Monday, April 30, 2007

the compound


the compound, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Friday, April 27, 2007

pick your poison


pick your poison, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

"Elementary my dear Watson!"

“We, of course, dismissed her claims as nothing more than parasomnia,” Hopkins chimed in, “until we found hippopotamus scat, three blocks away on Blakely Road.”

The writers of the television series Lost take time out of their busy schedules to write the latest chapter in the adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Hear hear

"Political correctness has undefined our core values. Alas, banning assault weapons is easy compared to curing a society whose basic values have gone this far astray."

Mr. Willy Pell, Washington DC, The Economist inbox

George McGovern quotes Edmund Burke

"A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood."

from an op-ed in the LA Times, "It is my firm belief that the Cheney-Bush team has committed offenses that are worse than those that drove Nixon, Vice President Spiro Agnew and Atty. Gen. John Mitchell from office after 1972. Indeed, as their repeated violations of the Constitution and federal statutes, as well as their repudiation of international law, come under increased consideration, I expect to see Cheney and Bush forced to resign their offices before 2008 is over."

punchy, but not necessarily too extreme?

via za wife

Monday, April 23, 2007

Humanizing China

These sets of photos are fascinating.. in three parts…

Part 1: Survival

Part 2: Relationships

Part 3: Desires


via Japundit

The Jock Exchange

"When financial historians look back and ask why it took Wall Street so long to create the first public stock market that trades in professional athletes, they will see ours as an age of creative ferment."

“People worry about lack of transparency in sports,” says the leading sports agent. “My newspaper this morning has two and a half pages of business news and 17 pages of sports. The day after the game, you know Peyton Manning's thumb is hurt. What do you know about the C.E.O. of I.B.M.?”

“Smart people will be interested in this because stupid people will.”

full article by Michael Lewis

Buying Bike Stuff

brilliant post from the Fat Cyclist.. some excerpts..

"Begging is the correct technique to use when you believe your case for making a purchase is strong. You are looking for, in essence, agreement that it is more important for you to buy a new headset than to buy new shoes for your children. Also, don’t tell anyone about your abject begging episode, because it will creep them out. You cannot purchase a new bike with the Black Budget unless you already have so many bikes that there is no way your significant other will be able to tell you’ve added one to the collection. Bike shoes are a safe Black Budget buy, because all bike shoes look the same to non-bike people. Don't be a spaz."

Special Interest

"The global warming problem has brought into focus an overall problem: the pervasive influence of special interests on the functioning of our government and on communications with the public. It seems to me that it will be difficult to solve the global warming problem until we have effective campaign finance reform, so that special interests no longer have such a big influence on policy-makers." full article via Economist's View

The article is focused on global warming, but I completely agree with the sentiment in the final paragraph.

It particularly ran true after watching "Why We Fight" - an excellent documentary about the rise and maintenance of the United States military-industrial complex. I thoroughly recommend a viewing, but if you are on the fence it won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

The special interest groups' influence on US political policy is destroying the democratic process. Whether its the NRA, the defence industry, big pharma or the like, policy in the USA is being written by non-elected individuals. I don't think that is what the architect's of the US Constitution envisaged.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Economist precis

"After the Virginian Tech massacre, America's tragedy is its politicians are still running away from the debate about guns. Instead of a debate about guns, America is now having a debate about campus security." full article (It turns out the debate needs to be about mental illness as well.)

"The horror might have happened anyway. But gun control might have made it less easy. ..the Democrats won control of the Senate last year by fielding a pro-gun war hero to snatch a pro-gun state from a pro-gun Republican incumbent. That state was Virginia." full article

"Twenty six days clear of the markets tumble in February, a good run for investors. But for how long? Stand back and look at the whole picture, and it is harder to be optimistic. When watching credit risk becomes no one's responsibility, the consequences can be painful, as the subprime-mortgage mess shows. A few weeks ago, it seemed that this lesson had been learned. Perhaps it is about to be dished out again." full article

"Evolution and religion, the debate over creation and evolution, once most conspicuous in America, is fast going global. Intelligent design versus Natural selection." full article

"Inflation shock in the UK, interest rates must rise further to curb price pressures. It now seems quite likely to reach not just 5.5% in May but 5.75% by the autumn." full article

"The Coastguard in deepwater, attempts to modernise the ageing fleet nearly sink it instead. It is borrowing ships from the navy to cover for the remodelled 123-foot patrol boats that don't float." full article

"Sidelined by reality, the neocons are suffering one humiliation after another. The tragedy of neoconservatism is that the movement began as a critique of the arrogance of power. They may also have put a stake through the heart of their own movement." full article

