Workout notes Weights plus a 2.17 mile run on the treadmill (20 minutes; 9:13 pace): 10:09, 8:28 then a little bit more. I kept the incline at 0.5.
Weights: pull ups (5 sets of 10), hip hikes, Achilles, rotator cuff, bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 7 x 170
ab series (3 sets of 10: crunch, v. crunch, twist, sit back), dumbbell military (3 sets of 12 x 50), dumbbell bench (2 sets of 10 x 65), dumbbell row (3 sets of 10 x 65), pull down (3 sets of 10 x 160), curl (3 sets of 10: 60, 60, 65; EZ curl bar).
It sure doesn’t seem like much.
A bit of math
Ok, a mathematician who is known to be brilliant self-publishes (on the internet) a dense, 512 page proof of a famous conjecture. So what happens?
The Internet exploded. Within days, even the mainstream media had picked up on the story. “World’s Most Complex Mathematical Theory Cracked,” announced the Telegraph. “Possible Breakthrough in ABC Conjecture,” reported the New York Times, more demurely.
On MathOverflow, an online math forum, mathematicians around the world began to debate and discuss Mochizuki’s claim. The question which quickly bubbled to the top of the forum, encouraged by the community’s “upvotes,” was simple: “Can someone briefly explain the philosophy behind his work and comment on why it might be expected to shed light on questions like the ABC conjecture?” asked Andy Putman, assistant professor at Rice University. Or, in plainer words: I don’t get it. Does anyone?
The problem, as many mathematicians were discovering when they flocked to Mochizuki’s website, was that the proof was impossible to read. The first paper, entitled “Inter-universal Teichmuller Theory I: Construction of Hodge Theaters,” starts out by stating that the goal is “to establish an arithmetic version of Teichmuller theory for number fields equipped with an elliptic curve…by applying the theory of semi-graphs of anabelioids, Frobenioids, the etale theta function, and log-shells.”
This is not just gibberish to the average layman. It was gibberish to the math community as well.
Here is the deal: reading a mid level mathematics research paper is hard work. Refereeing it is even harder work (really checking the proofs) and it is hard work that is not really going to result in anything positive for the person doing the work.
Of course, if you referee for a journal, you do your best because you want YOUR papers to get good refereeing. You want them fairly evaluated and if there is a mistake in your work, it is much better for the referee to catch it than to look like an idiot in front of your community.
But this work was not submitted to a journal. Interesting, no?
Of course, were I to do this, it would be ok to dismiss me as a crank since I haven’t given the mathematical community any reason to grant me the benefit of the doubt.
And speaking of idiots; I made a rather foolish remark in the comments section of this article by Edward Frenkel in Scientific American. The article itself is fine: it is about the Abel prize and the work by Pierre Deligne which won this prize. The work deals with what one might call the geometry of number theory. The idea: if one wants to look for solutions to an equation, say, one gets different associated geometric objects which depend on “what kind of numbers” we allow for . For example, if are integers, we get a 4 point set. If are real numbers, we get a circle in the plane. Then Frenkel remarked:
such as x2 + y2 = 1, we can look for its solutions in different domains: in the familiar numerical systems, such as real or complex numbers, or in less familiar ones, like natural numbers modulo N. For example, solutions of the above equation in real numbers form a circle, but solutions in complex numbers form a sphere.
The comment that I bolded didn’t make sense to me; I did a quick look up and reviewed that actually forms a 3-sphere which lives in . Note: I added in the “absolute value” signs which were not there in the article.
This is easy to see: if then implies that . But that isn’t what was in the article.
Frenkel made a patient, kind response …and as soon as I read “equate real and imaginary parts” I winced with self-embarrassment.
Of course, he admits that the complex version of this equation really yields a PUNCTURED sphere; basically a copy of in .
Just for fun, let’s look at this beast.
Real part of the equation:
Imaginary part: (for you experts: this is a real algebraic variety in 4-space).
Now let’s look at the intersection of this surface in 4 space with some coordinate planes:
Clearly this surface misses the plane (look at the real part of the equation).
Intersection with the plane yields which is just the unit circle.
Intersection with the plane yields the hyperbola
Intersection with the plane yields the hyperbola
Intersection with the plane yields two isolated points:
Intersection with the plane yields two isolated points:
(so we know that this object is non-compact; this is one reason the “sphere” remark puzzled me)
Science and the media
This Guardian article points out that it is hard to do good science reporting that goes beyond information entertainment. Of course, one of the reasons is that many “groundbreaking” science findings turn out to be false, even if the scientists in question did their work carefully. If this sounds strange, consider the following “thought experiment”: suppose that there are, say, 1000 factors that one can study and only 1 of them is relevant to the issue at hand (say, one place on the genome might indicate a genuine risk factor for a given disease, and it makes sense to study 1000 different places). So you take one at random, run a statistical test at and find statistical significance at . So, if we get a “positive” result from an experiment, what is the chance that it is a true positive? (assume 95 percent accuracy)
So let P represent a positive outcome of a test, N a negative outcome, T means that this is a genuine factor, and F that it isn’t.
