Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"mind the gap"

Pisa pushers

came by this pool at flickr via a whole lotta nothing..
couldn't embed a slideshow of them all, so used the top contributor 'bobasonic' photos only.

pretty funny.


1st RULE: You do not bark about FIGHT CLUB.

2nd RULE: You DO NOT bark about FIGHT CLUB.

3rd RULE: If someone yelps, goes limp or taps out the fight is over.

4th RULE: Only two dogs to a fight.

5th RULE: One fight at a time.

6th RULE: No shirts, no shoes.

7th RULE: Fights will go on as long as they have to.

8th RULE: If this is your first night at FIGHT CLUB, you HAVE to fight.

"gerroff my ear!"

Friday, October 27, 2006

No laughing in court..

Q: What do you call a judge with no thumbs?
A: Justice Fingers


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Christmas Stocking Stuffer

either/or both will suffice nicely..

stuff i read today..

David Montgomery, the Washington Post. Rush Limbaugh on the Offensive. "Possibly worse than making fun of someone's disability is saying that it's imaginary. To Rush Limbaugh on Monday, Michael J. Fox looked like a faker. The actor, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, has done a series of political ads."
full article the ad
..wow.. Limbaugh.. what a wanker.

Think Progress. Bush says he uses 'the Google'. "One of the things I’ve used on the Google is to pull up maps. It remind me of where I wanna be sometimes." full post + video
..stunning use of the english language and example of the broad intelligence of PGWB

Camilla Cavendish, The Times. Call yourself a green, then? "Righteous indignation is easy. If we can’t face taking personal action, we can at least back the Government to give us some incentives." full article
..guilty as charged

Japundit. What is Tokyo. "Tokyo is so massive that it spills out of its borders, creating one unbroken urban continuum around it." full post

Japundit. Manglish. "Manglish: Manga in English" full post

Animated Pepper

Gif animations at Gickr.com
made at gickr

The Lobby bar at Claska

the lobby bar, originally uploaded by Knotty.

checked out Claska last night.. 'trendy' boutique hotel on Meguro-dori, but the 'wrong' side of Yamate-dori.. ie. out in the burbs.. pretty cool.. simple asian fare on the menu, good presentation, excellent attentive staff.. i'd go again.. http://www.claska.com

as an aside.. i've not been able to post photos recently directly from my phone.. if this photo makes it to the blog.. then i have fixed it! :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Bloomberg.com "Fifty-eight percent of the players who were treated on the pitch during the 2006 World Cup eventually turned out not to be injured,'' FIFA said"

full article

pretty much the main reason why I totally lost interest in this year's World Cup.. it was a sham, and footballers are girls.

Velux 5 Oceans Solo Round the World Yacht Race

I am forever in awe of the sailors that do this...

The Telegraph, Global race yachts aim for survival. "Survival mode, not racing"

Competitors in the VELUX 5 Oceans solo round the world yacht race, which began on Sunday, have run into trouble in the Bay of Biscay. The 30,000 mile race, celebrating its 25th year and starts and ends in Bilbao, Spain. The first leg was due to take competitors to Freemantle in Australia...

.. until bad weather intervened. Four yachts were forced to turn back, including British skipper Alex Thomson, fellow countryman Mike Golding and Spain's Unai Basurko and veteran sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

After his yacht rolled 360 degrees in "boat breaking" conditions, the 67-year old wrote on email: "Rolled last night. Section of mast track bent. Can't remove all the screws so sail stuck. Heading Coruna but may take a day or two. Masthead instruments unserviceable but alarms keep going off. Otherwise OK. RKJ"
In 1969 Sir Robin became the first person to sail around the world non-stop.
Japan's Koji Shiraishi and Bernand Stamm of Switzerland are currently leading the race.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Get out of Iraq and some Japanese Black Van stuff..

war in Iraq is unlikely to be resolved by a US Administration committed to a fundamentalist Christian viewpoint, according to Gerhard Schröder."
full article

Jim Wilson, Dilbert Blog
Quitting Iraq , from Comments
"Three step plan:
1) Make a statement along the lines you mentioned that all we can do is make the opportunity, we cannot force them into a democracy.
2) And so therefore we will put it to an Iraqi national vote as to whether our troops will leave or not.
3) Further state, that if we are voted out, we will respect the vote and leave. BUT if Iraq becomes a threat in the future (ie. terrorist/WMD hotbed), if we have to, we will simply invade again and eliminate the threat and leave immediately. No occupation and no re-building. And repeat as necessary."
full post

Eric Prideaux, The Japan Times
Riding with the Rightists
"Symbols of free speech or signs of social malaise?"
full article
'God of Death' seethes with rage
"Shinichi Kamijo has three tattoos of swastikas: one on each shoulder and another smack dab between his sizeable pectoral muscles -- right above the words, "Heil Hitler.''
full article
Yasukuni is a 'duty'
"Sakai is living proof that political opinion can't be neatly plotted on a Left-Right axis."
full article

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Friday, October 20, 2006

post office pointer

Nutty buddy

Every home should have one.. watch the video

A Nation of Debtors?

