A Quick Peek into Njord!

As I was writing the Maranifesto article, I took a quick look at the history of Semisorted blog posts. There’s a huge gap, from about April/May through to now. I feel bad about that, but there has been something  that we’re been working on that hasn’t been ready to discuss. Technically, it still isn’t, we’re still playing (the most productive state of being in my opinion)… And as soon as you start talking about it externally, for some unbeknownst reason that stops. So, a quick article to explain where I vanished… and then to probably vanish again for a bit.

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My Maranifesto: The Game of Running

Everyone writes books on running. If you run (maybe a little, maybe a lot), you write about it (maybe a little, maybe a lot). I think at some point these running books gain critical mass, and become more than the sum of their pages. Why? Because if you run (maybe a little, maybe a lot), your probably read (maybe a little, maybe a lot).

I love imagining the emergent properties of things, as though you observed it strictly from its behaviour, and don’t understand its innate nature. Running books would have a great story. In the beginning there may have been one or two running books, little critters cowering in the corner of the sports section, thin and emaciated, travelling alone. Then the running book-beast, by all observations, began to multiple at a geometric rate. At some point they gained critical mass – a Phillip Ball phase change, no doubt. They began travelling in herds, swarming across the great plains of bookstores.

The humans continued picking at their masses, but they only grew more – the progeny of word of mouth. They began flocking into your bedroom, lying passively supine, waiting for you to gorge on their dietary suggestions, training regimes, and introspections. Now, few bedside tables have gone untouched, the running book-beast as ubiquitous as its domesticated distant cousin, the post-thanksgiving diet book.

By some groups, it has gained almost religious status, with rituals and doctrines that indicate (again solely by observation) that this animal is almost sacrosanct. ‘Coming of age’ rituals develop between the runners and the book-beasts, e.g. when a running group leader ‘borrows’ a dog-eared, coffee-stained, beast to a neophyte runner uttering sacred words such as “…oh you don’t know about fartleks? This is a great book on it which will help you set up a training regime using fartleks to increase your pace.”

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Travel: Rock Climbing in Monterrey

It’s September, I’m sitting on a plane to Cape Town, and all I can think about is setting up my next climb in Monterrey. With the wanderlust nearly satiated (marathon season all booked), it’s strange that I can’t get climbing out of my head… I should be panicking about the next three months of “long-run (bitch+moan) Sundays”… but El Potrero Chico is really that good. In April earlier this year, I took an impromptu trip to Monterrey to get away from the dreary Chicago winter, and I’m feeling now it will have to become a tradition.


I think that’s an appropriate response… It’s almost anticlimactic after the stories I remember hearing from other El Potrero climbers over caguamas (32 oz. beer bottles) in the local restaurant.

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RIP Oliver Sacks

While wandering through the Naperville Barnes & Noble one Saturday night, I found ‘The Mind’s Eye’ ensconced in a pile of self-help books.

At the time, I knew nothing of Oliver Sacks or his material, but over the last month I’ve had a crash-course in psychology, cultural history, cycling, and life in general from Michelle (a beautiful 1%er whose mind is overflowing with material more than her room is with books). She has a voracious taste for this type of material, and considering that I was listlessly slogging around waiting for her to get home that night, I picked it up. The title bounded around in my head and lit up some evasive memories that, although not clear, promised it to be an interesting read.

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Little Orc Wars: It’s on Android phones!

A quick update – Little Orc Wars is running pretty decently on my Galaxy S3 Mini, and, well, if it can work on that, it can work anywhere!

Couple of small touch/movement fixes – and a bit of a brutal CPU-hogging hack – and then on to the iPhones 🙂

– Sam

New Arrival! Eye-tracking…

I’m not a huge fan of doing hardware (p)reviews without some code and possibly an application, but couldn’t help posting this. It’s called an EyeTriberead more here – and it’s a pretty amazing piece of technology. Eye tracking is huge, and this Danish company seem to have it down…


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