Note: P(T) = .001, P(F) = .999, . It follows
So we seek: the probability that a result is true given that a positive test occurred: we seek . That is, given a test is 95 percent accurate, if one is testing for something very rare, there is only about a 2 percent chance that a positive test is from a true factor, even if the test is done correctly!
Weather and more tornadoes
It isn’t a coincidence that the tornadoes hit after we had some warm spring weather: up to know, we’ve had an unusual cool spring thanks to the jet stream dipping down lower than normal. A side effect was a lighter than normal tornado season. Unfortunately that didn’t last:
Mind: soldiers and brain trauma.
It is no secret that soldiers can suffer a brain injury which doesn’t obviously show. But here is the rub: what if a soldier had a reputation for being a malcontent prior to the brain injury and then gets one. Then:
What happened when he came home is increasingly typical, too. At Fort Carson, the damaged soldier racked up punishments for being late to formation, missing appointments, getting in an argument and not showing up for work. These behaviors can be symptoms of TBI and PTSD, and Army doctors recommended Alvaro go to a special battalion for wounded warriors. Instead, his battalion put him in jail, then threw him out of the Army with an other-than honorable discharge that stripped him of veterans benefits. He was sent packing without even the medicine to stop his convulsions.
“It was like my best friend betrayed me,” Alvaro said at the hospital, his speech as slow as cold oil. “I had given the Army everything, and they took everything away.”
But, what if at least some of this behavior was present PRIOR to the brain injury?
“It’s hard to figure out,” said Maj. Gen. Anderson, who was the final authority for discharging soldiers at Fort Carson. “You are asking young captains, 30-year-old guys, platoon leaders, 25 years old, to decide if this guy is sick or this guy is not sick when the doctors don’t know for sure.”
The uncertainty sets up clashes. The Gazette has uncovered several cases at Fort Carson where doctors and commanders were in direct conflict. Doctors sent one soldier who pointed a gun at the soldiers in his squad to a psychiatric hospital, and commanders pulled him out and put him in jail. Doctors said another soldier who tested positive for marijuana could not be kicked out because he had a brain injury. Commanders discharged him anyway. Another soldier tried to commit suicide by crashing his car into a light pole. Doctors said he had PTSD and depression; commanders discharged him for damaging property.
Several doctors contacted at Fort Carson refused to comment.
It really isn’t easy and clear-cut, is it?
Yes, some females of some frog species choose the males that either croak the loudest or that have the right “pitch” of croak.
This type of poison dart frog: well, she just choses the closest male.
Workout notes Cool, overcast; did 2.06 miles in 20:50 (11:03 out, 9:47 back). I quit right at the point where I started to feel good. That is enough for today.
I’ll update this when more photos come in.
At the finish line! My time sucked, but I was VERY happy to see the finish.
Note: if you ran this marathon, there are a ton of photos here.
1. At one of the later aid stations (mile 16? 18?) one of the aid station workers addressed me in Spanish. I replied back in (my approximation of) Spanish. I LOOK Mexican and I self-identify that way, as did my parents. But, at the gene level, I am European (probably Spanish?) (here and here) Evidently I do have some aleles for olive skin though. I suppose that “race”, while not meaningless, really is only “skin deep”.
2. When I get hot and tired, stupid ideas make sense to me. When I noticed the lack of mile markers (at least until mile 20), I thought “that SOB race director; he just thinks that everyone has Garmins…..in fact this is probably a conspiracy to get everyone to buy Garmins!” In fact, there was a foul up that was fixed by the time I got to mile 20. And no, his store doesn’t even sell Garmins.
The truth: early on, the lack of mile markers probably kept me from getting discouraged, and their being available late helped me be able to finish; I’ll explain later in this post.
3. Best zinger directed at me: Don (one of my friends) ran a 22:57 5K. Dr. Andy said “Don, your 5K time was about Ollie’s “per mile” marathon pace”! Ouch!
4. I had some interesting conversations afterward. I met Cassie Fox Zell and her husband after the race; she seemed happy that she beat me and beat me badly (7 minutes); she passed me at about mile 22 or 23.
I’ll just have to do better next time!
Actually, it was a fun conversation; very positive. It was her first marathon…and it was a tough one for the first one.
5. Rich Breaux (shown with his wife Anna, who is an excellent endurance athlete) passed me at about the same time. He said “the best laid plans of Mice and Men” as he passed me…
Getting beat by Rich is nothing new for me.
