just got back from new orleans, 14 hours of travel overall...6.5 of them just sitting in the airport. here's what was gleaned...there are a LOT of fat people that travel. with their carts to go around in with all their fat luggage for their fat clothes. also, if you wear your new pilot's hat in the airport, you look awesome of course, but people still give you funny looks. also, bwi does not discriminate against pirates, they had a janitor with a sweet eyepatch. (i saw him three times in 2 hours, but we never managed to make eye contact)
and now for the blog i've been meaning to do for a couple days. mark showed me this myostatin blocking thing, and it is pretty crazy. some people (and animals) are born with a genetic mutation that blocks their myostatin production (myostatin is what in turn blocks muscle growth). this is what you get from that:highlight 1: this is completely "natural". as in the body naturally does this, because it is constantly sending out the muscle-building materials. this bull did not work out for this shape.
highlight 2: there are no negative health side effects. now that's absurd. plus it's not just for show. for these dogs in particular - whippets - those with a single mutation in the gene (the intermediate between the regular dog and the ones in the picture above with both genes mutated) have been found to be ridculously faster than the typical whippet racing dog. Hard to say about the full mutations, they're usually euthanized for not living up to the kennel club breed standard.
highlight 3: besides looking freaking awesome, and basically making superhero cartoons come to life, there's also much hope for medical developments that would use this mutation to combat diseases that cause muscle degeneration.
so anyway, that's myostatin blocking, or as much as i care to research it, anyway. but here's the further question i had about it, also conveniently somewhat related to the swimsuit debacle currently going on. assuming the mutation could be given to people, would it be a bad thing to allow it to be freely available? to make it a more manageable question, i'll look at it in terms of sports. why shouldn't athletes be allowed to have acces to this? my understanding of the ban on other performance-enhancing drugs, like steriods, HGH, PEDs, etc., is that they are dangerous to use, and that's why they've been taken away. and if it's wrong, and it's simply because they make the athletes better, then i think that's a ridiculous reason to ban them. wouldn't all pain-killers have to be banned then, because the athletes should have to deal with the natural conditions of having played too often?
here's how i'm connecting that to the swimsuit issue. the swimming organization is banning the newest line of polyurethane swimsuits....i guess because they make the swimmers too fast? isn't that the whole point, for them to go as fast as possible? michael phelps' coach recently came out and complained about them, after phelps lost a race in the old, half-polyurethane suit to some other guy in the new one. convenient timing. it seems that basically people are pissed about how all the world records are being broken so easily now, they don't mean anything, they aren't special anymore. also, it's also partly in response to phelps holding the swimming world hostage, saying he'll boycott if the suits are allowed. http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/swimming/news/story?id=4368338 .
i have a problem with that approach. the suits are available to everyone, and if they're not, then the swimmers should yell at their company that they'll void the contract if they don't start getting provided with the best possible suit. eventually the suit technology will reach it's peak, and the records will stabilize again. what's the problem with that? if everyone had raced doing doggy paddle and then some guy started doing the crawl, would they ban him? he's developed something new and is better than us....that's cheating! next thing you'll know they won't allow the monkeys to compete anymore...outrageous.
mainly i don't get the rigid enforcement of the status quo in sports. at least try out the new suits. it might end up making the sport seem absurd for a month, but it also might make it way more exciting. the three-point line. making a football more like an oval, less like a pound cake. these were equipment changes were have grown to love. also, i want to invent a sport at some point. calvinball always seemed like a really cool game, but i don't think i'd have the imagination for it. anyway, it turns out i don't hate swimming, although i am tired of michael phelps, beast that he is. this was pretty cool though, i admit.
the race starts at about 45 seconds in