31 May 2011

No, I have not been productive today.

No yoga; no teacher showed up though I did manage to get into arm pressure pose on my own…barely.

Then I walked 3.2 miles home.

So what to do?
Just for the heck of it, I’ll post my times to reach 50 miles (walking); I am missing my Ultracentric 2007 where it took me about 20 hours or so.

2004 McNaughton 50 12:46 (trail)
2004 Cornbelt 24 hour track 11:08 (100 in 23:41)
2004 Wandelweekend 24 hour: 11:13
2004 Ultracentric 24 hour 11:24
2005 McNaughton trail 100 miler 13:23 (100 in 34:16)
2005 Leanhorse trail 100 (groomed) 12:50 (100 in 29:34)
2005 Ultracentric track 24 12:27
2006 Houston 24 hour 12:28
2006 McNaughton 100 (DNF 70) 15:17
2006 FANS 24 hour 12:38
2007 FANS 24 hour 13:41
2007 Ultracentric 58 miles in 24 hours; my 50 mile split was somewhere around 19 hours.
2008 McNaughton 31 hours plus (52 miles; done in stages)
2009 McNaughton 100 24:18 (100 in 47:55)
2009 FANS 24 hour 12:43

May 31, 2011 Posted by | time trial/ race, training, ultra, walking | Leave a comment

30 May 2011 later: Brains, skunk butts, Republican economics and more….

Republican Economics
Paul Krugman speaks with such clarity:

Steve Benen watches an entire panel on Meet the Press condemn Democrats for accurately describing the Ryan plan:

I’m at a loss to understand what, exactly, Ruth Marcus, David Brooks, and their cohorts would have Dems do. Congressional Republicans have a plan to end Medicare and replace it with a privatized voucher scheme. The proposal would not only help rewrite the social contract, it would also shift crushing costs onto the backs of seniors, freeing up money for tax breaks for the wealthy. The plan is needlessly cruel, and any serious evaluation of the GOP’s arithmetic shows that the policy is a fraud.

Which part of this description is false? None of it, but apparently, Democrats just aren’t supposed to mention any of this.

I have to admit that even I am surprised by this.

I admit that I am not. Frankly, the Republicans have lowed the bar so far for themselves that they expect a gold star anytime one of them writes up a plan that has a footnote; think of this as the snowflake student who wants an A because their report was typeset and placed in a fancy binder.

Skunk Butts and brains
Jerry Coyne happened to mention that the skunk’s odor defense mechanism (a nozzle near its anus that emits the stinky substance) and the human brain are products of natural selection. No, that doesn’t mean that skunk butts and human brains are similar. But evidently this point (that both resulted from an evolutionary adaptation process) annoyed some.

An unrelated aside: check out the unspeakably cute amphibians that he talks about in this post.

Accountability and Education
You usually see this cycle: some business type (who doesn’t know squat about higher education) comes up with some simple minded scheme to measure “academic production”. The general public sees this and thinks that the top professors are slackers. Faculty protest, and the clueless business types tut-tut that academics are acting like snowflakes by not subjecting ourselves to their notion of accountability when in fact, they really don’t know their heads from their asses about research universities. Here is such an example:

Study: One-fifth of faculty does most of the work
By Daniel de Vise

Twenty percent of faculty at the University of Texas-Austin teach 57 percent of the student credit hours, according to a new study from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity that attempts to build a case for inefficiency and waste in academia.

If the “bottom” 80 percent were as productive as the top 20 percent, the study concludes, the flagship Texas public university could cut its tuition in half. Or, the state could reduce its funding to the university by as much as 75 percent.

The study is likely to provoke outrage among those who suspect that college faculty positions are comparatively cushy, if it gains traction. And it’s likely to irk faculty associations, whose leaders contend that professors are a very hard-working and dedicated group, on the whole.

Look at the faculty list at any department at a major research university and you’ll find that a good number of professors are teaching something well short of a full load of courses. The reason is research: Universities typically grant professors a good amount of freedom — from lighter course loads to paid sabbaticals — to pursue their area of specialty, generating articles in peer-reviewed journals and chasing grant funds.

That research effort is just as important as the quality of their classroom teaching, at least in terms of college rankings and reputation.