6. Terry Whitehead beat me by about 90 minutes. The day prior to the race, I had joked that I wanted a shaded, air conditioned bubble to run in. He responded “man up, and quit being such a pussy” (tongue in cheek). His comment got deleted before I could see it, but he saw me before the race and relayed it to me.
7. My department chair ran a fine 2:24 for the 25K, placing 135 out of 425. Not bad for an old man. We rode to the start together.
8. Ironwoman Ann Schmitt ran with Theresa Schultz (multiple marathon finisher); they enjoyed the 25K. They are two of my favorite running friends.
As the results are corrected: I am now 306 out of 331. Note the slow median time (4:40). The day was tough.
What I learned
1. Now that I am firmly in the “second guessing mode” I wonder if I shouldn’t have made more of an effort from mile 18 onward, at which point I started to “just walk” at a 16 minute pace, save one short downhill. But I have to remember how I felt at mile 13 (roughly; I was 2:20 into it). I told a friend that I would need another 3 hours to finish; I was heating up and just on the verge of not being able to digest fluids. So, playing it very safe and going just fast enough to beat the cut-off was the right thing to do. Had I pushed it and gotten away with it, I still would have had, at best, a 5:20-5:30′ish time. More likely I would have gotten past that point and been unable to finish. Besides, I have to remember how badly I felt when I stopped; I sat down and laid down for about 30 minutes.
2. I’d love to return to walking marathons, and will if my piriformis problem becomes manageable. But even after returning to walking, I’ll still need to include runs of 10-14 miles in my preparation. Reason: I would not have been able to finish this marathon under 6 hours by “only walking”; I would have had to have mixed some jogging in, especially early. So I need to have some jogging to be able to bring in when necessary.
3. I feel the effects of age. Back in 2003, I walked the Park City Marathon (warm, altitude of 6000-7000 feet) in 5:18. I felt sick at the finish. I slept for an hour or two afterward…and then…that afternoon, went rock climbing. That was 10 years ago. I can’t do that now.
I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll never be in shape again.
I need to fix my posture. As to the softness of my body (lack of muscularity): I don’t know what else to do. I’m coming to grips with the fact that I’ll never be in shape again. I can still have fun at events though.
1980: 1:38/1:55 for 3:33 + 17
1981: 1:40/2:08 for 3:48 + 28
1983: ???????? for 4:24
1998: 1:50/2:05 for 3:55 + 15
1998: 1:46/2:00 for 3:46 + 14
1999: 1:40/2:05 for 3:45 + 25
2000: 1:50/2:38 for 4:28 + 48
2000: 1:46/1:52 for 3:38 + 6
2001: 1:47/1:53 for 3:40 + 6
2002: 1:50/2:07 for 3:57 + 17
2002: 1:59/2:05 for 4:04 + 6
2013: 2:26/3:19 for 5:45 + 53
2002 2:21/2:23 for 4:44 + 2
2003 2:33/2:44 for 5:17 + 11
2004 2:30/2:43 for 5:13 + 13
2005 2:37/2:48 for 5:25 + 11
2005 2:35/2:59 for 5:34 + 24
2008 2:45/3:31 for 6:16 + 46
2009 2:35/2:39 for 5:14 + 4
2009 2:35/2:54 for 5:28 + 19
2012 2:46/4:12 for 6:58 + 1:26 (86 minutes)
Individuals who learn two languages at an early age seem to switch back and forth between separate “sound systems” for each language, according to new research conducted at the University of Arizona.
The research, to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, addresses enduring questions in bilingual studies about how bilingual speakers hear and process sound in two different languages.
“A lot of research has shown that bilinguals are pretty good at accommodating speech variation across languages, but there’s been a debate as to how,” said lead author Kalim Gonzales, a psychology doctoral student at the University of Arizona. “There are two views: One is that bilinguals have different processing modes for their two languages — they have a mode for processing speech in one language and then a mode for processing speech in the other language. Another view is that bilinguals just adjust to speech variation by recalibrating to the unique acoustic properties of each language.”
Gonzales’s research supports the first view — that bilinguals who learn two languages early in life learn two separate processing modes, or “sound systems.”
How this experiment was done is fascinating:
For the study, the bilingual participants were divided into two groups. One group was told they would be hearing rare words in Spanish, while the other was told they would be hearing rare words in English. Both groups heard audio recordings of variations of the same two words — bafri and pafri — which are not real words in either language.
Participants were then asked to identify whether the words they heard began with a ‘ba’ or a ‘pa’ sound.
Each group heard the same series of words, but for the group told they were hearing Spanish, the ends of the words were pronounced slightly differently, with the ‘r’ getting a Spanish pronunciation.
The findings: Participants perceived ‘ba’ and ‘pa’ sounds differently depending on whether they were told they were hearing Spanish words, with the Spanish pronunciation of ‘r,’ or whether they were told they were hearing English words, with the English pronunciation of ‘r.’