Andrew O'Hagan, The Telegraph. "When I was growing up, there was something vaguely terrifying about the idea of debt. Not any more. We now live in a society where everyone lives in debt and where the connection between what you earn and what you can buy is quite unreal. The idea that people must have what they want — immediately — has become a kind of religion. ..being poor doesn't mean not having enough stuff, it means having too much, without any proper means of paying for it, thus becoming enslaved to inordinate interest and living a life that is not directed by any sort of reality principle. It used to be exciting to wait for things."

full article

from the comments., "Debt should not be feared unless we are incapable of servicing it."

True, but it is all too easy in the modern age to bet buried under a mountain before you realise servicing it is out of control. I personally am not in debt. Are you?

When did we lost the ability to wait for things? To save up? To be patient? Is the Internet, email, mobile phones, instant communication to blame?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sony Bravia Adverts - WARNING - Vid-tastic post

the next ad is out.. and spectacular yet again..

behind the scenes trailer..

for those of you that didn't see the first one, here it is..

the making of that ad..

and finally the tango parody of the bouncing balls ad..

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Is Lactic Acid a Four Letter Word?

the human body's performance relies on its ability to efficiently utilize it's fuel resources..

Many do not understand the energy conversion systems and base their training on what others do or have told them to do rather than their own needs. Some common errors we have seen runners make are:
  • Fast Intervals: Training anaerobically for aerobic races. Many runners who run intervals for 8K and 10K races run them too fast and train their convertible fibers to be anaerobic. Do not train more than 10% faster than your 10K race pace.
  • Trying to Trade Intensity for Volume: We often see runners who think fast short runs are equivalent to long slow runs. This shows a basic misunderstanding of how the bodies energy systems are used and trained. In fact, a much wider range of energy systems are trained using long slow distance including those used in short road race events. It is especially important to realize this when training for the marathon. The key for marathoning is to learn use fat and spare glycogen at faster paces, The muscles learn to do this from long slow runs not from first depleting the glycogen and then trying to burn fat. Fast runs of 16 miles are a sure way to train your muscles to use up most of their glycogen with 10 miles still to go in the marathon.
  • Too Much Speedwork: The percentage of time you spend doing one kind of training should be consistent with the importance of the energy systems used in the race.
  • Pain and Gain: Running short fast runs for weight control. It takes 30 minutes to mobilize fat which will be used only if the exercise intensity is low. Walk or run at a pace 30% slower than your 10K pace to burn the most fat. You burn about 100 calories per mile no matter what the pace; but you want it to be 100 calories of fat not glycogen.
full article

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006

more scott adams

"Have you been following the story of John Mark Karr? I'm wondering what kind of career you can have after you tell everyone that you're a pedophile child killer but it turns out that you're really only a liar, at least about the killing part. And you're so incompetent that you can't even successfully go to jail. I think the answer is obvious:   He will run for Congress.  Karr might even run unopposed. I mean, who would take a chance of running against a confessed child killer and losing? That's a stain you can't get off your resume."  full post

Marriage Surprises

"I was watching the news the other day when I see that yet another husband is suspected of killing yet another wife who has gone missing. It's pretty much automatic to suspect the husband in cases like this. This is one of the factors I had not considered before getting married.  

Now every time my wife is 15 minutes late returning from some errand, I start planning my alibi. I take a digital picture of myself standing in front of a live newscast, or I start making phone calls to my mother – that sort of thing.  

The worst case scenario is that she drives her car into a ravine and no one finds the remains until I've already been in jail 30 years. That's why I always encourage her to take the freeway. "Remember, no winding mountain roads, honey!"  

The most disturbing part of this "husband did it" phenomenon is that there's always a motive. I'm still in the newlywed phase, but it's disconcerting to know that it's only a matter of time before every casual onlooker assumes that if one of us disappears, the other one had a perfectly good reason to commit murder. It's not much of an endorsement of marriage.  

