The flames of the cauldron at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. Awesome! At the end of the games, each nation will take home one of these petals as a sign of friendship.
There are certainly plenty of videos and photos for this event, but I thought I’d post some here that are a little bit different.
In terms of an event, I especially loved the industrial drummers and the chimneys, the children’s fantasy nightmare, the music video on the house, and the final fireworks.
The music throughout was excellent. With the drummers, I felt every percussion it was so loud, the body taking the brunt of the sound. Awesome! And then the final fireworks, deep impact sound ripping through your body, I loved it!
I have videos of the event and I’ll upload those to YouTube at some point, but there’s just so much to do right now!
Ok, this first photo one is not from the Opening Ceremony but was taken just before the dress rehearsal on Monday 23rd July 2012:
These flowers are along the Greenway gate into the Olympics Park, just a couple of hours before the Opening Ceremony on 27th July 2012:
These are “out of focus” shots of lights in the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on 27 July 2012; I like to call these the Olympic Rings :
The following are more traditional photos from an Olympics Opening Ceremony, just to provide some context!
Fantastic video from QualiaSoup:
Homeopaths continually demonstrate that they have no real understanding of morality:
- German Homeopathy Companies Pay Journalist who Smears UK Academic
A consortium of pharmaceutical companies in Germany have been paying a journalist €43,000 to run a set of web sites that denigrates an academic who has published research into their products.
These companies, who make homeopathic sugar pills, were exposed in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung in an article, Schmutzige Methoden der sanften Medizin (The Dirty Tricks of Alternative Medicine.)
The victim of the attacks, Edzard Ernst, was instrumental, alongside Simon Singh, to further highlight the bogus nature of the foundations of chiropractic treatments in 2009.
Eric MacDonald is absolutely right on this.
It is clear that those who keep harping on that “without religion there are no morals” have not exactly thought things through. It is plain that morals have evolved as we have evolved, grown and formed communities; it is our built-in morals, adapted somewhat to environmental factors, that allows us to function together.
There can be cases that someone can rule a district or a country with ruthlessness, someone who justifies such actions on having a strong country, or perhaps someone who does so in the name of a god. Such persons, or organisations, cannot last. Religion is certainly one such organisation. Religions have inflicted injustices, cruelties and barbarity. As I’ve said in other articles, religion is a moral façade:
Religion, contrary to the naivety expressed by some, cannot lay claim to morality. Religion is a source of enslavement, a source of inequality, a source of barbarity. Humans, as a community-based species, have derived morality from within itself, from within the community, influenced by the social interactions that takes place. And morality changes, progresses, as communities advance. But religion stakes a claim on morality, claims itself as a source of morality, and distorts it for its own means. Here we are, in the 21st century, with the inhumanity and unreason of religion exposed by advances in science and by application of critical thinking. Religion has not only passed its sell-by-date but was defective when conceived and manufactured. Let’s move on and free ourselves.
Religion enslaves. And religion kills, by Kulvinder Singh Matharu
We’ve known religion when it held vast power, when it abused that power and committed vast horrors. Let us not be seduced by whatever gifts they claim to offer, let us not be conned into believing that they command the moral landscape.
[Update 17th September 2012: Don't do this! See problems experienced at http://www.metalvortex.com/blog/2012/09/17/1008.html ]
I’ve previously described how to configure Firefox’s colour management features in Windows 7:
- Firefox colour management settings
- Why I use Firefox browser
I noted at the time that Firefox 6 had problems working with ICC v4 profiles and, coupled with the rather sparse support for ICC v4 in other software, I recommended that the user stick to using ICC v2. It has come to my attention that more recent versions of Firefox (currently 13.01) now properly support ICC v4. But Firefox needs to be explicitly configured to support ICC v4; this is done by setting the Firefox property gfx.color_management.enablev4 to “true”. I’m not entirely convinced that we need ICC v4 support in web browsers as most images on the web are untagged. But there may be specific requirements for particular users so lets try to enable it.
Setting gfx.color_management.enablev4 to “true” is easily done; see below.
Type the following into Firefox’s address bar and hit the Enter key:
You’ll then be presented with a huge list, at the top of which is a “Search” bar.
Type the following into this Search bar:
You will now be presented with a list similar to that shown here.
Just double-click on the property gfx.color_management.enablev4 to change it to the value of “true”. Then just restart Firefox.
