« first day (1299 days earlier)   

 
2 hours later…
6:47 AM
@WYSIWYG Yes, that's probably the same one.
 
 
4 hours later…
11:06 AM
@WYSIWYG it is nice but quite flat and windy, I prefer riding in the big mountains, unfortunately I rarely get to go to the alps - got a conference in switzerland in a few weeks though!
 
 
1 hour later…
12:23 PM
@rg255 Are you thinking about biking to Switzerland?
 
12:48 PM
Fly there and ride in some of the less interesting sessions - not sure I have the time though, will check the schedule for the sessions
been a couple of times for work, it always confuses the administrators when I don't submit any travel receipts for travel within the country, I have to explain that I took my bike, then they look at me like a crazy person because I think its a good idea to ride rather than take a train...
 
1:00 PM
@rg255 Switzerland is pretty small, but isn't it crazy hilly? What if you start at the very bottom of switzerland and have to go uphill all the way?
 
1:11 PM
@rg255 I'm surprised biking around Switzerland is practical.
 
1:25 PM
@FaheemMitha Are you imagining @rg255 to be cycling down the cliffs?
 
@WYSIWYG Not really. But he didn't specify. It's just that Switzerland doesn't strike me as the sort of country you could easily get around on by bike. Unlike you are Lance Armstrong or some similar chap, possibly.
 
I'm visualizing a daredevil bike/hang glider combination
 
Places where bikes work well are like English university towns.
 
cycle down a mountain, hit a ramp, soar up to the top of the next mountain, repeat
 
1:27 PM
@Resonating That would be interesting. Or he could just get himself a Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang.
Less work required.
 
@Resonating @FaheemMitha See the above video. That is some epic craziness
 
Scotland, huh?
 
@WYSIWYG okay, pause. he just leaves his boat not-quite-moored? That is a recipe for having one less boat than you thought, friendo.
 
Hmm, that looks pretty improbable. He must have some pretty unlikely muscle control. Or there are wires involved.
 
@FaheemMitha Walking is equally improbable. He must have spent a truly ridiculous amount of time biking
I want to know what they're filming from
 
1:31 PM
I think Scotland
This guy has other videos too.
 
@WYSIWYG I've seen this guy before I think. Scotland is surprisingly beautiful. Some shots are filmed by drone but others I think are on a boom? or a really well-piloted drone.
 
Ok, that is really terrifying to watch.
 
See, I don't know how this guy exists. He's clearly great at this and has practiced a lot, but that implies once he was not-great and practiced. How did he survive that?
Are there like, thousands of wannabe bikers in ICUs around the world?
 
@Resonating Quite. In other words, how is he not dead?
 
I don't know. I don't aspire to do these stunts. Riding across Europe is something that I can think about.
 
1:37 PM
I doubt there are simulators for that kind of thing. And even if there were, would they really prepare you for the real thing?
 
@FaheemMitha What would such a simulator even look like? Maybe a bunch of rocks over a foam pit to land in would work, but if you soften the rocks you affect their friction and all sorts of things, making them not as useful
 
@Resonating Agreed, it is hard to imagine such a simulator.
 
@FaheemMitha Maybe a stationary bike with independently articulated front and rear wheels so you can do wheelies and things on them and swing around. Put the whole thing in a giant monowheel that tilts to fake forward acceleration
 
@Resonating Doesn't really prepare one from cycling down a path a few inches away from a 100 foot drop. Or 200 foot drop.
Even if you are the most skilled person in the world, it's still pretty risky. And what happens if your bike breaks down?
 
@FaheemMitha Once you're comfortable doing the cycling stuff and are really good at it, it's basically teh same as walking down a path a few inches away from a 100 foot drop I imagine.
 
1:42 PM
I wonder what his bike was made of. Apparently it was not puncturable.
@Resonating I wouldn't be happy about that either.
 
He has a mountain guide in the credits, so maybe he and that guy carry it down together
 
@FaheemMitha Tubeless tyres perhaps.
 
@WYSIWYG There are such things?
 
bike technology has really benefited from the aerospace industry. Carbon fiber bodies and kevlar wheels with aluminum spokes
@FaheemMitha The earliest bicycles had solid rubber tires
 
@Resonating oh
@Resonating And that makes them impossible to puncture?
 
1:47 PM
@FaheemMitha If there's nothing to puncture, they're unpuncturable. Modern unpuncturables are apparently polyurethane foam with the tread on the outside.
 
@Resonating I see. But they don't make regular bikes like that, I assume.
 
@FaheemMitha Define "regular". bikemania.biz/…
They're expensive, but you can totally buy them and put them on your bike
 
@Resonating Ok. So, you bike too?
 
