Ann Arbor, Cycling, Hockey, Advertising & Media, and the occasional practical joke on my dad. I work at Quack!Media.
I’m generally not one for yachts, or the douchbags who love them (or boats in general) but Zaha Hadid’s design is just wacky enough to pull past ugly and into one of the coolest things I’ve seen, ever.
Is she messing with her audience in a masterful way? Is this an experiment to see if she can get dudes who buy things and name them, “Dominator II” to embrace a floating abstract sculpture?
This is the first, and last time I will ever post about a yacht. I promise.
Renter’s insurance is a good idea. It’s cheap and it will cover all your weird stuff when your neighbor drunk-cooks fried chicken and falls asleep on the couch. Anna and I got some for our new place so that should someone break in and steal my copy of Señor Coconut, it will be replaced (as if one can just replace Señor Coconut).
We have a good broker, and he found us a good, inexpensive renter’s policy. Easy. Then there was a surprise; since Anna and I are not married, the carrier wouldn’t insure us. We could get two separate policies, which would be more expensive… but that’s weird, dudes n’ ladies have been living together, unmarried for generations now… wow, so old fash… wait a minute this isn’t about dudes and ladies.
There are folks in Michigan (for now) who can’t be married. Obviously we asked our broker to find us an insurance company that will insure us as a couple, even if it’s a little more expensive(now we have a joint policy from Citizen’s).
The thing is, if we were married we would have never known. Our application would have gone through without question and we’d be giving money to a company that won’t insure everyone equally… like jerks.
If you’re married, have you asked your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company whether they’d insure you and your partner if you weren’t? It’s a quick call, and it only cost us about $50/year to not support Ye Olde Bigoted Insurance Company.
Vote with your wallet.
You haven’t arrived until someone holds up your name on no-no signs. This is amazing. Thanks Ryan for grabbing it.
On a serious note: I sincerely hope the bullying doesn’t scare off anyone who is considering public service. I’ve never met them, but I’m sure these are fine folks, they just have an agenda (though I’m not sure what that is) and apparently I stepped on it. So please, don’t be afraid, step up and get involved. We need more people involved, not fewer.
I’m not embarrassed about anything on this blog (with my full first and last name in the URL), or my twitter account. Take a read; enjoy it or not. It is unchanged & unedited since my nomination to the DDA save one photo from the Huffington Post that was removed at the specific request of a councilperson… because I’m nice. Enjoy!
OH MY GOD TWO PLANES COLLIDE OVER NE…. wait, does that plane have propellers? This happened in 1960. I see what you’re doing, The Weather Channel, and it’s not cool.
1. Stop Reading Buzzfeed.
2. Don’t even click it, not once.
3. Don’t share it on your Facepage.
4. Don’t link it on your Twatter.
5. Stop it, right fucking now. No more buzzfeed.
6. I know it’s hard. The headline is about YOU and thoughts you thought! OMG- but don’t. Stop.
7. Just sit there. Do nothing. Gazing into oblivion is infinitely more productive than Buzzfeed.
8. Fuck. Don’t. Stop. Don’t. Back away. Resist.
This article by one “DH Kiefer” entitled “Why Women Should Not Run.” made the rounds a few weeks ago.
You can read the article in its entirety for yourself (or not), but basically his argument is that humans, especially lady-humans, shouldn’t run, ever, because cardio causes your body to hoard fat/energy specifically through a reduction in thyroid juice. While he poses his argument with a tone of a dude bench-pressing babes on the boardwalk, he manages to cite enough scholarly journals and studies to be taken seriously (I’ve included references at the bottom for my more subjective statements). Don’t worry runners, swimmers, cyclists, this guy is wrong – and just as he says you “shouldn’t listen to a fat trainer ,” you really shouldn’t listen to a dude with a fake tan and a blog.
"This “cardio craze” is a form of insanity, and it’s on my hit list. I’m determined to kill it. There are better ways to lose fat, and there are better ways to look good. Your bikini body is not at the end of a marathon, and you won’t find it on a treadmill.”
He really just hates running (and cycling, and rowing, and XC Skiing and probably puppies).
As a cyclist I’ve spent a lot of time in tight shorts surrounded by other men and women in tight shorts and I can count the number of overweight folks I’ve seen at bike races on my left penis, and don’t get me started on those disgusting swimmers’ bodies… BARF. Kiefer is right about one thing – there’s too much talking about weight loss. The books, diets, and douche bags with blogs  could fill the 20,000 pizza boxes I went through in my bike racing days (without gaining a pound). All this talking when weight loss is simple right? Calories in < Calories out = lose weight - end of story right?
Kiefer doesn’t think so:
T3 is the body’s preeminent regulator of metabolism, by the way it throttles the efficiency of cells It also acts in various ways to increase heat production. As I pointed out in previous articles, this is one reason why using static equations to perform calories-in, calories-out weight loss calculations doesn’t work.
