Thursday, February 17, 2011

Goats and pirates

Bike racing in the Arab countries may not have many spectators but that does not mean there isn't excitement. Pirates in cars try to mingle with the pack and there is always an infamous goat crossing that can lay waste to any group of riders lacking adequate cyclocross skills. All that meant nothing today to Theo Bos, who won his second stage in the Tour of Oman by outsprinting Daniele Bennati and overall leader Matthew Goss.

Tour of Oman

With Contador on the loose, Lance confirmed again that he is for sure retiring, prompting many ceremonies, tributes, and other press releases honoring the seven time Tour de France winner. Like many others before him, Lance will devote the rest of his existence to doing good works. And speaking of good works, Bill Gates was interviewed on Charlie Rose the other night and explained the reasoning behind his foundation's vaccination program. Gates said that preventing childhood deaths is one of the best ways to insure people have fewer children. "The only proven way," he stated. He then went on to explain how his Foundation's programs will help contain the population explosion that many, including Bill think is the underlying cause of all our ills.

Ivan Basso on the other hand is ready to meet both challenges. First he dared Alberto by training in the Spanish territory of the Canary Islands, and now he is seen on social media, feeding the next generation. Notice him mumbling, "bring it on." Basso will make his Italian debut this coming Saturday in Ligueglia, a town not too far from San Remo.

Basso, not worried about what the future may bring
Meanwhile the horrible weather continues unabated with hail storms stopping traffic on major Bay Area freeways. But as of yesterday and thanks to a Nature article we now learn that it isn't the weather gods who are to blame, but human activity and greenhouse gases. This is the first major study linking greenhouse gases to weather as opposed to climate. The distinction is rather important.

Finally, an IBM supercomputer soundly beat the best human opponents in Jeopardy, showing that the end of human domination is near. But first the computer will have to take a few flights apparently. According to a Cornell University science professor, Watson -that is the computer's maiden name- has one fundamental limitation. He (or she, or it?) has never gotten stuck in weather at Chicago's O'Hare airport.

The attentive reader will quickly point out that thanks to our never ending appetite for SUV's and oil, Watson will soon have ample opportunity to experience weather-related delays, and not just at O'Hare airport.

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