Monday, March 12, 2007

uncooperative

The internet, or at least my little connection to it, was being decidedly cantankerous last night. Hence, the brief, almost haiku-like, posting that I dashed off this morning. It is a great day indeed when the cosmos aligns and allows for post-work cycling, and that day, my friends, is upon us. So don't forget: Tuesday/Thursday group rides, 5:30 at the shop. The weekend rides move from 10 am to 9 am for your increased saddle time pleasure.

My weekend was exhausting and exhilirating in many ways. I have a two-week Biology grad class that met for the first time Friday and Saturday. I am in the final year of a 3 year project called the Appalachian Region Math and Science project. Even though my undergrad degree is in biology, I am taking this course as a part of the project. It is more a stubbornness to see the thing through to the bitter end that is keeping me in at this point. It can still be very cool, though and the opportunity to be a student and to be curious is one that I always jump at.

the confocal electron microscope

The highlight of the weekend was getting to visit the Electron Microscopy Lab at Appalachian State University. Dr. Guichuan Hou gave us a tour and fired up the microscopes to show us some really cool images. It is always awe-inspiring to stand in the presence of a million dollars worth of science equipment, but to have a virtuosic demonstration was especially enlightening. There were three different types of electron microscope on display and each has its own unique purpose. The new scanning electron microscopes even allow the imaging of living organisms, something one of our professors wasn't even aware was possible! This, coupled with the flat earth experience of meeting Dr. Hou, really reinforced my committment to dragging my classroom into the 21st century (technologically speaking). One of my classmates really hit the nail on the head when he said that we can't keep educating students for factory work, since there isn't any factory work.

In cycling news, Kevin Wilson heads off for the World Police and Firemen's Games in Adelaide, Australia tomorrow. He should be sending some reports and pictures and I will post them as soon as I get them. Double Down Dave Brown has sent us some scouting photos of possible Afghani course venues for the next Luna Cycles/Lenoir Cyclocross race.



I bet those run-ups might be kinda tough, but it's the unexploded ordinance and Taliban fighters that could really throw some unexpected action into the mix...

Thanks for all of the Rotary Cycle to Serve route map requests. I'll keep sending them as you request 'em. For those of you that have asked, the date is either May 12th or 19th. I can't remember which. I'll confirm and post the definite date when I talk to Bob.

In other news, a spanish court has dismissed the infamous Operacion Puerto case citing lack of evidence. But thanks to the vagaries of cycling justice, the UCI and Pat McQuaid have vowed to not give up in getting to the bottom of this particular quagmire. Riders names are drug through the mud, Ullrich's career is over, various other top names are scattered to the Pro Continental squad winds, while the "evidence" up and Keyser Sozes in a puff of legal smoke. Now the UCI wants all of the teams to pay an extra 30,000 euros in order to up the drug testing ante. Maybe next week the UCI, WADA and the Katzenjammer Kids can join up with the MLB at Mark McGwire's house for an anti-doping summit of epic proportions. Me, I'm just waiting for April and the action of the Ronde van Vlaandren, Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix...
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