Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spokane parks to detonate squirrels

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The Finch Arboretum is being overrun by ground squirrels, and Spokane Parks and Recreation is bringing in some special artillery.

The agency is using a special machine called the Rodenator Pro to detonate some of the estimated 100 to 150 squirrels tearing up the grounds.

Shades of Carl Spackler, the gopher-hating groundskeeper from "Caddyshack."

The Rodenator Pro pumps propane and oxygen into the tunnels of squirrels, then sends an electric spark that causes an explosion. The shock waves kill the squirrels and collapse their tunnels - but in a humane way, the agency said.

Spokanimal, which is the local animal shelter and Humane Society chapter, was caught by surprise by Monday's announcement.

"You're kidding," Director Gail Mackie said when she learned the news. "That borders on cruelty."

Mackie said she would investigate the practice.

The parks department is warning area residents that it plans to blast squirrels all week, and to not be alarmed by noises that sound like gun shots. Parks officials said police have already been called to the arboretum by people who heard the explosions.

Timing is crucial. Parks officials said they want to detonate their prey before the animals start reproducing.

Parks officials said ground squirrels have been a minor problem for years, but their population is, well, exploding.

The squirrels dig tunnels and holes that people can trip on or fall into, the agency said. They eat new tree roots, can spread disease and are spreading to neighboring yards.

Gas bombs were tried in the past, but were not effective, the agency said.

Enter the Rodenator, a product whose workings have been captured on numerous YouTube videos. The company is based in Midvale, Idaho, and promises on its Web site that its product is effective against the "saber-toothed gopher."


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House of blues is 'ridiculous'

An architect has painted his entire house, and everything in it, bright blue as part of a barmy experiment.

Not even the pot plants have escaped an airbrushing.

Arty Peter Kaschnig said he wanted to see the psychological effects of living surrounded by just one colour.

But the masterstroke has outraged locals in the quiet neighbourhood of tree lined Klagenfurt, Austria.

The house, with its blue shutters complete with blue bedroom and blue bathroom, has become a colourful hotspot for snap-happy tourists.

“It looks ridiculous and out of place and all the visitors it attracts are a real nuisance. You can’t park any more and there is no privacy. This used to be a quiet neighbourhood,” moaned neighbour Heidi Manning.

Unrepentant Kasching said: “The results exceeded my expectations. It really does have an amazing impact on the senses to have everything in one colour.

“It changes the whole 3-D impact of a room. I know there are critics but there are also a lot of people who are very interested in my project."


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Deeper Digital Penetration

The expanding invasion of the naked body scanners.

The naked body scanners are taking over.

When we first checked in on them two years ago, the scanners, which see through clothing, were being deployed at a single airport. A few months later, they were upgraded to millimeter-wave technology, which delivered similar images with even less radiation—"10,000 times less than a cell phone transmission," according to the Transportation Security Administration. At the time, TSA assured us that the scanners would be used only as a "voluntary alternative" to "a more invasive physical pat-down during secondary screening." Only a few passengers, the ones selected for extra scrutiny, would face the scanners. The rest of us could walk through the metal detectors and board our planes.

Surprise! Two months ago, TSA revised its position. It began testing millimeter-wave scans "in the place of the walk-through metal detector at six airports." At these airports, everyone—not just people selected for secondary screening—would face the see-through machines. Anyone who objected would "undergo metal detector screening and a pat-down." You might even get the "enhanced pat-down," which includes "sensitive areas of the body that are often used by professional testers and terrorists," such as "the breast and groin areas of females and the groin area of males." Show us your body, or we'll feel you up.

Now the plan is going nationwide. Joe Sharkey of the New York Times reports that TSA "plans to replace the walk-through metal detectors at airport checkpoints with whole-body imaging machines—the kind that provide an image of the naked body." All passengers will "go through the whole-body imager instead of the walk-through metal detector," according to TSA's chief technology officer, and the machines will begin operating soon after orders are placed this summer.

When the scanners first appeared, I endorsed them. When they were upgraded to millimeter-wave technology, I endorsed them again. I gave two reasons. One reason was that a scan was less invasive than a pat-down. The other reason was that TSA promised to blur your face and keep your scan private, so that nobody would ever connect your name to your revealed body. That, I argued, was a sufficient kind of privacy in the age of terrorism.

Now I'm having second thoughts. I still like the technology. It's the people behind it who worry me. Yes, the scan is less invasive than the pat-down. But TSA has just demonstrated its ability and willingness to move the goalposts. When TSA offered pat-downs as the alternative to body scans in secondary screening, the scan sounded pretty good. Now TSA is offering pat-downs as the alternative to body scans in primary screening, and again, the scan sounds better. And if TSA announces tomorrow that pat-downs are the new alternative for all train or bus passengers, body scans will seem preferable there, too. Anywhere we're threatened with pat-downs, we'll settle for body scans. Where does it end?

And what about the content of the scans? Two years ago, I linked to a scan that seemed to expose every intimate body contour of TSA's research lab director. TSA argued that the picture was moot because its machines (which at the time used backscatter technology) had been upgraded with a "privacy algorithm" to obscure such features. But you won't find the phrase privacy algorithm on that page anymore; it's been scrubbed. In fact, privacy algorithm has completely disappeared from TSA's Web site. So have the images that used to show a frontal backscatter image of a male passenger. All you can find on TSA's millimeter-wave page are four scans shrunk to a size so tiny you'd need a magnifying glass to make sense of them. Good luck figuring out how much they show—and why they look nothing like the image depicted in a video (WMV file) on the TSA site.

Why should I care what the government says or depicts about its latest scanner image or blurring technology, when the technology and the depictions keep changing? The lesson of the escalating body scans, like the escalating pat-downs, is that TSA will do whatever it thinks it needs to do. Last year, when the agency announced its "enhanced" pat-downs, it explained:

As the ongoing terror trial in London clearly illustrates, terrorists actively look for ways to manipulate security protocols. Intelligence has also shown for decades, terrorists' manipulation of societal norms to evade detection or use social engineering techniques to their advantage. Terrorists have successfully hidden explosives in these areas. ... TSA developed this pat down as a measure to close the gap on items hidden on sensitive areas of the body.

In other words, any detail omitted by airport screeners—a blurred crotch in the body scan, an untouched groin during the pat-down—becomes a "gap" exploited by terrorists or testers, which must then be closed.

