CIDA 5K run and other inspirations

Today (so far): 2 mile warm up, 5K (3.1 mile run) in 25:14 (33 of 139, 2 AG), 1 mile cool down walk. I went with Tracy who ran in 39:33.

Conditions: slightly windy, 40’s (5 C), overcast. Not bad for March in Illinois though.

As usual, it was a spandex fest and I enjoyed quite a bit of it during warm ups and during the first mile. However, mostly I focused on staying behind Bill Holmes and keeping an eye on Dianne L. (who runs just under 25, which is my short term goal).
I started to catch people on the first uphill (mild uphill; like an incline really) and got to mile 1 in 8:27; a bit slower than I’d hoped for.
But I felt ok and tried to relax. We then turned from Adams to the Rivertrail (3/4 mile mark on the trail) and I started to look for Dianne; she had quite the lead. I picked it up some more and got to mile 2 8:17 later (16:44).

I knew that we’d be close to 1 mile to go when we got near the Riverplex so I attempted to quicken my pace (take quicker steps)
I then caught at least a half dozen people on this stretch but by the time we got past the Gateway building (about 800 meters to go, Dianne was still too far ahead; I had caught and passed everyone else between us. However, one guy got me here.

I could see the clock still in the 24’s but ticking away; the last 1.1 took me 8:29 (7:43 pace).

Then I went back for Tracy.

As a comparison between this week and last week:

mile 1: 8:14 8:27
mile 2: 8:19 8:17
mile 3.1: 8:34 8:29
finish time 25:08 25:14

So, there is some consistency. Now I have to work on extending that last 1.1 out a bit; maybe next time I can hold that pace for, say, 1.3-1.4? I’ll try the “pick up” at the 15 minute mark next time.

Update I lifted weights from about 5 pm to 6:15 or so; I ran out of energy.
rotator cuff (pulley, dumbbells)
pull ups: 3 sets of 10 knuckles facing me, a set of 7 and 5 with the palms facing each other.
sit ups: 8 sets of 20.
lunges: 4 sets
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 230
bench press: 10 x 135, 9 x 165, 3 sets of 3 x 175 (couldn’t get 4)
incline press: 5 x 135, 5 x 135, 7 x 135 (?)
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
curls: 2 sets of 10 x 30 lb. dumbbell, 10 x 50 pulley.
military: 15 x 45 lb. dumbbell seated; couldn’t get the weights up for set 2
so I did 10 x 90 machine shoulder press.
I was tired when I finished.
Other issues

My note: yes, I have a Flickr account and someone named me as a contact. So I looked at a few of her photos and named her as a contact. Now she is posting things like the video below, as well as photos:

50 comments gets a new pic, 100 comments gets another video 😉

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(click on the small one to see the full size one on Flickr)

Of course, I like the video and the above photo for the “obvious” reasons. But “hard bodies” and “working out” inspires me.

Check out these two “urban gymnastics” videos:

This guy is SIXTY!!!!

Well…it is off to the gym for me. 🙂

March 31, 2012 Posted by | big butts, bikinis, running, spandex, time trial/ race, training, weight training | 15 Comments

Good Morning!

50 comments gets a new pic, 100 comments gets another video 😉

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March 31, 2012 Posted by | spandex, weight training | Leave a comment

Crazy Rick: ying/yang; R-budgets and Insurance

Rick Santorum’s “say what he thinks” temperament may have helped him become the “last non-Mitt” standing, but it might have also prevented him from pulling the upset.

On the other hand Willard “Mitt” Romney is having trouble in rural areas; more so than Senator McCain did. Of course, while Democrats might hope that this spells trouble for Mr. Romney in the fall, I highly doubt that he’ll have trouble in the deep red states; the Republicans can run a rubber chicken and win those states. The keys will be the big swing states: Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Virginia.

So what about the big money in the SuperPacs? Well, many feared that democracy could be bought, but then again much of this money is coming from “crank billionaires”, so perhaps these won’t be so disciplined?

Health Care Reform
Paul Krugman points out that the mandate is much like, say, a non-government run Medicare. So what is going on with the challenge to the mandate?

Why have the mandate?


The New Republican Budget basically, cuts for the poor, tax breaks for the wealthy.

Paul Krugman argues that some of the lower economic class is being priced out of education. He has made this argument convincingly before.

Here he points out that the older population in the US is as educated as the younger population, whereas in other countries, the younger population is becoming increasingly educated.

Two comments:
1. The U. S. had a high percentage of older people with college educations; a higher number is always harder to improve on.
2. I’d need to know the birth rates; it could be that in the United States, the birth rates among lower educated people is higher.

