America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

31 May 2006

Chinese Baby Born With Third Arm

Wednesday, May 31, 2006; Posted: 9:27 a.m. EDT (13:27 GMT)

SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- Doctors in Shanghai on Tuesday were considering surgery options for a 2-month-old boy born with an unusually well-formed third arm.

Neither of the boy's two left arms is fully functional and tests have so far been unable to determine which was more developed, said Dr. Chen Bochang, head of the orthopedics department at Shanghai Children's Medical Center.

"His case is quite peculiar. We have no record of any child with such a complete third arm," Chen said in a telephone interview.

30 May 2006

As The Wheel Turns

Finished 13th in Sunday's training race at Wells Ave... I was poorly positioned and fought my way past a lot of riders who blew-it before the line. Memorial Day today- a day off from work! Did an early 38 mile easy ride, went to Narragansett Beach in the afternoon. The water was frigid yet people were swimming. We got our feet wet and chased Reis all over the place, who was chasing the seagulls amidst a sea of pasty white skin. (At least my face, arms and legs are bronzed from Saturday's 55 mile ride and Sunday's race) This beach charges per person admission, and I must say the amenities and the cleanliness of the water make it worth the dough. They let us in for free today. Season passes are $28 pp. Aside from that, I spent the past couple of hours paying bills. It's astonishing how high our household expenses have become. G-d please help us to finally sell our home so that we can down-size into a brand new and efficient place. Heating and maintaining 3300 square feet is a big burden. That's about 320 square meters! My weekly total on the bike was 248 miles- nothing to sneeze at. Riding to work and back helped reach the mark. My legs are like rubber and I need to take it easy for a few days, re-build and get stronger. I was supposed to be on vacation this week- but no- too much to do still- so I'll try to take at least a couple of days off the following week. My cousin Serkay arrived from Turkey today. He's here for three months- his first time- and plans to take an ESL course. Hopefully we can drive up to Rochester soon to see him- he's staying with my mother and brother, 400 miles from here. Big meeting at 8:00 am with a big GC. We're having a scope review for the project which I estimated and won recently. Over a million dollars on the table- hope I didn't screw up. Could a blog entry be any more scatter-brained? Not deliberate.

28 May 2006

Very Cool Discovery by (parenthetical) Pete

25 Would-be Afghan immigrants die in Turkey

An Afghan boy weeps over the casket of his brother, who was one of the 25 Afghans killed in a road accident in Turkey, at the Kabul airport, Afghanistan May 27, 2006. The 25 Afghans were illegal immigrants who had been travelling on a lorry which smashed into a truck on a highway near the Turkish town of Osmaniye, according to local reports.
27 May 2006 REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

27 May 2006

Ivan Basso: I win again! and my boys can swim too!

A smiling Basso hoists a picture of his new son as he crosses the finish line
photo: AFP

Yeah you might say I'm on a blogging marathon tonight. Ivan Basso leads his nearest rival by nearly ten minutes in the Giro d'Italia. In today's penultimate stage, he took another convincing stage win, the day after his second child was born, a son. Basso is also one of the favorites to win the Tour de France in July. He has pretty much locked up the victory in Italy; barring a crash or other in-surmountable misfortune, the title is his. Tomorrow's final stage is more of a formality than anything else. Full Velo News article

Dad on anniversary vacation kills two kids, self

News such as this enrages me. So do the people who avoid reading such stories. Grow a spine! Stories of parents killing their children need to be heard, loud and clear, far and wide! We need to look around and raise awareness of parents who are mentally unstable. Get them the help they need! These poor kids, aged 4 and 8- imagine their horror, imagine their mother's pain... Reflect on that and mourn them for a moment.

The Hare Meets The Tortoise

When I saw this little guy on the edge of the bike path, I hit the brakes and doubled back to say hello. Including his tail, about a 1/2 meter long overall. He didn't seem to be in a hurry to be anywhere special, and if he knew that I rode my bicycle 55 miles today for reasons which do not include 'survival', he'd probably say I was an idiot. For the week I've ridden 200 miles, plus whatever I do tomorrow. Plan to race with my team at the Wells Ave 'venue'. I really hope to make some people suffer and make un-manly noises in my wake...

