Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I still think I might have a chance

I don't know who this guy is and the video is a few months old, so maybe it's been around the web already. I just thought it was funny as hell and worth posting.

She's Too Good For Everyone - Watch more Funny Videos

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Le Mans livestream review

Another 24 Hours of Le Mans is in the books, and from a U.S. based fan's point of view, the Europeans have some things to work on if they are going to compete with the ALMS. Readers of this blog may remember last year I "watched" most of the ALMS season with a combination of Radio Le Mans, Live Timing and Scoring, and Twitter. This year's race in France was a somewhat similar experience. Once again, the radio and scoring sheet were the best sources of information.

Peugeot-Sport had the best livestream for several reasons. Unlike the Audi's, all three of their cars with in-car cameras finished the race. The two Audi crashes not only left them with one car, but one camera.

Peugeot also broke into TV coverage from time to time. I imagine their being a French team in a French race covered by French TV had something to do with that. Perhaps when the series moves to Nurburgring in two weeks, the Audi's will have the advantage.

Peugeot also had several cameras in the pits and a four person on-camera team. Although I don't understand a word of French, it was interesting to hear it spoken by natural speakers. It is indeed a beautiful language. Every so often, one of the commentators would give an English translation, but I eventually dropped the audio on their feed and boosted Radio Le Mans to find out what was happening. Maybe subtitles are the answer.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the Peugeot feed also had an embed function, which allowed this little blogger to carry the race. Thanks for all the hits, guys!

The Audi livestream was plagued with unstable video. The constant break-ups and freeze frames got pretty tiresome. The poor quality also adversely affected the telemetry they were showing. The promised race recap every two hours never materialized. At least, I never saw one.

The two three hour long livestreams by Speed-TV were about what I expected. Speed-TV really hasn't changed much over the years. Some day, the suits in charge there will realize they can show commercials on the web just as easily as they can on TV. With so many cable companies offering hi-speed internet, it's only a matter of time before viewers are given a choice. Watching their feed only served to point out the wisdom of the ALMS switching to

The Live Timing and Scoring page, provided by Le Mans Org., was essential in keeping track of the teams. Features I missed were columns for Time Behind Position and Time Behind Class Leader. Rather than just showing the laps behind the over-all leader, these two features allow the viewer to determine who is catching up or falling behind. One gets a better sense of how the race is progressing than a simple lap count provides.

As for the race, it lived up to it's tradition. The mainline media will no doubt fixate on the crashes, but for the rest of us, it was 24 hours of drama. Thanks to Radio Le Mans, still the best source on the web for the European leagues.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Peugeot live feed

Most of the commentary is in French, but every so often we get an English language recap. The video coverage is much better than the Audi site so far.

Live by Peugeot-Sport-Endurance

Friday, June 10, 2011

Le Mans livestream update and Project 56 news

I've been hunting down livestream info for the 24 hours of Le Mans. Here's what I have so far. If I find more I'll post an update. If anyone reading this knows of more, just post it in the comments section. The green flag flies at six AM Pacific Time on Saturday.

Both Peugeot and Audi will have in-car cameras in each of their three entries. The Audi stream will also have in-car telemetry, race updates every two hours, and Emanuele Pirro ( @EPirro ) updating on Twitter from the Audi pits. One can find other teams and drivers on Twitter using #LM24 and #LeMans hashtags.

After the second round of qualifying yesterday, the two teams had the top six spots on the starting grid with only 1/2 second between them over the eight mile circuit. It should be a doozy of a start. Final qualifying is today.

Most of the race will be carried on old-fashioned cable TV. Speed TV will alternate between cable and the web. Here is their schedule as I understand it. All times are Pacific.

Saturday, June 11
Le Mans 24 Hours: TV 5:30 a.m. Live Streaming 8:30 a.m.
TV 12:30 p.m. Live Streaming 5:00 p.m.
TV 8:00 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday

There will also be Live timing and scoring and flag to flag commentary on Radio Le Mans.

Another shape of things to come

After being turned down by the Indy Racing League, Project 56 applied to the ACO, the governing body of the Le mans race, to enter an experimental car in next year's race. Their application has been approved.

Project 56
Photo: ALMS

The car will be unclassified and start in last place on the grid (position 56). The delta wing shape provides stability while the short front wheel base allows high speed with less horsepower. The power plant will be a 1.6 litre turbo. Downforce is achieved on the underside of the car.

Racing legend Dan Gurney, ALMS CEO Don Panoz, and two time ALMS champions Highcroft Racing are all involved.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The new liberal

I've posted another opinion piece on This is Reno. As before, you can read it in its entirety by clicking the title link below. Ir's about the changing meanings of our political identifiers. I have reason to suspect that conservative Democrat and liberal Republican are about to make a comeback.

The new liberal, or part 3,284,582 in an ongoing series on our nonsensical politics

Don’t worry, this isn’t about Weinergate. I ran across a blogger I used to read back during the 2008 election. I knew her to be a Democrat, and judging from her tweets, she still is. What seemed odd, is in her profile, she now describes herself as a “fiscal conservative.” How could that be? The more I thought about it, the more I could see her point. Our political labels are about to change again. The conservative Democrats are back, and they’re changing the meaning of fiscal conservative.

Just to confirm my hunch, I checked an online dictionary, and sure enough, my suspicions were correct. Fiscal has two meanings and conservative has three. We can pick one each to make the case for a fiscally conservative Democrat.

Fiscal: of or pertaining to the public treasury

Conservative: disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., to limit change.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Streams in the wilderness

There is an old rule in survival guides that says if you ever become lost in the mountains, seriously lost, just walk downhill. It is nearly certain that by walking downhill, one will find a stream, which leads to a river, and where there are rivers there are people, and civilization.

It's not always true, of course. Some streams end in a pond or lake with no outlet. Oh well, at least you'll have plenty of water.

Hernando de Soto, the modern day Peruvian economist, not to be confused with the 16th century Spanish explorer, has a unique perspective on just how seriously lost we are.

The Destruction of Economic Facts

Dr. de Soto's specialty is in "shadow economies", such as Peruvian peasants before property rights reforms, among other examples. It's easy to tell that he is very much a scientific economist, gathering data, analysing and building models, and so forth. In his article, he points out that our current dilemma is not just financial, it is also a breakdown in communication and a loss of collective memory.

The complexity inherent in the system we have built over the last 150 years means repair is unlikely. There is no ready replacement either. We are seriously lost.

One small stream in this wilderness is psychology (behavioral economics). There is much debate over whether psychology is an art or a science, just as there is debate over whether economics is a science or a philosophy. Over on the Psy-Fi Blog, there is a good two part series on the ongoing battle between scientific economists and the psychologists, who seem to align more with the philosophic economists.

Economics & Psychology: The Divorce

Economics & Psychology: Reconciliation

Somewhere in this marshy mountain meadow of art, science, and philosophy, is a stream that leads to civilization. Will a technological society accept an artistic view of their economy? Possibly. Combining art, science, and sketchy information to find our way is an old tradition.

early map