But the study suggests that research and teaching can easily coexist. It found that the 20 percent of faculty with the heaviest teaching loads generated 18 percent of UT’s research funding, meaning that they remained competitive in research even as they carried more than their share of teaching duties.

“This suggests that these faculty are not jeopardizing their status as researchers by assuming such a high level of teaching responsibility,” the study states.

The least productive 20 percent of faculty teach just 2 percent of all student credit hours at UT — meaning that students barely see them.

Here is what is missing: student hours is not a full measure. My advisor taught one course per semester, usually a graduate course. BUT he also ran a seminar, advised a half a dozen graduate students, helped make up and grade the topology qualifying exam and put out high quality research; he even solved an 80 year old open problem. Directing graduate research is time consuming. I assure you that he was no slacker!

Sure, every profession carries dead weight and academia is no exception. Unfortunately those who are most qualified to measure these things are those that are closest to it… see such a problem with, say, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which regulates nuclear safety.

Memorial Day

I was going to write a Memorial Day post, but this one from the satire blog really said much of what I wanted to say:

On this Memorial Day, let’s give thanks to the brave Americans who gave their lives to protect our freedoms. Of course, you’ll have to be fast, as the last American to do that served in WWII.
Ever since then, brave American boys (and some dykes) have died for nothing other than the testosterone of the cowards and con-artists in Washington, D.C.

Now that the dust has settled, we know that Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan were complete wastes of time, lives and money that did nothing for anyone other than reckless politicians and rich defense contractors.

Now, I stand behind our military. It is the only thing I worship that isn’t invisible. But I do not stand behind killing Americans for no reason.

I might dispute the Afghanistan point; after all that is where Al Qeada was. And yes, we should fully fund veterans benefits and take care of those who were wounded (physically and mentally); that is the part of the cost of war.

But I reserve a ton of anger for those who send our service people into harm’s way for no good reason.

May 30, 2011 Posted by | biology, economics, economy, political/social, politics, politics/social, Republican, republican party, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics, world events | 1 Comment

May 30 2011 Zumba…

Lynn dragged me to Zumba class. It was interesting.

I did my best to watch the feet of the instructor; still I botched many of the moves. But some of my tightness and weaknesses were exposed (piriformis, tight quads) and worked on; overall it was good for me.

Afterward, we went to Indian buffet (Pasad’s) and then to Starbucks. At Starbucks we chatted with the director of the Steamboat 4 mile/15 K race (Philip Lockwood).

Highlight of the Zumba class: Nancy (the perky instructor) rubbed a towel across her butt (as part of demonstrating a move); then she tossed me the towel. 🙂 It was all in good fun.

My trying and failing. 🙂

Lynn and me; I am on the right. Lynn had just made me laugh when this was taken…

Lynn, Me and Nancy

May 30, 2011 Posted by | Friends, injury, training | 4 Comments

30 May 2011 early am

Workout notes
I ran an easy 3 miles (3.14 by google) this morning. I started at 6:32 am and finished at 7:03; I did have to dodge one car that didn’t realize that the intersection was NOT a 4 way stop; still that car has a lot more “M” and “V” than I do…better to be alive than “right but dead or crippled”.

The weather was about as pretty as possible (sun, not that hot yet) but I was surprised that there were so many cars on the neighborhood road. Then again this is a working class neighborhood and people are used to getting up early.

Later: Lynn has talked me into going to Zumba class:

Don’t worry; though I’ll be the only male, this class is lead by and mostly populated by middle aged women; there is little danger that I’ll pull something or throw out my back. But who knows; with any luck maybe I’ll get eyestrain? (I like MILF’s and GILF’s). 🙂

Hmmm, maybe I should frown and scowl more?

Women find happy guys significantly less sexually attractive than swaggering or brooding men, according to a new University of British Columbia study that helps to explain the enduring allure of “bad boys” and other iconic gender types. The study – which may cause men to smile less on dates, and inspire online daters to update their profile photos – finds dramatic gender differences in how men and women rank the sexual attractiveness of non-verbal expressions of commonly displayed emotions, including happiness, pride, and shame.
“While showing a happy face is considered essential to friendly social interactions, including those involving sexual attraction – few studies have actually examined whether a smile is, in fact, attractive,” says Prof. Jessica Tracy of UBC’s Dept. of Psychology. “This study finds that men and women respond very differently to displays of emotion, including smiles.”

