blueollie

Pretty photos…

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(from: Yeah, She Squats on Facebook)

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This is a small version; click on the image to see the full size version on Wild Celtic Rose’s Flicker page. It really is “wallpaper quality”. She is a good photographer.

September 25, 2013 Posted by | photos | 1 Comment

Coolness: space and photos

100 very cool photos. Yes, these are really, really good. Here are two to lure you to the site socialphy which has these photos:

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(by: Mike Jones (mrjones131 on Flickr))

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(by: NASA)

Hat tip: Jerry Coyne.

10 cool facts about space: just surf and enjoy. :-)

August 18, 2013 Posted by | astronomy, photos, physics, science, space | Leave a comment

Cubs vs. Cardinals

StLouis 130

I am the one with the beard.

August 12, 2013 Posted by | photos, travel | | Leave a comment

Genetic variation, plagues, medicine, GMO; QM and light freezing

This frog is going to lose its Frog Card. :-)

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How much human variation is there? Check this out:

Melissa Wilson Sayres blogs at mathbionerd and Panda’s Thumb. A recent post on Panda’s Thumb address a tweet from Daniel Wegmann where he said “Every non-lethal genome position is variable in the human population.”

She asks “Is this true?” and proceeds to show that it is [How many mutations?]. She assumes that the human mutation rate is 1.2 × 10-8 per sit per generation. Multiply this by 7.16 billion people on the planet and you get an average of 86 mutations at every single base pair in the human genome.1

Many of these mutations will be deleterious and they will be quickly eliminated from the population if they are lethal or cause severe problems. Some moderately and slightly deleterious mutations will be present in the population because they haven’t yet been eliminated by negative selection. (Some will have no effect if they are present in only one copy of your diploid genome.)

To a first approximation, the statement is pretty accurate.

Surf to read the discussion. Basically, for every gene that does something, there are a LOT of alleles, at least world wide.

Doctors
Patients being happy with their doctor’s visits often don’t correspond to the best medical outcomes.

I’ve seen this in my life. I’ve had some of the best outcomes when doctors told me: “we need to treat the symptom; the cause will take care of itself” or “testing you for this will yield no useful information” and “you don’t need antibiotics; you just need to rest and drink lots of water”. In the later case I thought the doctor was a quack, but when I did what she told me to do, I got well!

GMO: the reflexive cry of FRANKENFOODS is pretty dumb.

Bubonic plague: it is still with us (in mutated form?); some squirrels have it.

Freezing light by taking advantage of quantum mechanics
You can read about it here; basically one group of scientists used a laser to make a crystal transparent at a narrow frequency of light, shot a beam of light through it and used another beam to shut off the “make it transparent” laser to “freeze” the light. When they transparency was turned back on, the signal was still there.

July 26, 2013 Posted by | evolution, frogs, nature, photos, physics, science | , , , | Leave a comment

Saturn, Earth, Light and Facebook

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Yes, that pale blue dot is the earth as viewed from beyond Saturn. Do you still think that your deity will directly help you find a parking spot or cure your gout? ;-)

Mind you, “same solar system” is “practically on top of one another” by a galactic distance scale and “in the same molecule” by universe distance scales.

Faster than speed of light travel?
That is impossible by relativity theory, if you mean traversing from point A to point B and beating a beam of light. However if space-time could be warped somehow….then maybe?

Facebook and other social media
This Slate article interested me:

t’s a truism that Facebook is the many-headed frenemy, the great underminer. We know this because science tells us so. The Human–Computer Institute at Carnegie Mellon has found that your “passive consumption” of your friends’ feeds and your own “broadcasts to wider audiences” on Facebook correlate with feelings of loneliness and even depression. Earlier this year, two German universities showed that “passive following” on Facebook triggers states of envy and resentment in many users, with vacation photos standing out as a prime trigger. Yet another study, this one of 425 undergrads in Utah, carried the self-explanatory title “ ‘They Are Happier and Having Better Lives Than I Am’: The Impact of Using Facebook on Perceptions of Others’ Lives.” Even the positive effects of Facebook can be double-edged: Viewing your profile can increase your self-esteem, but it also lowers your ability to ace a serial subtraction task.
All of these studies are careful to point out that it’s not Facebook per se that inspires states of disconnection, jealousy, and poor mathematical performance—rather, it’s specific uses of Facebook. If you primarily use Facebook to share interesting news articles with colleagues, exchange messages with new acquaintances, and play Candy Crush Saga, chances are the green-eyed monster won’t ask to friend you. But if the hours you log on Facebook are largely about creeping through other people’s posts—especially their photos, and especially-especially their vacation snaps—with an occasional pause to update your own status and slap on a grudging “like” here or there, then science confirms that you have entered into a semi-consensual sadomasochistic relationship with Facebook and need to break the cycle.

