Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"If you light a man a fire, he will be warm for a day; if you light a man on fire, he will be warm for the rest of his life."

Found as a signature line somewhere out there on the forums...


I really have no words for this....

Vermont Student Finds Used Needle, Pokes Others


A high school student found a used needle and syringe by the side of a road and jabbed eight fellow students over two days, police and school officials said.

Jabbed students at Bellows Free Academy were urged to be vaccinated immediately against hepatitis B. The incidents also posed a lower risk of hepatitis C and HIV, but those diseases would not be expected to show in tests for months.

The student who wielded the needle threw it away, officials said. Police have not been able to recover it and don't know whether it was infected, said police officer Frank McCarty.

A 16-year-old student at the public school will be charged with eight counts of assault, police said. The attacks were reported Thursday and Friday, they said.

"He just walked up and stabbed me with a needle and said, 'You now have hepatitis,"' said student Ava Staples. "I'm pretty nervous." She said she planned to get a blood test.

The school will discipline the student, said district Superintendent Marilyn Grunewald.

(© 2006 The Associated Press.

Your 2006 Moto GP champion.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

This guy's Chicara Nagata. He won the 2006 World Championship bike builder challenge with the ride shown here.
I like the fork/suspension, gives a long, low look. Unfortunately the bars aren't suspended, which means you aren't. Painful after a long ride.
1200cc, plated everything, handmade pieces everywhere.
Three speed kicker transmission, copper oil lines.
Nice lines. I can see why it won.


Railroad across a fault line...Hmmm.

Grand Prismatic Spring, if I remember correctly.

Do I really need to state what this is??

This is the Thurston Lava tube, a tunnel of rock left behind from a cooled lava flow.

A waterspout off the Atlantic coast. These baby tornadoes over water are only f0-f1, and don't last long, but are pretty spectacular to see in person.


Found this photographer's work interesting....



Rav4 ad....

New grooves on my MP3 player for October....

Back in 1997 the Honda Valkyrie was introduced to the world. I had to have one. It's a beast, but well behaved and comfortable.

Two Brothers Racing is a speed shop that deals with all things Honda, they decided to take this power cruiser and turn it up to 11.

Hence, the double supercharged thing you see here.

Here's the article from "Motorcycle Cruiser" magazine.....

Picture this: A Honda Valkyrie, the powerhouse of the cruiser world, force-fed about 210 cubic feet per minute of the local atmosphere, which is combined with super unleaded, ignited, and spewed out through six barely baffled chrome pipes. How does 138 horsepower grab ya? Somewhere south of the border, most likely. When we heard that Craig Erion, owner of Two Brothers Racing, was building a dual-supercharged Valkyrie, we began an unrelenting campaign to ride it. After enduring months of pestering, Erion agreed to let us take his Valkyrie home. We could barely contain our glee.

A year before, Erion started thinking about his fantasy bike. He'd always felt that the Valkyrie, with its big, naked engine, was styled after hot rods of the 1950's and decided to take the street-rod concept to its natural extreme. Superchargers were the only way to go. However, he didn't want the Valkyrie to become some muscle-bound show bike that couldn't be run without the risk of a sudden, dramatic failure. "The Valkyrie," according to Erion, "is a real rider's bike. Even with the superchargers, this bike had to be streetable."

To achieve his goal of excessive-yet-streetable power, Erion turned to Richard Sims of Sims Engineering. Sims, a veteran horsepower junkie and supercharger guru, took two Magnacharger 60-cubic-inch roots-type superchargers and began to work his magic. The Magnachargers receive their drive power from the crankshaft via a snazzy belt system. Sims designed and STX Welding fabricated the manifolds that connect each supercharger to its very own billet-air-cleaner-topped Weber 40mm DCOE dual-throat, downdraft carburetor on one side, and the intake ports on the other. Regulating the boost pressure and, in this case, keeping the boost down to a reasonable 4 psi, Sims Engineering's pop off valves allow excess boost pressure to be bled off back into the atmosphere. Sims says he kept the boost low to maintain optimum reliabiltiy from the engine. Once the boost crossed the threshold of five or six pounds of boost, he'd be concerned about the possibility of detonation with pump gasoline. A slippery slope of lower compression pistons, black box alterations, and other engine modifications would soon follow any increased boost. The four pounds of boost still allows over 25 percent more fuel/air mixture to enter the cylinders--more than enough for street use.

