Google celebrates Lucy….


Good job Google!

November 24, 2015 Posted by | evolution, science | | Leave a comment

Science, Republican debaters and “good guys with guns”

Workout notes: swim: 4 x 250 on 5 (barely made these at first), 5 x (25 fly, 25 free, 25 back, 25 free) on 10-15 seconds rest, 5 x (25 side, 25 free, 25 side, 25 free), 200 in 3:22.

Then I had a pleasant 2 mile walk outside followed by light yoga; “wheel: a brief pain in the right shoulder; better stretch it prior to trying that pose again.


THIS is one major problem with the dumb “good guy with a gun” idea: they often shoot innocent people, or EVEN THE VICTIM of the crime.

Politics: No Republicans, the Democrats didn’t get easier questions than you did. Just watch.

And yes, Donald Trump is coming to Springfield, IL. Yes, I have a ticket. Actually, I have two, but my wife doesn’t want to go, for some reason. :-)

Science: yes, it works. check out these interesting videos:

What happens when a truck going 60 mph shoots a cannonball going 60 mph in the opposite direction?

What happens when a spring is dropped?

Here you go:

November 4, 2015 Posted by | 2016, physics, science, swimming, walking | , | Leave a comment

Felt good today?

Weird …but when I feel good during a workout, I start to wonder: “what is wrong”? :-)

Swim: 500 warm up, 500 of drill/swim (drill were kicks with fins)
7 x 100 on the 2:05: 1:45, 1:45, 1:45, 1:47, 1:46 1:44, 1:45. 100 cool down (back stroke, with fins).
That was my best set of 100’s in a long, long time, though it isn’t what anyone would call good.

Weights: rotator cuff,
pull ups (strong), 5 sets of 10
incline presses: 10 x 135, 3 x 160, 6 x 150
military presses: 3 sets of 10 x 40 standing (dumbbell)
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 60 dumbbells (each arm), 10 x 110 machine.

I felt good walking away.

There is running Twitter joke about #collegekickers with the idea that they are bad. Well, I don’t think that they are bad; they are actually reasonably good. It is just that we’ve gotten used to NFL kickers, and given their longevity (they can last longer than other NFL players), well, only the very best from the very best make it to the NFL. They are extreme outliers.

Smart idiots Yes, I sometimes get tired of discussing things on social media where many are completely unaware of their intellectual limitations, which includes not only being badly misinformed (or underinformed) but also not realizing their own intellectual limitations, especially when the issue at hand involves something technical.

But there are “smart idiots” too: these are people who are smart, have credentials in a given field but think that they know far more about another field..when they don’t:

It’s really quite sad. Kinsley is a very smart guy, who also happens to have given me my big break into journalism by hiring me to write for Slate. But now he’s a prisoner of derp.

I’ve seen this a number of times, mainly in economics, although it happens in other fields (especially climate science) too. Somebody with a reputation for cleverness looks at, say, macroeconomics, and imagines himself smart enough to weigh in — not realizing that there is a technical discipline here, and that he, well, has no idea what he’s talking about.

They are sometimes worse than the ordinary idiots.

You see this during arguments about economics and arguments about science issues:



My scourge every fall:

At times it sure feels this way

This was put out by an actual author


Sure, the social and historical setting of a story matters, and sometimes a story really does have a point. But sometimes it appears to me that people get a bit carried away. But I am not a specialist in this area..but again, it was an author who put this out.

October 2, 2015 Posted by | economics, politics, science, social/political, swimming, weight training | , , , | Leave a comment

Science, Boehner, and Ramirez getting something right…

Mike Ramirez is a right wing cartoonist. Ironically, he did get something right, albeit perhaps not in the way that he intended:


I mentioned that John Boehner is stepping down. He had some interesting things to say. I just hope that Democrats aren’t falling into a similar trap; so far it appears that isn’t the case.

One thing that is bipartisan though: being anti science when it clashes with one’s intuition.

Personal: yep, people change with time, and often not for the better. This is one aspect of that. There is also the “hot” chick who now..well, doesn’t look so hot.

Pearls Before Swine

Pearls Before Swine

September 28, 2015 Posted by | atheism, Personal Issues, religion, science | | Leave a comment

Rages, surges, water, clocks and wasps..

Workout notes: swim, then weights.

Swim: 500 easy (Jason sort of raced me), 5 x (50 drill/free (fins for drill, no fins for free), 5 x 100 on the 2:10 (two in 1:50; rest 1:47-1:49), 2 x 100 IM, side/free

1800 (1 mile) total.