"The enhanced pat-down will be used only after all other screening methods have been used and the alarm remains unresolved," TSA promised last year. It added: "This new procedure will affect a very small percentage of travelers."

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's what you said about the body scans. Just put on the gloves and get it over with.

By William Saletan


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Jimmy Carr handles heckler (1;31) slightly NSFW

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Scion Reveals iQ Concept at the 2009 New York International Auto Show

At the New York Auto Show today, Scion unveiled a special concept version of the iQ micro-subcompact car designed to meet the transportation needs of young urban trendsetters.

Scion's iQ concept is a new urban vehicle with a revolutionary package that is just over 10 feet in length and accommodates three plus luggage. As more and more urban centers are revitalized with a new sense of purpose, energy, and creativity, young people are moving in from the suburbs to embrace new urbanism and are looking for a car that suits their needs and delivers high emotional value.

Scion's iQ concept is the intelligent answer to this need for highly emotional and efficient urban transportation. The convenience of having work, entertainment and culture nearby for young city-dwellers is a significant draw to urban centers. The vehicle must be able to navigate narrow, congested streets, park in tight places, have impressive fuel economy, and have compelling design and function.

"Scion's iQ concept turns traditional auto design upside down," said Jack Hollis, Scion vice president. "Traditionally small vehicles have been thought of as being basic. The iQ concept is just the opposite with its innovative features and iconic urban design, and we believe it fits in well within the Scion brand. Our young, trendsetting buyers are creative and innovative forward thinkers, and we think they will appreciate what iQ has to offer."

The production iQ is currently sold in Japan and Europe. Five Axis of Huntington Beach, Calif. took the iQ to the next level with aggressive exterior and interior modifications that show the vehicle's potential for personalization.

With its 78.7-inch wheelbase, the three-door hatchback can deftly maneuver through city traffic. At the same time, its overall length of 126.9-inches, overall width of 71.4-inches, and short front and rear overhangs allow the iQ to fit in virtually any city parking space. The front-mounted differential and repositioned steering rack decrease front end length. In addition, the iQ is equipped with a flat gas tank housed beneath the floor that reduces rear overhang.

Pushing the wheels of the small, bold concept towards the four corners of the body gives the iQ a confident stance. The custom 18-inch wheels with a nickel finish and wide tires fill the wheel well, adding to its surefootedness. The iQ's custom front air dam, aero headlamps and high-intensity LED driving lamps signal urban road readiness.

"We believe the Scion iQ micro-subcompact concept is the future of transportation," said Hollis. "If it should join our future line-up, I think it could reach iconic status like our xB. Its styling will attract attention and if it's a Scion, you know it'll be easy to personalize."

The iQ's profile is defined by a strong and high beltline. Smooth lines glide from the large, dark finish headlamps, up the A-pillar, across the roof and wrap around the rear emphasizing the concept's geometric beauty. Side mirrors with integrated turn signals accent the clean design.

The rear emphasizes the vehicle's modern style. Trapezoidal lines run toward the wheels, from the hatch to the thick rear diffuser, creating a substantial presence. A center-mounted trapezoid exhaust adds to the vehicle's distinctiveness, while large, matte-finished rear taillights help keep the vehicle visible.

The iQ's interior fuses function, style and entertainment. Attention to detail and modern accents can be seen in the illuminated door handle; the swiveling spotlight that hovers over the dash; an illuminated iQ logo on the passenger-side dash and nickel and raw aluminum toned interior panels. Iridescent green and gray honeycomb upholstery covering the door panels and seating areas, combined with the custom exterior paint, provides a balance of freshness and sophistication. Black matte scuba-like polyurethane covers the seat bolsters and is also used on the headliner with a bright green topstitch for a contemporary finish.

The iQ features a 10-inch panel LCD screen on top of the center cluster that serves as the main entertainment console and navigation system interface. With the push of a button, the touch-screen articulates to reveal the entertainment hub. The touch screen can also play movies while the vehicle is parked. When not in use, the screen lays flat on the dash with a translucent cover that emits a colorful display of light patterns to make the interior even more unique.

A few quick strokes to the black panel below the entertainment hub, or steering wheel controls, command the audio system to shuffle through a music library. The center cluster also features three control knobs for dual front heating and air conditioning settings. The driver and front passenger each have a knob that displays their desired temperature and controls their temperature and fan settings. The center knob dictates zone control for both occupants.

The instrument panel has a speedometer, warning lamps, and a multi-information display. The multi-information display allows the driver to toggle through the odometer, average speed, temperature and eco lamp. The eco lamp illuminates during efficient driving to help the driver achieve maximum fuel economy.

Comfortable front passenger legroom was achieved with a newly-engineered, compact air conditioning unit located behind the center of the front console. The iQ employs a glove bag, with the same textured, honeycomb fabric as the front and rear seats, that can be easily snapped on and off for storage or additional legroom.

Rear seating can accommodate one adult behind the front passenger and a child, small package, or pet behind the driver. Extra slim front seat backs provide rear passengers with legroom. The rear seats are 50/50 and fold flat for increased utility. In addition, the rear seat cushion lifts up to reveal a small flat storage space that can be used for pocket-sized portable music players, small books, digital cameras, or slim laptops.

The iQ does not skimp on safety and is equipped with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC); an anti-lock brake system (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD); Brake Assist (BA); and nine SRS airbags, which includes the world's first rear window curtain airbag. Other airbags include driver and front passenger front airbags; driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags; side curtain airbags; a driver knee airbag; and a front passenger seat cushion airbag.



1.3-liter, four-cylinder, VVT-i

93 hp

89 lb.-ft.

Front wheel drive


Overall Length:

Overall Width:
71.4 without side mirrors
79.3 including side mirrors

Overall Height:
56.9 without antenna
62.5 including antenna


Seating Capacity:


Five Axis custom stainless exhaust

Five:AD S6:F custom wheels with nickel finish prototyped by MetalFX
18x8.5 ET03

Yokohama S.drive

TEIN Super Street coilover suspension

Five Axis widebody conversion
Burnt nickel accents
Custom accented headlights and taillights

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Impressive dice skills (2;26)


Had some friends who recently returned from an Italy trip. They mentioned an ugly car they'd seen, and the requisite web search showed it was this....
A Fiat Multipla.

Has that unfortunate resemblance to a car we all know and love....