In a series of studies, more than 1,000 adult participants rated the sexual attractiveness of hundreds of images of the opposite sex engaged in universal displays of happiness (broad smiles), pride (raised heads, puffed-up chests) and shame (lowered heads, averted eyes).

The study found that women were least attracted to smiling, happy men, preferring those who looked proud and powerful or moody and ashamed. In contrast, male participants were most sexually attracted to women who looked happy, and least attracted to women who appeared proud and confident.

No, I don’t take this study very seriously; though maybe there is something there? 🙂

Political Fun

Good for Mitt Romney:

The big important news of the Romney campaign today is that he apparently swung by some touristy deep-dish pizza place while on a fundraising swing through Chicago, ate some pie — I imagine very daintily, with a knife and fork — and then decided, for the LOLs, to send over the leftovers to the Obama re-elect headquarters, who confirmed the receipt of Romney’s leavings.

Yes, this Huffington Post article makes fun of him for doing this, but I think that it is great that Mr. Romney is interjecting some levity into things. We can disagree on policy without hating each other….well, maybe some can. I sometimes struggle with this.

So I salute Mr. Romney for setting a nice tone.


Here is what we are up against. This is part of a letter to the editor written by a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” old man

How many times during my youth did mentors – parents, grandparents, teachers, religious leaders, etc. – explain the importance of caring for the poor? I bought into the fact that many among us were not privileged to wealth, good health, higher education or proper guidance. I accepted the fact that not all were born equal and some need societal protection against the unscrupulous among us.

All of those reasons have flooded my memory bank as I listen to our elected officials explain why cuts in funding cannot happen to our school systems and our relief agencies. “The poor among us need our help” seems to be a constant theme among our political leaders to maintain the status quo when it comes to the transfer of wealth in this country.

Personally, I’ve stopped buying into the “woe is me” philosophy of yet another generation of under-educated, under-employed “poor” people. How difficult can it be to grasp the simple truth that education will usually lead to a richer, fuller life? How difficult can it be to explain to your child that living in public housing is not the norm and that better economic conditions usually follow better-educated people? How difficult is it to stress the obvious truth that doing drugs is terribly detrimental to one’s health and overall well-being? How difficult can it be to convince your child that learning to read is probably the single most important improvement one can ever make it climbing out of poverty?

Hell, I did it. I listened to my parents and my children listened to me. If I did it, everyone can do it. I was born in 1933. I know what poor is! I watched while my parents dug their way out of poverty and into middle America. It can be done!

Emphasis mine. This guy grew up right wen the New Deal was in full force and the government was spending like crazy (WW II also). Tax rates on the upper income people were sky high. I am NOT saying that this man was employed in a New Deal program directly, but the bottom line is that private enterprise, at that time, was helped by the fact that people had money to spend. But oh no…he did it ALL HIMSELF (so he thinks).

This is a bit like my right wing Naval Academy classmates going on and on about self-sufficiency. 🙂
(note: a Naval Academy education is taxpayer funded, and a government paycheck is guaranteed for 4-5 years afterward)

Robert Reich talks more about this era and afterward:

The Great Prosperity

During three decades from 1947 to 1977, the nation implemented what might be called a basic bargain with American workers. Employers paid them enough to buy what they produced. Mass production and mass consumption proved perfect complements. Almost everyone who wanted a job could find one with good wages, or at least wages that were trending upward.

During these three decades everyone’s wages grew — not just those at or near the top.

Government enforced the basic bargain in several ways. It used Keynesian policy to achieve nearly full employment. It gave ordinary workers more bargaining power. It provided social insurance. And it expanded public investment. Consequently, the portion of total income that went to the middle class grew while the portion going to the top declined. But this was no zero-sum game. As the economy grew almost everyone came out ahead, including those at the top.

The pay of workers in the bottom fifth grew 116 percent over these years — faster than the pay of those in the top fifth (which rose 99 percent), and in the top 5 percent (86 percent).

Productivity also grew quickly. Labor productivity — average output per hour worked — doubled. So did median incomes. Expressed in 2007 dollars, the typical family’s income rose from about $25,000 to $55,000. The basic bargain was cinched.

The middle class had the means to buy, and their buying created new jobs. As the economy grew, the national debt shrank as a percentage of it.

