Phillies’ offense soars with young, consistent pitcher
Improvement is one of the best rewards a young player can get while starting his sports career. As one of the pitchers of Philadelphia Phillies baseball team, 26-year-old Jerad Eickhoff is the youngest Phillies pitcher to win ten games since his debut in the club.

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With Phillies’ six straight losses at home, Eickhoff has been effective in spearheading the team’s offense during their game against Miami Marlins winning by a score of 6-2. During the game, the 26-year old proved his consistency. He allowed four strikeouts and two runs in six innings. The Phillies snatched the win when co-players Freddy Galvis and Jimmy Parades ignited the Phillies’s offense with two home runs and two hits.

People were quick to recognize the improvement as Eickhoff went from 2-8 when he started to 10-13. According to Phillies Manager Pete Mackanin, Eickhoff has played the game seriously and pitched extremely well. As a player, Eickhoff shows a diligent approach to the game and proves he is worthy to become a major league pitcher someday.

Galvis, who scored two home runs during the fifth inning, admired the pace and control Eickhoff possessed over the game. Playing behind Eickhoff, Galvis was reminded of the team’s former veteran pitcher Roy Halladay who had a similar work ethic, fast pace, and strikeout throws.

Eickhoff, with the help of so many people including coaches, friends and co-players, sees joining the franchise as a learning process to get better and to ultimately become an excellent MLB pitcher.

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Hi, there. I'm Chrisopher J. Keehner, businessman and huge Phillies fan from Philadelphia. See you on Twitter.

How the lathe machine shaped the world, literally
At a time when man had just about decided to embrace a new way of life with the advent of steel, it was clear that whoever mastered its production would have command in the industry. Turning steel and other metals into a usable form was the key. But the technology to shape these materials into handheld tools was quite limited to pounding and crude cutting techniques, as what was true in the practice of many blacksmiths. The handiest of tools were really nothing more than simple machines like swords and spear tips.
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Fast forward to a later period, there came a need for more precision in component parts. The time came for a machine that could fabricate these parts by the numbers. Thanks to the lathe machine’s ability to clamp on a crude piece of metal and spin it, the first perfectly cylindrical piece of metal was chiselled out. This signalled the point in time when the lathe machine became a key figure in the literal shaping of the world.

Without the lathe, it would be hardly possible to create cylindrically shaped levers. Just think of how many such machines require screws. With no lathe machine to fashion these, there would be nothing to hold other component parts together.

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The best description of the lathe is that it is the only machine that can be used to create an identical version of itself. But really, its charm lies in the creative freedom made possible in the hands of the one who uses it.

Christopher J. Keehner is a part-time businessman who is into metal fabrication! Get to know him more on Facebook.

Looking Up: How The Phillies' Rebuild Is Faring Thus Far

Not many sports cities can boast of having an immensely supportive fan base quite like Philadelphia. Through thick and thin, through highs and lows, the fans will always be there. Even if these past years, there are far more lows than highs for the majors sports teams: Phillies, Eagles, 76ers, and Flyers.

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The great news is that things are looking to be on the up and up. The Flyers made a good account of themselves in the last three games of the first round before sliding out. The 76ers and the Eagles had just drafted what could be franchise saviors; just a few more pieces and they could be contending soon.

As for the Phillies, the start of the MLB season could not have gone worse. But recently, there are reasons to believe that a bright future is at the end of this rebuilding tunnel.

Earlier this year, the team’s offense was just a disaster, averaging the second lowest in the runs-per-game column and ranking last in many offensive metrics. A six-game stretch in June however, saw an improved offense, doubling their runs average, led by the suddenly hot Peter Bourjos, Cameron Rupp, and Cody Asche.

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Considering that the Phillies’ farm team has been developing prospects rather well, and its minor league teams are winning, no one can fault the fans as they become optimistic about the outlook of the rebuild.

Now is a wonderful time to be a Philadelphia sports fan.

Christopher J. Keehner loves watching, reading on and writing about the Philadelphia Phillies. For more discussion about Philadelphia sports, follow him on Twitter.

Jazz Being Used To Help Children With Neurofibromatosis
There is no cure for neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that affects the brain and spinal cord. The condition causes the nerve cells to develop tumors around them, causing certain abnormalities, although the tumors themselves are benign. Health professionals are still working on how to better treat the condition and current genetic studies are being conducted. For the most part, patients with the disease live their lives as best as they could, seeking the aid of their local charities and their own personal support system..

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For children affected with the condition, life may be particularly difficult. It has always been stated that children should be allowed to play and interact with their peers. Neurofibromatosis may cause a child to be constantly in and out of hospitals.

