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an endless succession of beans and nuts.

What's the difference between hiking and walking?

I'm trying to read "Hiking Has All the Benefits of Walking and More. Here’s How to Get Started. Exploring the great outdoors offers a host of mental and physical benefits. But there are a few things you need to know first" (NYT).

Hiking offers all the cardiovascular benefits of walking, but the uneven terrain does more to strengthen the leg and core muscles, which in turn boosts balance and stability, said Alicia Filley, a physical therapist outside Houston who helps train clients for outdoor excursions. It also generally burns more calories than walking.

I'm guessing there's no clear line between a walk and a hike, and it's more of a state of mind. Or does it all come down to whether you wear a backpack?

Every hiker should bring the 10 essentials, which include food and drink, first aid supplies, a map and compass and rain gear — all inside a supportive backpack with thick shoulder straps and a waist belt.

I thought I went hiking just about every day, but if it's all about the backpack, I never go hiking.

I liked this comment over there from Kjartan in Oslo:

I was born and raised in Norway, but have lived in Poland, the Netherlands and Tanzania. In these three countries, I was surprised that most people did not go on trips. Throughout my upbringing in Norway, it was a tradition on Sundays to pack a small lunch, dress appropriately (wool underwear in winter, hiking boots all year round), put on your rucksack and go for a walk, preferably in the mountains, but at least in nature. "Out for a walk, never sad", it said, and "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes". In retrospect, I have thought about how good this tradition has been. We moved at least one day a week. We experienced nature and knew the difference between birch, oak and willow. We learned to identify hare tracks in the snow. And we heard a difference between the most common birds. And how nice it was! When we arrived at our destination, we sat down and ate slices of bread with salami, goat's cheese and eggs, and we drank blackcurrant juice or coffee. A little chocolate to raise the blood sugar was also included. And when we got home this delicious tired feeling in the body that guaranteed a good night's sleep.

My favorite phrases: "most people did not go on trips" and "we drank blackcurrant juice."

ADDED: Reading the OED, I'm going to say that all hikes are walks but not all walks are hikes. What distinguishes the hike from a non-hike walk is the energy: It's laborious or vigorous. It's like the way all strolls are walks but not all walks are strolls. There's a continuum of walking, with hiking at one end and strolling at the other. 

And "hike" is a pretty recent word, both as a noun and as a verb. It's of "obscure origin" and began as U.S. dialect, first noted in the mid-19th century, when it was spelled "heik": "I ascended the Grand Pyramid, Lucretia got half-way..and Susie didn't try. It is a fearful heik."

"Hike" meaning an increase — e.g., a wage hike — wasn't observed until the 1930s. 

The expression "take a hike" was first observed in writing in the NYT in 1944: "Anybody who doesn't believe it can take a hike." And I like this quote from Jim Bouton's "Ball Four" (1970): "I remember once leaning over the dugout trying to tell Al Dark how great he was..when he looked over at me and said, 'Take a hike, son. Take a hike.'"

"If they really think I’ve stolen the place [of a female runner], I don’t mind giving the medal back.... But I don’t want to apologize, because I didn’t do anything wrong….”

"They’re angry because they’re saying that one of 14,000 women behind me could have had my place. Really? I did [the race in] 4 hours 11 minutes. There’s lots of women that beat me. ...When I entered the London Marathon, it says, ‘female,’ ‘male’ or ‘other,' I ticked ‘female’ because I see myself as female.'"

Said transgender runner Glenique Frank, who finished in 6,159th place in the female category in the London Marathon, quoted in "Trans marathoner Glenique Frank offers to give back medal after beating 14K in female category" (NY Post).

"The proposed rule helps clarify that these blanket bans on transgender athletes are in violation of Title IX and is a really positive development."

"When it comes to the hard cases, this is saying that trans kids can be discriminated against."

Under the proposal, schools would need to consider a range of factors before imposing a ban on trans athletes and would need to justify it based on educational grounds, such as the need for fairness. So, for instance, a school district could justify a ban on transgender athletes on their competitive high school track and field team, whereas a district would have a harder time making that case for an intramural middle school kickball squad....

So... just don't have a flat ban and schools can impose whatever limits they want if they say that's their assessment of "fairness"?

