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steve2470's Journal
steve2470's Journal
August 31, 2013

A must-see destination north of Fairbanks, Alaska on the Dalton Highway.....


Just 5 miles up the road from the (Yukon) river, the Hotspot Café (tel. 907/451-7543), open daily 10am to midnight, offers dining, lodging, a gift shop, gas (usually), tire repair, and Ice Road Trucker gifts. It also operates only mid-May to mid-September.

In 2009 I was there with my son. Roscoe "the beggar dog" wanted to eat my lunch very badly. I wonder if he's still there.
August 31, 2013

I want to travel to Germany one day. What should I know ?

Besides German ?

Any mores/customs I should observe to avoid offense ? I'll do my best to speak German. Thanks.

August 30, 2013

Jul 5, 1946: Bikini introduced


On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveils a daring two-piece swimsuit at the Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris. Parisian showgirl Micheline Bernardini modeled the new fashion, which Reard dubbed "bikini," inspired by a news-making U.S. atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week.

European women first began wearing two-piece bathing suits that consisted of a halter top and shorts in the 1930s, but only a sliver of the midriff was revealed and the navel was vigilantly covered. In the United States, the modest two-piece made its appearance during World War II, when wartime rationing of fabric saw the removal of the skirt panel and other superfluous material. Meanwhile, in Europe, fortified coastlines and Allied invasions curtailed beach life during the war, and swimsuit development, like everything else non-military, came to a standstill.

In 1946, Western Europeans joyously greeted the first war-free summer in years, and French designers came up with fashions to match the liberated mood of the people. Two French designers, Jacques Heim and Louis Reard, developed competing prototypes of the bikini. Heim called his the "atom" and advertised it as "the world's smallest bathing suit." Reard's swimsuit, which was basically a bra top and two inverted triangles of cloth connected by string, was in fact significantly smaller. Made out of a scant 30 inches of fabric, Reard promoted his creation as "smaller than the world's smallest bathing suit." Reard called his creation the bikini, named after the Bikini Atoll.

In planning the debut of his new swimsuit, Reard had trouble finding a professional model who would deign to wear the scandalously skimpy two-piece. So he turned to Micheline Bernardini, an exotic dancer at the Casino de Paris, who had no qualms about appearing nearly nude in public. As an allusion to the headlines that he knew his swimsuit would generate, he printed newspaper type across the suit that Bernardini modeled on July 5 at the Piscine Molitor. The bikini was a hit, especially among men, and Bernardini received some 50,000 fan letters.
August 30, 2013

Florida says no thanks to $2.6M in federal bike path money

"We want to have flexibility," said Ananth Prasad, secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation.

Prasad says the federal money comes with too many strings — essentially telling the state when, where and how it should build bike and walking paths.

The result is that the state spends so much time complying with federal rules that no actual work gets done, he said. Last year, in fact, the state had $6 million in federal cash from previous years waiting to be spent on trails but had no projects ready to go.

By breaking off from federal regulations, Prasad said, the state was able to spend more than $3.5 million on bike and other recreational paths last year. He anticipates spending $3.6 million this year.

August 30, 2013

Rwanda accuses Congo of rocket attacks over border


Rwanda has accused the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) of firing bombs and rockets into its territory, warning that "provocation can no longer be tolerated" and raising the prospect of all-out war. Such an outcome could result in the UN's first offensive force – whose arrival has inadvertently triggered the crisis – being dragged into a regional conflict or forced into a humiliating retreat.

The UN intervention brigade has been backing the Congolese army against the M23 rebel movement – alleged to be receiving support from Rwanda – in some of the most intense fighting of the past year near Goma in eastern Congo. There was hope of a respite on Friday when the M23 declared a ceasefire and said it had pulled back three miles from the frontline.

The M23 president, Bertrand Bisimwa, told the Associated Press: "We have decided to decree a unilateral ceasefire and we have started pulling our forces out of Kanyaruchinya in order to allow the investigation into the shelling. This announcement, which was made unilaterally, is meant to allow the Congolese to return to the negotiating table … and to give peace a chance."

But there were signs that the ceasefire alone would not resolve underlying tensions between Congo and Rwanda. A Congolese government spokesman, Lambert Mende, said: "It's our opinion that the only interesting proposition would be to see M23 demobilised, and to see them dissolve and cease all military action. Any other proposal is unacceptable."
August 30, 2013

Windows 8.1 won't rescue PC market this year, IDC says


The PC market will weaken even further this year, and Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8.1 OS will be unable to reverse the drop in shipments, IDC said on Thursday.

Due in part to increased adoption of mobile devices globally and a drop in PC sales in China, shipments will shrink 9.7 percent in 2013, according to IDC, which previously had predicted a fall of 7.7 percent drop.

Microsoft’s Windows 8 has also been blamed by analysts as one of the reasons for the decline in the PC market. Windows 8.1, due to ship in mid-October, will address some user complaints, but PC shipments will also fall next year, and rebound with only single-digit growth in 2015, said Jay Chou, senior research analyst at IDC, in a statement.

With Windows 8, Microsoft has put a tablet-like touch user interface on PCs, which has baffled users buying non-touch PCs. Touch laptops remain expensive, and PC makers expect enterprises to upgrade laptops to the Windows 7 OS. The Windows 8 OS and high prices of PCs are reasons why people are looking at attractively priced tablets instead, Chou said.
August 30, 2013

consistently colder in Canadian "high Arctic" than Siberian coast and elsewhere....


17 F at Isachsen, Canada

26 F at Ajon Island, Siberia

both readings as of right now.

I see this pretty consistently. I guess it's the presence of land that makes the difference in the Canadian high Arctic.

eta: Of course, in the winter, the interior of Siberia is much colder than anywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere.
August 30, 2013

Report: World of Warcraft movie begins filming Jan. 13


A bit more than a month after showing off a reveal trailer for the World of Warcraft movie at Comic-Con, Legendary Pictures has locked in a date for filming and set up shop in the studios for the film, Production Weekly reports.

According to a tweet from the film and TV production database company, Legendary recently set-up offices at Canadian Motion Picture Park in Vancouver, British Columbia and plans to begin filming on Jan. 13.

During Comic-Con, Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. showed panel attendees a reveal trailer for the movie, titled Warcraft. The live-action short featured a human warrior preparing to go to battle with a hammer-wielding orc.

Duncan Jones is the latest director tapped to help the film. Prior to Jones' involvement, Sam Raimi was set to direct.

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