Monday, July 30, 2012

Web wrap-up: July 23 to 29

Runner's World: Treadmill Innovator Bill Staub Dead at 96. I probably would've missed this news, actually, if my boss hadn't mentioned it. (The comment served a dual purpose — one, to inform a known runner of running-related news, and two, to inform a copy editor for a media company of actual news.)

The fact that a man inspired during the 1960s to turn the treadmill — then too expensive for mass consumption — into a home gym staple lived to be 96 should help shut up the "running is bad for everyone's health!" crowd. It's not right for everyone, but it's right for many people ... just like treadmills aren't right for everyone, but they clearly are right for a lot of people.

The Penguin Chronicles: The Trails Less Traveled. John Bingham, a self-described city kid, moved to the country, or at least somewhere a lot more rural, and learned to appreciate trail running. (Though, to be respectful of hard-core trail runners, "groomed multiuse trails" are a little bit different than forest paths. But I digress.)

The opening paragraph shocked me:
"I’m a city kid. I believe in the grandeur of the manmade concrete and steel canyons. Yes, mountains are beautiful, but the gleam of the morning sun off thousands of windows has a beauty all its own."
I'll grant you that there are many kinds of beauty, urban and rural. This might be the Midwesterner in me talking, but who in God's name implies that a whole bunch of windows reflecting light — a natural characteristic of glass — are more impressive than, say, the Rocky Mountains or the Alps?

Anyway, despite thinking this guy is cracked, I kept reading. I was heartened to hear him praise rural sights in a nonpatronizing way, but still, I couldn't help rolling my eyes when he discovered how much nicer shaded trails were during the summer compared with all those glinty windows and all that asphalt.

I must've put my judgy pants on that day, sorry. The rant ends now.

NPR: Summer Science: Clothes Keep You Cool, More or Less. I love exercise-related science, or at least the kind that someone who hasn't taken a science class since 2003 can understand: why your GI tract reacts to running in certain ways, why humidity makes exercising so miserable, etc.

Now, thanks to NPR, I have a much more nuanced view of how to dress for summer exercise. It's not just a matter of wearing as little clothing as possible; the clothes' color and fit, as well as the sun exposure, play a factor.

Miveu-X. My co-worker and friend Ken sent me this link (does that mean I'm getting one for my birthday?). It's a device that straps your smartphone onto your chest so you can record movies from your point of view.

If I did have this, I would most definitely face-plant and break my phone. However, as much as we chuckled over the Miveu-X — and the mental image of my face-planting video — I do have to admit: It looks like a better way to haul my iPhone on a run than the methods I use now.

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