That sounds as though they are giving schools virtually complete discretion (at least beyond the little kids level) and the main effect is to preempt all the top-down bans from the state level. That would be using centralized national power to decentralize the decision-making to the local level.

But how much deference will there be to local judgment about "fairness"? 

Here's the text of the "fact sheet" about the proposed rule. The word "fairness" appears twice:

Under the proposed regulation, schools would not be permitted to adopt or apply a one-size-fits-all policy that categorically bans transgender students from participating on teams consistent with their gender identity.

Instead, the Department's approach would allow schools flexibility to develop team eligibility criteria that serve important educational objectives, such as ensuring fairness in competition or preventing sports-related injury. These criteria would have to account for the sport, level of competition, and grade or education level to which they apply. These criteria could not be premised on disapproval of transgender students or a desire to harm a particular student. The criteria also would have to minimize harms to students whose opportunity to participate on a male or female team consistent with their gender identity would be limited or denied....

Taking those considerations into account, the Department expects that, under its proposed regulation, elementary school students would generally be able to participate on school sports teams consistent with their gender identity and that it would be particularly difficult for a school to justify excluding students immediately following elementary school from participating consistent with their gender identity. For older students, especially at the high school and college level, the Department expects that sex-related criteria that limit participation of some transgender students may be permitted, in some cases, when they enable the school to achieve an important educational objective, such as fairness in competition, and meet the proposed regulation's other requirements.

Notice that both times the word "fairness" appears in the phrase "fairness in competition." That would seem to exclude ideas about privacy in the locker room or anything other than who wins or loses. Since "preventing sports-related injury" is mentioned separately, alongside "fairness in competition," it reinforces the interpretation that "fairness in competition" is just about the importance of preserving the ability of cis-females to win.

Notice, too, the stress on "educational objectives." I see some dissonance. What's the educational objective in ensuring that cis-females have a chance to win? If Title IX rests on some dogma about sports being an important part of education, what, exactly, is educational about winning, as opposed to just playing? Is it that fewer women will play if they worry that a particular type of other person might show up and radically reduce their chance of winning? Apparently the Biden administration sees — or is pretending to see — an educational objective in protecting women from becoming demoralized by the difficulty winning. 

Here's the text of the proposed rule, which does not mention "fairness":

If a recipient adopts or applies sex-related criteria that would limit or deny a student's eligibility to participate on a male or female team consistent with their gender identity, such criteria must, for each sport, level of competition, and grade or education level: (i) be substantially related to the achievement of an important educational objective, and (ii) minimize harms to students whose opportunity to participate on a male or female team consistent with their gender identity would be limited or denied.

It's all about "an important educational objective." What's the "important educational objective" in making cis-women feel capable of winning? I don't think this rule will effectively decentralize the decision-making to the school district level. 

The English Football Association put up a tweet portraying its players as "Barbies."

The London Times reports.

The English Football Association put up a tweet portraying its players as

It's hard to imagine how this could happen. There is a "Barbie Selfie Generator" offered by the promoters of the new "Barbie" movie. That explains why random people are displaying themselves on Twitter with Barbie branding, but it doesn't explain why the FA would deem this appropriate... especially the one with "This Barbie is a Bunny"!

"Decisions are always difficult when they involve conflicting needs and rights between different groups, but we continue to take the view that we must maintain fairness for female athletes above all other considerations."

Said Sebastian Coe, president of the World Athletics Council, quoted in "Transgender track and field athletes can't compete in women's international events" (NPR).

Fairness for female athletes above all other considerations — those are strong words.

"[Jay] Kraemer completed the equivalent of walking around the world on March 2nd, tackling the 24,901 miles by traversing the Madison area..."

"... or going on hikes while visiting his son in Utah.... The 72-year-old tracked his walks meticulously via his FitBit, saying the journey took nearly 50 million steps to complete.... After eight years, and 10 months, Kraemer made it around the world while listening to 148 books, burning through an average of two pairs of shoes each year."