There’s a problem. It is that simple. You don’t need to know complex math or read medical journals. You just need middle school science: the law of the conservation of mass (Thanks Antoine “Toné Toní Tony” Lavoisier). To review (for those of us who have been out of 7th grade for a few years) matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed. You can move it around, and convert them from one form/state to another but matter and energy exist.
Meaning that no matter what super-ultra-complex chemical parties go on in your body (like thyroid hormone juices, theto-goblins, or whatever) it can’t, through any amount of biological gimmickry, or Kiefer-pouting, violate laws of physics. If you convert more energy from stored state (fat) into mechanical (moving your body in the form of running) than you put in (food) then you will lose mass (man-titties).
On Team A we have every-marathoner-ever and the laws of physics vs. Team B, some blow-hard  blogger and some journal references. Right, what about all those references? His point is really well backed up? This doesn’t make sense! How can he be both right but also completely at odds with my eyes and physics (and not be a unicorn ).
Since Kiefer’s argument is based on how running negatively affects your basal metabolic rate, as usual we’ll look at those numbers. We’re going to use math instead of citations because it’s really simple and no one is going to actually verify all of his sources .
Basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy your body needs every day to just be you, and alive. It actually takes an ass-ton (metric, of course) of energy to keep your heart beating, your liver secreting, and your brain pondering whether G.I. Joe can still be the “real American hero” despite being made in Taiwan.
For the average woman, at the average age of 40 at an average height and average everything else that rate is about 1500 kCal/day. Let’s say that everything Kiefer says is true about the effects of cardiovascular training. Let’s say it absolutely decimates your metabolism. There are numbers on record that show basal rates to drop as much as 40 percent (really, really rare, and usually through some manner of starvation) but I’m being generous. Also, since I’m lazy and like easy numbers, let’s give Kiefer’s model of “don’t run, ever” a 50% reduction in basal metabolic rate (not real, ever – but I’m caring and generous).
So, you run a lot and, kapow, 50% of your metabolism is gone leaving you with 750 kCal/day to breathe, digest and watch Dave Coulier’s Out of Control with. The latter would be difficult seeing as that on 750 kCal/day you’d likely be in a coma, (or a rather energetic golden retriever) … GENEROUS NUMBERS.
An average woman of 40, of an average height and above average weight (let’s say 180lbs) is going to burn 750 calories/hour of running at even a slow pace (I burn about 1,000/hour cycling). As you lose weight, it takes less energy to move your body around (it’s smaller), but you can do it faster (because you’re fit) so the burn-per-hour generally increases: the more you do it, the better it is for you.
According to my generous math, running an hour each day, even with these absolutely comatose numbers would still yield a net-zero effect on your daily burn. If you ran for two hours you’d be 750 calories ahead. Remember, we can’t create or destroy energy (because physics) so whatever your body is doing to get that net effect, really doesn’t matter. In fact, if your basal rate was ZERO (making you a dead person) running for two hours would still negate the effect of your low metabolism (but likely not make you less dead).
The point being that there is absolutely no way in hell that running makes you fat. By nature, if you ran enough to really damage your metabolism in the way that Kiefer suggests, you’d be burning thousands of calories per day, certainly more than your body could spare on the basal rate and still manage to, you know, live.
Is running the most efficient use of your time for losing weight? Probably not. I’m not a trainer. I’m not a doctor. Is there a way to trick your body into burning fat while you sleep by using a combination of hucking medicine balls and shoving quinoa in your orifices? I’m sure there is and Kiefer can probably tell you about it (plus tanning tips!), but to claim that Iron Man triathletes, marathon-runners and, like, every athlete across professional, Olympic and amateur sports, ever, is doing it wrong and going to get fat is ridiculous.
If you like to run, if you like to ride bikes, if you like to row, if you like to swim: that is the best way for you to lose weight. You shouldn’t be running less you should be running more. This Douche just hates athletes  and doesn’t like to run – which is fine, but don’t get weird with science. While Lavoisier played loosey-goosey with the finances of France he wouldn’t stand for the idea that the human body could gain or lose mass without some type of transfer (like, say, a beheading … sorry Tony).
 Unicorns are not required to submit to the laws of our mortal world.
 I checked the abstract of his first source and it clearly states that subjects showed a maximum 8% reduction in thyroid juice, and that was only in half of experiment group, the other half showed no change which in statistics we call “insignificant” or “the same as if you flipped a coin” or “not correlated” or “crap we might be wrong.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12527982)
There’s an important election on August 6th. Crazy, I know. Well, I didn’t really know. Most of us don’t. Since Ann Arbor City Council is a partisan election, and Ann Arbor is overwhelmingly Blue (yay, us), for most city council seats the real election is the Democratic Primary. This leads to some unfortunate realities, especially in years with nothing else going on like 2013.
More voters = better representation (statistically true!).
The current 3rd ward incumbent (Stephen Kunselman) was elected in 2011 with 637 votes. You need more people to start a viable space colony, or throw a raging Bar Mitzvah.
WHAT DO I DO!?
