23 July 2008

I love mascots

Just not necessarily Olympic ones.

New Olympic Mascot A Trainwreck As Always

In a classic case of overthinking something into oblivion, cities obsess over the stupid mascots for years, until they create some sort of awful mutant-by-committee. The WSJ reports that the Beijing mascot is disliked even by the artist who created them.

Throughout the 70s and 80s, mascots were fairly normal: a tiger, an eagle, a bear, a beaver, a gay dachsund.... In 1992 abstraction took over... Pictures of the Olympic mascots from '92 onwards.

Barcelona 1992: "Cobi." WTF.

Atlanta 1996: "Izzy." No.

Sydney 2000: "Syd, Ollie, and Millie." Why?

Athens 2004: "Athena and Phevos." God.

17 July 2008

Cool and creepy

all at once...

And, kind of romantic too.
Ryan is a friend of a friend. Both he and his gf are pretty cool people. I'm glad Gawker picked it up. Some of the comments were pretty funny, but some seemed meanspirited, which is pretty New York for ya.

09 July 2008

The New York City Waterfalls

The New York City Waterfalls, whose spigots open at the end of the month and run until October...are a pet project of Michael Bloomberg, who is rumored to have personally paid much of the tab and whose office steered the project through a byzantine permit process... Robert Benazzi, the hydraulics designer working with Eliasson, created a system that will suck up the East River, lift it ten stories into the air, and drop it back down, thousands of gallons a minute. He says the only comparably complex job in his 40-year career was designing the sprinkler system for the Sears Tower.

Eliasson [is] a 41-year-old Danish-Icelandic artist who lives in Copenhagen, works in Berlin, and currently has a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art and P.S. 1... Many of his best-known works explore architecture and the mechanics of perception, almost as if the fantastical imaginings of Buckminster Fuller were reinterpreted by a cognitive scientist. Eliasson’s work is most compelling, however, in its visceral embrace of beauty and wonder, prompting the kinds of basic questions that most of us stopped asking when we were 7 years old.

The waterfalls, he hopes, will provoke New Yorkers to raise similar questions about something we habitually ignore. “You take the water around Manhattan for granted,” Eliasson says... To help restore our sense of engagement with that landscape, he wants “to make water explicit.” It’s a phrase he often employs. “Falling water, it makes a sound, it engages a whole different range of senses. You see gravity. To make it explicit is to take it, hold it up, and let it fall.”

How it works

03 July 2008

I plod too!

This pretty much describes my running lately as well as I train for the NYC Half...


There is plenty of advice here, and on other websites, about how to improve your running. But what do you do on those days when nothing seems to work?

Your intervals are slow. Your strides are uneven. Your mood stinks and you’re completely gassed about halfway through your 12-miler.

I’m a big believer in getting something positive – anything – out of every training run. So when I find myself at the end of my tether and recognize I’m in the middle of a session I’m going to want to immediately forget afterwards, I make the decision to shift into low gear and enter plodding mode.

Of course, sometimes your body utilizes its automatic transmission and shifts into plodding mode all by itself. What I’m suggesting is to decide not to fight it.

Train for it.

The effect is partly psychological but has physiological benefits as well. If you stop being angry with yourself, if you slow down significantly and tend to your body’s needs, your heart rate will level off and you’ll automatically feel better. Some days that’s enough. But I find it works so well that I often end up exiting plodding mode and going back to a steady running pace to finish up strong.

Some people might call these junk miles. Junk is in the eye of the beholder. Excellent runners think all my miles are junk. But one man’s junk is another man’s treasure, and the best way to overcome your fear of disaster during your target race is to prepare for it.

Team Shasta finish Primal Quest

in the Top 20! They're so awesome!
For a blow-by-blow, check out MontainWaz's blog.

02 July 2008

Ok, who's kicking open the fence?

I'll be the pot bellied pig.

Giraffe gathers troops, leads great escape from circus

Fifteen camels, several llamas and a potbellied pig broke out of a circus near Amsterdam on Monday. The ringleader? A giraffe who bolted, too.

Police said the giraffe kicked open a fence and walked out.

"The other animals walked out with him," said Amsterdam police spokesman Rob Van Der Veen.

The animals were part of a traveling circus that had set up its tents in the city of Amstelveen, six miles outside the Dutch Capital.