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More than 60-years-ago, the skies over European and Pacific battlefields thundered to the bellow of thousands of engines in bombers, fighters and transport aircraft. During the Second World War, the development of piston aero engines reached its zenith with air-cooled 18-cylinder radials, liquid-cooled V-12s, even X- and H-block configured 24-cylinder monsters. Various configurations include overhead cams, 4-valves per cylinder, Super or Turbo charging, Methanol or Nitrous Oxide injection, and all with lots of displacement; in some cases, up to 55 litres (3,350 cubic inches). Some of the more athletic versions belting out something north of 3,000 horsepower. Stuff to make any Gearhead's pulse quicken.

Enter Ian Douglas of Richmond, BC, one of those self confessed Gearheads. Ian has been into things mechanical for most of his life, starting with a mini bike at the tender age of six, tearing apart his first engine at eight, and then the gift of an oxy-acetylene torch at twelve-years-old cemented his path as a chronic tinkerer and builder. Soon after that, cars got into his blood and a succession of hotrodded Hemis, Trans-Ams, 'Cudas and even a Lotus powered Anglia followed.

Motorcycling stayed close to Ian's heart though with several custom builds (one a show winner), but eventually his other burning interest in old aircraft, in particular the radial aero engine just had to occupy the same space as his road going love.

Looking at the pictures, you notice something isn't quite right with this bike. Oh, it is gracefully styled, but one can hardly stop looking at that heavily finned, great lump of an engine cradled in the scratch-built hardtail frame. So what's up? Ian finally ended up combining those previously mentioned loves and the Warbird you see on these pages was born.

We have seen something sort of like this in concept recently with custom builders installing whole small displacement 7-cylinder radial engines in bike frames, but while impressive to look at, hardly practical. Ian's approach was to build a bike using styling cues from boardtrack racers of the early 1900s, and then fill it with 3.1 litres (191cu in) of displacement in a 45-degree V-Twin configuration. The cylinders, heads and pistons are from a 30s vintage Continental R670 radial aero engine, sourced from the folks at Radial Engines Limited of Guthrie, Oklahoma. But where would one find a block to mount these monstrous cylinders to, which were never intended for use in a lithe motorcycle? Ian is quick to credit his high school shop teacher's early guidance, but relying on his considerable self-taught metalworking and mechanical skill, Ian designed patterns for the engine cases. He then turned to a sympathetic local foundry, Obco Foundries in Richmond, BC, to do the actual casting. While Ian has cast smaller pieces in the comfort of his garden shed in the past, Obco's experience in alloy technology and heat-treating were necessary to create an accurate and reliable engine block.

You read that right, other than Obco's contribution, the bike you see in these pages was mostly conceived and built in Ian's garden shed. Not some bucks up shop with every high tech computerized tool available, but a guy with an idea, a lot of skill and tools that would have been at home in a fabrication shop of the '30s.

Ian is rightly proud of his work totaling roughly 2000 hours, including time spent building the frame, gas and oil tanks as well as many other pieces and components, but he points out that the engine is the star of this show. New challenges were plentiful in designing the engine. Getting the four camshafts to mesh and work in order took all the skill and patience Ian could muster. Thinking 3 or 4 steps ahead for the placement of components was mandatory to avoid time and dollar wasting errors.

The roll out for the Warbird was at the Gastown Motorcycle Show in Vancouver this past August where it won 'Best Engineering in Show'. While Ian felt going in that his creation would mainly twig the interest of fellow Gearheads, he was pleasantly surprised that young, old, male and female were drawn to it with mouths agape and cameras snapping.

While the Warbird was built strictly for Ian's own amusement, interested parties informed him that they had a number of well-heeled customers (who in many cases own actual flying WWII warbirds) ready to part with the money to get a Warbird of their own.

Despite the fact that Ian owns a successful high tech clothing business in Vancouver called Specialties West, he is entertaining this potential business opportunity. Keeping many irons in the fire, he is also delving into technology from the past (torpedo technology in particular) and is planning to build an ultra efficient, compact power plant that is a compressed air/fuel injected hybrid that utilizes exhaust heat recovery. Initial estimates show that this project is capable of 1000 horsepower from a displacement of just 2-litres when the efficiency part of the equation is less of a concern.

Owner: Ian Douglas
Make: Special Construction
Model: Aero / Boardtrack
Builder: Ian Douglas
Time to Build: Two Years
Name of Bike: Warbird

Year: 2008
Builder: Douglas
Displacement: 191 Cubic Inch (3130cc)
Bore and Stroke: 5.125" x 4.625"
Cases: Douglas
Heads: Continental Radial
Lower End: Highly Modified S&S Stroker Racing Flywheels
Pinion and Sprocket Shaft: Douglas
Connecting Rods: Douglas
Pistons: Continental Aero
Pushrods: Smith Brothers
Carburetor: Twin S&S 'E'
Air Cleaner: 4-inch Velocity Stacks
Ignition: Twin Coil, Battery, Points
Exhaust: Douglas / Stainless

Year: 2007
Builder: Roadmax
Type: 5-Speed
Clutch: H-D
Primary Drive: Douglas

Year: 2008
Builder: Douglas
Type: Twin Downtube Hardtail
Rake: 32 Degree
Front End
Year: 2007
Builder: DNA
Type: Springer
Painter: George Kanavaros
Chroming: Dependable Chrome
Nose Art: Jennie Persak

Front Size: 21 x 2.15, 80 Spoke
Tire Make/Size: Avon Venom x 80/90
Rear Size: 21 x 3.25, 80 Spoke
Tire Make/Size: Avon Venom x 120/70

Calipers: Differential Bore Brembo
Mounting Hardware: Douglas
Rotors: Blanks Modified and Drilled by Douglas

Gas Tank: Douglas/Custom Chrome
Oil Tank: Douglas
Fenders: Douglas/Cycle Jammer
Seat: Brooks
Handlebars: Douglas
Headlight: Alloy Art
Taillight: Model 'A' Ford - Brass

A very special thanks to:
Radial Engines Limited from Guthrie, Oklahoma who prepared the cylinders and provided all the aero parts.
OBCO Foundries in Richmond, BC went out of their way to cast Douglas' patterns.



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Click to make it big. Then get some Tylenol.


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The Maldives
Romance, exotic locales, snorkeling, diving, even over-water designer villas

Anantara is actually three island resorts in one - Anantara, Anantara Veli and Naladhu - and excels in dining options. Dine by Design lets guests select the where and when for a romantic meal, such as a beachfront dinner with heart-shaped palm fronds and candlelight. The variety in dining options, such as Italian, fusion and Thai, becomes important on longer stays, which is the norm here.

