Weekly Head Voices #178: Parallel world.

GOU#2, age 9, painted this unicorn for all of us. Sometimes you need more unicorn in your life, especially when you’ve reviewed photos for the past two weeks and came up with nothing and you start doubting everything. Now I believe!

This edition of the WHV looks back at the two weeks from Monday September 9 to Sunday September 22, 2019.

Miscellaneous bits.

I was finally able to finish and publish a fairly extensive blog post documenting my current personal knowledge management strategy.

The purpose of that write-up is both for my own future reference, as I’ve put far more effort into it than into my internal recursive note-taking about my note-taking strategy, and to be able to point people at it.

There’s nothing quite like being asked a question, and then being able to point the questioner at the relevant post on one’s blog.

There was a great overview article in Wired about the work done in Wageningen towards feeding the growing population of planet earth.

Having enjoyed one (1) fried mealworm-filled bread roll a few years back, I for one am looking forward to our environmentally friendly alternative meat sources of the future.

Quite compelling in this regard is the massive difference in energy efficiency between the production of a kilogram of beef on the one hand, and a kilogram of tasty cricket meat on the other.

This is my favourite quote from the Wired article:

Cold insect blood translates to a high food conversion rate: per kilogram of meat produced, a cricket needs roughly 1.7 kg of feed, a cow 7-10. Insects also emit less greenhouse gases than conventional livestock; among insect species, only cockroaches, termites and scarab beetles produce any methane at all.

Cadence 180 REDUX!

Another friend from work, who runs better and faster than I do (they all do), was explaining the other day that one had to make better use of one’s glutes, or gluteal muscles, while running.

This is not the first time that a superior running friend from work gave this advice, and so I tried my best during the subsequent few runs to activate my glutes.

Some of you know that I am not the most coordinated of humans, and so you might be able to imagine what it looks like when I attempt both to run without falling, and at the same time to activate those glutes more than they are already activated.

Not elegant.

I soon decided that this experiment, besides looking really funny, was probably going to lead to a pathologically bad gait that would end up to be super hard to unlearn.

The internet fortunately had an answer(ish): A 2012 study in the Gait Posture journal, titled Changes in Muscle Activation Patterns when Running Step Rate is Increased, showed that the glutes, and a number of other muscles of the lower extremities, show higher activation at a step rate higher than the runner’s usual preference.

To me, this sounds exactly like my old friend called “hey let’s run at the fairly uncomfortable feeling 180 steps per minute”! He’s been here before, but that was in the context of reddit’s barefoot running advice.

The study mentioned above, although focused on muscle activation, did echo some of the well-known advice that this higher cadence would decrease joint stress and would help to improve running form by ensuring that runners would land on their feet right below their centres of mass.

Anyways, I’m back to 180 cadence, as is also recommended by the box that my new Altras came in.

When I remember to eat a banana or two and to drink enough water before I go out, focusing on the 180 step rate leads to a more tiring but somehow much more satisfying run.

It seems that since my previous 180 period some time back, I had settled on a slightly more comfortable lope, most probably in order to keep my heart rate at 80% of my maximum or lower

Currently, a step rate of 180 mostly means that I am unable to keep my heart rate at 80% or lower. I am curious, and a little bit nervous, to find out if I am able to bring my 180 cadence heart rate down by a percentage point or two.

What’s your yo-yo?

Because GOU#2 had just acquired a new yo-yo, we were watching youtube videos of yo-yo champions performing their art.

One yo-yo, two yo-yos, yo-yos flying everywhere, sometimes even off their strings to be deftly caught behind the back again, and so on.

It was a seriously impressive business.

I thought to myself: This is what happens when you dedicate thousands of hours to one specific skill.

In the case of yo-yo’ing, the skill is brilliantly displayable – I gawk, and I have to watch that my jaw does not actually drop to the nearest horizontal surface as it would really like to.

Thinking a bit more, I wondered whether I had any skill which came even close to the levels of mastery being displayed here.

The skill I’ve poured the most time into would have be the extremely exciting and spectacular activity of… computer programming.

Yes folks, even when I’m not working (computer programming, FOR MONEY), I will sometimes sit down with a new or old programming language and code something up for fun.

I’ve been doing this for the largest part of my life, which is getting longer by the minute!

And so I have to come to the conclusion that programming is the closest I currently have to a yo-yo.

What’s your yo-yo?

P.S. Thinking about it some more, Emacs is almost like some sort of yo-yo, isn’t it?

Extrawelt ABC.

Some of you might have realised that the section above, ostensibly about yo-yos, is actually a thinly disguised page in my fairly recently started Always Be Compounding theme.

You’re so clever!

However, that is of course not all that I have to say for ABC today.

For the past week I had the brilliant September 4, 2019 Boiler Room performance of Extrawelt on repeat.

At the very end, the master of ceremonies had the following to say, with a doubly convincing German accent:

extrawelt! you know how it is if you believe in something, if you have the right talent and if you keep going for a long long time you end up like these guys: titans in the business, extrawelt!

Friends, I wish you the clarity of mind to know your yo-yos, and the tenacity to keep practising for a long long time.