Friday, June 26, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ed Thomas Dead at 58

What a complete waste...

"Ed Thomas, a high school football coach who helped launch the careers of four current NFL linemen, was gunned down by a former player Wednesday morning in front of students participating in an offseason workout, authorities in Parkersburg, Iowa said."
The suspect was arrested and taken in for a psych eval the prior weekend.

I knew Ed Thomas from my days working at KLMJ in Hampton. One of my fondest memories in broadcasting was covering the Class 2A Championship game in the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls. Thomas's Aplington-Parkersburg Falsons lost to the Iowa Falls Cadets 20-13, but that in no way changes the man's legacy. I had the pleasure of talking to him on many occasions, and he always struck me as a man who was deeply committed, had great intensity, but maintained perspective in life, too. Jared DeVries, who now plays for the Lions, put it best when I interviewed him on the occasion of A-P retiring his jersey. He said Coach Thomas did a great job of raising not just great players, but great men, too.

What a waste.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Obama on Gay Rights

New website out there with a worthy petition at the bottom:

Here's a hint: It's satire.

Via Sullivan.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Quote of the Day

"...the dedication of certain scientists is just amazing. I talked to a woman who is an expert on a certain kind of spider. And she had slept on a lava bed every night for seven years so she could be there in the morning when the spiders woke up."
Alan Alda, host of Scientific American Frontiers.

Via Skepchick.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Skepchick Goes Green

Skepchick has followed suit with my suggstion...

"We don’t delve too much into politics here, but this is a serious issue that touches on many issues that require hardcore critical thinking: government fraud (the election was called in favor of the incumbent before the votes could even begin to be counted), censorship (the government is blocking gmail and other services and requiring people to use proxies), and the spread of misinformation (as it appears the government is flooding Twitter with fake news stories).

You can follow the news on Twitter using the hashtag #IranElection and see the photos from the scene on Flickr. Here’s a CyberWar guide from BoingBoing."

Thanks, ladies.

Green--It's The New Black!

The Daily Dish has changed is basic header colors to green to show solidarity with the citizens of Iran who are protesting the despicable election fraud perpetuated by that slimeball AhmadiNejad. (Side note: Could even Central Casting come up with a sleezier-looking villain? The bad guys in Delta Force looked more respectable.) Since my blog is somewhat simpler in layout and already uses the color green in some areas, I've changed what text and borders I can in support. Please do the same.

You can also show your support by changing your Facebook and MySpace pictures to this...

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Idiocy of Airline Security

My friend, Jesse, will appreciate this one. Pro bike racer Phil Gaimon, on the TSA zombies:

"To get my bike bag down to 49 pounds (and under the airline overweight limit), I took various parts out of my bag at random, tossing them into my carry-on. Going through security, I found it interesting that cranks and chainrings were permitted on the flight, but my iced tea was deemed too dangerous."
Hey, as long as it fit all the way under the seat in front of him...

Seriously, a bike crank could do more damage than the improvised weapons the 9/11 terrorists used, you just have to know how to swing one properly.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bill Maher Whacks Rick Warren

Sometimes, all you have to do is quote them out loud (and in context, of course).

Via Unreasonable Faith:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Coolest. Excuse. Ever.

"To Kennedy's teacher....Please excuse Kennedy's absence.... she's with me."

Barack Obama.

Via Sullivan.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bike Wheel Failure


"Coming around a corner, I felt a shimmy through the front of my bike. I straightened up out of the turn to bring the bike under control. A second or two later I catapulted over the handlebars. The rim of my front wheel had completely detached from the hub. I had not hit anything — not another rider, a curb or even a rock. I landed on my head and broke my shoulder. "
It doesn't help Mavic that the guy who had a wheel come apart on him was Ben Delaney of VeloNews magazine. Nor that he contends that he will continue to ride their wheels in the future. Mavic has some 'splaining to do.
Later: Bike Snob NYC has a take here. He makes a vital point: It takes moxie on the part of Mavic to suggest that a bike wheel's catastrophic failure was somehow "rider error," especially given the circumstances.
Later: Mavic responds. Defensively.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Anthony Woods for Congress

I love anyone who'd bicycle across the country for a good cause (Habitat for Humanity), but this California Congressional candidate makes me swoon:

  • Graduated West Point
  • Graduated Harvard's Kennedy School of Business
  • Bronze Star in Iraq (2 tours)
  • Reconstructed homes in New Orleans after Katrina
He also is a black, openly gay man. Love it.