There's even a disappearing dining venue: When the tide rises, the lagoon sand spit where lunch was served is covered in water. There also is a Thai cooking class, a wine guru and a salt sommelier, who offers a delightful tableside presentation of salts, chutneys and mustards. The breakfast dhoni picnic and snorkel resulted in great underwater footage of swimming with a green turtle. Surfing lessons are available, and the over-water spa is another jaw-dropper. Prices start at $780; www.maldives. anantara.com, 960/664-4100).

Naladhu, meaning "pretty little island," is across the lagoon and part of the dine-around program. Here 19 colonial-style houses offer nearly every amenity imaginable, from private swimming pool to a massive deck with palm trees, a daybed, a swing bed, and an adjacent bathroom with outdoor shower, steam room and chaise lounge, plus see-through tub. Breakfast at 5 p.m.? No problem.

Or arrange impromptu excursions to see spinner dolphin. Quite a few guests seem never to leave their rooms. Rates begin at $871 per night for the buy-five-get-seven special; www.naladhu.com, 960/664-1888.

Cocoa Island is a quiet, small-island getaway but still upscale. Focusing on healthy eating and spa therapies at its Como Shambhala Retreat, Cocoa strives to provide a peaceful, harmonious sanctuary (the meaning of "shambhala"). Spa treatments are complemented by a hydrotherapy pool and free yoga classes.

Vegetarian dishes with organic ingredients are a specialty. Great dive sites are nearby, and the resort is an easy speedboat ride from Male. All of its 33 villas are over water, including the original dhoni-shaped villas. Prices start at $590; www.cocoaisland.como.bz, 960/664-1818.

The 150-room Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, one of the Maldives' largest resorts, is actually two islands connected by a walking bridge. Arrival is by seaplane.

The quiet side, Rangali Island, is usually preferred by honeymooners (50 villas), while the more populated Rangali Finohlu has the pool, watersports and the must-see Ithaa Restaurant, said to be the world's first all-glass undersea restaurant. Ithaa, which means "pearl," seats 14, and cost $2.5 million to construct. Couples may have their wedding ceremony here.

The 21 over-water spa villas, each with its own treatment room, are part of the Spa Retreat, a destination spa set on stilts over the ocean off the main island, while the Over-Water Spa offers glass-floored treatment rooms above a coral reef in the resort's lagoon.

The property has 10 dining options, from in-the-sand Japanese cooking to the outstanding spa restaurant to a popular international buffet.

The 10,000-bottle wine list is impressive, as is the wine-and-cheese bar with black-sand floor. The wine cellar has special tastings and dinners with tabletop, pop-up TV screens for presentation. Rates begin at $585; www.conrad hotels.com, 960/668-0629).

For more in formation, go to visitmaldives


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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Messin' with the Free Hugs guy.....(3:40)

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Amazing, impressive bike riding skills. I must have said "wow" six times watching this. Also like the clips where the bystanders walk over to look for the carnage. (5;37)

Second, someone's taken the time to put most every..."Thats what She said" moment from The Office into one clip. Embedding's disabled, so click



Friday, April 17, 2009

Tim Hawkins

Chick-fil-A (1;37)

Poop Scoop Boogie (3:08)

Fire Ants (4;53)

My Name Is Bob (3;29)

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Big Drop, nice pic....

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UC Men's Octet

Blackbird (2;38)

Virtual Insanity (3:59)

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There are some bikes that just seem to stand out from the crowd. They have a certain appeal or something particularly unique about them. It might be the hand-made parts, the way the lines flow, the story behind the bike or maybe it's just the fact that it is a fine example of a show winner. The Millville Stroker is all of that.

Rod Johnsen, from Chopper Rods in Fredericton, New Brunswick, remembers a bike in the late 70's that used to tear up the streets near his then hometown of Nackawic, about 60 km outside of Fredericton. Millville was a neighbouring town and while there were only about three Harleys in the area, this 1975 Sportster had the biggest, baddest reputation.

Rod remembers a fellow named Johnny Dyer that owned the bike. Johnny had the engine built in Quebec and it was one of the first strokers in the area. The engine was increased from the original 1000 cc to 1166 cc due to the increased throw on the 4-5/8" crank.

"Johnny could make a bike look real good. He was one of those guys that could ride a bike and bring out the best in it; he really made it look more than it was." Rod said and then laughed, "He was a certified nutbar".

Fast forward many years, Johnny passed away and the bike languished in a cold damp garage for a few years until Rod got a call around midnight from Johnny's family; they wondered if Rod would be interested in purchasing the derelict bike. You have to remember that regardless of the bike's condition, this was a piece of personal history in Rod's influential teen years.

Rod purchased Johnny's legendary 'Iron Head' Sportster and proceeded to tear it down, trying to determine what, if anything, was salvageable. Rod began doing what he does best, rebuilding the engine. He rescued the Stroker engine and the rest of the driveline, but sold the remains of the once proud Sporty.

Chopper Rods opened for business six years ago with four guys in the shop; Rod, Skeeter Longaphie, Martin Speer and Mike Beattie, and while they build a few customs every year, they specialize in Harley service and repair. The boys in the shop also know a bit about engine building, fabricating and the need to feed a hobby that includes flying down the quarter mile well in excess of 137 mph, with street tires no less. Chopper Rod's is a major player in the Atlantic drag racing scene and during the 'All-Harley Drags' in PEI this past summer, they were declared to have the fastest Harley in Atlantic Canada.

Everyone in the shop got involved in building the current 'shop bike'. Many of the parts were handmade in-house, partly because the guys have the skills, but more importantly, they were a bit strapped for cash. Skeeter began to gather scrap chunks of brass from the local salvage yard, including an old brass driveshaft from a boat, and got to work on the lathe and milling machine. All of the brass on the bike, including the valve stem caps, were crafted by Skeeter. The oil tank was fashioned from an aluminum pipe, and once again, Skeeter put his finishing touches on the milled endcaps.

Other interesting components include the rear brake master cylinder that came from a wrecked bike of one of Rod's buddies. It used to be the hydraulic clutch master cylinder. The front-end came from a smashed Big Dog. The boys cut a few inches off of the downtubes to shorten them and made it fit the Millville Stroker. But one of the most interesting facts is that it has belt final drive. Iron Head Sportys never came with a belt drive and it's one of the bike's components that not many people notice. With intricate detail, the boys fabricated a pulley off of the transmission's main shaft for the belt drive to work.

