1) Man, cannot get this song out of my head. Just beautiful!
2) Mo Kenny….just a beautiful voice and powerful lyrics. One to watch out for.
3) Rilo Kiley released a whole album worth of songs. No they are not back. Just left over songs from eons ago and some different version of their popular songs. Oh well, I will take it.
4) Veronica Falls : This is how pop music should be but I guess we are stuck with Justin Bieber for the moment.
5) Pixies : Just bought the vinyl for Surfer Rosa. Playing this song over and over.
I knew that there was going to be a substantially less number of people especially compared to Mississauga Marathon (around 11,000) and the two Toronto Marathons (around 25,000 for each), but I was not expecting 80 people in total for the full marathon!
That threw me off.
Anyway, the lead up to the race day was just gorgeous. 18 C on Saturday a day before the race and things were looking great. I was psyched and was eager. Got my race kit. The pick up should have given me a heads up on the number of participants. It was a small room with one table. However, I did not pick up on the clues.
On race day, got up early. Had some breakfast. Put on rocking music on the way to Bechtel Park. Parking was a breeze and organisers were cheering everyone. Mood was quite good. That’s when I noticed a lack of marathon runners (based on the reddish bibs the full run were wearing). And when the pipes started playing (yup, bagpipes), I went towards the starting line, that’s when it hit me. There were very few runners for the full. Why this bothered me was that I like the anonymity of a large group of runners. I knew this race would be tough because I am a back pack runner. But because I would be mortified coming in last or among last group, I knew I had to push myself.
Before the run there was a minute silence for Boston. But because they were using a bullhorn, not everyone got the message so there was a lot of chattering all about. The Ed Whitlock spoke for a minute and again no one had a clue what he said. Which was a shame cause I am a great admirer and I hope to be half the runner in the next few years that he is now.
Anyway, the run started and I threw my game book out the window cause everyone literally started to sprint away. I had to kick it up a notch too which is something I hate early in the run.
The course is a rolling course. That is, there are gentle ups and gentle downs from the start to finish. And because this was Mennonite country, there were horse drawn buggies and huge farm lands throughout the run.
The few runners means that for majority of my run, I had no one in my sights and I mean literally no one in sight. Not one person behind or in front. It was erie and quite disconcerting and caused me to question whether I was on the right course. The only action I saw were the volunteers every 3 KMs. They were the soul of the run! The volunteers were fantastic and the organisation of the run was very good. Water, gatorade, gels, fruits etc were available throughout the course.
Finally reached the point where we merged with the half marathon course. The half marathoners were all done by the time I reached that part of the course but this was through a suburb starting with the Blackberry offices. The complaint I have here is that since there were few runners and I was running at the back of the pack, I actually had to stop for red lights! Never saw that before in a marathon.
I rolled in at 4:14:07 to great cheering (since I was the only one approaching the end at that point) and the moment I stopped, my left leg cramped and I had to seek medical help. The para meds helped me through the cramp, got me some gatorade and I was walking back to the car in 20 minutes.
I really really liked the course. I just wish I could have run at my own pace. I am now better prepared, mentally, for the next time I run this race. I just hope that the participation increases.
The first time I heard about Deepak Chopra was in Delhi, India, 1998. Someone was bragging about this desi guy who had made a name for himself in the USA and when my friend asked what does he do
“he writes superb books on how to live a meaningful life”
Me : “so another fraud sadhu (or guru)”
And my belief in that fact has not changed. Deepak Chopra is a fraud.
He speaks in a melancholy way that mesmerises you. And words that could win you 80 points on scrabble flow with that sing song voice that make you feel very, very smart. Until you start paying attention to what he actually is saying.
If you don’t want to listen to a Dawkins version. Here is a Chopra talking about how you don’t have to age as you grow old.
To me this sounds like what astrologers write on daily horoscopes. Lots of generic fortune cookie statements that apply to 80% of the population. Chopra does the same thing except he uses the words “quantum” which could literally mean anything!
And then when people call him on his bullshit, he throws a hissy fit. Case in point, this letter from Lara Stein, TEDx Director & Emily McManus, TED.com Editor. A simple letter stating :
There is no bright and shining line between pseudoscience and real science, and purveyors of false wisdom typically share their theories with as much sincerity and earnestness as legitimate researchers.
Then they continue to expand on this statement which pretty much excludes shamans like Chopra. The main part of the letter, I think, was :
Marks of bad science:
- Has failed to convince many mainstream scientists of its truth
- Is not based on experiments that can be reproduced by others
- Contains experimental flaws or is based on data that does not convincingly corroborate the experimenter’s theoretical claims
- Comes from overconfident fringe experts
- Uses over-simplified interpretations of legitimate studies and may combine with imprecise, spiritual or new age vocabulary, to form new, completely untested theories.
