Thursday, October 27, 2005

Loopin' Louie

A challenge of nerves, skill, reflexes and grit, Loopin' Louie ain't no ordinary boardgame, it's a test of your true mettle.

Four players, one Louie. Louie pilots his red barnburner in a maniacal circle, cackling as he tries to knock your chicken tokens from their precarious perch. Your only defense: a uniquely colored paddle that with a properly timed tap can send Louie soaring over your token trove, and hopefully, into someone elses.

I played this game for untold hours in high school and lament its passing. Love you Louie. Maybe one day I'll spend fifty bucks on you on eBay and we can be together again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Velodrones: Bike Mechs

Bike parts maker SRAM commissioned Japanese sculpture artist Yasuhito Udagawa to create the 'Velodrones' as a trade show lookie-here audience draw.

From Wired:

Known for his mechanical mutant craftsmanship, [Udagawa] turned a pile of SRAM brake levers, crank arms, suspension forks, cassette teeth, and other components into two fully articulated, 16-inch-tall robot sculptures. Each baby mech - one Evil and the other Good - integrates more than 300 pieces, batteries included.

Lucid Argument for a Fixed w/ Brake

Here's one of the more lucid arguments for using a front brake on a track bike when riding in the street that I've read (esp from a messenger).

Are Brakes for Flakes from Moving Target Zine

Brakes by Winston

Riding fixed wheel bikes without brakes in London has become an emotive subject. I am 100% for all London fixies riding with a front brake and here’s why:

You often hear of claims that some rider’s skill level on a fixed wheel bike is so high that they can stop in the same distance as a regular bike – well this may or may not be true, but however quickly you can stop, if you bolt a brake on to your bike you will be able to stop quicker!

As we couriers are paid piece-rate, the speed we can ride can massively affect our earnings; brakeless riders, knowing their ability to stop is not as good, ride slower…..I’m sure there will be many people who deny this but it’s a fact. We’ve all got a good idea who the fastest riders and top earners are in London and they all use brakes.

As a generally left leaning / socialist kind of person, I don’t just believe in the government looking after us as best it can, but also in having some kind of social / communal conscience. There are other more vulnerable people than you out there – Which leads me to:

Is being a courier is an athletic / image lifestyle choice for some, not that different from being a surf bum maybe? I have limited experience in three sports: competitive cycling, surfing and snowboarding. When you sign on for a race, head for the slopes or paddle out you can be sure that everyone else on the track, mountain or in the line-up are there knowing that their chosen pursuit is dangerous. They are all taking a shared and joint risk or they wouldn’t be there.
The street, the courier’s playing field isn’t like this. Pensioners, children, disabled people etc. have not agreed to share in YOUR risk but if you ride brakeless you are making them without asking.

By this I don’t just mean: ‘it’s naughty so don’t do it’, I’m talking about liability…...
Consider the following (highly possible in London) scenarios:
A black cab / white van/HGV runs you over, it’s completely his fault. You’re injured, your bike’s broken – you think you might get compensation totalling your lost earnings and a new bike at least? If the driver or the cop spots you’ve got no brakes: that’s “contributory negligence”. You may not get a penny and that driver will be free to go and run someone else over without having received a single point on his licence.
You’re riding casually along Oxford Street when one of those idiot parents decides to use their child in a pushchair as a “traffic tester”. There’s an impact, you feel terrible, it’s not your fault and the policeman spots you’ve got no brakes…. Think about the consequences….

Well that’s it, except to say, if you do want to ride fast and brakeless with a bunch of people who enjoy it as much as you do and are more than happy to share your risk then see you down the track on Saturdays!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

OLDBOY. That was gross and awesome.

If you haven't seen it yet, check it out:

Korean movie called Oldboy.

Dude gets imprisoned for 15 years. Doesn't know why.

Gets out. Goes to get revenge w/ clawhammer.

