Thursday, April 30, 2009

How Does Danny MacAskill See The World?

I've seen this video from a number of different sources, and the cyclist is amazing.

When I watch him, I wonder, "how does he see the world?"

Think of a little kid, everything is big and an obstacle: chairs and bookcases are to be climbed, a doorknob or lightswitch is likely out of reach, counter tops are the unknown.

A rock climber might look at buildings as potential playgrounds, whereas an architect might notice the design, and a contractor might notice the workmanship.

Watch all the way to the end, he does some amazing stunts. Fences and rails are not barriers, they are paths, trees and walls are ramps for him to ride or bounce off, stairs are an excuse to turn a 360, walls are merely steps for him to jump (climb), and curbs are like the cracks in the sidewalk you cannot step on.

At least, that's how I imagine he looks at everyday objects.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Study: "The Irony of Satire"

Amazing, check out the abstract for this study, "The Irony of Satire":
This study investigated biased message processing of political satire in The Colbert Report and the influence of political ideology on perceptions of Stephen Colbert. Results indicate that political ideology influences biased processing of ambiguous political messages and source in late-night comedy. Using data from an experiment (N = 332), we found that individual-level political ideology significantly predicted perceptions of Colbert's political ideology. Additionally, there was no significant difference between the groups in thinking Colbert was funny, but conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements. Conservatism also significantly predicted perceptions that Colbert disliked liberalism. Finally, a post hoc analysis revealed that perceptions of Colbert's political opinions fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and individual-level opinion.

I wonder what Colbert thinks about the study.

Also, I wonder what conservatives thought of Colbert's speech at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. You should seriously watch it. It's painfully funny, made even funnier by the fact the butt of the jokes (W and many of the people in the room) don't find it funny. The Wikipedia article has a nice summary if you don't want to watch the whole video.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beaver Freezer 2009

The 2009 Beaver Freezer is over, and here are the full results. I placed 89th out of 229 people, 68th out of 107 men, 11th out of 18 men aged 35-39.

How was the race? The day started out freezing cold, but clear. Luckily, I was in the 3rd to last heat, and by the time I started, it'd warmed up nicely. The swim went fairly well, though my googles began filling with water almost immediately. I stopped on the 2nd lap and drained them. My time was a PR 7:59, and that includes time spent draining the goggles and waiting for some dude who took nearly 11 minutes to finish (everyone lapped him twice). I was definitely happy to finish under 8 minutes considering I'd swum maybe a dozen times since last year's Freezer. The first transition went pretty smoothly, though I donned a hat (thanks Sam!) and two shirts b/c of the chill, which probably slowed me a little. The bike was difficult, I struggled through the entire ride - I only passed one person and was passed by many. The second transition went pretty well, nothing dramatic to show - though Sam had a good idea - to borrow the cyclocross method of carrying your bike - I'll have to check to see if it's legal. The run (though painful) felt pretty good and I PR'ed with a 25 minute run. I did have to stop to tie my shoe in the run - so there's room for improvement there. I do want to get my pace up to a 7 minute mile, which is essential for my goal time of 1h10min.

Here's my standard breakdown of the race:

Trey's 2009 Beaver Freezer
Stage Time Pace Place in StageCumulative TimeCumulative Place
Swim 7:59 1:35.8 52-T 7:59 52-T
T1 N/A N/A N/A
Bike* 44:33*16.2* 101 52.32 91
Bike 42:00?17.1?
T2 1:38 65-T 54:10 86
Run 25:008:03.9 96 1:19:11 89

* Due to problems at the timing station at the end of the first transition, there are no T1 times, so I guessed my T1 time by averaging the times from my other freezers - which conveniently made the bike time an even 42 minutes.

And here's a comparision of all 4 Freezers:

Comparing Trey's Beaver Freezers
Stage 2005 2007 2008 2009
Swim 8:15 8:12 8:26 7:59
T1 2:37 2:22 2:39 2:33*
Bike 36:16 39:06 38:59 42:00*
T2 2:12 2:13 1:31 1:38
Run 25:57 26:11 25:31 25:00
Race 1:15:17 1:18:04 1:17:06 1:19:11

As you can see, it was my worst showing overall, entirely due to the bike (* adjusted by the guess of a T1 time). I'm not quite sure why my 2005 bike conditioning was so much better than the other years. I still think that a time of 1h10min is possible, but I've got to kick it up b/c I'm not getting any younger.

Thanks to my supporters for cheering me on: Mary, Simone, Sam, the entire Mattson clan (with cowbells), and Memere.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A Moment Of Silence Please

Tonight I found my batch of sauerkraut went bad.

I'd slowed down eating sauerkraut because the last batch was better described as "salty cabbage" than "fermented kraut." Mary brought home a cute little 2# head of cabbage that Simone and I chopped and salted and put in the crock.

Well, tonight I checked it, and it was bad.

If you think kraut is stinky, wait until you get a whiff of kraut moldy...

I had to add a little water because the cabbage didn't release enough on its own. I think I didn't add enough salt to the water (I just guessed, should have read the book). You can make kraut w/less salt, but you need to be vigilant, and I was taking the hands-off approach.

Live and learn.