Bonus: Agree with everything I say and do always.
EXTRA IMPORTANT RACES:
If you live in Ward 3 or Ward 4 (check map) then your primary on Tuesday is extra important as it will decide who represents you – so make sure that person represents you and not the 200 crazy people with nothing better to do that live in your ward.
A few weeks ago I posted “You’re Going to Kill Someone.” It was simply a transcription of the imaginary conversation I have in my head after a motorist nearly rips it off. While my post was long (with jokes!) the thought I pour over, and over, during my hours on the bike is extraordinarily simple:
I bet that driver is a decent human and as such would like to avoid killing someone, but for whatever reason they are not connecting their actions (passing too closely) with the consequences (splat).
That’s it. That’s the entire basis of my post. It’s not an argument. It’s a theory that I think is absolutely true. In high-school hypothesis form it would read: If people knew that four seconds could save a life, then they would slow down and move over.
I posted that article as an exercise of self-medication, assuming that I was just re-hashing something that had been said (it certainly had been thought) a million times, by a million people. Then, something happened; people read it – like a lot of people – like hundreds of thousands of people. It was read considerably more than my usual “here’s some food that looks like a dick” or “People Who Say eXpresso and Their Lack of an Actual Soul: an essay.” That week I received emails, comments and posted responses from all over the world; they came from cyclists, commuters, motorists and sociopathic asshats.
While the majority were simple “right on,” or conversely, “get off the road,” there were a few common threads that I feel need follow up. I have addressed them below.
“C’mon, be serious, it’s really not that dangerous.”
One of the more common rebuttals was that my post greatly exaggerated how often cyclists are killed on the road including this exchange:
These comments arrived contrasted with messages from folks who had lost friends and family. People tagged me in links to articles as new incidents started piling up; that very morning two cyclists were killed outside of Los Angeles, and that weekend I rode near Traverse City, MI where two cyclists were killed in separate incidents. One was a hit-and-run where the victim was dragged, still alive, after the collision.
“C’mon, be serious, it’s not MURDER.”
Angela sent me an article about her friend Christina who was hit and killed in Alabama in 2011. The courts found that since the driver wasn’t speeding, and with no alcohol in his system, or other extenuating circumstance, that he had committed homicide. There’s little confusion to what that word means; television has taught me that much.
Thank you to everyone who shared your stories, share them whenever you can. Going back to the hypothesis, when drivers don’t see a bike but a person on a bike I believe we will all be much safer.
Even if it was only one death, ever, wouldn’t that be enough to move over a few feet? We’re really not asking for much.
“Great post, but it’s antagonistic and says potty-words so it won’t do any good.”
Yeah, but without the cupcake joke would anyone have read it? I think no matter how annoyed someone is, they’re still going to avoid murder whenever possible. Unless they’re a murderer, of course, but the odds are in your favor (even in Detroit).
“You’re wrong about the law(s)”
Here’s the thing; it doesn’t matter if I’m wrong about the law. Killing someone is bad for you and them. If you’d like to avoid killing someone, slow down and move over. The only possible place in that statement for disagreement is that killing someone isn’t bad which would make you a psychopath.
“But you said that you don’t always follow the law yourself? I’m a cyclist and I think you’re making everyone hate us, and you’re part of the problem.”
A fair point, to be sure. To clarify (again) I ride safely. If motorists drive safely I don’t have any problem with them breaking any law they want. Just don’t kill me okay? Deer jump out into the road all the time. They don’t know the law and I suspect that they can’t even read road signs. You’d likely go out of your way to avoid hitting a deer. It sucks emotionally and financially to hit a deer. Why all the resistance when we’re talking about a human?
Here’s the thing about traffic laws: you don’t need a license to ride a bike. You do need a license to drive a car. You know why? The physics involved in driving a motor vehicle have been deemed by The People to require a certain level of responsibility. That operator’s license in your pocket is proof and binding contract that you enter into, with The People, that you accept said responsibility, and know the rules that go with it. As a cyclist, I have no license. I took no class. Children ride bikes; they’re almost as dumb as the deer and certainly less agile. I should know the rules – but you shouldn’t expect that every cyclist does – it’s your job, as a motorist, to not hit them. That’s part of the privilege of driving a car. You get the go fast and far; but in return you accept the responsibility of that physics.
“I’m a great driver and treat cyclists with total respect!”
Awesome. That post wasn’t for you. I’ll hand you a cupcake next time I see you. I love you.
“BUT WHAT THE FUCK?! BREAK LAW! ANGRY!”
That cyclist you just passed could have just run ten stop signs. He could be on his way from cheating on his wife. He could have just embezzled millions from a retirement fund, or green-lit a new Michael Bay film. Not one of these things is a capital offense, and if it were it wouldn’t be your job to enforce the sentence. There would be a trial, and police, and an anonymous executioner because it sucks to kill someone. Even the Spanish had randomized firing squads.
Don’t hit stuff with your car. That’s my point. Are you arguing for hitting stuff with your car?