March 31, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, economy, health care, Mitt Romney, politics, politics/social, republicans, rick santorum | Leave a comment

Swimming progress

I only swam today; 750 warm up, 250 of 25 drill/swim.
Then 10 x 100 on the 2: 1:41, 1:42, 1:41, 1:39, 1:39, 1:38, 1:39, 1:39, 1:38, 1:38.
Average: 1:39.4, or .6 better than last week.
200 c/d

I had to admit that the first 3 slower reps surprised me as I felt good. Note: there was a lady in a purple suit to my right, 4 ladies in a row to my left (one in a small workout bikini). I challenged myself to try to catch them when I could and that probably helped.

2011: here was my progress:

7 Sep. 1:41, 1:39, 1:38, 1:38, 1:38, 1:37, 1:36, 1:38, 1:36, 1:36 (1:37.7)
31 Aug. 1:41, 1:40, 1:38, 1:37, 1:37, 1:37, 1:37, 1:37, 1:37, 1:38. Average: 1:37.9
24 Aug 1:42, 39, 39, 40, 39, 39, 38, 39, 39, 39. (1:39.3)
8 Aug 1:38 1:38 1:38 1:37 1:37 1:37 1:37 1:37 1:36 1:37 (1:37.2 average)
1 Aug 1:38 1:38 1:38 1:38 1:37 1:36 1:36 1:36 1:37 1:36 (1:37.0 average)
27 July 1:40, 1:41, 1:40, 1:41, 1:40, 1:38, 1:37, 1:37, 1:38, 1:37 (1:38.9 average)
19 July 1:41, 1:38, 1:38, 1:38, 1:38, 1:37, 1:38, 1:36, 1:38, 1:36 (1:37.8 average)

8 Aug 1:37.2 (+ .2 seconds)
1 Aug 1:37.0 (.4 seconds/week)
27 July 1:38.9 (+ 1.1 seconds!)
19 July 1:37.8 (.85 seconds/week)
5 July 1:39.5 (.9 seconds/week)
21 June: 1:41.3 (1.1 seconds/week)
15 June: 1:42.4 (1.1 seconds/week)
1 June: 1:44.6 (5.1 seconds/.5 week = 10.2 seconds per week)
29 May: 1:49.7

March 30, 2012 Posted by | swimming, time trial/ race | 3 Comments

The Borscht Whisperer – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – 03/28/12 – Video Clip | Comedy Central

Barack Obama has to act like an idiot until he’s done dealing with voters and gets a second term. Airdate – 03/28/12My note: yep, this is a political gaffe.

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March 29, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, Barack Obama, politics, world events | Leave a comment

Fact Checking, hominoid feet, mandates and anti-science…conservatives…er people…

Workout notes
Yoga with Ms. Vickie (uninspiring workout; I just wasn’t into it) followed by 1:08 worth of running. 21 minute warm up, 3.24 miles around the goose loop, 13 minute wind assisted run back. Call it 6.5 miles (easy). It was slightly chillier than it had been recently and somewhat windy; still great weather by “March in Illinois” standards.

Speaking of weather: so can we expect a hot “April/May” period followed by a brutally hot summer? Well, if past data is any indication….not really. The short: in the past, “warm March” does not correlate with “warm April” though this year might really be different.

Humor (I love the “butt” remark)

I’ve been following the Trayvon Martin killing some. Yes, I am astonished that Zimmerman has not been arrested as yet and his story makes no sense to me. BUT, some of the “arrest Zimmerman” crowd are saying things that make no sense at all. Here is such a case: listen to what Melissa Harris-Perry said on MSNBC.

[…]If trayvon martin had thrown a punch, you’re talking about a citizen unarmed throwing a punch at an armed man who was following him. Why wouldn’t stand your ground protect trayvon martin ? Why does have the right to impede on him, which the evidence is clearly beginning to look like it’s not. What’s most distressing is we have to explain why it is problematic for an armed adult to kill an unarmed child.

Emphasis mine. Note: evidently the transcript is generated automatically; Ms. Perry speaks more eloquently than this.
I have no problem with anything she said, except for the last sentence.

Come on, Ms. Perry: had Mr. Martin really been attacking you, I don’t see it as problematic at all why you might shoot him. He was a 17 year old boy, and I can assure you that I was far stronger and more dangerous (physically) when I was 17 than I am now. Just check out the football recruits for a NCAA team some time. That statement is stupid.

