Why do swimmers peak so young?

February 11, 2014

Last year, this question was posted on Quora:

Just yesterday another world record broken by a 16 year old., most swimmers (especially female) seem to retire in their early 20′s, yet for most other sports, athletes peak in their late 20′s.

It’s been a year, and since then I was fortunate to be on two national top-ten relays, and move from “speed club Bronze” to “speed club Silver” (oh that elusive Gold!) – which reminded me of this post which is worth sharing again for my aging friends (and yes, we are all aging :-)

I completed from age eight to age 19.  Though not anywhere near elite level myself – I was fortunate to share the pool with team mates who themselves went on to become Olympians.

I left swimming for the reasons so many have already noted in the Quora post: (1st) the result of merging 6 hrs per day of training with college academics broke me down physically to the point that my body could not repair itself fast enough – my shoulders were falling apart and muscle growth was impeded by breakdown from high-exertion with insufficient repair time, and (2nd) I experienced the training environment miss-match as mentioned by Carly Geehr in her answer to the Quora post (sprint versus distance training regimens). 

After setting swimming aside for 30 years, I started two (now three) years ago with masters’ swimming and have been asking a question related to the subject “why do swimmers peak so young” question:

“How does peak swimming performance change with age?”

To answer this question, I charted the U.S. Masters’ Swimming National qualifying times for 100 meters long course freestyle versus age (2013).  The “cut-off” – or qualification times – represent the best times that can be achieved by dedicated elite swimmers in each age bracket throughout the United States. 

This curve then, illustrates the change in peak performance versus age for “near-elite” swimmers.  Similarly, it illustrates the “age bracket in which near-elite swimmers peak” – 40-44 yrs old for men, and 25-30 yrs old for women. 

This is what I found:

 
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Firefox 27 breaks images – DON’T RESET FIREFOX!

February 10, 2014

Seriously, don’t reset your Firefox solve this problem.

That’s what I did, and it took me down a rat-hole of re-installation that I did not have to pursue.

I had the unwelcome experience today of opening up pages within Firefox only to find that the images were not rendering. Some would, but more would not.  One tell-tale image was Facebook’s logo.  Just gone.

Images were sometimes gone completely, sometimes shown with a broken image icon, or some times with the image’s alt-image text.

Usually when I have a problem with Firefox, it is the result of a bad-acting plug in. In this case though, I had not installed any new plug-ins and was surprised to find this disruption of my browsing experience.

The first troubleshooting step, as usual, is to restart Firefox in safe mode. In safe mode, Firefox ignores all of your browser plug-ins, extensions, and all the whatnots if you’ve used to tune your Firefox browser.  But this time, it didn’t work. The images were still broken. Now, I was totally flummoxed.

So what to do? Read the rest of this entry »


Convert .rtf Word docs to HTML format – Lifesaver!

January 30, 2014

If you’ve ever had a Word document that you needed to post on the web – you realize that Word does a perfect job of making the document look just like it’s still in Word.

The problem is that the web is not Word – and all we really need is the text in HTML tags with basic formatting (bold, italics, font, etc.).  Word, outputs pages of complicated CSS styles – and to strip all the junk out would take days.

Welcome RTF2HTML.

With RTF2HTML, simply save your Word doc in RTF format, open in RTF2HTML, choose whether you want in-line styles (bold, font, etc.), or styles at the head of the document and press convert.

Ba-da-bing!

Thank you “From Concentrate Software:-)

via Download RTF2HTML for Mac – Concert .rtf Word docs to HTML format. MacUpdate.com.


CheatSheet – LOVE this Mac keybaord shortcut revealer!

January 30, 2014

CheatSheet.

I’m a keyboard guy.

If I can use a keyboard shortcut instead of lifting my hand, moving my arm, finding the cursor, clicking, dragging, clicking, yada, yada, yada – I’m in.  (probably because we didn’t have mice back in the WordStar and WordPerfect days).

CheatSheet sits quietly waiting for you.  To find out if there is a keyboard shortcut for what you want to do, just hold down the command [⌘] key for a second or so, and up pops a screen with all of the keyboard shortcuts available for that app.  Magic!

