“NASA rates the average long-term power output for a male adult at 75 watts, while fit individuals might easily sustain more than 100 watts for several hours, from 200 to 300 watts for one hour, and between 300 and 400 watts for at least 10 minutes. Lance Armstrong is said to have averaged between 475 and 500 watts for 38 minutes during an uphill climb in the 2001 Tour de France.”—The human powered home - via The velomobile: high-tech bike or low-tech car?
“Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn’t trust the evidence of one’s eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the latest ‘mission civilisatrice.’”—Edward Said, in the Preface to Orientalism (via trastorn)
“Nobody should start to undertake a large project. You start with a small trivial project, and you should never expect it to get large. If you do, you’ll just overdesign and generally think it is more important than it likely is at that stage. Or worse, you might be scared away by the sheer size of the work you envision. So start small, and think about the details. Don’t think about some big picture and fancy design. If it doesn’t solve some fairly immediate need, it’s almost certainly over-designed. And don’t expect people to jump in and help you. That’s not how these things work. You need to get something half-way useful first, and then others will say “hey, that almost works for me”, and they’ll get involved in the project.”—Linus Torvalds @ Linux Times (2004-10-25).
Finland is called “Suomi” in our native language. It comes from the verb “suomia”, which means to scold or to lash. Basically, we’ve been dealt a bum card in life, and are forced to live in the most depressive, cold and miserable place on Earth. Do not be fooled by the Newsweek article about Finland being the “best country in the world”. That was written by an american, and what the hell do they know about anything.
This ties in with the Finnish national philosophy of pessimistic realism. It states that any good thing that happens to you is taken away ten-fold with badness. So Finns like to gather misery, as it means at least they won’t be getting it ten-fold. As bad as a situation is, it might be ten times worse. A Finn is only happy when he gets to complain.
The most common candy here is something called “salmiakki”, which is made from ammonium chloride (bleach) and covered in salts. For a foreigner it can taste as appealing as bitumen, but for a Finn it’s the taste of bliss. If you want to gain the undying respect of a Finn, you can try eating it without vomiting and ask for more. Salmiakki started out as a practical joke for foreigners, but we got used to its taste and now it’s ingrained in our psyche.
“I want it to roar like lion. Like a digital lion.. Actually, let’s add a lion somewhere. Or maybe have it meow and then have a cat. I hear people on the internet like cats.”—Client sells home insurance. (via clientsfromhell)