Celtics vs. Lakers once again!

I don’t remember the Chamberlain, West, Baylor versus the Russel, Havalacheck battles (though I remember those Lakers against the Reed, Frazier, DeBussher, Bradley Knicks).

I remember the Jabbar, Johnson, Worthy, Green and Scott versus the Bird, Parish, McHale, Johnson and Ainge battles though.

Well once again we see the teams about to do battle for the NBA championship.

I took a Daily Kos poll to see who people thought would win: Celtics were favored 49-43.

Just because I can’t stay away from politics:

(note the basketball)


May 31, 2008 Posted by | hillary clinton, NBA, obama, politics/social | Leave a comment

Early People, Uncontacted Tribes, shuffle walking

First some politics.

Obama slams John McCain for failing to admit to making a mistake on Iraq policy when he spoke.
McCain didn’t know that troops had not been drawn down to pre-surge levels and refused to admit his mistake when he was confronted with the facts.

Attention wingnuts: being stupid and ignorant does NOT make you tough. Remember that John Wayne played fictional characters, as did Clint Eastwood and Sylvester Stallone.

I like the blog Here they talk about early people: did they use some sort of shuffling motion prior to walking?

The two authors, Patricia Kramer and Adam Sylvester, are well versed in the origin of hominid bipedalism and locomotor energetics. In this new paper they test the hypothesis that shuffling emerged as a precursor to walking as a way of saving metabolic energy.

They developed a mathematical model that calculated the energetics and metabolic efficiencies of locomition based upon body plan. For a chimp to bipedally move about distances greater than about 50 feet, it was found that it would not be metabolically efficient. But it shuffling distances less than 30 feet was for the chimp. They used the chimp model because they say that a chimp’s body plan is very much like that of our last common shared ancestor.

I can say that shuffling uses little energy; just check out a tired ultrarunner sometime. πŸ™‚ also has a cool post about an uncontacted tribe in the jungles in Brazil; these folks know nothing about civilization.

I do have some questions: what do they think of the helicopter or plane?

Would it be more ethical for us to leave them alone or to make contact in some sort of “safe” way (so as to not transmit disease). Example: perhaps they have short life spans which might be extended by modern medicine?

Would contact with us be fatal to them (due to lack of immunity to diseases)?

A couple of other questions obtain: why are they in still a sort of “primitive” state? Is it because civilizations advance in part because of contact with other civilizations or do larger civilizations advance due to the “law of large numbers”: that is, the more people a group has, the higher the probability that the group will have someone from the ultra high IQ group who will invent stuff to help the whole group advance (i. e., there is a higher chance of having a genius in a random group of 1,000,000 people than it is to have one in a group of 1,000).

May 31, 2008 Posted by | mccain, obama, politics/social, science, Uncategorized, walking | 2 Comments

Brief Political post

Ben Sargent:

Quiz: can you find the math term that is always zero (if you think of differential forms?) πŸ™‚

(to see more of these)

More of the same McCain:

This clown wants to educated Obama on Iraq?

Oh yes, the latest “faux” Obama “scandal”. Obama’s church had a visitor. The visitor is a Catholic Priest (Obama is a UCC member)

So this guy is NOT Obama’s pastor, not from Obama’s church and Obama did NOT seek out his endorsement.

Oh yes, what he said wasn’t altogether false either, but as Obama said, it is “backward looking”.

Yes, Obama denounced it.

“As I have traveled this country, I’ve been impressed not by what divides us, but by all that that unites us. That is why I am deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger’s divisive, backward-looking rhetoric, which doesn’t reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause,” Obama said in a statement.

So, a visitor to Obama’s church who likes Obama who isn’t a part of Obama’s campaign said something snarky about Hillary Clinton. Hold the presses!!!!!

(Now, just who is getting treated unfairly by the press?)

Social comment: this video is making the rounds; it was produced by a Black artist and has been played on BET (Black Entertainment Television). Nevertheless, it is controversial.

You know I can understand the conflict. On one hand, it does give some good advice. Though the video wasn’t addressed at people like me, I still found myself blogging too much and not doing enough hard core reading (yes, I am working on reading 3 different books) and I am not doing enough math research either.

Do some mo-f’ing research, Pocho!!!! (Pocho: a brown guy who doesn’t speak Spanish very well).

On the other hand, I can see Black people thinking “oh great, one of our own just gave the racists yet another stick to beat us up with”).

The fact is that many of my fellow racial minorities do hold ourselves back with laziness and bad attitudes.

But on the other hand, society does have some inherent racist features to it; much of it latent.

People like Barack Obama and Colin Powell get it on both counts.

