‘random stuff’ Archives
A font based on the handwriting of Franz Kafka, created by the Finnish designer Julia Sysmäläien. Via Nerdcore.
Four years after their famous treadmill video, which was watched over 40 million times on Youtube, OK Go has made an even more impressive one:
It is based on the 1987 German art video Der Lauf Der Dinge.
Click here for the making of.
Luke Winn, reporter for Sports Illustrated reported on the Holland Heineken House last week, witnessing the “coronation” of Bob de Jong after his 10K bronze speed skating medal. This left SI with a weird fascination for this Dutch star speed skater:
To judge by the video and images Luke posted here last week, speedskater Bob de Jong of the Netherlands is a world-class wastrel. His wild black hair gives him the look of someone freshly emerged from a session in an Amsterdam coffee shop. And while presiding over the bacchanalia in Richmond’s Holland Heineken House on Tuesday night, de Jong seemed well-acquainted with the title sponsor’s product.
Turns out that de Jong, the accidental medalist in the 10,000 meters after countryman Sven Kramer’s disqualification, is something of an ascetic. He lives in a spartan garret in Berlin and devotes himself obsessively to his athletic craft. That wild hair is cultivated, he says, so the hood of his speed suit will puff up in just the right, aerodynamic way. In fact, the Dutch know Bob as spokesman for BOB, a nationwide campaign against drunk driving. BOB is an acronym for Bewust Onbeschonken Bestuurder — literally, “conscious non-drinking driver,” or designated driver. Pass a breathalyzer test at a random checkpoint in the Netherlands, and you’re handed a BOB keychain.
It’s not an Olympic medal. It’s not even an Olympic pin. But as a token — dare I say “Bob-ble” — of my fortnight in Holland-on-the-Fraser, I want me a BOB keychain.
Luke Winn’s Olympics blog.
Time to annex some countries. After all, if you can’t pay your debt, you become bankrupt and all your assets go to your creditors.
Interesting article in The Guardian on Charles Veley, who supposedly is the “most-travelled man” in the world, having visited 806 out of 871 “countries”.
Heligoland is number 806 on Veley’s list of visited “countries”. He ticked off all the 193 UN-recognised nations eight years ago, and since then he has been collecting islands and atolls, provinces and protectorates. These days he runs a website called Most Traveled People, which has 8,000 members, mostly, like him, “competitive travellers”, trading stories about Mizoram, Kingman Reef and Rio Muni. He established it, he suggests, in an attempt to bring some rigour to these travellers’ tales, to rationalise the globe’s possibilities (and, you imagine, to advertise his own unprecedented wanderlust).
It hasn’t, he concedes, always worked out like that. The world of competitive travelling is, well, nothing if not competitive. For a start, deciding what is and what isn’t a separate “country” – “a discrete geographical, ethnological or political entity” – threatens to become almost a full-time job in itself. Border disputes are rife. “People put forward nominations and I collect those,” he says. “And whatever has the most nominations becomes a candidate, and then there is a voting process. Spain and France and Italy and several others are now divided into semi-autonomous regions. So it’s getting tougher…” He doubts anyone, not even himself, will ever get the whole list (which currently stands at 871). “We are always adding new places. And there are already some really difficult places out there. Like Scott Island, a New Zealand island toward Antarctica; only six people have ever landed on it.” He says this with a certain frustration.
Also some news about another traveler: Henk de Velde has published a book (in Dutch) on his experiences during the first two years of his “never-ending voyage”.
Dit gaat nergens meer over. Vorig jaar was het eind april uitverkocht. Terwijl er nog hoegenaamd niets over de line-up bekend is.
- Update: Het is officieel! Zie http://www.lowlands.nl/news.php?page=620
- Update 2: Het is een fout, er zijn nog 10.000 CJP-kaarten over! http://festivalinfo.nl/news_detail.php?news_id=9195
At least, that’s the expectation. It’s 7am there now, waves expected at 11.19am. Not much can be said about the size of the event, except that it is to be “significant”. Evacuations have started and sirens are going off. Also there’s a run on supplies.
- Update 12.27pm: this Kirk Matthews guy, the narrator at the live coverage, is actually pretty funny. Just a minute ago a guy was walking on the beach (!), and Matthews said: “Now this person may not have television, or radio… or common sense. This must be one of the stupidest things I have ever seen.”