One problem Erion and company had to surmount was the radiator's interference with the supercharger drive belt. The space under the tank that had formerly housed the stock intake and EPA plumbing was vacant and two Goldwing radiators from Honda Kawasaki Sportcenter moved in. The radiators were modified and mounted with STX's brackets and piping. Although the radiators are mounted sideways to the airflow, enough air rushes in between the two radiators at speed to keep things cool. At city traffic velocities, the Valkyrie's stock fan draws air in through one radiator and blows it out through the other--not the most efficient method but effective enough so far. Now the front of the engine is uncluttered, with the exception of the nasty belt.

Once Sims finished dyno tuning the Webers, Erion felt the stock ignition system wasn't throwing enough juice into the mix. A Nology ignition booster, high performance coils, and high tension leads (each with their own grounding wire attached to the engine block) were attached to a set of Denso California's non-resistor spark plugs. Now, Erion grins, the deposits on the plugs are nice and white, not black and sooty. The by-products of all the excitement exit with quite a bit of fanfare through a set of Two Brothers popular six-into-six pipes.

But a brute of a powerplant would be nothing without some cosmetic flair to hold the package together. The impossible-to-ignore, fire-engine-red paint was laid on by Paint'n Place. The wheels were polished and the cut out sections were powder coated red. Progressive Suspension supports both the front and rear ends of the bike. Custom enclosed air shocks are as striking (the enclosures are machined aluminum and match the texture of the fork) as they are effective. The fork springs are firmer than the stockers. Galfer stainless steel brake lines and pads help the binders scrub off all the excess speed the blown motor digs out of the pavement.

Weekend Concepts' spotlights and turn signals are surprisingly bright for such small items. These lights are sold as a kit with the mounting brackets from Two Brothers. The fat Bridgestone R701 front and R702 radial tires round out the Valkyrie's bad-ass appearance.

Thumbing the starter button elicits a bark from the six pipes. Within a second of hearing the engine for the first time, we understood why Erion named the bike "Odin: King of all Valkyries." Once settled into a lumpy idle, the rumble of the vanes rotating inside the supercharger combined with the wet sucking sounds emanating from the carburetors gives the impression of something that is mechanical yet very much alive. Blip the throttle and the engine responds with a bellow. Clearly, Odin is not one to be trifled with.

Trundling around town in low gears reveals the well balanced character of any other Valkyrie -- until the butterflies get cracked. Odin's pilot learns quickly that smooth control of the throttle is necessary at low speeds. Abrupt throttle inputs are redirected -- exponentially--back at the rider, who had better be leaning forward with a firm grip on the handlebar. At any speed, cranking on the throttle rewarded us with vision blurred by acceleration. However, at interstate speeds the throttle couldn't be whacked open but instead needed a quick roll-on to deliver maximum acceleration without a slight stumble. Off the line, the bike leaps forward with an intensity that is unfathomable to those who've never experienced a supercharged bike. Both Sims and Erion said Odin produces enough power to lift the front wheel of this 700-pound motorcycle in both first or second gears! While we didn't wheelie Odin, we did partake in enough burnouts (strictly for photo purposes, of course) to require replacement of the rear Bridgestone before our trip to the drag strip.

Our morning at LA County Raceway was unlike any other quarter mile we've experienced. With so much power down low in the rpm range, modulating the wheel spin proved to be the most difficult part of clicking off a quick time. The shift from first to second came almost immediately after the launch. Our best time was 11.42 seconds at 116.2 MPH (compared to the stock Valkyrie's 12.12 seconds at 107.0 MPH). We're certain that if piloted by someone with years of drag racing experience, the elapsed time would drop further.