The Great Prosperity also marked the culmination of a reorganization of work that had begun during the Depression. Employers were required by law to provide extra pay — time-and-a-half — for work stretching beyond 40 hours a week. This created an incentive for employers to hire additional workers when demand picked up. Employers also were required to pay a minimum wage, which improved the pay of workers near the bottom as demand picked up.

When workers were laid off, usually during an economic downturn, government provided them with unemployment benefits, usually lasting until the economy recovered and they were rehired. Not only did this tide families over but it kept them buying goods and services — an “automatic stabilizer” for the economy in downturns.

Perhaps most significantly, government increased the bargaining leverage of ordinary workers. They were guaranteed the right to join labor unions, with which employers had to bargain in good faith. By the mid-1950s more than a third of all America workers in the private sector were unionized. And the unions demanded and received a fair slice of the American pie. Non-unionized companies, fearing their workers would otherwise want a union, offered similar deals.

Americans also enjoyed economic security against the risks of economic life — not only unemployment benefits but also, through Social Security, insurance against disability, loss of a major breadwinner, workplace injury and inability to save enough for retirement. In 1965 came health insurance for the elderly and the poor (Medicare and Medicaid). Economic security proved the handmaiden of prosperity. In requiring Americans to share the costs of adversity it enabled them to share the benefits of peace of mind. And by offering peace of mind, it freed them to consume the fruits of their labors.

The government sponsored the dreams of American families to own their own home by providing low-cost mortgages and interest deductions on mortgage payments. In many sections of the country, government subsidized electricity and water to make such homes habitable. And it built the roads and freeways that connected the homes with major commercial centers.

Government also widened access to higher education. The GI Bill paid college costs for those who returned from war. The expansion of public universities made higher education affordable to the American middle class.

Government paid for all of this with tax revenues from an expanding middle class with rising incomes. Revenues were also boosted by those at the top of the income ladder whose marginal taxes were far higher. The top marginal income tax rate during World War II was over 68 percent. In the 1950s, under Dwight Eisenhower, whom few would call a radical, it rose to 91 percent. In the 1960s and 1970s the highest marginal rate was around 70 percent. Even after exploiting all possible deductions and credits, the typical high-income taxpayer paid a marginal federal tax of over 50 percent. But contrary to what conservative commentators had predicted, the high tax rates did not reduce economic growth. To the contrary, they enabled the nation to expand middle-class prosperity and fuel growth.

There is more there (Reich’s article); he talks about how this came tumbling down and how our three main coping mechanisms (individual borrowing, two income families, working more hours) eventually ceased to be effective.

Frankly, I don’t see much hope in compromise; at least the Republicans admit that they aren’t going to compromise:

As we learn more about the brain, we are learning that…surprise, surprise, not everyone can do everything. Here is a blurb about “discalculia”:

What is dyscalculia?

Examples of common indicators of dyscalculia are (i) carrying out simple number comparison and addition tasks by counting, often using fingers, well beyond the age when it is normal, and (ii) finding approximate estimation tasks difficult. Individuals identified as dyscalculic behave differently from their mainstream peers, for example:

* To say which is the larger of two playing cards showing 5 and 8, they count all the symbols on each card.
* To place a playing card of 8 in sequence between a 3 and a 9 they count up spaces between the two to identify where the 8 should be placed.
* To count down from 10 they count up from 1 to 10, then 1 to 9, etc.
* To count up from 70 in tens, they say ’70, 80, 90, 100, 200, 300…’
* They estimate the height of a normal room as ‘200 feet?’

Ok, I don’t know enough to know if this is something real or a modern thing that is “just made up”. BUT if it is real, well, ok…just please, please, please, don’t tell people with this affliction that they can be scientists or engineers, ok?

May 30, 2011 Posted by | 2012 election, economics, economy, Friends, human sexuality, humor, mind, Mitt Romney, political humor, political/social, politics, politics/social, Republican, republican party, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics, running, taxes, training | Leave a comment

Ok, off of the internet

PM: lifted weights, swam 1300 yards:

weights: rotator cuff
incline: 10 x 115, 9 x 130, 6 x 135, 5 x 135
dumbbell curl: 3 sets of 10 x 25 lb.
ez curl (preacher) 1 set of 62 (two 10’s on each side)
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 140
rows (medium grip; sore elbow) 3 sets of 10 x 200 (Hammer machine)
sit ups 4 x 25 (varied incline)

Swim: 6 x (25 drill, 25 swim), 10 x 100 on the 2 (1:52, 53, 52, 51, 50, 49, 49, 48, 47, 47) Getting better.