In the meantime, eats a live octopus. Tentacles and suckers and slime pulling at his face while he goddamn chews the thing. Apparently, four octopi were most definitely and irreparably harmed while shooting this scene.

Just to be clear, live octopus is often eaten in Korea. They usually slice it up first, though.

This guy: Orders live octopus. Grabs it. Starts eating the head off.

Anyway, I thought it was a fun movie.

DangerDoom, Dear God it's Good

I've been listening to DangerDoom's soon to be released debut Mouse and the Mask all morning, and I'm rejoicing. MF Doom and DJ Danger Mouse have partially plugged the sucking hole in my heart created by my yearning for a new record on the level of Deltron 3030. Yeah.

Mouse and the Mask isn't quite as tight as Deltron, and let's face it, you can't touch Del's lyrics on that one, but I thank DangerDoom for helping to save hiphop from the likes of the typical hit-mongers. I'm not even really a hiphop fan, but good music is good music.

There are some weaker tracks on the album, and sampling Meatwad over and over gets a little old, but DangerDoom spit out a reference to one of my fav Shakespeare phrases on "Sofa King" - "... got confronted by the beast with the two backs" - and it made me go "Uh. Uh." (In a hiphop way. In concert with hand raising.)

MySpace is hosting a listening party until the 10th. Album release on Oct. 11.

Note: Probably due to the collaboration with Cartoon Network, but the album is censored. Every so often a word is bleeped. I'd rather Doom just left the potty mouth out and saved my ears the annoying tone. Oh, well.

From Epitaph's site:

Two of this generation's most respected hip-hop artists, Danger Mouse and DOOM, have come together to produce DANGERDOOM: The Mouse and the Mask, an album inspired by Adult Swim, Cartoon Network's popular late-night animation network. The album, set to debut in October 2005, will be released on Epitaph Records, in association with Adult Swim. The album will contain character voices and skits from Adult Swim's most popular original shows, including Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021 and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

This Cat Looks Pissed

Over at the Japanese site CATPRIN, you can have their expert tailor fashion you a kitty costume.

Something in the Engrish translation suggests a little more, though...

Have Fun With CatPrin:

1. Dress her up. Cheer or yell, do whatever you like to enjoy the moment with your family.

2. After you are enough with your joy, take a photo! Take some poses and leave her some cute photos!

3. Remove her clothes and give her a hub, say "Thank you!"

Coincidentally, this site is the origin of a photo the lady and I have had on the fridge for months, clipped from The Stranger.

Bike Saddles and Renobs (all kinds)

I've experienced numbness after long rides in a bike saddle, I'm not afraid to tell you.

But that happens when experimenting with new saddles. You have to find the right saddle for your body and adjust it properly, and doing this can take time and cause some frustration. My guess is that a lot of people get fed up with searching/adjusting or just think that saddles are supposed to be uncomfortable, so they settle.

Here's yet another article quoting this guy Dr. Goldstein (again) warning against the impotency dangers of riding a bike. I don't argue that some men have experienced impotency as a result of using the wrong saddle for them. However, what Dr. Goldstein should be researching is proper fit instead of using inflammatory language to get attention.

I ride a paper thin Selle Italia SLR on my road bike. Yes, it's light weight and looks fuggin' cool, but it also properly supports my sit bones (the ischial tuberosities, if you will), which are the points of contact that matter when fitting a saddle. Many people cannot stand the SLR - b/c it doesn't fit them!

On my everyday bike, I rock a Brooks Pro, of course. Because the thing fits my ass like an ass-glove.

And none of this has to do with how big the saddle is, or (shudder), how gel padded it is. At least the article mentions why gel saddles are not your friends.

We can partly blame researchers like Dr. Goldstein for the bike industry's production of them, however. The industry caters to the fears of its consumers. Nothing like aiming at the crotchal area to scare a man.

Check out Mr. Brown's article for the lowdown on saddles from a guy who knows the subject well.