Saturday, April 30, 2011

Art Spa Hotel

End of Day Two after a 135km ride across the island.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Taipei beer

End of Day One, back in Taipei. Liquid carbs. Been here before :)

Big views

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Taipei Park Hotel

In Taiwan for a cycling tour.

Throne Up

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Crisis Looks like

"A lot of people tend to assume that there will be warning signs telling us that we need to get our fiscal house in order: China will slow down its bond purchases, interest rates will gradually rise. But in fact, the lesson of fiscal crises is that the "warning signs" we're watching for often are the crisis. Unless interest rates increase (or debt buying decrease--which is really the same thing) in a very gradual, orderly fashion, then by the time your interest rates rise, it is already too late to do anything easy; your debt service burden forces you into dramatic fiscal measures, or default.

According to economist Carmen Reinhart, who has made an intensive study of crises, there's no reason to expect the change to be orderly and gradual. She says the lesson of history is pretty unequivocal: interest rates are not a good predictorof who is about to tip into a crisis. People are willing to lend at decent rates, until suddenly they're barely willing to lend at all."

What a Crisis Looks Like - The Atlantic

Monday, April 25, 2011


By Jove


Sunday, April 24, 2011


I wonder if any other natural disaster has as much video footage? 6 weeks after these events, those to the north are dealing with total and utter devastation. If you have donated, thank you, and please donate something again.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Room with a view

Date night...

The Donald

"The magnificent part of this whole thing is that he's putting no effort whatsoever into concealing his prank. That's what I love about the guy. He knows that no level of clownery in a field of clowns will single him out as the one clown that doesn't really mean it."

Donald Trump: Magnificent Bastard - Dilbert

One hell of a car

"HIS is the legend of the Algar Ferrari F50.

It begins with an airline pilot with such a taste for speed that he conned his way into driving the $729,000 roadster, then stole it, leaving a stunned Main Line car salesman behind.

The legend ends years later, after the government recovered the car and an FBI agent ran it into a tree in Kentucky.

Now the wrecked 1996 Ferrari is collecting dust somewhere, object of a legal brawl between the U.S. government and the insurance company that owns the car.
In a federal lawsuit filed earlier this year, Motors Insurance Corp. is asking the feds to pony up $750,000, the amount they say the car is worth now. The insurer also wants to know why the agent and a federal prosecutor were driving the 520-horsepower car in the first place.

The answer, one car-lover said, is simple. It's probably the same reason why pilot Tom H. Baker stole the car from Algar Ferrari/Maserati of Philadelphia in the first place.

"Everybody likes fast cars," said John Nardolilli, a private investigator whom Ferrari hired to help find the F50 after it was stolen.

On Sept. 16, 2003, Baker strolled in to the Algar dealership in Rosemont with a Rolex on his wrist, no driver's license, and iced blood running through his veins.
He had his eyes on the red 1996 Ferrari F50, No. 29 of only 349 built. Baker claimed he was a tech CEO from California who had flown in from Atlanta. He had a limo waiting outside, and was willing to wire the down payment that day - after a test drive.

Soon Baker was behind the wheel of the F50, described by one auto website as "part Batmobile and part ballistic missile." Baker sped away, leaving the Algar salesman on a suburban street in Villanova.

"Everyone was dumbfounded," said Detective Charles Craig of the Lower Merion Police Department. "This guy totally played the part."

Investigators initially believed that Baker had help, with an enclosed flatbed truck waiting nearby. He didn't.

"It really was one hell of a car," Richardson said. "One hell of a car."

Lots of vroom for questions in this stolen-car case -


Thursday, April 21, 2011


via Neato

Pet Rock

"Only a Wall Street analyst could be shocked by the fact that Apple beat estimates and guided lower. I know, I know…this is every analyst’s pet rock, but when your estimate is a full 20% off the mark you have to seriously consider another line of employment. You can’t be this wrong every single quarter and claim to be “analyzing” anything. The value added here by the analyst community is worse than negative."


"Apple's iPhone keeps track of where you go – and saves every detail of it to a file on the device which is then copied to the owner's computer when the two are synchronised.

British researchers on Wednesday revealed that iPhones (and 3G-enabled iPads) keep track of where you go, including timestamps, on a file that is backed up on your computer and shifted onto any new iPhone or iPad you get. Apple hasn't said why the file is created or whether the tracking can be prevented."

iPhone keeps record of everywhere you go - Guardian

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Speed climbing

"The first ascent of the north face of Eiger, a mountain in the Swiss Alps (13,025 feet tall), happened in 1938 and took three days. Watch as Ueli Steck climbs it in 2 hours, 47 minutes, and 33 seconds." via Kottke

Bet he is a bit handy on a stairmaster...

Or a Mexican Snake?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011




Was raining quite a lot this morning, cold at lunchtime, but hot and sunny this afternoon. I guess spring has sprung.

Monday, April 18, 2011

What's the best exercise?

"Let’s consider the butterfly. One of the most taxing movements in sports, the butterfly requires greater energy than bicycling at 14 miles per hour, running a 10-minute mile, playing competitive basketball or carrying furniture upstairs. It burns more calories, demands larger doses of oxygen and elicits more fatigue than those other activities, meaning that over time it should increase a swimmer’s endurance and contribute to weight control.

So is the butterfly the best single exercise that there is? Well, no. The butterfly “would probably get my vote for the worst” exercise, said Greg Whyte, a professor of sport and exercise science at Liverpool John Moores University in England and a past Olympian in the modern pentathlon, known for his swimming. The butterfly, he said, is “miserable, isolating, painful.” It requires a coach, a pool and ideally supplemental weight and flexibility training to reduce the high risk of injury.

Ask a dozen physiologists which exercise is best, and you’ll get a dozen wildly divergent replies.

When pressed, Martin Gibala, the chairman of the department of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, suggested one of the foundations of old-fashioned calisthenics: the burpee, in which you drop to the ground, kick your feet out behind you, pull your feet back in and leap up as high as you can. “It builds muscles. It builds endurance.”

“I personally think that brisk walking is far and away the single best exercise,” said Michael Joyner, M.D., a professor of anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and a leading researcher in the field of endurance exercise.

“I nominate the squat,” said Stuart Phillips, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University and an expert on the effects of resistance training on the human body. The squat “activates the body’s biggest muscles, those in the buttocks, back and legs.” It’s simple.

The squat, and weight training in general, are particularly good at combating sarcopenia, he said, or the inevitable and debilitating loss of muscle mass that accompanies advancing age. “Each of us is experiencing sarcopenia right this minute,” he said. “We just don’t realize it.” Endurance exercise, he added, unlike resistance training, does little to slow the condition.

“I think, actually, that you can make a strong case for H.I.T.,” Gibala said. High-intensity interval training, or H.I.T. as it’s familiarly known among physiologists, is essentially all-interval exercise.

The only glaring inadequacy of H.I.T. is that it builds muscular strength less effectively than, say, the squat. But even that can be partially remedied, Gibala said: “Sprinting up stairs is a power workout and interval session simultaneously.”Meaning that running up steps just might be the single best exercise of all. Great news for those of us who could never master the butterfly."

What’s the Single Best Exercise? - NYT

Chikara CrossFit “The magic is in the movement, the art is in the programming, the science is in the explanation, and the fun is in the community."

Manuel De Los Santos

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Guarding his sister.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Great ride in awesome weather.. even included a ramen stop, most excellent!

Friday, April 15, 2011

One month on...

via the Big Picture

Kiwi Pizza

via DM

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Free lunch

"As America girds itself for another round of lunatic political infighting over which barely-respirating social program or urgently necessary federal agency must have their budgets permanently sacrificed to the cause of billionaires being able to keep their third boats in the water, it's important to point out just how scarce money isn't in certain corners of the public-spending universe. In the coming months, when you watch Republican congressional stooges play out the desperate comedy of solving America's deficit problems by making fewer photocopies of proposed bills, or by taking an ax to budgetary shrubberies like NPR or the SEC, remember Christy Mack and her fancy new carriage house. There is no belt-tightening on the other side of the tracks. Just a free lunch that never ends."

The Real Housewives of Wall Street - Matt Taibbi - Rolling Stone

Our Health vs.Their Money

As the Toto turns

Click to view larger, via NYVelocity

Tuesday, April 12, 2011



Click to view larger size. I have lurked for a while, but we became a proper two Twitter user household recently...

Further subplots would not be helpful

A month has elapsed since the emergency at Fukushima began. But what exactly has gone on there and what are the priorities now? Fukushima: What happened - and what needs to be done - BBC

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday blues?


A German, a Greek, an Irishman and a Portuguese go into a bar.

The German pays


Plutonium kun

"Plutonium is made by having unburnable uranium (uranium 238) soak up neutrons in a nuclear reactor, and when it turns into plutonium it can be used as a fuel in nuclear power generation, just like uranium. By using plutonium, uranium resources can be used more economically. Plutonium kun is a visualization of unburnable uranium being transformed into plutonium."

"The events of 3/11 make it unlikely we will see the likes of Plutonium kun again. If only his real-life namesake were so easy to eradicate. But wait—there’s one last use to which he can be put. By all accounts, the many routes in and out of the 20km-30km evacuation advisory zone and the 20km evacuation zone around Fukushima Daiichi are largely bereft of warning signs or patrols to prevent the wandering motorist from straying too close to the plant. Why not get TEPCO to deploy the hordes of Mickey Mouses made temporarily unemployed by the closure of Tokyo Disney Resort because of the liquefaction of its parking lots, dress them up as Plutonium kun, arm them with Jedi lightsabers, triple their pay for danger money, and post them on the access roads at the perimeter of the exclusion zone to direct traffic?

It would be far less cruel, after all, than the way TEPCO treats its employees battling to avert catastrophe within the plant. And it would serve to remind the world that, as its logo hints, TEPCO has always been a disastrously Mickey Mouse kind of company."

After the earthquake: So farewell then, Plutonium kun - Spike Japan

Roubaix proposal

"Johan Van Summeren soloed over the finish line in the Roubaix Velodrome, surviving from an early break which foiled the favourites in the Hell of the North. The Garmin-Cervelo rider took the biggest win of his career, ahead of Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) and Maarten Tjallingii.

Crashes reduced the favourites to Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek), Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) and Alessandro Ballan (BMC) by the end. The group had been unable to work together and make a definitive move. Cancellara finally was able to break from them and work his way up, but it was too late, and he had to settle for second.

With tears in his eyes, Van Summeren said, "When I was in the lead group, I knew I had a chance to win. To win ahead of Cancellara - he is such a great rider. I had wonderful legs, it was a great day." bike radar

"Van Summeren attacked late to gap the chasers and had enough to fend off a late attack from Cancellara. He even rode the final kilometers on a slow puncture, but made it across the line with the team's most important European victory.

"I had a puncture with 5km to go. I knew it was too late to change the wheel, so I had to take it a little easy on the velodrome." cervelo

"As the reality of winning one of cycling’s five “monuments” began to sink in, the lanky Flemish rider was stunned for the second time by an unexpected proposal from his girlfriend.

“She wants to marry me,” said the Belgian, who in keeping with tradition was awarded one of the race’s famous cobblestones as part of his 30,000 euro victory prize.

“Some people give a ring, I give a rock!”" velonews

Great race. Cancellara was very exposed, he had no team.

Saturday, April 09, 2011


150km, 6hrs, couple of climbs, spent the entire journey searching for a tailwind and never found one. Faded badly over the last couple of hours. Knackered. Time for a shower, cup of tea, then a snooze.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Make it Tso

via Comical Concept


Sunday.. where will you watch it?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Tepco anger

"Tepco has become the poster child. The cluelessness with which it’s operating even today, with the eyes of the world fixed on Fukushima, is trying the national patience like nothing since the 1940s. Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s failure to nationalize Tepco has only heightened concern that no one is in charge.

Japanese are now asking about their rights, and it will be interesting to see where the question leads. In 2009, Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan tossed out the Liberal Democratic Party, which had run Japan for 54 virtually uninterrupted years. The LPD coddled Tepco for decades, allowed unaccountable executives to ride roughshod over the nation and burdened Japan with the largest public debt of any developed nation.

Japan is a terrific place to live. It’s an efficient, clean, prosperous, well-educated and reasonably crime-free nation. Yet it’s run by a generation of insular and barely accountable politicians, bureaucrats and executives with a poor sense of just how rapidly the world around them is evolving."

This Man’s $120 Million Taps a Nation’s Anger: William Pesek


Tuesday, April 05, 2011


"In Tokyo Thursday night, the impact of the catastrophe 240 kilometers to the north was beginning to fade. True, electricity shortages dimmed the lights of Shinjuku, Akihabara, and other commercial districts; traffic moved smoothly through even the most densely populated corners of the city, reflecting concerns about gasoline distribution and generalized anxiety. There were still runs on bottled mineral water and packaged foods, and shelves stood empty in many convenience stores. Giant television screens at intersections in Shibuya continued to broadcast updates around the clock. Still, in contrast to the atmosphere of abandonment, creepiness, and fear that characterized the buffer and exclusion zones, the city was bustling, getting back to normal. And, after the initial outpouring of concern for the victims of the earthquake, darker feelings had begun to surface. One factory owner I had spoken to in the exclusion zone had told me that children evacuated from Fukushima prefecture—especially from the exclusion and buffer zones—and sent to centers in Tokyo and other cities were now being singled out for rough treatment in elementary schools. Their classmates were shunning them and taunting them as being “irradiated.” He worried that his own 2-year-old daughter would face similar problems. “These disaster victims need help not only physically but psychologically,” he told me. As Japan reckons with its latest nuclear tragedy, the suffering endured by the hibakushas still weighs heavy on the land."

Inside the Danger Zone - Newsweek

I picked up a copy of this week's Newsweek at TAC this morning.

This image, and be warned it is a graphic one, has been haunting me all day. Let's not forget.

Monday, April 04, 2011


Watched an exciting race last night, congrats to Nuyens, great win. Wanted to see more of Thor though. G looked strong, 10th was a great result. Watch out for him. Hard lines to Cancellara. Cramping I understand all too well. Horrible.

Andreas Klier says. "In the end it’s a primitive sport, and the legs decide."
Perfect tactics, no legs - Cervelo

Gilbert chasing the Cancellara break, "When the gap was a minute I looked at my computer and saw that we were doing 60kph." A very different Tour of Flanders - Cycling News

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Tour of Flanders

Sunday. Where will you watch it?

Friday, April 01, 2011