The water was nice and cold; some of the old farts don’t like it, but it is good for swimming.

Ok, now to read my New York Times, watch a few videos, etc. I’ve screwed around on the internet and am not being productive at all. 🙂

May 29, 2011 Posted by | big butts, spandex, swimming, training, weight training | Leave a comment

29 May 2011 (am)

Workout notes: I walked 4.04 miles in 1:05 with Lynn:
the course featured 190 feet of climb.

One bit of good news: the super slow pace didn’t kill my piriformis; evidently cutting back a little and not doing squats has helped.
I might swim and lift this afternoon “just because”.

Social Conservatism
I’ll say it again: though I disagree with economic conservatives I listen to them; on occasion they have a good idea (insurance mandates, cap and trade) though they will run from those ideas if a Democrat proposes them. 🙂

But this is one of the kinds of conservative that I actually dislike:

The latest news from Illinois is that antigay activists are going to try to ban gay marriage in 2012. They are upset at the advancements of gay people in the state and nationwide. Because they’re not gay, they don’t understand our struggle. They think we’re immoral and evil because they can’t relate because they’re not gay. Not gay at all. And they explain their thoughts to us, and believe me, they spent a lot of time thinking of this campaign and reasons it’s important. A lot of time. They say:

“The civil unions bill has been shoved down our throat without the people having a chance to vote on it,” Richard Walsh of American’s for Life told Chicago ABC affiliate WLS-TV.

But, he added, he’s not gay. Totally not.

Get that? These sorts of conservative thinks that THEIR freedom is diminished when gays are allowed to have civil unions? It is unbelievable! I have no respect for such an individual.

2012: Herman Cain is now polling in the high single digits in the Republican primary and Nate Silver thinks that he is a credible candidate (yeah right). I really don’t take him seriously, though I note that in 2004 the Illinois Republicans drafted Alan Keyes (a black conservative) from out of state to run against Barack Obama in the U. S. Senate Race. It didn’t turn out so well for them.

Maybe the national Republicans my try this with Herman Cain? 🙂
Anyway, here is one of Mr. Cain’s ads:

PS to Mr. Cain: when your customers have money to spend, they’ll probably eat more pizza….and yes, I do like Godfathers’ pizza. That is Keynesian economics.

Political Correctness gone wrong

Here are the facts as I understand them (hat tip: Richard Dawkins)

Prof Steve Jones, one of Britain’s most eminent scientists, has warned that the level of inbreeding among the nation’s Muslims is endangering the health of future generations.

“It is common in the Islamic world to marry your brother’s daughter, which is actually closer than marrying your cousin.

“We should be concerned about that as there can be a lot of hidden genetic damage. Children are much more likely to get two copies of a damaged gene.”

He added: “Bradford is very inbred. There is a huge amount of cousins marrying each other there.” Research in Bradford has found that babies born to Pakistani women are twice as likely to die in their first year as babies born to white mothers, with genetic problems linked to inbreeding identified as a “significant” cause.

Studies have found that within the city, more than 70 per cent of marriages are between relations, with more than half involving first cousins.

Separate studies have found that while British Pakistanis make up three per cent of all births, they account for one in three British children born with genetic illnesses. Prof Jones also said that incest was more common than is often realised in every part of society, adding that it had been particular prevalent among royalty and suggested it is still ­continuing.

Yes, he DOES mention British royalty. Bottom line: such statements should not come under fire and I should also point out that this is the U. K. and not the United States.

May 29, 2011 Posted by | 2012 election, civil liberties, economy, injury, moron, Peoria, Political Ad, political/social, politics, politics/social, religion, Republican, republican party, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics, social/political, walking | Leave a comment

THIS is how you counter junk “science”….and other topics

I am taking a break between segments of a pop-science video on quantum mechanics. I’ll probably write a short blurb on my mathematics blog about how the Taylor series is used in Plank’s law (which yields the Rayleigh-Jeans blackbody radation law at low frequencies).

I’ll post some stuff that I found interesting.

