Saturday, October 17, 2009

News Nits

"All the news that's fit to reprint."

Whoah is we at News Nits. We have not been as on top of our game as we normally are. We apologize profusely and will do anything we can to get our readership back. Both of them. We are also excited by the addition of another contributor and hope he builds upon his debut piece. However, we will continue to count him among our readers so as not to alarm our advertisers.

It's been awhile, so News Nits is prepared to go on a tear, or a buddha shaped pear. In fact, we're going to go retrograde on your brain, reaching back for old material from before the last news nits only to switch and zoom ahead to the current time. We can not guarantee your lack of confusion. Brace yourself Neo, News Nits does not strive for coherence.

While Congress continues to expand into more corners of our lives, they cannot seem to protect what they should protect, as Chinese hackers have hacked in again to our (very expensive) Joint Strike Fighter program. For the runners among us, it appears that running shoes might be bad for your body. Run barefoot or in sandals! And while running, listen to Vatican radio. Who said religion and science are incompatible, the Vatican is building the largest solar panel field in Europe just north of Rome. Let's see Dan Brown try to undermine that.

Last April, the CFO of Freddie Mac, David Kellerman committed suicide. Let us never forget the cesspool of government corruption and regulation that has consumed more men than poor Mr. Kellerman, if it really was a suicide. If we still counted unemployment the way we did before the Clinton administration, it would be above 20%.

Recent Nobel Peace Prize winner, our president, has still failed to close Guantanamo Bay prison. Little Yemen won't even take back their own citizens. Remember when this was hailed as some sort of accomplishment? Looks like no one wants all these innocent saints. In fact, our peace loving president is reopening military trials. Perhaps he will hire Dick Cheney as a consultant. As more and more time goes by, Mr. Obama is appearing to be more and more like Mr. Bush. It is the height of arrogance or sophomoric intelligence to think that if we simply replace the regulators, things will work better.

With the swine flu starting to go around the U.S., let's take a moment to put it in context with the 10 worst epidemics in history. A man has successfully become the first U.S. patient to undergo a double hand transplant. For those of you with chilluns, do you really need the baby monitors? You're messing up my Wi-Fi, man! And if you ever get in some medical trouble, just twitter your friends, and they'll hit 911 if you can't.

In a painfully simple conversation, Rep. Steven Cohen makes a fool out of the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller. Watch for yourself, and continue to think about the differences between behavior and laws, and families and the federal government.

Furious activity is no substitute for understanding.
- H. H. Williams
Maybe our politicians could learn something from Mr. Williams. News Nits wonders in all honesty, WTF? What would Eric Holder think (WWEHT?). Global Climate change theories remain a work in progress, to say the least.

So let's wrap this issue up with just a few more nits. A Russian billionaire has installed an anti-picture-taking laser on his ridiculously awesome yacht. And if you haven't read about how the Netflix challenge was finally won, it's worth the read. The method that created the solution is perhaps more interesting than the solution itself. And finally, even the head of the worldbank is cautioning against giving the Federal Reserve more power (more power that Bernanke insists is necessary for our safety). If things are bad now, it's going to really hurt if the world begins to reject the U.S. dollar as the vehicle currency.

And with that thought, we return to the present moment. Have a good weekend, dear reader.
A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
-- G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)


Roller said...

Before I digest the rest of this post (talk about packed-with-nits), I am curious to know the author and all readers' experience with running and running shoes.

We touched on this discussion in the comments of the Country Music Marathon post, and perhaps now is a good time to follow up.

To all the runners out there - what shoes do you wear? Have you had any significant injuries related to running? What is your running style (are you more of a heel-striker, or do you run on the balls of your feet)?

To answer my own questions, I still use a pair of Nike's that I bought 2/3 of the way through the marathon training. I've had no significant injuries related to running; I've had a few strains here and there that have healed with a couple weeks' rest. I used to be a major heel-striker, but after our discussion in the previous post, I've started making a conscious effort to reach forward with the front of my foot rather than my heel. It took a while to get used to, but I can definitely tell that my legs don't have as much shock to absorb.

Doughboy said...

