Stage 13 | Foix / Saint-Lary-Soulan
Lance Armstrong has beaten down all of his opponents at the Tour de France in the past five days, and when he finally took over the yellow jersey of race leader on Saturday, the signs were everywhere. He rode away from Jan Ullrich, the grit on the German's face and the dirt streaking his jersey a fitting symbol of the psychological beating he has taken at Armstrong's hands. Joseba Beloki rolled across the finish line in utter exhaustion, a string of drool hanging from his chin, after trying to stay with Armstrong on the most difficult day of the race. Santiago Botero bowed his head and buried his face in his arms after finishing the race. And Andrei Kivilev's face was simply blank, devoid of expression.
And fittingly, the rider who Armstrong succeeded as race leader, François Simon, rolled across the line more than 13 minutes after the American, just as the awards music was being cued up and Armstrong was mounting the podium following his stage win at Pla d'Adet.
7 more days but only one more day in the mountains. There is Lance and then there is everyone else.
Stage 12 | Perpignan / Ax-les-Thermes
Positions remain unchanged today but Lance gains time. He finished third in today's stage but was behind two riders way down in overall time. Simon is still in first but yesterday Lance was 13 min 07 sec back and is now 9 min 10 sec back. Kivilev is still second but yesterday he had a 2 min 07 sec lead on Lance that is now down to 28 seconds. The closest riders behind Lance are Beloki at 3 min 10 sec Ullrich at 3 min 34 sec.
Tomorrow's stage is 194 km with 6 climbs - one Category 2 climb, 4 Category 1 climbs, and one climb beyond category. The climbs aren't as long as the ones in the Alps but tomorrow should see some changes.
Since 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.
This year's winner:
A small assortment of astonishingly loud brass instruments raced each other lustily to the respective ends of their distinct musical choices as the gates flew open to release a torrent of tawny fur comprised of angry yapping bullets that nipped at Desdemona's ankles, causing her to reflect once again (as blood filled her sneakers and she fought her way through the panicking crowd) that the annual Running of the Pomeranians in Liechtenstein was a stupid idea.
And the winner for Science Fiction:
Kirk's mind raced as he quickly assessed his situation: the shields were down, the warp drive and impulse engines were dead, life support was failing fast, and the Enterprise was plummeting out of control toward the surface of Epsilon VI and, as Scotty and Spock searched frantically through the manuals trying to find a way to save them all, Kirk vowed, as he stared at the solid blue image filling the main view screen, that never again would he allow a Microsoft operating system to control his ship.
Again demonstrating that bad taste is timeless while good taste is mere fad.
thanks to Dan Gillmor
The answer to one of humanity's eternal problems.
More for the easy to please.
both thanks to BookNotes
thanks to d'monkey
This is just too amazing. It takes a while to load but it's worth it. Or I'm just easy to please.
thanks to d'monkey
Religion and the Founders
The Savior who drove the money changers from the Temple and died on the Cross for our sins reentered history by way of the recent American presidential election. Asked to name his favorite philosopher, George W. Bush answered "Christ." Why? "Because he changed my heart." We used to be told that the Lord’s instruction to "follow me" meant not to run for office but to lead a Christian way of life of worldly powerlessness and leave politics to the Romans, who preferred successful conquests to the salvation of their souls. That Christianity is silent on how power should be comprehended and employed is a problem even more compounded in Al Gore’s religiosity. The professed born-again vice president assured us that whenever he is faced with a difficult decision, he asks himself, "What Would Jesus Do?"
Are these guys serious? Fortunately for the country, our Founding Fathers neither allowed Christ to influence their minds nor stopped to ask Gore’s question after the Boston Massacre of 1770, when British Redcoats slaughtered American colonists. Had they followed the gentle Jesus and his Sermon on the Mount, they would have "turned the other cheek" instead of taking up muskets, and we would still be living under British domination and drinking tea.
thanks to wood s hole
The voices coming out of the Middle East are from those yelling the loudest which usually means those at the extremes. Terrible things are happening there but our newstainment agencies don't help much. Here are a couple of sites that try to get the true stories out.
A new blog by a journalist in the Netherlands with a special interest in Mid-eastern affairs.
But, reading your weblog, your columns, I do get the impression that you are anti-Israel.
