Saturday, April 26, 2014

The White, Anti-Obama Bloc

Nate Cohn highlights an interesting map:

I can't believe Illinois had 5 counties go 80% anti-Obama, but Indiana had zero.  It looks to me like Sioux County is the only county in Iowa to go 80% anti-Obama.  No surprise there.  And the social ion of the South is not surprising, but is very disturbing.

Sexy Farmers

The Daily Mail looks at a new study of hunter-gatherers and farmers which finds that the farmers drew the hunter-gatherers into their communities:
A genomic analysis of eleven Stone-Age human remains from Scandinavia revealed that expanding Stone-age farmers assimilated local hunter-gatherers into their community, but that the traffic was one way.
The discovery sheds new light on the transition between a hunting-gathering lifestyle and a farming lifestyle, which has been debated for a century.
'We see clear evidence that people from hunter-gatherer groups were incorporated into farming groups as they expanded across Europe', says Pontus Skoglund at Uppsala University in Sweden.
'This might be clues towards something that happened also when agriculture spread in other parts of the world.
'The asymmetric gene-flow shows that the farming groups assimilated hunter-gatherer groups, at least partly', says Mattias Jakobsson, who also worked on the study.
'When we compare Scandinavian to central European farming groups that lived at about the same time, we see greater levels of hunter-gatherer gene-flow into the Scandinavian farming groups.'
DNA analysis also showed that the farmers and hunter-gatherers descended from distinct genetic lineages.
'It is quite clear that the two groups are very different,' says Skoglund.
Comparisons with the genes of modern populations revealed them to be more distinct that the genomes of modern Scandinavians and Italians.
Uppsala University in Sweden and his colleagues sequenced the DNA from 11 early hunter-gatherers and farmers dating back to between 5000 and 7000 years ago.
So were the hunter-gatherer women attracted to the farmer men, or were the hunter-gatherer men drawn to the hot farmers' daughters.  Based on personal experience, I'd guess it's number 2.

End of April Weekend Reads

Here are some stories that caught my eye this week when I wasn't hating on work or trying to plant corn:

Enduring Guilt - ESPN the Magazine.  10 years after the death of Pat Tillman, the pain lingers in the survivors.

Study: Western Hills Viaduct one of nation's worst - Cincinnati Enquirer.  Our Crumbling Infrastructure, vol. 4528.

Newark Bears Items Going Going.... - New York Times

How Did Canada's Middle Class Get So Rich? - The Atlantic.  An interesting piece covering Canada's housing bubble and the ongoing evisceration of the middle class in America because of increasing income inequality (see chart below).

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Definitive Oral History of a TV Masterpiece - Wired

Magical Sour Cabbage: How Sauerkraut Helped Save the Age of Sail - Modern Farmer

What Actually Happens While You Sleep, and How It Affects Your Every Waking Moment - Brain Pickings

!Ay, Chihuahuas! - Grantland.  El Paso blew up its city hall to build a minor league baseball stadium.  Baseball trumping government as urban renewal driver. Distracting citizens from society's problems trumps solving society's problems.  It is much, much easier.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Canada and the United States: The No-Touching Zone

Fireworks: A Drone's Eye View

Mysteries of the Unseen World

Via Big Picture Agriculture:

