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Archive: March 12, 2016

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Iditarod: Brent Sass in the lead, crazed attack on Jeff King and Aliy Zirkle

Saturday,  03/12/16  09:05 AM

Jeff King's dog Nash, killed by a crazed attacker outside NulatoWow, horrible news from the Iditarod overnight, some crazy attacker apparently drove a snowmobile right into the teams of first Aliy Zirkle and then Jeff King as they were coming into Nulato.  Aliy was okay although one of her dogs was injured, but Jeff King's dog Nash was killed and two of his other dogs were injured. 

I'm speechless with anger and sadness that someone would do this.  The Iditarod is like the Tour de France, it's a race that takes place out in the world, amid the world, and anyone can watch.  That's what's great about it.  But one crazy person can ruin it, causing injury and affecting the race.  Don't know what can be done, it is what it is, but it's too bad.

[at right, Jeff King's dog Nash, who was killed]

Meanwhile out on the trail, Brent Sass is stretching out his lead.  I know you are watching the Iditaflow tracker :) so you will have seen, he was slow going from Galena to Nulato (slope of line not very steep), but he continues to mush along and has a considerable lead. 

BTW tracker update: added run/rest times, #runs, and %running, as well as indicators for 24- and 8- hour rests.

The tracker below shows him and Mitch Seavey both in Kaltag, but Mitch still has to take an 8 hour rest, and Brent does not.  I think actually Aliy Zirkle and Dallas Seavey are both ahead of Mitch for the same reason.  Watch the Iditaflow tracker and you will know all :)

Here are some more pictures from the trail, courtesy of Sebastian Schnuelle, who continue to be a wonderful reporter on the trail (as well as a musher in his own right).


Brent Sass's dog Celia, in GalenaBrent Sass's lead dog Celia, in Galena.  Note that in dog sled racing both dogs and humans of both genders compete equally.


Aliy Zirkle and her beautiful team out on the Yukon RiverAliy Zirkle and her beautiful team out on the Yukon River.


Brent Sass and his team, on the YukonBrent Sass and his team, on the Yukon.  I continue to love the lime green boots.


Mitch Seavey and team on the YukonMitch Seavey and team, on the Yukon.  If you've been following the tracker you will have seen, Mitch is making more runs and shorter ones, and resting more.  But he's right in there, and his team may be fresher at the end.


Noah Burmeister and team, outside GalenaNoah Burmeister's team, outside Galena.  Noah has taken more rests than anyone, and is in the hunt.  You'll remember this is his brother Aaron's team, and they've done exceedingly well in the past.


The Yukon RiverThis is the view you would have as a musher, out along the frozen Yukon River, heading West.  Onward to Nome!


Here's the GPS tracker view of the race this morning:

Iditarod - 3/12/16 at 8:03 AKST - please click to enbiggen!
(please click to enbiggen amazingly)


[All Iditarod 2016 posts]



more blanket

Saturday,  03/12/16  06:35 PM





short night, late night

Saturday,  03/12/16  11:20 PM

A short night, late night, filter pass, as we await our longer blanket in the morning...

AlphaGo in actionHave you been following the "Go" match between Google's AlphaGo AI and Go champion Lee Se-dol?  It's pretty amazing.  Se-Dol finally won a match after losing three in a row.  Some things that stand out for me: First, Go is far more complicated than Chess, from a "possible moves" standpoint.  So complicated that brute force cannot work, even for a fast supercomputer.  So this is a battle of heuristics.  Second, AlphaGo is playing "good Go".  Several observers have called its moves beautiful.  Third, AlphaGo is making unexpected moves.  It's creators are constantly amazed and surprised by what it comes up with.  So interesting.

Joi Ito, director of MIT Media Lab, posted a nice article on DRM, the World Wide Web consortium, Net neutrality, and other tech policy.  "Intentionally or unintentionally, poorly crafted or outdated laws and technical standards threaten to undermine security, privacy and the viability of our most promising new technologies and networks.

Scott Greenfield Tweet about political discourseGlenn Reynolds' Tweet of the Day, from Scott Greenfield.  Agree completely.  (As I've often written, "the smartest people don't become journalists, so journalists are not the smartest people".)   This is why the Internet is so important.

Dave Winer: The Political River.  An endless meta-RSS feed of posts on political blogs and websites.  Just in case you don't want 23-year-old humanities majors to be your source of news :)

As much as I bemoan all the politics on my Facebook feed, at least my friends are not 23-year-old humanities majors ... or at least, most of them aren't ... even though they sometimes post as if they are!

Seth Godin: the difference between confidence and arrogance.  Ah yes, this is certainly a fine line for me.  As it is for many.

BB8 visits JPL!Of course: BB8 visits JPL.  Where the real space robots are made. 
I love the visitor's badge, nice touch.

Solar Eclipse from Alaska AirThe recent Solar Eclipse, as viewed from Alaska Air.  You may know they rerouted a flight to give passengers this view.  Awesome!

As you watch this, you can't help but think, what did ancient people make of this?  It could only be explained as the work of Gods, right?

And finally, of course Dire Straits Walk of Life improves every movie.  Of course.


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