In our short time with Odin, we rode the bike around town, on the highway, and on twisty roads. We even commuted on it! No other bike we've ever ridden got more reactions than this Valkyrie. Yes, it was really loud (imagine a dragster pulling up next to you on your way to work), and that would make people turn their heads. However, the reactions we'll remember are the people hanging out of their car windows to get a better look or the guy who pulled up next to the bike at three stop lights in a row. He'd give the universal signal for twist the loud handle, and every time we obliged him, he threw his head back and laughed. What we'll remember the most fondly is the feeling of our arms staining against the rush of Odin's acceleration.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Some really nice pics from Wikipedia's Pic of the day archives....


South Pole. Red Lights are used on outdoor lighting so as not to pollute the ambient light. Pretty Aurora.

Space shuttle launch. Nice image.

Horseshoe bend on the Colorado river.


One of my Valkyrie riding buddies took a pic I'd shot during my weeklong recent roadtrip, tweaked it, and used it to create one of those "motivational" posters you see everywhere. Nice work.

So, if you enjoy the unique taste of distinctive scotch, you now have a home....

Singlemalt.tv is a new internet tv channel, you can learn about the history and science behind the centuries' old distilleries. Worth a watch.

Does the statement, "We've always done it like that" ring any bells? The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches.

That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used?

Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built US Railroads. Why did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did "they" use that gauge then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England)

for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads?

Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. And bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's ass came up with it, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses. Now, a twist to the story When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on it 'so launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or Serbs.

The Serbs are made by Thiokol at their factory at Utah. The engineers who designed the Serbs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the Serbs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.

The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains.

The Serbs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass.

Ice cubes are so 20th century... these egg shaped, stainless seamless liquid filled substitutes are the new hotness. Think how cool they'd look at your uppity dinner party. Then again, at over 30.00 each, you might have to have your party at McDonalds.

Need Them?

Creepy 3D pumpkin head,

There's a series of pics and a how-to Here.

Thought I'd share what's currently on my gym-specific MP3 player, the tunes that keep me moving early in the morning.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How could anyone think this is a good idea??!!!

ATTLEBORO, Massachusetts (AP) -- Tag, you're out!

Officials at an elementary school south of Boston have banned kids from playing tag, touch football and any other unsupervised chase game during recess for fear they'll get hurt and hold the school liable.

Recess is "a time when accidents can happen," said Willett Elementary School Principal Gaylene Heppe, who approved the ban.

While there is no districtwide ban on contact sports during recess, local rules have been cropping up. Several school administrators around Attleboro, a city of about 45,000 residents, took aim at dodgeball a few years ago, saying it was exclusionary and dangerous.

Elementary schools in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Spokane, Washington, also recently banned tag during recess. A suburban Charleston, South Carolina, school outlawed all unsupervised contact sports.

"I think that it's unfortunate that kids' lives are micromanaged and there are social skills they'll never develop on their own," said Debbie Laferriere, who has two children at Willett, about 40 miles south of Boston. "Playing tag is just part of being a kid."

Another Willett parent, Celeste D'Elia, said her son feels safer because of the rule. "I've witnessed enough near collisions," she said.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

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"Due to a fire at the Factory the Chimfex product is no longer available. "

So, still NO idea of what to wear for the costume party?? You could be a man-eating shark.

Lots more

I like the chick magnet and the white trash ideas.

(click the link and scroll down for the full lineup)

Education time.... I learned today that the lowly penny actually has a tiny president dead center.

Here it is at 50X magnification...

Think of a letter between A and W.

Repeat it out loud as you scroll down.

Keep going . . .

Don't stop .. ..

Think of an animal that begins with that letter.

Repeat it out loud as you scroll down.

Think of either a man's/woman's name that begins with the last letter in the animal's name

Almost there........

Now count out the letters in that name on the fingers of the hand you are not
using to scroll down.

Take the hand you FIRST counted with and hold it out in front of you at face level.

Look at your palm very closely and notice the lines in your hand.

Do the lines take the form of the first letter in the persons name?

Of course not.......

Now TAKE THAT HAND AND smack yourself in the head, get a life.

Getting close to Oct. 31...

OK, here's some ideas to keep you from stabbing that pumpkin in that mind-numbingly triangle eye/lots of teeth mouth pattern yet again this year.

Don't see anything you like here?? Many more to view at PumpkinWay.