Still Talk of Oil Independence

The New York Times looks at the talk of oil independence for North America, and discusses some of the challenges we face in getting there (which we won't).  The main fear cited is that a glut of production depresses prices and causes shale oil to become unprofitable. I think we'd have seen a drop in crude oil price already if that were likely.  I could only see that if China's economy really tanks. I did find these parts interesting:
Perhaps most important, the economics of oil and natural gas extraction on the continent are challenging: Deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil drilling, oil sands extraction and shale drilling are all expensive and require high petroleum prices that are far from assured. Most of the easy-to-drill oil is gone. But should North America produce too much oil too quickly, and exports surge from Iraq (which is already happening) and Iran (should talks with the West over its nuclear program succeed), global oil prices could soften considerably.
There is also the possibility that the pace of shale drilling in places like Argentina, China and Russia, which have so far lagged North America, could take off, producing sizable new sources of oil and gas on the world market. As unlikely as it may seem, a price collapse, like the one that happened to domestically produced natural gas after 2008, is something every oil executive fears.....
The United States has been the jewel of global petroleum in recent years, increasing its oil production by more than 50 percent since 2008, and most energy analysts say they believe the good fortunes are sustainable for at least another decade. Natural gas production has been so plentiful that the price of the commodity has plunged, giving consumers and manufacturing industries a financial break, while gas import terminals are being turned around to export. The country has already replaced almost all imports of high-quality African oil with the booming production of the Texas and North Dakota shale oil fields.
The outlook for energy security would even be better if expectations of increasing Mexican and Canadian supplies came to pass. Talk of energy independence has become conventional wisdom, with the Energy Department reporting that the percentage of imported oil and petroleum products the United States consumes dropped to 40 percent in 2012, from 60 percent in 2005.
But the department warns that while the imported share should drop to 25 percent in 2016, it will rise again, to about 32 percent in 2040, as domestic production from shale fields begins to decline in 2022. Some oil executives say that the government is not optimistic enough and that technological improvements will continue to allow their companies to increase production at a profit. But few think that is a sure thing, and they list a number of concerns, most of which appear to be improbable — but not impossible.....
In September, Royal Dutch Shell announced its intention to sell 100,000 acres it had leased in the Eagle Ford shale field of South Texas because of out-of-control costs. An analyst at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studieshas estimated asset write-downs approaching $35 billion in recent years among 15 of the main operators in the shale gas and oil fields, a tiny percentage of the total investment but a sign that shale field development is sensitive to market shifts and drilling disappointments.
What makes shale drilling particularly challenging is that wells produce most of their oil and gas in the first years of production, requiring more and more drilling in lower-quality zones of the fields.
I just don't trust the optimists who are making tons of money now and projecting it into the future.  I think the most optimistic anybody should be is that the Bakken and Eagle Ford will continue to grow for maybe five or six more years, and then start a slow decline.  Personally, I would bet that it will peak before that.  As the wells begin to decline, you have to maintain the current drilling pace indefinitely to keep production rising, and as you move away from the sweet spots, I think you will see new well production rates decline from the first wells.  But, I'm not a petroleum engineer or geologist, either.  I just anticipate these producers talking their books as they run a pump and dump operation to cash out.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Baseball's Borders

The Upshot translates this previous Facebook data on Major League Baseball loyalties:

Fans may not list which team they favor on the census, but millions of them do make their preferences public on Facebook. Using aggregated data provided by the company, we were able to create an unprecedented look at the geography of baseball fandom, going down not only to the county level, as Facebook did in a nationwide map it released a few weeks ago, but also to ZIP codes. We can now clearly see that both Hartford and New Haven are in fact Yankee outposts. We can also determine the precise Chicago neighborhoods where White Sox jerseys stop being welcome and the central California town where the Dodgers cede fan favorite status to the Giants.
We’ve created two features to help readers explore the data. First is an interactive map of the United States that allows you to explore not just the most popular team in your neighborhood but also a table of the top teams for any ZIP code in the country.
Second, in the spirit of Mr. Rushin’s Munson-Nixon line, we've generated 14 maps detailing baseball’s biggest rivalries, highlighting the borders and offering suggested names for those lines.
Here's a close-up of Ohio:

I thought the only Cubs fans in Ohio were in Jackass Corner.

Paris in Motion

Paris in Motion (Part 4) from Mayeul Akpovi on Vimeo.

I like the music.