@FaheemMitha Nope. It's like running but it takes longer to get the same workout, costs 500 times as much, and you get bugs in your teeth. No thanks.
 
@Resonating Oh. So you run instead? :-)
 
1:50 PM
I know a guy who bikes a lot and has a really nice fancy bike frame. I can lift the whole thing with one pinky finger. It weighs perhaps 1 kg?
@FaheemMitha Theoretically. >.>
 
You seem to know a lot about bike tires for someone who doesn't bike.
Dinner time. Take care, everyone.
@Resonating Oh. Your acquaintance, perhaps?
 
@FaheemMitha I spent like five hours researching bike tires because they're fascinating last week. Pure coincidence
 
@Resonating Seriously?
If so, you're my kind of crazy person. :-)
But I suspect you are kidding.
 
@FaheemMitha I am absolutely not. I get bored at work and then sometimes I get distracted by wikipedia and then surprise! it's 5 pm and I spent all afternoon reading about self-healing polymers
 
@Resonating Ah. That does sound like me in some moods.
 
1:56 PM
For example: Iridium wedding bands are tarnish-proof, unrustable, shiny, and very hard
But: they're extremely expensive even though iridium is about 132 dollars a pound
Which is pretty cheap for a metal
 
@Resonating I don't see a connection to bike tires.
Really off to dinner. Back in a bit.
 
Turns out the major hurdle to iridium manufacturing is it melts at twice the melting point of iron, so you need to make your molds out of high-temperature ceramics
@FaheemMitha There isn't one it's just another thing I learned about last week. :(
 
@Resonating That's the joy of the place - flatlands are boring, going uphill is a great fun, and downhill is a good adrenaline kick!
 
2:29 PM
@rg255 It is a bit tiring as well :P
 
Ugh sometimes a question comes up that just sits right in your wheelhouse begging to be answered. I know so much about the hemodynamics of the circulatory system you guys. SO MUCH.
It feels good.
 
@Resonating oh
@Resonating remind me again. You have a biology background? But you do computational science?
 
@FaheemMitha Yup! :D
Man the question I found was a followup to another question ALSO about the circulatory system! It's like Christmas came early!
 
What kind of biology degree(s) do you have?
@Resonating You have a funny idea of Christmas.
 
@FaheemMitha Bioengineering, which is like Bio but with less bio and more side dishes
 
2:42 PM
@Resonating Bachelors? Masters?
 
@FaheemMitha Bachelor of engineering
I was doing a masters in same but I dropped out :(
 
@Resonating Oh. Why?
Did you not like it?
 
@FaheemMitha I was kind of cavalier about some health problems I should have been more careful with and my GPA got into hot water really fast. I needed a 3.0 to stay in the program and I got 2.5 my first semester back from medical leave. I only took two classes, so it's an extremely flexible 2.5. A single class with an A would have put me at 3.0. :/
 
@Resonating Oh, sorry to hear that. Are you going to go back to it?
It doesn't sound like you find your current job terribly exciting if you take time out to read about bike tires.
In some ways research isn't a very good job. In other ways it is the best job in the world.
 
@FaheemMitha I don't know. I might take a single class online in a bioinformatics program and transfer those credits back, which would single-handedly make me a student again.
 
2:48 PM
Some researchers I know, it would take a team of wild horses to drag them from their work.
 
It is just how I am, I do it at home also. In fairness to my job the last couple days have been more boring than usual.
 
@Resonating I randomly surf the web too. It's not the best way of spending the time.
I try not to look at my browsing history. It's terrifying.
 
Way more boring than usual, in fact. I'm mostly nursemaiding an automated process I wrote to submit loads of genomes to the ncbi servers
 
@Resonating I hate bioinformatics databases. But I'm sure I've said that already.
 
@FaheemMitha Ugh, tell me about it. Someone asked a question on here about the lightest and densest animals, and I spent probably three hours trying to find scientific data on fruitbat volume. I had to eventually extrapolate from a paper on dinosaur volume and bone mass, it was a disaster.
@FaheemMitha Ugh tell me about it also applies to bioinformatics databases. NCBI is especially slow today for some reason
 
2:50 PM
@Resonating Hmm, sounds like a lot of work.
@Resonating In part it is that I have no idea what all that gibberish means. Maybe a person with a proper biology/bioinformatics background would have a better idea.
 
@FaheemMitha They're not laid out very well, but they are useful. if Genbank went away, a lot of bioinformatics would as well
 
@Resonating I'm sure.
 
3:40 PM
@FaheemMitha I think the biosample database schema is my favorite. It has a field for every conceivable statistic you could ever want for a sample you've taken. pH. salinity. altitude. Gender. HIV status. Single/married. Soil type. Pressure. it's truly wonderful/insane
Also the automatic email updater. I get an email when I submit a genome, when it passes initial validation, when it enters the annotation pipeline queue, when it actually starts getting pipelined and when it's finished.
When there's an error I get a confirmation email my submission went through, then an email telling me there's an error, and another email is coming to actually explain the error.
 
