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Archive: July 17, 2011

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TDF stage 15 / sprint - Cavendish wins another (yawn) as GC start rest day early

Sunday,  07/17/11  11:45 PM

Cavandish gets launched by HTC-Highroad to take stage 15Today's stage 15 of the Tour was pretty predictable; the last flat stage of this tour yielded a bunch sprint, and Mark Cavandish won.  I guess we have to salute HTC-Highroad and Cavandish for having absolutely the best leadout and sprint train in the world, but it doesn't make for great theater.  If Tyler Farrar or Andre Greipel or Alessandro Petacchi weren't in the race, it wouldn't be interesting at all, but I guess their presence does make for a little drama.  But only a little.  Now the main suspense will be to see whether Cavandish can make the time limit on the alpine stages ahead, because if he does he's bound to win in Paris, and he's bound to win the green jersey.  So be it.

By the way, in case you're wondering about intermediate sprints, in Tuesday's stage 16 to Gap the intermediate sprint comes before the main climb but it is uphill, so perhaps Gilbert or Hushovd can get points.  In Wednesday's stage 17 the sprint comes before the main climbing but again it is in the hills, so again maybe it won't be a field sprint.  In Thursday's stage 18 the sprint point is way early, long before the climbs, and in Friday's stage 19 the sprint point is right near the end but after a long descent.  So there is some chance for others to take points from Cavandish.  I rate Gilbert as the biggest threat, since he's a much better climber, but he's 71 points behind.

Meanwhile tomorrow is a rest day - boo! - and then we have four alpine stages in a row - yay! - followed by the time trial.  Those should be maximally great.  Onward...

[ Tour de France 2011: all postsindex ]


calm before storm

Sunday,  07/17/11  11:57 PM

the calm before the stormThis weekend felt like the calm before the storm; it's going to be quite a week.  I puttered around, cycled a little, sailed a little, and worked out a little, watched the tour, and hung out.  In between I worked on my tan (coming around nicely) and worked on my head (not coming around quite as nicely, sigh).  Onward!

Sea and Sky - the Southern OceanThis is so beautiful: Sea and Sky...  yes, you *must* click through to watch it, and you must watch it full screen.  Wow!  [ via the horse's mouth ]

Excellent!  Dawn spacecraft slips into orbit around Vesta.  "Dawn has become the first probe ever to enter orbit around an object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Researchers are now gauging the spacecraft’s orbit around the huge space rock."  We have a spacecraft orbiting an asteroid?  Who knew!

I had an interesting email exchange with my friend Gary about the role of governments in sponsoring "big" projects, like infrastructure, or basic research, or healthcare.  It seems they definitely do have a role.  We would not have Dawn if it weren't for government sponsorship.  But the limits of that role are most difficult to establish, and right now it would seem our government is trying to do too much...

John Patrick: Personal Health Records.  On Google's withdrawal from this field, and Microsoft's ongoing entry, and the role of government.  There is no doubt that PHR will be big, but how big, and how fast?

whale shark tankThe world's largest shark tank, available via webcam.  How cool is that?  For maximum enjoyment, please maximize your window.  I can remember when screen savers which looked like aquariums were all the rage.  And now we can have video from an actual aquarium.  Awesome!

transparent eel larva - how amazing!Something equally amazing: transparent eel larva.  Just when you think you've seen it all...  [ via American Digest ]

Apostle Islands' sunsetAnd finally a rather amazing sunset over the Apostle Islands, to end the weekend...


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