Shale Oil Not A Long-Term Solution

We've seen more of a plateau than this chart, but a trend is a trend

Here's the take from a relative optimist:
Not everyone thinks this sort of pessimism is warranted. With funding from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation, Scott Tinker, a professor of geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin has been leading one of the most comprehensive, well-by-well analyses of the four biggest shale gas reserves in the U.S., including the contentious Marcellus formation in the Appalachians. Tinker doesn't quibble much with Hughes' and Berman's observations about well depletion rates, though he interprets the implications differently.
"Just like conventional drilling, the broad message here is that these basins are going to continue to be drilled and there will be money made by some and lost by others," Tinker said. He prefers to call the shale boom an evolution rather than a revolution, and he suggests that while new wells must consistently be plumbed to address the shortfalls of old ones, this has always been the case. Newer drilling technology that allows several well paths to proceed from a single surface installation will help minimize local impacts, Tinker says -- adding that with higher prices, the shale gas boom could remain healthy as far out as 2040.
That's not an immediate threat, but it's also not exactly the 100-years-of natural gas that President Barack Obama has touted. Clearly, neither shale oil production, which even Tinker concedes is likely to peak just five or six years from now, nor shale gas will escort the U.S. into the era of energy independence. Getting there requires a much more deliberate diversification of the nation's energy portfolio, along with far more aggressive efforts to increase efficiency and eliminate energy waste -- steps that, by the way, are also critical in addressing that other nagging issue, global warming.
So we're seeing the highest U.S. crude oil and natural gas liquids production since 1980, prices are still near record highs, and the plays that brought us to this production plateau are going to peak by 2020?  Then where will prices be, because conventional fields are going to continue to decline throughout that time frame.  I think the bullshit artists who have buried peak oil and have been dancing on its grave, might want to quiet down for a minute and listen in case a bell is ringing.

The Oldest Living Things in the World

USDA Technology Transfers for 2013

The Washington Post looks at some of the fruits of USDA research and development in the department's "Report on Technology Transfers":
The USDA filed for 147 patents and received another 51 last year. Below is a list of the more interesting breakthroughs that came from the department’s work:
* Weight-loss flour: A new type of flour made of chardonnay grape seeds may prevent weight gain and high cholesterol, according to the USDA. Testing showed changes in fat metabolism for hamsters that ate the product along with a high-fat diet. The Mayo Clinic is conducting human trials on it now.
Can the department develop flour for people who prefer reds? No such luck. Red grapes don’t have the same effect, according to the report.
* Fertilizer from tires: Tires contain zinc, which means the ground-up rubber from used tires can be used to fertilize zinc-deficient soils. Zinc is an essential nutrient required for growth with many crops.
Research has also shown that zinc helps reduce cadmium levels in grain. Cadmium is a toxic metal that shows up naturally in soil and ends up in foods such as cereal and vegetables. Add a little tire-rubber to your dirt, and you may end up with crops that are healthier for consumption.
* Oat concentrate for ice cream and other creamy delights: Oat carbohydrates can be turned into a creamy substance. Most of us know that from eating oatmeal, but studies have shown that oat concentrate can be used to develop new and perhaps healthier varieties of yogurt, instant puddings, custard, batter, smoothies, and ice cream, according to the USDA.
* Vapor packets that fight fruit decay: The packets release antimicrobial vapor to keep fruit from spoiling. The product also treats citrus canker, a disease that causes lesions on citrus fruit and prevents it from being marketed internationally.
The USDA is testing the vapor packets in pilot studies with commercial packing houses. The product could save the international fresh-produce industry more than $1 billion annually, according to the report.
Maybe now the department can develop vapor packets that fight tooth decay. Might be great for our chompers, but you have to wonder about breath.
* Gold particles that detect West Nile virus: The USDA discovered that a handheld device can detect West Nile virus — a mosquito-borne infection that can be life threatening, especially when it causes the brain to swell — with help from gold nanoparticles.
According to the USDA, gold nanoparticles have the ability to scatter and absorb light, making them ideal for detecting virus-infected cells with a spectrometer.
That's an interesting and diverse range of developments.  Maybe none of this stuff will pan out, but I still think it is a good investment for taxpayers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Where the Outhouses Are

Who doesn't have a flushing toilet?
As it turns out, a lot of people. According to the latest American Community Survey, nearly 630,000 occupied households lack complete plumbing facilities, which means that they are without one or more of the following: a toilet, a tub or shower, or running water. The Census Bureau says that the average household contains 2.6 individuals, which means that today, in 2014, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, upwards of 1.6 million people are living without full indoor plumbing.
As the map below shows, there is considerable geographic variation. Counties containing Indian reservations have astonishingly high percentages of households without plumbing -- 14 percent of households in Shannon County, S.D., don't have full plumbing. In Apache County, Ariz., the rate is more than 17 percent. Sparsely-populated census areas in Alaska also have very high percentages.
Counties along the Rio Grande in Texas have high rates of unplumbed households, as do a smattering of counties in Appalachia, particularly in eastern Kentucky and western Virginia. The southwestern portion of Alabama is another hot spot.
Looking beyond the present day, it's worth remembering that indoor plumbing is a fairly new development for many communities. In 1950 fully one quarter of U.S. households did not have a flush toilet -- this means that the era of outhouses is well within living memory for many Americans. The town I live in, Oella, Md., was reliant on outhouses until 1984. And it's smack in the middle of the Acela corridor, between Baltimore and Washington.
I would guess Indian reservations and Amish counties like Lancaster, PA, Holmes, OH and Elkhart, IN.  It looks like a lot of the rest, like in Maine, Wisconsin and Minnesota might be in cabins or summer cottages which aren't used year-round.  Also, in the middle of nowhere.  Another note, this is one of the Census questions that most pisses off conservatives.  God bless the Census Bureau.

