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Respecting the Deities in Our Midst 

Wednesday, Feb 19 2014

Barbarians at the Gates

In Major League Baseball's ongoing effort to make the entire ballpark experience as maddeningly slow and repetitious as possible, the league has announced mandatory metal detectors at the entrance gates of all stadiums by next year. The Giants, ever the trendsetters, will install detectors this season. Last season, the team's response to the Boston bombings resulted in tens of thousands of fans milling about in Willie Mays Plaza — the most counterproductive outcome possible. Stricter bag checks and "wandings" resulted in glacial lines. As a result, Giants employees eased off on the wandings as first pitch approached. With metal detectors, however, that won't be an option. The metal detector dictum struck security expert Bruce Schneier as "awful." "If there have been blazing gun battles inside the ballparks, now they'll be outside the stadium," he says. "Have there been gun battles? I don't follow baseball."

The Emperor's New Span

Much to the chagrin of San Francisco progressives, the western span of the Bay Bridge was rechristened the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge last Tuesday in a ceremony on Treasure Island. The night before, unidentified artists did a little celebrating of their own, installing a large sign at the Bay Bridge on-ramp at Fifth Street, commemorating Joshua A. Norton. Norton was a famed 19th century San Francisco eccentric, known for his many proclamations, including declaring himself Emperor of the United States. Norton is well-known for his many decrees about bridges and tunnels that he had hoped to build, connecting San Francisco and Oakland. There have been multiple movements over the years to rename the western span of the Bay Bridge the Emperor Norton Bridge in his honor, although some Norton fans say he wouldn't have had a "movement," per se — he would have just issued a proclamation. Following his protocol, the artists did just that: "In 1872 Emperor Norton decreed this Bridge." Along the bottom of the sign in small lettering, it reads: "A gift from the artists to the city of San Francisco, Feb. 11 2014."

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