27 August, 2008

Street View c'est arrive!

The awesomness that is Google Maps 'Street View' has arrived in a European location, specifically the route of the Tour de France.

C'est magnifique!

20 August, 2008

Mad Maxine

As always there is crazy, and then there's religous crazy - us secular types just can't compete with the batshit insane weapons-grade stupid that your average deity is handing out these days.

Losalini Rainima is being held in a Sydney Correctional Centre over a 2004 charge for unregistered driving. When convicted Rainima had her licence suspended and was given a five-year good behaviour bond which she refused to sign. She was then re-sentenced to nine months in jail.

The court heard Rainima had links to a civil rights group calling itself the Unified Peoples' Movement Against Road Tolls (UPMART), whose website states it seeks to protect "inalienable human rights" including through "bible codified common law".

Rainima was not represented by a lawyer on Wednesday but by members of UPMART, who were granted leave to appear on her behalf.

UPMART founder Malcolm McClure told the court Rainima had spent more than 11-and-a-half months in custody so far.

She was "blessed by almighty God", he said, and state laws could not impede her basic right to "go forth" or drive.

"You're saying Mrs Rainima has a right which is God-given, which it is the state's duty to uphold," Justice Hidden said in an effort to summarise the basis of the appeal.

Rainima sat silently throughout court proceedings.

Presumably she was busy underlining the passages in her copy of the good book which specifically exempt her from paying entrance fees at the water park and guarantee her inalienable right to a jet-pack/hovercar as soon as such technology exists.

12 August, 2008

Italian Motorcycle Cops

Italians - a byword for organisation for years...

11 August, 2008

How clean is your ride?

My car is treated very much as a utilitarian device, kept mechanically sound (or thereabouts) but treated to little more than a damp sponge every twelfth of never.

My motorbike on the other hand gets a damn good clean after every ride and is kept as spotless as possible. Or so I thought. When it comes to cleaning your vehicle, or detailing as it's know to the cognescenti there's clean and then there is concours clean.

This thread at Detailing World (no, really) *ahem* details an E36 M3 that was garaged in 2003 with just 7,000 miles on the clock. When it came coughing into the watery light of day it was showing a wee bit of dust and mould but you and I would call it mint.

That's not enough for this fella though. It's always a bloke isn't it? When you find somebody obsessing to the point of OCD on something they're packing junk. I guess the ladies are either too sensible or do a half-arsed job. This job is the full arse and no mistake, he uses products I've never heard of including a wax that costs £8118 a tub.

It's pretty cool just how shiny you can get a bonnet, but I fear that this limited edition M3 will spend time being trailered to car shows rather than getting driven hard, which would be a damn shame. All show no go...

03 August, 2008


Many of us in younger days will have had a bash at making a scale model - in fact so dominant was one particular brand that for your average Brit of a certain age it was simply known as making an Airfix model.

The new box. The neatly packaged sprues - grey for normal, clear for canopies and lights perhaps even a chrome one for trim items. The oh so important instructions, and the decals. The decals. So often my nemesis. Petite beautiful and delicate they were also inclined to fold up on themselves and break quicker than an actress on a speedball. But most of all a new airfix kit held the promise of doing this one right! No smears of glue on the inside of the cockpit this time, no delicate moving mechanisms rendered a solid glob of glue and fingerprints.

I did get better and absorbed some good tips from a family friend, an adult no less who made beautiful Airfix models of commercial airliners... ...use liquid cement instead of the tube of snot provided, and try and paint as much as possible on the sprue before construction begins.

There has always been a niche for dedicated modelmakers who finish their models with an obsessive amount of skill and now thanks to the internet we can see just how much work they put in. This photoset of a Tamiya brand scale model of Rossi's '04 Yamaha M1 is quite simply astonishing. Two things stand out; there is clearly a market for model kit 'upgrades' - higher quality elements of the kit made with more detail and superior materials, and this particular modeller is obsessed with accuracy and quality.

Stunning stuff.