Here’s a little CNET video of CheatSheet in action:


Microsoft Lync Web App ROCKS!

December 4, 2013

I just had one of the smoothest, highest quality, web conferences with desktop audio, video, and application sharing EVER.

Hey, for lots of reason, I was truly concerned when my meeting with Sprint was setup on Microsoft Lync.  Let’s face it, Microsoft hasn’t exactly been a paragon of contemporary UI — and enterprise web conferencing with the likes of WebEx to this day remains clunky, heavy, difficult, and “oh so 2006.”

So I was delighted with the remarkably simple UI of Lync, very high audio quality, HD video quality, and its not only easy to use, but flawlessly executed desktop and application sharing.

I’ve been touting Join.me for the past year because it’s lightweight, is easy to use, and has built-in desktop audio.

But I have to say, Lync surprised me.

And Lync is less then 1/6 the price of Join.me!  Who would have guessed?

Lync has individual licenses starting at $2.00 per month to Join.me’s $13.00 per month:

Though MSFT needs a little help in selling — “Choose the plan that best meets your needs” is great but for the fact that there is no information about the difference between the plans.

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 2.09.46 PM

Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised by Lync.


Tired of LinkedIn asking “What did you do as….?”

October 29, 2013

Annoyed by prompts like this one?

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I know.  You’d have added more content if you’d wanted to.

Here’s how to make those go away: Read the rest of this entry »


Secret Service Photo-Bombs The White House!

October 18, 2013

This AAARGGHHHED! me off in DC last weekend.

Bad enough that DC was shutdown, and that we experienced record-breaking (3″) rainfall four our far-in-advance planned first visit to DC for our elementary school kids.

One of the only things we could do was to take pics of our Nation’s icons – like The White House.

Here’s our shot:

These guys, protecting the President (from WAY far away) - just couldn't be bothered to move for citizens taking pics.

These guys, protecting the President (from WAY far away – see next image) – just couldn’t be bothered to move for citizens taking pics.

These Secret Service blokes had parked themselves dead-center between the apex of the Ellipse and the White House.  Just where Citizens stopped to take photos:

See the people at the fence?  Their pics are OF the fence...  Standing back one can snap pics OVER the fence BUT --  the SS photo-bombs

These SS guys are WAY, WAY far away from The White House.  Just shifting left or right a few feet would have served the Citizens and Visitors there capturing precious memories of this important symbol of freedom.

I politely asked this agent if they would please just stand ten feet to either side of dead-center.

Really?  You can't stand around and chit-chat with your buddies in the SS just 10 feet either side of dead center??

Really? You can’t stand around and chit-chat with your buddies in the SS just 10 feet either side of dead center??

I have to say, he was pretty much an a__hole.  There’s no way to soft-pitch how he interacted with this U.S. Citizen.  Your imagination won’t do justice to the reality.

See all those people behind him?  They’re all standing there for ONE PURPOSE: To memorialize their visit to our Nation’s Capital with a memorable picture of The White House.  Don’t even get me started about the government being shutdown so one of the few things visitors could do was capture photographic memories.

Whether U.S. citizens, or visitors from afar – our White House represents Freedom to the world – and it broke my heart (and pissed me off!!) that the photographic memory of our symbol of freedom was so rudely marred by the SS.  Nothing like a show of restraining force to emphasis our freedom.

My eight year old daughter asked, “Why don’t those policemen move?  It’s not like we’re going to shoot a bullet out of our camera or anything.”

Here’s a snap of his fellow SS Officers.  And keep in mind – hey have NOTHING to do but chit-chat with each other waiting for some distant threat to materialize:

Fellow SS Officers

These fellows were part of the four-officer posse photo-bombing The White House

Look, at my great picture of The White House!

Look, at my great picture of The White House!

If I worked REALLY HARD, I could almost get them out of the frame…:

Really.  Just ten feet left or right...  But no.  "We stand in in THIS SPOT."

Really. Just ten feet left or right… But no. “We stand in in THIS SPOT.”

 


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