Gibraltar did not underestimate Georgia

georgia_gibraltar_underestimateI planned to go to Gibraltar to watch the game against Scotland on Sunday (Gibraltar is only around 100 km from where I live at the moment). Therefore, I took a look at the homepage of the Football Association of Gibraltar and read that the manager and players did not underestimate Georgia in the game in Tbilisi yesterday.

I just wanted you to know that. That Gibraltar did not underestimate Georgia. Again: Gibraltar did not underestimate Georgia!!!


Being a Mathematician

Even though I work with engineering at the moment I studied mathematics at the University and followed up with PhD-studies in applied maths. I see myself more as a mathematician than an engineer.

mathematician_workBeing a mathematician sometimes put yourself in awkward situations socially. Cause people always have an opinion about maths that they need to share for some reason. Do other disciplines experience that as well? I doubt it.

Earlier today, Olle Häggström – mathematician, opiner, book writer (e.g. to a short but great introduction to Markov Chains) and blogger – republished a brilliant blog postIf I Reacted to Other People’s Careers the Way They React to Me Becoming a Mathematician – by Jordy Greenblatt, PhD student at UCLA. It is time for me to do the same. Enjoy!

If I Reacted to Other People’s Careers the Way They React to Me Becoming a Mathematician

You’re a doctor? I don’t really know anything about medicine, but can you explain exactly how the endocrine system works in two minutes or less?

You’re a writer? I had a terrible writing teacher in high school. I bet I wouldn’t like you.

You’re a carpenter? You must be super good at carpentering.

You’re a singer? I stopped singing in 11th grade. The last song I sang was… hmmmmm… let’s see… Mozart’s Requiem. I wasn’t very good at that song.

You’re an engineer? I used to play with building blocks when I was a kid. Show me exactly what you’re designing and, if there’s anything I don’t understand, it’s probably your fault.

You’re a banker? So that means you print money, right? What kind of money do you print?

You’re a lawyer? Argue against the Electoral College in front of me right now for my perverse amusement. I’ll just be here smiling smugly and assuming that you don’t realize I’m making fun of you in my head.

You’re a project manager? God, I fucking hate project management.

The Tabata protocol – What is it? Really!

My wife (Linnéa Berglund) has started a new blog about health and fitness and how to become healthier without being fanatical. She has taken help of various people, including a personal trainer at SATS. Linnéa was inspired to write a post about the so-called Tabata training and I could not keep myself from investigating what the ”Tabata protocol” really is.

In 1996 Izumi Tabata et al. published a paper called ”Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO₂max”. If you read abut that paper you often get the impression that high intensity cycling for four minutes (intervals with 20 seconds extreme cycling + 10 seconds of rest, about 8 sets) tabata-anaerobicfour times a week is enough to increase both aerobic and anaerobic capacity significantly and that the results are much better than after low/medium intensity cycling for 60 minutes 5 days a week. That is even the impression you get after reading the abstract from Tabata et al…

But is that really what Tabata and co-workers  found? No, they certainly did not. First of all, their study was on a small study group of 7+7 very weel trained young male students. Moreover, included in the training sessions, and what therefore should be included in the ”Tabata protocol”, were 10 minutes of low intensity warm-up. And during a fifth day this study group cycled with medium pace for 30 minutes, followed by a few interval sets in high intensity. Without this extra 70 minutes a week I doubt that the presented results would persist. I could write more about it, but read here instead, where you can also find a link to the full paper.

Even more problematic (for me) is that, nowadays a Tabata workout seems to include all sort of exercises. But fitness trainers and gurus still quote the original 1996 paper, and that is just annoying. Check this out just as an example.

Tabara et al. showed that, for well trained healthy young men, a mix of extreme high intensity interval cycling and low/medium intensity cycling improve both the anaerobic energy system (the system responsible for high intensity exercise) and aerobic energy system (the system used for endurance exercise), whereas longer low/medium intensity training sessions alone only improve the aerobic system.

I haven’t read what new findings have shown about different short high intensity training sessions, and I do believe that they are very good for most people, but citing the ”Tabara protocol” when you doing ordinary circuit training or whatever is not correct.

Beitar Jerusalem fans accused of murder

Are Beitar Jerusalem fans involved in the murder of 16-years old Palestinian boy Mohammed Abu Khdeir? Well, six men are arrested and Israeli media have been speculating that the arrested men were already well known to the police and linked to hooligans who support Beitar Jerusalem Football Club.

beitar_jerusalem_supportersJames M. Dorsey, a senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer writes in various media (e.g. here) that

An Israeli investigation into the brutal murder of 16-year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir in apparent revenge for the killing of three teenage residents of an Israeli settlement on the West Bank has focused attention on Israel’s most militant, racist soccer fan group.

The focus, irrespective of whether the fan group was involved in Mr. Abu Khdeir’s death, is likely to end a long-standing refusal by the Israeli government and football association to crack down on rabidly anti-Palestinian, anti-Muslim soccer club Beitar Jerusalem FC and its notorious La Familia fan group. The club has long enjoyed the support of Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and other prominent right-wing personalities.

I know nothing about who killed the Palestinian teenager, but I do know that Beitar Jerusalem’s supporter group La Familia is openly racist and anti-muslim. A short documentary from ESPN (late 2012) about Beitar Jerusalem and La Familia reveals some horrific information. It is a must see!

Bartoli shaming

When Marion Bartoli did extremely well and won Wimbledon without dropping a single set I thought my Twitter feed should explode with tributes to a great tennis player and athlete. Instead I got tweets like ”I don’t want a fatty to win Wimbledon!”…

I should have written a post about this at the time but didn’t have the time to do it then. Now, I just found this article in the great Public Shaming blog that collected hundreds of Twitter insults like the ones below

Bartoli Shaming


If you even considered tweeting anything like that, and don’t regret it, I DO NOT WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND ANYMORE.

Again, Marion Bartoli did extremely well and won Wimbledon without dropping a single set. That is what people should focus on!

bartoli shaming