Take five and take ten

Five years ago, on August 27, 2011, I had a momentous Saturday. Ten years ago, on August 27, 2006, I felt the recovery from a virus, of which the previous day was among the worst days in my undergraduate years. I have already given the full journal of FIVE years ago, so wanted to make a reflection on it a-la my reflections on the Israel trip. Then, I will give the full journal of 2006’s August 27.

There will be photos from five years ago!

WARNING: This is a long post since it would be better to have it as two posts. Sorry!

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In a session of Bingers (Not-So-) Anonymous: [note: all names other than Noah are fictitious, and since I have never been to a support group before, this transcript is my impression of how it might go. Obviously, this is not intended to poke fun at support groups, but is more based on my reflection on “binge activity.”]

NOAH: “Hi, I am Noah Weiss, and I am a binger.”


NOAH: “Although we all binge, I have noticed several problems appearing more frequently, ever since 2014.”

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Counting 19 Friday stars

I’m splitting the title of a song here, because I thought that one of the lines is particularly salient for something that I wanted to reflect on last week. (And the “19” is not extraneous either, as we will found out shortly.)

Here is the song: “Counting Stars.” Feel free to listen to it while reading if you don’t get distracted in that way!


I previously wrote about the OneRepublic song, in how it was my “Winter Break 2013 anthem.” This time, however, I’d like to focus in on one of the lyrics:

“Old, but I’m not that old; young, but I’m not that bold…”

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Built for two

A few months ago, I was thinking of two different “built for two” objects, one of which was particularly salient during that day, and another which came to mind.

The first item, which was salient to me, was the canoe. When you are in a canoe, it usually contains two people in it, a “front” and a “rear.”

Both the front and the rear have to paddle in order to propel the canoe. However, the front is mostly used for powering, and the rear is mostly used for steering. When I have been in a canoe, I have always been in the front, supplying the power.

Maybe, for this reason, I struggled so much in the kayak when I went out on the water again! I am so used to paddling for power, and not for steering. Somehow I managed to kayak in a loop without going for Tyler too (i.e., Tipakayak). Nevertheless, I think I prefer canoeing to kayaking.

I want to compare the two-person canoe to the two-person bike (i.e., the tandem). When you ride a tandem, there is again a front and a rear person, and both people have roles. The front person is in control of the main handlebars, and therefore steers the tandem. The chain is controlled by both the front and the rear pedals. Interestingly, however, the rear cyclist is the person to control the power! Though the front person can pedal, the strength of the rear controls the power.

Just as I have never controlled the rear of a canoe, I have not controlled the front of a tandem yet. I think I prefer two people on two bikes in a single-file (or better yet, double-file) line to a tandem, though the tandem certainly has its advantages for efficiency.

And then, of course, there are canoe-style cars (front-wheel drive) and tandem-style cars (rear-wheel drive).

This brings up an interesting question: What kind of mechanical propulsion might be analogous to a four-wheel-drive car as I describe it here? Or, is my analogy completely inept in the first place? Let me know!



Day 1: 21 days.

NU/NU: 38 days.

High Holidays: 47 days.

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