For more:

May 30, 2008 Posted by | hillary clinton, mccain, obama, politics/social, ranting | 1 Comment

Austin Hike and Bike and Obesity

Workout notes Today I walked from the house on 907 Cumberland Road to the Hike and bike, did a set of pullups (6, I know, pathetic) a 4.3-4.4 mile loop and then walked home; the total time was 1:50-1:55 (running time; I didn’t use my stopwatch).

The Hike and Bike is torn up under the 1’st street bridge and so I had to improvise a bit; things should look nice when they are finished with the construction.

The walk went pretty easy though I didn’t sweat as much as I would hope.

The trail is heavily used; you’ll see all kinds of runners from 2:10 marathon runners (literally; I’ve seen Jerry Lawson on the trail many years ago), 25 minute a mile walkers, people walking while yelling on their cell phones, racewalkers (once in a while), joggers, slow spandex outfitted bicyclists (riding at 10 mph), elderly folks, people walking or running with their dogs, parents pushing strollers, etc.

You have fat people, skinny people, tall people, short people, muscle people, super duper athletic people, people with rainbow hair, blacks, whites, latinos, Asians, etc.

And yes, guys, there are lots of fit ladies wearing shorts (usually) of all kinds. But, because I was wearing my Obama shirt, I had to be on my best behavior (e. g., no getting whiplash to turn and look, etc. πŸ™‚ ) I did get some smiles and nods.

Back to the walking: I admit that I don’t do it for health reasons; it is mainly sport for me.

But it is good to see people out there; Obesity is becoming a public health concern:

By Jeremy Brown
Sunday, May 25, 2008; Page B07

I have been doing the unthinkable, and the word is out. I am an emergency physician in the District, and I’ve started talking to my patients about their weight.

It has taken me a while to pluck up the courage to speak frankly with obese patients about this problem. For 15 years I have broached virtually every delicate subject — from sexual histories to the cough that is really cancer — in the noisy, impersonal setting of a busy ER. It is expected of me. It is my job.

So why has it been so hard to talk about this? With an epidemic of obesity in the United States, why are so many doctors skittish about discussing obesity with its sufferers? The truth is, I don’t know.

On a recent shift, I treated a woman in her mid-40s who had had pain in her left knee for a month. She had not twisted or injured it in any way that she could recall. There were no signs of infection above the knee. She wanted an X-ray.

She also weighed close to 300 pounds. That’s a lot of stress on a joint. Her knees simply cannot keep supporting her weight.

Until recently, I would have ordered an X-ray. Ordering an X-ray makes everyone happy: The hospital charges for taking it. The radiologist charges to read it. The patient often wants the test and is happy to have more than a three-minute evaluation. Once the film is developed, I mention something about there being no fracture and seeing some changes consistent with early arthritis. Then I prescribe some pain relief. The patient would leave feeling vindicated. His or her problem was captured on film, and the interminable wait was somehow worth it.

Ultimately, though, this approach is wrong. When the emergency room is crowded, it is easy to let the preventive aspects of medicine slip away. Obesity is not only about health risks, which include diabetes, joint pain, congestive heart failure, strokes, back pain, sleep apnea, depression, infertility and erectile dysfunction. It is also about the root causes and our society’s denial of the woeful impact obesity is having on Americans’ health. […]

As far as the not-always-simple relationship between obesity and exercise, read this.

But for many, whether they say so or not, a desire to lose or control weight is a major motivation. Deciding if exercise is an effective method, though, can be a challenge.

On one hand, you may have heard that exercise is not very useful for knocking off extra pounds, though it helps to maintain weight. Or you may have heard that only weight-bearing exercise β€” like jogging or brisk walking β€” can help you lose those unwanted pounds, while activities like swimming and cycling are not helpful as far as weight goes.

At other times you may have wondered why, after you took up activities that were supposed to burn 500 calories a day, you failed to lose that pound a week.

What is the truth about exercise and weight, and how can you accurately calculate the caloric value of various activities?

In the August/September issue of ACE Certified News (published by the American Council on Exercise), Ralph La Forge, managing director of the Duke Lipid and Disease Management Preceptorship Program at Duke University Medical Center, compiled a detailed analysis of the various factors that influence the effect of exercise on weight loss.

Mr. La Forge started by refuting the prevailing belief that since a pound of fat (when burned) gives off 3,500 calories and since running or walking a mile burns 100 calories, a person should lose a pound for every 35 miles. In other words, if a previously inactive person starts running or walking five miles a day, that person should lose a pound a week, all other things being equal.

Some Calories Have to Be Subtracted

Not so, says Mr. La Forge, because this estimate fails to subtract the number of calories that person’s body would have used had it just sat still for those hours. Rather, for a 154-pound person, the net caloric cost would be 54 calories per mile when walking up to 3.5 miles per hour, 97 calories speed-walking at 3.5 to 5 m.p.h., and 107 calories jogging or running.