A Free Endorsement for Continental Bicycle Tires

Last May, before going to Turkey, I bought a pair of high performance Continental tires for my bike. They were the "4 Season" model, with an aggressive tread and kevlar belts and high thread count casing. They cost me $60 each and lasted over a year, including 500 miles ridden on the rough roads of Turkey. One of them flatted the other week and my sponsor pushed a Michelin tire on me as a replacement- the Michelin?: two flats in two weeks! Now I'm riding an old spare Continental Sprinter tubular tire- it never needs re-inflating and tough as nails. Continental makes the best racing tires, hands down- especially the ones made in Germany.

24 May 2006

Personal trivialities of work and sport

It's 8:30 at night and I'm back at work, trying to get caught up. Next week was going to be a vacation for me, but that's been called off due to my un-conquered pile of tasks which I thought I'd have completed by this Friday. This week marks a full year since my last vacation- I can hardly believe I am still on my feet, that my ass isn't dragging behind me. On the bright side, my company is giving me some sales and estimating to do and today I discovered that a $1.2 million project proposal which I estimated is going to have a favorable outcome. We'll get the contract and the project manager will be yours truly, which is ideal because I have already studied the project from every angle and put the learning curve behind me.

On the sporting side of my life, I'm happy to report that I've ridden my bike to and from work for the past two days, with a total of about 90 miles covered in the past three days. The mornings are freezing cold outside and the hardest part is talking myself into wanting to ride. It's always the correct choice to do so because I am able to skip the morning coffee and I'm naturally awake and alert when I get here. The ride home is always sweet- it's usually much warmer outside by that time. And her- gasoline costs $3.00 a gallon!! That's another good reason!

Huge Fire Breaks Out at Istanbul Airport

A women receives medical attention near the scene of a fire at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey in this image taken from TV, Wednesday May, 24 2006. A huge fire engulfed the cargo section of Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport on Wednesday and blocked air traffic, television reports said. Black smoke, mixed with flames, billowed some 30 meters (100 feet) high into the air, television footage showed.

22 May 2006

Here's a Person Who Might Deserve to be at GITMO

Harun Ilhan, one of defendants in 2003 massive car bomb attacks, is escorted by gendarmes to a Turkish court for a hearing in Istanbul May 22, 2006. Ilhan is one of the suspects in the 2003 Al Qaeda-linked suicide bombings against the British consulate, synagogues and a London-based HSBC banking building that killed around 60 people in Istanbul.
REUTERS/Fatih Saribas

21 May 2006

Pay no mind to the basement people...

Ever feel like you've climbed [almost] to the top of something- after much sacrifice, pain, dedication and hard work- and just as you're within reach of your goal, your brass ring, just as you prepare to claim what is yours, the only voices you hear are those of the "basement people" who reside in your head? That's where I am at the moment, with those voices calling me down (Jump! Jump!) instead of encouraging me to continue going up. (Self-sabotage?? Fear of success??) Where are the voices of my Balcony People? I can take it only so far without you.. They live in my heart I think, and I need you now- more than ever- to drown out those other voices.
Dr. Seuss said it best:
"I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you."

Speechless in Athens: I Want My Three Hours BACK!

The shocking winners from Finland, LORDI might have gotten their inspiration from this band. Here's where you will find the complete score matrix for all voting countries and competing countries. Russia's DIMA was robbed of the win and those who voted for Finland should be forced to dress like the Lordi freaks for 30 days, whenever in public.
Turkey placed a surprising 11th, even though the over-weight and toothy Sibel Tuzun gave a performance we'd all like to soon forget. Sibel, is that a cocker spaniel lounging on your shoulders? Oops my bad, that's your hair... The overall sound and melody of "Superstar" reminded me why jack-hammer operators wear ear protection. ("Dun-dun-dun superstar!!!"- What the hell were those first three slurred words before "superstar"???) This was a pathetic train wreck of a performance: you want to look away but you can't. Oh, and I've seen enough of her gums to become a periodontist, licensed in all 50 states. That outfit would have been equally attractive draped around a tree trunk... or even me for that matter.
Kudos to Athens for managing the event successfully. (Loved the dolphins) See you in Finland in '07! or not!

