Sunday, December 31, 2006

This video truly scares me, Joey Dunlap ripping through the Isle of Mann TT racecourse at ridiculous speed. 21 minutes of...WOW!! The guy is fast, smooth, and has the course dialled. When you start watching, you think," O.K., he's fast, but nothing special"...then he picks up the pace as time goes on until the hedgerows are blurs.

Labels: ,

Just two shots I liked....


Bonsai Kittens!!!

Bonsai describes the ancient Japanese art of growing miniature trees by rigorous pruning of their roots and branches. Because of their small size, aesthetic appeal, and minimal upkeep requirements, Bonsai trees have long been popular additions to offices and homes.

In late 2000 a website debuted that described how to apply the same Bonsai principles to kittens. The idea was to seal the kittens inside glass containers. As they grew (fed and watered through a tube), the bones of the cats would supposedly conform to the shape of whatever container held them. At the end of the process a uniquely shaped 'Bonsai Kitten' would emerge—sure to be the envy of all.

"You no longer need be satisfied with a house pet having the same mundane shape as all other members of its species," the site declared. "With Bonsai Kitten a world of variation awaits you, limited only by your own imagination." The site also advertised that hand-grown Bonsai Kittens were available for sale to the public. almost immediately generated a huge amount of controversy. Furious animal lovers insisted that it be closed down. The Humane Society of the United States denounced it, and when it discovered that the site had been created by an MIT student (or students) and was hosted on the university's servers, demanded that MIT shut it down. MIT complied and pulled the plug on the site on December 22, 2000.

But that was not the end of What started was a game of 'cat and mouse,' as the site simply began relocating from one server to another. Whenever furious animal lovers discovered its new location, they would bombard its host with criticism until the weary host, buckling under the weight of the attacks, would force to move on and find a new home. This continued until the site finally found a permanent home on

During this time the site's creators at MIT began giving interviews to the press through the fictitious persona of "Dr. Michael Wong Chang." They explained that the site was a prank designed to satirize "the human belief of nature as a commodity." But this did little to calm the animal lovers whose anger continued to grow and grow.

In February 2001 even the FBI got involved and subpoenaed all information about the site from MIT. But its investigation came up empty when it found no evidence of animal abuse or of the sale of Bonsai Kittens.

Even today, years after its creation, continues to generate criticism, though it has by now been thoroughly debunked as a hoax. An email petition continues to circulate around urging people to help shut down the site. This petition itself is basically a hoax, since it's not going to get the site shut down.

Many argue that the Bonsai Kitten hoax is actually too shocking, that it crosses the line of decency and promotes cruelty to animals. Of course, the line of acceptability will fall in a different place for everyone, but one should consider that the best satire is often cruel. We here at the Museum are quite certain that the MIT students were not suggesting that people actually torture kittens, just as we are quite certain that Jonathan Swift was not actually suggesting that the rich should eat the children of the poor when he wrote his famous "A Modest Proposal" in 1729.

We take the students at face value when they said that they were satirizing "the human belief of nature as a commodity." But we also think that they may have unintentionally been giving voice to the mathematical spirit that lurks in the heart of every MIT student—that spirit which strives to transform the messy chaotic world into linear, geometric precision. In this particular case, it meant transforming cute kittens into rectangular monsters.

Wow. I hope people in general are a little more sceptical and less mob-like than in 2000. Then again, Nigerian scams still exist, so someone's still falling for them, right. Snopes. com even has a blurb....

Labels: ,

18 minutes of the round 1 highlights from the European stuntriding competition. Impressive skills.

Labels: ,

By Staff

A warmer, gentler approach to controlling bacteria may be the answer for the emerging menace of drug-resistant diseases.

For more than 50 years antibiotics, such as penicillin, have been the ammunition in war against a rogues gallery of scourges from tonsillitis to typhoid fever. Recently, however, antibiotics have begun to lose their mojo.