This post is intended as a palate cleanser after that last post on luxury gyms in L.A. and NYC, where only "cool" people can join. Kraemer epitomizes uncoolness — walking outside in a midsize city in the Midwest, paying only for a Fitbit, shoes, and (maybe) audiobooks — but coolness is always a matter of interpretation, and I was never willing to accept that the luxury gyms are cool. Your mileage may vary, and as you journey on your way through the world, it's up to you to decide what counts as cool and what constitutes walking around the world.

Makes me think of this song, which will always be cool to me.

"It was alliterative, it was descriptive, and I liked the contradiction – a flop that could be a success."

Said Dick Fosbury, quoted in "Dick Fosbury, Olympic champion who changed high jump forever, dies aged 76/Oregon athlete who invented the Fosbury Flop won historic gold medal at Mexico City games in 1968" (The Guardian).
His technique, honed in college competition in Oregon, involved jumping backwards and arching his back over the bar, thereby reversing and ripping up decades of high-jump orthodoxy....

It's hard to remember what everyone else was doing and thus how weird that looked to people in 1968.

Would you want to become famous like that?

In 2012, Fosbury told the Guardian he “had a horrible time dealing with all the attention” that followed his Olympic triumph. “It was too much. I was a small-town kid who did something way beyond what I had ever expected to do. I liked the attention, but I wanted it to be over at a point. It didn’t work that way.” 
He also said he became “mentally exhausted” because “there was too much attention. People put me on a pedestal and kept me there. I didn’t want to be on a pedestal. I received my medal and I wanted to be back on the ground with everyone else.”  

If he hadn't jumped like that, would everyone still be jumping the old way?

“A couple of people have claimed that they did, most notably the Canadian future world No1 Debbie Brill, who was developing the ‘Brill Bend’ at around the same time, and was videoed using the technique in 1966. ‘I was quite shocked when I saw Fosbury jump the first time,’ she said. ‘I thought I was the only one doing it.’”

Not just the same jump, but the same idea of doing alliteration with the name. Well, isn't that something that happens all the time, naming some move after the first person who does it and pairing it with a word that is poetically related to the name? All I can think of is the Hamill Camel, but I'm not much of a sports person, so help me out.

Pope Benedict and Barbara Walters join the Pelé death triad.

This is one of the greatest death triads I have ever seen. Perhaps the greatest.

Goodbye to 3 greats, in 3 different fields — religion, journalism, and sports. All 3 died after a long, productive life — Pelé, a little young, at 82, Walters at 93, and the Pope at 95.

"The more I push[ed] for policy change, the more resistant the leadership became. It was a highly macro-aggressive environment."

"I couldn’t take the necessary steps that were needed to lay the groundwork for innovative equity work in the department.... It’s been fairly traumatic for me.... It created such a hostile work environment for me that I literally could not return to the office... I was hospitalized because of just how stressful the work environment became and I had little support...." 

Said Jordan “JT” Turner, who resigned from his position as Princeton's first Associate Director of Athletics for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), quoted in "3 Princeton DEI staff members resign, alleging lack of support" (The Daily Princetonian).

Turner said that soon after their onboarding, Director of Athletics John Mack ’00 and other senior leaders in the Athletics Department “began pulling back on some of the promises that had been made to me.”...

“Soon my requests to ease into important tasks were met with directives to ‘just wait a year.’ This was from everything — proposed multi-year projects to minimal two to four week project commitments,” they said.....

For example, Turner said they hoped to lead trainings about trans-inclusion policy and guidelines....

“I was basically told to put off all training for a year with a plan to revisit at a later unspecified date,” they said.... “It was made clear that approaching conflict and potential harm in ways that center the experiences of women, trans people, queer people, and other current and historically marginalized people were not welcomed,” Turner said.

Maybe they thought hiring someone with the title Associate Director of Athletics for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion looked like progress enough for the next year or until a later unspecified date. Many people would enjoy a job that is done by merely serving as the name with the title. Ironically, the less qualified and dedicated the person is for the stated job, the better they will be at doing what the employer actually wants. Or so it seems!

The English Football Association put up a tweet portraying its players as "Barbies.""[Jay] Kraemer completed the equivalent of walking around the world on March 2nd, tackling the 24,901 miles by traversing the Madison area...""It was alliterative, it was descriptive, and I liked the contradiction – a flop that could be a success."

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