A guy called Christiaan van Vuuren has caught tuberculosis and is recovering from this disease in quarantine. He has been for the past 55 days. To kill the time he’s making music, check out this song on the ukelele:
And here’s a rap song:
The next Die Antwoord?
An iceberg about the size of Luxembourg that struck a glacier off Antarctica and dislodged another massive block of ice could lower the levels of oxygen in the world’s oceans, Australian and French scientists said Friday.
The two icebergs are now drifting together about 62 to 93 miles (100 to 150 kilometers) off Antarctica following the collision on Feb. 12 or 13, said Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist Neal Young.
“It gave it a pretty big nudge,” Young said of the 60-mile (97-kilometer) -long iceberg that collided with the giant floating Mertz Glacier and shaved off a new iceberg. “They are now floating right next to each other.”
And here is a full guide to climate sceptics from Foreign Policy. A good article separating the legitimate concerns from the nonsense.
The PEW Research Center is doing a year-long research on the “Millennial Generation”. They now have a quiz which shows how much you conform to the ideal of a Millennial. Go ahead, give it a try.
Summer is here. I totally relate to this:
Theres nothing better than coming across a track that instantly lifts your mood, especially when you’ve never heard of the artist before.
For me, that exact scenario has occurred this evening. About forty minutes ago I stumbled across Foster The People, a band that are so new that they haven’t even played their first gig yet.
‘Pumped Up Kicks’ isn’t exactly what I’d call my normal taste, but something about it picks me up and places me in the summertime which is something I need quite desperately right now. For this, I am sold.
This is extremely cool. Carl Sagan (astronomy visionary) and Stephen Hawking ”sing” about the cosmos and the universe. Really, check it out.
A beautiful little documentary that says everything there is to say about Chatroulette.
I tried it a week ago, and my experiences were exactly the same as Casey’s. It’s funny, but it sucks. Or the other way around.
Kirsten Dunst as a blue-haired Japanese manga princess. Saw this video in a pop art exposition in the Tate Modern. Now it’s on YouTube.
See more on Nerdcore.
Last week I reported on how Americans are watching the Dutch speed skating supporters in Richmond with great bewilderment. Today Luke Winn, blogger for SI.com, writes on his experiences in the Dutch olympic fan headquarters, the “Holland Heineken House”, after the men’s 10k race yesterday. It was a terrible day for the Dutch. 6.1 million Dutch viewers (out of a population of 16 million) watched their skating hero Sven Kramer make a fatal error, which cost him the gold medal. After the tragedy Dutch fans in Richmond partied hard anyway in the Heineken House. Here are Luke’s party experiences:
Tuesday was shaping up to be the party of the Olympics — Kramer, the most famous speedskater in a speedskating-mad nation, would be coming to celebrate his gold in their favorite race, the 10,000, and the night would close with a set from Armin van Buuren, the world’s most famous trance DJ.
The Heineken House scene we witnessed later in the day was a conflicted one: Fans still showed up to drink, but they tortured themselves by watching endless replays of Kramer’s fatal lane change on banks of flat-screen TVs. Kramer, already the winner of one gold, was their most beloved Olympian; as fan Bram Van den Boom said to me, “He’s kind of like [our] Team Canada.”
When the 10,000-meter medal ceremony from Vancouver’s BC Place hit the big screens, and the Korean national anthem played, chants of “Holland! Holland!” erupted from the back of the room. The party slowly recovered after that. Van Buuren still showed, as did Holland’s bronze medalist in the race, Bob de Jong, who didn’t act conflicted about the way he’d backed into third place. I took a few moments off from consuming Heinekens to film a FlipCam movie, which includes de Jong pulling a Mark Madsen.
Click here for more, and for a video interview with Dutch fans.
SALT LAKE CITY—In a paradigm-shattering revelation that has shocked the scientific community, paleontologists from the Utah Geological Survey offered definitive proof Wednesday that, for the past 175 years, everyone has been looking at dinosaur fossils upside down. “How they moved, what their appendages were for, we were wrong about everything,” said Dr. Brian Kirch, explaining that new evidence indicates the animals slid along on what was once believed to be their backs. “Basically they scooted around by grabbing nearby vines with their mouths and pulling their bodies. Almost like a snake. What we used to think were legs were actually big flippers that flapped about in the air, driving them forward. Incredible.” Kirch told reporters that when you think about it, paleontology makes a lot more sense now.