Tuesday, 28 October 2014


I found these quotes from CBC articles on oil prices, from 2012 and 2014, looked rather peculiar when placed side by side.

CBC April 2012 article [Brent oil @ 120$/barrel]:
""The increase in the price of our oil imports raises production costs for Canadian firms and also puts upward pressure on gasoline prices, since about half of the gasoline purchased in Canada is produced using refined petroleum priced off Brent...That puts downward pressure on Canada's real gross domestic income, dropping the country's spending power to buy foreign goods and services"
CBC October 2014 article [Brent oil @ $85/barrel, and dropping]: 
"On the whole, it's likely to be bad news for Canada's economy", experts said Monday..."The slump in global oil prices couldn't have come at a worse time for Canada...For a country that now produces 4.5 million barrels of crude oil per day, the recent decline in prices …represents a loss of $2.5 billion in annual revenue for producers"
Expensive oil is bad since we aren't the ones refining it (and it seems we're in no position to build our own refineries). Cheap oil is bad since we can't sell Alberta's stuff at profit. As long as oil trades at exactly 100$ we're ok, just like Russia. I don't pretend to understand economies like ours, but sometimes there are moments that seem to defy all logic. Either way it seems we got ourselves some Dutch disease. Here we come!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Marathons and aging

What's the best age to run a marathon? There are a surprising number of pet theories floating around, anything from young runners are taking over the marathon to older runners are becoming more dominant. To quote from Runner's World:
Kenya's Samuel Wanjiru, 21, broke more than an Olympic record with his 2:06:32 win; he crushed long–held conventional wisdom that marathon performance peaks among runners in their late 20s and early 30s. That conventional wisdom also took a beating when a 38–year–old mother with 10 marathons under her belt, Romania's Constantina Tomescu–Dita, won the women's event.
If conventional wisdom is being upended, i.e. that the age bracket of late 20s-to-early 30s are no longer when runners do their best work, it seemed prudent to find out what the numbers themselves say. Hence I compiled the men's and women's ~2400 fastest marathon times (including repeat performances by individuals) to asses whether there is any temporal trends for fast runners. I chose an arbitrary cutoff point to compare: the 20th and 21st centuries.

Quote from here. Top Race times from here.
Mean age for 1967-2000 group is 28.4. Mean age for 2001-2014 group is 28.3

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Joggling and other things

In no time at all I've seen September come and go. Mind you this was the month I had prepared for months in advance. Four things had to happen in two weeks, none of which were related. But thanks to a series of connecting, non-delayed flights, the segments of my trip fit together like square pegs jammed repeatedly, stubbornly through round holes.

Taking back a step, in the winter of 2014 I had originally planned that one of two things would happen come september: A. Race the 10k Toronto Zoo run (paid in part by winning the Nova Scotia running series) or B, attend the IGAC conference in Natal, Brazil. Seemed at the time I wouldn't do both. But things happen you don't expect.

Email #1, April. Yay!
Email #2, August. Yay!