So many strains of bacteria now shrug off garden-variety antibiotics that scientists at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have tagged drug resistance as a growing threat to human and animal health. Just some of the diseases that are increasingly hard to treat are tuberculosis, gonorrhea, malaria, and the ear infections that plague little kids.

Health experts warn that if bacteria keep toughening up, some deadly diseases that have been treatable for the last five-plus decades again will have no cure.

Disarming approach

A better battle plan may be to make nice. Instead of killing off disease-causing bacteria, just disarm them, said bacteriologist Marcin Filutowicz. The problem with traditional antibiotics is that they use the neutron bomb approach: they indiscriminately kill off bacteria, and for potent drugs and high doses can bump off virtually every bacterium in a patient’s body.

That causes a couple of problems, Filutowicz said. One is that the bacteria the body needs, such as to aid digestion, can be collateral casualties. The other is that clear-cutting the body’s bacteria leaves fertile ground in which new bacteria can grow. And the bacteria that move into this available real estate are usually the ones that were brawny enough to survive the antibacterial barrage.

“When you start repopulating your skin, your GI track, your nostrils, all of the non-sterile parts of your body, then opportunistic pathogens have as equal a chance of repopulating your body as the good bacteria,” Filutowicz explained.

The process of killing off vulnerable bacteria while providing territory for tough bacteria to occupy leads to drug-resistant diseases, Filutowicz said. But if harmful bacteria—for example, the Neisseria meningitidis that causes spinal meningitis—could be left in place, but modified so that it couldn’t cause the disease, drug-resistant strains wouldn’t have space in which to expand.


Filutowicz and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin at Madison have begun exploit a weakness in the structure of bacteria.

Some small organisms, including bacteria, store their DNA two ways, on the chromosome and on what are called “plamids,” little chunks of DNA that are not vital to keeping a bacteria alive. The genes that let some bacteria causes disease (their “virulence genes) and the genes that protect bacteria from antibiotics (their “antibiotic resistance genes”) ride plasmids.

The weapon of choice for attacking these troublesome plasmids is “displacins,” which are bits of DNA from other kinds of bacteria, he said. These displacins can displace plasmids from bacteria cells, leaving the bacteria toothless, but alive.

“The charm and the power of displacin technology is that you don’t kill the culprit, but you disarm it,” Filutowicz said. “And because you disarm bacteria of their virulence and antibiotic resistance genes, you don’t produce a void in their environment. This is critical, that you don’t produce the emptiness in the environment that then can be competed for by pathogens and non-pathogens to occupy this void.”

The research group has a library of millions of DNA fragments from bacteria, some from the 3 percent or so of bacteria that can be cultured in laboratories, but most extracted from the 97 percent of bacteria that grow only in nature. In fact, their DNA library has been culled from bacteria that live in soil. The scientists’ compassionately conservative strategy is to splice displacins that disarm specific bacteria onto E. coli bacteria (but not the news-making toxic kind).

These E. coli will carry the bad-bacteria-busting displacins into the battlefield that is a patient’s body without, Filutowicz hopes, losing the drug-resistance war.

Labels: ,

Been getting good reports of a relatively new mountainbike DVD, "Roam". (1 and 2)

Here are the trailers.....

Labels: ,


A baby seal walks into a club.

A priest, a rabbi, and a politician walk into a bar. The bartender says........."Is this a joke?"

A sandwich and an apple walk into a bar....and the bartender says "Hey, we don't serve food here".

Two antennas got married. The ceremony wasn't much but the reception was great.

A set of jumper cables goes into a bar; the bartender says "I'll serve you, just don't start anything".

A termite walks into a bar and asks, "Where is the bar tender?"

An Irishman walks out of a bar....Hey, don't laugh... it's not entirely impossible.


Saturday, December 30, 2006

This is a Wego Kite-tube. Half inner tube, half kite. 600 bucks buys you the ability to "fly" high above the lake, dragged behind your choice of boat. What could go wrong? All good fun, I tell you. I can't think of a single scenario where anyone could possibly be......
Hold that thought, it's off the market. Something about multiple deaths and severe injuries... here's the cut-n-paste....