Weights: pull ups (did ok), incline press: 10 x 135, 3 x 160, 3 x 150
rotator cuff
military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 60 dumbbell
bench press: 10 x 70 dumbbell

yoga: 10 minutes worth; did some headstand.

It was ok, given that I was fatigued from yesterday.

The Fed and interest rates: a certain collection of bankers benefit when the rates are raised.

Science: wasps can indirectly alter caterpillar DNA. The interaction is complicated and there are still open questions.

Election 2016: If there is a “Sanders surge”, polls aren’t picking it up. I believe that sometimes people confuse intensity of support for breadth.

Clocks, etc.
In the clock case: no, the kid shouldn’t have been arrested nor suspended. In fact, we should not have ever known about it. But as far as the clock itself: probably not much profound there, other than a kid’s curiosity.

Note: I did similar stuff at that age; I remember disassembling a small radio to try to use its parts in other ways. What I ended up doing is using the earphone jack to power an external speaker…not exactly a huge feat of electrical engineering. :-)

September 21, 2015 Posted by | economics, economy, evolution, political/social, politics, science, social/political, swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment

Busy day, baseball, professional sports, science, etc.

Workout notes
simple untimed 4.2 mile run on the Cornstalk classic course followed by a 10K bike (indoor); 14:30 for 4 miles, 21:26 for 6 and some light yoga.
That makes my knees feel good afterward, and, well, I am thinking that some of my feet tingling is due to PF (in my arch) rather than my back.

I admit that my running performances are starting to embarrass me. But there might be a few things that I can do. One thing is that I can be more conscious of keeping a higher turn over; I can do lower body resistance work and probably some “training for the mile”.

Personal My dad wanted me to go on to play professional (or college) sports. About 26 percent of parents with school aged kids that play sports think that their kids will eventually go pro. That is not realistic…at all. Example: about 1 in 1000 high school baseball players ever play a game of major league professional ball.

Now I did see the Chief’s playoff game against the Kane County Cougars (low A level). The Chiefs won it 2-1 despite stranding lots of runners in the first 4 innings. Here is what happened: it was 1-1 in the bottom of the 9’th and the Chiefs lead off with a double. They sent in a fast pinch runner. Now the next batter; the team slugger, struck out. But he fouled off so many pitches that the pitcher had to work..and got distracted and made a balk. That put the runner on 3’rd with one out.

The Cougars decided to load the bases with intentional walks. Still 1 out.

Then …the pitcher got to a full count on the next batter…and walked him! The pitcher and hitting coach and catcher argued the call (and it was close) but to no avail.

Note: the Cougars had a team batting average of .275 (high), so the Chiefs did a great job of limiting them to one run.

Science Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne gives his take on the new hominin discovery. Yes, some of the popular reporting was sensationalized.

A friend (Linda) alerted me to an article about physical knots and slippage.

Politics Yes, Donald Trump is increasing his lead. And, no his remarks about Carly Fiorina aren’t going to hurt him. Mr. Trump’s whole brand is “I don’t have time for this nice PC nonsense; people want someone who will make great deals, protect the country, fix our infrastructure and protect Social Security.”

Heck even *I* find that attractive, though I have deep reservations about his being able to accomplish his policy goals. But I am one who is willing to overlook a nasty personality if that person can “get the job done”. However, in politics, being nasty probably interferes with “getting the job done.”

September 10, 2015 Posted by | 2016, baseball, evolution, injury, running, science | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tired from last weekend

I went to the Peoria Chiefs game last night; the Chiefs lost to Cedar Rapids 7-3 (Cedar Rapids is a playoff team). Most of the damage was done in the second inning where the Chiefs gave up 6 runs (5 earned); there were several “ground ball hits”, one off the wall triple and one (of 2) errors by the all-star second baseman. It was that kind of night.

But I noticed I was very tired; I had thought about going and doing a tune-up marathon and, while I hate to admit this, the long stuff takes a lot out of me. So I’ll stick with my plan to just do long training walks.

This morning: too tired to swim so I lifted and did a light 15 minutes on the bike, as well as some yoga. Headstand is getting easier.

rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10, one of 5 (as my last set of 10 was sloppy). These were difficult.
Super set: machine rows, machine military presses, machine pull downs: 3 sets of 10 with 110 (row), 2 sets of 10 presses (100 each arm), 150 pull down.
Dumbbell military: 10 x 40
incline press: 10 x 135 (hard), 4 x 150, 3 x 150 (fatigued)
10 x 70 dumbbell bench press

bike (15 min, 4 miles (15:20)

I felt better afterward.