Recently, jazz musicians around the country have banded today to support the treatment of neurofibromatosis and to help medical groups find a cure. This has been done mostly through music festivals and private concerts. Jazz groups have also begun to play at local children’s hospitals – particularly at the wards that house children with neurofibromatosis.

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Interestingly, doctors have suggested that the constant and regular playing of these jazz musicians have dramatically improved the condition of the children under their care. The doctors are unsure whether it is the music itself or the support and kindness of the musicians. Still, the improvement of the children was enough to initiate a series of medical studies that are researching the correlation between pain alleviation and decrease of symptoms and jazz music.

Learn the latest jazz music news by following Christopher Keehner’s Twitter account.

Classy Jazz: Quintessential Hits That Made a Mark
My blog followers know how much I love jazz music. I’m a fan of music in general, but jazz is the genre that hits straight to the heart. Even without the flowery lyrics, its smooth and experimental tunes speak volumes, making a soulful connection to its listeners.

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The good ol’ jazz era saw the growth of musical greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Louie Armstrong, and Dave Brubeck, to name a few. Here are jazz’s monumental hits that changed the music scene forever.

Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman

People think it’s ironic that a song entitled “Sing, Sing, Sing” did not have lyrics. How would you sing a song without words? But did you know that this song actually had lyrics written by Louis Prima in 1936 as a B side to his hit “It’s Been So Long”? However, Goodman’s take on it became a huge hit. Whenever I listen to this song, I just want to put on my tap shoes and dance like crazy—wouldn’t you?

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

Who hasn’t heard of this song? Its lyrics give a picturesque description of how wonderful the world is—trees of green, red roses, and skies of blue. The song has been covered numerous times by different artists in different generations, but nothing beats the original.

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Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday

This song was originally written as a poem by Abel Meeropol. The piece had a ringing message about African-American racism in the 1930’s. Billie Holiday’s music label pushed to record a musical version of the poem, and it became one of the biggest jazz hits of all time.

Take Five by Dave Brubeck

“Take Five” is the highest grossing and best-selling jazz single of all time. The piece was composed by Paul Desmond, and was performed by The Dave Brubeck Quartet. It was first released as a part of the album “Time Out.” There’s something about this wordless song that just makes people want to relax and have a good time.

Hi, Christopher J. Keehner here. Let’s talk about all that jazz and follow me on Twitter.

The Life Lessons You Learn From Sports
There is something to be said about the significance of sports sports, even just for a spectator. For most of my life, I have been a Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies fan. There hasn’t been a moment where I didn’t feel the thrill of my team scoring, or felt the excitement of a really close game.

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That said, I have seen the power of sports in the lives of many people and this has led me to wonder about the many lessons one can learn from it. And yes, this includes just being a fan and not an actual professional.

Teamwork and a sense of togetherness:

Sports has a way of bonding people. For the players themselves, the connection is rather obvious: teammates have to work together in order to score and prevent the other team from doing so. Failure to function as a team often means loss. But the ability to connect people extends far beyond the stadium. Many friendships have been made (and strengthened) through a mutual respect of sports. Popular media often shows men gathering round a single television set, breaths bated for every single goal or point. In a very real sense, sports has the ability to draw people together and individuals often learn how to interact with other people in an easy and simple way.

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Respect and humility:
I mentioned before groups of men gathering around the same television. Well, that doesn’t mean we’re all rooting for the same team! Different fandoms can be a cause for arguments (especially between groups of avid fans) but mature adults learn how to respect other people’s passions and learn how to humbly accept defeat.

There are so many more life lessons one can learn from sports, but the two I’ve mentioned are the most apparent. I am interested in learning more ways sports influence people.

I am Christopher J. Keehner and I love sports. Learn more about the sporting life by following my Twitter account.

Teaching Children to Love Music
Jazz, I can’t live without it. At a time when dancing or listening to “inappropriate” music was not allowed, jazz stood out and became a unifying genre for those who wanted to express music in their own way. Jazz music traces its roots to varying musical elements of African American and European origins. Emerging from New Orleans, it has since branched into numerous sub- and fusion genres.

Oh, what I would give to have my grandchildren love jazz as much as I do! But if there is anything I learned about how jazz came to be, it’s that music is music. It should not have to matter what genre it is. When you force any music style into young children, and they do not become receptive to it, they would not be able to appreciate music at all. So how can we teach them to be appreciative of, and eventually, love music?

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Play music of any variety or style. And take note of how the children react to each genre or style. Do they bop their head along to the beat? Do they ignore the music? Find out what music gets their groove going.

Sing or dance along to the music. When children see that grownups can express their love for music through singing and dancing, they, too, can let go of their inhibitions.

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Encourage them to perform. Whether it is at home or a musical number in the school, allow children to perform and explore music in their own way. Boost their self-confidence and appreciate their musical talents.

