Saturday, 24 November 2012

Advice from Pfitzinger

I haven't read any running books for a while, but I was browsing Run Strong again, a compilation of running advice from twelve running gurus. Browsing chapter 11, on the subject of recovery, I was struck by an apparent contradiction laid out by Pete Pfitzinger. His article lists a series of ways in which to "optimize" one's recovery runs. Regarding daily running frequency (i.e. how often one should run per day) he states
"Many runners introduce two runs per day before it is necessary. If your are preparing for races of 10,000 meters or longer, avoid double workouts until you have maximized the mileage that you can positively recover from in single workouts. Staying with longer single runs builds endurance and gives you more time for recovery between training sessions.
Later, he affirms that
"When your mileage increases to the point at which your recovery runs last more than 50 minutes (or more than an hour during high mileage marathon training), then it is time to switch those days to easy double-workout days. Doing two runs of 35 minutes rather than one 70-minute run is easier on your body and enhances your recovery.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Just how old are you, Mr. Bond?

I just saw Skyfall yesterday. It was a pretty good movie, though I still have a tough time with goofy stunts and improbable villains. Living Daylights is still my favourite Bond movie. On that, I'm in a small minority.  But after 50 years of James Bond movies I wondered how old Bond was (or more accurately the actor playing him) and his 'main' Bond girl.  So I made a list. This plot includes every 'official' bond movie, 23 in all (while skipping the 1967 Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again, etc).

Notice how young Sean Connery played bond, between 32 to 41 (not counting NSNA where he was 53). Roger Moore was 5 years older than Connery in his first movie appearance. This means that except for Lazeny's brief stint audiences were introduced to a yet-older Bond every year between 1962 and 1985. More recently Bond's age has been stabilizing between mid 30s and late 40s. The average age for all Bonds is 43.

Most bond girls -as might have be guessed- are under 30. But not by much; their average age is 29.  There's a slight trend in casting 'older' (relatively speaking), though it's interesting to see that 1964's Pussy Galore continues to be the oldest Bond girl at 39.  

I had no idea Lazeby was only 30 when he joined the franchise (while his female counterpart was 31). That might explain his failure as Bond; he was simply too young! 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Roger Ebert superlatives

From memory (plus a little help from the internets), here are a some super superlative quotes from film critic Roger Ebert, whom I love to read:

An early preview of Life of Pi (2012) "This is the best use of 3-D I've ever seen"

"Fargo (1996) rotates its story through satire, comedy, suspense and violence, until it emerges as one of the best films I've ever seen".

No Country for Old Men (2007) "Many of the scenes in No Country for Old Men are so flawlessly constructed that you want them to simply continue, and yet they create an emotional suction drawing you to the next scene. Another movie that made me feel that way was Fargo. To make one such film is a miracle. Here is another".

Cloud Atlas (2012), "Surely this is one of the most ambitious films ever made."

"Grave of the Fireflies (1988) doesn't attempt even the realism of "The Lion King" or "Princess Mononoke," but paradoxically it is the most realistic animated film I've ever seen--in feeling."

Monster (2004): "This is one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema."

A tale of the american prison system, Into the Abyss (2011) "may be the saddest film Werner Herzog has ever made."

Come and See (1985): "This 1985 film from Russia is one of the most devastating films ever about anything, and in it, the survivors must envy the dead"

The Passion of the Christ (2004) "This is the most violent film I have ever seen."

The Life of Oharu (1952), "Here is the saddest film I have ever seen about the life of a woman".

I Spit on Your Grave (1980): "A vile bag of garbage named "I Spit on Your Grave" is playing in Chicago theaters this week. It is a movie so sick, reprehensible and contemptible that I can hardly believe it's playing in respectable theatres... Attending it was one of the most depressing experiences of, my life".

Bonus: the only film Ebert ever walked out of, Caligula (1980): "If it is not the worst film I have ever seen, that makes it all the more shameful: People with talent allowed themselves to participate in this travesty".