I'm in Las Vegas today and wasn't going to blog, but my wife has been in the bathroom for way too long and I need an alibi just in case something goes wrong in there.  Note how calm I seem to be while I write this. You might be called as my character witness."

scott adams

Culture of Trust

The Telegraph, Melanie McDonagh.  "A cheque, you see, is not just an order to your bank to pay a sum on demand; it suggests a relationship of trust between you and whomever you're trying to give it to. Increasingly, that assumption of trust is interpreted as rather a crude attempt to take someone for a ride.  There's something a bit genteel about a cheque – even though, in law, it's a contract. It's also the last remaining bastion against the world takeover of credit cards. Cheques take time to write out; they're effortful by comparison with a Visa or cashpoint."  full article

I used to love writing cheques too.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Oink oink

President Bush gets out of his helicopter in front of the White House carrying a baby pig under each arm.

The Marine guard snaps to attention, salutes, and says: "Nice pigs, sir."

Bush replies: "These are not pigs, these are Texan Razorback Hogs. I got one for Secretary of State Rice, and I got one for Defence Secretary Rumsfeld."

The Marine again snaps to attention, salutes, and says, "Nice trade, sir."


A message from the CEO  bigcheesememo

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Spitfire.. better.

Ground hugging..

Ski season looms..

These 'Autosocks' look like a brilliant and simple solution to gain traction on snow and ice, but they don't come in Range Rover size..

Just pondering whether a 245/45/19 could be  s t r e t c h e d  over a 255/55/19?  I am guessing, no. 

We shall have to see how the Pirelli Scorpions perform.. "The Scorpion Zero was designed to provide year round traction and handling for drivers who operate their light truck vehicles primarily on-road in various weather conditions, including very occasional light snow."  

Unfortunately, I am thinking that up to one metre falling overnight is not 'very occasional light snow'.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Musicmap is an application for exploring album relationships based on amazon's similarity results.  The application consumes amazon's e-commerce service's music information for searching music and finding similarities between albums and displaying the results through a force directed graph. 

With Musicmap, you can visualize your map of music taste and discover new albums that are similar to the ones you already know.

Liveplasma does the same thing but also includes movies and has a bit more functionality and colour.

Nuke 'Em?

The media is full of discussion and analysis of the 'threat' or otherwise posed by the recent nuclear weapons test carried out by North Korea.

The test itself is insignificant.

The response from the USA, China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Iran is what will be important. I've quoted a few articles below with links to the full story if you care to read more.

In summary, North Korea probably set about a nuclear weapons test to placate its military, but instead of the USA, it will potentially provoke China into action, be it covert or not. This would lead me to believe that Kim Jong Il doesn't play chess. At least not very well. Mad bloke.

"I hate what the US has done to itself and, were I an American, I would hate it even more. I hate the fact that we now look to China for international leadership. Yes, I know, it's their side of the world, but time was . . . I hate that we have got into a place where somebody British can even entertain the thought of smiling quietly with satisfaction that the revolting regime of Kim Jong Il has stuck two fingers up to the great United States."
Alice Miles The Times full article

"By turning nuclear threat into nuclear reality, he has stood the instability equation on its head. He has so badly upset the Asian applecart by this action that, not only to the US and Japan, but crucially also to North Korea's Chinese and South Korean neighbours, it has begun to look even more dangerous to leave the Dear Leader in place than to start trying to engineer his fall. Kim's nuclear trick will placate the military for now and kindle pride for a time. But he cannot escape North Korea's nuclear winter."
Rosemary Righter The Times full article

"Kim Jung Il may not be rational, but the Chinese leadership is. And they're our best hope now for a rational outcome to this mess."
Robert Reich full article

"I wonder what would happen, for example, if the United States simply declared North Korea to be an ally, and made a big fuss about it, but didn't change much else. ..how about calling it the "Lil' Buddy Program." ..let them figure out on their own whether it's better to sell us crap or yank our nads and get bombed."
Scott Adams The Dilbert Blog full article

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Richard Hammond Dragster Crash Footage

new york metro

stephen colbert has america by the ballots

meet. mate. multiply.

rape, justice, and the ' Times'

Friday, October 06, 2006


(Popbitch)  It's fascinating to see the US Republican party and supporters tying themselves in knots over the moral values issues and horribly botched cover up of Congressman Mark Foley's love of wanking over teenage work placement boys.
Our favourite bits so far:
* Former Fox News White House spokesman Tony Snow dismissed it as "naughty emails" in which Foley was "over-friendly".
* Foley received major political support from the Church of Scientology. The very anti-gay Church of Scientology.
* Congress's Ethics committee knew for more than a year, did nothing and "forgot" to tell the only Democrat on the committee.
* Internet Republican lapdog Matt Drudge has been putting about the story that Foley is just an innocent - its all the fault of the boys.