20 May 2006

HACKED BY iSKORPiTX: Turkish Hacker Gone Wild

"Yesterday the Turkish cracker going by the handle “Iskorpitx”, succesfully hacked 21,549 websites in one shot (plus 17,000 as our last update) and defaced (on a secondary page) all of them with a message showing the Turkish flag (with AtaTurk face on it)" More...

This guy clearly has too much time on his hands. Hopefully I'll be spared from his wrath for spot-lighting his evil deeds... -AT

19 May 2006

Turkey ex-PM Ecevit critically ill

ANKARA, Turkey (CNN) -- Former Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is in a critical condition in hospital after undergoing surgery for a brain hemorrhage, hospital and political sources say.
According to the hospital in the capital Ankara, Ecevit, 80, is paralyzed on his right side following a four-hour operation to stop the bleeding and is in intensive care.
A political ally, Zeki Sezer, leader of the Democratic Left Party, said on Friday Ecevit's health was improving.
The former PM fell ill at his home Thursday evening after attending the funeral of a judge killed the day before in a courthouse shooting.
Ecevit, who is a staunch nationalist and secularist, served as Turkey's prime minister five times and is best known for authorizing the 1974 invasion of Cyprus, which led to its division into Greek and Turkish sectors. More..

And this update added May 22, courtesy of Erkan...

Eurovision 2006: Sibel Tuzun of Turkey Has Reached The Finals

Turkey's representative Sibel Tuzun performs the song "Superstar" during the semi-final of the 2006 Eurovision song contest in Athens Olympic indoor arena May 18, 2006. The 51st Eurovision song contest final will take place on Saturday May 20 with representatives from 24 countries.
18 May 2006 REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis
Reuters Slide Show

18 May 2006

Useless Trivia: Skunk Parades in Cracklefoot

The highlight of my 300 miles of driving today was listening to talk radio, notably, a spoof interview with "Zoe Frankincense" who is purported to be THE expert (she denies the distinction) on the topic of "skunk parades"- a phenomenon which can be observed in a MA town called "Cracklefoot". Funny stuff. The host called her and asked all kinds of stupid questions for 1/2 hour straight, and she took it like a champ... It did help me shake the sleepiness though and probably saved my life because I am prone to falling asleep at the wheel when I'm not well-rested.
Today I spent the lion's share of my day on the highways of Connecticut, usually pushing 80 miles an hour to get from one appointment to the next. I cursed myself for getting caught in the 5:00 pm rush hour on I-95 heading North from New Canaan. Man did my head throb for a while there, then along came the skunk piece... Made it back to the office at 7:00...
I rode my bike 14 miles to work at 7:00 this morning, and after returning from my 300 mile trip to CT, I rode my bike 21 miles to get home. It's been a very long day and I'm still here trying to eek every bit of productivity out of my weary ass before crashing for 6 hours of sleep. See how much I care about you guys? I deserve a medal AND a monument. -AT

17 May 2006

Gunman kills Turkish judge, injures 4 in court attack

By Hidir Goktas 4 minutes ago
ANKARA (Reuters) - A Turkish gunman, proclaiming his Islamic faith, killed one judge and injured four other judges on Wednesday in a shooting in a top court which Turkey's president condemned as an attack on its secular establishment.

Police take security measures at the entrance of the court house in Ankara May 17, 2006. (Stringer/Reuters)

Would you believe that this happened because of a head scarf? Full article

Gas prices fuel more bike commuters

Finally, something GOOD comes from the high cost of oil and gas: Lose weight, gain fitness and save money! -AT

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- Fed up with sitting in traffic and paying more than $50 to fill his tank, Scott Morrison ditched his gas-guzzling pickup and started biking to work.
Rain or shine, Morrison now bikes the six miles from his home in Fairfield, about 45 miles northeast of San Francisco, to the packaging plant where he works as a machine operator. Six
months after switching to two wheels, he feels more relaxed and healthier, having lost nearly 50 pounds.
"Every time I get on the scale, it's like I'm getting rewarded for riding to work," said Morrison, 38. "The two biggest complaints people have are not having enough money and obesity. I'm taking care of both." Full article.

