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  • Bill Chastain

Long Arm Saves a Dolphin

When the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Finals for the 2014-2015 season, they had not won the whole thing since 1974-1975.

Yes, I’m old enough to remember well that team and those finals.

The Warriors swept the Washington Bullets in four games. Included on their roster was a 6-foot-9 center, Clifford Ray, who dominated on defense and occasionally chipped in with a thunder dunk. He had the wing span of a condor.

I bring up Ray because a story came to mind after recently hearing his name.

Flash back to 1978 at Marine World in in Redwood City, California.

A dolphin named Dr. Spock had swallowed a large metal bolt. Veterinarians frantically tried to think up ways they could reach deep into the dolphin’s digestive system to remove the bolt. Their eureka moment came when they remembered that the hometown team had someone with incredibly long arms.

They made a call.

More than willing to help, Ray arrived, got his arm lubed up, then he reached deep into Dr. Spock’s second stomach (FYI, dolphins have two stomachs) and removed the bolt. One of the concerns for the procedure had been that the dolphin, who wasn’t sedated, would bite Ray. Instead, Ray noted that Dr. Spock had been cool, like he knew he was getting help.

Ray, who played 10 seasons in the NBA, called the episode one of the highlights of his life, noting, “I tell people all the time that that was my 15 minutes of fame.”

For those who were upset when Pluto got demoted to “dwarf planet” status, a group of NASA scientists has proposed a new definition of what exactly a planet is. According to the scuttlebutt, Pluto could very well earn back its planet card.

After news broke that planners of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics had decided to craft the medals for those games from recycled cellphones, NBC’s Jimmy Fallon had this to say: “Well, they’re going to make the Olympic torch out of a Samsung Galaxy.”

Perhaps Kyrie Irving wasn’t the most diligent student at Duke after all. Or maybe he’s smarter than all of us.  You decide.

Over the weekend at the NBA All-Star game, the Cleveland Cavaliers guard suggested that the Earth is flat.

Duke physics professor Mark Kruse fired back by telling USA Today: “In some things, it’s good that he’s questioning established theories, but this is one that is somewhat undeniable, so he probably shouldn’t go there.”

I’d hate to think that Columbus did all that work for naught.

Speaking of the NBA All-Star game. I clicked on the game briefly Sunday night and watched enough to not be surprised by the final score: West 192 East 182. The defensive showcase reminded me of lunchtime game at an LA Fitness–Shirts beat the Skins.

Finally, to anybody who reads books via Kindle, you might want to subscribe to Once you’re enlisted, they’ll send you daily selections that you can buy for 99 cents to $1.99. One of the nice aspects of having these selections is they offer classics–I recently read Ordinary People, along with other titles I had no idea existed. I particularly enjoyed The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, a book I would not have known about without

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