Paragraph to Ponder

From “The Family Man” by Katy Waldman.

“Donald Trump’s 36-year-old son-in-law has now been tasked with bringing peace to the Middle East, destroying ISIS, reshaping the federal government, halting the opioid epidemic, and wooing China to our side. This would be an ambitious set of action items for a century’s worth of competent presidential administrations. Trump has handed the to-do list to a boyish cipher whose dad paid millions for him to get into Harvard.”

Math on the Brain

On this morning’s run to Priest Point Park, I was thinking of Ms. Z’s Marysville Middle School mathematicians. More specifically, I came up with a real world word problem for them. Maybe a “do not proceed to high school” until passing problem of sorts.

In Olympia, Washington there’s a beautiful little waterfront community called Boston Harbor. Visit it sometime. Rent a kayak, eat an ice cream bar at the marina, meditate on the Puget Sound. BH is 7 miles from downtown Oly. Traveling from BH to town on BH Rd. the first 5 miles are 40mph and the last two are 30mph. However, it just so happens that Thurston County doesn’t patrol North Olympia’s rural roads. Therefore, half the residents, the Rule Followers, do 40 and 30, but for the other half of Deplorables, like myself, the only deterrent is occasional deer on the road (for the record, I do 45 and 35).

On Monday’s run, a van passed me doing approximately 70mph, today a white Volvo wagon doing 65mph (yes, I am a speed estimating savant). Which got me thinking. How much time does a BH driver save on their way to town if they drive 60mph for the 5 miles designated 40mph, and then stuck behind a Rule Follower, 30mph for the last 2 miles?

I’ll wait.

Here’s my peabrain calculation. Sorry in advance to Ms. Z. for my unconventional approach. First, we need to calculate the Law Obiders travel time. As a cyclist that tends to ride around 18-20mph, I know that at 20mph, it takes 3 minutes to travel 1 mile. Therefore, if we double the speed, we can halve the time, so 40mph = 1:30/mile. So multiply 1:30/mile x 5 = 7:30. At 30mph it obviously takes 2 minutes to travel 1 mile, so 4 more minutes, so BH to downtown Oly in 11 minutes, 30 seconds.

Follow?

Now what about The No Regarders for the Law? 60mph is 1 minute/mile, so 5 minutes. Then our 4 minutes to cover the 2 mile stretch for a grand total of 9 minutes.

Here’s the tricky part, keep your columns straight people! 11:30 – 9:00 equals a grand total savings of 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Now a message for my BH friends. If you’re so efficient with your time that you never waste two and a half minutes once you get to your destination, go ahead and speed away, just don’t look for any sympathy when your car is totaled by Bambi. Or leave for work 2-3 minutes earlier?

All good math lessons have extensions, so here’s mine for Ms. Z. Based on available government statistics, calculate the increased likelihood of an accident as a result of increasing one’s speed by 20mph. Then take that increased likelihood and calculate the approximate negative effect on the speeding driver’s life expectancy. I’m guessing it’s greater than 2 or 3 minutes.

Class dismissed.

 

My Daily Run in Pictures

Hard to find a better place to run than the Specific Northwest. Moderate temps, beautiful flora and fauna, undulating roads and trails. What more could one want besides more daylight and sunshine in the winter?

There are two types of runners, creatures of habit who run the same out and back every time, and higher life forms, like myself, who know “Diversity is the spice of life”. That said, since the move a year ago, I’ve backslidden a bit in that I do a similar route about half the time. Three miles to Priest Point Park along Boston Harbor Rd. Once there, loop the lower road and head home for 6.2, loop the upper road and head home for 6.4, or like last week, loop the upper road and the 1 mile wooded trail for 7.4. The bike lane on BH Rd is about 8′ wide and I routinely see deer.

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Hard to get my stretching in afterwards when the labradude insists on cuddling.

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Correction: This should’ve been titled “My Standard Run”. Unlike my brother who has a 1,000+ day running streak going, I’m only running 3x/week. Also, for all the geezer triathlete readers looking for an edge, I’m having skin cancer surgery Friday morn and the doc has banned me from swimming for 3 weeks. But as a former guv of CA once said, “I’ll be back.”

Addendum: There’s nothing worse than just having worked up a lather 2.5 miles in and then having to stop while otters cross the road. Kidding. I haven’t seen an otter in year one. Maybe the sign is just local character.

The Vitamin D Bandwagon

You on it? Ima gonna pass. Why Are So Many People Popping Vitamin D by Gina Kolata.

Related, below is an excerpt from an important new book by Richard Harris whose science reporting you may have heard on National Public Radio, Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions.

The Breakdown in Biomedical Research.

Makes one wonder, why do we tend to put scientists and docs on pedestals?

The New Status Symbol

“The new status symbol,” according to a doctor at UC Berkeley, “is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body.” Can you guess? Need another clue?

“For years, studies upon studies have shown how bad sleep weakens the immune system, impairs learning and memory, contributes to depression and other mood and mental disorders, as well as obesity, diabetes, cancer and an early death.”

The rest of the story is here.

 

My Favorite Scientific Paper of All Time

Layperson summary:

“New research carried out online has found that 59% of 28,113 respondents preferred to eat chocolate rabbits starting with the ears, 33% indicated that they had no starting point preference, and 4% indicated that they started with the tail or feet.”

I’m concerned that 41% of you don’t know the proper way to eat a chocolate rabbit. Anything besides the ears is just wrong.

“Researchers conducting the online search also found increased reports of confectionary rabbit auricular amputation-that is, ear amputations of chocolate bunnies-in late March through mid-April for each of the 5 years studied.”

Fav scientific phrase of all time. . . confectionary rabbit auricular amputation.

“. . . human adults and children appeared to be wholly responsible for the amputations. Although several reconstructive efforts might be used to re-attach the ears, this may be a futile effort, since often the rest of the rabbit soon succumbs to a similar fate.”

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