@Resonating I don't think I know that one.
 
how do I invite someone to chat?
I want a button that just like slurps someone into chat with an invitation so I can talk to them. :(
 
@Resonating Give them the link. If they have sufficient rep they can join. Otherwise no. I think 20 is required.
Well, they don't need any rep to read the chat I think. Maybe they need to be registered. Dunno.
 
Bleh. Apparently you can slurp someone into a private chat room from here, but not from just the question list
I found the button it exists!
 
4:06 PM
Aha, thanks stack exchange for making a new chat room for me automagically
 
@Resonating Extra chat rooms might be redundant. Why not use this one? I'm heard rumors you can can disallow people from joining a private chat room though.
 
@FaheemMitha I invited him to this one and then stack exchange made one just for the two of us (how romantic) but I guess he's not interested. :(
@laggingreflex Can I @ him?
 
@Resonating Oh. Did he ask a question?
 
@FaheemMitha Yup. then comments got kind of out of hand but they were asking good questions! just a good discussion to have in chat. :(
 
@Resonating I generally just invite such people to the main chat room. I've done that a few times in U&L.
Creating a separate chat room is unnecessary, imo. Though SE seems to think it is a good idea. And in theory, other people could participate in the conversation, though that rarely happens in the U&L chatroom. These conversations are usually for debugging purposes, and people generally aren't interested in debugging other people's problems.
In fairness, the kinds of problems we see in U&L are usually pretty silly. People with no clue breaking their systems but doing something dumb.
But Biology might be different.
 
4:28 PM
the direct invitation I made was to this one, because why waste disk space? I think in larger stacks like overflow there could be dozens of side conversations cluttering the main stackoverflow chat
 
@Resonating Ok. I see you said that already, but I wasn't paying attention.
It won't make one for the two of you unless you click that button that says go to chat. And I don't think disk space is an issue. You write here, you write there, it's all the same.
 
Disk is cheap but even so. also maybe other people could help because they know things
 
4:51 PM
@Resonating Maybe. But I haven't seen any conversations like that here. People asking questions coming here to discuss their questions.
 
@FaheemMitha It must happen sometiems, because I think that's the goal of this room theoretically
 
Having read that vitamin question, I'm tempted to ask what the known risks of taking a gram or two of vitamin C are. Though that is really more a health question.
 
@FaheemMitha Your wallet will be lighter and your pee will be able to cure scurvy for a little while.
 
@Resonating The questions are asked and answered on the site. With minimal interaction, as far as I can tell.
@Resonating Vitamin C is not that expensive here.
So, you don't think it is effective?
 
@FaheemMitha The goal of the chat is to redirect extended comment conversations to somewhere better for them
@FaheemMitha Effective at what?
It makes a pretty good water dechlorinator and scurvy preventative.
It doesn't boost your immune system or anything liek that, and it makes terrible road salt.
 
4:55 PM
@Resonating That's in theory. In practice people just have OT conversations here. I occasionally try to bring people in to the U&L chat as occasionally mentioned.
@Resonating Improving one's health. E.g. the legendary warding off common cold effect.
Per Linus Pauling.
 
@FaheemMitha Doesn't work, it's a myth.
 
@Resonating Oh, you think so?
But if it is a placebo effect, it is a remarkably pervasive one.
 
@FaheemMitha No well-designed studies have shown an effect, but there haven't been many of them. Could be a subtle interplay of vitamin C and other stuff. The common health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/… refrain is "in the absence of a deficiency no effect".
If there is an effect it's very small
 
@Resonating hmm. looking.
 
Even worse, vitamin C doesn't hang around in the body. Excess just gets peed out
 
4:59 PM
"There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response." I think they mean to say - we don't have a clue.
:-)
@Resonating It's water-soluble, yes.
"Vitamin C. The jury is still out on vitamin C and the immune system. Many studies have looked at vitamin C in general; unfortunately, many of them were not well designed. Vitamin C may work in concert with other micronutrients rather than providing benefits alone."
 
5:30 PM
That essentially means: "The one thing we're sure it doesn't do is simply boost the immune system"
 
5:51 PM
if it was a strong straightforward effect they would have found it easily
they haven't, therefore it doesn't exist under most conditions
 
6:19 PM
@Resonating Well, the only claim made is that improves resistance to the common cold. Or at any rate reduces its duration. This isn't exactly a strong straightforward effect.
Hmm, I see by a quick review of the literature that the medical community doesn't think it does much of anything.
 

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