I am trying to be fair to all parties in conflicts, including the conflicts in the Middle East. When you tell me exactly where and how (in a weblog post, column, any other text I wrote) you think I am not fair to a party, I will answer you. I am open for discussion and am ready to scrutinize what I wrote. Again: I am trying to be fair to all parties. When I am particularly critical of one party, that does not mean I favour the other party.
thanks to wood s lot
B'TSELEM - The Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was established in 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members. It endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.
Unfortunately, the site uses frames and is driven by a database which makes it impossible to link within this site. There are many reports that explain what is happening in the occupied territories. In the lower left corner of the home page is a pull down menu labeled "Subjects". Check out the report on "Settlements". The settlements seem to be at the heart of the Palestinians' position.
The establishment of permanent civilian settlements contravenes international humanitarian law, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring population from its territory into territory it occupies, and from performing any act in occupied territory that is not intended to meet its military needs or benefit the local population. In addition, international law prohibits permanent changes not intended for the benefit of the local population. In their settlement policy, the various Israeli governments have violated international law and, in particular, international agreements to which Israel is a party.
thanks to shou?
A little logo humor.
thanks to weblog wannabe
Case highlights law's threat to fair-use rights
So, under the DMCA, it's a crime to spread the word about technology that maintains your fair-use rights. One of these days, it may be a crime to talk about anything that displeases the control freaks who run the entertainment and software industries.
Today, in the book and music world, we can make copies of books and music we own for our own use. We can resell or give away books and music we own. The entertainment and software industies don't want you to do that anymore.
Stage 11 | Grenoble / Chamrousse
The Lance machine is rolling! He beat Jan Ullrich in today's mountain time trial by 1 minute and gained 7 minutes on the Simon who is still wearing the yellow jersey.
...His gain on the opportunist who wears the yellow jersey, Francois Simon, was exactly seven minutes. Armstrong jumped one place on the general classification. Ullrich moved two places, but still trails his Tour nemesis by over three and a half minutes.
And while today’s victory against the clock put time into all his rivals, Lance is also aware that efforts like the one which delivered him to the summit of l’Alpe d’Huez in stage 10 must be limited. “You can only do efforts like that a few times in a three week Tour,” said Armstong about the tactical attack on the famed Col of the Alps. That’s the way I’ve won the Tour the last two years – first at Sestieres and then at Hautacam – but I’ve also paid the price later in the race. In 1999 I lost time to Escartin on the Solour climb and last year I suffered badly on the stage to Morzine. From here on in, I’ll be more careful with my efforts.
He can afford to mark his main overall rivals, but there is still the question of making up the lost time to the opportunists who gained enormous margins during the long break of stage eight. “It’s not only up to me to make up the time on those guys,” said Lance, referring to Simon and Andrei Kivilev, the two riders who are standing between him and the yellow leader’s jersey. Going into the first rest they, their gains are over 13 and two minutes respectively. But the fact that Lance took seven minutes out of Simon in today’s 32km test (and 6’07” off Kivilev’s advantage) is proof positive that their leading days are limited.
This Tour is only going to get better when it reaches the climbs of the Pyrenees Friday.
Good morning, Colombia
Turning loose a force of heavily armed mercenaries in the middle of a bloody civil war in the name of America's war on drugs is more than a misguided policy -- it's utter insanity.
Does this ring a bell?
Yeah, come on all of you, big strong men,
And it's one, two, three,
Lyrics by Country Joe
Stage 10 | Aix-les-Bains / L'Alpe d'Huez
I got up a 6 this morning to watch the last two hours of this stage on the above web site blog style. The winning time for this stage was 6 hours 23 min 47 sec. The last 14 km were up 21 switchbacks of the L'Alpe d'Huez which has a 7.9% grade. It was incredible!
Lance Armstrong began the 2001 Tour de France as the obvious favorite. Yet as soon as the race got underway 10 days ago, questions of his form began to emerge. And today he waited patiently before unleashing a surge of spinning brilliance which offered the answers the growing number of American cycling fans wanted to hear.
The defining moment of the 209 kilometer stage, which featured three Highest Category climbs, came 13 kilometers from the end. Lance arrived at the front of an elite peloton after a quick, yet powerful lead-out by his Spanish US Postal team-mate, Jose-Luis Rubiera. And with Jan Ullrich right on his wheel looking powerful enough to mark any attacks, Lance glanced back and decided that it was time to let his legs do the talking. He jumped hard and fast and quickly gained a lead of 10 meters. By the time he was 50 meters up the road, the only thing Ullrich could do was drop his head in disbelief. (It’s better to not see the severity of an attack such as that if you still have ambitions of beating the man doing the damage.)