16 May 2006

Out of my way you half-naked slut!

Two things: 1) I own the same exact soccer ball. 2) This poor girl is going to die from heat stroke.
Million dollar question: Does she prefer to wear that shit? I'm not talking about the headscarf- that would actually be useful to a sweaty athlete. What's with the long sleeves and long pants? That's just wrong people. Please tell me they make her do it, that she's not brain-washed to believe it's right.Mozhan Azarkashb (front L) of Iran's Rah Ahan Club fights Shama Khreisat (R) from Jordan's Youth Club for the ball in the 3rd Women Soccer Championship in Amman May 15, 2006. Jordan won 9-8.
15 May 2006 REUTERS/Ali Jarekji

Today I Worship Apollo, The Sun God

Yes after eight straight days of rain and not a single ray of sunshine, my prayers to Apollo were finally answered. The sun finally burst through the clouds, just as I was leaving work to go home for the day. Needless to say, I went home and jumped on the bike. A little chilly out but I didn't mind it one bit.

On my death bed, I will pray to the gods and the angels...
Like a pagan, to anyone who will take me to Heaven...
-Audioslave: "Like a Stone"

15 May 2006

Two 24 year old Lithuanians in the News: Aras Baskauskas and Tomas Vaitkus, and the Joke's on Bettini

Thank you Metin at Talk Turkey for the scoop on last night's Survivor winner, Aras Baskauskas, a 24 year old Lithuanian American from California. Aras is $1 million richer. (Don't be a Richard Hatch and forget to pay taxes!)

Although his winnings were no doubt a bit more modest, the winner of today's Stage 9 of the Giro d'Italia was also a 24 year old Lithuanian: Tomas Vaitkus. Many thanks to Velonews for the great reporting and coverage, and to Graham Watson for the fantastic photo of Tomas (far right in blue) beating Bettini, Pollack and McEwen to the line. Full Velonews report and results...

Above, former Olympic champion Paolo Bettini punches the air in victory, (prematurely) but the photo finish told a different story. Tomas won by the skin of his teeth.

13 May 2006

Here Comes the Rain Again

It actually stopped for a couple of hours late in the morning- the roads even dried up. Now it's raining buckets and of course yours truly has missed another day of training. I'll have to connect the bike to the wind-trainer and spin for a while- three days off the bike is not good for form. Today marks the 5th straight day of rain, and it's getting really f-ing old. Why the hell do we live in New England? I know, it's for the high wages. Even so, Californians are looking pretty smart from where I'm standing.

My brother Ali sent me this article about Uzbekistan which covers the one year anniversary of the Andijan massacre of May 2005. The last time I mentioned Uzbekistan, it was because of their world famous sprinter, "The Tashkent Express", Djadmolodine Abdujaparov.

12 May 2006

Blogging: One of the Seven Deadly Sins?

Amerikan Turk: 10 months, 374 posts, 15000+ visits, almost 35000 page views

Seems I am averaging more than one post per day, with each of them averaging about 40 visits each. In the blog hierarchy I'm sure that's pretty low on the totem pole, but hey it's more than I ever believed I'd reach last July when at first it all began. A.T. should reach 20,000 visits by it's 1 year anniversary on July 5th. We'll see. Will it matter? The greatest thing about blogging is that all of this work is saved electronically, hopefully forever, for future generations to read and enjoy. I've tried keeping hand-written personal journals and diaries in the past- it's never worked for me. Probably because there's NO AUDIENCE! That said, the question begging to be answered is this: Could blogging be an indulgence in one of the Seven Deadly Sins ?