Ok, I admit that I do a lot of article posting, and many of the Facebook friends I keep because THEY often post good articles; it is almost as if I have a reader service.

I like the jokes and memes, and I like swapping workouts (“oh, maybe I should try that”). And yes, I like reading about other people’s marathons (I can’t do many of these) and yes, I enjoy (some) vacation photos. I can’t possibly go everywhere and I enjoy seeing (even if in a second hand fashion) what others have seen. These lift me up; they do NOT depress me.

Then again, while I am far from wealthy, it isn’t as if I never get to go anywhere or do anything. So there is no resentment on my part; even if I were to become ill, I’d still like to see what others are doing.

Now as far as the photo and caption:

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LOL! I happen to like the bikini shot! Or…sometimes I happen to like what others have seen while they were shopping.

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And yes, even on Facebook, I’ve had women say “you’d like this photo of me”; it is usually a “spandex from the rear” shot.

I like those too.

July 23, 2013 Posted by | astronomy, big butts, bikinis, butt, photos, physics, science, social/political, space, spandex | , , | 4 Comments

Photos, Pictures and Figures

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Peoria Democrats Dinner, with my wife. I am on the right.

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The joke here (from Jerry Coyne’s website) is that this gene is frequently tampered with during experiments.

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It is convenient to forget your previous marathon when you sign up for your next marathon. :-)

Nature
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The moon over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Sequoia National Park.

birdies

I’ve seen all of these while out running or walking, but never together.

February 19, 2013 Posted by | Democrats, humor, marathons, nature, Peoria, Peoria/local, photos, science | , | Leave a comment

I’ve got to get back to a yoga class…..

I noticed that I am overall stiffer and my back is staying “mildly sore”, especially when I sit for too long. So if I can’t discipline myself to do a bit of yoga (daily) on my own, I’ll have to get back to a class of some sort.

Other reasons why:
(in each case, click on the photo too see the larger one at the source)

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These photos are from asterix611 on Flickr (creative commons license); there are hundreds of “outdoor yoga” photos…mostly shot from “normal angles”. :-) The vast majority of his Flickr photos are excellent “large gathering” and “scenery” shots (many of New York City); these represent a tiny percentage of his photos (example: like these: first from the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the second from the John Lennon Day gathering). I want to make it clear that it was *I* who cherry picked the photos to see, NOT the photographer who shot these among thousands of other shots. :-)

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December 14, 2012 Posted by | big butts, photos, spandex, Uncategorized, yoga | Leave a comment

Thursday Night Koehler “GOTV” rally

Thursday Night Barbara and I went to the Dave Koehler “Get out the Vote” rally.

Dave Koehler at the podium (incumbent IL-46 State Senator)

Cheri Bustos: D challenger for the US House IL-17

I am in this shot; I am talking to Lynn. I am wearing a blue and gold Navy jacket and a red Bradley sweatshirt. Yes, I have a very gray beard.

Another crowd shot; I am in it.

November 3, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, Friends, IL-17, IL-18, Peoria, Peoria/local, photos, politics, politics/social | 1 Comment

Bridge to Bridge Run Photos

After the run (184 out of 695); I am still feeling the effects of my illness.

Talking to Deb Fischer (from my university) after the race.

October 3, 2012 Posted by | photos, running, time trial/ race | Leave a comment

Back in Peoria, August 2012

Whew! We survived the trip back; ok; I survived eating too much sausage (breakfast and lunch).

Here are some photos:

This is off of I-44 in Missouri; this is the Route 66 themed rest stop that I wrote about here. It is called the Conway Welcome Center near mile marker 111; it is east of Springfield.

This is the view of the Austin, TX skyline from the 12’th floor of the Omni in Austin, TX. On the left, you can see St. Edward’s University. To the right, you can barely make out the University of Texas campus and football stadium. The wild “spaghetti” of roads in the foreground is IH-35 and Highway 71.

This is a vehicle in the motel parking lot this morning. Note the “Darwin” sticker in the lower left hand corner. That makes me feel good.

From about 3-4 weeks ago, we went to a Democratic picnic and my daughter met Cheri Bustos, Democrat candidate for the IL-17 US House seat.

August 11, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, evolution, family, photos, travel | Leave a comment

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