A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Month: July, 2018

Glycogen and athletics

Executive Summary

Glycogen, the sugar stored your body, is a primary fuel for athletes. Glycogen stores are replenished by consuming carbohydrates. Endurance athletes should have high-carb diets. Intricate carb-loading strategies on race week are not worth the risks (e.g., fatigue, injury).


The body has three primary sources of fuel: carbohydrate (carb), fat, and protein. (More precisely, the body uses these substrates to produce energy in the form of ATP.) Fat yields more energy per gram (9 calories per gram (cal/g), versus 4 cal/g for carb and protein [4]), but carbohydrate is easier to burn. Carb is burned at all intensities of exercise [1]. As the intensity of exercise increases (above about 50% VO2 max), so does the carb-to-fat ratio in energy production [1].

Animals (including humans) store carb in the form of glycogen, in skeletal muscle (80%), the liver (14%), and the blood (6%) [1]. The human body can store about 400 – 500 grams of glycogen [1]. The body burns carb at a rate of approximately 1 – 2 grams per minute (g/min) at low-intensity exercise and 2 – 3 g/min at higher-intensity exercise [1]. At race intensity, the human body exhausts its glycogen supply after about 2 hours [1]. For marathon runners, this limit is related to the saying that the race is “half over at twenty miles” [2]

In general, athletes should consume a high-carb diet [3]. During competition, recommendations for carbohydrate consumption range from 30 – 60 grams per hour (g/hr) to 80 – 100 g/hr [1]. Such short-term, high-carb intake requires a mix of absorption rates and glycemic indices [1]. Various race-week diets have been proposed to prime the body to store more glycogen. These diets have been associated with higher rates of fatigue and injury; these risks may outweigh any benefits [3].

Insufficient glycogen is associated with fatigue and decreased athletic performance [1,3]. It may also elicit chronic overtraining, as follows: At low glycogen levels, the body switches to using more protein for energy production, and it can actually destroy existing muscle to produce protein for this purpose. The resulting muscle damage “interferes with glycogen [synthesis and storage]” [1], thus decreasing the body’s energy supplies and making future muscle destruction more likely. One athletic doctor cites this as “probably the number one cause of overtraining in athletes” [1].


  1. The importance of carbohydrates and glycogen for athletes“, by Iñigo San Millán (Training Peaks, 2013-01-17). A thorough article on glycogen vis-à-vis endurance athletes.
  2. The science of ‘bonking’ and glycogen depletion“, by John Davis (Runners Connect, 2011?). This article briefly discusses the nutritional basics before examining glycogen-depleted training at length.
  3. Optimizing glycogen storage“, by Kathleen Deegan (Sacramento Running Association, ????). The takeaway from this article seems to be that stressing about diet the week before an event can be self-defeating. Just eat a generally high-carb diet, and replenish carbs during the event.
  4. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats“, by Adrienne Youdim et al. (Merck Manual, ????).

Investing — 2018-07-27

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Loup Ventures’ Gene Munster expects a ‘divergence’ in FAANG stocks over the next 6 to 12 months“, by Berkeley Lovelace, Jr. (CNBC, 2018-07-27). Munster presages that F and N will “kind of fall off” AAG (name that codon; answer here).
  2. Facebook stock plunges on earnings“, by John Divine (US News, 2018-07-25). Daily active users (DAUs) and monthly active users (MAUs) were up 11% year over year but mised analyst targets, leading to the largest one-day loss of market capitalization (119 USD) in market history. FB’s earnings per share beat consensus estimates ($1.74 actual, $1.72 estimated), while revenue came up just short ($13.23b actual, $13.36b estimated).
  3. Facebook stock has analysts baffled“, by Wayne Duggan (US News, 2018-07-27). Any time two or more analysts present contradictory advice, are they “baffled”?
  4. Square (SQ) to report Q2 earnings: what’s in the cards?” (Zacks Equity Research, 2018-07-27).
  5. Twitter shares slide 16% after fake account purge, new rules in Europe“, by Max A. Cherney (Market Watch, 2018-07-27).
  6. Twitter to prioritize fixing platform over user growth, shares plunge” (Reuters, 2018-07-27).