Remember all of the uproar about the “why black women are ugly” article that appeared in Psychology Today (online) and then was pulled? Much of the push-back against the article was lame; it was “I don’t like it” and that was about it. This is a typical reaction, though the TITLE of this counter article “says who?” actually gets to the point rather quickly.

Of course, there are many problems with the article; for one the measurement of attractiveness was basically the opinion of a small number of people. So what the data (supposedly) said was “a tiny percentage of people seem to think that black women are less attractive than other women.”…that’s it.

But it turns out that the data DIDN’T EVEN SAY THAT MUCH!!!

2. Kanazawa interprets his findings in terms of adult attractiveness yet the majority of his data were based on the ratings of attractiveness of the participants when they were teenagers. If many of us (including the authors of this post) were judged throughout our lives based on our physical attractiveness as a teenager, a lot of us would be in trouble!

Add Health currently has four “waves,” […]

Note that only Wave IV actually consists of “Adults.” In fact, the range of ages for Wave I and Wave II is 12-22, with an average age of about 16 for both waves.

Imagine the scenario. Adult researchers (unfortunately we couldn’t find out information about the actual interviewers themselves) went into the homes of these participants and rated their own subjective view of the physical attractiveness of the study participants on a scale from 1 to 5 (ranging from “very unattractive” to “very attractive”). For Waves I and II in particular, the ratings couldn’t possibly (we hope!) be referring to ratings of the sexual attractiveness of these kids. So discussions of this topic using data from the dating website OK Cupid really aren’t appropriate here.

Only in Waves 3 and 4 were the participants old enough on average (M = 22.2, SD = 1.9 and M= 29.00 SD = 1.8, respectively) to be actually called “women” and “men” instead of girls and boys. If one looks at the data from the waves (3 and 4) in which all of the interviewees reached legal adulthood, the pattern of results no longer supports Kanazawa’s main conclusion.

In Wave 3, we did find a very slight difference in attractiveness ratings in favor of European women, but this is effect is no longer significant after we take into account the random variation due to the raters.

However, only data from Wave 4 is relevant for the issue that Kanazawa wants to address simply because this is the only Wave consisting of adults (they were collected when all of the participants were adults aged 25-34). Unfortunately, Kanazawa does not include presentation of these Wave 4 results, despite the fact that he uses Add Health data in most of his studies and these data have been available for over a month.

Focusing just on Wave 4, it is obvious that among the women in the sample, there is no difference between the ethnicities in terms of ratings of physical attractiveness. Differences in the distributions for females when tested with a regular (and slightly liberal) test of independence is non-significant and hence can be attributed to chance (Pearson’s Chi-Square=15.6, DF=12, p =.210). Here’s the graph that shows the distribution of ratings (in percentages) for 1564 European Americans, 553 African Americans, 97 Native Americans, and 96 Asian American females (with arithmetic means below each group):

There is much more there, but the counter-argument is easy to sum up: it is an incompetent analysis of data which represents the opinions of a small number of people. THAT is how one critiques such shoddy “studies”.

I freely admit that this study attracted such attention because it offended so many, and I wonder how much junk is out there that hasn’t attracted such scrutiny? I also wonder what the article referee was doing when he/she reviewed this article. That this passed some sort of a “review process” does not speak well for Psychology Today.

Note: before you start screaming “oh, you are just being PC”; it is possible to, say, do a competent survey of American heterosexual males on what they find sexually attractive, and it is possible that one group of women (say, Asian or Mexican) be found more or less attractive than some other group of women. My honest guess is that the results would be all over the map, especially if one took into account things like health, wealth, obesity, etc. But who knows?

BUT…I doubt if there would be any “evolutionary” reason aside from people having some tendency to select for the signs of good child bearing potential in women and perhaps being more attracted to one’s own “race” (on the average….MAYBE). Remember that some homo sapiens carry Neanderthal genes….so evidently sexual attraction is quite varied!!!! 🙂

What I know for sure is that the Psychology Today article was pathetic and it sure appears to me as if the author has some sort of racial ax to grind, but I can’t be sure of that. It could be that the author of the Psychology Today is driven by some desire to be anti-PC and iconoclastic for its own sake.

Progress in the United States
I have to beware of passing along things that are “what I want to hear”:

I want to hear this message. BUT…becoming right wing might well be a sign of wealth; that is, as more racial minorities become more affluent, they too might turn into right wingers.

