Bike Hits 130.7 mph. On Snow

This video shows the guy going over 130 down a snow covered mountain in the Andes.


Weird Excel bug

Ok, Try this.
Select the following text and paste it into Excel.


The answers should be 65535.
Excel says 100000.

Take a look here for more info

Note: It's not a problem for Excel 97. Only for the newer versions.

Time Lapse video of the removal of Marmot Dam

Here's a time lapse video (still being made) of the removal of the Marmot Dam on the Sandy River.

According to the main page,
PGE has begun removing Marmot Dam, opening a new chapter for native fish and wildlife of the scenic Sandy River. This site explores the dam's past and the river's future, documenting the transition from power-generating resource to wild fish habitat and public recreation area.


My bike commute - take 2

Here's another clip of my bike commute along SE Salmon street and then the Springwater Corridor. This time I managed to tape the whole ride. My previous attempt the camera shut off when I hit a serious pothole on 15th and I didn't notice it until I got to OMSI.

This ride you can see the dual bike lane going onto the Hawthorne Bridge (if you look carefully).


The best non-English language films

Here's an amazing list of non-English films. A significant number are in black & white and I have to think these were chosen for the pure artistry of the films.

I've seen some of these films: PIERROT LE FOU, MY NIGHT AT MAUD'S, AMARCORD, DAS BOOT... and many more. But the cool thing is how many I haven't seen yet. (HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR, SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER, THE GRAND ILLUSION)

In fact, I haven't even seen Run, Lola, Run. Here's one comment about that film:
'The Butterfly Effect' was a movie with an important point about time travel: you should never go back in time to change the past because you, Ashton Kutcher, are an idiot. One of the virtues of this movie is this shows what happens when someone with brains tries to do it.


"Peak oil" time is near?

Will we be forced to give up our gas driven automobiles?

At some point in the near future, worldwide oil production will peak, then decline rapidly, causing depression-like conditions or even the starvation of billions across the globe.

That's the worst-case scenario for subscribers to the "peak oil" theory, who generally believe oil production has either topped out or will do so in the next couple of years.

What follows depends on who one talks to, but predictions run the gamut from the disaster scenario described above to merely oil prices in the $200-a-barrel range while society transitions to other energy sources.


Big Cheese

Technically, 'Fond Du Lac' is French for 'at the side of the lake.' But, it makes for a good homonym of Fondue Lak(e).

FON DU LAC, WI -- It's known as "America's Dairyland" and now Wisconsin has another way to back up the claim. More than 1600 pounds of cheese was used over the weekend to create the world's largest fondue in the town of Fon du Lac. The cheese was melted in pot that measured 8 feet wide and 3 feet deep.

Now who's the big cheese? (Not to be confused with the "big red cheese.")


NYT No-Knead Bread - reviewed

I tried the New York Times' recipe for No-Knead Bread.

Here are the pictures.

Here are my impressions of the bread:

  • I used a little more salt than the recipe called for, and it was just right.

  • The crust is crusty, like a baguette, while also pretty. Puts the 'art' in artisan bread.

  • I put a lot of flour on the towels as it was rising. I also sprinkled corn meal on the top (which became the bottom). I use Bob's Red Mill corn meal and white flour.

  • Let the bread cool for 10 minutes or so after it comes out of the oven. That makes it easier to cut.

I baked the bread in a Dutch Oven (cast iron pot) with a lid. I wonder if that can be used for other bread recipes with the same success? I'm thinking of trying it with some recipes from Beard on Bread.

Here's my tweaked version of the recipe:
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon salt
Cornmeal as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour and cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- quart cast iron pot in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and plop into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.
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Time Lapse of My Ride to Work

Here's a clip of my bike ride to work. I go down SE Salmon street, which is a bike street, to the base of the Hawthorne bridge. Then I follow the East Bank Esplanade past OMSI to the Springwater Corridor.

The background music is a song I wrote about 15 years ago called "Mike Bike" about a bike messenger, and performed by The Filthy Swine. I figured it was appropriate to the video.
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