News from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, D.C. 20207
For Immediate Release
Firm’s Recall Hotline: (866) 831-5524
July 13, 2006
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
Release # 06-210
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Sportsstuff Wego Kite Tubes Withdrawn from Market after Reports of Deaths and Injuries

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Sportsstuff, Inc., of Omaha, Nebraska is voluntarily recalling about 19,000 Wego Kite Tubes.

CPSC staff is aware of 39 injury incidents with 29 of those resulting in medical treatment. Those injuries include a broken neck, punctured lung, chest and back injuries and facial injuries. Sportsstuff has received reports of two deaths in the United States and a variety of serious injuries. Sportsstuff has been unable to determine the cause of the incidents. Nevertheless, the company has withdrawn the kite tube from the market and is undertaking this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution.

The Sportsstuff Wego Kite Tube is a 10-foot-wide, circular, yellow inflatable watercraft designed to be towed behind a power boat. A rider in the tube becomes airborne by pulling on handles attached to the floor of the tube. Model 53-5000 is printed on the tube near the product valve. The floor of the tube has black caution warning stripes. The cover for the product bears a skull and crossbones and the statement “Never Kite higher than you are willing to fall.” The tubes were imported and sold through marine distributors, mail order catalogs, and various retailers from approximately October 1, 2005 to July 11, 2006 for about $500 to $600.

Consumers should immediately stop using the kite tubes and contact Sportsstuff at (866) 831-5524 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST Monday through Friday to learn how to obtain free replacement products. Consumers can also visit the firm’s Web site at for more information.

Labels: ,

So, getting caught in an avalanche must ruin your whole day.

Black Diamond Packs makes this thing, the Avalung, to try extend your survival time as you wait for a wand to come down and hit you in the head.

The principle is that by using a simple valve, your exhaled air is exhausted behind you, while you take in air from the snow in front of you, minimizing carbon dioxide buildup.

Interesting idea, I wonder if it'll work. I see two potential issues... First, your work of breathing is increased by having to blow through a tube, and I'm guessing you'll already be breathing pretty hard, with just having been buried alive in an avalanche and all. Secondly, I thought that the snow around you "set" pretty quickly, leaving only a small window of opportunity to sweep out as big an air pocket as possible, which means its all really the same air, whether in from or behind you.

I'd like to see if this helps in the real world.

Need/Want one?


Just a collection of recent shots culled from, site, shows the diverse nature of mountainbiking well.


Real Road racing....


Friday, December 29, 2006

Click to make it big, then stare until it starts spinning. Take your anti-nausea meds.
This is "Jet-Man". Former pilot, he's taken four scale model sized turbine engines (usually used to power remote controlled models of f-16's and such), bolted them to a foldable wing he straps to his back, then he jumps out of an airplane. Yeah. Landing? Cut the power, pull your chute.

There is a video on his site you just have to see, apparently he gives performances too.

Go see him fly



Whole lot of pics I liked stolen from the airheads over at


So, there's a simple, addicting game out there called Line Rider. You create his path by drawing lines, then his sled simply follows a physics engine. The site.....

Line Rider

Many people have posted their paths on youtube, like...

Don't come crying to me when you get hooked.


The pics are of the Auto Union Silver Arrow Type C. Offered performance that was breathtaking even by modern standards. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche, with a 6 liter supercharged V16 and a top track speed on the straights of 236 mph in 1937!

Imagine, all that hp through those tall skinny tires and flexy wire wheels. The shape kind of reminds me of the turbine races in the "Star Wars" movie. All engine, hold on and pray.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I have a home bar. I like to serve interesting martinis. Unfortunately, my friends are not raving alcoholics, so tend to sip their libations. Sipping takes time, and my carefully chilled, shaken concoction ends up warming up in the glass, changing into a pale lukewarm shadow of it's former glory. What to do?

These glasses come with their own bed of ice, keeping your frosty beverage frosty to the last drop. I like this idea.