- Speaks dismissively of mainstream science
- Includes some of the red flags listed in the two sections below
The point of this letter is to ensure that nonsense is not give any promotion on TED’s platform. Anyone with a brain can see it. But our Sadhus printed this article on the purveyors of bad science The Huffington Post. First some gobble gook :
What the militant atheists and self-described skeptics hate is a certain brand of magical thinking that endangers science. In particular, there is the bugaboo of “non-local consciousness,” which causes the hair on the back of their necks to stand on end. A layman would be forgiven for not grasping why such an innocent-sounding phrase could spell danger to “good science.”
Huh? Re read this para carefully. What the fuck are they talking about? This is what really gets on my nerves. This kind of wording seems really smart and deep until you really try to understand it and then you realise that it is a huge cup of BS. Here is the crux of their argument :
TED finds itself on the wrong side of censorship, semi- or not. But this fracas actually opens a window. The general public — and many working scientists — isn’t aware that consciousness has become a hot topic spanning many disciplines, and its acceptability is demarked by age. Older, established scientists tend to be dead set against it, while younger, upcoming scientists are fascinated.
Freedom of thought is going to win out, and certainly TED must be shocked by the avalanche of disapproval Anderson’s letter has met with. The real grievance here isn’t about intellectual freedom but the success of militant atheists at quashing anyone who disagrees with them. Their common tactic is scorn, ridicule, and contempt. The most prominent leaders, especially Richard Dawkins, refuse to debate on any serious grounds, and indeed they show almost total ignorance of the cutting-edge biology and physics that has admitted consciousness back into “good science.”
These gas bags cannot prove that their theories are nothing but baloney, therefore, they think they are being muzzled! When I read the letter from TED, to me it reads that TED wants to IGNORE pseudo scientists. And that is what Deppak Chopra is…..a pseudo scientist who wants to be recoganised as a revered soul with a quantum mind.
And there was this :
But TED took the threat seriously enough that Anderson’s letter warns against “the fusion of science and spirituality,” and most disappointing of all, it tags as a sign of good science that “it does not fly in the face of the broad existing body of scientific knowledge.” Even a newcomer to science knows about Copernicus, Galileo, and other great scientists whose theories countermanded the prevailing body of accepted knowledge. Einstein believed in a static universe at a time when early proponents of an expanding universe were ignored, and the early reception of the now-popular “multiverse” theory was scornful. The greatest breakthroughs rarely come by acts of conformity.
Did these guys just compare themselves to Copernicus and Einstein? OMFG!
Why did the Boston Marathon incident affect me so much?
I mean for a period of 2 days I was walking around in a haze. I was doing what was expected of me at work and home but all the time I was essentially….sad.
The only reason that comes to mind is the fact marathon is a sport that is physically taxing. A runner deliberately punishes oneself to point where the person feels an exhilarating pain. This act of running is highly individualistic and gives one a supreme sense of accomplishment. Running is simple and straightforward. No complications. As a runner I sweat, I suffer and I look forward to that finish line. The world and it’s problems has no place in my life during my run. And in the last leg your energy is finished, your adrenaline is severely depleted, your will power is gone but the cheering of the crowd at the end adds a persistence to your legs that seem to drive through the cheers and claps, the high fives and the inevitable “you are almost there”. Most of the times it’s this factor that has forced me to finish with head held high and a smile on my face. And sometimes I have shed tears.
And then a bomb explodes next to you. An innocent moment utterly destroyed. I know that this happens in rest of the world at an alarming regularity and they are far worse than what happened at Boston.
But this happened to a sport I love and it hit me very hard.
I am better now. I am looking forward to the Waterloo Marathon on 28 April. I will try and run my best marathon and say a silent thank you to those killed and maimed in Boston.
This marathon run is for them.
Hopefully this movie will do for Superman fans what the last Star Trek did for Trekkies.
The debate continues.
Since at least the 1980s researchers in many different fields—including psychology, computer engineering, and library and information science—have investigated such questions in more than one hundred published studies. The matter is by no means settled. Before 1992 most studies concluded that people read slower, less accurately and less comprehensively on screens than on paper. Studies published since the early 1990s, however, have produced more inconsistent results: a slight majority has confirmed earlier conclusions, but almost as many have found few significant differences in reading speed or comprehension between paper and screens.
I have now more or less switched to ebooks. The convenience factor of carrying all your books is too good pass up. Moreover, I have noticed that I read more. However, I do find that every now and then I want to go back to my paper books and I always notice the difference. Reading from a paper is far far better.
But then I come across a word I do not know and I try and invoke the dictionary on the paper book which then takes me back to my ebook.
The only hope is that the ebook screen becomes better. In the meantime, the debate continues!