Saturday, September 22, 2007

Swarm the Pier II

I posted up pics from the insanely awesomeness ride "Swarm the Pier II." It was a big mass ride starting at the Bicycle Kitchen in East Hollywood, winding down to meet up with more West Side ridazz in Culver City, then off to Venice Beach and finally north to the Santa Monica Pier. To keep with the swarming theme, some came out in insect attire, with bees the popular choice, and kazoos and other noise makers were handed out to make some buzzzzzzzz!!!

Midnight Ridazz Flyer

Flickr Set: Swarm The Pier (139 pics)

Ride Start Location

Swarm The Pier

Culver City Meeting Point : Panorama

Culver City Meeting Point

Venice Traffic Circle

Final Destination: Santa Monica Pier : Panorama

Santa Monica Pier

BMX at the Pier

View Atop Santa Monica Pier: Panorama

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

Flickr Set: Swarm The Pier

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Environmentalist Propaganda of the Day

After listening to some lectures on ecological sustainability recently, the inner environmentalist in me wants to come out and say hello. Hopefully inspire others. To this end, I will be periodically interjecting the blog with ecological tips for a greener world. Come on admit it, everyone's got a little hippie in their hearts somewhere.

So here we go with tip #1. Rather then loading up on bottles of water, consider reusing bottles by refilling. Especially if you are in an environment where it is easy to do so. Most plastic bottles never get recycled, and are non-biodegradable, making them an expanding and persistent problem in solid waste. Even if you do recycle bottles, they will need to be trucked to a recycling center and reprocessed, leaving a carbon trail along the way. Reuse is essential to sustainable living, and is fundamentally better then recycling.

Also consider that bottled water, though substantially more expensive, is subject to less health regulations then standard tap water. Some brands of bottled water, are just filtered tap water, repackaged for an image of "purity." Link: NRDC

At work it was easy to fall into the habit of taking freely provided water bottles, drinking them up and then tossing them for recycling. Then a couple months ago , it just dawned on me, what I'm I doing creating all this waste when I carry a water bottle on my bike, which I ride to work everyday. So now I just refill my bottle, quenching my thirst at work with considerably less waste.

So the next time you get that itch to chuck a bottle, think about reusing it instead. The bottle will love you for your kindness as well. I hear them talking to me in my sleep, and they told me so...

Link: Container Recycling Institute

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The "I PISS EXCELLENCE" Yellow Jersey IMAX Ride

Ride Start

The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, I did 3 Midnight Ridazz rides in one day as well as riding between each one and eventually riding home. It could have been 4 rides, but I couldn't get awake early enough for the unusually early Pier Pressure ride. The first ride of the day for me was The "I PISS EXCELLENCE" Yellow Jersey IMAX Ride, to go see the Tour de France documentary "Wired to Win". The pissing excellence is in reference to the drug testing between stages, and we wore yellow, color of victory in the Tour.

High-Wire Bicycle

While waiting for the film to start, we wondered the California Science Center at the USC campus. At the top of the building is a high wire bicycle with heavy weight to counter balance the rider. Most people who tried it went tepidly across and back, but Cole, from our group, rode it hard and tilted it all over the place. Was awesome to see, and next I'm at the Science Center, I'd like to try it out as well.

The documentary was fascinating on two main levels for me. One is that the documentary focuses mostly on the adaptation of the brain to extreme physical conditions, with the Tour De France as a case study. The other level is just the awe of seeing these super humans of endurance riding on some of the most beautiful roads in the world, on the epic screen size and resolution of IMAX. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in psychology, physiology, and or the sport of cycling. A word of caution though, it's guaranteed to make you feel slower the next time you get on your bike.

Link to Flickr Set:
The "I PISS EXCELLENCE" Yellow Jersey IMAX Ride

Also, in testament to the small world we live in, at the Wolf Pack race later that day, we ran into the projectionist who was showing the IMAX movie, and he recognized our yellow jerseys & shirts.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Siggraph 2007

I finally got around to processing my photo's from the Siggraph convention in San Diego. It was an awesome experience to be around so many talented people, see the cutting edge in the Electronic Theater, and listen in on lectures by the masters of computer graphics, such as the technical artists at Pixar. It was my first time going to Siggraph, and big thanks to Sony for giving me the opportunity to go.

I met up with some friends from school that came for one day, and I had a fun time in San Diego outside the convention as well. I also brought my bike, so I rode to the convention from the hotel everyday, and also got in a nice big ride around the edge of the city and along the bay. Also gotta love the mediocre service, but simply amazing vegan Mexican food at Pokez. I'll post up some pictures from elsewhere around the city when I get a chance.

Link to Flickr Set: Siggraph 2007

Convention Center

Laika Booth

Massive Booth (Group & Swarm AI Application)

Refugee Currents

Emerging Technologies Exhibit

Emerging Technologies Exhibit

Convention Center

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

First Wolfpack Race

I've been part of a lot of activities and events recently that I'd like to share, but work, photography and spending almost every other free minute bicycling has kept me pretty busy. I'll post more pictures and accompanying writing, as I get caught up on my back log of photos to process.

In the mean time here is a picture taken of me at my first Wolfpack street race (photo courtesy of Spook). It was a short distance crit, 3 laps around a city block, so all sprinting. In the pic I'm about to get fourth place, split second behind third, out of about I think 15 or 16 riders. Nothing special for getting fourth, but I was pretty stoked about it, having no idea how I would measure up to Wolfpack riders. I'm wearing the yellow jersey in homage to the Tour de France, as there was a themed ride earlier in the day to watch an IMAX documentary on the Tour. I'll post more on that and other such things later.