A beautiful Saturday

The weather today was unprecedently beautiful for mid November. The temperature almost reached 20 Celsius it was so lovely. I decided to make the most of the afternoon weather by going for a run. My housemates were picnicing down by the lake, so I figured I’d run that way and drop by. Thankfully, this time my knee braces decided to do their job instead of eating my flesh, and my joints didn’t complain too much. My speed wasn’t all that crash hot – just under five miles in almost exactly an hour. However, I’m going to claim bonus points for running up and down Klein Road. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Ithaca, it’s basically situated in a valley, and Cornell is up on the hill. There are a few different roads heading up the hill, all of them well known for their steepness. In order of ascending grade, we have Renwick Place, University Ave, Buffalo St, Lake St (Gun Hill), and Klein Road. Not that any of them are particularly fun, but Klein takes the biscuit, with a 20% grade heading straight up the hill, pretty much. The worst part is that it’s rather windy, so it’s not even fun to ride a bike down.

I put my route into MapMyRide if you were interested in seeing where I went: http://www.mapmyride.com/route/us/ny/ithaca/597128968624290084
For those of you who don’t believe that anybody would be stupid enough to build a road with a 20% grade, check out the altitude information on the Klein Road zoomin: http://www.mapmyride.com/route/us/ny/ithaca/925128968640477805
Yup, that’s right, a 400 feet rise in altitude over less than 0.4 miles. Do the maths 😉

Otherwise, I went out to the minitour of the synchrotron lab this morning. I didn’t get particularly much out of it, but that’s ok, I wasn’t expecting to. The troops enjoyed it, I think. Some sections of the building have multiple floodlights that draw 500 watts of power each to run. There’s 70 such lights, and they’re left on permanently. In terms of raw electricity, at $0.10/kwh, they cost $30,000 each year to power. That’s incredible. We’re trying to get a bunch of these lights on a regime where they can be turned off when not in use, potentially saving up to $15,000 a year, I guess. That’s a lot of energy. In fact, I’m going to say that’s a ridiculous amount of electricity.

Not much else to report today. I did decide that I want to host a Christmas party here though. I think that could be a lot of fun 😉

Otherwise, this video is awesome. Screw unicycles, these girls do it on bikes (and it’s much, much more impressive!): http://wimp.com/bicycleskill/ (yes, this is completely SFW and rated G)

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