Cycle, drink, write: Giro D’Italia & Westvleteren

This morning was the Giro D’Italia, tonight was beer heaven. I’m in Sorrento, Italy right now on vacation. A place known for limoncello, olives and bufala mozzarella cheese. Not beer. I spend my morning watching Wiggins and company do three loops through town before setting off to complete the balance of a 222 km Stage 3 campaign. Later in the day, having decided not to pursue a domestique position with Team Sky, I found myself wandering the back alley ways of Sorrento. And hark! I found a beer shop on the smallest alley way of them all. Apparently it’s the only dedicated beer shop in the peninsula, according to the proprietor. They had many high end Belgian and German beers but after looking around the shop carefully I could not find my...

Cell Phones, Cancer and the Ambiguity of Causation

Incredible article from the New York Times: See: Do Cellphones Cause Brain Cancer? Excerpt: Our vision of carcinogenesis has become vastly more complex since 1853. We now know that there is no “one cancer.” Breast, lung, prostate and blood cancer share a similarity — the uncontrolled growth of cells — but the specific genes and behaviors of these cancers are far from identical. Nor is there “one material for cancer” — one archetypal carcinogen. Agents that cause cancer are chemically diverse and cancer-specific. Estrogen can provoke cancer in the breast, but destroys prostate-cancer cells; vinyl chloride is exquisitely carcinogenic to the liver but not to the skin; chlorine and nitrogen mustard are both poison gases, but only one causes...

Phantastes – a brief review

After reading George MacDonald’s “Phantastes” it is clear to me why CS Lewis chose MacDonald to be his Virgil in “The Great Divorce.”  “Phantastes” is truly one of the most remarkable works I have ever read.  Overflowing with rich imagery and lyrical finely measured prose (along with some superb longer sections of poetry) MacDonald’s book is magnificent in scope and execution.  One feels completely absorbed by Anodos’ character and his story.  Much like Anodos felt himself to be the central character in the Fairie stories he read in the Fairie Palace so I felt as if I was the central character in “Phantastes;” it wasn’t simply Anodos’ journey, it was mine. “Phantastes” is poignant and...

Live at the DNC

Since Monday I’ve been hanging out downtown Denver and covering the DNC.  I’ve met some really cool people; in addition to bloggers and writers from Momocrats, JackandJill, Green Mountain Daily, Huffington Post and other places, I’ve had a chance to meet and talk briefly with Katie Couric, Senator Ken Salazar, Congressman James Langevin and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.  Of course, if you don’t know it already I ought to mention that I am attending the DNC  (as well as the RNC next week) on behalf of Disaboom.com, an online community for those touched or affected by disability.  Naturally, any comments that I make on this particular blog do not necessarily reflect those of Disaboom.com, which is a non-partisan organization.  To...

“You’re a Phony, a Big Fat Phony! Hey Everybody, He’s a Phony!”

I know that China is the home of iPhone rip-offs and lead-filled Colgate, but it appears that their duplicity and fakery  don’t end with electronics and domestic household products. China admitted faking the opening fireworks of the Olympic Opening Ceremony as well as faking the voice of the cute little singer who sang their national song.  And, to anyone who has watched the Chinese women gymnasts, it appears blatantly obvious that several of their gymnasts are well under 16 years old, the age required to participate in the Olympics.  Shoot, one of them looks barely seven and a half and appears to have not lost all of her baby teeth. It’s pretty disappointing to see a country so bent on image and victory that they are willing to cast their...

Mountain Lion Drags Dog out of Owner’s Bedroom

Crazy story, this is a small front range town just southwest of the Denver area.  I go mountain biking in this area all the time. A mountain lion slunk into the master bedroom of an Idledale home early Monday, snatched a yellow Labrador retriever and vanished. Officers are hunting the mountain lion and have set a trap, said Jennifer Churchill, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. “A lion that will brazenly go into someone’s bedroom . . . we need to be careful of,” Churchill said. The dog’s body was found near the property. Churchill said the residents had left open the French doors to their bedroom, apparently to cool the house, and didn’t have screens. There were dogs sleeping in the bedroom when the mountain lion...

iPhone Apps

I spent the weekend at a cabin in the mountains and so didn’t get a chance to download the the latest iPhone software update until late Sunday evening.  After a frustrating flurrey of “restore, verify, restore” proceedings I finally was forced to delete by back up and do a full restore.  Thanks Apple, my lazy ass rarely-syncing self lost phone numbers, pictures and text messages.  But, I got an App Store, so it’s all good, right? Hopefully.  I didn’t actually download any Apps last night, so I’m a bit behind the game.  Question for you first inline, ultra early adopter types out there: which apps should I muddy up my iPhone with first? Here’s ones I’ll probably play around with this evening, if you have a...