F1 driver drives wife crazy

September 17th, 2008, 2:43 pm PST by Greg

I don’t generally like posting digg/reddit-style hilarious links (that’s what they’re for). But, this video of an ex-Formula 1 driver terrorizing his wife is just too funny to let it go.

The video doesn’t really get going until 1:30, so you might want to bump it ahead. You can see the G forces by the way her hair hangs. Here’s a summary, in case you can’t see it for yourself:

One side of the car: TalktalktalktalktalkTALKtalk. Talktalktalk. TalktalktalkTALKtalkTALK! SCREAM! SCREECH! WAIL!

Other side of the car: Calm… driving… calm… driving… slight smirk… calm… driving.

Of course he’s calm: he’s a Formula 1 driver. The scenery is coming at him at like 1/2 the pace he’s used to. And, concentrating on driving no matter what happens is his job.

Edit: I just watched it again. I noticed how totally-immovable he is while cornering, while she struggles against the Gs. Probably also part of the “professional driver” thing.

I Love the World!

September 12th, 2008, 10:47 am PST by Greg

It’s Friday, and many of you have probably had a hard week. I personally haven’t: it has been my first actual week of being left alone to my study leave. Anyway…

The Discovery Channel has recently started airing a new promo commercial. Apparently, Discovery USA has been airing its version for six months or so, but Discovery Canada has just put together their version. I love the spot and think of it as video prozac.

Being unable to find it online, I had to take matters into my own hands and hope I don’t incur the wrath of Discovery’s laywers (for promoting their promotion… I think they might let it go). So, you can watch the 60 second Canadian version or the 30 second Canadian version.

If you watch that a couple of times and don’t feel like the weekend’s going to be all right, you just have a heart of stone.

Because I’m nothing if not obsessive, I will also include some links to other versions: the 1 minute US version, the 30 second US version, and a 3 minute live performance at some Discovery party or something.

All of this means I finally understand the xkcd Loves the Discovery Channel comic. The original ad has also earned a World of Games parody and a Wikipedia entry.

The song is based on the campfire song (that I had never heard before) “I Love the Mountains”. If you’d like a sample, CD Baby comes through with a sample of it from Let’s Go! by Susie Tallman.

Canoeing

September 8th, 2008, 1:09 am PST by Greg

On Saturday, me, Kat, Oli, Tina, and Oli’s brother Jon went canoeing. We rented canoes somewhere up the Pitt River where I’ve never been before and paddled up a little tributary.

Canoeing is something I grew up doing, and it’s something very personal for me. For someone who isn’t sentimental or nostalgic about anything, I’m deeply sentimental about canoes. They remind me of where I grew up, my father, and a lot of great times messing around on lakes. To give you an idea, here is a summary of days in my life:

The hulking fibreglass barges that you can rent really bear little resemblance to canoes as I remember them. As far as I’m concerned, canoes are made from cedar and canvas (even though kevlar or other exotic materials are tougher and lighter), have no keel, a very rounded bottom (left-to-right), some rocker (curve front-to-back), and tumblehome (sides curve in at the top).

All of those shape choices make for a canoe that will happily throw you into the water if not shown the respect it deserves, and needs a little skill to get it to go in a straight line. But, they are truly beautiful, and maneuver like a dream.

I have only really found one video that properly shows how beautiful and effortless solo paddling can be in a nice canoe. To give you an idea of the skill here, the bow jam (the stroke that guy does around 0:45) has two possible outcomes: (1) the canoe turns sharply away from the paddle side; or (2) you find yourself suddenly in the water, with the canoe drifting slowly away. These outcomes are equally likely on your first few attempts.

I hadn’t really realized the extent to which this style of paddling is descended from one guy: Omer Stringer. He taught my father (and hundreds of others) how to paddle, and my father taught me (and hundreds of other school kids and boy scouts). This style is apparently now known as “classic Canadian soloing” or “Omering“. It’s what the guy in the video above is doing, and it’s what I’m doing if you’ve ever seen me in a canoe.

At my parents’ place, there is a framed picture that my dad took of Omer doing a headstand in a canoe. He would have been into his 70s when the picture was taken. He was probably past doing the running-jump off the dock into a canoe by then.

Anyway, there wasn’t really any point to that. It’s just the only nostalgia I’ve got.