So what part of Don't Ask Don't Tell makes sense, again?

Via Sullivan.
Later: Video from his interview with CNN's Campbell Brown.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Graeme Obree: Another World Hour Record?

And at age 43, no less:

"I don't think that you're physically hampered from winning at the highest level just because of age. To diminish yourself just in terms of age isn't justified. I don't think you can use it as an excuse, not if you've kept it going."
This would be like Joan Benoit-Samuelson doing the Olympic marathon trials last year: they don't have a hope in hell of reaching that goal, but you gotta love their spirit.

For those of you not familiar with Obree, he's a Scottish rider who dueled with Brit Chris Boardman back in the 90s for the title of the fastest man on two wheels. The UCI, in its infinite idiocy, eventually threw out all of their records because they used extreme aerodynamics of both bike and riding position to accomplish their goals (the UCI is the most backwards-looking governing body in sport, but that's another rant).

Obree famously fought depression, including two suicide attempts (if my memory serves), and eventually had his story done as a book and a movie called The Flying Scotsman. And now he wants to go for the record again, at age 43. To give some idea of how ridiculous this seemingly innocent feat is, this is the Bicycling Magazine piece on him from a few years ago. It's no longer on the magazine's archive site, but can be found in this volume:
"To ride for an hour at faster than 30 miles per hour puts strain on the body that few people ever experience. A human heart can beat only so rapidly before it fails; most of us can get within 10 beats or so of that rate for a few minutes before we have to cease whatever we're doing. Obree would spend an hour there. He would produce an enormous amount of pure energy as he sped around the track, but fully three-quarters of it would burn off not as propulsion but as heat--the by-product of his effort. At rest, while the core of the human body thrums along at 98.6 degrees, skin temperature stays at about 95. Even with intense exercise, it usually doesn't get above 100. During the Race of Truth, Obree's skin would burn at close to 107. In one hour, he would burn about 1,800 calories--about three-quarters of a human's average for an entire day."
He also built the bike himself, famously using parts from his washing machine (mostly bearings, I think) And he's built his newest rig, which conforms to UCI regulations for this event, himself. Look at this gear ratio:
For those of you wondering, it's a 67x13 ratio, 138 inches, if you're scoring at home. Good thing it'll be on a track.

Spin easy, friends.

Quote of the Day

" turning in to the biggest whore for a TV camera this side of Jesse Jackson."
--Ed Brayton

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cycling Log: Love/Hate Relationship

Which is what I have with Bicycling Magazine. For instance, there's this nugget from their training archives:

"...many cyclists may benefit more from a simple heart-rate monitor, though power-meter users will still see unique training improvements."
Followed later by this article:
"New research finds trouble with HR zone training."
Well, that clears that right up...

I'll stick with Merckx: Ride Lots.

Spin easy, friends.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sullivan: Nuanced Coverage of Abortion Rights

Andrew Sullivan has been running a series of his reader's anecdotes on abortion following the murder of Dr. George Tiller Sunday. Go here for a search list of the articles. They're all well worth reading. This lady, forced to have a late-term abortion because of a genetic defect in her baby, makes possibly the best point:

"I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that I have concluded that a decision to undergo abortion or continue a pregnancy is often made instinctively, with a nearly primal conviction that it is the right thing to do under the circumstances. Trying to impose a rigid moral framework based on an extreme notion of equality of personhood doesn't even begin to speak to the complexities of what most people experience when trying to decide this question for themselves."

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Best Take on George Tiller's Murder

Dr. George Tiller, the prominent Kansas doctor who was one of three American doctors to perform late-term abortions, was murdered yesterday after decades of terrorist tactics by the scum on the right. Erica Barnett of The Stranger has the best take on Slog:

"On one side, we have those who attempt to protect women's access to abortion by supporting pro-choice judges and elected officials; on the other, we have those who use violence and the threat of violence to intimidate women and abortion providers. Tell me, where is the common ground between those two groups?

So no, President Obama, those who believe in a woman's right to choose should not "open our hearts and minds to those who may not think like we do." Because "common ground," in this case, is code for ceding away our rights— women's rights—in the interest of calming a storm we didn't create. And because you don't negotiate with terrorists—whether they're threatening doctors or taking hostages."

Donate to Planned Parenthood in Dr. Tiller's memory.


Update: Sully on Olbermann tonight: