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Cyclocross rider bunny hops up stairs

Classic! Great bike skills!

To Climb An Iceberg

Adventure seekers and professional ice climbers, Klemen Premrl and Aljaz Anderle try to climb an iceberg in Greenland.

Icebergs are very unpredictable and Klemen and Aljaz take their lives into their own hands when they attempt to climb these white mountains floating in the ocean.

Impressive and scary stuff.

Check out this classic steel framed bike from Cinelli.

Gazzetta della strada

Gazzetta della strada

Gazzetta della strada

So graceful.

See more at the Cinelli website.

I’ve never really been that competitive, and if I’ve ever been comparably fit enough to keep up with a high level athlete, it has been entirely a coincidence.

The result is that my style of exercise is to loaf along and enjoy myself, raising a sweat and burning muscles and fat at a slow rate, but at least I am exercising.

So why on earth would I join Strava?

Strava’s big selling point is that you can compare yourself with other people over segments of a ride/run and perhaps use the comparison as motivation for self-improvement.

I have a few friends and work colleagues who use Strava and have been egging me to get on board for a while, so recently I joined.

Having not ridden much at all in the past few months, I promptly set out on a mountain bike ride, at a slow pace, knowing from previous experience that if I over-exert myself on my first few re-entry rides I always get attacks of cramps somewhere between 30-50km into the ride.

The good news is that my pace meant that I did not cramp. The bad news is that I logged the ride on Strava. I was consistently bad on all the segments I passed through, even last on one reasonable climb.

 

I know I will improve, but I also know that I’ll rarely ever be in the top 1/4 of riders, especially on highly popular segments.

For those of us who end up last or near last on the leaderboard, is Strava actually a tool for encouragement or a tool of self-flagellation?

I haven’t made up my mind yet.

BUT WAIT A MINUTE!

Before you put me down as a lazy, whining loser, I have been pushing myself harder as a result of being on Strava and I will certainly get fitter because of it.

So for now, Strava makes me look lousy, and I may always look lousy, but I’m gonna have fun looking lousy and maybe one far distant morning I’ll track a ride and I won’t look so lousy anymore.

Keep riding!

Great Video to go with a great song.

Josa Peit has a very expressive face and sweet molasses dripping from her vocal chords!

Whew!

One commenter to this video says it just as succinctly as the most erudite music critic ever could – “Holy Smokes!”

Just listen.

Areni Agbabian

Tigran Hamasyan “Shadow Theater” – The Court Jester Official – YouTube.

Hear more from his latest album Shadow Theater here on YouTube:

The Poet

Road Song

Alternative Universe – Holy Smokes again! Impressive stuff!

 

Another nice piece of Progressive Jazz from the Trio Project with Hiromi Uehara, bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips.

Anthony Jackson has played with Paul Simon, The O’Jays, Steely Dan and Chick Corea amongst others.

Simon Phillips has played with Toto, The Who, Judas Priest, David Gilmour, Jack Bruce as well as the heart thumping double bass drums of Mike Oldfield’s “Crises” (skip to about 17:00 into the Crises video to hear Simon go mental).

Lovely.

▶ Hiromi The Trio Project performing “Alive” live in the studio – YouTube.

 

Read more about Hiromi at her website: http://www.hiromimusic.com/ .

I’m a Christian, so you will know my opinion about homosexuality – the Bible says it is abhorrent to God, pure and simple – but this article from Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald raises issues which our society must now discuss and resolve, not just on a societal level, but legally as well.

The heading to the article is: Judge compares incest and paedophilia to past attitudes towards homosexuality, claiming they might not be taboo anymore.

I completely disagree with the Judge’s comments in this article, but I also completely understand his train of thought: If we no longer apply Christian morality to homosexuality, what morality should we choose to decide how we approach other forms of sexuality?

If society now says it’s OK for adult people to have consenting homosexual sex, what moral code do we apply to other forms of sexual activity, which were previously dumped into the same category as homosexual sex?

How do we separate sexual activity which most of us find clearly abhorrent from sexual activity which is acceptable to society?

The modern arbiter is not the Christian moral code, but in fact the level of popularity of a sexual activity:

  • With the advent of the 1960s and the free love revolution, consenting adult heterosexual activity outside of marriage came out of hiding and society declared it was OK because everyone was doing it anyway.
  • Our current generation is now declaring that consenting adult homosexual activity is OK because everyone is doing it anyway.

Will incest and paedophilia become acceptable when everyone is doing it anyway?

Paedophilia in varying forms has historically been acceptable in some ancient societies, even continuing to modern society in some regions – see this article about Bacha Bazi, culturally accepted paedophilia in Afghanistan – should the law take the taboo away in this situation because everyone is doing it in this region anyway?

Or, if popularity is not going to be our arbiter, then what form of moral code should we choose, since we have now eschewed the Christian moral code?

I assume that any form of religion-based morality is now off the table, so what are we left with?

Philosophical morality based on ancient philosophical ideals?

Or modern philosophical ideals?

Should we enshrine current cultural morality in law today and use that as our guide?

But most of modern morality is based on religious beliefs – is that acceptable? Do we pick and choose what we want in our culture’s moral code, like putting together the toppings of a home-made pizza?

What happens when society has changed so much that we need to re-visit our morality again in the future? Do we just re-enshrine the morality of that future time and go on doing that into eternity?

If we are going to adopt a roaming morality like this, why have morality at all?

At least with Christian morality, we have a boundary that defines in its own terms what is right behaviour and what is wrong behaviour.

How should a post-religious, or indeed a non-religious society, define its social boundaries and moral codes?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alida Valli

I watched the end of the “The Third Man” this morning before the World Cup match between Brazil and Colombia.

I was drawn to an actress I’d never heard of before who looked and sounded just like a young Judi Dench.

Alida Valli was an italian actress who gave Hollywood a try – and featured as the murder suspect in The Paradine Case by Alfred Hitchcock – but the expectations placed on her of being the next Ingrid Bergman failed to materialise.

At one stage in her career, she was touted as the most beautiful woman in the world, and in the photos below, you can see why.

 

 

Star Trek Warp Core ambient background noise on a 24hr loop.

It even drifts from the right ear to the left in stereo.

Stupendous!

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