Most of us bloggers seem to like ourselves, don't we? Yeah we love the sound of our own voice, and our affair with ourselves is fueled by those who pay attention to our ranting and raving. It's a cycle that feeds upon itself. This might explain why most blogs putter out after a few weeks or months. Those who don't attract at least a small audience, have little reason to continue shadow boxing. Don't mean to generalise and paint all of us with one broad stroke, but I think that it's definitely true that once an audience is established, a blogger is hooked and can't quit. I'm pretty sure that the reverse is also true, and I hope not to become such an example. After all I have my pride. -AT

11 May 2006

Satellite Image of Istanbul

This image was recorded two years ago. Been staring at it and I'm at a loss for words. I keep imagining myself on an Airbus after a ten hour flight, landing gear extended, tray tables up, seats in an upright position and seat belts fastened. (and of course, my ass as flat as a board) I've made that trip probably about 15 times overall. When I was 11 years old, I made the trip home to the US by myself, with a 10 hour lay-over in Amsterdam. Wandered around every square inch of that airport on that day, talked to strangers, slept for a while. What were my parents thinking? The pilot came to check on me personally during the flight to JFK- asked if I needed any help. I told him 'no, thanks". These days I am terrified of air travel, especially since 9-11. We were in Turkey on holiday when it happened, and we had to fly home on 9-20. Not as fun as it was 20 years earlier, let me tell you..

Meet "Comic Book Guy"

Say good bye to "Wooldoor Sockbat"!
Say hello to "Comic Book Guy"- One of my favorite Simpson's characters
He's taking over for a while.

Racism against Turks is a reality, right here in the US:

Unapologetically, "Robert Linsday" the self proclaimed "Independent Left Journalist", calls all Turks fascists and racists, and responsible for the genocide of an aggregate 3.5 million+ Kurds, Greeks and Armenians. Now I've heard everything. See the complete diatribe using the link above, excerpts below:

"...It is useful to note, and shameful of the Armenians to refuse to discuss (not to mention Turkish ferocious denials) the fact that while the Turks were killing 1.5 million Armenians during the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923, the Turks also killed 275,000 Assyrians and 350,000 Pontian Greeks. A total 2.125 million people were slaughtered by the genocidal Turks..."

"...Around about the same time, from 1910-1919, Turks ethnically cleansed 1.5 million Greeks from Pontia in far western Turkey, where they had lived for centuries. In the process, 350,000 Greeks were killed..."

"...Why do the Turks refuse to discuss the Armenian - Assyrian - Greek Genocides of 1915-1923? Possibly because that would be like a man cursing his own birth and entry into the world. For with the slaughter of 2.125 million non-Turks and ethnic cleansing of 1.5 million more, the Turkish state as we know it today was built..."

10 May 2006

Re-discovered my Springsteen disk today

The driving I did today was made bearable because I grabbed my old Bruce Springsteen cd from my music collection. It had been a long time... and today I was reminded that the following songs are timeless masterpieces, in my book. Buy this disk. (click above)

Brilliant Disguise:
So when you look at me you better look hard and look twice
Is that me baby? or just a brilliant disguise?
Tonight our bed is cold
I’m lost in the darkness of our love
God have mercy on the man
Who doubts what he’s sure of

Thunder Road:
You can hide 'neath your covers and study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers, throw roses in the rain
Waste your summer praying in vain
For a savior to rise from these streets
Well now, I ain't no hero, that's understood
All the redemption I can offer, girl, is beneath this dirty hood
With a chance to make it good somehow
Hey, what else can we do now?
Except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair
Well, the night's busting open, these two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back, heaven's waiting on down the tracks

Blood Brothers:
Now the hardness of this world slowly grinds your dreams away
Makin' a fool's joke out of the promises we make
And what once seemed black and white turns to so many shades of gray
We lose ourselves in work to do and bills to pay
And it's a ride, ride, ride, and there ain't much cover
With no one runnin' by your side my blood brother

New England weather sucks all week!

