Best client photo competition: winner announced!

Winner of best cycling photo competitionA while back I sent out a Newsletter, which you can read here in case you missed it. One of the sections went as follows:

Send your photos & win!
If you’d like to appear on the Guestbook Page, please send me any photos you may have taken while cycling in Tenerife. High-resolution photos are preferred, in any format. I’d also love to hear any comments to include as testimonials… The best photo sent in wins a free T-Shirt!

Anyway, that was last month. This month, the best photo has been chosen & hence the winner decided. Judging the competition was a piece of cake, since only one person bothered to officially enter! (somewhat like another promotional flop of mine… I guess that’s what happens when a Scientist organises these sorts of things…) Sure I had other photographs on file from existing clients, but like they say: “you’ve got to be in it to win it”. Nevertheless, I think you’ll all agree that the photo on the left is worthy of the title. I particularly like the perspective and composition of this photo, and also the fact that it isn’t taken from a normal location.

CONGRATULATIONS CLAUDIUS FUCHS OF HAMBURG, GERMANY!! You sent in so many excellent photos, it wasn’t easy to choose between the best ones. You definitely deserve a free T-shirt!

Budget seatpost recommendation

budget massi kalloy aluminium seatpostI’ve tried and tested many seatposts over the years in all price ranges. The only purpose of a seatpost is provide support for the saddle & to offer simple adjustments of the saddle (vertical & horizontal seat position plus saddle angle). Some seatposts costing hundreds of dollars do not even meet these simple requirements! [Read more →]

Overstimulation, ADHD & physical exercise.

The link between physical & mental health. Overstimulation, hyperactivity & physical exercise.Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) simply an extreme degree of hyperactivity, brought about by many complex contributing factors? We’re stimulated (visually) by television and seemingly limitless internet possibilities. Outwardly, we appear to have adapted in various ways to this fast pace of life. But what happens to our brain when we stop all this fast-paced internet work and shutdown our computers and gaming consoles? Our brain continues to run wild at this high pace. Our minds continue to race overtime; not accustomed to stagnating, we dwell & obsess over the tiniest of problems merely for “something to do”. Is this something we have control over?

Overstimulation, ADHD, and a lack of concentration.Could a lack of excerise combined with overchoice & overstimulation actually compound certain mental disorders in the early phase of development? In an ever-increasingly stressful world, we’ve simultaneously reduced the amount of excercise we receive! We drive everywhere, use mobile devices, remote controls, pre-packaged “lazy foods”, etc. Although most of us still continue to defer exercise. This is a recipe for disaster. Could this be a simple link to many of today’s current mental disorders? [Read more →]

The top Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs); list of 100% electric cars.

A comprehensive list of production-ready electric zero emission cars & vehiclesWith the petrol prices rising, the energy crisis looming, and the state of the environment deteriorating, I thought it was time to compile a list of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). First I’d like to say that I’m pretty pissed of that the internal combustion engine is still with us today. I remember when the Australian government told us about 15 years ago that they’d be “phasing petrol cars out”. Phasing them out my arse…!! Anyway, it is my hope that one day, the combustion engine will become just as unpopular as analogue electronic equipment now has, and that zero emmissions vehicles will be treated like the new wave of “digital” equipment. I hope that people will laugh at things like exhaust pipes in future. Fuck hybrid vehicles altogether I say… they’re like dual VCR/DVD drives.

Note that I haven’t included hybrids or alternative fuels in this list, as all of them still emit greenhouse gases. I also haven’t included any prototypes, impractical or uneconomical cars. The majority of these production cars you can buy TODAY, the remaining few that aren’t are slated for production within about a year, so you can at least reserve with a deposit. I encourage you to leave a comment if I’ve ommitted any ZEVs from the list: [Read more →]

The future of humanity?

The future of humanity? Exponential population growth. Post saturation point. CartoonOur current civilisation is growing at an exponential rate. But anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that exponential growth in a finite space is a physical impossibility. So I sometimes wonder how many people this planet can support. [Read more →]

“Who speaks for Earth?”

“Who speaks for Earth?” ecology, green, environment, sustainable developmentIf there’s one thing that has plagued or doomed all human civilisations, it their blatant ignorance during the time in which they prosper. But if you look back on some former civilisations, history reveals they only made relatively minor mistakes (as far as their long-term survival was concerned).

