Workout notes 3100 yard swim. 10 x 100 free (on 2), 10 x 100 free (on 2; flip turns, 1:41-1:45), 4 x 100 IM on 2:30 (slow), 400 IM in 8:44 (pathetic), 300 cool down.
2007 in review: athletics. Not a great year. I totaled 1794 miles of running and walking, previous years were: (2003) 2514, (2004) 2714 (2005) 2778, (2006) 1498, (2007) 1794. I was hampered by a very long lay-off and couldn’t start running/walking again until April of this year.
Performance wise, this was my worst ever, with 34 miles in the 12 hour walk (did 41 miles on my own at a later date), 9:25 for a 33 mile trail walk, 66 and 58 miles for the 24 hour, and a DNF in a road marathon.
Swimming: I did swim pool 5Ks (5500 yards) in 1:36:49 and 1:36:51, which are PR’s, and I did get back to 16:13 for the 1000.
Yoga I took teacher training and that was about it. Some of my basics (triangle, camel) have improved.
Injury Speed work tends to make the outside of my left hip tingle; but it is now away from by butt; more in the bike crash area.
Professional One rejection (due to style; they liked the result); I need to rewrite that and work on my three outstanding projects.
Reading My list is here. I have yet another stack of books to tackle. 🙂
Social I’ve talked about this too much; it meant something at the time but ended up not amounting to much. But it did help me make some new internet friends and for that I am grateful!
One other personal remark: late last year, I had a friend get diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. He was “due to die” this summer, at the latest. He is still with us, and still works out frequently! 🙂
A bit of humor: Can you name these guys? I’ve read three of their books, and regularly read three of their blog/websites. The other two books are on my reading list for 2008.
Goals for 2008 Submit three quality mathematics articles for publication, make 100 miles at the June FANS 24 hour walk (injury heal-up will determine if this goal is feasible), break 1:40 for the Big Shoulders 5K (or other open water 5K), run a marathon/50K (sub 4 hour goal for the marathon, sub 5 hour for the 50K).
Yoga: Get control for “peacock feather” and improve my crane pose.
Social goals: volunteer to sub for yoga classes, help new runners at Building Steam, volunteer for 3 college XC races and 4 public ones.
But we all know about the best laid goals for mice, men, and recreational endurance athletes.
Workout notes Slept in; ran 7 miles (to the Gooseloop, to the Marina dam, back to the Gateway building for 7; this took 1:14:33), then walked back (41:19). It was cold but not very cold; some ice and snow was left but the footing was good about 95% of the time.
The run felt great for the first 5 miles, good for the next 1.5 then the running muscles got very tired (especially where the upper front part of the thighs connect to the torso).
I managed to take some photos of the geese in the area. Click on the link to see larger photos.
Two families of geese together.
The Canadian Geese; the most common type around here.
This family of geese has slightly different markings. Note the white face; the middle goose has an orange bill (the background makes it hard to see) whereas the others have black bills.
Here are three snow geese; note that one is whiter than the rest, though it has some brown-gray patches.
This is why the “Goose Loop” is so named.
Feeding Frenzy at the Marina. You are about 1 mile way from the Riverplex at this point.
Evolution and Politics
The blog Good Tithings has an interesting post on evolution and religion. It takes the point of view that evolution and religion are not compatible.
In some sense I think that they ARE incompatible, at least if one thinks that religion posits the existence of a personal deity that has set up the universe for humanity. Here is why I think this: if one truly accepts evolution, then one understands that there are indeed random mutations. Hence, chance plays a role in humans getting here. Had things gone slightly different many years ago, humans might not be here, though there would probably be some other type of “intelligent” life form “in our place”.
In fact, science shows that the earth orbits a rather ordinary star in a rather ordinary part of an ordinary galaxy which is part of an ordinary cluster of galaxies. In other words, it ain’t all about us! 🙂
Now, if thinks of a deity (“universal spirit”?) that is some sort of “outside of the space time continuum” entity that we can’t detect with our 5 senses, well, I have no way of knowing how possible that is, or even how likely. What I completely reject is any of those “we are in it’s image” deities.