I drove 200+ miles today, had long drawn out meetings with two architects, visited three job sites, measured a dozen existing and some imaginary walls, man am I tired. It's cold, damp, windy and drizzly outside- kind of like a typical November day, and I've just returned from a 21 mile bike ride, after all that crap I went through. Convincing myself to change into my cycling clothes was the hardest part, believe it or not. I'm not insane, just driven.

08 May 2006

Daniel Biechele being sentenced for The Station nightclub fire

On Feb 20th 2003, an inferno at "The Station" night club in West Warwick, Rhode Island cost 100 people their lives. The club's location is only a few miles from our home. The night of the fire, we were awakened by an acrid smell in the house. I went into the basement thinking that maybe our boiler was malfunctioning. As it turned out, smoke and fumes from the fire blanketed the entire town, and the smell penetrated the walls every house in the neighborhood. We went back to bed, not knowing what was going on. The following morning we discovered what had really happened. Here's the latest in the criminal prosecution of those judged responsible, including the Armenian owners of the club, Jeffrey and Michael Derdarian.

Now I hate to bring it up, but the video footage I've seen of the people jammed in the club's entrance- the lower half of their bodies being burned alive- evokes for me images of the Jewish Holocaust. The genocide which took place in Germany included horrific methods and means of elimination, including gas chambers and incinerators, designed for the sole purpose of extingushing life and then disposing of the remains. What's my point? It's this: Show me evidence of any such device (gas chamber, incinerator or even death/labor camp) ever existing in Turkey or used against Armenians. There weren't any. Prove me wrong.

You can label me a denier of Armenian genocide all you like, if it pleases you. There is too great a disparity between the events of the WW2 Jews and WW1 Armenians, for them to share a descriptive word, especially when one considers that Armenians had blood on their hands and Jews did not!

I understand that huge numbers of innocent Armenians- men, women, children, babies, elderly- were senselessly and mercilessly slaughtered. I highly doubt that any Turk will deny this, and I'm sure that every Turk feels some regret and sorrow about the innocents. But what never reaches people and what Armenians would rather no one know about, is the context of these events, the provocations and treason and sedition which led to them, the complicity of the Armenians who had a hand in the destruction of the Ottoman Empire.

This is the heart of what Turks wish to debate, and it comes as no surprise that Armenians reject and dismiss any such challenges. For this reason, I believe that Armenians are equally guilty of the revisionism which Turkey is accused of. Turkey will never give in, not when Turks are continually and myopically portrayed as the un-provoked predator while Armenians pass themselves off as the faultless victims.

Testicles, Say Hello to my KNEE!

Manchester United's Kieran Richardson (L) challenges Matt Holland of Charlton Athletic for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Charlton Athletic at Old Trafford , Manchester, northern England, May 7, 2006.
07 May 2006 REUTERS/Phil Noble

Sunday was the International Day of Laughing

Scores of people take part in the International Day of Laughing in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris May 7, 2006. Organisers underscore the therapeutic values of bursts of laughter.
07 May 2006 REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

07 May 2006

As The Wheels Turn: Wells Ave Criterium

Today I raced as well... at Wells Ave, my weekly stomping ground in Newton Mass. Apparently this training race has been around for 25 years! See the particulars here. It was a good week for me on the bike- 155 miles overall, most of which I did on T-F-Sat. A bit unsure of myself today- legs felt a little over-cooked. With only two of my team mates there, there was little we could to to make a big impact on the 80+ field of racers. In the end, I think I timed myself perfectly and finished ahead of many riders who I'm sure are in better form than me. In spite of whacking the biggest potholes on the 0.8 mile course during the final lap, I managed to work my way from the nose-bleed section to almost the front with 100 meters to go and I finished 11th place. So sometimes a combination of timing, risk-taking and experience pay off more than fitness. It was a dangerous sprint. In the previous race for the less experience "B" riders, a crash at the finish sent one or two people to the hospital in an ambulance.
Here's the 411 of my progression at Wells Ave so far this season:
April 2: Avg speed 24.9 mph, Avg heart rate 168
April 9: Avg speed 25.4 mph, Avg HR 173
April 30: Avg speed 25.7 mph, Avg HR 170
Today: Avg speed 26.8 mph, Avg HR 165
Needless to say, the math is simple: when speed goes up and avg heart rate goes down, it means that the many hours of "controlled injury" I've been inflicting on my body are getting positive results.
In other trivia regarding the Boston Road Club (I used to be on their team), the long-time title sponsor, ATA Cycle (yes, owned by a Turk) has ended the relationship with the club. This came as a surprise. ATA Cycle, and another bike shop called QUAD Cycles, are both owned by Turks (they used to be partners at ATA before a separation of business interests) I had joined BRC just to be close to these guys- Rustem and Husam, for what benefit, I'll never know. I know of only one other Turk in my region who races competitively- Turgut Balikci (he lives in CT I believe) Look forward to meeting him one of these days.

