Politically Correct Seasons Greetings 

Politically Correct Seasons Greetings:
Christmas Thoughts

Please accept with no obligation,
implied or implicit our best wishes for
an environmentally conscious,
socially responsible, low stress,
non-addictive, gender neutral,
celebration of the winter solstice
holiday, practiced within the most
enjoyable traditions of the religious
persuasion of your choice, or secular
practices of your choice, with respect
for the religious/secular persuasions
and/or traditions of others, or their
choice not to practice religious or
secular traditions at all ...

and a fiscally successful,
personally fulfilling, and medically
uncomplicated recognition of the onset
of the generally accepted calendar
year 2011, but not without due respect
for the calendars of choice of other
cultures whose contributions to
society have helped make America great,
(not to imply that America is necessarily
greater than any other country or is
the only "AMERICA" in the western
hemisphere), and without regard to the
race, creed, color, age, physical ability,
religious faith, choice of computer platform,
or sexual preference of the wishee.


(By accepting this greeting,
you are accepting these terms.
This greeting is subject to
clarification or withdrawal. It is freely
transferable with no alteration to the
original greeting. It implies no
promise by the wisher to actually
implement any of the wishes for
her/himself or others, and is
void where prohibited by law, and is
revocable at the sole discretion of
the wisher. This wish is warranted
to perform as expected within the
usual application of good tidings
for a period of one year, or until the
issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting,
whichever comes first, and warranty is
limited to replacement of this wish
or issuance of a new wish at the
sole discretion of the wisher.)

[ view entry ] ( 5172 views )   |  permalink
What should be taught before anything at kite schools 
I am only cut and pasting my latest comment in kiteforum. But it is a definite incentive for me to write a future blog that summarises the bare essentials of meteorology and aerology.

The thread was: When Extreme Ability Isn't Enough

This is the sort of fundamental information which is coming here by accident just because Rickl felt like sharing it today .
It shouldn't be fortuitous; every rider should have been taught that, and more, from the very onset.
The majority of fatal accidents are caused by ignorance or disregard of elementary aerology and meteorology, and IKO shares a huge responsibility for the tragic statistics for failing to provide instructions of matters which are taught before anything else in all sports depending on the air and its dynamics (most sailing and all flying sports).
IKO claims it is in their syllabus, but the fact is that, at least in my region, I haven't seen any IKO branded instructor teaching these topics. How could they, not having been themselves taught that?
IKO satisfy themselves by selling their stickers to schools to fool the punter. For new schools, it's a quick substitute for experience. They (IKO) never follow up nor bother to check if the teaching given corresponds to their programme, if there was any.
Considering IKO is dysfunctional beyond redemption, has anyone an idea about how to make up for it and disseminate meteorological and aerological subjects in all the schools? There is a safety thread in kiteforum, and if it were there, it would be a good start, but that would not be enough, as beginners usually get aware of forums' existence only after they have learnt.

PS: all good links on meteorology and aerology welcome here for a digest.

[ view entry ] ( 3611 views )   |  permalink
Airush on the right track with the One kite. 
Quote of the day:

"We seek excellence, by constant trial and error."
Master Jin Kwon (South Korean Martial Arts master)

Airush One Kite

Airush is on the right track. This is the evolution of kite.
Next step: no strut. Rumors are that such a kite is already in proto form (the Zero kite?).
And then finally, the greatest innovation of all: replace the remaining leading edge tube with a second skin in order to produce a proper airfoil.
The brand will appropriately change its name to RamAirush.

PS... the evidence that that Airush should follow the logic further is taken from report:
"However, the advantages of a one strut kite that become apparent after the first session are: set up is quick, pack down is easy and quick, relaunch is easy (no water wheel effect of extra struts), flies great and pulls well in light winds (improved aerodynamics I'm guessing)."

That's precisely how a foil kite is defined. ;-)

[ view entry ] ( 3360 views )   |  permalink
How to prevent the kite from losing pull whilst carving downwind 
Quote of the day:
"Carve every word before you let it fall."
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Transcript from a kiteforum comment Mako King-riders pics
where I had pointed to a recently uploaded clip: Carve cruise

fernmanus wrote:

Looks like you were riding in fairly light wind. What size of FS Speed 3 were you flying? Did you notice any tip tuck as you carved downwind? From the video it appeared that you had a very nice flow going. Any tips or observations would be appreciated."