The paint went out to local painter Bruce Carr for a healthy coating of 1/8-inch metal flake and a total of 30 coats of House of Kolor Pagan Gold and clear coat to finish things off. Due to the hard work from the guys at Chopper Rods and topped off with the deep metal flake paint, The Millville Stroker took top honours at the 2008 Dutch Mason Blues Festival and Motorcycle Lifestyle Show in Truro, Nova Scotia.

Sometimes the coolest and most unique bikes are the result of a scratch-built hodgepodge made with soul and pure talent, and it doesn't hurt to throw in a good dose of legendary local history either.

Rod rode the Millville Stroker for much of the summer last year proving that history can indeed repeat itself in very fine form and is not just for reading in books. MMM

Owner: Chopper Rods Inc.
Make: 1975 XL
Model: Hardtail
Builder: Chopper Rods Inc.
Time to Build: Winter 2007
Name of Bike: Millville Stroker

Year: 1975
Builder: Chopper Rods Inc.
Displacement: 1166 cc (71 ci)
Cases: Harley-Davidson
Heads: Ported Harley-Davidson
Lower End: S&S 4-5/8 Stroker
Carburetor: SU
Air Cleaner: Velocity Stack
Ignition: Crane Single Fire
Exhaust: Chopper Rods Inc.

Year: 1975
Builder: Chopper Rods Inc.
Type: Andrews gears and shafts
Case: Harley-Davidson
Clutch: Harley-Davidson, Barnett springs and plates
Primary Drive: Stock

Year: 2007
Builder: Paughco modified
Type: Hardtail
Modifications: BMX seat shock

Front End
Year: 2002
Builder: Chopper Rods Inc.
Type: GCB 54 mm
Triple Trees: Accutronix
Modifications: Shortened 3-inches
Painting: Bruce Carr
Chroming: Royal Plating
Powder Coating: Don and Lorne Goodine

Front Size: 19 inch x 2.5
Builder/Manufacturer: Harley-Davidson powder coated
Rear Size: 17 inch
Manufacturer: Harley-Davidson Deuce/Chopper Rods Inc. modified
Tire Make: Metzeler

Gas Tank: Harley-Davidson Peanut
Oil Tank: Chopper Rods Inc. aluminum
Fenders: Front Harley-Davidson, Rear Chopper Rods Inc.
Seat: Chopper Rods Inc. hand carved leather
Handlebars: Chopper Rods Inc.
Headlight: Mid-West, painted
Taillight: Chopper Rods Inc. solid brass
Shifter Linkage: Custom brass shifter linkage

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Big Brother row as police force starts using Google camera cars to fine wayward drivers

Police are taking a leaf out of Google's book with their latest weapon in the war on motorists.

They are using cars with spy cameras on a mast. Drivers talking on their mobile phones, eating, applying make-up or otherwise driving illegally will be pictured.

And as the telescopic cameras can zoom in from some distance, the first inkling that they have been snapped could be when a £60 fine lands on the doorstep.

Police say the new cars – similar to those used by Google to map town and city streets – will help reduce road deaths. But motorists say the Big Brother vehicles will merely be another cash cow for the Government and a further 'tax' on hard-pressed motorists.

The Treasury already rakes in more than £105million in fines each year from speed cameras and driving-offence fixed penalties.

Two Smart cars are pioneering the scheme in Greater Manchester, where distracted motorists are said to have caused more than 400 accidents in the past two years, killing or seriously injuring 25 victims.

Drivers who are caught using their mobiles will be sent a £60 fine and will have three penalty points on their licence.

Those caught on camera without a seatbelt or driving erratically while eating will be fined £30.

Anyone who refuses to accept a fine – which will go into Treasury coffers – could be hauled before the courts.

Karen Delaney from DriveSafe, the road safety group behind the latest scheme, said: 'Many vehicles are now better equipped than offices or homes, with the latest technology in satellite navigation, telecommunications and state-of-the-art music systems all to hand.

'Add in other distractions such as complex dashboard instrumentation, a hot cup of coffee and a conversation with other vehicle occupants, and it is no wonder that some drivers are not paying attention.'

She added: 'The Smart enforcement vehicles are fully police liveried and working in areas where our data analysis has identified a high occurrence of "driver distraction" collisions and where officers have regularly observed offences being committed.'

Nigel Humphries, from the Association of British Drivers, said: 'This is a total infringement. They might as well put something in cars to test what drivers are thinking – to see if they are concentrating on the road or thinking about something else.

'Apart from that it's going to be counter-productive. There's no excuse for not having police officers watching the road to look out for motorists who are driving erratically.'

Peter Roberts, from the Drivers' Alliance, said: 'People shouldn't be using mobile phones when they are driving in the car, especially handheld ones. But I am not comfortable with spy cameras which can see into your car and see what you are doing.

'The old-fashioned type of policing where coppers are sitting by the side of the road watching people go past to see if they are using a mobile is a far better way of doing things.'


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Mark Bruner and Shelby Eicher - This eclectic acoustic duo of guitar with mandolin are best known for their original treatment of Blues and American roots music. Mark and Shelby performing 29 Ways for a Late Night TV show. (3;07)

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Radiohead to Testify Against the RIAA

Radiohead, the band that made millions of dollars by giving away their music for free, has very little to complain about when it comes to piracy. On the contrary, in a landmark file-sharing case, Radiohead has responded positively to a request to testify against the RIAA.

Last month, Radiohead expressed its growing discomfort with record labels that abuse copyrights for their own benefit. In an attempt to take a stand against the labels, the band and several other well known artists formed the Featured Artists Coalition, a lobby group that aims to end the extortion-like practices of record labels and allow artists to gain more control over their own work.

In addition, the artists are unhappy with the fact that the labels, represented by lobby groups such as the RIAA and IFPI, are pushing for anti-piracy legislation without consulting the artists they claim to represent. Fans are unnecessarily portrayed as criminals according to some.

Now, in the case of Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum versus the RIAA, Radiohead has indicated that they will testify against the RIAA. Tenenbaum’s troubles started in 2003 when he rejected an offer to settle with the RIAA for $500. After a few more settlement attempts and legal quibbles, the case eventually went to court.

In court Joel is assisted by ‘hippy head‘ Professor Charles Nesson, and his law students. TorrentFreak contacted Tenenbaum’s legal team, who confirmed that they indeed spoke to Radiohead. “We met with Radiohead’s manager two weeks ago here at Harvard Law School. Professor Nesson walked away with the impression that their manager agreed to do so,” we were told.