Still, I think that this kid was being hassled while minding his own business and that Mr. Zimmerman needs to be arrested (and yes, there is a lot I don’t know, so my opinion is, by definition, not an informed one).

Human evolution
There is new information available about a hominoid that lived about the same time as Lucy, though this one spent time in trees.

Conservatives and Science Yes, it is easy to show that conservatives are more likely to reject evolution and climate science than liberals, and that holds true if one corrects for education level.

But liberals are more likely to embrace nonsense and woo (e. g. homeopathy). I see it this way: conservatives tend to make type II errors (fail to reject a false null hypothesis) whereas liberals tend to make type I errors (reject a true null hypothesis).

Try an experiment: walk into a Unitarian church and see if anyone embraces creationism or denies climate change. Then look at their “adult education” programs; you are likely to find talks on subjects like Reiki, dousing, and the like.

Fact Checking
I have mixed feelings about sites like Fact or Politfact. Their written analysis is usually pretty good; I do use that. But their “grading” scheme is bogus (example: is Paul Ryan proposing to “end Medicare as we know it”? I say “yes” and someone else might say “no”; to me, the yes/no part is opinion. What isn’t opinion is that Mr. Ryan proposes replacing the current Medicare system with a private insurance backed system; whether one calls this an “overhaul of the current system” or “ending the current system and replacing it with another system” is really a matter of semantics.
Anyway, I found this article about “Fact Check” sites (in the United States) to be very good. Upshot: the analysis of the news is important; unfortunately people all-too-often used “fact check” to label someone a “liar” or “truth teller”. Yes, Paul Krugman has a point about Politifact, but I still think that their analysis is pretty good.

Speaking of health care: it sure looks as if the health care mandate will be struck down. But will some of the law be allowed to stand?

NOTE The health care plan that Barack Obama campaigned on did NOT have a mandate; Hillary Clinton’s plan did. Mr. Obama thought that if the insurance was a good enough deal, people would want to buy it and there would be enough business to offset the costs of “free riders” (who would get hit with big penalties if they got sick..)

March 29, 2012 Posted by | Barack Obama, environment, evolution, health care, hillary clinton, media, politics, racism, science, SCOTUS, social/political, yoga | Leave a comment

Bluebonnets, Purple Frogs, Ascending Chain Conditions, Health Mandates and Banned Dinosaurs…

There was a “reason rally” in Washington DC last weekend. Though it might have been sort of fun (good speakers), as an academic, I really don’t feel isolated at all. Most of my “reason rallies” are called “math and science conferences”. Nevertheless, it might have been fun to go. Here is a collection of some of the signs there; I selected two of them.

I like this one because, well, I think that President Obama has been reasonably friendly to religion. On the other hand, well, perhaps I am not trying to destroy religion (though I’d love to convince people that beliefs in “miracles” are outdated superstitions) but I would love to destroy the influence that religious myths have on our public policies.

It is clear why I like this one. 🙂

Now of course, some of the polyester pants types has this view of us:

Hmmm, I thought that many of the “New Atheist” types are science professors at major universities (and to be sure, mediocrities such as myself). And on the left side…well, perhaps we should add a torture rack and a set of thumbscrews. Oh well…:)

Speaking of amphibians a “feared to be extinct frog” has been discovered:

Herpetologists from the California Academy of Sciences and University of Texas at El Paso discovered a single specimen of the Bururi long-fingered frog (Cardioglossa cyaneospila) during a research expedition to Burundi in December 2011. The frog was last seen by scientists in 1949 and was feared to be extinct after decades of turmoil in the tiny East African nation.

Aw. How much cuter can a carbon-based lifeform get? 🙂

Beauty of Nature Ok, Texas has long had a program to plant wildflowers by the roadways.

This was taken in the Texas Hill Country (just west of Austin, Texas; somewhat south-central)

Math/Science Education

The New York Times has this blurb about Emmy Noether:

Scientists are a famously anonymous lot, but few can match in the depths of her perverse and unmerited obscurity the 20th-century mathematical genius Amalie Noether.

Albert Einstein called her the most “significant” and “creative” female mathematician of all time, and others of her contemporaries were inclined to drop the modification by sex. She invented a theorem that united with magisterial concision two conceptual pillars of physics: symmetry in nature and the universal laws of conservation. Some consider Noether’s theorem, as it is now called, as important as Einstein’s theory of relativity; it undergirds much of today’s vanguard research in physics, including the hunt for the almighty Higgs boson. Yet Noether herself remains utterly unknown, not only to the general public, but to many members of the scientific community as well.

