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Iditarod day 8 - AM - Zirkle, King, Buser, Lindner, and the Seaveys

Sunday,  03/09/14  09:57 AM

Jeff King and team pull into SkatoolnikGood morning Iditarodians (or is it Iditarotarians?) - and it is a *late* morning, with daylight savings time.  Yawn.  While we were sleeping and springing our clocks forward, the leaders in the 2014 Iditarod race were mushing across Norton Sound from Unalakleet to Skatoolnik. 

First out of Ska was Aliy Zirkle, still in the lead, but now Jeff King has moved up to second, passing Martin Buser, with Sonny Lindner still up there.  (That's King's team pulling into Skatoolnik, at right.)  And now both Dallas and Mitch Seavey, son and father, champions in 2012 and 2013, have moved up into the mix.  Last night I thought there were five teams left who could win, now I'd have to say there are seven, as Aaron Burmeister is up there too.

Here's the position, with Skatoolnik hidden under the orange #70 tag (Sonny Lindner, not yet moving) and Koyuk at the top of the Norton Sound, now solidly iced in; #10 is Zirkle, #17 King, and #36 Buser.

The racing is incredibly close; Zirkle has only 6 miles on King, and 9 on Buser.  The top seven are within 12 miles of each other.  Ultimately this isn't going to be decided by who moves faster across the ice on Norton Sound, it will be the fatigue of the teams and how much rest they'll need when they reach Koyuk.  From there it is still over 150 miles to Nome.  Most likely the teams will rest for a while in the heat of the afternoon, then take off late afternoon for a final push to White Mountain, where they have to take an 8-hour rest.

Onward to Nome!

(All Iditarod 2014 posts)


Iditarod day 8 - PM - Jeff King takes the lead in Kayuk

Sunday,  03/09/14  07:48 PM

Aliy Zirkle and team power out of KayukA long cold windy day, with the lead mushers and their teams crossing an unusually barren and snow-free Norton Sound (the race route is actually 12 miles longer because it runs further inland than unusual, to avoid ice fissures).  Jeff King caught Aliy Zirkle at the Kayuk checkpoint, and now the two of them are off to Elim, with King slightly ahead.  Just behind are Martin Buser, Dallas Seavey, and Sonny Lindner, all resting in Kayuk, and Mitch Seavey and Aaron Burmeister are about to join them.  Dallas has put in some terrific runs, gaining nearly 10 hours on the leaders since Kaltag.  The experienced musher/bloggers at are thinking his team might have the chops to win.


Here's the current position, with Elim (ELM) to the West, where the teams are headed, and Kayuk (KYK) to the NorthEast.  You can see there's quite a spread now, the big selection has been made.  Zirkle (#10) and King (under #10) in the lead, and the others close behind resting at the Kaltag checkpoint:

The so-called "heat of the afternoon" never materialized, and it is likely that the leading teams will press on through Elim on to White Mountain, where they must take a mandatory 8-hour break.  After that it is 80 miles to Nome.  Most years the first into White Mountain is the first into Nome, but this year there are so many contenders so close together that the final stretch may well decide the whole race.  Onward!

(All Iditarod 2014 posts)


Sunday,  03/09/14  10:34 PM

Lamu Island - a coding sanctuary?The Ole Filter makes a pass, after a quiet weekend of coding...

(Lamu Island looks like a nice place for coding, too :)

eyesFinder logo - tiny printI've been experimenting with updating the firmware on my MakerBot Replicator 2, to make it easier (and more accurate) to change filament mid-print (and thereby change color).  There isn't a lot of documentation so it isn't easy, but it's possible, and that's what makes this so cool.

The print at left is tiny - about 20mm x 10mm - and has exact color changes on layer transitions.  Progress...

Open source pioneer Eric Raymond contemplates the myth of the fall.  "A lot of younger hackers have a simplified and somewhat mythologized view of how our culture evolved, one which tends to back-project today’s conditions onto the past... In particular, many of us never knew – or are in the process of forgetting – how dependent we used to be on proprietary software."  Indeed.

Cosmos new host Neil deGrasse TysonSo have you / are you planning to watch Cosmos?  I'm not a TV watcher - at all - but I was intrigued by this series after reading a glowing New Yorker article about Neil deGrasse Tyson, the new emcee.  I like that they're continuing in the spirit of the old series a la Carl Sagan, but at the same time doing things in an updated way.  Sounds like they're off to a good start:  I wish them well; there are so few channels to expose the man on the street to the majesty of science.

BTW it sucks that President Obama had to get into this act.  Just because Tyson is black, I suppose.  Blech.

chart showing "welfare cliff"Here's something Obama could worry about: the Demise of the American Dream.  Check out that "welfare cliff"; a single Mom is better off earning $29,000 than $69,000.  And you and I pay the difference. 

Related: James Suroweiki examines the Mobility Myth.  People incentivized by their government not to work harder are not going to be upwardly mobile.  Another unintended consequence of bad policy.

Where Apple design is headed in 2014.  "iOS 7 is a series of solvable problems. The things you could label as deficiencies are mostly a result of that swinging pendulum - an overcorrection of skeuomorphism."  I agree but I wish the pendulum would swing back as soon as possible.

Morpheus space vehicle tested at NASA's Kennedy Space CenterThis is not a frame from a science fiction movie.  "It's an actual image from the successful Morpheus vehicle test completed today at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility."  Awesome!  Check out the video at the link, too...


working from home (NY 3/3/14)

Sunday,  03/09/14  10:57 PM

( me too :)


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