December 27, 2013

Feats of strength in Austin, Texas.

As long as we're talking about Marines doing pullups, here's Meade — last week, in Texas — doing a chinup:



You know the chinup/pullup distinction, don't you? Meanwhile, I provided support for a sculpture...



... in front of The Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall. I wonder what people at the University of Texas actually call that place. Gates & Dell? I'd call it The Gates of Dell (riffing on The Gates of Hell).

The sculpture itself — by Sol LeWitt — is called "Circle with Towers."
The outdoor structure possesses a discernable logic and rhythm: the concrete towers are four blocks wide while the low walls between them are eight blocks wide—a perfect 1:2 ratio. The fact that there are eight towers, each composed of repeating four-sided square modules, further instills a sense of calibrated order.
And while we're merging (and morphing) with sculptures, here's Meade, playing the gargoyle...



... at the Littlefield Fountain, which has the inscription "A short life hath been given by Nature unto man; but the remembrance of a life laid down in a good cause endureth forever."

25 comments:

mesquito said...

Used to eat my lunch on that wall Meade is leaning on. And right behind the professor (presumably the photographer) is a building in which I was subjected to cruel experiments in order to get my Intro To Psychology credit.

David said...

Meade seems to be hanging on a bar not doing a pullup. We want video.

pm317 said...

Speaking of Gates versus Dell, UMD, College Park ranks high, perhaps within top 10 or 15 for CS. Google guy Sergei was an undergrad here. I have always wondered why they could not attract big money from the top CS guys. It is a mystery.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Littlefield Fountain is right by the math building. The basin of the fountain used to be a darker color and it had a concrete encirclement like Italian fountains, not the apparent marble. A beautiful and transcendent sculpture occasioned by the losses of WWI I believe.

surfed said...

@David - No man just grabs and hangs. They go up and down. My money is on Meade.

jacksonjay said...


The Six Pack

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry, but I wasn't doing video. He did do a chin-up. He tried to get me to do one too, but I had no idea even how to think of making my body do that.

Meade said...

We have a chinning bar here in Madison. Any man or woman (over 40) who wants to challenge me to a pull-up competition, just email me. :-)

Tank said...

@Meade

That there is a manly reaction bro.

Sorun said...

Has anyone ever seen anyone use the parallel bars in a place like that?

Meade said...

Tanks, Tank! The reason I make the 40 years-old cutoff is because, in fairness, I myself did not fully develop my upper body strength until reaching that age.

I also used those Austin parallel bars. Forth, but not back.

jacksonjay said...


I bet I can beat Meade in a beer-gut competition!

dbp said...

Chin-ups and pull-ups are different, though not to the Marine Corps. You can do them either way and in fact are welcome to do them both ways in the PFT as long as you make the switch while hanging.

While doing a chin or pull up, you had to have both hands facing the same way though.

Will Meade reveal how many he can do? I am willing to post a video of myself doing at least 10 if Meade will. (I am 51, which is greater than 40 but less than Meade's age).

Meade said...

10 is impressive, dbp. I just answered an email with a video challenge from someone in Texas who will be turning 60 this Sunday. I'll be 60 at the end of March so I'll make my video on my birthday. We geezers should probably spot you young pups a few, seeing as how we have more experience and all. :-)

Lee said...

I wonder why the sculptor thinks the ratio of 1:2 is "perfect". Since the Greeks, the ratio of 1:1.6 has been viewed as "golden", the "perfect" ratio.

traditionalguy said...

Hand stand push ups are the best exercise test.

Meade said...

Good thinking, tradguy. That will be the challenge for my 70th birthday.

surfed said...

Pull up contests. Sheesh. You guys are killin' me. I'm 60 and I usually just go get my girlfriend ;-}

dbp said...

I think the best fitness test is to Clean & Jerk your body weight.

It tests strength as well as coordination. I can't do it now but have taken up weight training a few months ago and fully expect to do it by Summer. 10 lbs to go.

traditionalguy said...

Thanks Meade. Handstand push ups are a press of your weight. they are great for upper body strength. Also rope climb which pulls your body weight up hand over hand, but you need a real gymnasium with a high ceiling and no insurance regulations. Southern guys liked to show off how many we could do to impress the taller basketball team nerds.

Skyler said...

Some people like to claim there is a distinction between the terms chin up and pull up, but there isn't. There are simply two main ways to do a pull up, palms forward or rearward. You can also call a pull up a chin up if you'd like.

You can also do a pull up one armed, or with palms facing right and left.

Beldar said...

I have a treasured photo of my father in his dress whites in front of Littlefield Fountain on Feb. 29, 1944 -- the day of both his commissioning into the Navy Reserve and his graduation from UT-Austin. The campus looks a lot different in other places now, but the South Mall (which runs from the Main Building, the one with the Tower, south to Littlefield Fountain) looks mostly the same today as it did in 1944.

tom faranda said...

Ann if you sleep on striped sheets we won't be able to find you.

Mazo Jeff said...

Sounds like the inscription is the same as what Uncle Phil says.

Big Mike said...

The urge to show off our physical strength for the woman we love is instinctive.