Tim and the Tin Titan


Rolling Commentary
The Tour de France commentary on yesterday's individual time trial up the Alpe D'Huez on CyclingNews.com was hilarious:

with the estimated four billion (give or take a few ibex) spectators on the climb today
By the way, the four billion spectator estimate may be a little wide of the mark. CN's reporters Chris Henry and Tim Maloney, who are following Alessandro Bertolini up the mountain, did a quick head count and came up with 500,000 people.
The earlier head count of spectators may have to be revised downwards a little, when some actual mathematics are applied. Given that the road is 15.5 km long and fans can stand on both sides, 100,000 people equals 3 people per meter. Given that the crowds are between one and five deep, we estimate that there are in fact 53 people on L'Alpe d'Huez today.
In response to the readers asking about eliminated riders today. What happens if a rider misses the time cut? Simple. They are turned into Soylent Green.
Most riders are not wearing helmets today, as the aerodynamic advantage would be offset by the weight and the extra heat. Some are using caps, others opt the bare headed approach. Danilo Hondo has so much gel in his hair that he probably does have an aerodynamic advantage!
Hondo finishes in 45'36, hair intact. Third best time!
Laurent Brochard (Ag2r) sets off, mullet flapping in the breeze. Surely that will slow him down a bit.
Chris points out re: Brochard that a well-executed mullet should have the effect of streamlining airflow around the head. We'll see.

Extreme Makeover: Military Edition
Bigger breasts offered as perk to US soldiers

The New Yorker magazine reports in its July 26th edition that members of all four branches of the US military can get face-lifts, breast enlargements, liposuction and nose jobs for free – something the military says helps surgeons practice their skills.
Between 2000 and 2003, military doctors performed 496 breast enlargements and 1361 liposuction surgeries on soldiers and their dependents, the magazine said.

Seriously, WTF? The army wants to produce skilled plastic surgeons? "Oh I'm sorry, I can do anything about that gaping shrapnel wound but I can botox those wrinkles if you want?"

Tips Thread
This thread The Awful Forums - Little tricks you've picked up along the way is full of tips about everything, some great, some pretty stupid. The first ten pages or son have been collected here but there are over 30 pages in total.

There are also some funny comments along the way:
- Hitting most electric devices will generally make them work again.
- The technical term for this is 'Percussion Tuning.'


Two Simple Flash Games
Curveball: move your paddle when you hit the ball to give it a spin, giving you more points and more chances to defeat your enemy. Watch out at higher levels, the enemy starts throwing curves back at you.

Top Score: level 8, 26715.

Eskiv: use the arrows to direct the black ball to the grey square, avoiding the blue balls (ha!).

Top Score: 85, pretty bad, I'm too impatient.

Google for Torrents
If I can ever get BitTorrent to work, this will come in handy:
Bitoogle: the bit torrent file search engine (bittorrent). A search engine that lets you find Torrent links listed in it's directory. And since finding the good torrents is often the hardest part, this should help move the format along.

The Games We Play
Scotsman.com has a great article about what goes in the Olympics when the athletes are not competing.
Apparently, there are two kinds of Olympians: the contenders and the tourists. The contenders are all business and don't party (at least, not until their competitions are over). The tourists, on the other had, have no chances of winning medals and are just there for the experience. And what an experience it is!
Between non stop gourmet food and drink, discoteques open around the clock and the perfect bodies of thousands of young men and women with boundless energy, it is like an amusement park for adults.

Intimate encounters between athletes of different countries and disciplines seem extremely common. At the Salt Lake City games, there were roughly 10,000 participants and the organizers handed out 250,000 condoms. That is 25 per person for the 14 day period. If you consider that a couple only needs one condom each time, you can deduce that their is a lot of action in the village. I guess a lot are brought back as souvenirs but still...
And of course, Canada shares the prize of hardest drinking country with Australia (CAN at the winter games , AUS at the summer games).
A very interesting and fun piece, go take a look.

Train on the Brain
I caught a nice documentary on TVO the other day: Train on the Brain. I regret that I did not catch it from the beginning but what I saw looked great. Alison Murray travels as a hobo on freight trains across Canada and the US, showing us how the people who choose to not have a permanent and ride the rails live. She goes to the annual hobo convention (where they elect a King and Queen for the year) and meet many interesting people.

One fascinating tidbit is the pride some of these people have in being physically dirty, they wear it like a badge of honor of being a real hobo. When Alison take a ride in an empty coal car, she gets filthy and loves it.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to find it on DVD anywhere... But keep an eye out for it on TV or your local independent film festival.

According to this article, Alison will have a new documentary out soon: 
British film director Alison Murray (best known for the C4 documentary Train on the Brain) has had an unofficial mentor in Atom Egoyan ever since they met at a Canadian film festival. In fact Egoyan executive produced Murray's first feature film, Mouth to Mouth, a study of 1980s street culture which she has just finished shooting in Europe.

While reading up on this movie, I found out about another movie with almost the same formula: Catching Out. This time it's Sarah George hopping on the train, but she seems much more prepared than Alison, having a crew and researching contacts before hand. While I have not seen Catching Out, I can't help but wonder what this less spontaneous style will for the documentary style. Catching seem to have a bigger budget, including it's own website and DVD distribution.

And in case you are wondering, IMDB puts 2000 as the release date for Train on the Brain and 2003 for Catching Out but it seems that Catching Out might have been started before Brain...


Great Quote
In the gizmodo artice about the SmartKlamp: Single-Use, Automatic Circumcisions, we get this gem before the jump to the product page:
"(warning, bloody boy genitals ahoy!)"