(title was shamelessly stolen from a comment made by Redscout3 at youtube)
Note: my back is a bit more sore than normal. I have to stretch it really well; perhaps do some yoga and a light jog.
I slept in a bit and didn’t start walking until 8:30 am. I walked the lunch course plus two 3 mile Cornstalk out-and-backs. There was some traffic but not that much. The cicadas (perennial ones) were singing their hearts out.
Speaking of athletics: here is a biochemistry professor’s discussion of latic acid and endurance.
Note: I am watching Olympic boxing on television; I am shocked that the referees got a call right.
Well, the judges just made a questionable call…again in a Satoshi Shimizu fight. This time I thought that is opponent Mohamed Ouadahi (from Algeria) won…but the score was 17-15 and his opponent got a 2 point penalty. But then again, this was an opinion and not gross incompetence.
I just watched a good fight between BETERBIEV from Russia and Usyk of the Ukraine. Usyk won though I had Beterbiev winning on my card. Interestingly, Usyk nailed Beterbiev with a body shot that resulted in an 8 count (like a knockdown) but then….got a warning from the referee? The action in the ring was pretty good though.
The Perlata (Argentina) vs. Pulev (Bulgaria) match was good; somehow Pulev got the decision though Perlata nailed him with repeated bodyshots in the last round. I had Perlata winning…go figure.
Now we had ANOTHER crappy decision….
Another note: The boxing association overturned a verdict against American Errol Spence; his Indian opponent held him repeatedly and wasn’t called for it. Spence advances to the next round and has an excellent chance at a medal.
Magomed Abdulhamidov was knocked down SIX times by Satoshi Shimizu in the last round alone, but was never given a single count. He was only told to get up. After the fight, he had to be helped to the dressing area. Yet he was “given” the victory.
Fortunately the Japanese team filed a protest and the protest was correctly upheld; Shimizu should have been given a knock-out win after the third knock down.
Frankly, I think that the referee should have stopped the fight after the second knock-down, but what the heck.
See the above link for more photos.
There are more videos and stories here.
In other action, Joseph Diaz fought well against World Champion Lazaro Alvarez but lost a decision that I thought was too wide; the judges gave Alvarez a 4 point win in round 2 that I just didn’t see. I can see Alvarez getting the decision, but this was a grueling, competitive fight.
There were a couple of other questionable decisions:
Iran’s Ali Mazaheri cried foul when the heavyweight was disqualified after being warned three times for persistent holding against Cuban Jose Larduet Gomez despite leading by two points going into the second round.
I really didn’t see much that warranted Mazaheri getting DQ’ed.
Then: superheavyweight Joshua Anthony was given a decision against Cuban Erislandy Savon that I didn’t quite understand. Anthony was head by 2 points going into the final round which Savon won by one point; on my card Savon won the last 2 rounds by 3-4 punches each.
Also in the super heavyweights, Zhang Zhilei of China knocked out Johan Linde of Australia with a huge right hook to the head. Zhilei can hit.
Workout notes: walked to the gym; ran 2 miles on the treadmill (21 minutes), then ran 2 more on the track: 16:18 (8:24, 7:53) Ok, the second mile was 1 second slower than last week, though the overall time was 10 seconds faster. (this equates to about a 26:08 5K, but I did this run solo). I then walked .5 miles and ran 2.5 more (10:30 pace)
Then I went outside to walk 3 more miles to get to 10 total.
I am enjoying the Olympic boxing matches.
However, these are scored differently from the professional matches that I currently watch and used to watch.
In a recent light heavyweight boxing match, US boxer Marcus Browne had a lead going into the final round, but was overcome in the last round to lose 13-11 to Australian Damien Hooper.
The Olympic matches are NOT scored on a round by round basis. Basically, when the five judges think that a scoring blow has been landed, they click a button for the boxer. Then at the end of the round, the “3 similar” scores are tabulated and averaged and that is the score at the end of the round. If no 3 scores are “similar”, then the high and low scores are discarded and the middle 3 are averaged and rounded.
In other words, individual punches are what are scored.
On the other hand, the professional matches are currently scored on a “10 point must” system; that is, the winner of a round gets 10 points and the loser gets 9 or fewer (ties are allowed). Typically, 3 judges score the fight round by round in this manner and typically, if there is a knockdown (or standing 8 count), the judges will score the round 10-8. Or, if one boxer is unusually dominant in a round (say, has the other boxer in serious trouble), then the round might be scored 10-8.
So which system is “more fair”?
We’ll lets see. Suppose we have a professional system and the blue boxer barely wins the first two rounds, only to see the red boxer dominate in round 3..but fail to score a knock down. Then under professional rules, the blue boxer wins 29-28; the extra dominance of the red boxer in the third round could not overcome the first two rounds.
