CLS

Another game of football beckons this evening; something that I am really looking forward to. Or rather, I was. I do need to somehow mend my lower limbs first though, as after a hefty gym session yesterday (and despite a gentle one this morning), I am very much suffering from Concrete Leg Syndrome.

You won’t find any reference to Concrete Leg Syndrome in any of the medical books, because it’s a name I just made up. There are no visible contusions, no specific damage to the muscles or joints of the legs, nor is there any one area or part which is particularly painful. It’s just that in CLS, it does genuinely feel like your legs are made of concrete. Heavy, immobile (no, not the Italian centre forward), generally slow and a bit grumpy.

I’m not in agony, not even pain. To be honest, even ‘mild discomfort’ is going a bit OTT as a description. I’m simply just aware that my legs appear to be made of concrete at the moment.

Because CLS isn’t actually a thing, there’s also no real treatment for it. Sure, stretching helps a bit, and generally a little light exercise assists with easing the weightiness of the thighs.  I’ve also tried popping a couple of anti-inflammatories, but it seems that time is the only healer. And given that tonight’s game kicks off in about 6 hours, it’s something I don’t have a lot of. Later, I may slather my lower half (no, not all of it) with Deep Heat in a last ditch attempt to wake my legs up from their petrified stupor.

There may be advantages too, of course. It must surely be difficult for an opponent to injure a concrete leg, and if I get time to swing one of my mighty trunks backwards and then forwards again into the ball (and I get it on target), there’s likely to be no stopping it – even the net may be in danger. But 5-a-side relies mainly on speed and dexterity: attributes I was already running a little short of given my advanced years. CLS will likely only make things worse. Just call me The Statue.

Watch this space tomorrow, as I report back on the game and my personal experience of 40 minutes of high tempo, leg-dragging football.

How long can a bacterium live?

Note: This is not a 5-second rule thing.

It’s ages. Really – an awfully long time.

But – can it manage to get to the ripe old age of 500 years?

Well, pop back in 2514 and researchers at Edinburgh University will be able to tell you. If there is still such a thing as a researcher by then. Or indeed a University in Edinburgh. Or indeed, an Edinburgh.

Who knows what the future holds? Other than our friend the Asparamancer, of course?

The experiment itself is really rather simple: at a given timepoint, take one of the hermetically sealed vials and crack it open, rehydrate the contents and plonk them onto an agar plate, incubate and see what grows.

A 10 year old could do that.

But not for 500 years. Because humans don’t live that long.

So the problem becomes not doing the experiment, but how to tell other people how to do the experiment. Paper won’t last. A fancy carved metal sheet might get nicked by some marauding invaders at some stage over the next 5 centuries: and technology?

The team left a USB stick with instructions, which Möller realizes is far from adequate, given how quickly digital technology becomes obsolete.

And if you think that is a bit over the top, please note that no-one had even heard about USB 25 years ago, because it hadn’t been invented then.

So, the idea is to keep up to date by charging a human (a good choice because if there are no humans around, then there’s really no-one interested in the results anyway) to update the instructions every 25 years to some suitable format that will last until the next update.

I’ve done experiments that have lasted a couple of years, but they don’t have the same difficulties as this one, because I fully expected (correctly, as it happens) to still be alive when I finished it. There were occasional issues with remembering time points, but Google Calendar helped out with them. Will Google Calendar be around in 25, 50 or 500 years? I doubt it.
And it’s not like the lab staff will be working on this 24/7. This is an entirely  occasional thing.

I’m not sure how often data from this experiment are going to be shared, but I’ll keep an eye out, if only to give them a nudge if I think that they’ve forgotten to do their plating that year.

TMRW

TMRW. Too Much Red Wine.

No-one ever thinks about ToMoRroW when they’re out drinking TMRW.

We had a lovely evening of chat and laughter, some great food and TMRW last night. The wine in question was superb, but I have to say that I’m not really feeling at my best this morning.

I’ve decided to pass on gym today. Safety first.

Doing it for the ‘gram

Instagram is ever so popular. Even I have one.

But when it comes to travel, which are the most Instagrammable places in the world? I know it’s a question I have asked an awful lot when planning my holidays. And sometimes when I can’t sleep. And – let’s be honest – one I’ve also put to numerous bemused PicknPay cashiers.

They always say Tibet. Unwavering. Incredible.

