Saturday, April 30, 2011

Comments Enabled

...and let me tell you, it it turns into a spam-pain or even causes me five minutes' extra work, they'll go right off.  So behave yourselves.

Movie Review: Army of Shadows

On a note related to the Existential Star Wars previous post, I watched Army of Shadows this week.  It's supposed to be about the French Resistance during WWII.  Instead, it's more about the Clouseau-like misadventures of a mid-level player who stumbles through various set pieces with a Gaulic shrug. The only people the Resistance guys manage to whack are other Resistance people (one's a snitch, the other's compromised; I guess that was their Fate), and the closest to a real mission they cary out would have been thwarted but for the corruption of a petty official.  Well, at least there was some minor humor in that one incident.
I don't recall any effective actions against the Nazis anywhere in the entire move.  Should have been named "Notes Administrative from the Events of 1940-45."  The only way it held my interest was that I kept waiting for the movie to wake up and for Stuff to Happen.  But no, it was a total waste of time.
1 of 4 stars, for being worthless but not actively pissing me off.

Dispaches from the Art School

...from the Darling Daughter.
Art School Owl sez:

And then there's Existential Star Wars over at YouTube.  As one comment put it, "was 'sartre wars' just too obvious?"

Friday, April 29, 2011

Intervals, Week 4: too wiped out to blog

Spent last weekend off the bike eating aspirin and glucosamine, took a light mtb spin on Monday, then hit it 1:30 on / 1:00 off, repeat six times, rest-spin about eight minutes, then do the whole set over again.  Not fun, but I was feeling OK afterward.
Then around 4:15pm, having dozed at my desk for about 45 minutes, I came to with absolutely no memory of drifting off to sleep, feeling tired, or anything.  Just like somebody'd flipped a switch, I'd been asleep.  A tad spooky.

Thursday the weather was perfect, and I was able to ride so hard that I quit caring about pain.  Afterward, coughing fits, lethargy, and an upset stomach.  But during the ride I felt unstoppable.  The intervals are working, though there is a cost.

I plan on hitting the trails at Desoto this weekend, then one more week of intervals.  Ugh.  Intervals put you in a place past pain: it doesn't hurt anymore to go all out, and you're too damned tired to care.  But the payoff will come the week after they're all done.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Special Edition of PhD Comics

Video explaining the recent excitement in physics.  Permalink here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Geek Test

You can take the Geek Test here if the link from the image doesn't work.
And no, I won't fix your computer for you. Well maybe, if the cookies/beer/whisky are up to par.
BTW, while at the site I also took the "how long will you live" test and got the same duration my Dad got in actual use. Accurate? Yeah, but coincidences do happen. Spooky? Oh yeah.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mac & PC People: Compare and Contrast

I was pointed by this article at CNN to this article at Hunch.  Huh.  Too bad they didn't include linux as an option, that would've rocked the poll open.  If they'd had enough numbers to give meaningful stats.
Overall, I seem to fit into each category almost as if put there by coin toss.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Intervals, Week 3: last week a gnawing fox, this week termites

1:30 on / 1:30 off, tuesday & thursday.  Tuesday was bad but today was.... unreal.  Muggy and in the low 80's, wind SE @ 20mph.  Slathered up with sunscreen and rode out into clouds of freshly-hatched flying termites which obligingly stuck all over arms and legs.
Did the intervals anyway, but... damn.

Plan for next week: 1:30 on / 1:00 off.  Need to work on intensity some more before stretching the on-times.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

10 Deadly DIY Gadgets

Can be found here.  Just looking makes my bones ache.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

MTB Sunday: good weather, great ride

Great day in the woods, beautiful spring weather. Started out in mid-60's, don't think it quite hit 80. One of those fun club rides where everybody's social but a lot of miles get ridden nevertheless.
Some pics can be found here.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pok├ębars: Gotta Visit 'Em All!

Photo tour of ten of the smallest pocket bars in the world found here.  Most are in the 100 sq ft range, and drift slightly upward from there.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

DIY Road Signs

Courtesy of Atom Smasher.  There are about a dozen different sign types available.

No actual road signs were harmed or otherwise modified to generate the above image.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Intervals, Week 2: in which the fox begins to gnaw.

One minute on / one minute off didn't feel so awful while doing it, but I was a tad fuzzy around the edges by 3:30 this afternoon.  Overall, not bad.  But next week is going to hurt.
Think I'll get in another trail ride tomorrow while the weather's still semi-cool.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Well of course.

"Water is always a good choice to rehydrate after working out, but researchers suggest beer is better" NBC Action News reports.   Why would this surprise anyone?  Could've just asked a mountain biker.
Side note to the roadies: Michelob Ultra doesn't count.
Also of note: if you drop the h in Michelob and correctly insert a hyphen, you get Mice-lob.  I'm not sure what that means, but I'm staying away from both.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Been there, done that.

Permalink back to PhD comics.

Hurricane Kate was so much fun, but I wouldn't know because I was busy bouncing between the computer room and accelerator vault.  No windows in the cartoon, poor baby; my old lab was underground.
Actually, we did get sort of clued that something was going on when the power went off and the generator kicked in.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Heck I like snakes, but this creeps even me out.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wearin' yer de Nimes bleu Genes right now?

Denim's origins probably solved through images captured on canvas by "the Master of the Blue Jeans" at known dates and locations, as seen here.  More on the topic here, and all seven of the paintings discussed in the two articles can be seen here.
Looks like a pretty airtight case.  Applied art history– just... wow, it's so cool.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Intervals: Day 1 - Among the Roadies.

My weight loss program that I’d started at the end of January has stalled out.  To be sure, ten pounds down is nothing to sneeze at but I really need to go another twenty before racing up Oak Mountain.  Well, at least another ten by then, and I’ll worry off the next ten before the fall race season kicks in.  But as I said, I was stalled. 
Advice from a friend: “Do sprints.  That’s what works for me.”  Advice from brother: “Less hammerhead riding, more structured weeks of easy/hard cycles.”  OK, that makes sense.  Less stress, more structure, hammer when and only when it’s time to hammer.  Smash up this metabolic plateau I’ve landed on, get the weight loss going again.  Yeah.
So I did an easy trail ride over lunch yesterday (Monday), then showed up at the road bike meetup point at the usual Bat-Time and said my prepared speech: “Gents, it’s been great riding with you.  But my weight loss has slowed, and I need to branch off and do intervals for month.”
The effect was as if I’d waved a scooby-snack over a box full of puppies: “Oooh, can we do’em with you?”  “Hey, that sounds like it’ll hurt be fun!”  “That’s like two minutes on then two minutes off, right?”  “Yeah, let’s do it!”
While they were all crawling over each other with eagerness, one roadie slipped off and gained about a hundred yards sprinting (remember, no warm-up) into a stiff north headwind.  “D’oh!Squirrel!!”vrooooom!  The pack launched.  I shrugged, grabbed on the back, dropped off when they hit 19mph (remember, into a stiff headwind), and watched their lycra’d rears red-shift off into the distance while I dialed back to cruising speed.  Thought to myself “Yep, that was about how I expected it to go.” 
Then I went on to do two sets of six 30-sec-on/30-sec-off intervals, and arranged it so that the wind was a tailwind home.  Beautiful.
This week: 30/30’s today and Thursday.  Next week, 1min/1min.  Add 30 seconds a week until it’s 2:30/2:30 on week 5.  Then... just go ride.  No stress, no hammerheads, no problem.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wind power's not all that either.

As seen here.

Somehow, I think I'd rather live next door to a nice safe clean fission reactor.