On the other hand, in the Olympic system, the blue boxer won the first 2 rounds by, say, 3-2 each and therefore had a 6-4 lead going into round 3. But then the red boxer dominates and wins the last round 4-1; that gives the red boxer a well deserved 8-7 win.
On the other hand: Suppose red and blue are tied going into the final round. Then during the round, the blue boxer lands 4 decent but unspectacular jabs. The red boxer lands, say, 2 jabs but then lands a crushing hook which drops the blue boxer but doesn’t knock him out.
Under Olympic rules, the blue boxer wins the last round 4-3 and wins the fight. But under professional rules, the red boxer wins the round 10-8, which means a 29-27 victory (assuming it was 19-19 going into the 3′rd round). The professional outcome is clearly more fair in this case.
So which system is better, or is there a perfect system?
The answer is….neither is better than there is no perfect system!
The statement about there being no “perfect system” is not a “common sense” observation but a consequence of what is known as Arrow’s Theorem in mathematics. Arrow’s Theorem says, informally, that in situations are aren’t a simple “head to head” one time contest (say, runner A runs against runner B and we see who wins) there is no perfect way to obtain a “fairest” ranking from a ballot that allows for 3 or more choices.
How does this apply to boxing? Well, in boxing you are really trying to add up results on a ballot that includes rounds of varying degree of dominance or punches of a varying degree of effect; hence here, the ballots really consist of ordered pairs (c, d) where c is the color and “d” is the degree of dominance of either the round, or the punch.
Nothing yet on the workout front; lifting and swimming is what I have planned later in the day.
This is the Steamboat 15K finisher’s medal: basically it is a metal “frame” into which you can put your computer chip (the chip that is used to time your race). I’ve never seen that before.
It does seem silly to have a finisher’s medal for such a short distance, but somehow…given the heat, the hills and the fact that people usually run this race HARD…well, I like it.
My season wrap up I was happy with my two walking half marathons and with most of my 5K runs (all of them, really) and happy that I made progress on the bench press and pull ups. I am happy that my knees feel great and that my shoulder feels great; my only “aches and pains” comes from my piriformis…at times.
I was unhappy with my walking marathon (hot day) and my 15K “run” (hot day).
The former: I pushed too hard for my conditioning and the conditions. The latter: I pushed too hard for my conditioning and the conditions.
My times in 2005 and 2009 fooled me. I figured “gee, in 2005 and 2009 I had done a 100 miler and a good marathon in the months prior to the race, hence I was tired going in.” That was true. What I forgot is that I was IN SHAPE to finish a 100 and a good marathon going into the 15K; that certainly wasn’t the case this time! Duh. I should have aimed lower.
My issues: though I work out a good deal, I have not done enough “specific” training to get near my physical potential in any activity. But this scheme has kept me out of the doctor’s office and has allowed me to “participate” in these events.
My plans for the second half of 2012
More of the same, though I’ll up my long walk back to 17 miles for the summer, bumping it up to 20 by September.
I’ll gradually increase my long run to 14 miles (it is now 10 miles) and do two other 6 milers.
Lifting and swimming: keep it the same.
Performance goals: 5:30 for the marathon walk, 24:00 for the 5K run, 2:00 for the half marathon run (if it is a cool day), 210 pounds for the bench press.
I envy professional athletes but I don’t envy the stuff that they have to go through.
First of all, I am NOT talking about myself (obviously). I am not even talking about “serious amateurs” (those who aren’t, say, Olympic trials caliber but still are, say, nationally competitive at the masters level….though a friend of mine suffered a temporary setback.
I am talking about someone who earns their living at their sport; someone who has competed for a world title and who still seeks one and has a bona fide shot at one.
Though I’ve been a fan of sports most of my life and have had a few conversations with professional athletes on the internet, recently I started to follow a heavyweight boxer: “Fast” Eddie Chambers. His record: 36-3; all losses were to people who hold or have held a genuine world title. He has gotten knocked out once; this came at the fists of Wladimir Klitchko and that was with 5 seconds to go in the fight.
This is a promotional poster.
This is a more human side; he is drinking a protein shake after a workout.
After losing to Klitshko, he had one fight (won) and then he had to back out of two other fights due to injuries that he got in training. So, he recovered, got a big fight with Tomasz Adamek a former Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight champion, and a holder of a 45-2 record with one loss coming to Vitali Klitchko.
This was a huge fight for both men; Eddie agreed to fight it at the Prudential Center in New Jersey, which is Adamek’s “home arena”.
Eddie’s training went well; he came in lighter than ever. But a few weeks prior to the fight, a dear friend of his and mentor died unexpectedly.
Then during the fight, after an excellent first round…he tore a muscle in his left arm, making him fight the rest of the right with only one arm to use for offense.
Yes, we all get setbacks. BUT, where as my setbacks (say a knee surgery here, a rotator cuff problem there) really only hurt my “hobby”; we are talking about Eddie’s full time livelihood. Future fights (pay days) and opportunities to be champion were on the line here….and for a professional athlete the clock is always ticking. There are no age group professional fighting divisions.