Read — 2018-07-20

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The brain may clean out Alzheimer’s plaques during sleep“, by Laura Beil (Science News, 2018-07-15).
  2. Comcast drops bid for Fox assets, will focus on pursuit of Sky“, by Shalini Ramachandran (Wall Street Journal, 2018-07-19).
  3. What’s your ideal caffeine fix? An algorithm can tell you“, by Jo Craven McGinty (Wall Street Journal, 2018-07-20).
  4. How to mat artwork” (WikiHow).

Cybersecurity : Home Wi-Fi

Wifi Security

With due respect to Allen Iverson, I know cyber security is important…but we ain’t talkin’ about corporate servers! We talkin’ about home networks! If someone hacks your home network, their only reward is use of your internet, right?

Wrong. A forum [1] related to the comic xkcd gives us some motivation for securing our home’s wireless local area network (WLAN). (N.B. The expertise of the posters on this forum — listed in [square brackets] after their point, and linked to their post — is unknown (to me). My expertise is limited. Those caveats aside, the cited postings sound legitimate, and they check out against what validation I can currently do.)

  • Waste bandwidth [EvanED]. E.g., the hackers illegally download a bunch of videos, which slows down your internet connection. Hackers might not be so nice as to restrict themselves to illegal downloads.
  • Engage in illicit activity (think: your subsequent liability). [EvanED]. The post gives a good example.
  • Access shared files [EvanED].
  • Read your traffic [Tub]. If your traffic is not encrypted, you’re sharing that activity with your hackers. If your traffic is encrypted, that gives you a secondary layer of defence, but it’s not impervious. Read on.
  • Manipulate your traffic [Tub]. In particular, if the hackers (instead of your router) can assign your device its IP address, then they could rerout that device’s traffic to the hackers’ machine. (N.B. I don’t know how feasible such an attack is, i.e. for hackers to run a custom DHCP server on a WLAN.)
  • Install malware on your router [3]. The cited article claims that, if your router becomes infected, then all devices that connect to it become vulnerable.
  • Access devices connected to your network [Tub, korona]. This type of attack exploits security vulnerabilities in the software running on your devices.

OK, OK, OK, so maybe we do care about securing our home network. How do we do it? Following are several steps we can take, gleaned from various articles online. The articles (cited after each point, and listed below) contain more suggestions and discussion. Check them out when you have time.

  • Change the manufacturer-set name and password of your wifi [2,3,4,5,6]. Choose a network name that doesn’t reveal your router’s manufacturer or your location. Choose a password that’s (very) strong. The password strength is especially important for the network administrator function.
  • Keep your router’s firmware/software up to date [2,3,4]. As noted in several articles [3,4], your router may not send you regular notifications and reminders. Fortunately, Google calendar (or an analogous service) will — just set it up.
  • Keep your router hardware up to date [3]. Technology ages. Fast. Older hardware is less likely to receive software updates and (therefore?) perhaps more susceptible to hacking.
  • Enable encryption [2,4].
  • Kill WPS [4,5].
  • One site [2] recommends turning off DHCP functionality. This appears neither important nor prudent [7].


  1. Why is a good wifi password necessary?” (, 2014).
  2. How to enhance your home wireless network security“, by Ioana Rijnetu (Heimdal Security, 2018-01-18).
  3. Your wi-fi security is probably weak. Here’s how to fix that.“, by Brian X. Chen (NY Times, 2018-06-13).
  4. Your router’s security stinks: here’s how to fix it“, by Paul Wagenseil (Tom’s Guide, 2018-05-29).
  5. How strong does your wifi password need to be?” (Linkd Home, 2017-10-10).
  6. Understanding the most important wifi settings” (Net Spot App, ????).
  7. Does disabling DHCP on your router really help your security?“, by Miguel Leiva-Gomez (Make Tech Easier, 2014-05-12).

Router positioning

  1. Where to put your router for the best possible home wi-fi“, by April Glaser (Wired, 2016-03-01).
  2. The best place for your wireless router“, by Bradley Mitchell (Lifewire, 2018-05-17).
  3. Where to place your router to get the absolute best wifi connection“, by Sara Boboltz (Huffington Post, 2015-03-27).