Despite the criticism of Professor Charles Nesson’s work ethics and handling on the case thus far, it would be good to see well respected musicians such as Radiohead testify in favor of an accused file-sharer. Most of the time we don’t hear from the artists directly, only from their representatives, so their views are very welcome.

Recently, the effects of ‘illegal’ file-sharing on music sales were discussed during the Pirate Bay trial. Here, Professor and media researcher Roger Wallis told the court that his research has shown that there is no relationship between the decline of album sales and file-sharing. After his testimony, Wallis’ wife was overwhelmed with flowers as the public warmed to her husband and the opinion he expressed in court.

We can’t rule out the possibility that Radiohead might be after some floral tributes of its own, but even more than that they’d love to put one in the eye of the money obsessed record labels.


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This unusual video shows a MiL Hind Helicopter in flight at a Russian air show. What makes it amazing is that the speed of the camera and the rotors are almost precisely synchronized, making it look like the helicopter has no visible means of support.


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In 2005, Jim Lynch placed a big bet on a big vehicle.

He was already a successful Hummer dealer, but he spent $7.5 million on a new 34,000-square-foot showroom in a wealthy suburb of St. Louis. He even turned 60 acres of Missouri River flood plain into a rough-terrain test track, with visions of people coming from afar to try, and buy, his brawny sport utility vehicles.

General Motors cheered him on, he says, telling him he could eventually sell as many as 1,300 Hummers a year — which start at more than $30,000 and can cost more than $100,000, not to mention the thousands that many owners spend on accessories — more than enough to cover his monthly mortgage payment of $60,000. He sold 70 new Hummers a month when he opened the store, but now sees only a handful of customers each month. “That doesn’t even pay the interest on my inventory,” Mr. Lynch said. “Now I’m lying awake at night trying to think of what I can do with this big, beautiful building.”

Sales of Hummers over all have fallen so far — 51 percent last year, the worst drop in the industry — that General Motors is trying to find a buyer for the brand. Without one, the company might close Hummer. An announcement about Hummer’s fate may be made Tuesday.

“It’s a brand that represents a lot of what people want to get away from,” said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with the research firm I.H.S. Global Insight.

“Even if gas prices are lower, it still kind of radiates conspicuous consumption,” Ms. Lindland said. “Hummer was suddenly perceived as all that’s wrong with America’s dependence on foreign oil.”

A spokesman for Hummer, Nick Richards, said G.M. remained “in discussion with several parties” and had not determined what to do with the brand, though the company ruled out keeping Hummer in February. If Hummer is closed, it would be phased out “rather quickly,” G.M.’s president, Frederick A. Henderson, said last month.

The demise of Hummer would be cheered by environmentalists, who have relentlessly criticized its model lineup, which gets, on average, less than 10 miles a gallon. Other brands, such as Land Rover, have similar mileage ratings, but Hummer came to be viewed as the quintessential gas guzzler. A Web site that asks visitors to send in pictures of themselves giving a one-finger “salute” to Hummers has posted nearly 5,000 of them.

For Mr. Lynch and the 379 other Hummer dealers worldwide, however, it would be a sudden end to a brand that once seemed to have a strong future.

Among its staunchest advocates was Robert A. Lutz, G.M.’s product development chief, who is retiring this year. Shortly after joining G.M. in 2001, Mr. Lutz envisioned Hummer as a global brand that could challenge the rugged image and off-road supremacy of Chrysler’s Jeep products.

“I think Hummer has a lot more potential than even G.M. knows,” Mr. Lutz said at the time. “It stands for something, and that’s what people want.”

Now Hummer is a symbol of a time when S.U.V.’s ruled American highways and pumped big profits into the coffers of G.M. and other automakers.

“There was a lot of reason for optimism within the brand, but that was a very different market,” Ms. Lindland said. “Everything changed very, very quickly. It almost collapsed as quickly as it shot up.”

It has been a rude awakening for Mr. Lynch, 46, who began selling Hummers 15 years ago, shortly after A. M. General, based in Mishawaka, Ind., began manufacturing a civilian version of its military Humvee.

Mr. Lynch bought one of the 6,200-pound behemoths in 1994, while working at his father’s Toyota dealership, and ended up quitting and becoming the only Hummer dealer in Missouri.

“I thought I was the only one goofy enough to want one of those big beasts,” he said. “But then I realized it was like no other vehicle and had capabilities that you can’t find in just a regular vehicle.” Mr. Lynch loved the Hummer’s handling and its ability to drive almost anywhere, and he later realized its durability in two accidents. In each case, the vehicle that struck him was totaled, but he drove home with no visible evidence of a crash.

For seven consecutive years, Mr. Lynch was Hummer’s largest-volume dealer, often selling more than double the number of vehicles as his next-closest competitor. A mural on the side of a customized trailer he used to transport Hummers to events around the country boasts of his being the “world’s #1 Hummer dealer.”

These days, he keeps about 50 new Hummers on his lot. Four years ago, he stocked about 300 at any time, enough to fill an adjacent field.

Mr. Lynch sold more of the original Hummer, the H1, than anyone else before it was discontinued in 2006. He runs a thriving parts and accessories business that he plans to focus on more, particularly if Hummer goes away.

His building is for sale, though he hopes only to move back to a smaller location, not to close the dealership outright. That would mean abandoning the track on which he has held huge free rallies for his customers several times a year.

He already has sold the Bobcat utility vehicle that he used to maintain the track, which he worked on around the clock to finish in 2005 before a crew from the Travel Channel arrived on short notice to film a segment about it. “It was mostly me and my parts manager, with chain saws and Hummers,” he said.

G.M. has told dealers very little about its plans for the Hummer, but Mr. Lynch says he hopes executives find a way to save the brand that has been his livelihood for 15 years.

He recalled a snowstorm last winter, when many tractor-trailer trucks were stuck on Interstate 64 near his store. He pulled two of them back onto the highway and over an icy hill by hitching the cabs to the 1997 Hummer he drives.

“We were the only things moving,” he said. “I told them, ‘Next time somebody tells you everybody should be driving a hybrid, you tell them about this.’ ”


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Poodle Exercise with Humans (3;30) Creepy and weird...

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A man, a vision, and the swimming pool he built in his garage

A few years ago, I heard about my neighbor’s scheme to put a pool in his garage. At the time, I blew it off: It seemed more rumor than real.