“What this showed is that when you put people in English mode, they actually would act like English speakers, and then if you put them in Spanish mode, they would switch to acting like Spanish speakers,” Lotto said. “These bilinguals, hearing the exact same ‘ba’s and ‘pa’s would label them differently depending on the context.”
When the study was repeated with 32 English monolinguals, participants did not show the same shift in perception; they labeled ‘ba’ and ‘pa’ sounds the same way regardless of which language they were told they were hearing. It was that lack of an effect for monolinguals that provided the strongest evidence for two sound systems in bilinguals.
“If enough people were praying, he would intervine…”
Before you say “shut up and do something to help”: I did. It wasn’t Mitt Romney money; it was on the order of a football game ticket (college) or a race fee. I am too tired to race anyway.
First, some science: studying salamanders is helping us learn more about potential limb and organ regeneration:
Salamanders’ immune systems are key to their remarkable ability to regrow limbs, and could also underpin their ability to regenerate spinal cords, brain tissue and even parts of their hearts, scientists have found.
In research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences researchers from the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) at Monash University found that when immune cells known as macrophages were systemically removed, salamanders lost their ability to regenerate a limb and instead formed scar tissue.
Lead researcher, Dr James Godwin, a Fellow in the laboratory of ARMI Director Professor Nadia Rosenthal, said the findings brought researchers a step closer to understanding what conditions were needed for regeneration.
“Previously, we thought that macrophages were negative for regeneration, and this research shows that that’s not the case – if the macrophages are not present in the early phases of healing, regeneration does not occur,” Dr Godwin said.
“Now, we need to find out exactly how these macrophages are contributing to regeneration. Down the road, this could lead to therapies that tweak the human immune system down a more regenerative pathway.”
Salamanders deal with injury in a remarkable way. The end result is the complete functional restoration of any tissue, on any part of the body including organs. The regenerated tissue is scar free and almost perfectly replicates the injury site before damage occurred.
Truly awesome, no?
Now as far as this disaster in Oklahoma:
It sort of looks like a World War II carpet bombing.
Will climate change make tornadoes worse? More frequent?
“The short answer is, we have no idea,” Michael Wehner, a climate researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, told NBC News. For years, Wehner has been studying the climate models for extreme weather, and he’s a lead author for the next report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as the federal government’s latest national assessment on climate change.
One problem is that the observational record for tornadoes has not been uniform over time. “It has a bias to it, because more people are living where tornadoes occur, and more people are out looking for them,” Wehner said. That contributes to the perception that tornadoes are happening more frequently than they used to.
The other big problem is that current climate models don’t have the resolution that’s needed to simulate the localized, violent activity of a tornado. Currently, global models are built up from atmospheric interactions on a scale of 100 kilometers (62 miles). Improvements in computer power could soon bring that down to a scale of 25 kilometers (16 miles). That should make it possible for scientists to simulate the weather phenomena that give rise to tornadoes, but not the tornadoes themselves, Wehner said.
On a larger scale, extreme weather events are expected to become more frequent in a warmer world, Wehner said. “The metric that I like to look at is the daily amount of rain for a storm that happens once every 20 years,” he said. “That storm, in a much warmer world, would happen more frequently.” For example, if the world follows a “business-as-usual” scenario, he projects that the average temperature would rise 11 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius) by the end of the century, and that a once-in-20-years rainstorm would come around every five to 10 years on average.
That doesn’t necessarily mean tornadoes would be more frequent, however. In fact, the current projection calls for wetter spring weather in the northern U.S., and drier weather in the Southwest — with Tornado Alley right in the middle. “There’s some evidence that there might not be a change” in the character of a tornado season, Wehner observed.
I think that it is important to say what we have a good feel for and to admit what we don’t. As far as water born storms (hurricanes): yes, more heat in the oceans means more available energy. But the mechanisms for tornados are different.
There is much more in the article I quoted including a discussion about “tornado alley”: this, believe it or not, is not the worst place in the nation for tornado damage.
Here, you have people who really believe that some deity actually controls events on the earth. (I still don’t understand that one, especially in this day and age). This event blew away houses, killed in injured many and terrified even more.
Now they are praising this deity for saving a soggy Bible page?????? Really???? Seriously????
My initial reaction is: What a bunch xxxxx!!!!!!! What is wrong with these people???!!!!
But that would be unfair, and probably inaccurate. Statistically speaking, I am sure that many people who think this way have skills and abilities that I don’t have (being good with construction or carpentry, can run a business, can farm, etc.).
What this shows, IMHO, is the power of superstition to brainwash people and to make otherwise competent human beings say dumb and illogical things and to corrupt their thinking.
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