Meet Australian "Ewen McEwen"

So you thought Apple and Moses were strange choices? How about a name that's palindromic (sort of). Robbie sprinted to victory in today's stage of the Tour of Italy, but his son Ewen stole the post-race show. Full Velonews race report, results and photos hereREUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Australian Robbie McEwen (R) celebrates on podium with his son Ewen after the 197-km second stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race from Mons to Charleroi Marcinelle, Belgium May 7, 2006. McEwen won the stage while Italy's defending champion Paolo Savoldelli took the leader's pink jersey. The race started in Belgium and will end in Milan on May 28.

McEwen outfoxed Petacchi and Pollack. photo: Graham Watson

06 May 2006


Just for HA-HAs, here is a list of my favourite movies, in no particular order:

Fight Club
Dumb and Dumber
Gegen die Wand (Head On)
Legends of the Fall
Blazing Saddles
5th Element
Run Lola Run
Bourne Identity (sequel is cool too)
The Matrix (only the first one!)
The Blues Brothers
Aliens (Bill Paxton!)
Joe the King
Devil's Advocate
Forrest Gump
Pulp Fiction
Kill Bill
The Green Mile

Any Questions?
Oh, and I recently finished reading The DaVinci Code. Will the film be suspenseful for those who've already read the book? I think not. Of course, anything with Tom Hanks is a must see. I hope it does really well, more so than "The Passion", which I haven't seen yet and have no intention of seeing (I detest Mel Gibson, is all). Fibonacci is ever so much more interesting. I wonder how many DaVinci Code fans use Phi (1618) for their ATM PIN or for their other security passwords. Or how about SOFIA or APPLE? Hey is that last one being the name of Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter just a coincidence? (How about 'Moses'?) To wit:
"It conjured such a lovely picture for me – you know, apples are so sweet and they're wholesome and it's biblical – and I just thought it sounded so lovely and ... clean. And I just thought, 'Perfect!'"

04 May 2006

"Mon-key in the Mid-dle"!

VfL Wolfsburg's Steve Marlet heads the ball watched by FSV Mainz 05's Marco Rose (R) and Antonio da Silva (L) during their German Bundesliga soccer match in Wolfsburg May 3, 2006.
03 May 2006 REUTERS/Christian Charisius
Very cool picture- reminds me of a game we used to play as kids on the street in College Point New York.

03 May 2006

Moussaoui Lives, Rightly So...

The verdict was the correct one! When the most advanced, richest, and civilized nation in the world (or so we think) takes life as punishment for crimes, it sends the wrong message to the people of countries where the death penalty was abolished, where it's unlawful. It's completely shameful that death sentences are still handed down in more than half of the US states. Considering our 'holier than thou' attitude and our 'do as we say, not as we do' M.O., it's little surprise that the applause meter for the US has fallen so silent.

Boy For Sale: Young, Healthy and Fast on his Feet

Budhia Singh, a four-year-old child, runs during a marathon in the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar May 2, 2006. Singh, sold by his mother for just 800 rupees ($20), has been dubbed India's "marathon boy" after he ran 65 km (40 miles) on Tuesday, but critics accused his coach of risking the boy's health for cash.
29 Apr 2006 REUTERS/Sanjib Mukherj

The million-dollar question: Who now "owns" this young sports prodigy? Who is his legal guardian?
The 10 million dollar question(s): Where the hell is mommy and why did she need $20 so badly?
The $40 question: Does mom have the same sellers' remorse as the designer of the NIKE Swoosh logo?