Selected references on flashlights:

  1. Best front and rear road bike lights reviewed 2018” (Cycling Weekly, 2018-01-04).
  2. 20 best tactical flashlights“, by Adam Smith (Gear Moose, ????).

Featured artist : Zaz

This week’s featured artist is Zaz. All three songs featured below are from her debut, eponymous album, released in 2010. All three recordings below are also live, accompanied by two or three instrumentalists. Just my preference. Zaz has released a couple albums since 2010, but these songs are my favorite.

Read — 2018-07-16

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The problem with innovation: the biggest companies are hogging all the gains“, by Jason Douglas, Jon Sindreu, & Georgi Kantchev (Wall Street Journal, 2018-07-15).
  2. What you need to know about the internet of things“, by Lizzie Turner (Medium, 2018-06-26).
  3. NPR says I’m planning ‘global chaos’. This is a half-truth“, by Barrett Brown (Noteworthy, 2018-07-12).
  4. Does column width of 80 make sense in 2018?“, by javinpaul (Hacker Noon, 2018-07-01).
  5. The Chinese ‘gang’ manipulating the market — now in EOS?“, by Carylyne Chan (Hacker Noon, 2018-06-04).
  6. France sticks to its formula before unlocking potential to seal World Cup title“, by Brian Straus (Sports Illustrated, 2018-07-05).

Read — 2018-07-15

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The new intelligence“, by Nan Li (World Positive, 2018-06-26). This article argues that regression-based artificial intelligence is a fundamentally different model of artificial intelligence than that envisaged by researchers and developers in the mid-1900s, one less tethered to limitations imposed by human methods and logic.
  2. How Google’s AI viewed the move no human could understand“, by Cade Metz (Wired, 2016-03-14). A retrospective (in more ways than one) on AlphaGo’s now-famous Move 37.
  3. Lessons learned from my journey as a self-taught developer“, by Victor Cassone (freeCodeCamp, 2018-07-09). This article seems a sincere and insightful encouragement to others seeking to develop themselves. Thanks, Victor.
  4. Free cash, no strings attached“, by Alieza Durana (Slate, 2018-07-10). An interview with Annie Lowrey on universal basic income. I found the interview jejune. Doing our own inquiries into the issues the interview tries to discuss might be interesting.
  5. If the universe is 13.8 billion years old, how can we see 46 billion light years away?“, by Ethan Siegel (Medium, 2018-03-02). Or, how to think like a cosmologist.
  6. These cookware companies are making it easy to shop for high-quality pots and pans“, by Leah Bhabha (Vogue, 2018-07-11).
  7. These terrifying stories are more evidence ‘nice guys’ are full of shit“, by Miles Klee (Mel Magazine, 2018-07-09). It’s always enlightening, if sometimes painful, to know how we come across to others. It might reveal something about us to ourselves. In reference to the focus of this article, permit me to posit the following: There are people in this world who are awkward in their interactions with others, who are trying, more or less successfully, more or less constructively, to navigate the turbulent waters of social life. As members of society, and its smaller communities, instead of publicly mocking and shaming awkward expressions (especially easy to do in the age of the internet), we could try to help our fellow human. Permit me to posit also: Sometimes people might be too far gone — too angry, too abusive — for us to help, let alone safely help. Don’t put yourself in danger. At the same time, let’s remember that these situations are almost always the result of many years of unattended issues. And perhaps we, as members of society, share in the blame of allowing the situation to go so long unattended.
  8. I know what incarceration does to families. It happened to mine.“, by Michiko Kakutani (NY Times, 2018-07-13).
  9. Balanced funds don’t inspire fear or greed. That’s why they are so useful.“, by Tim Gray (NY Times, 2018-07-13).
  10. Have the tech giants grown too powerful? That’s an easy one“, by John Herrman (NY Times, 2018-07-11).
  11. A fight for men’s rights, in California courts“, by Katherine Rosman (NY Times, 2018-07-13).
  12. What Elon Musk should learn from the Thailand cave rescue“, by Zeynep Tufekci (NY Times, 2018-07-14). Sincere thoughts on hubris and humility. “[W]hen thu doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right doeth”.

