Monday, February 28, 2011

London 2012 Olympics Zion logo

Iran is threatening to boycott the Olympics because it thinks the logo reads "ZION".  I'm more offended by the 1980s color scheme and geometric shapes.

Jet fuel assisted take off (JATO) in Antarctica

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nanook of the North documentary video

I am reading Sara Wheeler's The Magnetic North.  She travels around the Arctic Circle and describes the native peoples who live there.  In her chapter on Canada, she talks about the world's first documentary, Nanook of the North.  It's about a Canadian Eskimo and his life in the 1920s.

If you can access Youtube on your TV, this is a great way to spend an evening.

If you don't watch the whole thing, at least check out Nanook's spacious kayak from 5:10 to 7:08.  Other highlights include fishing without bait, killing a walrus, and building an igloo.

Sadly, Nanook died of TB two years after filming.  Plus, the filmmaker got Nyla pregnant.  He never acknowledged or saw their child.

American kids can't identify vegetables

This can't be real.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 26 San Francisco Libya protest rally demonstration photos

It didn't snow today in San Francisco, but it was still quite chilly.  Thankfully, the sun was out.  The turnout today was about half the size of the Egypt protest, but this had a much more grassroots feel and was less scripted.  The professional socialist demonstrators did not make an appearance.

Because the protest was held at UN Plaza, I took an obligatory picture of the name of the country that is the subject of the protest (Libya became a UN member in 1977).  I predict for the next protest, I will have to find Saudi Arabia or Algeria's name.  Don't worry about the Homeland Security police car in the background, it's just protecting that federal building.

Multi-tasking demonstrator.  An hour before the Libya protest, there was a protest a block away in solidarity with Wisconsin union members who are in pitched battle against their Republican governor and senate.  This cheesehead is pulling double duty, which is clearly against union rules.  (I kid, I kid.)

The speakers are standing on the bed of a little Toyota pick-up truck at the foot of that Simon Bolivar statue.

Somebody was really busy this week making the pre-Gaddafi Libyan flag.

Looks like San Francisco eccentric Frank Chu is sponsored by Laughing Squid.

I was kind of taken aback when I heard some migrant workers speaking Spanish and waving the Libyan flag.  Then I realized that the United Farm Workers union (of Cesar Chavez fame) was represented.  Here is a union member with an Egyptian flag.  Now that's solidarnosc.

I noticed this after leaving the protest.  Gas has gone up by 40 cents in the last few days.

Volvo 164 factory assembly line


Here are some classic 164 ads.

Friday, February 25, 2011

South: Buenos Aires-- Bad day

Day 21:

Tomorrow, we fly to Santiago.  We'll spend a day and a half there and then fly home.  Marge is taking a cooking class today.  I will take it easy and visit the planetarium.  So how bad of a day was it for me?

  • LAN Argentina, the national airline, just went on strike.
  • All long distance bus drivers also went on strike.
  • The heat wave is still going strong.
  • I found a hair in my lunch.
  • Because of the heat, I took a cab to the planetarium.  It cost much more than I anticipated due to a traffic jam.
  • Upon arrival, I learn that the planetarium is closed for remodeling.
  • Because of the expensive cab ride, I don't have enough cash to take a cab back to the hotel.
  • As I walk back, my ten year old hiking boot (left) disintegrates from the hot pavement.
There were two small highlights.  On my trek back to the hotel, I visited an Alfa Romeo dealership and picked up a brochure for my dream car, a red 159.  I don't think the rico suave salesman was impressed with my sweatiness or my hobo shoe.  He was drinking an espresso and chatting with the leggy receptionist when I shuffled in.

After I got back to the hotel, I saw a great indie flick called Take Out.  It's about a day in the life of a New York Chinese restaurant delivery man.

Ceausescu & Gaddafi

Here is Ceausescu at his last speech on Dec. 21, 1989.  He was executed the next day.

Here is Gaddafi today at Martyrs' (Green) Square.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gaddafi Time magazine covers




South: Buenos Aires-- Dakar shopping and weapons museum

Day 20:

It's hot.  I am homesick.  I just lost my fantasy football playoff game.

We take the subway to the center of the city.  The ride costs about a quarter per person.  The subway car is packed solid and there is no air conditioning.  Enterprising (and loud) young men sell their wares on the train.  One is selling MP3s (I think you choose the songs listed on a piece of paper and you get a password you can use when you go online at home).  Another sells calendars.  Yet another sells bamboo beach mats.

We walk up onto the street surface.  I am not expecting to see the Obelisk right across the street.  It appears shorter than the Washington Monument and the street is not nearly as wide as I had imagined.  It's weird how you grow up with certain misconceptions, based only on pictures you see in books.

We're looking for tango lessons.  We find the venue in a grand old, but dilapidated, building.  Despite all the marble inside, it's still hot.  I was a baby about it and put the kibosh on the dancing idea.  I'm a grinch.