As Roller has said, this is pretty thick with the nits. As far as the running shoe issue goes, I have always worn Nike Pegasus. This makes me far from unique as it is the top selling running shoe of all time. I have occasionally had some shin splints and some calf pain but those usually always occur when I ramp up my training too fast.
The problem is that, yes, humans evolved to run barefooted. Yet, when you plug the realities of life into the equation, we did not evolve to run barefoot on blacktop or cement. I would love to do all my runs on trails but living in a city precludes that.
While I have no data to support this, I imagine I have had no more injuries wearing running shoes than if I had run barefoot on roads for all these years.
Finally, I am not sure how the information displayed about the US having a cooler than average summer in any way debunks global warming theories. The global warming evidence points to a steady rise in average global temps during the same period of time the global CO2 atmospheric concentrations have been rising. It is much less important to look at one particular year than it is to look at the overall trends. Many consecutive years of these types of summers and you may have something there. One such year tells us very little.

Ryan said...

I think what we're all trying to say is that it's best to run like an antelope, out of control.

Doughboy, your comments about running on hard surfaces is of course well founded. I doubt there's anyway to do that for long periods of time without decent shoes. I do shutter, in general though, when people categorically say stuff like "Running's bad for you." I've just never seen any evidence for that.

Running with really bad form is bad for you, and to some extent, cushy shoes can enable bad form, the same way the fanciest golf clubs keep your swing in bad habits.

I usually buy a pair of running shoes every year, and they're usually the cheapest ones I can find. My most recent pair is Saucony, and I've been fine with them.

In the beginning of a run, I tend to pad around on more of the outsides or center of my feet, until my body lubricates and warms up. THen the stride gets a little more aggressive, but I don't ever fully "heel" step. Sometimes, my stride gets tighter longer into a run and I have to consciously loosen up, which i usually do by relaxing my legs and lengthening my stride.

I rarely run longer than half an hour, and if I am out of shape, I don't hesitate to walk and take breaks if I feel like I'm pushing too hard. I have gotten shin splints before, but not often, and as D-Boy pointed out, it's usually because I've jumped back into running to quickly after being out of it too long.

I do also notice if I run on along the slanted side of a street (where the street slopes into the curb) I can get cramps or pains from that angle.

Ryan said...

As for the global warming gossip, two comments.

1) True that it's less important to look at one year than a trend, but if you look a little more carefully at the data I posted, it's not just that the temp went down a little on average, it's that it was the lowest it's been in over 100 years for a large swath of the country (temperatures have only been accurately recorded in the U.S. for about 115 years).

There has also been a recent trend in the past 5 (I think) years where temperature is cooling. THis seems to correspond with an alarming decrease in sunspot and sunstorm activity. This corresponds with the theory that CO2 follows temperature changes, not causes them.

2) The only highly accurate information we have for "trends" is about 115 years of data. That is hardly a good sample of global history. Many climate change scientists are predicting we are actually entering into a period of global cooling, yet the independent variable of CO2, man-made pollution hasn't changed.

My reason for pursuing this issue is not because I claim to know the answer, but because I claim to not know the answer. ANd I have done enough research into to it to know that there are ulterior motives for the political bodies that are pushing selected scientific hypotheses for economic/political reasons, not scientific ones.

Doughboy said...

Boys, as we all know, this blog is usually full of debate but I think we have hit on an issue that we can all agree on- and it is one that none of us like. We all, unfortunately, are getting aches and pains that we never did when we were in high school. This year training for the marathon, I pulled my calf on a simple jog and it took me almost two months to heal. Who would have thought when we were in high school that we would have to be paying attention to the slope of a street so that we don't cramp up on that side?
I hate aging. Thank god we have health care reform coming because, as I understand it, there are provisions in the bill that will eliminate the effects of aging. Thank god for Obama.

Marty said...

I would be barefoot all the time if i could...walking, running, working, playing basketball...i do not like shoes, and i have even been known to walk quite a bit on the hot St.Louis summer blacktop driveways, which I find to be hotter due to recent CO2 man-made pollution...

Bernsey said...

I want a Billiken pear shaper!