Gigathlon

Gigathlon
Gigathlon

Gigathlon is an invention of Switzerland. This year there was the 10th event and every 5 years it is done a rather big event of 5 or 6 days. Gigathlon means that each day the participant has to execute 5 different types of sport: swimming, running, biking, mountain biking and inline skating. You can contribute as single, as couple or in a team of 5 or even more.

A friend of mine won a ticket for a team of maximal 15 people who had to do the 5 disciplines on all the 6 days. Means 30 disciplines in total spread to this max 15 people. We were 10 people and I was in the lucky position to do 5 disciplines: 3 times on the bike, about 250 kilometers, once running of 24 kilometers and the last day 3 kilometers swimming.

Did not know how easy or difficult it is to participate in a race every day, but some of the people do the 6 days alone, as single or as couple. That sportsmen are really heroes. One discipline per day is nothing.

Mandelbrot in Excel

Mandelbrot Excel
Mandelbrot Excel

Here is the result. It took me only minutes to implement it and as you can see in the different sheets, I have also implemented the Julia set in the same workbook.

The sheets are for 3 different resolutions and you see that the range where both sets are visible is from -2.2 / -1.5 to 0.8 / 1.5 for the Mandelbrot set and from -1.8 / -1.5 to 1.8 / 1.5 for the Julia Set.

I realized the different colors with conditional formatting which is a nice feature of Microsoft Excel. Points which are part of the set are black, points which are not part of the set are colored. The color depends on the number of iterations necessary to decide that they are diverting and is going from red and yellow to white.

You can download the Excel workbook from here. You might have to allow the basic script!

Julia Set

Julier Set
Julier Set

I am a fan of the Mandelbrot set since I have seen it the first time. I developed a screen saver for windows which displays the Mandelbrot set and zooms in randomly.

I also tried to develop something similar for the iPhone but did not succeed for the time. When I was investigating possibilities to draw lines in HTML code, I saw that with HTML 5 there is a new tag <Canvas> which allows exactly what I need.

Here is the result. I have created a page which shows the Mandelbrot set and the same for the Julia set. Both are very impressive. You can zoom in by clicking somewhere in the graph and even move the graph with the mouse.

Here is the page with the Mandelbrot set and
here is the page with the Julia Set.

Engadiner 2013

Mandelbrot Excel
Mandelbrot Excel

I had my best time until now. This was the fourth Engadiner ski marathon I did. The race was very fast this year and it was quite easy. I was not exhausted like in other years. Only the very last kilometer at the end was hard.

I am still in group „Allgemein A“ which is not bad but would like to get once fast enough to start in the „Elite“ group. But this maybe will never happen.

The whole event is really funny. We have to start at 3 am in the morning and go by car to Landquart from where we take a 2 hours train to St. Moritz and from there its another ride on a bus of about 20 minutes.

This lets us arrive in Maloja just before 7:00 where we put our skis to the start to be in one of the front lines when the race begins. We booked breakfast in „Maloja Palace“ which is the very best option for waiting until the race starts at 8:50.

This year I did more skating than before and the marathon in Einsiedeln was a very good preparation. The marathon in Einsiedeln is much harder and I was at my very end in the finish.

The Better Angels of Our Nature

Better Angles
Better Angles

Everybody thinks that violence increases over time. When you see all the bad news spread through media, you must have the impression that this is obvious.

The more impressed I was by realizing that this is not the truth. Steven Pinker gives an overview about live from the first human beings over ancient folks, middle age humanism until modern live.

Live has become less and less violent as he proofs with a lot of charts and statistics. Live has become less violent not only in terms of wars between states and groups but also in all different aspects of human being.

This improvement went on in several main steps, big leaps forward. One was humanism when people realized that deadly punishment, torture and so on is bad and stopped ugly things like slavery, torture and so on.

A second big step happened in the last 10 to 20 years when we saw increased rights for women, children, suppressed folks, outsiders and many others.

Last week you could read in the newspaper, that New York celebrated the first day in its existence without a homicide. This was another proof that live is becoming less and less violent.

Its unbelievable but its the truth. World is becoming more and more livable for all people. The „good old days“ are a myth.

Pragel

Pragel
Pragel

We have planned to do Pragel Pass with the bike since 2 years. But every summer there was either not enough time or we were not fit enough. But last Sunday it was ok. I had the time, the weather was pretty and I felt that I could do it.

I started early in the morning, was a bit cold but came forward very fast. After 2 hours I was at Klöntalersee and thought that the rest would be easy.

But no, needed another hour to reach the top of the pass and had to stop from time to time because I was totally exhausted.

Going down the other side is very funny. It is one of the steepest streets I have ever driven upon. And I took me another hour until I was down in Schwyz.

From there it is another 25 kilometers back to Einsiedeln, and that’s it. This is a tour you can only do after you have already a couple of miles in your bones. I was at home exactly 2 and a half hour after my start.

Barcelona

Barcelona
Barcelona

We had a business event in Barcelona. I have never been in any Spanish speaking country. I have never been in Mallorca or Costa Brava, so did not know Spain.

Therefore I am surprised about how nice Spanish people are. I like even the language: „Holla“ means hello and sounds very nice. They just say „Holla“.

On the second day, we drove with Sagways through the city. This is real fun. You have to train it a bit at the beginning, but after 2 minutes, you are ok.

Once I had to jump from the thing because the turn I tried was finally to strong, but it is not really easy to have an accident. You can just not go too fast. It slows down automatically. And the nice thing is that you can drive just through the pedestrians.

Iron-Bike 2012

Iron bike 2012
Iron bike 2012

This year I was not sure if will be able to do the 77 kilometers. I had not done the tour before this year and did not a lot of kilometers on the bike. Just had the o-tour as kind of training race.

Saturday it was raining heavily almost the whole day. Luckily the race is always on Sunday and Sunday morning sun was shining in Einsiedeln. This means that all the roads upwards were dry but downhills mostly wet or very wet.

This year I enjoyed the race the most since I participate for several reasons: it was nice weather, downhills was wet and I had enough power this year.

And there was something else: this year I had to start in the very last group and there the field is not so crowded. So you do not have to fear constantly that somebody is coming from your back and over turning you downhills. Was much fun!