Buy Some


First rule of Fight Code- you don't talk about fight code.....

Pic-----> Tony Twist

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Writer finds that a fight in the NHL is more than just a fight.

A local sports author talks about violence in pro hockey and the code of honor that regulates it.

By David Gustafson, Star Tribune

Fight code is an intricate and unspoken set of rules that govern when players drop the gloves and why. What many hockey fans don't know, according to sports author Ross Bernstein of Eagan, is just how thick the plot runs before two players ever resort to fisticuffs. Behind almost every fight is a story of twists and turns, betrayals and honor.

Everyone learns the code, but no one talks about it.

Bernstein, author of roughly 35 books and a lifelong hockey fan, spoke to about 100 athletes and coaches to learn what happens in the minutes, hours and games that lead up to the brutal climax, when the enforcer gets off the bench and does his job to uphold the team's honor, right wrongs and ensure that lightweight goal-scorers get space on the ice.

Bernstein spoke to Star Tribune North about his most recent book, "The Code: The Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Retaliation in the NHL." Some of the questions and answers have been edited for length.

Q: The enforcer's job, essentially, is to stand up to bullies and say "pick on someone your own size"?

A: Part of the code says heavyweights fight heavyweights, lightweights fight lightweights, unless there's a spontaneous fight, like if a guy runs into a goalie. If I'm a lightweight and you come plowing into my goalie, I've got to drop the gloves and, hopefully, my guys will be there to back me up. There's certain things, part of the code, that you don't do, and I have to sacrifice my body to protect the honor of my goalie.

But if a guy plays disrespectful, takes liberties with another guy, he has to be accountable. His teammates don't want him back on the bench. If a guy does something stupid, they'll be like, 'Hey, get back out there. You right what was wrong. You stand up to their tough guy and take your licking.' Otherwise it escalates.

Q: The enforcers are trying to keep the game clean so the elite scorers can play without getting constantly harassed.

A: Right. They actually deter 99 percent of all would-be fights.

Q: Why is the code taboo?

A: I probably talked to 100 guys. About half were off the record. ... These guys always have to deal with, in addition to going to a bar and dealing with idiots full of liquid courage saying, 'You don't look so tough,' dealing with the parents' 'Oh, you're a terrible role model for my child.' They don't understand it. So it was taboo. I've heard a lot of people thanking me for writing the book. ... It's a part of the game, and I think a lot of people don't get it.

Q: So you think players were worried about telling people just how institutionalized violence is in the NHL?

A: Could be. One thing I learned is that every guy that grows up playing hockey dreams of hoisting Lord Stanley over their head and scoring that game-winning goal in overtime in Game 7. None of the fighters ever dreamed that their role would be to come off the bench for three minutes a game to beat somebody up.

Q: How do teams recruit enforcers?

A: I talked to a few general managers and they were pretty coy about it. ... But you know it was there. [Former enforcer] Tony Twist was such an advantage. He scared the other team so much that his players got a lot more space. That's not a statistic you can quantify, but it absolutely existed. You know these guys wanted the top fighters, and you know they trained them. I interviewed Scott Ledoux (a former heavyweight boxer and current Anoka County commissioner). He trains these guys how to fight on skates.

Q: Were you afraid of glamorizing violence?

A: No, because in some regards I did want to glamorize fighting. I tried to be clear and say I do not want to advocate violence or fighting of any kind on the amateur level. At the professional level, when grown men decide to take off the face mask and play this game, they clearly and fully understand what they're getting into.

Q: Did you mean to take a side on violence?

A: I'm a hockey guy, so if I had to side with one side or another, I would side with fighting because I believe it has a place in professional hockey. Going into the book, I don't know if I would have said that. But now that I know what I know, I absolutely believe that it has a place.

Q: At one point in the book you describe the Todd Bertuzzi incident, in which Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanches received a career-ending neck injury. You write "Some of the frontier justice mentality that is out there these days may need to come in line with the 21st century."

A: For sure. I think that means with the new rule changes. I think the frontier justice has been meted out.

