Posts Tagged ‘mountains’
Mars Express‘ mooch around the red world has actually yielded an additional set of snaps it felt deserving of including to its Facebook wall. It’s spent time looking at the Reull Valliss, a dry river that runs for the bulk of 932 miles (1,500 km) with the Promethei Terra highlands– and in some locations is over 4.3 miles (7km) wide and nearly 1,000 feet (300m deep). Researchers think that at some point, there was a lot of water in the location, as the landscape reveals signs of glaciation. Fancy a short game of amateur topographer? Check out the gallery we have actually got for you.
[ Image Credit: ESA/DLR/FU, G. Neukum ]
Submitted under: Science, AltCommentsVia: SlashgearSource: European Space Company
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As Olympus’ recent accounting scandal finally begins to wind down, the guy who blew the whistle on the financial wrongdoings might actually be the one to make out like a bandit. Michael Woodford, former chief executive of the company, has settled out of court with his former employer over his unfair dismissal that occurred just two weeks after his appointment. The settlement still has to be approved by the mostly new board (read: the other guys got arrested), but the Financial Times speculates that it’ll result in £10 million ($ 15.5 million) being awarded to Woodford, or what’s left on his contract. Company stock prices are around half of what they stood at before the scandal. Suddenly all those Facebook shares you jumped on don’t look so bad.
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I am an unabashed outdoor geek, just as obsessed with outdoor activities as I am tech. If you’re thinking “me too”, read on.
Last year I took up running and was looking for an adventurous challenge to push me as I trained. I decided to join my father on a high country camping, hiking, and trail running trip to the San Juans in southwestern Colorado. I had so much fun that I decided to tell the world about it in an Ignite talk on running (see video after the jump or check it out here) several months later. I also decided to set a goal of going back to the Rockies soon and bringing my wife and children with me the next time.
Where to go turned out to be easy to decide. My father and I enjoy hunting together (one of the oldest of “geek dad” activities given how obsessed many of us hunters are with spending time afield with our family). After years of applying and not being drawn, this summer my father and I finally received Wyoming pronghorn antelope tags in the mail. Since we’ll be hunting in the high plains of western Wyoming just a few hours away from Yellowstone National Park, the decision was made: The Day family is headed to Yellowstone!
Over the next few weeks I’ll be writing about places to visit (look out Buffalo Bill Historical Center and Wyoming Dinosaur Center), favorite gear and gadgetry to make the journey smoother, and outdoor activities with family including camping, hiking, trail running, bird and critter watching, and hunting. If you have suggestions or questions you’d like me to address, please let me know via the comments below. Hopefully these posts will give you fodder for your own geek family adventures this fall.
More to come soon.Â Until then, happy trails!
Western Wyoming for Geek Families
Geeks love movies.
Geeks love T-shirts.
Geeks love to express their love of movies on their T-shirts.
And the folks at Last Exit To Nowhere love to make geeky t-shirts inspired by geeky movies.
The company was set up about 3 years ago by a bunch of movie geeks who also happen to be designers, illustrators, screenprinters and photographers. Their goal was to create something a little bit different, and you can see the pride they obviously take in their work from the results.
Where their designs differ from the plethora of other T-shirts out there is in the almost forgotten art of subtlety. Anyone can knock up a shirt with the movie’s logo on it or write something ‘witty’ in The Terminator font, but Last Exit likes to do it in a much more esoteric way. Of course, as soon as someone has a great idea like this, there’s instantly hundreds of copycats around the web, but beware of imitations!
I’ve seen hundreds of variations of Jack Nicholson’s head coming through the chopped up doorway saying “Here’s Johnny!”, but Last Exit’s take on The Shining resulted in a vintage effect logo for ‘The Overlook Hotel’, complete with the mountains in background.
Why settle for Sloth’s ever quotable, but eminently predictable, “Hey, you guys!” on your Goonies-themed tee, when you could have the logo for the “Lighthouse Lounge” resturant and bar?
Sometimes they take the logo of a company glimpsed for only a few moments in the film and reproduce it, as they’ve done with Omni Consumer Products (OCP) from Robocop and Jack Burton’s Pork Chop Express.
Other designs feature logos for corporations only mentioned verbally in the movie, which Last Exit then creates from scratch in the appropriate style. Ever wondered what the Alien franchise’s ‘Weyland-Yutani’ Corp’s logo would look like? Or how about Gaff’s Spinner from Blade Runner?
Some of the best ones are designed like tourist souvenirs from the real and fictional locations in some of our favourite flicks. How about a shirt from ‘Devil’s Tower, Wyoming’ or ‘Hill Valley High School’? Or maybe even the pub featured in An American Werewolf in London: ‘The Slaughtered Lamb’?
