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Showing posts from February, 2016

I Limped a Marathon!

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Today, Julie and I ran a marathon.  You can see my pace and the route here



I'll have some of myself in action later.  For now, enjoy this show to J before the starting gun
It was a weird experience.  I had plenty of time (7 hours, 21 minutes, and 3 seconds) to think about it, and I went through several stages before arriving at my current one.

The first stage was satisfaction/confidence.  This was during the first five miles or so, where it seemed to be going just as planned.  The second was discouragement, and it began around mile 10, i.e. hour 4.  I was running with Julie and I began to lament both our lack of preparation and the fact that I had decided to run the race as a pair.  We knew going in that we had not fulfilled our preparation goals: instead of running daily, we'd repeatedly run for a few days and then fallen off for a week or sometimes more.  Additionally, Julie was struggling and I reflected on how much better I might run if I were doing so at my own pace. …

Watching our world (with guest poster Brad)

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Last week I saw a cool gif of the earth from space. It's a time-lapse of one day in incredible resolution.  It was taken by the Himawari-8 satellite on August 5, 2015.  

The Earth
If you look in the middle you can see a swirl of clouds. I wondered: how special are those clouds?  Are we looking at a big storm? Regular cloud patterns over the Pacific? Did it have a name?  Fortunately, I have a meteorologist friend, Brad Schaaf.
Brad lives in Medford, OR, where he works for the National Weather Service traking weather and dealing with crazy harassing phone calls from conspiracy theorists.  Apparently the only people who care about weather and the skies as much as meteorologists are lunatics.  Here is Brad's response.
Andrew,
I got your message and did a bit of investigating into the storm. You are quite correct that it is quite a remarkable system, and that it is named. (Fun fact: only systems like this are named. The winter storm names you hear from the weather channel are bs. The…

The CCL and Climate Change: A Real 'Phase 2'

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The other weekend my neighbor Elizabeth invited me to a regional conference held by the Citizen's Climate Lobby (CCL).  I mentioned the CCL in an earlier post.  It's a climate action group which lobbies individual representatives to support a particular strategy for phasing out the production of carbon dioxide (CO2), which has been slowly raising the temperature of our planet over the last two hundred years. The conference really impressed me because it offered an uncommonly realistic strategy for addressing climate change. 
If climate change action is something to which you don't pay much attention, you can be forgiven on the grounds that it's a depressing topic with very little new news.  It periodically appears in the news when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases an update on how much CO2 has been released and what effects we expect to occur on what time frame, but other than that it just marches along quietly. Occasionally but rarely a p…