From that moment on, it was Sestrieres and Hautacam all over again. This time, it was without the rain – and without the added bonus of the overall lead. That prize, it seems, is something Lance is prepared to ride into with the help of tomorrow’s mountain time trial and the mountains which wait down in the Pyrenees after the rest day.
Ullrich was, without a doubt, one of the strongest men in the race today. But when he led home the troops to finish second in the stage (with Beloki and Moreau rounding out the top four, as they’d done on the final podium in Paris last year), the questions of Armstrong’s form were answered.
At the start today, a keen observer of cycling said: I’ll tell you the winner of the Tour after the final climb. When Armstrong raised his hands and crossed the line, this observer grinned and nodded his head at figure being swamped in a media scrum. He said nothing. And he didn’t need to.
Well, I guess Lance is still the Big Boy! He is now 4th with 20 min 07 sec to make up on Simon but the 3 in front of him are lesser riders. His competition is all behind him. Lance's race has begun.
Philip Morris Cos. officials in the Czech Republic have been distributing an economic analysis concluding that cigarette consumption isn’t a drag on the country’s budget, in part because smokers’ early deaths help offset medical expenses.
Is this the same as promoting legalized murder?
thanks to rebecca's pocket
thanks to Weblog Wannabe
Tour de France
Pretty much a mass finish today. Most of the peleton finished 24 seconds behind the leader which leaves Lance Armtsrong 23rd, 35 minutes 19 seconds behind.
Tomorrow is why the big boys have been resting.
Stage 10 | Aix-les-Bains / L'Alpe d'Huez
Steep hills. Long climbs. The finish is at the top of the last climb. This is where the big boys come out to play. Tomorrow we will know if Lance is still a big boy.
I have Zoe's wonderful pics up for Monday's TestingTesting with Rick Aydelotte.
My grandson Michael was up for a couple on nights. Katie's day care was on vacation so Michael's grandmother watched him for during the day and I ran after him during the night. Zoe and I took him out to dinner at Mike's Place Friday.
The web just offers so many more opportunities for grandparents to inflict pictures of their grandchildren upon the world. Thanks to Zoe for the pic.
And thanks to Zoe for the following I call "Zoe's dryer repair".
This is turning into a really weird Tour de France!
Yesterday was Stage 7, Strasbourg / Colmar. Lance Armstrong apparently didn't contest and is still 15th put has dropped to 5 min 56 sec back.
Today was Stage 8, Colmar / Pontarlier.
An attacking group of 14 riders created a piece of curious history today when their winning time was enough to eliminate the rest of the field from the Tour de France. In appalling conditions, the two main winners of the cold, wet and cruel 222.5km stage from Colmar to Pontarlier were Stuart O’Grady and Erik Dekker.
But the facts above illustrate the main stories of today’s stage: There were 14 riders who were prepared to race – and race hard – despite the conditions.
And one of those not prepared was Lance Armstrong who is now 24th and 35 min 19 sec back and lucky to be still in the race.
New York 000 is an ongoing project to produce the most comprehensive and beautiful visual record of the people in New York City. Embarking on a what we think is a truly historic photo-adventure, we plan on shooting for over a year in every neighborhood of every borough.
This is an *incredible* set of portraits! A couple of guys dragging a portable portrait sudio around New York City. Sublime.
thanks to rebecca's pocket
Under the heading of "Hobbies gone wrong..."
also thanks to rebecca's pocket
The Associated Press A New York Times investigation into overseas ballots that helped George W. Bush win the presidency found that Florida election officials, facing intense GOP pressure to accept military votes, counted hundreds of overseas absentee ballots that failed to comply with state election laws.
The above article had the following in it:
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told the Times: "This election was decided by the voters of Florida a long time ago. And the nation, the president and all but the most partisan Americans have moved on."
Which brings us to...
No, Mr. Fleischer, the election was not decided by the Florida voters. The Supreme Court saw to that. This book, by Vincent Bugliosi, shows the treason committed by the Supreme Court in giving the election to bush (lack of capitalization intentional). Bugliosi doesn't mince words. This book is a must read.
No, Mr. Fleischer, the people who haven't moved on are those that care for the institutions and laws that make this country. It's obvious that the people who are running this country, and those that put them there, care not one whit for these laws and institutions. They are there only for their self interest.