Then Paul, the neighbor, started working. (Leery of unwanted official attention, Paul prefers not to use his last name for this story.)

In the early summer of 2006, in a fit resembling madness, Paul tore off three-quarters off his garage roof, stripping it down to the joists.

Right away, I called a contractor friend named David Foley, the owner of Foley Construction and Residential Services. I invited him over to provide insight and possible instruction. “What could I say?” he says now. “I looked at the job and hoped he considered important things, like load issues, electrical, and even plumbing.”

As the summer grew late, Paul began building a Plexiglas-paneled, A-framed roof on wheels directly atop a series of narrow tracks he’d installed on the crusty bricks of his garage walls. When he was done, he gently rolled it back and forth. Voilá: a retractable roof.

That fall, Paul pointed at the cement floor. “The pool’s going there,” he said. “It’ll help me survive Baltimore. When I hate it, I’ll do laps.”

I asked, “You’re building this to survive Baltimore?”

“It was either going to be a pool or a secret grotto. I’m maximizing my backyard space.”

Paul was a man of moderate means who aspired to own a tiny gilded spot of earth amidst a city of perceived insanity. And he planned to do it by creating for himself and his family a lap pool under blue skies, hidden by a fortress of brick walls and a recently replaced garage door.

The following spring, he took a hammer and a chisel and let loose on the rear wall of his garage, on the area above the back window. If a violent, inexpert demolition job can be described as meticulous, this one was. Two coursings of bricks were turned to rubble as he enlarged the back window all the way to the top of the wall. Because of the hill the structure was built into, the bottom of the windowsill was just above the ground. Therefore, he’d cleverly created a door for himself.

David asked, “How about plumbing and electrical?”

“Got it,” Paul assured us, just before he built a wooden platform inside the garage and below the new doorway. It resembled a pier without water. When the convertible roof was pushed back, Houston Rockets center Yao Ming would have been able to stand up on the deck without ducking.

“Found a pool supplier online,” Paul told David one day. “DIY—Do It Yourself—Pools.”

“Know anything about them?” David asked.

“No. But they got a pool that’ll fit.”

“Great. Hope it’s going to be placed with concrete?”

Paul gave him a quizzical look. “If I poured concrete, I’d ruin the garage.”

Paul apparently considered everything he’d done up to this point reversible.

What concerned David was whether the building’s walls could bear the load. Three thousand gallons of water, the size of Paul’s pool, weighs 25,020 pounds, or seven and three-quarter Honda Accords, pressing down and outwards on elderly concrete and brick with questionable horizontal strength. No matter; Paul remained unfazed. He didn’t calculate the weight.
In the summer of 2007, DIY Pools dispatched a flatbed truck to the end of the alley. Using a hydraulic lift, the delivery guys pushed a huge pallet up the hill to the garage and deposited stacks of thermoplastic panels, a vinyl liner, and boxes of mechanical parts in the garage. There were hardly any directions. Paul’s wife and kids came out to watch.

Through the summer and fall, he bolted 48-inch-high panels (they varied in width) together at the edges. When he’d completed a rectangle, he called an electrician and a plumber. The plumber, somewhat amused, put in a pipe for the gas. The electrician ran wiring. Neither hesitated to warn Paul against what he was doing, which only drove him harder.

Over the winter, Paul put his journey on hold, but, come spring, he attacked it with the passion of an artist manic on creation. One day, he cut a dozen two-by-fours into various lengths and carried them behind the pool’s newly constructed walls to brace them against the garage and floor in seemingly random places. The pool, see, was designed to be built underground, which would bear the pressures created by the vast quantity of water. But Paul was going to leave it above ground, backfilling behind it with a thicket of planks.

David explained to me that two-by-fours used this way would face multiple load problems, such as sheer pressures (breaking) and bending issues, especially with a continually shifting load such as water rocking in a pool. Further, who could tell whether the polystyrene itself could handle so much outward stress?

Despite these concerns, Paul persevered, closing in the gap between the garage and the edge of the pool with more wood decking.

In April, on opening day of baseball season, he, his wife, and two friends put the liner in place. It wasn’t easy. Nothing seemed to fit properly. Finally, he got the liner situated and turned on the hose. It took hours. After half a day with the hose blasting, Paul gingerly climbed into his pool with the kids. A polystyrene panel collapsed outward. He drained the pool and discovered that he’d forgotten to fasten a panel to its neighbor. He got a wrench and bolts and fixed it, then began refilling the pool.

Shortly, water began to trickle into the alley. Paul found the problem at the steps. He said, “It leaked where the hard plastic met the slightly stretchy liner.”

Again, the pool was drained. People say that Paul, an emotional man, appeared totally at peace. “I expected issues,” he told David.

He reattached the vinyl liner, and, a day later, began the task of refilling the pool once more. This time, the pool held.

Almost a year has now passed. The pool hasn’t leaked since, and it has even begun to look natural in Paul’s garage. Let something stay long enough, and the mind adjusts.

At this point, no one can say, not even Paul, if the pool has provided its creator with the personal renewal he sought. Quests, once complete, hardly ever do. But his kids love it. And the garage walls haven’t blown apart yet, despite the bone-crushing weight they bear. Of course, Paul always suspected as much.


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Coo pic. That's all.

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Are your eyes playing tricks on you?

Most people (even many who work on the brain) assume that what you see is pretty much what your eye sees and reports to your brain. In fact, your brain adds very substantially to the report it gets from your eye, so that a lot of what you see is actually "made up" by the brain.

Some special features of the anatomy of the eyeball make it possible to demonstrate this to yourself. The front of the eye acts like a camera lens, differently directing light rays from each point in space so as to create on the back of the eye a picture of the world. The picture falls on a sheet of photoreceptors (red in the diagram), specialized brain cells (neurons) which are excited by light.

The sheet of photoreceptors is much like a sheet of film at the back of a camera. But it has a hole in it. At one location, called the optic nerve head, processes of neurons collect together and pass as a bundle through the photoreceptor sheet to form the optic nerve (the thick black line extending up and to the left in the diagram), which carries information from the eye to the rest of the brain. At this location, there are no photoreceptors, and hence the brain gets no information from the eye about this particular part of the picture of the world. Because of this, you should have a "blind spot" (actually two, one for each eye), a place pretty much in the middle of what you can see where you can'

Look around. Do you see a blind spot anywhere? Maybe the blind spot for one eye is at a different place than the blind spot for the other (this is actually true), so you don't notice it because each eye sees what the other doesn't. Close one eye and look around again. Now do you see a blind spot? Hmm. Maybe its just a little TINY blind spot, so small that you (and your brain) just ignore it. Nope, its actually a pretty BIG blind spot, as you'll see if you look at the diagram below and follow the instructions.

