Running Marathons for a Cause, the Irony

A friend of mine just finished the Columbus Marathon (her 5th marathon) this last weekend in a really good time, very close to my own time in the 2006 BSIM! It’s been an inspiration to me, and after 2 months+ of not running it actually got me out the next day for a good 50 min (the first 30 of which where quite a challenge!) jaunt before church. I did feel quite “purified” and cleansed physically and spiritually after that! I’m so far out of my peak running shape now, that I don’t know if I could run even a 10k effectively! Meanwhile, Dean Karnazes and Sam Thompson are running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days!

I had originally thought this was just Karnazes’ odessy, but it seems like Thompson came up with the idea to raise funds for the reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina – and now Karnazes (doing the same feat for health and obesity awareness) found some sponsorship from The North Face for Thompson. As a technologist and freedom fighter of the information age, I’m saddened to see that both of their websites are not browser friendly! The Endurance 50 requires Flash* and the 50in50in50.com is not supported in Mac Safari! Also, Karnazes’ personal/book website ultramarathonman.com was rewritten to be Flash only* as well, but was in wonderful standard HTML just months ago!

In an irony that is encompassing us today on the Internet, this is almost as bad as requiring IE only for Hurricane Katrina disaster relief! This is a tragedy we face in a world where people do not adopt Free/Open Soure Software, Web Standards, and design websites best to be viewed in any browser. I’m actually sick to my stomach thinking about this now. Perhaps I’ll go for a run in the morning and try to forget this whole mess.

Why is Flash bad? — because 1) it’s not a standard, it’s simply a popular proprietary file format, 2) it is not FOSS and therefore not available on all platforms (while Macromedia supported Flash on Linux, this ended with Flash 7 as Flash is now owned by Adobe which has no plans to support it in the future. Now that Flash 8 is required on practically all sites due to security problems with 7, all GNU/Linux users are out of luck. Like me.), 3) it’s Breaks the web by not allowing proper indexing and linking to content, 4) I could go on and on… there are many reasons to Save the Internet.

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