My favourite thing about the ‘Abe Froman, Sausage King Of Chicago’ one my wife got for me is that so few people actually get it. To them it could just a cute 50s style illustration of a guy with a sausage on a fork, only the Trufanâ„¢ will recognise it for what it is and give you that knowing nod of approval. Shame on you if you just had to Google it…
Do you know what the Shimata Dominguez Corporation do? Where did you see Jaffe’s Burger Den? What about Charlie Croker’s Couch Tours? There are so many great design from great movies that it’s actually really tough to decide which ones to buy! There is one odd thing though – all the tees seem to be based on movies from the 20th century, with only a few more recent ones. You won’t find any referencing The Matrix or Moon. Maybe the studios keep a tighter reign on the copyright these days, which is a real shame as I’d love a Lunar Industries t-shirt!
They produce some of the designs in slim-fit and hoodie styles, as well as kids sizes so the little geeklets can be in on the joke too, even if they don’t really get it. Add to that some special posters and embroidered caps and it’s a one stop shop for geek satisfaction. They use the highest quality t-shirts and the screenprinting is faultless – unless it’s supposed to have a vintage look of course. International shipping starts at Â£4, which seems very reasonable to me given that I’ve paid upwards of $10 to get shirts shipped from the US to England in the past. The ones I’ve ordered for myself have generally arrived the next day.
Last Exit To Nowhere is very active on the social media scene, and are constantly previewing new designs and running competitions through their twitter account @lastexitshirts and facebook page. Their #hashtag games are great fun to take part in even if you don’t win – the last two were #BestTopicalFilm and #BestHorrorMonster – and then there’s always the photo of the month competition, where people show off their purchases in very creative ways.
Speaking of competitions, Last Exit To Nowhere has very kindly given five lucky GeekDad readers the chance to win one their fabulous t-shirts. We thought we’d make it a bit more interesting than just leaving a comment, so we’ve put together a little multiple choice quiz for you. Correctly name all 20 movies that each of these t-shirt designs were inspired by, leave your email address and we’ll pick five winners at random on the 13th September.
Even if you don’t win, you can still save 15% on the price of the t-shirts be using the code GEEKDAD at the checkout on lastexittonowhere.com.
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Last Exit To GeekDad
This Saturday, the 97th edition of the Tour de France starts in Rotterdam, kicking off three weeks of bicycle racing. Twenty-one teams of nine riders each will have to endure 3,600 kilometers of racing and 25 mountain passes to reach the finish line on the Champs-Ã‰lysÃ©es in Paris. It is an event full of incredible human achievement and endurance. But it’s also full of geeky goodness. I decided to update last year’s post encouraging you to enjoy the race.
Here are my top ten reasons why geeks should love the Tour de France:
10. Aerodynamics. During the three weeks of the Tour, the teams and their riders battle one another. But they also battle against air resistance. In a group of cyclists riding closely together, the rider in front is expending as much as 30% more energy than those behind him or her. That means that a rider doesn’t want to be out in front for long. Bicycling tactics call for a rider to let someone else lead for most of the race day, then come from behind to grab the win. The peloton forms as a way for the riders to share the work of cutting through the wind. A single cyclist out in front riding ahead of the peleton stands little chance of victory, faced with battling the wind alone. This is why breakaways rarely survive.
9. Twittering Cyclists. Many of the stars of the event are avid users of Twitter. Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) even announced the birth of his son, Max, on Twitter and announced his upcoming (second) retirement on Twitter.Â Other Tour de France participants using Twitter include: Levi Leipheimer of Team Radio Shack (@Levi_Leipheimer), Cadel Evans of BMC Racing (@cadelofficial), Dave Zabriskie of Team Garmin (@dzabriskie), Christian Vande Velde of Team Garmin (@ChristianVDV), George Hincapie of BMC Racing (@ghincapie) [Mrs. GeekDoug's favorite], Johan Bruyneel, Manager of Team Radio Shack (@JohanBruyneel), and last year’s champion Alberto Contador (@albertocontador).
8. The Team. Like any geek adventure, it’s not just about individual achievement. Sure the team leader gets the fame and glory, but it requires team work for victory. The domestiques help keep the leader safe, lead him in the wind so he can conserve his energy, ferry water bottles from the team car, and even sacrifice their bikes. Each team also has a large group of mechanics who keep everything moving smoothly, including quick wheel changes for flat tires and bike changes after a crash.
Unfortunately, there is no team time trial in the 2010 edition of the race after its brief return last year. The team time trial is the ultimate combination of teamwork, aerodynamics, and outfits. The team suits up in aero helmets, skinsuits, and special time trial bikes to minimize wind resistance. (Remember, its all about aerodynamics.) In true team fashion, it is not the time of the first cyclist across, but the time of the fifth man across the finish line that applies to all members of the team.