Bern Hyperlapsed

"Zu nachtschlafender Zyt" | Bern Hyperlapsed from studium-punctum on Vimeo.

Why Newspapers Are Dying

Columbia Journalism Review, via Ritholtz:

In real dollars, ad revenues are at levels last seen in 1953.  The internet was bad enough for them before it spawned Craigslist.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

We Have Corn in the Ground

This is a stock photo, and not my field

Well, I tried to work the bugs out of the planter and get ready to go, and ended up planting some the end rows on the field.  So we've got almost 1% of our corn planted.  There are still a few bugs though.  Based on previous experience, I am expecting bugs in our fertilizer system all spring.  It didn't disappoint me tonight.  We are well behind several neighbors right now.  Oh well.

The Vrontados Easter Rocket War

The Atlantic features photos of an Easter tradition in the Greek village of Vrontados:
Every Easter, in the Greek village of Vrontados, members of rival churches sitting across a small valley stage a "rocket war" by firing thousands of homemade rockets towards each other while services are held. The objective for each side is to strike the bell of the opposing church. The festival, called Rouketopolemos, has been celebrated by the churches of Agios Markos and Panagia Erithiani for at least 125 years, its exact origins a mystery. Gathered here are images of this rocket war from the past few years.
My favorite:

Homemade rockets streak through the sky above Vrontados on April 19, 2014. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images) #

Monday, April 21, 2014

Good News on Renewables


About 6.2% of total U.S. electricity supplies in 2013 were generated from nonhydro renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal, up from 5.4% in 2012. But 11 states produced electricity at more than twice the national average from these sources—accounting for between 14% and 32% of their net electric generation—according to preliminary 2013 generation data in EIA's Electric Power Monthly report.
Maine led all states by generating 32% of its electricity from nonhydro renewables—primarily biomass generation by the wood products industry. The state had one-fourth of its net electric generation come from biomass resources.
Nearly all other states with high proportions of renewable generation relied primarily on wind power. Iowa and South Dakota each got more than 25% of their net electricity from wind generation, and Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Colorado generated 12%-20% of their power from wind resources.
California generated more than 18% of its electricity from nonhydroelectric renewable sources, but 2013 was the first year that wind produced more electricity than the state's geothermal resources, which are the nation's largest. Biomass and solar generating resources also contributed to the state's renewable portfolio.
The largest amount of nonhydroelectric renewable power was generated in Texas, with California a close second. But Texas produced more electricity than any other state, so the proportion of nonhydroelectric renewable sources in its generation was about 9%.
It is notable that the reddest of the red states are also amongst the greenest when it comes to nonhydro renewable energy.  That would be from those tax subsidies derided by the Republican political whores doing the bidding of their oil, gas and coal industry pimps.  Unfortunately, wind resources aren't nearly as robust in areas where people actually live and use electricity. However, technological advances are pushing renewables and their cost structure in the right direction.  With some actual conservation, we might do some very good things.

China Admits Massive Soil Pollution

China reports that 19% of its arable lands are contaminated with heavy metals:

