Sunday, August 13, 2006

Burning Calories

On the food packages in Southern Africa, the energy contents are given in joules, not calories -- actually kilo- in both cases.

As such (food packages), the energy is traveling along vectors, from supermarket shelves through consumers (yes, they do have supermarkets in Africa -- I'm thinking of Maseru's in particular), and back to the ground.

The rate at which the food is consumed, calories burned, relates to power, i.e. energy per time interval (P = E/t). Energy itself may be expressed as action per time interval (E = hf), where action is always-angular momentum for a distance (mvd; f = frequency = 1/t, h = Planck's Constant).

Energy relates to events, which spend energy. The sun, our local big spender, lavishes energy throughout our solar system. Our planetary ecosystem "surfs the solar gradient," absorbing on some frequencies, and reflecting back what it doesn't use.

I've been learning through Wanderers about Tesla Motors and its new electric roadster, which accelerates quickly (lots of power). Where will the energy come from, to charge its batteries?

Initially, there won't be enough "Teslamobiles" in circulation to challenge grid capacity, but the state of the grid is something to always consider, starting in elementary school.

This morning, I'm up early to check my tires, plus otherwise get pumped for Bridge Pedal, an annual energy event in our town, catering especially to cyclists.

All 10 bridges are closed to cars, or at least some lanes or decks are reserved for cyclists and peds only, for a few hours. A couple of our bridges, Marquam and Fremont, have two decks for cars 'n trucks, one atop the other (The Steel has a lower deck just for trains and peds, with light rail and cars crossing up top).

I'll be burning a fair number of joules in a hurry this morning (I'm supposed to start around 7 AM), a measure of this 1958 body's power output abilities. I'll be on TinkerBell of course, a somewhat chunky hybrid (part mountain, part touring) that fits my large frame and somewhat prominent belly.

I'll finish this post later, and chronicle how it all went.


OK, not the energy events I'd planned. Time for a confession: TinkerBell and I have a somewhat unprofessional relationship. Yes, I can change her tubes, but only clumsily. So when the rear valve decided "no longer my problem to hold back the air" (OO: I am a valve, what do I say?), I stuck in a new tube, but then overinflated it at the 76, and then POW! I literally blew it.

I don't regret the donation to charity (Bridge Pedal is not a free event), but I'm sorry about the missed workout. The new iPod should help with that (podcasts on the treadmill). Shapewise, I'm lagging the president, look more like the veep (which probably explains the antipathy).

Maybe next year then, Insha'Allah.