7. The Fans. There are plenty of fans lining the race course, especially as the race cuts through cities and towns. Since the race cuts the town in half, its hard to do much except watch the race. For years it was just fans from each country supporting their countrymen and waiving their flags along the course. Then fans started lining the mountain courses, where the riders have to slow down to deal with the steep inclines. With increased television coverage, fans realized that a crazy costume might get you on worldwide coverage for a few seconds. Didi Senft, who dresses up in a red devil costume, was one of the first costumed spectators. You will see him often. The “Schlugsâ€ line the race course, camping for days in prime locations. There are also the “Schmenges,” Belgian or Dutch cycling fans who end up rather intoxicated at the top of mountain passes.
6. Wind Tunnels. Since aerodynamics play a key role in the Tour, many professional cyclists spend time in a wind tunnel to hone their position for maximum efficiency. The wind is as much the opponent as the other cyclists. Positioning is extremely important for a cyclist to be able to maintain a low drag while still producing sufficient power. Since bicycle aerodynamics are very specific to each different riderâ€™s body size and type, a position that works well for one may not work well for another. Its not just the rider and bicycle frame. They test the water bottles, wheels, helmets, handlebars, and clothing. They even designed a special pocket on the back of the jersey to hold the racing number instead of clipping it on. Watch Lance Armstrong in the Wind Tunnel.
5. Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. These two Brits have been the voice of professional cycling for years. Expect each day to be full of wonderful quips like “He’s really having to dig deeply into the suitcase of courage,” “Carnage is the only way to describe this ascent,” “The devil has joined in and that’s never a good sign”, and “He’s dancing on his pedals.” The Liggett-isms do tend to carry over from year to year. You might want to play Phil and Paul Bingo to help follow along with commentary. Kidding aside, I think they are the best announcing team in all of professional sports. They offer an encyclopedic knowledge of the race, the riders and the course.
4. The Clothing. Anyone who has seen an amateur cyclist cruising down the street knows that cyclists wear special clothes. During a race, there are special jerseys which denote a rider’s status. The leader in the time competition wears the yellow jersey, the leader in the sprint competition wears a green jersey, the king of the mountains wears a polka dot jersey, and the best young rider gets a white jersey. There are also special purpose outfits, such as the time trial kit. In the time trial, racers compete against the clock (either as an individual as a team) and clothe themselves in the most aerodynamic way they can, with special helmets to cut through the wind. (Remember, its all about aerodynamics.)
3. The Countryside. Over its three weeks, the race winds its way across the French countryside and into neighboring countries. Race coverage is full of helicopter shots, highlighting the racers, farms, castles, rivers and panoramas. Many of the race days are visually stunning. The mountains often loom above, some still speckled with snow. Even in the heat of the summer, French farmers build elaborate monuments to the race as it passes by their farms. Some displays are simple collections of hay bales. Others are elaborate moving displays of bicycle action. There will also be plenty of helicopter shots of medieval castles, cathedrals, and Roman ruins. Part of the Tour’s magic lies in the changing backdrops to the action, with villages competing to devise the most elaborate welcome signs.
2. The Equipment. The Tour de France bicycles are some of the most high-tech equipment used in any human powered sport. Titanium, carbon fiber, and high tensile steel alloys are routinely used for bicycle parts and frames. Lance Armstrong proclaimed in the title of one his books that It’s Not About the Bike. The bikes are still very cool, being the product of intensive development. Many bicycles are wind tunnel tested to maximize aerodynamics. (Remember that it’s all about aerodynamics.) The bikes for the time trial days of the race, where the cyclists rides against the clock (either alone or with their teams), are especially odd looking. This bike bears little resemblance to the geeklets’ boulevard cruisers.
1. Lance Armstrong. He is back this year, looking for another victory after “retiring” in 2005. What could be a geekier team than one sponsored by Radio Shack. Clearly he is a tremendous athlete, which would place him in the jock category. But Lance has geek credentials. I already mentioned his avid use of Twitter. The silicone cause bracelet phenomenon started when Lance convinced Nike to sell the bright yellow LiveStrong bracelets to raise money to cure cancer. The original target was 25 million; to date, Nike and LiveStrong have sold over 70 million. During the Tour of California last year, his first race after un-retiring, he had two special numbers on the frame of his bike: 1247 and 27.5. The first is the number of days that he had been retired and the second, shocking number represented the 27.5 million people who had died of cancer during his retirement. Lance, after all, is a man who cheated his own death, having survived testicular cancer.
The Kids. I don’t want to forget the kids, since GeekDad is the parenting blog of Wired. My geeklets like watching bike racing. The bright colors, incredible action and great scenery keep their attention. They should be entranced by the vivid images and dulcet tones of Phil and Paul.
Watch. There is live and delayed coverage of the Tour de France on the Versus TV network.
Here is the original post:
Top Ten Reasons That Geeks Should Love the Tour de France (Wayback Machine)