Gapminder- a brilliant world statistics resource

I recently came across Hans Rosling’s Gapminder. This site has some of the best statistics, videos and other resources that provide realistic representations of global population growth, life expectancy, health, wealth, etc. In the last couple of days it has certainly displaced quite a few myths that I was harbouring. Gapminder has also reinforced my optimism for our future. Certainly challenges remain, but we are an adaptable and intelligent species.

This is a good Gapminder video to get you started!

Gapminder is at

Casio Pro Trek

I’ve just bought a Casio Pro Trek watch. Not too expensive, looks robust enough, with some nice features.

Casio Pro Trek watch

I’ll probably use it mostly whilst mountain biking and also on travels.

Oarsman in Myanmar

This sketch was inspired by my visit to Taungthaman Lake, Amarapura, Myanmar (Burma). There are quite a few boats on the lake to ferry people around, but I imagine most are for sightseeing U Bein Bridge.

Hand-sketched on A4 paper using charcoal and chalk, and then coloured over.


DMR Vault MG Superlight

I’ve had Point One Racing Podium pedals (the original version) for a while and they’ve been really great and have taken quite a few hits. But the main issue that I’ve had with these pedals is that the o-ring seal is quite tight which results in a fair amount of drag. I’ve tried lightweight lube to make the pedal spin better and this has helped but not enough. These pedals are actually notorious for having a high rotational drag; some see this as a feature but it wasn’t really for me.

Although Point One Racing have brought out a new version of their Podium pedals which are lighter and with less rotational drag, I thought I’d try another brand. I had heard great things of the DMR Vault pedals so bought the MG Superlight version of these pedals. These have very good grip and are also very light made from magnesium with titanium axles. The only minus for me with the DMR Vault pedals is that they not as thin as the Podiums. Time will tell if this is going to be an issue with the sort of riding I do.

When I first saw the demo Vault pedals in the shop mounted to a board they spun quite freely which I really liked and is one of the criteria I used for helping me to choose a new pedal. However, when the new pedals arrived I was a bit surprised that they had a fair bit of rotational drag. So I dismantled the pedals and noticed that the axle was liberally covered in grease. I’m sure this grease is great for keeping the elements out but I’d argue that it’s not critical with an assembly consisting of sealed cartridge bearings and DU bushings. So I wiped off all that grease and applied a very lightweight grease at all the contact points; I trust the rubber seals to keep the elements out!

Anyway, these Vault pedals now have a really sweet spin to them. I really like!


Brunei, this is just silly!

Are they serious? According to the Brunei Times, the Brunei legal system states that it is “an offence to propagate religions other than Islam to a Muslim or atheist”. And this bit:

Additionally, it is a crime to expose the child to any ceremony, act of worship or religious activity of any religion beside Islam, or to participate in any activity held for the benefit of other religions.

Go read the rest at the Brunei Times!

Tyranny of the minority

Far-right Hindu organisation forces Penguin India to recall the book “The Hindus” from India.

Those laws to “protect” religious feelings are a monstrosity.