It’s no secret that most people in today’s advanced societies live greedy, unsustainble lives. We directly contribute to the destruction of the planet, and we’re under the false impression that things will never change. When something as simple and uncontrolable as the weather bites back, we’re stunned. Speechless, until the moment we are able to forget and resume our old ways…

The trouble with our society is this: we are well aware that we change the environment on a “small scale”. For example, we build roads & cities. We cause local deforrestation. We pollute rivers. So we can see clearly enough that what we are doing also affects the surrounding ecosystem negatively. But then when we move up to thinking about the global scale, our thought patterns are no longer logical. But many of us simply do not accept that our home, the entire planet Earth, is in jeopardy. We either quickly change the subject, ignore it altogether, or go into a major case of denial. It’s a problem of scale, which our puny minds cannot yet comprehend.

So I put this to my readers: if we can accept that we as a society are changing things on a local scale, and we can also grasp the fact that humans now populate every single country (albeit some regions denser than others), why can’t we accept the inevitable conclusion that we are also collectively changing the entire face of the Earth, on the global scale? [Read more →]

Roadworks near Aguamansa!

Roadworks near Aguamansa! Main road to Mt Teide receives road upgrade.The main road TF21 to Las Cañadas is currently receiving an upgrade around the Aguamansa region, for a distance of approximately 300 metres. That brief section is currently not sealed. I feel obliged to point out that beyond the cafe’s in Aguamansa, the road to Mt Teide resumes as normal (just in case cyclists think that the horrible road surface continues the whole way up). It is possible to bypass around the workzone, but it is not marked as an official detour. [Read more →]

SR Suntour XCR suspension fork review.

SR Suntour XCR 120mm suspension fork with one piece magnesium lowers - product review.

This budget model fork can be had for as little as €120, so it is not intended for downhill or competition use. The model we tested boasted 120mm of travel, although at the softest setting, only about half of that was effectively utilised (even after a substantial break-in period). [Read more →]

Where do professional cyclists train for the Tour de France?

Where do professional cyclists go to train for the Tour de France and the Olympics?Many famous names in professional cycling come to Tenerife, including Lance Armstrong, Marco Pantani and Miguel Indurain. A longer list of professional cyclists that have trained in Tenerife can be seen here.

Tenerife is one of the seven Canary Islands, a volcanic island chain belonging to Spain. Tenerife is located in the Atlantic ocean, about 250km off the African coastline (Western Sahara).

Tenerife, the world’s third largest island volcano, is an ideal training destination for serious cyclists as there are several continuous 2300 metre (7000 ft) ascents which commence from sea level. Mt Teide, rising to 3718m can often be seen rising above the surrounding terrain.

Many professional cyclists choose to train in Tenerife during the winter season when the rest of Europe experiences much cold temperatures. The Canary Islands are generally regarded as the Sothern-most part of Europe; Tenerife’s local climate is obviously a lot milder than what the European mainland experiences, even despite the mountains. So much so, cycling in Tenerife is possible all year round.

Professional cycle training camps are often based at Las Cañadas in the centre of Tenerife. El Parador, the only hotel allowed within the entire El Teide National Park, is located at an altitude of 2100m. From here, cyclists are able to become accustomed to high-altitude training within the surrounding volcanic crater; the elevation in this region always exceeds 2000 m.

Who’s Diego Velázquez? And what’s up with Google “special edition” logos?

Diego Velázquez Special Google LogoTo date, there have been 185 “special edition” Google logos, which can be seen here. I, like many people, use Google to perform internet searches almost daily. I missed a lot of other trivial logos shown previously. So here’s my chance to comment on this one before it’s too late! [Read more →]

Animal Intelligence.

Animal intelligence, self awareness & camouflage. Mosquito insects

I recently watched this video of an elephant drawing a ‘self portrait’. I was amazed. I was also amazed at some of the responses this video provoked on youtube. It really opened up a can of worms. People on one side were saying how cool it was, others were protesting everything from to “stop animal cruelty!” and “it’s a robot hoax” to “he’s following the outlines”. I’m sure this has already been said, but is this any different from the way that some humans paint by numbers? [Read more →]

Spanish food and eating customs:

How to eat Spanish food; Spanish eating customs.– A typical Spanish breaksfast consists of an expresso coffee … and that’s often all there is to it.

– The main meal is usually served between 1:00 and 2:00pm in the afternoon. This is sometimes accompanied by a first course consisting of soup. Three course lunches are the norm for the all-important weekend family get-together.

– Parsely is the mother of all herbs in Spanish cooking. I’m willing to bet that more parsely is consumed in Spain than all other [cooking] herbs combined.

– Spanish rarely eat outside their homes (or at least here in the Canary Islands). The proper place to eat is in the kitchen, while the dining room is sometimes just left for show.

– For some unknown reason, if you’re sharing a plate of food, especially tapas, the fork is left resting perpendicularly on the edge of the plate, with the pointy side curving down. Don’t ask me to explain this strange custom. [Read more →]