"Japan's economy, over to you big spender, reasons to expect a consumption boom. Japan's newly confident consumers may at last be about to make their presence felt." full article

"Foreign investment in India, to cap it all, India's limits on foreign ownership are keeping out much needed investment." full article

"At the risky end of finance, the use of credit derivatives has boomed and bemused. These new financial instruments have yet to face their biggest test. So far, credit derivatives have shown their nice side. But it is in the nature of capitalism to test new ideas to destruction and to use new instruments as the basis of speculative excess. Nobody will be sure how robust credit derivatives are until they have been tested in a severe economic or financial downturn." full article

"Womenomics revisited, if more women were in paid work, the world could be much richer. The countries with most to do are Italy and Japan. They also have most to gain. Men run the world's economies; but it may be up to women to rescue them." full article

GPS Phone Location

Try this.. but not for too long as it is illegal to track mobile numbers for longer than 1 minute.

Type in your partner’s mobile phone number then watch the satellite zoom and enlarge the area that they are in.

http://www.sat-gps-locate.com/

thanks Dad.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hybrid Irony



2007 is the first year drivers of the Toyota Prius in Georgia are required to get their cars tested for emissions. They are all failing.

Apparently when the Prius is set to idle at 2,500 rpm on the tester, it does what it's supposed to do. It shuts off the engine to save fuel. Georgia's equipment issues a fail because of an incomplete test.

The owners then pay a $25 testing fee for an aborted test, then get a failed certificate, then go to a waiver centre to buy a license plate.

Class.

via Autoblog and CNN

100% Speechless




Dog sex-toy. Mind is boggled.

Virginia Tech

My condolences to all the families that are victims to this crime. There are literally thousands of news articles and blog posts discussing the issues. FWIW, my two cents are..

I am UK citizen resident in Japan. Both places have strict gun control. I have never and will never understand what the justification is for any civilized human being to go and purchase a 'tool' that is designed to cause death. I believe easy access to guns increases the likelihood of gun related crime. Show me a sportsman or hunter that uses a Glock 9mm. The media feeds us a diet of violence, fear and blame. The 2nd amendment is either outdated, misquoted or needs translating into language relevant to today's democratic society.

Americans can keep their guns but should admit that they are not good.

dig in


dig in, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Monday, April 16, 2007

kingsize bed


kingsize bed, originally uploaded by Knotty, but taken by Joli and sent to my phone..

Sunday, April 15, 2007

dogs eye view


dogs eye view, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Optician

A woman walks in a store to return a pair of eye glasses that she had purchased for her husband
a week before.

The assistant greets her, "What seems to be the problem, madam?"

"I'm returning these glasses I bought for my husband", she says, "He's still not seeing things my way."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

..just when I had you wriggling in the crushing grip of reason..


Originally published on: Sunday, Jan 18th 1987.
Copyright ©1985-1996 Universal Press Syndicate.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

rooftop croquet


rooftop golf, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Putting practice on the lunch break..

**UPDATE**
I was watching them again today.. its Croquet not Golf.

Subway Maestro

What happens when a Maestro plays the Subway?

Great article in the Washington post.

via Freakonomics Blog

I wonder if there is anything to this from Comments.. "One interesting factoid, however, is that Joshua Bell’s “Voice of the Violin” album shot to the number one spot on iTunes’ classical section today. Any correlation between the Washington Post story and iTunes sales?"? I ask because my immediate reaction after reading the story was to buy the album..

**UPDATE**
An anonymous comment directs us to the following post at SawLady's Blog, suggesting that Mr. Bell's style is not conducive to attracting passers-by to stop and listen. A good point I am sure. Thanks for the link.
I guess I was attracted to the original article's slant of art or "beauty" being ignored in the wrong context. I'd like to think I would recognise music played well over just music played, but I am not sure I could. I just like the noise.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Mecca?

Hot Doug's

motto: "There are no two finer words in the English language than 'encased meats,' my friend."

mmmm... sausages.

via Decisive Moments

Revolt?

The Revolution Will Be Simplified. full article

I know I don't need another bike.. but I really like the idea of a Trek Lime to explore the local neighbourhood and perhaps cycle to work from time to time..

I know, I know.. get a fixed.

