My Pitiful Bench Press

I don’t know whether to call myself “Mr. Slow Twitch” or “Mr. No Twitch”.

Today, I weighed in at 190 lbs. prior to starting my work out.

I warmed up with rotator cuff exercises, abs, and 5 sets of pull ups (10 repetitions each)

Then: 10 x 135, 4 x 180, 10 x 160 on the bench (hips down, no bounce).



Yes, I did better on the lighter set, AFTER I was more fatigued. Ok, on the 180 set I didn’t push for that “last rep” but I didn’t do that with 160 either.

(calculator from here)

Of course, this doesn’t grade that badly for my age, though it would be horrible for a young guy.

January 25, 2013 Posted by | weight training | | Leave a comment

Snarky responses to things…and something useful

Not all mathematics professors are as useless as I am. Note that Andrew Hicks (Drexel University) created a side mirror (for an auto) which gives a wider view without the usual distortion that the “round mirrors” have:

Now for the snark (and fun):

Proof that God exists!

The Great Frog God (whose existence has been proven) now looks forward to your worship, adoration and money. Mostly money. 🙂

(hat tip: Jerry Coyne)

Benghazi Attack Hearing
Colbert is annoyed that the Republicans looked so bad.



No, neither President Obama nor President Bush are/were tyrants.


Snark with Spandex

When I took my psychology course, I learned that some ads could be “too sexy” to be effective: that is, subjects remembered the sexy stuff but not the product. Could this be a case of that?


Well, if the product (what product? 🙂 ) was aimed at both men and women, this ad is probably wasted on the heterosexual males. But the heterosexual females might relate without being distracted, though I wonder what “183 percent less” means.

Someone thought that I’d like this. Hey, I am always willing to lend a hand.


No, this won’t get me into adventure racing; I’d probably end up torching my knees. 🙂

January 25, 2013 Posted by | big butts, hillary clinton, human sexuality, mathematics, physics, political humor, politics, religion, republicans politics, science, spandex, world events | , | Leave a comment

Too heavy…and big brains versus big immunity

I weighed before my workout and weighed 190. That is simply too heavy to achieve my running goals; I need to lose 10 pounds over the next 3 months or so. I did weigh 187 after my workout but that doesn’t count.

Workout: planned weight workout plus an easy 3 mile walk outside along the Riverfront; I wore baggy sweat pants and a heavy blue coat and didn’t go all that fast.

Weights: rotator cuff
pull ups: 4 sets of 10, 1 set of 5/5 (different grips)
bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 180, 10 x 160
incline: 7 x 135, 7 x 135
pull down/curl super set: curl: 10 x 25 dumbbell, 7 x 30 dumbbell, 10 x 50 pulley. pull down: 2 sets of 10 x 162.5, 6 x 150, 4 x 137 wide grip.
dumbbell row, dumbbell bench: row: 3 sets of 10 x 65, bench: 2 sets of 10 x 65
military: 2 sets of 15 x 45 seated, 10 x 70 (each arm, or 140) machine (grip that gave the most vertical motion)
I did abs, stretching, etc.

Sign of age: the women who smiled at me the most: late 40’s to mid 50’s. 🙂

This is a nice article on human evolution; it talks about the trade-offs between having big brains and good immunity. If it seems strange that these two things are related:

[…] The two biologists focus on how particular types of white blood cells, known as natural killer cells, work in the human immune system. In addition to fighting infections and tumors, natural killer cells help regulate the growth of the placenta during pregnancy. Humans are unique among primates in having two variants of the genes that control the receptors for natural killer cells.

“B haplotypes are favored during reproduction. A haplotypes are more specialized toward defending against infections,” Parham explained. “These are subtle effects. On average, if you’re an individual that has two A haplotypes and no B haplotype, you’re going to have a slightly more robust immune system in terms of dealing with disease.”
Having two B haplotypes, in contrast, would allow for a more robust placenta. That would provide the fetus in the womb with more of the nutrients needed to grow a bigger brain. “In the course of human evolution, you had the evolution of these B haplotypes, which really did enable the brain to get bigger. … There are correlations between the size of the brain of the baby and these genetic factors,” Parham said.[…]

Note: there is a discussion about homo sapiens interbreeding with Neanderthals; some scientists aren’t convinced and see the “Neanderthal genes” as evidence of a common ancestor instead of cross breeding.

January 25, 2013 Posted by | evolution, science, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

When you lose your “dummy card” in my book (or the Wisdom of Donald Rumsfeld)

I am getting ready to work out and then go to a coffee shop to work on my math paper (I have a paid leave to do research this semester).

Part of my study involves studying this object:

Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 6.14.42 AM

The red circle represents a line going to infinity; the yellow circle represents a “pattern” that is obtained by cutting it with a disk bounded by the red circle, and attaching copies of itself “end to end”. This gives you algebraic data to analyse.

So, what about the title of the post?
I had a conversation with a Sarah Palin supporter (I haven’t undfriended them all) who didn’t like the movie Game Change; they thought it was an “exaggeration” and refuse to believe that she was the way that she was portrayed, despite some top McCain campaign officials saying it was like that.

Then the topic of “common sense” came up. Yes, such “common sense” (a way of reasoning based on everyday life experience) might get you through your day to day routine (e. g. prevent you from getting swindled, help you run a small business, help you in relations with people) but it frequently fails when the situation becomes larger (say, nation wide, or world wide) or unfamiliar (say, science). Here is an example of such a failure:

I don’t blame someone for not knowing a technical area that isn’t their speciality; most of us have to struggle for success in our own fields. I do blame someone for not realizing that other fields have smart people working in them; just because what they are doing doesn’t make sense to you doesn’t mean that what they are doing is nonsense, waste of time, etc.

So, to me: you lose your “dummy card” when you realize “hey, this might seem strange to me, but this is in a different arena than I am used to; maybe I am missing something!”. In other words, when you realize that your “common sense” isn’t enough to compensate for a gross lack of knowledge, training or experience in another field, then you’ve lost your “dummy card” in my book.

Or, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld (NOT one of my favorite persons): “when you realize that there are not only “known unknowns” (variables that you don’t know the value of) but also “unknown unknowns” (variables hidden to YOU that you are unaware of to begin with but that the experts are aware of, as well as some that no one is aware of yet), then you lose your dummy card.

And, no this is not a partisan rant (think: Senator Proxmire Of course, projects should be vetted prior to getting funding, but they should be vetted by knowledgeable people and not “common sense populists”)

Off I go…

January 25, 2013 Posted by | mathematics, ranting, sarah palin, science, social/political | , , | Leave a comment