholders.  Taxpayers got all of their money back, and then come, receiving a profit of more than $20 billion.

But in a stunning ruling, Judge Thomas C. Wheeler of the United States Court of Federal Claims said on Monday that those terms were too “draconian.” In other words, he suggested taxpayers should have offered A.I.G. a more generous deal…

The judge largely sided with Mr. Greenberg, confounding many legal experts who considered the (his) case a long shot, or difficult to win.

According to the N.Y. Times article, A.I.G. Boss Wins Suit But Loses the War, of this  date 6/16/2015, the U.S. Government’s defense was a “slam dunk.”










A.I.G. Boss Wins Suit But Loses The War

June 16, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A.I.G. Boss Wins Suit But Loses The War, by Aaron M. Kessler

Washington–“When Maurice R. Greenburg, the former chief executive of the American International Group, brought a class-action lawsuit against the government in 2011, contending that the Federal Reserve overstepped its bounds when it bailed out his company at the height of the financial crisis, the  reaction was mainly befuddlement and outright ridicule…

But as the bench trial unfolded over nearly two months, Mr. Greenberg’s legal team, led by the prominent litigator David Boes, kept chipping away at witness after witness in pursuit of its own thesis: that the Fed had acted beyond its legal authority.  By the time the trial concluded, many legal experts had moved the case from a slam-dunk for the government to too close to call…

Mr. Greenberg’s legal team had been outspoken about the case being less about the financial crisis, and A.I.G. in particular, than it was about the limits of (federal) executive power.”

We in the U.S. are now in the NBA (National Basketball Association) final playoffs between the California Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland (Ohio) Cavaliers. Slam dunk is an idiom for a definitive, dramatic two points for the player’s team.  In this article, it means a sure thing.  For more information about slam-dunk go to and click on search idiom for “slam-dunk.”

The title, “A.I.G. Wins Suit But Loses the War” is based on a common idiomatic phrase: won the battle, but lost the war.


Inhibiting Protein PD-1: A Game Changer

June 10, 2015

Spring 2015/UCSF Magazine

Unleashing the Immune System: by Wallace Raven

“Oncologists are treating the immune system instead of tumors to fight cancer–with startling results.”

Adil Daud, MD, Director of Melanoma Clinical Research at UCSF’s Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, has had impressive results using a new drug, pembrolizumab.

“No other immunotherapy causes tumors to shrink in such a high percentage of patients, and these are lasting reponses,” explained Daud, theree years after the drug’s effect first became evident.  The drug works by inhibiting a protein called PD-1, an approach he calls a game-changer.”

Just Dunk

June 6, 2015

Sports Illustrated, June 1, 2015

JUST DUNK, by Michael McKnight


“WITHERING HEIGHTS: That last inch or so is no cinch, the author learned as he pounded the pavement at playgrounds across south L.A.”

He did it, too, after a lot of work.  “Lunges and the like–learned at the gym where Tom Brady (New England Patriots quarterback) built his body–put the author on the right path.”  On the other hand, “A game of tag with my kids meant daggers in my thighs and a gait like Fred Sanford’s (a character played by Redd Fox).”

At this writing the NBA (National Basketball Association) finals are being played.  Thus, the emphasis on basketball and basketball stories.   The basket rim is 10 feet above the floor:  if one is six feet, to get one’s hand with a basketball over the rim to dunk is quite an accomplishment, a jump of about 3 or 4 feet


A New Music Service from Apple Is Swimming Upstream

June 6, 2015

Swimming Upstream

New York Times, Thursday, June 4, 2015

Business Day:

New Service from Apple is Expected to Challenge Spotify, but the Market is Crowded Already, by Ben Sisario

“When it comes to streaming music, is Apple arriving too late or right on time?

The music industry is pondering that question as Apple prepares for an event in San Francisco on Monday at which it is expected to announce the most sweeping changes to its music offerings since it introduced the ITunes store 12 years ago and revolutionized the way songs were bought an sold.

The new features will include a subscription to compete with Spotify, as well as updates to the iTunes Radio Service that will go up against both Pandora and traditional broadcasters, according to people briefed on the company’s plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Yet Apple will be entering a market where others, including Spotify, Deezer and Rhapsody have already taken root among some of the most active music consumers…

‘Apple is not too late, but they are certainly playing catch-up,’ said Jan Dawson, an independent technology analyst for Jackdaw Research.

A slam-dunk success is by no means guaranteed for Apple, whose other music projects in recent years have turned in mixed results…”

A slam-dunk is an easy two point shot if the player can jump high enough to slam the ball into the basket from above the rim.

Swimming upstream is more difficult than floating downstream because one is swimming against the flow of the stream.

Two great idioms in one article helping the reader get the message.