The fight: well, Eddie fought on bravely and, IN MY OPINION, (ok, that is highly non-objective) and IN THE OPINION of the NBC announcer, did enough to win the fight. I called it 116-112 (8 rounds to 4); the NBC guy called it 115-113 (7 rounds to 5).
Tomasz won on the official scorecards (the only ones that count): 116-112, 116-112, and 119-111 (?).
What happened: Adamek threw far more punches, but most of these landed on Eddie’s gloves. Eddie connected with more punches and landed more solid shots when he did, and I went by “who hit who more” instead of “who threw more”. At the end, Adamek had a nose bleed.
Nevertheless, while Eddie had to take his shot, he had to put up with:
1. Being the visitor in a partisan atmosphere. He had to really dominate a round to get credit for it.
2. Go though the death of his friend and mentor and
3. Adjust to fighting with one arm…it just sucks to be all prepared and have an untimely injury.
I know that I’ve often envied professional athletes…all the glory, fame, and adoration. But I often don’t think about THIS side of it; the professionals have all (if not more) of the problems that we amateurs have, but their stakes are far higher.
My university isn’t going to fire me over a bad race.
Prior to Eddie’s shot at Wladimir
It didn’t end well (from my point of view)
Highlights from Wladimir’s point of view:
A fight fan’s reaction to the Thomasz Adamek fight
Argue with me all you like. But here are my top seeds: Muhammad Ali, Joe Lewis, Rocky Marciano, Larry Holmes. My second seeds: Jack Johnson, Mike Tyson, Joe Frazier, Lennox Lewis. From that you can deduce the rest of the seeds.
Note: one of my first round match-ups DID take place in real life, and one could have (and did at the amateur level: the Olympics).
So, who wins in the first round? Who advances to the final 4?
All in good fun…
I started my vacation last night by watching a thrilling basketball game between the Celtics and the Hawks. The Hawks trailed but didn’t go away; they even took a lead with 3 minutes to go and still held it with under one minute to go. But Paul Pierce made a huge defensive play (block) and the Hawks missed one of two free throws; Pierce made both of his. So the Celtics won 83-80 to take the series 4-2 and to take on the number 8 seed 76′ers who eliminated an injury depleted Bulls team.
Wladimir Klitichko is trying to convince his fans that his upcoming bout against Tony Thompson will be competitive.
This is what happened last time:
And now Thompson is over 40 and Wladimir has gotten even better. Sorry; I’ll be surprised if this goes past the middle rounds.
I respect Thompson for trying; it takes guts to get in the ring with that beast!
Mathematics and Profiling
One of the oldest unsolved problems in mathematics is also among the easiest to grasp. The weak Goldbach conjecture says that you can break up any odd number into the sum of, at most, three prime numbers (numbers that cannot be evenly divided by any other number except themselves or 1). For example:
35 = 19 + 13 + 3
77 = 53 + 13 + 11
Mathematician Terence Tao of the University of California, Los Angeles, has now inched toward a proof. He has shown that one can write odd numbers as sums of, at most, five primes—and he is hopeful about getting that down to three. Besides the sheer thrill of cracking a nut that has eluded some of the best minds in mathematics for nearly three centuries, Tao says, reaching that coveted goal might lead mathematicians to ideas useful in real life—for example, for encrypting sensitive data.
The weak Goldbach conjecture was proposed by 18th-century mathematician Christian Goldbach. It is the sibling of a statement concerning even numbers, named the strong Goldbach conjecture but actually made by his colleague, mathematician Leonhard Euler. The strong version says that every even number larger than 2 is the sum of two primes. As its name implies, the weak version would follow if the strong were true: to write an odd number as a sum of three primes, it would be sufficient to subtract 3 from it and apply the strong version to the resulting even number.
Note: Tao is a Fields Medalist and perhaps one of the smartest human beings on this planet.
Here is what is wrong with it:
1. There are so few terrorists that profiling will almost never produce a true positive; you effectively gain no information from doing it.
2. Actual terrorists often don’t fit the profile.
3. The actual terrorists can “counter” the profiling tactic (e. g., deliberately picking those who don’t fit the profile)
4. This tactic builds resentment.
Bruce Schneier concludes:
The proper reaction to screening horror stories isn’t to subject only “those people” to it; it’s to subject no one to it. (Can anyone even explain what hypothetical terrorist plot could successfully evade normal security, but would be discovered during secondary screening?) Invasive TSA screening is nothing more than security theater. It doesn’t make us safer, and it’s not worth the cost. Even more strongly, security isn’t our society’s only value. Do we really want the full power of government to act out our stereotypes and prejudices? Have we Americans ever done something like this and not been ashamed later? This is what we have a Constitution for: to help us live up to our values and not down to our fears.
By the way, kudos to Sam Harris for publishing an expert who completely disagrees with him.
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