In other words, running uses nearly twice the calories used when walking at a moderate pace over the same distance. Your starting weight is also a factor: if you weigh less than 154 pounds, the caloric burn is proportionately less; if you weigh more than 154, it is higher. […]

Here is what I found: I need about the same number of calories when running 30 miles per week as I do walking 50-60 miles per week, provided I am walking at an ultra pace. The number of calories I need goes up if I start walking at a “training for a 5K racewalk” pace as one loses a ton of efficiency if one tries to walk faster. On the other hand, pace isn’t as much of a “calories per mile” factor when one runs. In other words, there isn’t a big difference in calorie burn when one, say, runs 4 miles in 34 minutes or if one runs it in 28 minutes. But there is a big difference if one walks 4 miles in 42 minutes versus walking it in, say, 60 minutes.

If this doesn’t seem to make sense, think of it this way: I’ve walked 100 miles in 23 hours, 41 minutes. That is a 14 minute per mile pace; there is no way I could have done that if my walking at 14 minutes per mile wasn’t very efficient. That is, when I walk at that pace, I don’t burn much in the way of calories. Hence, I was doing a marathon at about 6:15 per marathon and I had to do almost 4 of these in a row.

But when I ran a marathon in 3:38, I burned calories like crazy; when I finished it I was wiped out. That one marathon probably burned more calories than two of my walking marathons.

May 30, 2008 Posted by | marathons, travel, ultra, walking | 2 Comments

29 May Videos, Despair, Achmed, etc.

John “more of the same” McCain: Yet another Iraq gaffe. He says that Mosul is quiet, yet they had three suicide attacks on the same day.

He wants to educate Obama on Iraq?

Barack Obama: yes, he misspoke when he talked about his grandfather being part of the military force that liberated Auschwitz. It was Buchenwald instead. His campaign issued a correction; nevertheless the Repuke 527s are trying to swiftboat him on this. Many of the vets are telling those sleazebuckets to buzz off.

You know it’s silly season when Republican wingnuts start questioning the service of veterans, and start arguing that some Nazi concentration camps weren’t all that bad (since the deaths were merely in the tens of thousands).

And now it’s become even funnier. This idiot right winger Steve Gilbert, hot on the trail of the “truth” regarding Obama’s great uncle’s service liberating Buchenwald, wrote to WWII vet Raymond Kitchell and his son Mark Kitchell, who together run a site dedicated to the 89th Infantry.

What has ensued is a total pwning and smack-down the likes of which only a WWII vet can deliver.

* existenz’s diary :: ::

Here was Gilbert’s letter:

—– Original Message —–

From: Steve Gilbert
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 6:14 AM
Subject: Any Record Of Charles W Payne?

Mr. Kitchell,

As you may have heard by now, Barack Obama has claimed that his great uncle Charlie Payne was a member of the 89th Div that liberated Buchenwald.

According to records his full name is either Charles W Payne or Charles T Payne (most likely the former), and he was born in 1924 β€” and he is still alive today.

He most likely was from Kansas at the time of enlistment.

Do you have any record of this gentleman?

Thank you,

Steve Gilbert

PS – If you go to my website, you will see that I was probably the first to note the error in Mr. Obama’s first claims about his β€œuncle.”

The response by WWII vet Raymond Kitchell:

Please crawl back under the rock you came out from.

Good day

Raymond Kitchell, veteran 89th Inf Div


Political Videos: These are short:

Redstate update

Achmed, the Dead Terroist. Non-pc. πŸ™‚

Edward Current

Take the “good person” test! Go here.

Checkmate, Shalini!

Despair! (humor). This cynical website has some funny “anti-inspiration” posters. πŸ™‚

I’ve thought of this one when I was doing the McNaughton trail ultra.

Hundreds more (and other stuff) available here. You can make a custom calendar, as I am going to.

May 30, 2008 Posted by | creationism, hillary clinton, humor, mccain, obama, politics/social, religion | 1 Comment

Who is being attacked?

Workout notes 5 miles of walking; 31 at 2.5 miles, then 29:12 for the last 2.5. My first mile was 13:17 so my last 4 was done in 46:55. My knees were fine.

Then, I went back and escorted Barbara for her last .5 or so; she was tired, red faced, etc. But she seemed to like her new spandex “skort”. But this time, she didn’t get lost; I’ll have to keep on her to keep up her activity.

On my end, I finally worked up a good sweat!

Politics Poblano writes an interesting election statistics blog. Today he has an interesting article on “who is getting attacked more by who” (hat tip to SeaChange for pointing this out).

I looked at the press releases from five sources: the Clinton campaign, the Obama campaign, the McCain campaign, the RNC, and the DNC, and counted the number of times that McCain, Clinton or Obama was mentioned in the headline of the press release. (For Obama press releases, which tend to have vague headlines like “Barack Obama Statement on Iran”, I also counted hits in the press release abstract). Then I sorted the hits by the month of the campaign from September onward.