To check that it all works, point the browser to:
Hopefully, you should see something like this:
By the way, Internet Explorer 9 also seems to pass this test but it doesn’t really, it’s lying. Look here:
So there I sat, pondering the usefulness of the long stem on my mountain bike. The stem is an Easton Haven EA90. Sure, 90mm. A shorter stem is useful for more downhill stuff and also helps with jumps by moving the centre of gravity rearward. Climbing may become a bit more difficult but I should be able to compensate by leaning forward a little bit more.
Doing some quick calculations, I surmised that reducing the stem from 90mm to 70mm with a 5 degree rise would be good for my intended riding style. I soon found the ideal stem; a 70mm RaceFace Turbine Stem with a 6 degree rise/fall (reversible). Looks gorgeous, seems ideal. So I ordered it!
I soon had the EA90 stem replaced with the RaceFace Turbine stem. Nice!
Except that the Raceface 70mm stem seemed much shorter than my EA90 stem, much shorter than a difference of 20mm would suggest when going from 90mm to 70mm. Belatedly, I measured the EA90 stem…it was 110mm, not 90mm! Oh dear. A 40mm reduction in stem length is rather drastic; I was not sure how the bike was now going to perform.
Taking the bike for a quick spin I noticed the (expected) tendency for the front end to lift but the effect was much more than I expected. I need to ride the bike in proper off-road conditions to assess how it now performs in climbing, downhill, level trails, jumping over obstacles, etc.
It’s very wet and slippery in the UK at the moment and I don’t yet trust the bike out on the wet trails. I guess I’ll have to gingerly push the bike to find its envelope. I do have the option of reversing the stem to give a 6 degree drop or remove some spacers which should help with loading the front end of the bike, but I’m not sure what that will do to my posture! The last resort is to purchase a 90mm stem; I’d go for a Raceface Turbine model again.
I should have measured the EA90 stem in the first place rather than just assuming. What was I thinking!
I made a huge leap in reducing the noise pollution from my mountain bike a few months ago; I replaced my Hope Pro 2 rear hub with an XTR hub.
Whilst riding, and also in my GoPro HD Hero 2 recordings, I was hearing a lot of clickety-clackety noises when going over very rough ground at speed; I put this down to chain slap. So I added a Bionicon C.Guide V.02 chainguide to my triple-ring setup in the hopes of reducing chain slap. The Bionicon C.Guide is a modern take on the DCD (Dave’s Chain Device) that was so popular in the 1990s.
Before fitting the Bionicon C.Guide I feared that the chain trundling through the plastic guide might cause some additional noise; this fear was unfounded as the device, so far, is silky smooth (the Squirt lube also seems to help). This, combined with the rear hub change, resulted in a very quiet bike when out riding.
However, there were still some mechanical noises in my GoPro camera recordings. I soon pinpointed this to the camera itself and eliminated that noise by opening it up and putting in some foam padding. But mechanical noise in the recording still hadn’t been completely eliminated. I traced these remaining noises to two items that were close to the GoPro camera: the Satmap Active 10 GPS device and the Knog NERD 12 bicycle computer.
On the Satmap Active 10, it was just the rechargeable battery bouncing around in the compartment. I soon resolved that by putting some foam padding in there.
On the Knog NERD 12, the noise appeared to be coming from within the device when I shook it. I took drastic action by cutting open the NERD with a junior hacksaw; this was done by cutting around the sides of the display. I soon had the unit opened. There were a bunch of items in there that could cause noise if shaken so I put some blu-tack padding in strategic locations within the device. I reassembled everything but have, temporarily, used some blu-tack for moisture protection and cello tape (or scotch tape in the USA) to hold the unit together; I’ll be using some epoxy resin to provide a more permanent assembly of the NERD at some point. Anyway, noise gone!
I do have a traditional mechanical bicycle bell that makes a little bit of noise when shaken and I have found no way of eliminating that noise. I could replace the bell but it was a birthday present from my friend’s 4-year old son so I’m unlikely to replace it any time soon! The noise is only slight and not really noticeable in the GoPro recordings so I can live with that.
The only other potential source of noise is that caused by the brake cables and gear cables hitting the GoPro camera housing whilst riding over bumps. Now, that does need some fixing. I’m looking at better placement of the GoPro and somehow fastening the cables so that they don’t hit the camera housing. I’ve not yet found a solution but have some ideas that I need to try out. It’s going to be trial and error I’m afraid.
Funnily enough, my rear disc brakes have just started to squeal a little. Oh dear, when will the noise stop!
Not only does it seem clear that the Society of Homeopaths is aware of illegal activity by their members, but that the society condones and encourages such illegal activity.
- The Society of Homeopaths Intend to Ignore the Law
- Homeopathic Pharmacies intend to break the law
I suppose that such behaviour is to be expected from those selling snake-oil.