Posts Jerry Coyne presents a nice chart that shows the gap between what scientists believe and what the general public believes. And as far as what the public runs with? Well, it is an influence of many things, including religion and the American public believing that expert opinion is not really more valuable than “what makes sense to me”.

August 31, 2015 Posted by | science, social/political, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Sort of sleepy

I stayed up late last night as I was jacked up about the Chiefs rallying from a 5-0 first inning deficit to win 8-6. The game featured back to back home runs and a close play at home plate. But it did run on a long time.

Today’s workout: weights and running:

weights: 4 sets of 10 pull ups (good), rotator cuff recoveries.
incline: 10 x 135, 6 x 150, 5 x 150 incline (weak)
10 pull ups
bench press: 10 x 70 dumbbells.

military press, pull down, row super set:
mp; 12 x 50 seated, supported (dumbbells), 2 sets of 10 x 40 standing
rows; 2 sets of 10 x 60 dumbbell (single arm, each arm), 10 x 110 machine
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160.

Then 10:50 warm up mile (treadmill)
2 miles: 17:55 (middle lane) 9:03/8:51 (4:21 last 800)
11:40 mile treadmill.

This workout is a rough one for me as it followed a good 10 mile walk yesterday.

Sadly, celebrities get more attention than scientists. And this is one reason I prefer Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders: she is better on science issues.

August 5, 2015 Posted by | running, science, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Clinton: better stance on science than Sanders

When it comes to science and GMOs, Hillary Clinton seems to understand science better than Bernie Sanders does.

This is a woo-woo article attacking Hillary Clinton:

Speaking at a conference in San Diego last week for the world’s largest trade organization of biotechnology firms, potential presidintial candidate Hillary Clinton backed GMOs and Big Ag, further displaying her allegiance to the industry in the eyes of sustainable food and organic advocates.

While trumpeting her endorsement of GMO seeds when she served as Secretary of State, Clinton told the crowd that the term “‘genetically modified’ sounds Frankensteinish,” and thus turns people off to GMOs. “Drought resistant sounds really like something you’d want,” she said, encouraging the industry to improve their semantics. “There’s a big gap between the facts and what the perceptions are.”

Sanders, on the other hand:

There was concern among scientists at the FDA in the 1990s that genetically engineered foods could have new and different risks such as hidden allergens, increased plant-toxin levels and the potential to hasten the spread of antibiotic-resistant disease. Those concerns were largely brushed aside. Today, unanswered questions remain. In the United States, resolutions calling for labeling of genetically engineered foods were passed by the American Public Health Association and the American Nurses Association. In Canada, a landmark independent study by Canadian doctors published in the peer-reviewed journal Reproductive Toxicology found that toxin from soil bacterium engineered into corn to kill pests was present in the bloodstream of 93 percent of pregnant women. There is a great need for additional research because there have never been mandatory human clinical trials of genetically engineered crops, no tests for carcinogenicity or harm to fetuses, no long-term testing for human health risks, no requirement for long-term testing on animals, and only limited allergy testing. What this means is that, for all intents and purposes, the long-term health study of genetically engineered food is being done on all of the American people.

Uh, Senator Sanders, G<O foods meets the same tests that organic foods; they just "sound" icky.

I'd go with the science community says rather than what some "activists" say, but hey, that is me. And, evidently, Hillary Clinton. Good for her.

July 23, 2015 Posted by | 2016, Democrats, hillary clinton, science | , , , | 6 Comments

Getting better?

Workout notes: easy 4 mile run (Cornstalk 4) then weights:
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (strong)
rotator cuff
incline: 10 x 135, 7 x 150 (strong), 8 x 145
military press (dumbbell) seated: 2 sets of 12 x 50, standing: 10 x 45
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 (machine)
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160 (traditional)

I felt stronger than normal; it was either “more rest” between sets or a recent weight gain? I’ll have to weigh tomorrow.

I felt good about the 7 x 150 on the incline; I gave myself a personal “2 thumbs up” and a young man saw me; he gave me a knowing glance. I was embarrassed to be happy over such a light weight.

Yes, Sen. Sanders is becoming more popular. But that isn’t hurting Sec. Clinton.

Some Germans are upset with what Paul Krugman has said about the Greek bailout and German reaction. Why “suck it up, Buttercup” conservatives are so quick to claim the “persecuted victim” card is beyond me.

Iran deal: note that some of the details were worked out by US nuclear scientists. People who know how to make nuclear weapons know what limits must be place at what part of the nuclear process. For more, see this.

GMO: beware of the anti-GMO campaigns.

July 15, 2015 Posted by | 2016, running, science, weight training | , , | Leave a comment


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