Hi Fern (or is it Manus?),

That was a 15 and a slightly hacked Mako Wide.
No tip tuck, or only just a bit that I deliberately allowed for quicker turning.
The very first recommendation I'd give anyone to feel the flow, is to come to a place like Bali . The glassy emerald water between the breaking waves makes the riding not only easy, but truly exhilarating.
What struck me when I first saw the video, is that I did not appear to work the kite at all; but that was not the case. The Speed3s, like the Psy4, but unlike the Speed2s, like to be worked in order to maintain the pull, which is particularly needed when gibing downwind.
The lesser the wind the earlier the kite has to be thrown in the opposite direction; board follows after, and then comes the moment you have to prevent tip tuck (or the kite falling out of the sky if you had a tube-kite). If you managed to get the kite down near the the water quick enough then work it up again, otherwise down-loop it to ensure you're maintaining the pull.
In a way, I deal with a downwind carve a bit like a jump of the horizontal kind, by loading the kite prior to the turn in order to gain max momentum. With foils in a jump as well you've got to be attentive to maintain lift in the kite throughout and after the jump.
In any case, it helps a lot to start the downwind carve with the kite as low as possible and then try to make it turn in a tight radius almost stalling the kite, in other words, don't let the kite anywhere near the zenith.
It is equally important to maintain the carve till you are again at the proper angle relative to the wind in order to restore the generous apparent wind every FS rider appreciates.


PS: It took me some time to understand how to do it with foils... The fact they naturally stay so much more forward in the window (or high near the zenith), made the completion of the carve that much harder. I actually got the trick of the gibing properly with tube kites. Finishing the job with foils is the hardest part compared to tube kites I tried (F-One M5 12, Naish Park 10, Airush VarialX 12, FS Cronix, all great kites btw).

PS2: Yet another tip to add to the above: before going downwind, release the depower strap to nearly full power in order to keep the kite deeper in the window without having to keep the bar to my chest.

[ view entry ] ( 928 views )   |  permalink
Boycotting BP. Is it the wisest thing to do to sort out the mess? 
There is a frantic exhortation going on to join the BP boycott.


Rushing to click "like" might be counterproductive.

As much as I am dismayed by the disaster, as much I don't think a boycott is a sensible solution for fixing the problem. BP is responsible for the spill (but not alone, there is Haliburton etc...) no doubt about that, and consequently will be the entity paying the enormous costs for the cleaning up the mess. A boycott will reduce their capacity to do that.

BP has 100 000 people working for them, who bear absolutely no responsibility for what had happened. Punishing them for something they couldn't have prevented in any way (when perhaps only a dozen of people in the chain of responsibilities are the culprits), and putting thousands jobs at stake will not help the hundreds of thousands of people of the Gulf of Mexico directly affected by the spill, on the contrary.

Furthermore, with the continued use of fossil and nuclear energies, the statistical odds are that it will come at a immense cost to our environment. What happened could happen (and will; it's only a matter of time) to any oil company. Just check the safety records of the other major companies. Amoco has certainly learnt the lesson from their catastrophe. BP will too and change their safety policies accordingly to improve safety, there is no doubt about that, but the risk will never vanish.

Finally, I'd be very hesitant to join a movement who might have a hidden agenda. Who's behind the idea? Who will it benefit ultimately? Those are questions that require answers before calling the movement genuine and join the shouting crowds.

[ view entry ] ( 6374 views )   |  permalink
Breakfast thoughts. I love the Thai people. 
Evidently, for their known tolerance. They even tolerate me, the foreigner, whilst there are already far too many of us farangs (I nearly was going to say them farangs, as like each of us, I do not identify as a typical one). For that alone I am thankful.
Their gracious cheerfulness, their attentive kindness, their meaningful smile, their insatiable love for fun. All this is balm to my heart, and again and again makes me emotional. Every day, lovely experiences are relived with new and fresh colours. I can poke my silly, worn out and sometimes daring jokes to people from all walks of life; they are invariably well received, with laughter and often with a quicker wit in return.
Back in Europe, with similar attitude towards people that I would cross in my daily life, I'd be returned at best, a disdained stare (what's that senile moron trying to achieve?) and (not) at worst, a slap in my face.
We westerners are barbarian compared to them. We see things in black and white, as astutely remarked the very charming wife of one of my good albeit new friends here. And I'd say too often in black only.
We are arrogant, we pretend to teach them false values, as if they did not have their own. But we have never questioned the foundation of most of our supposed values, even though our "critical mind" is what is supposed to differentiate us from them. We think we are good at analysing, we do nothing useful with our conclusions, which is just as well since the are distorted most of the time.
They on the other hand are eminently pragmatic and down to earth, at that matter more. Things do work. Bureaucracy is reduced to the bare minimum. What a saving!
They rightly regard our social security as a disgrace. Its very existence is the undeniable confirmation that in the western model we are so proud of, no one cares about their closest relatives, feel no responsibility for them; the elderly parents, the ill, the out of job. Nobody realise that tax burden of the "state nanny" social model is far heavier to bear than taking care of your own people. BTW Thailand has the lowest rate of unemployment, because no job is considered as undignified, regardless of you qualifications, and they think twice before - as an example - of replacing airport helping staff by LCD info-panels which never give you the information you need.
Thai women definitely have their say as opposed to the misconception that we are led to believe. More on that in a future post.
My wish is that their values do not get sucked into our globalisation black hole.
I love their soi (street) dogs too. They are true friends. But that is also another story. I just want to say for now to NGO do-gooders: do not try neuter them, that's what will be done to you in your next life. Their sheer number only bother you, why should you interfere?

[ view entry ] ( 3244 views )   |  permalink

<<First <Back | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Next> Last>>