Close your left eye and stare at the cross mark in the diagram with your right eye. Off to the right you should be able to see the spot. Don't LOOK at it; just notice that it is there off to the right (if its not, move farther away from the computer screen; you should be able to see the dot if you're a couple of feet away). Now slowly move toward the computer screen. Keep looking at the cross mark while you move. At a particular distance (probably a foot or so), the spot will disappear (it will reappear again if you move even closer). The spot disappears because it falls on the optic nerve head, the hole in the photoreceptor sheet.

So, as you can see, you have a pretty big blind spot, at least as big as the spot in the diagram. What's particularly interesting though is that you don't SEE it. When the spot disappears you still don't SEE a hole. What you see instead is a continuous white field (remember not to LOOK at it; if you do you'll see the spot instead). What you see is something the brain is making up, since the eye isn't actually telling the brain anything at all about that particular part of the picture.


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Cool toy, I want one. But modular...pull a pin and the trailer stays, leaving you with a 4 wheel drive V8 trike to cruise with. I need a shop.

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Single kayaker seems outmanned against Olympic-style K4 craft with four oarsmen

At the outset, the race seems lopsided. A single kayaker is outmanned against an Olympic-style K4 craft with four oarsmen. As expected, the foursome achieves an early lead. What happens next, however, is miraculous—what onlookers could only explain in terms of deus ex machina. The kayak accelerates to triple its speed. The kayak wins by more than a length.

Einar Rasmussen arranged the informal 200-M challenge as a demonstration. The four-time Norwegian kayaking champion and physics expert and his partner, kayakbuilder Peter Ribe, have created what they hope will become the fastest human-powered craft in history—the Flyak.

There’s nothing supernatural about the Flyak’s acceleration, as the name implies, the Flyak “flies.” Its wings are underneath the water, in the form of front and rear hydrofoils. The more the surface area of a hull touches the water, the greater the vehicle’s resistance.

Once it reaches a certain speed, the Flyak’s hull does not touch the water at all.

The two aluminum foils are positioned at a slight tilt. The Flyak begins the race at a disadvantage, with its hull in the water and its underwater foils creating even more drag. As a result, paddling the Flyak is more inefficient than a normal kayak during the initial strokes.

But once the rider works the speed up to roughly 10 KMH (6 MPH), the Flyak is ready for take-off. The energy on the oblique foils propels the hull up above the water’s surface. Once airborne, the velocity gained from paddle strokes increases dramatically. Theoretically, the Flyak can achieve speeds nearly twice as fast as conventional championship-level racing kayaks.

Not everybody can fly, unfortunately. The big limitation of the Flyak is cardiovascular. “You can’t go very long distances with this craft,” says Fredrik Wenstøp of Pivot, the Oslo firm that formulated the commercial design. “It takes very intense energy for the paddler to keep up on the foils.”

Rasmussen, too, emphasizes that the Flyak is a highly specialized racing vessel that requires a good deal of skill and endurance from the kayaker: “The total weight of the kayaker and hull dictate the area of the foil pair. Kayakers with a high level of fitness can use smaller foils, and thereby reach higher speeds,” he says. “You could say that the Flyak is like a Formula One car—fast, and just as practical.”

The foils are removable and interchangeable through a hand-screw apparatus behind the seat. By removing the foils, the craft can be maneuvered like a conventional kayak. The bottom surface of the boat’s 17’ carbon-fiber hull, says Wenstøp, is not dramatically different than other racing kayaks. Wenstøp’s firm is familiar with creating curves, more often for aesthetic, rather than aerodynamic purposes. Pivot specializes in building 3-D models of complete forms.

Wenstøp used a MicroScribe digital scanner to record points directly off the inventors’ hand-sanded prototype. The 3-D points were imported into the surface modeler Rhinoceros, where Wenstøp could flesh out a wireframe surface.

“The biggest challenge was to get the shape to conform exactly with the scanned 3-D points,” says Wenstøp. “Products like the foil kayak are dependent on good surface modeling to achieve both functional and aesthetic requirements. We needed 100 percent control over every curvature in the model. Controlling curves can be done with pinpoint accuracy in Rhino, which also has many measuring tools to check tolerances and dimensions. By using Rhino as our main modeling application, we have the kind of control needed. Rhino also shortens the time it takes to make all digital documentation: mockups, rapid prototypes and then the final production-ready models.”

The top of the design is fairly unique, with the rider seated on top of the boat, rather than inside it. “The Flyak is a completely water-tight body that cannot take in water or sink. This makes it much easier to learn the technique, as the paddler can just climb back on without having to get the boat out of the water to empty it,” explains Wenstøp.

The position of the seat was adjusted iteratively during modeling and prototyping. “In developing the sit-on-top cockpit, several hand-built models were digitized and reconstructed in Rhino,” says Wenstøp. “We used the MicroScribe digitizer and a haptic modeling device from Sensable for the sculpting of soft shapes. When we were satisfied with the results, we CNC-milled a plug and molded the cockpit with vacuum bagging.”

The other departure from convention lies in the steering. Riders keep the Flyak on course with a foot on a steering pin, which controls the front foil like a rudder. Riders wishing to master the art of kayak flight will have to get accustomed to some unfamiliar elements, including steering, seating and balance, not to mention the athleticism needed for the intense sprints.

“It has a thin racing hull, which is by design unstable, and the front steering and foil maneuvering does not make it much easier. There are no flaps or any other mechanisms that sense the surface to keep the Flyak level,” says Wenstøp. “It’s a difficult craft to learn.”

One of Rasmussen’s long-term goals is for the Flyak to replace racing kayaks in Olympic competitions. Along the way, there are other milestones for which to reach. One is to break the world record, which achieved a speed of 32 KMH (20 MPH). In the race against the K4, the Flyak was clocked at around 27 KMH (16 MPH). Through training of the rider and tweaking of the design, Rasmussen is confident the Flyak will eventually surpass the current benchmark.
The invention is now in production in Portugal, and will soon become commercially available from NELO, one of the world’s largest kayak producers. The inventors’ Oslo-based company, FoilKayak AS, will offer the foils and accessories.


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