Here are my favorite articles, books, and podcasts from 2020


Patterns in Sports

There is no time for thinking in sports. Thinking is just too slow. Reactions must be engrained and subconscious. Consider baseball, America’s pastime.

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The average fastball of a MLB pitcher is 95 mph. A 95 mph fastball takes 400 milliseconds to reach homeplate. The average human reaction time is 250 milliseconds which leaves ~200 milliseconds to recognize which pitch was thrown, where it will cross home plate, and when to swing. This isn’t enough time to get the job done. Hitters need more time to swing. There are two ways to overcome this problem.

  1. Quicken Reactions
  2. Pattern Matching

Since reaction…


If COVID19 creates a zombie apocalypse, what single sentence can transfer all knowledge of jiu jitsu?

Photo by Chris Hall on Unsplash

Radiolab recently released an episode that started with Richard Feynman’s first lecture in his Introduction to Physics 101 class at CalTech. He starts the lecture by posing a question then answering it:

If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generations of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis (or the atomic fact, or whatever you wish to call…


vacation

Tuesday November 26

It was Denver’s snowiest Thanksgiving in 40 years. This storm dropped so much snow that I had to leave a day early and grab one of the few hotel rooms left.

Wednesday November 27

My hotel room neighbors partied all night. They clearly had multiple rooms and went back and forth between them. And they slammed every door each time. Needless to say . . . I slept poorly.

First the snow storm. Then the neighbors. Now I had to fight Thanksgiving Day travelers to get to my flight.

Line for Air Canada. I had great company in line.

The TSA lines were the longest I had ever seen at DIA. They…


One ideal goal of data science is to distill analysis to one number when possible. Then use that number to draw conclusions about your data. But this can be a difficult task when your data set is missing values. Simply ignoring missing data can lead to significant statistical power loss: 35% loss for 10% missing data, 98% loss for 30% missing data. Ignoring missing data can also lead to bias solutions and unreliable parameter estimation. To overcome these challenges statisticians have developed sophisticated techniques to handle the missing data without ignoring them called imputation.

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

Imagine receiving a dataset and being…


books, podcasts, and stuff

New Reads

Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. there are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kill you. A man must constantly exceed his level.

Bruce Lee: The Art of Expressing the Human Body is all about Lee’s philosophy for self expression. His way was through…


How would humanity face a global crisis?

SOURCE

Everything is relative to a reference frame

In the series finale of Game of Thrones Jon Snow faced a choice. A choice between love and duty.

Life is a collection of these choices. With every choice comes consequences. Some choices have greater consequences than others, but they all have consequences.

Consequences can be good or bad, right or wrong, or hard or easy. We can frame it how we want, but they are all relative. Each is relative to our own internal reference frame.

The physicist Richard Feynman did some experiments to understand how humans experience time. He would try to measure one minute by counting and…


Measuring fitness is a lot like gerrymandering — it’s all how you look at the data. Gerrymandering is the act of manipulating voting boundaries to influence elections. Could we do the same with the sport of fitness?

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CrossFit has given us The CrossFit Games. The goal of the ‘Games’ is to crown the fittest humans alive. The 2013 Games was the year Jason Khalipa was supposed to beat Rich Froning for the crown. But Khalipa fell short.

What if we changed the way we measured fitness? Could Khalipa have beaten Froning if we looked at the data another way?

How CrossFit crowns the fittest

Let’s…


I signed up for the Steamboat Stinger half marathon as a way to get my health and fitness back.

I started with Biodesix on 6/1/2017. Within months of living in Steamboat Springs I developed exercise induced asthma. On Christmas day of 2017 I discovered that mold was the cause. It wasn’t just growing in my condo, it was growing in my bed too.

The mold growing in my memory foam mattress topper.

In a few short month I lost 35 pounds but I’ve managed to gain back 15 of those pounds.


Trying to answer the question of “Who am I?” is like solving a quantum mechanics problem. In quantum mechanics (QM) the electron is simultaneously “up” and “down”. We don’t learn which one it is until we perform an experiment. Likewise, we aren’t any more “up” or “down”; “good” or “bad”; “right” or “wrong” until we are faced with an experiment —a life event. Game of Thrones (GoT) is all about this.

The world of Westeros. Purchase this on Etsy. No affiliation. Just liked the map.

GoT is a story that starts in Winterfell, the North, where we meet the bastard of the honorable Eddard “Ned” Stark. A man so honorable that it was and…

Brandles

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