(TheTimes) Gerard Baker.  On Monday this staunch defender of personal responsibility took the well-worn American route of the outed scoundrel and announced he was checking into an alcoholism rehab unit. On Tuesday, as the storm deepened, his attorney announced that Mr Foley had been sexually abused as a child by a priest. By the weekend it is expected that he will be urging the FBI to hunt for the real culprit in this tragedy — his mother.
But in a sense the true lesson of this story is that, whatever happens at the mid-term elections, it further emphasises how detached from their political, cultural and moral moorings Republicans have become.
Republicans have embraced a corrupt culture of swapping dubious legislation to favour special interest groups for large campaign donations. This is often done in hidden clauses in Bills, reminding us too that, as someone once said, in Washington the truth is merely another special interest, and a not particularly well financed one at that.
So even if the Democrats do take control next month, will anyone really notice the difference?

Eight Below


Expected fluff.. but in fact very moving.. classic Disney.

Watch it.

In Eight Below, eight dogs were used -- two Alaskan Malamutes, Buck and Shadow, plus six Siberian Huskies.

  • Buck - comes to life through the work of the cast's quickest learner Conan and Flapjack, a strapping six year-old, who is also the biggest dog on the movie weighing in at over 120 pounds.
  • Dewey - portrayed by four-year-old Floyd, his sledding double was two-year-old Ryan.
  • Maya - played by seven year-old Koda Bear, known to her trainers as The Princess due to the fact that she has her own entourage and will not go anywhere without her special blanket, and Maya. Their sledding double was Kalista, also a Siberian Husky.
  • Max - played by six-year-old D.J., whose sledding double is one-year-old Timba, who was an on-set favorite due to an exceptionally cuddly nature.
  • Old Jack - played by a relative youngster, four-year-old Apache, who developed a particular love of helicopter rides during the making of Eight Below. Old Jack's sledding work was performed by Buck, an all-white dog previously seen in Snow Dogs, who underwent a dye job to match Apache.
  • Shadow - starring are Noble and four-year-old Troika, famous for her beautiful howling voice.
  • Shorty - is played by all-white, three-year-old Jasper, who was especially excited to discover snow is his favorite thing in the world, and the sledding double was Yukon.
  • Truman - is portrayed by three-year-old Sitka and Chase, known to the trainers as the big goof ball.
Trivia - The snow tractor that the crew borrows from the Italians is named "Mare Biscotto", which translates to "Sea Biscuit", the film director Frank Marshall produced.

Wikipedia - Eight Below based on Nankyoku Monogatari (South Pole Story)

The Future of America

Please make this illegal. God is pretend.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Clearing clutter can clear your head

Mens Health 
By: Matt Bean

We're all victims of what researcher Barry Schwartz, Ph.D., calls the paradox of choice. The idea is quite simple: As consumers, we're bombarded by options, ill-equipped to make decisions, and, as a result, more dissatisfied than ever with everything from the clothing we wear to the cars we drive to the processed foods we consume.

Thankfully, Schwartz and fellow researchers have developed a simple set of rules for cutting through the confusion of any complicated decision-making event. They run against the grain of our choice-mad society

"My rules are simple: If the stain hasn't come out yet, it's there to stay. If you haven't worn it in a year, you probably never will. And if it doesn't fit, you're better off using the space for something that does. Let's toss it and move on, and if you really decide you want it later, you can dig it out."  

One of the reasons we get lost in the clutter, I've learned, is that our wardrobes become archival rather than practical. A recent study shows that the average 29-year-old still has clothes that are more than 16 years old. 

The seminal study on the subject wasn't done on clothing, but on candy. A group of college students was asked to rate an array of 30 different chocolates, while another group was given six chocolates. Not only was the six-chocolate group more likely to enjoy the chocolates they tasted, they were also four times as likely to choose a box of chocolates offered in lieu of payment at the end of the study. Chocolate instead of money?  

"When you have only six chocolates, it's easy to rule out a couple of them from the start--this one probably has nuts, this one's made from dark chocolate, and so on," says Mark Lepper, Ph.D., a researcher at Stanford University and the study's coauthor. "But not when you have 30. It's a remarkably powerful mechanism, restricting choice. There is no perfect choice. And the more potential decisions you have to make, the more compromises you'll make. The amount of potential dissatisfaction magnifies exponentially." 

I couldn't agree more and think it applies to all aspects of your life, not just the wardrobe.

full article


It is the bitterest of ironies that in the aftermath of an invasion, justified in the name of liberation, the chief expert on torture for the United Nations, Manfred Nowak, describes the current situation as "out of control", saying that the use of torture by the security forces, militias and the insurgency may be "worse than in the times of Saddam Hussein".