This game was worth a case of the sleepies. It ended 38-35, and the Patriots had to rally from 28-16 down in the 4’th quarter to do it.
What was fun is that I got to chat about it with Daily Kos members.
Prior to the game, there was a poll:
I’m rooting for the
55% 2034 votes
New England Patriots
44% 1614 votes
| 3648 votes
I told my wife that the team in the “silver and blue” would win. 🙂
Hat tip to Stubborn Curmudgeon
About 6 minutes; very crisp and funny. Pat Codel is the speaker.
Hat tip to Tennessee Guerilla Women. Two 5 minute videos and one 10 minute video on the emerging atheists from CBC.
From the other side: the new atheists are scaring people:
I had a good belly laugh at much of this. Christians, tolerant? Uh, secular societies that have Christians in them are tolerant, sort of. But inquisitions, auto-de-fes, burning at the stake, expulsion, etc. Check out any history of torture; most of the techniques were aimed at the heretics.
As for college kids “losing their faith”: the vast majority of elite scientists are non-theistic and most “regular” scientists are as well.
But of course, most people aren’t scientists, and some top scientists are still theists.
Here is what is going on: it is true that in some small subcultures of society (e. g., science and mathematics departments, the culture is highly tolerant of atheism. If, in a conversation, someone says that they are an atheist, no one gasps or even raises an eyebrow; the “believer” is the one that is a bit off of the mainstream. But most people don’t live in such social circles; many people are downright offended if someone says that they are not a believer.
What these books do is make it more comfortable for this still small minority of people in the US to talk about what they believe and to discuss their beliefs with the same freedom that theists discuss their beliefs. In non-academic/social circles, (which is the majority culture in the US) atheists (with reason) feel hatred and derision directed toward them. Hopefully these books and this “micro-movement” will change that.
Of course this video wasn’t really about any of that; this video was basically whining that they aren’t getting acceptance from the smart people! 🙂
I guess that being a part of the 90% that “believe” isn’t good enough for them? 😉
George Carlin, on religion. Hat tip to the Stubborn Curmudgeon.
Workout Notes Rest day; did a yoga class with my daughter.
Update I couldn’t resist: 3 mile easy racewalk around the neighborhood; I had good footing on the roads, even if many of the sidewalks were unusable. Note: going at 4:15 pm isn’t a great idea; folks are going out at about that time.
Speaking of yoga: I sometimes check out other people’s yoga practice photos. One of my favorite is Yoga Chickie’s. Some snapshots with comments:
I am not even close to this one (Peacock)
One of the problems is that when I try to go horizontal, my forearms and elbows don’t stay together and my wrists scream in pain. My shoulders aren’t flexible enough as yet.
I can hold for a few breaths without touching a wall; I still haven’t “figured out” the balance and I don’t have enough control to dispense with the wall altogether.
Perhaps in another lifetime. 🙂
I can get my torso maybe to within, say, 30 degrees in front of my legs ; that is about it. On the other hand, her torso is well behind her legs.
Science and Learning
There is an interesting post at Sandwalk about fundies not actually learning science in college.
Last summer Tom Bozzo, an economist in Madison Wisconsin, played around with the latest data on science education in America [Scientific Knowledge in the US by Religion]. He was interested in any correlations between religion and the understanding of basic scientific concepts.
A reader reminded me of this data. It was discussed on several blogs last summer but I had forgotten the details. There’s one pair of graphs that are particularly interesting. The first one shows that fundamentalist Protestants, as expected, do not believe that humans evolved whereas atheists—and most other groups—accept the scientific facts. […]
Keeping all these cautions in mind, it is still quite remarkable that some significant percentage of fundamentalist Protestants can go to college and still reject the basic scientific fact that humans evolved. Note that in all of the other groups the college educated subset are more inclined to accept evolution. (Do most of those “college” educated fundamentalists go to some cheap reproduction of a college run by a religious organization?)