It will never be too early to teach music to young ones or to encourage them to listen to it. By facilitating their exploration of the different musical styles and genres, they can come to appreciate and love it on their own terms. Who knows? Maybe you will eventually find out that you have the same taste? With my grandkids, I certainly hope so.

My name is Christopher J. Keehner and I am a grandfather who happens to love music and my grandkids very much. Learn more about my passion on Google+.

Forever, Baby? A Look at Jazz Music today
Many music critics have recently been discussing the future of jazz. The main topic of their analyses is whether jazz has any relevance in today’s society. One can always argue how jazz was born; its social implications to America when it began. There have been many online discussions on just how important jazz was. No one can deny that from the vibrant streets of New Orleans it rapidly spread across the nation, creating music and sounds no one heard before. Jazz was the grandfather of modern-day hip-hop and rap. It breathed life to rebellion, and being different and non-conformist was not only exciting but encouraged.

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And yet, dwelling on the past does nothing to augment its position in the future. What is done is done, and music critics are now observing the steady decline of jazz. The point of the matter is that jazz is perceived as antiquated. No one listens to jazz except people who were young at the time when it started. Or, expanding beyond that, people like me who have a rather strange fascination to eras that were.

I cannot speak for other adults, but I can truly say that jazz is not dead. I can’t deny that its popularity has waned in the last few decades. Even the younger adults I see dancing to jazz do so without any consideration just how special and essential the music was for society. Still, it makes my heart warm to see that there will always be a small percentage of people who are willing to give jazz a chance and slowly but surely fall in love with it, just as I have. And with that, I think that jazz can live on, even if just for a small but passionate community.

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My name is Christopher J. Keehner and I genuinely love jazz music. Explore this world with me on Facebook page.

Rhyme And Rhythm: The Importance Of Jazz Music
Many online resources will talk about the history of jazz music, but not a lot on the importance of the genre. To fully understand this, a basic knowledge of jazz's history must be discussed. Jazz music started during the late 19th century when most everyone was listening to linear, march-type sounds. What began as a fun blending of African beats with European rigidity resulted in a unique style of music. It quickly spread across the United States and became the means of uniting young people together. It was quite a shock to a conservative society; people from all races and demographics were seen dancing to the same type of music - a style that even encouraged men and women to touch hands and gyrate in ways that seemed inappropriate at the time. It didn’t help that the word jazz itself came from Creole word that means both African dance and copulation.

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As the subculture grew, live band appearances were becoming popular. This made the nightlife more fashionable and resulted in more young people frequenting nightclubs. Suddenly, going out was no longer a taboo, but a thing one must do. The recording industry also experienced a dramatic increase in jazz performers. Artists such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Paul Whiteman, and others were heard by people who did not or could not go into the city nightlife. Different musical genres were also born from jazz. Swing, for example, was a dance style that is heavily influenced by jazz syncopations.

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Most musical experts debate on the further influences of jazz but agree on the fact that it was this musical genre that encouraged freedom of expression and musical liberty.

My name is Christopher J. Keehner and I live, breathe, and love anything related to jazz. Learn more by following me on Facebook.

Jazz Festivals for the Musical Wanderer
Not a lot of people know this, but more than 75 countries host around 500 jazz festivals in a year. If you love traveling locally and internationally and are a big fan of jazz music, why not hit two birds with one stone and witness (at least) one of these renowned music festivals?

Montreal International Jazz Festival, Canada

This event is a Guinness World Record holder for the largest jazz festival in the world. The festival features 3,000 artists and millions of jazz lovers together in one location. During festival time, downtown Montreal transforms into a pedestrian-only zone, with shows in lush parks, jazz clubs, and state halls.

Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland

This festival is the world’s second largest jazz event. This two-week festival first started almost 50 years ago. Participating artists include traditional jazz acts and big-name musicians of different genres.

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, USA

Jazz Fest is a go-to event when in New Orleans. The festival celebrates local talents and cuisine. Save room for more food while you’re enjoying music when you drop by the Jazz Fest.

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Cape Town International Jazz Festival, South Africa

This relatively young festival first made waves in 2000. It is known as the largest festival in the African continent and is considered as Africa’s grandest gathering. It features local artists as well as international acts. This two-day event takes place yearly in late March or early April.

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Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Denmark
Copenhagen has been hosting this big jazz event since the 1960s. Roughly 260,000 jazz lovers from all over the world come together in Denmark every July. The event is child and senior-friendly, so you won’t have to worry about bringing kids and grandparents to listen to good music.

Finding a music festival to attend is not really difficult. Next time you’re on a vacation, why not enjoy a gathering with other jazz lovers from all over the world? Christopher J. Keehner here. Get updates about the latest jazz happenings when you follow me on Facebook.


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