Exercise in Newsweek

Stronger, Faster, Smarter.
"People have been slow to grasp that exercise can really affect cognition," says Hillman, "just as it affects muscles." full article

Exercise is a State of Mind.
"For several decades we've known about one effect of exercise on the brain, the "endorphin high" that makes us feel good during and right after exercise. Recently, scientists have uncovered some longer-lasting effects of exercise on the brain. Regular exercise improves your mood, decreases anxiety, improves sleep, improves resilience in the face of stress and raises self-esteem. All these benefits don't come because you notice what you've lost around your waist. Rather, they come from exercise-induced alterations inside your head." full article

On Your Marks.
"While the benefits of moderate exercise are much greater than little or no exercise, several recent studies have shown that vigorous exercise is even better for you. (Vigorous is defined as working at 60 percent or more of aerobic capacity; moderate is 40 to 60 percent.) Specifically, it's more effective at lowering blood pressure, improving insulin sensitivity (which can reduce the risk of developing diabetes) and raising one's aerobic capacity. "Almost all cardiovascular risk factors respond significantly better to vigorous exercise than to moderate exercise,"" full article


More reasons to get out there and train.. and train hard.

Starrgh Wars

Q: What do you get if you cross a robot with a pirate?

A: Arrrrrrgh 2D2.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

sentinel


sentinel, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Dark chocolate



Happy Easter?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

What a break..



via The Goat

USD3.65mil/GBP1.85mil/Yen435mil



that's a lot of Y500 coins to collect.. 870,000 of them..
current count is around 400.. better get saving.

Expert tips for watching golf on TV..

"Alex Heard explained that there's a science to watching golf on television. "Be not ashamed of yielding to televised golf's soporific power," he explained. "Stay keen to the drama, but don't be shy about letting the commentary and pace waft you to lotus land during those slow, four-hour Saturdays and Sundays when the also-rans are stumbling by and the announcers are still trying to get excited. Some of my fondest golf-on-TV memories involve me waking up with a startled slurp thanks to a roar from the gallery.""

a startled slurp.. been there and done that..

via Slate

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Climbing

"Consider the conundrum that is climbing. You seek out the hill, knowing full well that it will hurt to go up it. As you climb, you look forward to nothing in the world quite so much as when the climb ends, even while you wilfully ignore the fact that nothing is keeping you from slowing down, or even from turning around and going the other direction.

And then — if you are me, at least — you add an additional layer to the complexity of being a climber: you listen to music to help you go faster up that hill, even though you know faster hurts more. Or, perhaps even more strangely, you listen to music to help you take your mind off the hill…you know, the one that you specifically sought out.

There’s probably a life lesson to be learned from all this. Some way in which climbing is a metaphor for life."

Read the full post from the Fat Cyclist

==

I don't listen to music anymore whilst riding, generally because after all the solo rides of last year I prefer to ride with other people when I possibly can. I suppose there is also the safety aspect to consider too.
However, once you are climbing you are on your own. For the length of the climb at least.
This post has inspired me to try and take an iPod along for the climbing parts of our rides. There is no doubt that the right music pushes you to try harder.
I'll need to put some some playlists together..

Made Of Japan

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

mama mia

Mrs. Bacciagalupe comes to visit her son Anthony for dinner. Anthony lives with a female roommate, Maria.

During the course of the meal, Momma can't help but notice how pretty Anthony's roommate was. She had long been suspicious of the relationship between the two, and this made her more curious.

Over the course of the evening, while watching the two interact, she started to wonder if there was more between Anthony and his roommate than meets the eye.

Reading his Mom's thoughts, Anthony volunteered, "I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you, Mama, Maria and I are just roommates."

About a week later, Maria comes to Anthony saying, "Ever since your mother came to dinner, I've been unable to find the silver sugar bowl. You don't suppose she took it, do you?"

"Well, I doubt it, but I'll e-mail her, just to be sure." So he sends his Mom an email:

"Dear Momma, I'm not saying that you took the sugar bowl from my house, and I'm not saying that you didn't take it. But the fact remains that it has been missing ever since you were here for dinner.
Love,
Anthony"

Several days later, Anthony receives an email response from his Momma.

"Figlio mio, I'm not saying that you 'do' sleep with Maria, and I'm not saying that you 'do not' sleep with her. But the fact remains that if she was sleeping in her own bed, she would have found the sugar bowl by now."

dull day


dull day, originally uploaded by Knotty.

And not enough pictures on this blog..

Light Year to Femtometer

Universcale is a flash app that displays the scale of things in the Universe.. from Nikon..

via Geekologie

Monday, April 02, 2007

Too busy to notice you are too busy..

"..it is in part the desire for control that has led people to lose it.. ..way to wrestle back control is to take a hard look at our priorities, he said, “to decide what matters.” This does not necessarily mean big.. changes or moving.. It can also be figuring out in small, but significant ways how to scale down frantic to manageable.."

I agree with the sentiment of this article in the NYTimes.. I wonder if you have time to read it!

Thanks Joli.