How did it get this bad?

Three factors.

1.  the Prime Minister, and his Cabinet are trying to rule Iraq without ministries.

2.  the speed with which the United States has sought to divest itself of its postwar responsibilities.

3.  three prime ministers — All three, like the majority of their Cabinet, spent many years in exile and have little or no experience of government, let alone state building.

The solution.

1.  an admission that the current policy has failed.

2.  international community to change its attitude

3.  sovereignty would have to be put temporarily into the hands of the international community.

The alternative.

     instability spreading well beyond the borders of the Middle East.

Dr Toby Dodge is a Reader in International Politics at Queen Mary, University of London, the above taken from his article "Iraq: the only solution " in The Times.  He is author of Inventing Iraq: the Failure of Nation Building and a History Denied.

Gizmondo's Spectacular Crack-up

Wired News: Directors of the game device company went on living large long after their handheld flopped. Then a high-speed Ferrari crash blew their world to bits.

In the early 2000s, Gizmondo rose to prominence as the maker of a handheld gaming device designed to compete with Nintendo's DS and Sony's PlayStation Portable. The company touted its gadget as the next big thing in pocket electronics and, at one point, talked of moving half a million units in just a few months. But critics panned the device, and it failed to entice many customers. A month before Eriksson went off the road, Gizmondo declared bankruptcy, having hemorrhaged nearly $400 million in less than four years.

It might have ended there, another high-flying company with big ambitions and a lousy product. But the crash put a spotlight on Eriksson and raised a series of questions: Who is he? What kind of person drives nearly 200 mph on a coastal highway? The answers led to even more puzzles. In just a few years, it seems, Eriksson went from languishing in a European jail cell to making millions as a tech executive to, even more improbably, becoming deputy commissioner of antiterrorism for an obscure Southern California transit police force.

"This whole thing could have been avoided if Eriksson had just been satisfied driving a Trans-Am."

A (long) fascinating piece about the rise and fall of Gizmondo from Wired.. well worth the read.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Another toon that tickled..

Busy news

Is the World's Oil Boom Over?  That Falling Feeling
As the myth of endless Chinese demand is exposed and heavy investment boosts supply, prices at the pump could plummet further.

The trillion dollar question:
China is grappling with how to deploy its foreign exchange riches

The calm before the storm
It may seem like the investment world is on Prozac - but the markets won't stay dormant forever.

Why Japanese Cars Earn $2400 More Profit Each
Most interesting was that beyond cost efficiencies and less onerous healthcare obligations, Japanese cars also just plainly sell for higher prices.

Busier than a One-legged Man..

Yorkshire Airlines

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

President Ronald Reagan's Wisdom

"Here's my strategy on the Cold War:  We win, they lose."

"The most terrifying words in the English language are:  I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant: It's just that they know so much that isn't so."

"Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U.S. was too strong."

"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment's would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."

"The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination."

"Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."

"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."

"The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program."

"I've laid down the law, though, to everyone from now on about anything that happens: no matter what time it is, wake me, even if it's in the middle of a Cabinet meeting."

"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:  If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book."

"No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.

- Ronald Reagan

Monday, October 02, 2006

Newspaper items..

1) Commenting on a complaint from a Mr. Arthur Purdey about a large gas bill, a spokesman for North West Gas said, "We agree it was rather high for the time of year. It's possible Mr. Purdey has been charged for the gas used up  during the explosion that destroyed his house." (The Daily Telegraph)

2) Police reveal that a woman arrested for shoplifting had a whole salami in her underwear. When asked why, she said it was because she was missing her Italian boyfriend. (The Manchester Evening News)

3) Irish police are being handicapped in a search for a stolen van, because they cannot issue a description. It's a Special Branch vehicle and they don't want the public to know what it looks like. (The Guardian)

4) A young girl who was blown out to sea on a set of inflatable teeth was rescued by a man on an inflatable lobster. A coast guard spokesman commented, "This sort of thing is all too common". (The Times)

5) At the height of the gale, the harbormaster radioed a coastguard and asked him to estimate the wind speed. He replied he was sorry, but he didn't have a gauge. However, if it was any help, the wind had just blown his Land Rover off the cliff. (Aberdeen Evening Express)

6) Mrs. Irene Graham of Thorpe Avenue, Boscombe, delighted the audience with her reminiscence of the German prisoner of war who was sent each week to do her garden. He was repatriated at the end of 1945, she recalled. "He'd always seemed a nice friendly chap, but when the crocuses came up in the middle of our lawn in February 1946, they spelt out 'Heil Hitler.'" (Bournemouth Evening Echo)