Sunday, October 11, 2015


I found this explanation of CROP CIRCLES at the website

crop circle or crop formation is a pattern created by flattening a crop, usually a cereal but incidents have been recorded for rapeseedgrass or vegetation such as fields of thistle, blackberries and reeds. A commentary in The Guardian noted that "it is still open to dispute whether some are caused by natural phenomena or all created by human hand," but crop circles, as Taner Edis, professor of physics at Truman State University puts it, "all fall within the range of the sort of thing done in hoaxes." Although obscure natural causes or alien origins of crop circles are suggested by fringe theorists,[there is no scientific evidence for such explanations, and human causes are consistent for all crop circles.
The number of crop circles has substantially increased from the 1970s to current times. There has been almost no serious scientific study of them. Circles in the United Kingdom are not spread randomly across the landscape but appear near roads, areas of medium to dense population, and cultural heritage monuments, such as Stonehenge or Avebury, and always in areas of easy access. In 1991, two hoaxers, Bower and Chorley, admitted to creating many circles throughout England after one of their circles was publicly certified by a notable circle investigator, as impossible to be made by human hand.
Formations are usually created overnight, although some are reported to have appeared during the day. In contrast to crop circles or crop formations, archeological remains can cause cropmarks in the fields in the shapes of circles and squares, but they do not appear overnight, and they are always in the same places every year.
There was a time in my life when I was fascinated by crop circles.  When I was in my early teens, back in the 1970's, I think I did used to think that the source of these mysterious formations found all over the world might be the work of aliens.  Please understand that at the time, I was young and much more naive than I might be today.  It was somewhat of a disappointment to learn that these amazing pieces of weird art could be made so easily by simple humans overnight in a farmer's field.  

The reason that I am discussing CROP CIRCLES today is to explain my fascination with the MapMyWalk application on my phone which records the route one takes during a walk, jog or run.  I have been having great fun, walking 5, 10, 15 and so far, once even 20 miles - knowing that this application was dutifully recording my route which I could review at the end.  I discovered that if I went a bit overboard in my route, I could create some interesting images.  Two days ago, I was in a park adjacent to Navy Pier and there were five water fountains. (although the water was turned off for the season)  I made an effort to carefully take my steps around the fountains and this is the pattern that I created:

As part of my 15 mile walk yesterday, was this detour at Milton Lee Olive Park, which is adjacent to Navy Pier in Chicago. I created these digital 'crop circles' which are only visible electronically, and only visible when viewing them on the MapMyWalk application on my phone.  My walks have been fun.  I have seen parts of Chicago that I had never really noticed before.  In fact, this entire park where I made my 'crop circles' is a place that I think I had been to just once before in nearly 20 years.  I think back to the hours and hours and hours I spent walking on a treadmill when I first started to exercise as part of my weight loss program - I was really missing out.  Walking outdoors is great fun.  Sure, you can't bingewatch a netflix TV show - but you can experience life.   When the weather gets to be too cold for outdoors walking, that will be the time to return indoors.  For the time being, netflix can wait.

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 Saturday MENU
breakfast  steel cut oatmeal                                                          600 calories
lunch        granola bar, apples, Luna Brand mini bars (2)           700 calories
dinner       Macintosh apples, banana chips, granola, date pcs    830 calories
SNACK   cacao chocolate chips, Honey Nut Cheerios               722 calories


MapMyWalk 16.125 miles, avg 14 minute miles,  3 hours & 45 minutes        3859 calories
The application actually showed 18.25 miles. There were some parts of yesterday's hike
where the application did not quite know where it was.  The same confusion sometimes
happens to my Garmin GPS when surrounded by tall buildings.  Nevertheless, it is easy to 
assumed that I averaged 14 minute miles, and I know that I was walking for 3 hours and 45 minutes straight... The math works out to a minimum of 16.125 miles travelled.

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Saturday net calories 1006 calorie defecit
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Chicago Skyline on a beautiful blue sky sunny day. 
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fitbit day 38

38161 steps
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Two days ago, on Saturday morning, I weighed myself and I discovered that I weighed 221 lbs.  Two weeks ago, on the Saturday preceding my Tuesday flight to California for the Half Dome hike my weight was 226.8 lbs.  Since my successful summit, I have been a hiking/walking/calorie burning machine.  I have discovered a new joy in life. Simply walking with backpack strapped on me.  Walking fast. Walking anywhere. Walking to discover (and re-discover) new places right in my home town of Chicago. The Half Dome summit was October 1.  The next day was the travel day back from California.  Since October 3, I have walked/hiked nearly 100 miles according to my MapMyWalk Application:

 3 October  6.7 miles
 4 October 16.5 miles
 5 October 10.0 miles
 6 October  5.0 miles
 7 October 20.0 miles
 8 October  5.0 miles
 9 October 15.0 miles
10 October 16.2 miles

Since September 26th, I have watched my weight drop from 226.8 lbs to 221 lbs.  I am fairly certain that I will not be able to keep up this pace of walking at quite this level - but I has certainly been great fun and very rewarding.  

Today is Sunday, 11 October.  This is the day of the Chicago Marathon.  I have no interest  (or ability)  in running this course - but the time may come, perhaps next year, when I sign up for this event to walk the course.  In order to 'qualify' and officially 'finish' a marathon, one has to complete the course in 6.5 hours.  

6.5 hours = 390 minutes
1 marathon = 26.2 miles
390 minutes divided by 26.2 miles = 14.89 minutes per mile
If one can walk 4.03 mph for 6.5 hours, one can finish in under 6.5 hours...

I think I might be capable of this right now.  Of course, there is only one way to know for sure...  

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