LSD is a mutha

29 11 2007

If aerobic base training is the daddy of endurance sports, then I’m the bastard son of lactic acid and anaerobic conditioning. In a futile attempt to break the magical 4’/km threshold during 10k triathlon runs, I’ve been on a strict diet of three to four LSD workouts – long slow distance, the magic formula of triathlon training – per week during the last two months. My conclusion so far: I have no talent whatsoever when it comes to long distance running.

Since I’ve got a 10k race coming up in three weeks, this week is hell: 5 running sessions, a two-hour spinning class and a basketball workout. Got an uptempo training session planned with my homie B-Styles in Ghent. 1h20 LSD with six 3′ intervals. Bring the pain.

update: ran 58′ in the rain, squeezing out 4 intervals on wooden legs.

Media research galore

28 11 2007

Rest assured taxpayers. Your money is being well spent. On new(s) media research across the humanities and social sciences no less. Indeed, this year alone, no fewer than 4 research centers saw the light across various faculties in Flanders and the Netherlands. There’s CAMeRA in Amsterdam, MEC in Mechelen, Josta in Antwerp and CJS in Ghent. Rejoice, people, rejoice.

at ease

26 11 2007

The moment I got inside I felt better. There was a friendly messiness about the place, a steady clatter of typewriters and wire machines, even the smell was familiar. The room was so big that it looked empty, although I could see at least ten people.

Hunter S. Thompson – The Rum Diary (1959)

This quote captures nicely how I felt during my first day ‘in the field’, now a little over a year ago. Went back to the newsroom today for a quick visit. Good times.

soul bliss

26 11 2007

Perfect tune for a Sunday night.

Aretha Franklin – Something he can feel (Zshare)

PS: Do/did I ever…

Drupal, slang for doofus

26 11 2007

Drupal, the content management system that has been taking the world by storm, is free, open source and the brainchild of millionaire to be Dries Buytaert. Version 6.0 is about to drip, drip, drop and promises to make installing a walk in the park. Until that time, I will not attempt to get the software up and running anymore, even if it comes on a stick (tnx Pete!). It’s simply beyond me. Sigh.

Conference pet peeves

23 11 2007
  1. Style over substance: the conference bag/food/website is better than the talks.
  2. Lack of preparation: “What do you mean, I only have 20 minutes?”
  3. Misuse of visuals: “Here’s a fifteen minute video. Don’t worry though. I’ll to talk you through it.”
  4. Self-indulgence: “As you know, I’m X and and I represent Y. I take it you’re familiar with my work on Z.”
  5. Powerpoint hell: (flipping nervously through presentation at warp speed) “Damn it, I know that slide is in here somewhere.”

The science of lap dance giving and tipping

22 11 2007

One of the most erm…titillating avenues for ethnographic inquiry is strip club research. Sure, field access is hard to come by, but the findings are pure gold. I mean, you’re not up to speed until you’ve read up on the lap dance sales talk, the uses of music in strip clubs and Wood’s – who else? – theory of power enactment.

In a similar vein, a team of University of New Mexico psychologists report that female strippers’ tips correlate with their menstrual cycle. In their peak period of fertility, the 18 exotic dancers who participated in the study made roughly $70 an hour, compared to $35 while menstruating and $50 in between. In other words, when women ovulate, they “‘signal’…cues of their fertility status”, making men reach for money and feminists for hand grenades. Has falsification ever sounded this sweet?

Disclaimer: check The Primate Diaries for a more critical take on the study.

A purty lullaby from Iceland

19 11 2007

Emiliana Torrini – Sunny Road (Rough Trade)

Quantitative research, meet qualitative research

18 11 2007

Qual: Hi there. Nice to meet you.
Quan: (hesitantly) Likewise, I guess. What kinda knowledge are you after anyway?
Qual: The kind that comes from lived experience. The kind that takes interpretation. And you?
Quan: You must mean information. Anyhow, I’m not into softcore; I prefer genuine knowledge. The kind that is read off from numbers.
Qual: I see, meaning.
Quan: No, you dimwit, the mean.
Qual: But surely, doing research is more than just number-crunching, right?
Quan: Of course it is. You have to think really hard about your research design.
Qual: You mean analysis, right?
Quan: No, our proof is in the chi square pudding. Yours is in the spacecake, I presume?
Qual: (visibly annoyed) Well, I may be uncertain, at least I’m socially relevant. I wouldn’t wanna be trivial like you.
Quan: Trivial? Puh-leeze. I’m quantifiable.
Qual: Do you honestly believe you can quantify human experience?
Quan: Whaddaya mean, human experience? I study mental processes. I’m a scientist. Btw, nice sandals you’re rockin’ in mid-winter.
Qual: Does that wig on your head help you to find data?
Quan: It sure beats fabricating conclusions. Oh wait, you call that a rich point, don’t you?
Qual: Why don’t you wipe that smirk off your face before I quantify your nose?

Loosely based on Arthur A. Berger‘s Media & Communication Research Methods (London: Sage, 2000).

weight gain, NBA style

18 11 2007

Exhibit 304b showing that steroid use runs rampant in my favorite professional sports league. Greg Oden, the nr. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft, has a bum knee and will not play this season. However, he has started pumpin’ iron. CNNSI reports that “The 7-footer looked chiseled and has gained nearly 30 pounds of muscle — all in the upper body — since he was drafted.”

Oden, the youngest 35 year old this side of Bart de Graaff, was drafted first overall on June 28, 2007. He played in 2 games in the Las Vegas Summer League before undergoing tonsillectomy on July 14. Citing health concerns, he withdrew from Team USA training on August 13 and underwent microfracture knee surgery on Sept. 13. Following the procedure, Oden was on crutches until Nov. 8. In between, he somehow gained 30 pounds of muscle. In the upper body. Sure.