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fun medley: tubular building, self-recycling and ‘criminal’ snogging collected by xavier

  • tubular building
    A Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban, specialises in incorporating recycled materials in his constructions.
    Shigeru Ban in front of his 'paper' bridge close to the Roman Pont de Gard, France. Image source:  France Interior of Nomad Museum, made from transport containers, cardboard tubes and metal sheeting.
    Shigeru Ban in front of his ‘paper’ bridge close to the Roman Pont de Gard, Nîmes, France. Image source: France Interior of Nomad Museum, New York City.
    Photograph by Gregory Colbert.
    Weight: 7.5 tonnes
    number of tubes: 281
    tube dimensions: 11.5 cm/4 ins diameter, 11.9 mm thick
    steps: recycled paper, plastic
    foundations: sand-packed wooden boxes
    Materials -
    transport containers: 148
    cardboard tubes: 34 feet tall
    roof panels: Vipersteel framework, PVC fabric
    Wall height: 36 feet, roof peak: 54 feet
    Shigeru Ban developed his construction method “in 1994 Rwanda, where genocidal civil wars had left much of the population homeless. "The United Nations gave them only a plastic sheet, four by six meters," said Ban. To create the frames, "the refugees had to cut up trees by themselves. Over two million people became refugees in Rwanda. They cut down all the trees. So the United Nations provided aluminum pipe to stop the cutting of trees. But in Africa, aluminum is a valuable material. So refugees sold all the aluminum for money, then they cut the trees again." Ban showed the refugees how to assemble the simple paper-tube-based shelters, a process he repeated after earthquakes in Turkey in 1999 and India in 2001.” [Quoted from]
    Further images of Shigeru Ban’s paper architecture.

  • self-recycling - darwin is out there waiting to get you
    “A WOMAN almost died after becoming stuck in the tiny slot of a recycling bin.

    “The woman had apparently dropped off some clothes and then changed her mind and tried to get them back.

    “But despite being slightly built, she became trapped in the slot with only her feet showing.”

    But how do you “almost die”? Is this like almost becoming pregnant?

  • ‘criminal’ snogging
    Safe distance camera monitoring being set off by snoggers.
    Don’t worry, it warns the jobsworths when they may get a good show.

the web address for the article above is




learning about computers the hard way - and much more J

And, or and not logic goats. Image credit:
And, or and not logic goats. Image credit:

“Presented here are the and-goat the or-goat and the not-goat The and-goat will nod his head only if you press the right button AND the left button. The or-goat nods his head if you press the left button OR the right button OR both buttons. The not-goat nods his head if you are NOT pressing the button.

“Download both model, print it onto thin card [sic] then cut out and assemble following the clear, fully illustrated instructions. You'll need some small coins to act as weights, PVA glue ( white school glue), scissors, ruler and a sharp knife.”

It’s a pity that the company feels obliged to charge so much for the images that you have to download, print, cut out and assemble. I could understand this price for pre-assembled models, but this....

the web address for the article above is

flying deckchair - this time successful

Ken Couch floating over Idaho mountains. Image credit: Pete Erickson / The Bulletin
Ken Couch floating over Idaho mountains. Image credit: Pete Erickson / The Bulletin

“Kent Couch, 47, spent eight hours and 45 minutes travelling from Bend to La Grande suspended beneath 105 four-foot helium balloons, reaching a maximum altitude of 11,000 feet.”

“As well as an improved ascent/descent mechanism, his high-tech deckchair set-up also included GPS, two-way radio, instruments to measure his altitude and speed and "assorted drinks and snacks".

“Although Couch had originally planned to reach Idaho, he eventually failed to leave his home state, although he did this time manage to land without resorting to his parachute - albeit with a bit of a bump, since a higher than desirable landing speed forced him to jump from the chair as it hit the ground.”

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Larry Wlters beneath the forty-two helium balloons. Image credit: APKen Couch is not the first to make such a flight. In 1982, Larry Walters won a Darwin Award Honarable Mention for his deckchair flight:

“When his friends cut the cord anchoring the lawnchair to his Jeep, he did not float lazily up to 30 feet. Instead, he streaked into the LA sky as if shot from a cannon, pulled by the lift of 42 helium balloons holding 33 cubic feet of helium each. He didn't level off at 100 feet, nor did he level off at 1000 feet. After climbing and climbing, he leveled off at 16,000 feet [...]