Q: How did the rule changes affect the Code?

A: When they got rid of the red line, it opened up the game. You can't just box in a team in their zone. Typically, enforcers are big, lumbering snuffleupaguses. They're not fleet-footed guys. And when you get rid of that red line you can't have a goon who just comes off the bench and beats people up. ... I would say the goons are gone. The enforcer is a different player.

Q: A more well-rounded player?

A: Yes. It has changed the game in a really good way.


Aerial shot of snowed-in Denver airport.


So, this film is well done, but more than a little disturbing.

Then again if I NEVER posted anything disturbing to anyone, this site
would just become another background noise/easy listening station. I hope this disturbs someone.

Google Video so Click

Labels: ,

Monday, December 25, 2006

According to this guy, we all need to be vigilant and find the rogue helicopter pilot...


I have no comment....


This 1962 VW bus is as odd as it looks.....From Hot Rod

Ken Prather, the creator of this stunning '62 VW drag-style bus had a vision.

"I always wanted to build a mid-engine hot rod," he says. "The first thing I did was chop the top, then I pulled the motor. And you know how it escalates once you start on something." Originally a hippy van with a wooden bunk and table, this powerful machine now sports a mid-engine blown 355 small-block, 310 louvers, and an outrageous 7-inch chop.
Ken's build evokes the stark feel of a vintage Gasser with customized drag seats, a Sprint Car steering wheel, and a handbuilt dash sporting giant Auto Meter gauges and some toggle switches. Zeus fasteners make the entire piece removable for easy access to the brake master cylinder mounted below. The precisely hung suicide doors lift by the chrome mirrors instead of the door handles, and Ken has to slide head-first past the steel rollcage into the aluminum seats. Other tasteful performance modifications include a fuel cell, a drag parachute, and a throttle pedal made out of a spoon from the kitchen of his understanding wife, Georgia.

Hooking up the blown Chevy to the rest of the driveline, the head-snapping, full-manual 350 automatic attaches directly from its yoke to the differential. The Ford rear was narrowed a whopping 14 inches to fit inside the custom frame, which is like a giant swing arm from the engine back, and it accommodates monstrous 10-inch wide American five-spoke wheels out back. When Ken piloted the beast 4,000 miles from his home in Waterford, Pennsylvania, to the Bonneville Salt Flats last August, he coaxed 8-10 mpg out of the two Holley four-barrels.
Several external body panels are attached with more Zeus fasteners to allow access to the drivetrain and make it possible to change both front and rear tires out on the road. Ken grafted a Dodge truck radiator with two 16-inch fans to keep the motor cool. Applying hot-rodder resourcefulness, he also created a 5-gallon spray system that wets down the radiator using the same principles of an old leather canteen strapped to the front of a Model A going across the desert.

Some of speed culture's finest have added their seals of approval by autographing the dash, including Bonneville legend Bob Pierson. "Oh yes, I like the chop!" Pierson told Ken after a joyride at the Salt Flats. "This bus is an absolutely marvelous piece. The beauty of the movement today is that they are building things we wouldn't even have considered." Don Garlits added his signature after checking out the VW at a car show. He took one look at the masterfully bent headers with 4-inch collectors and the polished 6-71 blower and told Prather, "It looks like my dyno-room at the shop."
Daring to be different, Ken invested four years in metal bending, frame building, and custom fabrication, and the result is a hot rod pushing ahead of the cultural curve. But what about the paint? "I'm having too much fun just the way it is. You know, if a part starts looking ratty, I just re-primer it."



The image you see here was one of the results of using "People doing Stuff", a site that randomly fills in Google's image search feature with a name and a verb/adverb. Always one or two interesting results.

The Site

P.S. It warns about possibly inappropriate images showing up.

P.S.S. - The pic you see came from a "Nathan realizes" search.


Couple of ads that caught my eye recently....

Doesn't need explanation...

Colors that last....

This one's about a new Hard Rock Cafe opening...


P.S. some NSFW stuff in the link...