Critical Section

Monday,  08/18/08  11:11 PM

Another day of eights - 8/18/08, and I notice I started this post at exactly 11:11.  FWIW :)  I rode my newish "regular" route this afternoon, up Decker Canyon and around Encinal Canyon; 30 miles with 3,000' of climbing.  That should keep me in shape...  actually I like it for the variety and beautiful views of the ocean and mountains, as well as for the roadwork.

Mark Burson and familyRegular readers may be familiar with Mark Burson, my friend and riding partner, with whom I have ridden many ultra centuries.  And you may recall my recap of the Hemet Double, in which I recounted Mark's battle back from having his hip replaced to return to form as an ultra cyclist, completing three double centuries within a year of his hip replacement surgery.  So Johnson & Johnson, which owns the company DePuy, that made Mark's artificial hip, is presently featuring Mark on their home page!  (hover over "never stop moving", and you'll see "new hip begins Dad's recovery"...)  Here's the whole article which includes a nice video.  It is a really great portrait of Mark and his family, and what they went through with Mark's surgery and recovery, but I thought this was pretty funny: "Two weeks later Mark was on his own bike and never looked back. Today he continues to ride and looks for ways to reassure other people who face joint replacement that it doesn't mean an end to their activities. "I'm like every other 'weekend warrior' with my bicycling,'" says Mark. 'I feel like I got my life back.'"  Yeah, like every other weekend warrior that rides ultra centuries :)

Jeff Jacoby points out that when it came to Iraq, Hindsight isn't 20-20.  "The prevailing wisdom 18 months or so ago was that invading Iraq had been, in retrospect, a disastrous blunder... But what if we had known then what we know now?  [Would we say] That Iraq is a pointless quagmire - or that it is a costly but winnable war, in which patience, tenacity, and smarts have a good chance of succeeding?"  I'd say the latter, but then, I said that before, too.  Maybe it isn't hindsight in general, so much as whose hindsight; for example McCain's seems a bit more accurate than Obama's :)  [ via Instapundit ]

women's value medalistsI agree with this: Salon reports 33 and Fabulous.  "The most outrageous happening [in women's gymnastics], by a long shot, was when Oksana Chusovitina won the silver medal on vault at 33 years of age...  Much has deservedly been made of Dara Torres' outstanding performance at age 41.  If 41 is old for a swimmer, 33 is ancient for a gymnast.  Chusovitina competed in her first Olympics at 17 years of age in 1992, winning a team gold.  This was the year that Shawn Johnson was born."  I saw this myself and couldn't believe it; Oksana looked like a team mom rather than a competitor.  But she did two great vaults.  I cheered for Dara - I guess we all did - and I cheered for Oksana, too.

It was also pretty cool when 38-year-old Constantina Tomescu won the women's marathon, but I guess older marathon runners are not quite as unusual as older swimmers or gymnasts.

One thing a commentator noted that I think is quite relevant; not only have training techniques improved, enabling older athletes to remain competitive longer, but financial support has improved too, such that 30- and 40- year olds can make a living as world-class athletes.  That was never the case in the past.

lego model of the birdcage stadiumlego road cycling!Here we have the 2008 Summer Games in Lego.  Wow, an incredible effort.  Nearly as difficult as building the real venues, and nearly as impressive :)  I'm absolutely sure this is the first time I've ever seen a Lego version of a cycling race; how excellent!

O'Reilly Radar highlights a practice I hate dislike intensely: linking to yourself.  You've encountered this I'm sure; you're reading a news article about company X, and you click on a link expecting to be taken to the X website, and instead get some kind of landing page on the news website with more information about company X.  Finding the actual link to X is always hard, and sometimes you even have to Google for it directly.  A short-sighted byproduct of advertising as a business model, I guess.  (Fortunately with Firefox and Adblock I never actually see the ads :)

This is so classic: ArsTechnica reports Pandora can't make money, may pull plug.  If you don't know, Pandora is a service which finds and plays new music that "sounds like" music you already know and like.  A perfect way for the music industry to get people to buy new music from new bands, right?  But instead of rewarding Pandora and other Internet broadcasters, the RIAA increased the royalties they have to pay, and now they may go out of business as a result.  The music industry are honestly a case study in stupid market management.

InfoWorld reports 1 in 3 business PCs drop Vista for XP.  Pretty amazing, isn't it?  And the other 2 out of 3 probably don't know they could do a free upgrade to XP using the Vista license.


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Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
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second gear
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Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
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Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
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your cat for my car
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world population map
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introducing eyesFinder
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still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained