Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Three Sources of Coolth

So last Sunday did 26.4 miles in 2h10m, 1 stop.

This morning did 33 miles in 2h40m, 1 stop. Felt surprisingly good the last 5 miles. It really helps, the cooler weather we've been having. After my b-day weekend of 6/8, the 5-day forecast has looked the same -- high 78 to 84, partly cloudy, chance of storm. The storms are late afternoon, or 5 in the morning, and last about 10 minutes. Nice breezes, pretty much ideal weather. We fine-dined with friends at newly-opened Summit (the former site of Emmett's) with friends last night, air was fabulous, meal was very good.

There are three sources of coolth when biking:

  1. The breeze, be it the wind or the relativistic one from going down a hill at 20-30 mph. The difference is indiscernable.
  2. The shade of clouds.
  3. The shade of trees. Normally deeper than the shade of clouds.
Put all three together and it's like, ahhhh ...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Too Damn Hot

So, Memorial Day weekend in Lexington Ky (the highest carbon footprint per capita in the US! -- we're so proud !) was 3 days of gorgeous -- partly cloudy, bright sunshine, low 80's. Last weekend was also OK, I biked 30.1 miles in 2h50m with 2 stops.

Yesterday, 94 degrees with about 90% humidity -- I got to Old Frankfort Pike and said, time to head for home -- after 3 of the roller coaster hills on Old Frankfort, I pulled up in front of the Mason-Headley museum and let myself cool down for around 15 minutes. Wound up doing 19.3 miles in 1h50m.

Here is a post to KASES I wrote yesterday, re, "USAF inviting GhostBusters to investigate ghosts at Wright-Patterson AFB":

The U.S. Air Force Academy has also been noted recently as being practically a fundamentalist christian institution. I guess "all superstition = good superstition".

I think that you have to look at belief in ghosts from the viewpoint of evolutionary psychology.

I once had a neighbor tell me how after being in the room during the death of a relative, she could "sense the presence of the departed spirit in the room for several minutes after the person passed away."

Was there a spirit in the room? No. So what that implies we have here is a cognitive or sensory illusion of some type.

Is there evolutionary value in being able to detect the presence of another human in a closed space with us? My guess, definitely yes.

Does that imply that one of the many subroutines that has evolved in the human (primate?) mind is one for detecting the presence in a closed space of another person (or animal)? Again, my guess is yes.

Do cognitive circuits such as this sometimes misfire, particularly when one is tired, stressed, etc? Again, my guess is yes.

A very similar perceptual illusion I think we all have probably experienced: you're driving on an interstate late at night, you're tired, you've been driving a while and may be slightly fugued out, you see an evergreen tree around 6 feet tall at the side of the road and think it's a person.

The same chain of logic applies -- there is clearly evolutionary value in being able to quickly identify other people so we have dedicated circuits to do so that misfire when we're tired, stressed, etc.

I think I may have referred before to the pretty good book on cognitive illusions "Inevitable Illusions", by Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, 1994.

Was it this forum that had a link to the article about many "haunted" places being permeated with infrasound, which gives us the creaps?

Last Wednesday I thought I was due to be a rock star -- play at O'Neills, then go play at a 2nd jam at Lynagh's. But, I did not get to be a rock star, but the Steinberger did. I played it at O'Neills, it freaked the bass player out, "What the hell is that sound?" -- but, I got to Lynagh's, no sign of David Ponder / Matt Knowles. Instead, The Real Deal, Willie Eames, was playing. Willie plays mostly fingerpicking blues, with some Kinks or Bill Withers thown in, and is a wonderful musician. I'd seen him at Azur the week before and told him about the Steinberger. He was playing capoed at the 5th fret in A and I told him how the Steinberger baritone was tuned 7 frets below a normal guitar so that playing it open you would be in A, but an octave lower. So, Willie did two songs open in A, then capoed up to 7 and did 2 songs in E. The Steinberger sounded wicked growly and low with Willie finger-picking it in A, and the intonation was decent capoed up to the E. So, it totally rocked -- but me, somewhat less so.

Somehow wound up with a trade paper edition of "Voice of the Whirlwind", by Walter Jon Williams, originally 1987. I am sure I read at the time, it's very cyberpunk, and I totally remember a French-Canadian protagonist who says "d'accord" all the time, but the plot was like totally new to me. Still, good cyberpunk read.

Musicwise, my NYC daughter brought me 5 CD's of The Carter Family, 1927-1934. Somehow they are hanging my iTunes and PC. Damn, just when thought I didn't have to worry about that kind of stuff. Also listening to:

  • T-Bone Burnett, "Tooth of Crime". A Walter Tunis recommendation. Kind of hard to get into. It's got some nasty low baritone guitar on it tho.
  • Tony Joe White, "Baby Please Don't Go" -- for the 1969 hit "Poke Salad Annie", which I played at the jam and seemed to work. We've been to T.D.'s at 2nd and Elm Tree a couple of times in the last month. They play R&B DVDs before the music starts. They played Bobby "Blue" Bland (Turn on your live light) there, he does this odd snorting thing. Tony Joe is the grunt guy. 3 stars.
Had a very nice Heinz 57 birthday yesterday. My oldest came down from NYC, we went to an outdoor concert with her, meine frau, and my youngest at Equus Run on Saturday. Then on Sunday, I grilled corn-on-the-cob, asparagus, BBQ eggplant and tuna, my youngest made a great salad, they both made german chocolate cake with home-made mouss, tres delicious.