Friday, June 11, 2010

links! hawks! must pack!

As I type this, our neighborhood hawk is perched outside the window, peering in at me...or maybe peering in because he hears the tweeting of our little parrotlelt--potential prey...

Yesterday and today's New York Times have had a series of intriguing articles about our thought-habits, lifestyles and how newer technologies (twitter! google! texting!) are affecting them. I LOVED these articles and so just have to provide links to them:

--today, a column dealing with multitasking myths by Steven Pinker the MIT/Harvard prof/guru/writer:
Mind over Mass Media
(I confess that S. and I are partial to his writings; he is incidentally very important to the fact that yesterday was our tenth anniversary. One of our first truly 'deep relationship' conversations occured one autumn evening after attending a 'sold-out' lecture by Steven Pinker on the campus of the Univ. of WA--nerdy, eh? Seriously--a fascinating lecture...and then on the walk home, S. and I. had a late dinner in a little German restaurant in the U-district just off campus...)

--in yesterday's New York Times, this article:
Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price, part of the 'Your Brain on Computers' series...

An Ugly Toll of Technology: Impatience and Forgetfulness
This article resonates with me because I see this so much in my students--this upcoming fall's high-school freshmen were mostly born in 1996! They've never known
an 'un-plugged-in world!'

More Americans Sense a Downside to an Always Plugged-In Existence

Here's an interactive test from the same series of articles; how 'focused' or 'multitaskable' are you?
Actually, in that link, there are two different tests...I took them and was surprised by how 'good' I was at one task, and how seemingly mediocre I was at the other...

And now, The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In
...because busy-yet-trying-to-be-conscientious parents need more reasons to feel guilt....

Obviously, because I am blogging--I am 'plugged-in' while I should be packing; THE MOVE approaches, and there's much painting to do...and the cardboard boxes multiply...GET OFF THE INTERNET!

Monday, June 7, 2010

"elliptical bicycle"--saw my first one this morning...

The cicadas are buzzing; it's 102 degrees outside as I type this. Yesterday, S. and I spent a good part of the day up in Phoenix--it was 112 degrees...104 in the shade (!) in a covered parking garage in Scottsdale...
(or "Snotsdale," as some of the locals refer to the upscale area, we learned...)

But mornings, right before sunrise--still blessedly cool. So after spending hours sitting in the car yesterday,  back and forth from Phoenix, I wanted to go for a run this morning...so, out the door at dawn...and as I was running back down Sabino Canyon, I saw a guy biking dutifully uphill, and just behind, his wife, on one of these:
(photo courtesy of http://www.elliptigo.com)

Fascinating, eh? Got a spare couple of thousand dollars, you can have one--they were just 'released' from production this month. When I got home, I had to look it up: Elliptigo. Coming to a city near you, perhaps soon...Invented in California, where else? What a cool idea for runners recovering from impact injuries, or people who want to 'stairstep' but not on an indoor machine! Forget 'segways'--with our nation in its obesity epidemic, we need more calorie-burning options...

...not that I'm a skinny guru intent on ridding the world of motor-vehicles...
But our dependence on automobiles just can't be what this planet is meant for...how many petrol-volcanoes on sea-floors do we need anyway? One is enough. Adieu to the Cajun riviera, alas...

(Incidentally, speaking of Louisiana--here's an interesting article in a recent Wall Street Journal: African Teachers Come to the Rescue of Cajun Country;  Imported Francophones Help Revive a Culture; Savoring 'Le Gumb√≥')

This morning's run: 8 miles! Not a marathon--but for me, my longest continuous-run yet. A personal victory. I am really really going to miss having Sabino Canyon as 'my backyard'--yeah, yeah, we're only moving ten minutes away, but still...

Moving. Haven't even begun to pack yet. But the painting will begin later this week...probably on the day of our tenth anniversary--Happy Anniversary, honey--now grab a brush while I situate this ladder...

In today's mail, the new issue of Runner's World (don't laugh, now, yes I actually subscribe to a, gasp, athletic kind of magazine) came--and a recurring column that I enjoy reading therein is entitled "The Newbie Chronicles" by writer Marc Parent. At the end of this month's essay, he writes:
      "When I began running, a friend who has run his whole life congratulated me for starting. I told him I wasn't sure if it was for me. He tried to assure me it was. "Everyone is a runner," he said. "But most don't run slow enough or long enough to find out how true that really is." I wrote him off as just another lovable lunatic at the time--everyone is a runner, and I just shook hands with Bigfoot. Now...I can't really say if he was telling the truth or if it's just me who's finally joined the band."

And that's the latest, as week-number-two of 'summer' begins.