The report, based on a seven-year survey covering 2.4 million square miles, found that about 16% of the country's soil and 19% of its arable land was polluted to one degree or another. The vast majority of the pollution came from inorganic sources such as heavy metals, it said. China's total land area is 3.7 million square miles.
The most common inorganic pollutants found in China's soil were the heavy metals cadmium, nickel and arsenic, according to Thursday's report. Cadmium and arsenic, both known to cause chronic health problems, are byproducts of mining.
Nearly 3% of arable land in China was found to be either moderately or seriously polluted, the report said, without defining what those levels of contamination mean. Pollution was particularly severe in eastern China's Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta in the south and old industrial zones in the northeast, it said.
Pollution of farmland is of particular concern in China because of how little of it has. According to the most recent national land survey, China had 334 million acres of arable land at the end of 2012, roughly 37 million acres above the government's "red line" for the amount of farmland necessary to feed the country's population.
Already, some 8.24 million acres of arable land has become unfit for farming, China's Ministry of Land and Resources disclosed in December. Environmentalists say the majority of the remaining land is of poor or moderate quality, having been stripped of its productivity by decades of heavy fertilizer and pesticide use.
So much polluted soil means China will likely have to begin importing more food. "China will need to ease pressure on its natural resource base and import more of its food over the long-term," said Fred Gale, an economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service. "Agriculture is impacted by industrial pollution but also creates a lot of pollution itself," he said, citing waste and ecological damage caused by China's growing taste for meat.
In April 2013, the discovery of unusually high quantities of cadmium in batches of rice grown in Hunan—the country's top rice-producing region, as well as a top-five producer of nonferrous metals like copper and lead—set off worries about farmland and sent prices for Hunan rice tumbling by as much as 14%. 
I've covered this subject here before. Deborah Blum has covered how rice absorbs heavy metals, and while I think I've posted on that, I can't find it.  The important thing is that massive industrialization without environmental protection is royally screwing China.  Keep that in mind next time you hear Republicans talking about how EPA destroys American jobs.  I like to eat, and from what I can tell of all the other obese people in the U.S., apparently a lot of other people do, too.  I also like to farm, and poisoned soil really, really makes me sad.  What a disaster.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

NASA Photo of the Day

April 15:
Mammatus Clouds over Nebraska
Image Credit & Copyright: Jorn Olsen Photography
Explanation: When do cloud bottoms appear like bubbles? Normally, cloud bottoms are flat. This is because moist warm air that rises and cools will condense into water droplets at a specific temperature, which usually corresponds to a very specific height. As water droplets grow, an opaque cloud forms. Under some conditions, however, cloud pockets can develop that contain large droplets of water or ice that fall into clear air as they evaporate. Such pockets may occur in turbulent air near a thunderstorm. Resulting mammatus clouds can appear especially dramatic if sunlit from the side. The mammatus clouds pictured above were photographed over Hastings, Nebraska during 2004 June. 
 I love me some mammatus clouds (where else on the web will you see somebody make that statement?).

In Jackson Hole, a Damaging but Slow Landslide

Christian Science Monitor:
A slow-motion disaster continued unfolding in the Wyoming resort town of Jackson on Saturday, as a creeping landslide that split a hillside home threatened to swallow up more houses and businesses.
The ground beneath the 100-foot hillside had been slowly giving way for almost two weeks before the downward movement accelerated in recent days.
With rocks and dirt tumbling down, officials suspended efforts to shore up the slope and said they were uncertain what else could be done....
Authorities said there could be a variety of causes for the slide, including prior construction at the site, warmer weather and a wet winter that put more water into the ground where it acts as a lubricant for unstable rocks and soil.
Experts say the hillside is unlikely to suddenly collapse like the March 22 landslide in Oso, Wash., that killed 39 people. More likely, large blocks of earth would tumble down piece by piece.
But the threat is real and authorities are enforcing an evacuation order in hopes of avoiding injuries. Town officials first noticed significant hill movement April 4. They evacuated 42 homes and apartment units April 9.
By Saturday morning, the shifting earth had bulged a road and a parking lot at the foot of the hill by as much as 10 feet. The groundswell pushed a small town water pump building 15 feet toward West Broadway, the town's main drag.
The ground had been moving at a rate of an inch a day but is expected to move increasingly faster as time goes on, said George Machan, a landslide specialist consulting for the town.
I probably should have paid more attention in soil mechanics class, but the homework from the class before was due at the end of the next class, so I was always working on the last assignment during that day's class.  Not an effective way to learn.

