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Tour de France jersey protocol, a small but interesting minor detail

So, you all know about the Four jersey competitions in the Tour de France right?

There's also a protocol for which jersey you wear if you're entitled to more than one of them, laid out on page 29 and 30 in Article 10 of the Tour de France rules (document is fun throughout for a certain kind of nerd). The rules are simple: the order of precedence is Yellow, Green (points race), Polka Dots (mountains competition), White (best young rider). If a rider is entitled to two jerseys, he wears the most senior jersey, and the second-place rider in that competition wears the jersey.

On the last day of the 2015, the jersey assignments got weird.

An interesting thing about getting old

Sad cookie! "You don't like Indian food, do you?"

"No, I like it, it's just that you like it enough that I never feel the need to pick it."

That was the substance of a conversation between TLO and myself, not so long ago.

I'm in my early forties. And just in the last year or so, I've gone from craving novelty in many areas to being satisfied with old favourites.

This isn't a small thing, and it's most obvious with food.

And oh, why not, a review of "Debt" that's four years old

[This came up because a certain professor invited me to read Graeber's article "Debt: The first 5000 years". I had done so in 2011; the article was published in 2009. I think my critique from 2011 holds up, so I'm publishing it here, lightly edited. I hope you will all look forward to my upcoming article, "Decorative Gardening: The First 5000 Years"]:

It's an interesting take, but I think the author suffers from Moore-Klein Syndrome: find coincidences, name them correlations, assume causation. And while an anthropologist's analysis of debt could be fascinating, I think this one is burdened by being written by an anthropologist.

More particularly, he seems to ignore that the Slavery Question is whether anyone can be regarded as someone else's personal property, and that slavery doesn't generate shocking property institutions, but rather that those institutions are shocking when used on a person.

Recent events in Greece, explained by an ignoramus

Let's lay out my credentials up front: I have few. I'm not an economist, or good at monetary theory, international finance, or Greece. I married into a Greek family, and I've spent numerous vacations there in the last 15 years. I don't really speak the language. Therefore, you can ignore me, if that saves time.

So what just happened?

Let's talk about some reference materials, in particular this interview of Piketty, (published in German, so we're trusting this translation and the second-hand analysis to some degree) regarding Greece.

Thinking hard about action movies: "Mad Max: Fury Road"

The Fritter Diaries: Mennonite Fritters

The Fritter Diaries, Day 1

We're in search of the perfect apple fritter. This is the first try.

With the permission of my Mennonite friend Johnny Sunshine, I have culturally appropriated honoured the recipe of his people, so let's examine the result.

This is an apple-heavy, pan-fried recipe. The dough rising is powered by baking powder.

Should you buy an electric car? Wired Cola investigates

Someone was wrong on the Internet the other day, and I was determined to fix that. The question at hand was "why don't cargo ships run on electricity?" And short answer is: because they can't.

But that led to some questions about the economics of electric cars, right here, right now. Because in the midst of trying to prove that EVs were still a non-economic choice, I ran the numbers, and it turns out I'm right! But only barely.

How energy-efficient are pipelines anyway?

Really efficient. They use less than 1/3 the energy of a freight train, per tonne per kilometre*, and in some places (like BC) the power mix is vastly greener for the pipeline than the train.

First, excellent story of the day, a Belgian brewery wants to put in a beer pipeline. This is awesome.

Second, my good friend Michael made a quip about this, saying "not all pipelines add greenhouse gases."

Well...the comment made me do some math.

1150 km is a funny distance to move something, but it happens to be the distance of the Trans Mountain (EDM - YVR) pipeline. Northern Gateway is actually more like 2000 km. For our purposes, longer transit distances make transport efficiency more important, but I did all the calculations based on 1150 km.

Showing your work is boring, so trust me:

Dinner with the UK Conservatives

It's not like me to take a shot at conservative parties, as I am properly fond of our muddling-through overlords. But a friend sent me a link to a list of attendees at a 2013 fundraiser for the UK Conservative Party, courtesy the Grauniad.

I started to read the who's-who bios of those dinner guests. First, I'm (naively?) shocked that foreigners are casually invited to participate in a party fundraiser. Second, I like how the David Burnside table includes "Putin's judo partner," and the Boris Johnson table includes Andrei Borodin, who has been granted UK asylum from politically-motivated prosecution in Russia.

AWKWARD.

Ryan buys a patch kit in Greece

I can speak enough Greek to be understood in a bike shop. What follows is a transcript of our Greek conversation.

ME: Do you have "patch kit"?*
CLERK: [Greek I don't understand, but she doesn't understand "patch kit."]
ME: I look. [Literally, βλέπο ("vlepo") which is the verb form "I look", but which I hope implies "I am looking", as it does in the phrase "μόνο βλέπο" ("mono vlepo"), which is "I am just looking," a phrase you can use to drive Greek shopkeepers crazy, since they mainly hear it from English tourists. Greek scholars, probably including my lovely bride, may now giggle.]
[looks around, finds a patch kit]
ME: How much is this?
CLERK: €2
Me: OK! [pays]
SECOND CLERK: [question I don't really understand, but is probably "do you want a bag?"]
Me: No. It is ok. [puts kit in jersey pocket to demonstrate that yes, it's ok]
Me: Thanks, good day!

As you can see, my Greek is amazing, running to a vocabulary of at least two dozen words.

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