A few random things I learned this weekend:

  • “Hard” soaps like dish soap can damage the finish of cars (bikes, etc.). To protect the finish, use milder soaps of dedicated auto cleaners. Consumer Reports includes this among other tips, in “How to was your car” (2017-05-09).
  • The position of your elbows during arm curls affects which part of your bicep you work out. Elbows apart works the inner biceps; elbows in works the outer biceps.
  • If you want other people to learn something, get them to ask the questions needed to learn it. For one, if they ask the question, it probably means they’re motivated to learn (and listening to your response). For another, while forcing “learning” down someone else’s throat might get your point across, it’ll also almost surely lead to resentment (and possibly rejection of your point, for emotional reasons).

Read — 2018-07-13

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Ghost particle sent from deep in space could change our understanding of the universe, scientists reveal“, by Andrew Griffin (Independent, 2018-07-12).
  2. High-energy ‘ghost particle’ traced to distant galaxy in astronomy breakthrough“, by Mike Wall (, 2018-07-12).
  3. Trump got from NATO everything Obama ever asked for“, by The Editorial Board (NY Times, 2018-07-12).
  4. The quantified heart“, by Polina Aronson & Judith Duportail (Aeon, 2018-07-12).
  5. ‘Find your passion’ is awful advice“, by Olga Khazan (The Atlantic, 2018-07-12). Passions aren’t found. They’re developed. (Incidentally, the same argument might be made for love…)

Song translation : いつも何度でも

Audio Recording

いつも何度でも, by 木村弓


romaji 日本語 English
yondeiru mune no doko ka oku de 呼んでいる胸のどこか奥で A calling, somewhere from the depths of my heart,
itsumo kokoro odoru yume wo mitai いつも心踊る夢を見たい Always, dreams that move my heart I want to see,
kanashimi wa kazoe kirenai keredo 悲しみは数えきれないけれど I cannot count the sorrows but
sono mukou de kitto anata ni aeru その向こうできっとあなたに会える Beyond these, surely, I will be able to see you.
kurikaesu ayamachi no sono tabi hito wa 繰り返すあやまちのその度人は Each time, repeating a mistake, a person
tada aoi sora no aosa wo shiru ただ青い空の青さを知る Knows only the blueness of the blue sky;
hatashinaku michi wa tsuzuite mieru keredo 果たしなく道は続いて見えるけれど I can see the never-ending road continues but
kono ryoute wa hikari wo dakeru この両手は光を抱ける These hands embrace the light.
sayonara no toki no shizukana mune さよならの時の静かな胸 A quiet heart at the time of goodbye,
zero ni naru karada ga mimi wo sumaseru ゼロになる体が耳を済ませる The body becoming nothing, completely ears;
ikiteiru fushigi shindeiku fushigi 生きている不思議死んでいく不思議 Living, strange; going to death, strange
hana mo kaze mo machi mo minna onaji 花も風も街もみんな同じ Flowers, wind, town, everything the same.
yondeiru mune no doko ka oku de 呼んでいる胸のどこか奥で A calling, somewhere from the depths of my heart,
itsumo nando demo yume wo egakou いつも何度でも夢を描こう Always, no matter how many times, let’s draw the dream;
kanashimi no kazu wo iitsukusu yori 悲しみの数を言い尽くすより Rather than naming the number of sorrows,
onaji kuchibiru de sotto utaou 同じ唇でそっと歌おう With the same lips, let’s sing softly.
tojiteiku omoide no sono naka ni itsumo 閉じていく思い出のその中にいつも Always, in the closing of memories,
wasuretakunai sasayaki wo kiku 忘れたくない囁きを聞く I hear whispers I do not want to forget;
konagona ni kudakareta kagami no ue nimo 粉々に砕かれた鏡の上にも Above a shattered mirror
atarashii keshiki ga utsusareru 新しい景色が映される A new scenery is reflected.
hajimari no asa no shizukana mado 始まりの朝の静かな窓 A quiet window at the beginning of morning,
zero ni naru karada mitasarete yuke ゼロになる体充たされてゆけ The body, becoming nothing, is filled;
umi no kanata niwa mou sagasanai 海の彼方にはもう探さない I do not search beyond the sea,
kagayaku mono wa itsumo koko ni 輝くものはいつもここに Because things that shine are always here,
watashi no naka ni mitsukerareta kara 私の中に見つけられたから They can be found within me.