Fish Feeding for Card Sharks

David Samuels goes to a Maryland poker room to see how serious poker players make a living on the amateurs:
Fish abound at Maryland Live, home to the hottest new poker room on the East Coast. Maryland Live is a casino-and-entertainment complex in Hanover, Maryland, adjacent to the Arundel Mills mall. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it offers thousands of slot machines and 177 table games, including blackjack, roulette, craps, and mini baccarat. The poker room, which opened on August 28, 2013, has 52 tables, making it one of the biggest rooms outside of Las Vegas. According to Bravo Poker—an app that tells you how many tables are open for business at any time of day or night in nearly every room in every casino in every state in America—there are usually more high-stakes games running at Maryland Live than at the world-famous Borgata, in Atlantic City. Even pros from Florida, who like to boast of their state’s sunny weather, low taxes, partying tourists, and self-renewing population of old white guys, now come to Maryland Live in the dead of winter. The fishing is that good there.
Like any complex ecosystem, a poker room offers much more than a binary relationship between predators and prey. John Calvin (not his real name) swims somewhere in the middle. He is a grinder, a cautious type who doesn’t bluff that often or do anything hair-raisingly spectacular in tight situations, and who makes his living by doggedly adhering to the odds against lesser players. He got his start making a few dollars a hand on the Web site PartyPoker, then graduated to long weekends of live play at the Borgata before taking up residence at a casino poker room in Charles Town, West Virginia. These days, he commutes from his home, in Washington, D.C., to Maryland Live, where he feeds on fish who are happy to lose a few hundred dollars an hour playing No Limit Texas Hold ’Em—the poker player’s game of choice since 2003, when the great American online-poker boom of the aughts took off.
In January, just after the start of the new year, I visited Maryland Live with Calvin. In a gray sweatshirt and jeans, bald and wearing thin-rimmed black glasses, he looked like a leisure-time version of the corporate strategist he had been in a former life, before he ditched the full-time number-crunching gig and took up poker. As we entered, he rubbed his head, as if for luck, and peered through his glasses at the biggest kettle of fish in North America—which on any given day might include local small-business owners, bored retirees, college kids, and the occasional big-name donator, or “whale.” Among the whales we spotted that afternoon were a red-faced, choleric guy who runs a local charter-boat business, and a shaky-looking Asian guy in an Orioles cap who I was told had donated well over $100,000 during the past few months. Explaining the presence of the Asian guy, Calvin gestured over to a sweet-looking kid in a gray hoodie at the next table and said, “Merson must have got him here.”
Gregory Merson, 26, the winner of the 2012 World Series of Poker, was the biggest shark in the room. He fiddled with an uneven stack of chips and unzipped his hoodie to reveal a black T‑shirt with a hand grenade emblazoned across the front. Every kid in every poker room across America who dreams of playing live on ESPN at the World Series of Poker instead of working some soul-crushing cubicle job would love to have even one day of Greg Merson’s life—playing $10/$25 or $25/$50 No Limit for $300 or $400 an hour, and jetting off to big-money tournaments in the Bahamas and other foreign but civilized places where you can plunk down your credit card and play online poker.
I'm blessed to be both really, really risk-averse when it comes to casino gambling, and clearly aware that I am a terrible card player.  Offer me a wager on just about anything (total winter snowfall, how many Sundays of rain we'll get if it rains on Easter Sunday, etc.), and I may just bet on it, but hand after hand of cards just doesn't interest me.  This prevents me from being anything but the smallest minnow.

How Fast is Billy Hamilton?

As fast as he appears to be:
MLB Advanced Media, the tech outfit owned by baseball's 30 clubs, is rolling out a new tracking technology that yields insights about the entire field of play -- not just the pitch or the hit. Through a combination of cameras, radar, and proprietary software, the new system provides data on a base runner's jump and speed and the angle of his path while trying to, say, steal second base. It can also capture information on the catcher, fielders, and more.
Using this still-unnamed technology, MLBAM (known internally as BAM) crunched some numbers exclusively for Fortune that suggest that the single fastest guy in baseball is probably Cincinnati Reds rookie Billy Hamilton: In a September game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Hamilton, who was called up from the minors last season just for the playoffs, successfully stole second base in the eighth inning. The new system revealed that he had a 10.83-foot lead, clocked a jump of 0.49 seconds, and hit a top speed of 21.51 mph (rather insane), and that the entire steal occurred in only 3.08 seconds. Meanwhile, it took the Brewers' catcher 0.667 seconds to get the ball out of his glove and release his throw to second; his throw traveled at 78.81 mph -- fast, but not fast enough to tag Hamilton out.
If you want to see how fast he is, check out this clip.