They’re wrong, of course. Because:

Based on a scoring system that analysed the amount of hashtags per destination, survey results of Big Seven Media readers and votes cast by a panel of travel experts, these are officially the 50 most Instagrammable places in the world 2019.

And Tibet doesn’t even make the Top 192. A Nepalling ommission.

Obviously, I wouldn’t be telling you about this list unless SA had done ok. And it has: finishing in the Top 5, at er… number 5.

Beaten by Indonesia, Canada, Hong Kong and top dog Australia, SA managed to see off particularly strong competition from The Maldives, India, the USA and Dubai (the list did say ‘places’, but all the other ‘places’  aside from Antarctica (171) are countries). Singapore fills out the Top 10.

But how much can you trust a list that has Palestine at 88 and Mauritius at 103 for Instagrammability? Maybe they should start sending the influencers to the West Bank. Just a thought.

For the record, the UK comes in at 11 and eSwatini at 191. The least Instagrammable place on earth (aside from Tibet) is Tuvalu. Nobody has ever got an Instagram banger in Tuvalu. [full list]

There’s a sub-sub list of the The 7 Most Instagrammable Spots In The Western Cape, but when Table Mountain comes below the V&A Waterfront, you know that there’s something amiss. And that sub-sub list doesn’t even agree with its parent list – The 50 Most Instagrammable Spots In South Africa – in which Bloubergstrand…

…the image most people think of globally when they hear the word ‘South Africa’.

[*words. There are two of them. Plural.]

…finishes first, but doesn’t even make the Top 7 for the Western Cape.

But hang on a second… No Clarence Drive?
No Cape Agulhas? But that lighthouse! That cairn!
And Kirstenbosch doesn’t get a mention anywhere.
And nor does Camps Bay.

Ugh. All these lists are clearly rubbish. Please ignore this post.

10,000 steps folly

I have now knocked up 10,000 steps (or more – often more) each day for the last 45 days, according to my Garmin watch. Given that some days, I’ve done far more than 10,000 steps, I reckon I’ve managed somewhere around half a million steps in the last 6½ weeks. And that’s on top of gym visits and cycling and other things that don’t get recorded as steps.

And now it’s become a bit of a thing to keep it going, and that’s why (very occasionally) you’ll find me walking around the garden at 9pm just to knock off the last 500. Yes, I get health insurance points for it. No, they’re not really worth much. But yes, I do see it as something of a personal challenge and yes, I know that 10,000 steps (or so) is not going to be enough to keep this middle-age weight down.

That’s what (for me, at least) this guy fails to get. He doesn’t like the 10,000 step thing at all:

“There’s no scientific validation. It’s very hard to do it every day, and there’s no mention of intensity, or difficulty level, or heart rate, or breathing, or anything that determines whether exercise is valuable to you from a cardiovascular perspective.”

He quotes someone as saying.
Well, it’s not hard at all – as proven by my last 45 days.

If you are a top athlete (or even if you’re not), doing 10,000 steps (or anywhere thereabouts, because sure, this isn’t an exact science) is not going to make you into a world beater. That’s where the extras – the gym and the cycling – come in. You’ll need conditioning, coaching, a decent diet and perhaps even some mental training to achieve your lofty goals.

The thing is that it isn’t about that though. If you’re a top athlete but you need a watch to tell you that you haven’t done much exercise today, then actually, I’d wager that you’re not actually a top athlete at all.

But for the average Joe (or Joanne) on the street, a reasonably price watch which helpfully tells the time, and can give them some idea of how active they’ve been that day, is a godsend. Because then they can see that at 5pm they’ve been lounging around in front of a computer screen for too long that afternoon. And they can choose to do something about it.

Sure, Discovery (aforementioned medical insurance) uses 5,000 and 10,000 as their goto numbers, but then I can get as many points as I do for 10,000 steps each day simply by scanning my card at the gym. I don’t even have to look at a cardio machine, let alone do anything on one. They don’t value those 10,000 steps too highly.

It doesn’t even have to be 10,000 steps. Simply because “there’s no scientific validation”, that 10,000 really is completely arbitrary. Do what you want with the numbers: it’s there just as a guide, an aide-memoire.
But surely if it helps you to be more active than your mate who doesn’t subscribe to the 10,000 steps mantra, then it’s a good thing. It’s certainly not doing me any harm, anyway.

That said, blogging is a very sedentary endeavour, and thus I must get myself moving. These steps aren’t going to walk themselves, you know.