“At that height he felt he couldn't risk shooting any of the balloons, lest he unbalance the load and really find himself in trouble. So he stayed there, drifting cold and frightened with his beer and sandwiches, for more than 14 hours. He crossed the primary approach corridor of LAX, where Trans World Airlines and Delta Airlines pilots radioed in reports of the strange sight.

“Eventually he gathered the nerve to shoot a few balloons, and slowly descended. The hanging tethers tangled and caught in a power line, blacking out a Long Beach neighborhood for 20 minutes. Larry climbed to safety, where he was arrested by waiting members of the LAPD. As he was led away in handcuffs, a reporter dispatched to cover the daring rescue asked him why he had done it. Larry replied nonchalantly, "A man can't just sit around." ”

Unfortunately, Larry Walters did not have a happy end:

“He never married and had no children. Larry hiked into the forest and shot himself in the heart on October 6, 1993. He died at the age of 44.”

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In 1956, a short film was made by a French director, Albert Lamorisse. The film was Le Ballon Rouge - The red balloon. In the final scene, all the balloons of Paris gather together to give the main character, a boy, a ride through the sky.

Still from Le Balloon Rouge, 1956.
Still from Le Balloon Rouge, 1956.

The complete film is available in four parts from YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

the web address for the article above is

in london? go see the start of the greatest show on earth this saturday

For main, detailed page on the Tour de France
here cometh the miracle of the tour: the tour de france 2007

Map of the Prologue for the 2007 Tour de FRance, being held in central London.

Saturday 7 July 2007

Caravan at 13:00:
Warm up at 14:00;
Race starts at 15:00;
Race ends at 18:20

Currently, the weather forecast for London on Saturday is dry, sunny, about 22C.

watching the event

If the crowds are anything like the French ones, you will have to be in your watching position at least an hour before the Caravan comes through.

As the Prologue is an individual against-the-clock event - a time trial, the cyclists will be leaving the Start point one at a time, at intervals of one minute, and then belting along the circuit. Unless you have a burning desire to see the start or finish and be amongst a large crush, there are many other good viewing points along the route. While the 7.9km dash will take only about nine minutes for each rider, as the are 189 riders, the riding party event will last a little over three hours.

The section along Constitution Hill is likely to be crowded. After all, there spectators should be able to see competitors both on the way out and on their way back.

Corners will also attract a bigger crowd - a cyclist might misjudge things, skid and crash. Interesting maybe for spectators, but not much fun for the rider.

If I remember rightly, there is a slight hill going northwards up West Carriage Drive into Hyde Park, this could add interest, as would the uphill push from Constitution Walk to Hyde Park Corner.

If the crowds are anything like the French ones, you will have to be in your watching position at least an hour before the Caravan comes through.

access to the race area

As well as the tolled area controls, many roads will be closed to traffic for the duration. There is a .pdf map [574kb] as well.
You really do want to reach this area by the Tube (but see the quote below) or on foot.

“Event weekend travel information

“For the safety of the riders and viewers the race takes place on closed roads. This will mean there will be specific road closures, a large number of diverted buses and some changes to tube station access.

“For details download the Grand Depart travel information leaflet (PDF 2MB)” [Map]

Tour de France in London logo

The first full stage of the TDF is also in England, starting from Greenwich and going 203km to Canterbury, a fairly flat run.

TV Coverage: For those in Europe, as well as coverage by French TV channels 2 and 3, there is coverage by Eurosport (available through Sky).

the web address for the article above is

on uk terrorists and opinions from some inhabitants of the united kingdom

What’s different with the religion of pieces?
It’s about time the society woke up to the fact that the very best medicine for the kooks is mockery.

As Will Rogers used to say, “I’m not a comedian? I’m just reading the news and reporting congress”.

“The events of the past couple of days have highlighted the shortage of competent terrorists in the UK. The UK's Terrorist industry will suffer the same decline as the country's manufacturing sector unless action is taken to tackle the skills shortage, according to a report released today. A study conducted by Bernard Manning found that those involved at the start of the UK Terrorist industry are now moving towards retirement, and there are simply not enough Terrorists being trained to take their places. The study highlighted a 50 per cent drop in Terrorist related degrees in the past five years, with 47 per cent fewer going on to become suicide bombers. The report called for industry, academia and the UK government to work together to raise the profile of the Terrorist industry and encourage more students to take Terrorism as a degree subject.”

[A report, doctored by scally, on the shortage of IT skills in the UK.]

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