Thursday, October 08, 2009

It Came to Me in a Dream

A research idea just came to me in a dream. In the dream I came up with a research idea that more hurricanes would lead to fewer Appalachian Trail hikers. I called this thru-hiker that I barely know to see what he thought about the idea and whether he thought I'd be able to get the number of annual thru-hikers from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy headquarters in Harpers Ferry (Why have place names so often dropped their possessive apostrophes?) He wasn't so stoked on the idea, which got me a little bummed out, so I switched from hurricanes to to the snowpack. Then I woke up, and my first thought was "regression discontinuity based on arbitrary cutoff in the Sierra snowpack." There are a couple problems, however. First, I haven't yet found a policy that actually has a fixed snowpack cutoff. But I assume there is one, and if you've ever heard of one (if the rainfall/snowfall reaches X inches a year/month/week we do Y) please let me know. Second, if it's a yearly thing, there won't be that many observations. So someone please find me an irrigation or other government policy based on a fixed daily/weekly/monthly precipitation cutoff.

I should totally get agitated about the crappiness of my research right before going to bed more often.

Last week I went with a friend to hear Michael Pollan speak. He mentioned that he's writing a book of easy-to-remember rules for healthy eating. (There's a recent NYT article with typos and a super-lame interactive feature to go along with it.) Pollan's a good amusing speaker, and he mentioned two of the rules: don't get your fuel at the same place your car does, and don't eat anything you've ever seen advertised on TV. Why am I mentioning this now? Because of this 20-minute rock opera produced by the California Milk Processor Board. You must watch it now. Seriously, watch it. Then thank me for the link, then start using the word "uni-pega-cow" in daily conversation, then never drink milk again, because seriously, cows are horrible for the environment and it's totally weird for any animal to drink a different species' milk, especially as an adult.

Finally, I have a cold. I think yelling at the 49ers game gave me a sore throat, which made that part of me less able to fight off the cold virus. Perfect timing for a 50-miler this weekend.

1 comment:

  1. This dream...were there any buried tablets?

    Don't run FT50 with a cold. So get better tonight.