And remember that people who are discriminated against often have no problem discriminating against others; though this comes from a satire blog, it sure hammers home the point:

(cut and paste if you want to read the post; I don’t want the track-back)

Warning: the language is not what I’d use on the blog:

I am so proud of the West Coast blacks! I didn’t think they had it in them. They disproved the liberal concept of “prejudice.” So-called “enlightened” people often claim those of us who recognize that different people have different places in society — and not everyone is “equal” — are prejudiced. They criticize our claims that colored people are destined to serve rather than lead as evidence of “prejudice.” Well, the California coloreds proved them wrong. Even though these people support their own “rights,” they voted overwhelmingly in favor of Proposition 8, which prohibits homosexuals from having the same kind of relationships the rest of us have (i.e., marriage). Exit polls show that the majority of normal people (Caucasians) voted against the proposition. It was the blacks who ensured it passed.

This, of course, just shows that claims of “prejudice” involve nothing more than self-interest. Blacks pushed hard for the right to be viewed the same as whites, and actually got one of their own kind elected President. But when it came to homos seeking the same so-called “rights,” they voted to recognize that not everyone is equal. They single-handedly defeated homo equality in California. Thank you, California coloreds, not just for putting homos in their place, but for showing that claims of “injustice” and “prejudice” really just involve self-interest. After all, as soon as you got what you wanted, you abandoned all pretense of supporting equality. Clever. LOL!

Yes, I know; one can correct for education, religiosity and age.

Bottom line: I don’t see racial minorities as being more altruistic than anyone else; remember that my ancestors (Aztecs if you go back far enough) ruthlessly dealt with the people that they conquered. They weren’t really any more moral than my Spanish ancestors; they were merely less efficient at killing and enslaving.

Ok, I’ll look at it this way: conservatism is more about keeping order than anything else:

And if minorities become the new majority, we’ll probably see “conservative” minorities trying to preserve the new order at the expense of others.

May 28, 2011 Posted by | 2010 election, Blogroll, blogs, evolution, human sexuality, racism, science, statistics | Leave a comment

Am I really that bad????

Yes, I did some mathematics over the last hour or so.
But I got an e-mail from a female racewalking friend (a FAST racewalker; she just finished 15K in 1:29) who sent me this video with the following comment:

Ollie – don’t know if you’ve seen this video, as it was posted to the RW list, but if not, you will particularly enjoy 1:32 or so into it 🙂

And from that 1:32 section?

Why would anyone think that I would especially enjoy this??? 🙂

May 28, 2011 Posted by | big butts, bikinis, Friends, racewalking, spandex, walking | 3 Comments

What to do this long weekend?

Ok, the wife is away and the yard work is mostly done…and for various reasons, doing long hikes, walks, runs, swims and long weight lifting sessions are not an option. Short walks/swims are ok.

So what should I do this weekend?

1. Make a dent on my reading list
2. Read a technical mathematics paper
3. View some of my old movies or “courses on CD”; the latter might actually teach me something
4. Blog; look for statistics of interest.
5. Surf the net for spandex butt shots.


May 28, 2011 Posted by | Personal Issues, whining | 2 Comments

Worse than I thought

On a whim I decided to try to run the 5K in Chillicothe, IL today.
Doing the run wasn’t a mistake; I like this race. The weather: about 60 F, and yes, there were some MILF and GILF spandex too. 🙂

But today, I wasn’t fast enough to keep up with the ladies. 😦

Final time: 26:56; this included 3-4 very short walking breaks.
Mile 1 was 8:19…and that was too fast for today! I was walking by 14 minutes into it (probably shouldn’t have) and took 8:49 to reach mile 2 (17:07) and mile 3 (1.1 miles) took 9:48. Afterward I walked a mile to cool down and my legs were like rocks.

My guess: last week’s CRUD 8 hour took more out of me than I care to admit; my thighs were fatigued.
Ironically there was slender lady with a McNaughton shirt and she struggled too; 5K’s and ultras don’t mix all that well.

Realistically had I tried to walk this it would have only taken about 5 minutes longer.

Update: I finished 144 out of 283; so close to the middle of the pack. I just was DEAD in the last .5 miles or so though, and it felt as if I were jogging in place.

May 28, 2011 Posted by | running, time trial/ race, training | 4 Comments