We continue up Florida and go to a fancy mall.  Marge searched high and low for a new leather purse, which she found.  I found a Dakar concession stand.

I bought a t-shirt with a Dakar logo.  I wanted one with a picture of a Kamaz truck, but they only had shirts with cars and motorcycles.  There was also a KTM motorbike on display.  The 250 SX was driven in 2009's Dakar rally in Argentina and Chile by Lucas Daniel Emilio Pombo.  Since I only follow the truck and car categories, I don't know if he or the bike is significant.

What I am really excited about is the glossy book I bought.

The mall is busy with shoppers.  Christmas is just four days away.  It's hard to comprehend as the heat wave is in full effect.

We capped off the day with a visit to the Museo de Armas.  It contains thousands and thousands of small arms.  But what really piqued my interest was this gas mask for horses.

Argentina GP 1978

This is what the 2011 Bahrain GP would have looked like had it not been canceled.  You may remember that Argentina was ruled by a military junta at the time.

Via Flavio Gomes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Jaguar XJR shooting brake/estate

Seen in Paris.


Van Halen Jump video

Curly or Shemp?  Curly!
Sean Connery or Roger Moore?  Roger Moore!
David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?  David Lee Roth!

Wartburg 353 rally car and renntransporter

Photo source.

More info about the 353 on Wikipedia.

Working miniature airport and airplanes

Via Stipistop.

Jeeps in Tripoli

The sight of Gaddafi's goons patrolling Tripoli in these Jeep J8s is seriously pissing me off.  I will never see Jeep Wranglers the same way again.

It looks like Tripoli is the only city left that needs to be liberated.  Let's hope violence is kept to a minimum.  In addition to Al Jazeera's daily Libya blog, I recommend following this Twitter feed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gaddafi's next stunt? Saddam and 7 y.o. boy hostage

Remember this image?  Look for Gaddafi showing his "softer side" soon.  The end is near.

Libya statue gold fist American jet

One word: Tacky.

Cheers: To Peru's Alan Garcia for cutting diplomatic relations with Libya.
Jeers: To Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega and Fidel Castro for supporting Gaddafi.

What was Gaddafi's van/truck?

Gaddafi made a brief appearance on TV last night to assure his loyal subjects that he has not absconded to Venezuela.  But what was he riding in?  It looks utilitarian, and Italian.  It sort of looks like a large Piaggio Ape.

Stipistop's Ape

Borders sale & human nature

The travel section at Borders-- 20% off

Borders, one of the largest bookstore chains, has filed for bankruptcy.  200 stores across the country are closing and holding sales.  We drove by a store yesterday and decided to check it out.

It was pandemonium inside.  Books were strewn all over the floor.  The magazine rack was a mess-- I saw a Playboy next to a National Geographic.  The line for the cash register wound like a snake to the back of the store.  It was easily 150 people deep.  I asked a couple of people near the front of the line and they told me that they had been waiting for more than an hour.

But you know what?  Aside from the magazines, which were 40% off, everything else was just 20% off.  Do these people realize that you can easily get any book on Amazon for more than 30% off?  With no sales tax and free Super Saver Shipping with purchases of $25 and more on Amazon, I witnessed 150 people wasting a lot of time, and money.

Random travel book on Amazon-- 36%

Monday, February 21, 2011

San Francisco: Libya protest Saturday, February 26, 2011 @ 1pm @ UN Plaza

Update: Pictures here.

Be there or be square.

Here are my observations from the Egypt demonstration.

American Jeep J8s used by Libyan security forces

These modified Jeep Unlimiteds (built in Egypt) are being used right now by the Libyan government against its citizens.

Official J8 site here.

Romanian revolution of 1989, Libyan revolution of 2011

One can't help but make comparisons between the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe and what is happening across the Middle East and North Africa today.  And just as what happened in Romania was more violent than the norm (942 deaths), there are massacres going on right now in Libya.  I light heartedly speculated about where Gaddafi will retire, but in light of developments since that post, I think he should consider himself lucky if he receives a quick trial and an even quicker (and relatively painless) execution (think Ceausescu).

This video shows some incredible images of the Romanian revolt.

It's gonna snow in San Francisco this week!

The last time there was significant snowfall in San Francisco was 1976.  It may happen again by the end of this week.  More pictures and info here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Libya will be the next to fall

The Libyan ambassador to China just resigned during a live on-air interview.

Gaddafi's son is rambling on TV and talking down to his subjects like they are children.

The 500,000 strong Tuareg tribe just joined the 1,000,000 strong Warfala tribe in the uprising.

So the question is, where will Gaddafi be exiled?


Or Venezuela?

Click here for updates.

Spark 1/43 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber C29

I'm collecting cars Heidfeld drove in 2010.  The last car I need is the Sauber C29.  I can't wait for Minichamps to roll out theirs in June, so I am trying to get the 1/43 version Spark just introduced.  Except...there are other lunatics who want it too!  I am in a four-way battle for one on eBay.  Who in their right mind is collecting Pedro de la Rosa cars?!