That’s how it’s supposed to be done!

This exhibition of superb control is what I’ve always believed every motorcyclist should be taught. I’m not saying we’d all be as good as this rider, but I’m fed up with people who climb astride a heavy, clunky, unwieldy bike, that can do insanely high speeds, but have no idea how to maneuver it at low speeds or ease it through a constricted, convoluted course. The latter skills are vital to safety on the road, but very few schools teach them, and very few riders bother to learn them. I hope this video gives at least some riders the desire

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The criminal justice system fails again

I was appalled and very sad to read of the death of Officer John Maguire of Woburn, MA. He was 60 years old, and on the point of retirement. The Boston Herald reports: The town’s post-Christmas peace was shattered by ex-con Dominic Cinelli, 57, of Woburn, and his plan to use the blizzard’s cover to knock over the department store. His scheme ended in the exchange of gunfire, which left him dying on the snow-swept, diamond-strewn pavement. . . . Maguire, son of the late Woburn Police Chief Thomas J. Maguire, had just come from talking a woman out of

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Your tax dollars at work . . . or are they?

Apparently no-one knows exactly what your tax dollars are doing! Accounting Today reports: The U.S. Government Accountability Office said it could not render an opinion on the 2010 consolidated financial statements of the federal government, because of widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations. . . . Dodaro also cited material weaknesses involving an estimated $125.4 billion in improper payments, information security across government, and tax collection activities. He noted that three major agencies — the DOD, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Labor — did not get clean opinions. Nineteen of 24 major

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Doofus Of The Day #425

Actually, this post should perhaps be titled ‘Doofus Of The Year 2010’! A New Zealand web site has nominated Florida as ‘top of the odd news’ for the past year. This year, Floridians learned that burials at sea don’t work if the body doesn’t sink, giant snail mucus can make you sick and that an underwire bra can stop a lawyer from visiting her client in prison. Florida lived up to its reputation for being an odd state in 2010, with residents committing stupid crimes, making poor decisions and exhibiting general weirdness. . . . Several people in Miami complained

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Irony of the week

Richard Littlejohn, writing about the many ‘green’ power-generating wind turbines deployed in England, points out: Over the past three weeks, with demand for power at record levels because of the freezing weather, there have been days when the contribution of our forests of wind turbines has been precisely nothing. It gets better. As the temperature has plummeted, the turbines have had to be heated to prevent them seizing up. Consequently, they have been consuming more electricity than they generate. Let’s hear it for ‘green’ – NOT! Peter

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Beer . . . Rube Goldberg style!

The advertisement below is for the Austrian brewery Trumer. They decided to publicize their beer by building a Rube Goldberg-type affair (or, for viewers in Britain and her former colonies, a ‘Heath Robinson‘ sort of thing). This is the result. Full marks for creativity! Peter

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Another nail in the coffin for globular worming?

The Mayor of London, England, points to a British forecaster who’s beaten the Meteorological Office and everyone else in correctly forecasting the events of the winter thus far. Allow me to introduce readers to Piers Corbyn, meteorologist and brother of my old chum, bearded leftie MP Jeremy. Piers Corbyn works in an undistinguished office in Borough High Street. He has no telescope or supercomputer. Armed only with a laptop, huge quantities of publicly available data and a first-class degree in astrophysics, he gets it right again and again. Back in November, when the Met Office was still doing its “mild

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A geek Christmas tree

Reader Steve R. e-mailed me these pictures of a ‘Christmas tree’ made out of the remains of 70 computer hard disk drives. He informs me that they were pulled out of several old computer servers that were being replaced by more modern hardware. Instead of reformatting all the old disk drives, one of the techs decided to dismantle them and make use of their platters in a festive mode befitting the Christmas season. They certainly make for a unique Christmas tree! Peter

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Credit-card-sized tools

I saw Iain Sinclair’s credit-card-sized CardSharp knife mentioned on Gizmodo recently. It’s described as follows: CardSharp [is] a superlight and supersharp utility knife, the same size as a credit card. Just three ingenious folding operations metamorphosise the card into an elegant pocket utility tool. Slimmer and lighter than an ordinary knife. The extra long stainless steel surgical blade ensures longer lasting rust free sharpness. The built-in protective sheath helps prevent injury or blunting. There’s more at the link. Here’s a video clip showing the blade being deployed. The CardSharp isn’t the only credit-card-sized tool developed by Iain Sinclair. They also

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