Emphasis mine.

Uh…no. Yes, she IS one of the all-time great mathematicians; that is beyond dispute. But she is certainly well known to anyone who has taken a pure mathematics curriculum in graduate school; the Noetherian rings are well studied. Anyone who has taken the Ph. D. comprehensive examination in mathematics has studied these.

By the way: a “ring” is a collection of objects for which multiplication and division is defined (simplistic definition). An “ideal” in a ring R is a set I such that I is itself a subring (closed under addition and multiplication) and if r \in R, rI \in I . Example: in the integers, the set of all multiples of a given integer forms an ideal.

Anyway, a Noetherian ring is one in which any ascending chain of ideals eventually stabilizes. The ring of integers enjoys this property. This is something that a student in a graduate algebra class has to know. 🙂

Speaking of “knowing”, did you know that a certain city has put words like “evolution” and “dinosaurs” on its “uncomfortable word” list, which is not to be used in the citywide standardized test? No, we are not talking about a southern city…NEW YORK CITY. FAIL.

Anti-Gay Bigotry
This incident is unbelievable (even if unimportant)…and hilarious in how it ended:

(I’m a cashier at a newly opened gas station. It is the first of its chain in the area. As such, many of the customers are asking questions about the store. Since we’re new, I’m trying my best to be extra friendly and helpful to everyone. An old woman approaches me with several items. She looks rather concerned.)

Customer: “So…are you a gas station or a grocery store?”

Me: “Both, ma’am. We’re all about convenience.”

Customer: “And what sorts of customers come here?”

Me: “Well, we’ve just opened, ma’am, so its hard to say at this point.”

Customer: “I don’t want to shop at a store for God-hating homosexuals.”

Me: “Come again?”

Customer: “You heard me!” […]

Surf to the story to read the conclusion…and NO, the old woman doesn’t get told off..the story has a funnier and more uplifting end than that.

Of course, you know that President Obama is FORCING homosexuality on people, right? So say some right wing fundamentalists

Trayvon Martin

The above is one of the big issues. Personally, I don’t want ignorant Dirty Harry wannabes packing heat. The other issue: “black” is conflated with “criminal”.

Speaking of criminal, this is a story of a female teacher raping a 13 year old boy…and drugging him!

Former Massachusetts teacher Christine McCallum was sentenced to 29 months in prison and 10 years probation for raping and drugging a 13-year-old student.

McCallum, 29, was arrested in January 2009 and convicted of raping the boy up to 300 times over a 21-month period. She pleaded guilty to 12 counts of child rape, one count of drugging a person for sex and one count of providing alcohol to a minor, according to Enterprise.

Pedophilia comes in many forms.

Health Care Reform Law
Paul Kruman notes that it doesn’t look great but wonders why the government lawyer isn’t doing a better job. But a commenter on the Krugman post notes that the issue here is Constitutionality and NOT whether or not the argument makes economic sense.

Personally, I don’t know enough about law to have an informed opinion on the constitutionality of the law. Personally, I want some system in which everyone can have health insurance and those with pre-existing conditions can get reasonable coverage; HOW this is done is of no consequence to me. My “knee jerk” response is “single payer” but other countries have other systems that appear to be working.

March 29, 2012 Posted by | atheism, Barack Obama, biology, evolution, frogs, health care, mathematics, racism, science, social/political | Leave a comment

Barack Obama-Gun Control Conspiracy – The Colbert Report – 2012-27-03 – Video Clip | Comedy Central

The fear of not being able to buy guns during a second Obama term leads to Americans buying so many guns that now they can’t buy any guns, just like they feared.

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March 28, 2012 Posted by | Barack Obama, political humor, republicans | Leave a comment

Swim and a Walk

Well, I did something stupid this weekend (I’ll tell you in 3 weeks time what it was) so I changed my workout routine a bit:

4 mile walk: treadmill; 14 minute first mile followed by hill reps (went from 1 to 4, back to 0, then 1 to 4) and varied the pace. Total time: 48:06 for 4 hill miles.

Then 2200 yards of swimming; 500 of fist/free, 500 of 5g/free, 500 of side/free, 5 x (25 fly, 75 free) on the 2:10, 200 of back/free. Swam next to Ann again; the brown suit woman was there and a couple of, well…

The only thing of note is that prior to getting on the treadmill, I really didn’t want to work out at all. I felt fine once I kicked myself into going.

March 28, 2012 Posted by | swimming, walking, whining | Leave a comment


March 28, 2012 Posted by | creationism | Leave a comment