Whatever the answers, may the wind always be at his back!

02 May 2006

Jet lost over Russia, 100 on board

Tuesday, May 2, 2006; Posted: 9:07 p.m. EDT (01:07 GMT)
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- An Armenian Airlines jetliner with 100 people aboard disappeared from radar early Wednesday near the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russian authorities say. More
As one who is terrified of air travel, stories like this get my attention.

Orhan Pamuk in Time 100 - Turkish Torque

Orhan Pamuk in Time 100 - Turkish Torque

Brother Ugur gives us an eye opener.

01 May 2006

TIME Magazine Calls Orhan Pamuk a Hero and Pioneer, among 99 other "people who shaped our world"

Thanks to Erkan for posting this link to TIME magazine's list of "100 People Who Shape Our World". You will find Pamuk's name under the "Heroes and Pioneers" listing, among others such as BONO, Angelina Jolie, Bill Clinton, Paul Simon... They also give a brief explanation of why Pamuk was chosen. While I'm proud that a Turkish person is included in such a list, I have little doubt that this news is going to turn some heads in Turkey and draw another round of criticism or even protest against Pamuk's "speaking the unspeakable".
A few months ago I posed the question: Orhan Pamuk: Renegade or Pioneer? It seems we have our answer, doesn't it? However, it should be made clear to people that it isn't just the Turkish government who wanted to punish Pamuk- Many people in Turkey seethed with hatred. So in the spirit of "May is Poetry Month", here is the poem which was circulating last December. It's a full-on assault of Orhan Pamuk:

YÜZDE yüz bir pislik var ki kaninda,Soykirim icadi yapti sonunda,Türkiye'nin su en hassas aninda,Onu yalanlayan tarihe kizar,Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.
Nerden çikti simdi durup dururken?Dört yandan ülkeyi düsman bürürken,AB'ye gün be gün hesap verirken,Hayali ölüye mezar kazar,Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.
Kivirmayi birak, erkek ol erkek,Bir buçuk milyonu saydin mi tek tek?Üç kurus paraya satilmis KÖPEKEline bir kemik geçince azar,Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.
Dönen dolaplari ibretle seyret,Ermeni bu kadar göstermez gayret,Kraldan daha kralci, hayret!Kafayi 'SOYKIRIMI' sözüyle bozar,Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.
Eðer bir soykirim varsa ortada,Türklere yapildi ERZURUM, KARS'TA.Tarihi git ögren, birazcik sus da,Dogu bastan sona hep toplu mezar,Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.
Azerbaycan’a git, gör soykirimi,Yürekler acisi Türk'ün durumu.Bir daha bilmeden yapma yorumu,Azeri kaniyla doluyken HAZAR,Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.
Bati’nin gözünde artti degerin,Onlardan bir daha kaptin 'AFERÝN' .Küpede taktimi mi efendilerin?Midesi dolunca dili hep uzar,Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.
Anan mi Ermeni, Baban mi senin?Ailenden var mi hiç katledilenin?Seni bu ülkede aydin edenin?Alçaklik yaptikça bulursun Pazar,-Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.
Ekmegini yedigin bu Devlete,Seni adam sayan yüce Millete,Ihanet ederek düstün ZiLLETE!Aman dikkat et, degmesin nazar,Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.
Bir adam olursa dogustan yamuk,Soyuna düsmandir, Düþmana pamuk,ERBABI, yakana yapiþir OMUK,Unutma, bu millet oyunu bozar,Böylesi HAÝNLER oluyor yazar.

Regardless of what this poem means to you or I, it's certain that Armenians will be fisting the air in triumph over the recognition given to their new adopted hero. You could say that they "bask in his reflected glory".
I still support Orhan's freedom to say whatever he wants, even if it is controversial. After all, in the end every lamb is hung by their own leg. A hook awaits each and every one of us.