Friday Four

Friday, April 03, 2015

1. During bath time, I took a toy away from Little Man, who was using it to throw water across the room, despite my repeatedly saying, "No!" when he did it. He began crying, of course. Then the sweetest thing unfolded before my eyes...

Pumpkin kissed him, and showed him the right way to play in the tub. He seemed to understand, and had a good time after that, without causing any more trouble.

2. This year, not a single participant crossed the finish line in an annual, 100-mile endurance race in Tennessee:

"I passed out or collapsed," said [Matt] Bixley, 42, a quantitative geneticist with New Zealand's AgResearch. "Something happened. It wasn't sleepiness. I don't know. I spent some time thinking about what that might mean and where I was going. It was a boundary I wasn't prepared to cross, and I quit."
The race, which another participant said, requires one "to be comfortable being inside your own head", has seen only 14 of 1000 participants complete it since its inception in 1986.

3. I'm not sure I agree with his analysis, but I do agree with Jon Pittman that something is going on. In "The Tyranny of the Minimum Viable Product", he notes some ... interesting ... behavior on the part of some of the gadgets he owns:
I have a popular "smart home" system to control lights, monitor doors, and generally keep an eye on things. A central function of the system is to turn lights on and off at specified times or at events such as sunset and sunrise. The system randomly misses times and events. And, when my network fails, so does the hub.
I can't help but wonder whether such oversights are part of a larger problem. That said, I am grateful for people like the author for finding such problems in new products.

4. Over at the Onion is a near-perfect send-up of the environmentalist movement, which it reports is becoming concerned about preserving Mars:
Activist leaders told reporters that within the year they also hope to propose several health codes that will prohibit the dumping of hazardous materials into the planet's underground lava tubes and clean up much of the existing industrial and electronic waste that has already accumulated on the Martian surface.
It's too bad that this piece on the Redder Tomorrow Foundation appeared when and where it did: It would have been great for April Fool's Day.

-- CAV


Today: Fixed a formatting error. 


Steve D said...

Actually, Mars could use a little global warming which according to Robert Zubrin in; "The Case for Mars" is the first step towards terraforming it.

Gus Van Horn said...

Yeah, but I can almost hear them cry things like, "Keep Mars red!" and "Stop the alien invasion!"

Steve D said...

That’s when we hit them with our death ray eyes. :)

So the greens will now be called reds? Seems appropriate. They're already half-way there.

BTW, about that race; 60 hours to complete 100 miles is 36 minutes per mile which is about half as fast as a walking pace at 20 min/mile. Let’s say you walk 20 min/mile = 33.33 hours for the course. Is it really that impossible to walk at a normal pace for 33 hours? Add an hour or two to rest or take a nap or even if you take 8 hours to sleep you’re still well on track to finish on time.

Gus Van Horn said...

Yeah, but this is in wilderness and, IIRC, covers the height of Mt. Everest twice per lap. And at several points (each lap?), you have to find a book and tear a page from it as proof that you completed that part of the course.