Monthly Archives: June 2008

Nordick

Me, ordering coffee in Danish: [blah blah blah Danish]
Barista-dude: OK, I'll bring that out to you when it's ready.
Me, really sick of people switching to English when I speak Danish to them:  … Why are you speaking English? My Danish is fine.
Barista-dude: I'm Brazilian, I don't speak Danish. Nothing personal.
Me: [Feeling like an asshole for the rest of the day]

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

5 Comments

Filed under Random

I ran a triathlon on Tuesday

I wanted to get really good before and after pictures, one with me looking all frisky and tri-virginal, followed by one with me covered in bodily fluid, the mud on my face streaked with tears. The set up area was a bit remote from the actual course, though, so the camera didn't come out until after the panting stopped and the sweat coagulated. Anyway, here's the best we could do.

The course was 600m swimming, 25k biking and 7.5k running. I got lost as balls during the biking, though (damn you, homemade arrows!), so I genuinely have no idea how far I biked. Definitely more than the 25k, but definitely slower than the actual athletic people. My time was 2 hours and 12 seconds, but that's completely meaningless since I don't know how far I went and can't compare myself to the Tri-Awesome thoroughbreds who do this all the time. My time might as well have been 6.3 dozen quazarks or some shit.

All in all it was a good experience, in spite of my impromptour of Denmark's windiest cornfields. I was sore and wobbly for days afterwards, which I guess is how you measure success in these things.

My advice to myself for next time is threefold.

  • Pace yourself
  • Pay attention to the course while biking
  • Maybe don't rock the culottes, bro.

Other than that, it's just a matter of huffing and puffing til you're done.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

1 Comment

Filed under Random

Nationalistic? Who, Europeans?

It's one of the better-kept secrets of Denmark that people are actually quite nationalistic here. Or not. Anyway, these motherfuckers put their flag on everything.

All the buses here have Danish flags on all four corners, fluttering like the tails of angry tigers. Jysk, the Roy Cohn of Scandinavian furniture retailers, sells Danish flag sheets. Birthdays in Denmark are marked by making your house look like you filled a shotgun with little Danish flags and shot at all the furniture. The families who eat dinner outside in our courtyard put two Danish flags in a flower vase as a centerpiece.

Not that I give a particular shit about the flag thing, but I enjoy pointing out that if I rocked the stars and bars ever, I would hear '[snort] … typical' from every nearby Scand-quaintance. When I asked a friend what would happen if I camped at a music festival in a fucking American flag tent, his instant reaction was, 'Oh, they'd slash it and set it on fire. Eight minutes, tops.' This is mad incontrovertible, and I kinda want to try it. Buy the biggest American flag I can find, fashion a teepee, prop it up with a replica of the Empire State Building, weigh down the corners with Big Macs and sit in front of it with a shotgun like a store owner during the LA riots: 'Come fuck with my flaggot, punk, I dare you.'

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

7 Comments

Filed under Random

Pro-Torture: It’s not just for people who haven’t been tortured anymore

Here's John McCain slamming the recent Supreme Court decision to give legal rights to enemy combatants:

These are enemy combatants, these are people who are not citizens, they do not and never have been given the rights that citizens of this country have. And my friends there are some bad people down there. There are some bad people. [...] By the way, 30 of the people who have already been released from Guantanamo Bay have already tried to attack America again, one of them just a couple weeks ago, a suicide bomber in Iraq.

I didn't see him deliver this, but I'm imagining him like Schindler at the end of Schindler's List: 'If only we had tortured them just a little bit more, maybe they wouldn't want to blow us up so bad.'

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Leave a comment

Filed under Random

Think globally, act selfishly

I've been an increasily amused spectator of the dozens of flash-fads surrounding food we've witnessed in the past few years. Starting with the Atkins diet, it seems like every three months there is a new paradigm for the 'right' way to eat. 'Fat doesn't make you fat!' 'Eat fewer calories and live forever!' 'Only buy local stuff; every Chiquita you buy is flown to your supermarket on a private 747 that runs on dictator-juice!'

There's a new one every year, and the whole 'locavore' thing is the latest movement (i.e. fad) to capture the guilty minds of concerned Americans (i.e. white liberals) from San Fransisco to Manhattan. Actually, just San Franscisco and Manhattan.

The 'Eat Local' thing makes a certain amount of sense. A mango grown nearby is going to be better for the environment, on the whole, than one grown in Libya and flown to you before it's ripe, right? Ummm:

We find that although food is transported long distances in general (1640 km delivery and 6760 km life-cycle supply chain on average) the GHG emissions associated with food are dominated by the production phase, contributing 83% of the average U.S. household’s 8.1 t CO2e/yr footprint for food consumption. Transportation as a whole represents only 11% of life-cycle GHG emissions, and final delivery from producer to retail contributes only 4%. [...] we suggest that dietary shift can be a more effective means of lowering an average household’s food-related climate footprint than “buying local.”

So pretty much what that's saying is that most of the emissions from food come in the production phase, and only 4 percent from transpo. So that mango, grown in non-tractored, less-pesticided Libya, is actually better than your Cali-mango. (If all you care about is the environment, that is. You might wanna ask about who picked the Libya-mango, how old he was and what he gets paid).

I'm getting really sick of this whole discourse that says you can solve climate change by eating less beef, or buying local, or biking to work. Yes, all those things are good, and you should do them. But climate change is fundamentally a matter of infrastructure, not whether you buy reusable coffee filters. If you took all the effort you spend on fair trade tampons and Norwegian sugarcane and started giving your government shit, something might actually happen that makes a difference. Otherwise you're just coloring in the margins. 

Things like wind-farms, bike lanes, emissions standards, carbon caps, sustainable agriculture and efficiency of scale can be achieved by governments with a flick of their mandate. Large-scale, paradigmatic shifts require regulation. The defining struggle of last century, the conditions of Industrial Revolution labourers, wasn't solved by people buying Fair Trade Fords. Workers protested and organized, and governments made laws about working hours and rest periods, and things changed society-wide.

So if you really want to do something useful, put down the seaweed toilet paper, pop off your hemp-Crocs, and write your Congressman. The local one.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

3 Comments

Filed under Random

Evolution: 1, God: 0

I've never really understood the debate 'between' Evolution and Creationism. Just say that God invented evolution and let's be friends again.

As long as the fight continues, though, I might as well share this comic, which appears to be a response to a well-known YouTard explaining the reasons why the banana is irrefutable evidence that God created the heavens and the fruits.

 

Suck it, Genesis.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Leave a comment

Filed under Random

Two birds, one stone, make it work people

Conventional wisdom says that two of the biggest challenges facing the planet right now are

  1. Water scarcity
  2. Melting ice caps

Can't we sort the whole thing out with just, like, a series of buckets and tubes? Or, like 200 million empty Evian bottles? Icebergs are fresh, right?

 

If life was a Michael Bay movie, Bruce Willis would pilot a helicopter (with quips, and a hangover) to lift a few icebergs out of the Arctic and deposit them in the Aral Sea and various municipal reservoirs. I seriously don't see how we can't solve both these problems at once.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Leave a comment

Filed under Random

Three guys walk into a parking garage: Distortion Final Party

Leave a comment

Filed under Random

Sun, speakers and skinny jeans: Distortion Festival ’08

Leave a comment

Filed under Random

‘And he smote her ruin upon the mountainside…’

Seriously, what is it going to take for Hillary to get out of the race at this point? I feel like the Obama campaign is going to have to take a break so he can throw her into the fires of Mount Doom and shit.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

2 Comments

Filed under Random