As we’ve seen time and time again on the blogs (and elsewhere), the Christian fundamentalists have erected very strong barriers against learning. It really doesn’t matter how much they are exposed to rational thinking and basic scientific evidence. They still refuse to listen.[…]
There may be more than meets the eye here. My hunch is that people often do learn new stuff provided it doesn’t conflict with the “common sense” that they bring into the study of their subject. If the new material does violate their “common sense” (e. g., is non-intuitive to them), then it takes a long, long time to internalize the new material and make it a part of their everyday thinking.
To see an example of this in other areas, consider physics. In the paper by Sanjoy Mahajan that I linked to (pdf file), several examples of people not being able to applied the physics (and mathematics) that they “know” are given. Here is a sample question:
Suppose you are on a Merry-go-round with a friend who is a diameter away from you. You throw a ball to her. The path of the ball is a straight line relative to
- The earth only
- The merry-go-round only
- both the earth and the merry-go-round
Only 58 percent of physics students got it right, and only 40% were both correct and “sure” of their answer!
To see more on “bad physics” and how it gets passed along in the popular media, go to Bad Physics
Workout notes 2650 yard swim; 5 x 75 fist, 25 free, 5 x (25 drill ,25 free, 25 drill, 25 free), 10 x (25 free (hard), 25 back), 10 x (25 fly, 25 free), 10 x (25 side, 25 free), 150 free.
Then 5K run on the treadmill, .9 mile walk to cool down (about 40:30 total); started out slow and did the second half at 8:57 pace (I know, it is slow); varied the incline.
Science The Polk Country School board finally saw the wisdom of teaching science in the science classroom. A Daily Kos diary by davidkc talks about a situation in which a school board had considered teaching ID/creationism in science class. Many went into action, including the Pastafarians:
[…]The Pastafarians appear to have grown in numbers quite a bit since 2005, and soon after the Ledger story appeared, Polk school board members were deluged with e-mails demanding that Flying Spaghetti Monsterism’s version of intelligent design be taught in the classrooms alongside evolution and the “alternative” ID theory.
And the school board members didn’t hear from just the Pastafarians. Local residents wrote scathing letters to the Ledger criticizing the school board members’ positions:
– “It looks as if Polk County School Board members Fields, Harris, Lofton, Sellers and possibly Cunningham would have us return to those dark days of yesteryear when the old men who wove the creation fairy tale believed Earth was the center of the universe and that it was flat,” wrote one Ledger reader. – “Look out Polk County – as long as our School Board considers flouting science standards, we will remain Hillbilly USA,” wrote another local citizen.
In addition, many local officials made statements to distance themselves from the board members’ views. You see, the dust-up over ID/creationism comes just as Polk County is trying to secure approval for construction of a science-focused campus of the University of South Florida in Lakeland that would be the state’s first four-year public polytechnic college. Polk County and Lakeland city governments each have recently pledged $5 million to help kick-start the campus, which local leaders hope will start a high-tech corridor. Marshall Goodman, a USF vice president who has worked to promote the new campus, was blunt in telling the Tribune his views on ID. “You can’t even call it pseudo-science,” he said.
Polk school board members were clearly caught off-guard by the speed and verocity of the response to their public support for ID/creationism in the classroom, and they quickly backed off any efforts to teach intelligent design. “They’ve made us the laughingstock of the world,” board member Lofton told the Tampa Tribune, in reference to the Pasafarians. Board member Tim Harris was quick to say that he had no “agenda” to insert ID/creationism into the curriculum. “My personal opinion and how I vote don’t always jibe,” he told the Tribune. And board member Fields, who started the controversy, tried to blame – big surprise here – the media! Fields told the Tribune, via e-mail, that she didn’t realize there would be a story “on the front page of the Ledger indicating that I opposed evolution.” Yes, it’s definitely the Ledger’s fault for letting the public know what a publicly elected school official told the newspaper, on record, about a public education issue. […]
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