A few quick hits for today. Although really only one bit of it is truly remotivational.
- The remotivational bit: I became an uncle again today. My brother’s wife gave birth to Ellis this morning, in what I’m told was a relatively (as such things go) simple and uneventful birth, and all related parties are doing well. One of my fitness motivations is the hope that my nephew—and now nephews—never know me as “Fat Uncle Greg.”
People are caring about the term “elite” again! Very exciting. It’s vitally important for the future of the sport that the widely accepted de facto brand name for the first heat of the day where participants can compete for money matches its dictionary definition precisely. After all, everyone knows that Pepsi died the minute everyone realized that it contains neither pep nor seawater, and McDonalds’ problems started when they stopped using Scottish beef.
Sarcasm aside, while it’s an issue that I’m not particularly interested in, I do have something of a cautionary tale. See, a couple years ago, I wrote a book on citizen science. (I really should stop just slipping that into conversations, and start putting it in big text and boldface and bright colors.) Anyhow, “citizen science” is a term that generally encompasses any situation where people who aren’t professional scientists contribute to the process of scientific research—frequently by contributing either observations or analytical work in formally established projects led by scientists. I think the term is excellent as a sort of a brand name—it’s short, it’s snappy, and it conveys the idea of amateurs making valuable contributions pretty well.So, naturally, a bunch of people got together and decided that they hated it. They had some irritation at the use of the term “citizen” (What if non-citizens participate!) or the term “science” (What if it’s not fair to call this part of science “science”) and came up with the alternate term “Public Participation in Scientific Research.” Which is terrible: it rolls off the tongue like a cube of glue slightly larger than the maximum aperture of the mouth. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to join in this 14-syllable monstrosity. So, though I don’t particularly care, I’d recommend against taking that route to label the first heat of the day.
- Also of idle curiosity: Why does the term “elite” give people hives, when nobody seems to care that a race with an average finishing time of 1.5 hours is labeled a “sprint”?
- Lately when running, I’ve been joined by huge quantities of dragonflies. Well, it’s not just because they like me.
- Despite the similarity in color to the T-shirt, Kermit the Frog is not an OCR World Championship qualifier. I am absolutely certain this is why Miss Piggy dumped him.