These figures were tallied by hand and so may be slightly imprecise, but you should certainly get the general idea. Also, this should be obvious, but the idea was to account for attacks only, so I didn’t count instances in which say a DNC press release mentioned Clinton, or a McCain release mentioned McCain himself.

In short, no one is picking on poor old Hillary. So much for her being “ganged up on”. πŸ™‚

So, let’s see how this will be spun as “being unfair to Hillary”; oh yes, she is being ignored, and that is being sexist! πŸ™‚

I suppose it is time to check the boiling pots for rabbits. πŸ™‚

May 29, 2008 Posted by | hillary clinton, mccain, obama, politics/social, walking | 2 Comments

Spot the Snark!

One of these three videos is snark; the other two are, well, “serious.”

Can you tell which is which? πŸ™‚

May 29, 2008 Posted by | creationism, morons, religion, science | Leave a comment

28 May 2008 Part III

Family: my very own “Beatles” concert. πŸ™‚

Barbara, Olivia, May 2008

May 28, 2008 Posted by | family, hillary clinton, mccain, obama, politics/social, travel | Leave a comment

Rant, part II

I’ll post this photo as an “answer” to the idiot featured in the above photo:

(larger photo)

Shalini was attending what appeared to be a cool conference:

Yes guys, Shalini is straight and single (sigh….) but alas, I am married and more than twice her age. πŸ˜‰

May 28, 2008 Posted by | politics/social, religion, science | 3 Comments

Ranting….McClellan says what we’ve been saying!

Image from here.

Workout notes two sets of pull ups (5, I know, pathetic) and 5 miles in 1:03:17 (32:09, 31:08). We finished at about 10 am; I am trying to get used to heat.

Interestingly enough I wore my bluejean shorts over my running shorts so I could use the pockets.

Barbara managed to get lost again. πŸ™‚

Political Rant. Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan came out with a book which said much of what we on the political left have been saying all along.

“History appears poised to confirm what most Americans today have decided β€” that the decision to invade Iraq was a serious strategic blunder,” McClellan wrote in “What Happened,” due out Monday. “No one, including me, can know with absolute certainty how the war will be viewed decades from now when we can more fully understand its impact.”

“What I do know is that war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary,” he wrote in the preface.

White House aides seemed stunned by the scathing tone of the book, and Bush press secretary Dana Perino issued a statement that was highly critical of their former colleague. […]

The president’s real motivation for the war, he said, was to transform the Middle East to ensure an enduring peace in the region. But the White House effort to sell the war as necessary due to the stated threat posed by Saddam Hussein was needed because “Bush and his advisers knew that the American people would almost certainly not support a war launched primarily for the ambitions purpose of transforming the Middle East,” McClellan wrote.

“Rather than open this Pandora’s Box, the administration chose a different path β€” not employing out-and-out deception, but shading the truth,” he wrote of the effort to convince the world that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, an effort he said used “innuendo and implication” and “intentional ignoring of intelligence to the contrary.”

“President Bush managed the crisis in a way that almost guaranteed that the use of force would become the only feasible option,” McClellan concluded, noting, “The lack of candor underlying the campaign for war would severely undermine the president’s entire second term in office.”

No duh. Actually, others have said this a long time ago, but they were ridiculed. But what is just as disturbing to me is this:

“President Bush has always been an instinctive leader more than an intellectual leader. He is not one to delve into all the possible policy options β€” including sitting around engaging in extended debate about them β€” before making a choice,” McClellan wrote. “Rather, he chooses based on his gut and his most deeply held convictions. Such was the case with Iraq.”

Again, “duh”. But here is what bothers me more than anything: this “following one’s gut” and “just doing it” is actually viewed favorably by those millions of moronic losers who follow Coulter, Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest. The fact is that we, as a country, were screwed over by the millions of sad sacks, insipid losers, jerks, and faux patriots who voted Bush into office to begin with. Too bad that these losers didn’t realize that Dirty Harry, Rambo and Die Hard were only movies.

Unfortunately, these morons are still with us and many will still vote. So, it is our job (those of us who are astute enough to, say, be able to find Iran and Iraq on a globe) to convince the reasonable independent voters that we don’t need another Bush; voting for someone with intellectual ability is good.

Of course, there are millions of idiots out there, so we just have to out poll them.

note: too bad that we can’t give people a test on evolution and deny the fruits of evolutionary theory (e. g., medicine) to those who fail the exam. πŸ˜‰

Boy, I am full of vinegar today, aren’t I? πŸ™‚

May 28, 2008 Posted by | creationism, obama, politics/social, religion, science, walking | 6 Comments