December 2006 Archives


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I noticed recently one of the feedback stats on the stationary bikes at the YMCA is something called METs, and I had no idea what it meant. Apparently, and MET is a "metabolic equivalent". One MET is the amount of energy you use just sitting quietly. Walking is 2.5 METs. That is, it uses 2.5 times as much energy as sitting around. Playing raquetball uses 12 METs.

Now that I know this unit exists, I thinking I'm going to be estimating my METs constantly. As I sit her typing, I'm using 2.3 METs (assuming it's the same as playing the piano). I'm about to walk home which should bump it up to about 3.3 METs. Then I have to make cookies. Maybe 2.5 METs? And so forth.

Not full of stars

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It's strange that I didn't already know this (or maybe it's one of those factoids that I've known and forgotten), but in the film version of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dave Bowman never says "My God, it's full of stars!" I was sure he did. I couldn't understand why IMDB didn't consider it a memorable quote. Other web pages confirmed it was not in the movie, and I just verified it for myself, watching the DVD. Bowman's last line in the movie (assuming heavy breathing is not a line) is "I'd like to hear it HAL, sing it for me", which is cleverly reminiscent of Casablanca. Kubrick may have felt the line unnecessary, as he clearly demonstrates it's full of stars with his trippy slit scan effects.

The source of my confusion: The "stars" line is the last thing Bowman says in Arthur C. Clarke's 2001 novel, which I did read, and the line is repeated several times in the sequel (novel and film) 2010: The Year We Make Contact.

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