The bib bites it

This weekend, I did an all-too-rare thorough cleaning of my fencing mask.


Lining – out. Strap and bib – off. All cleaned.

And I’m glad I did so, because …



Which is, um, unsafe.

And there’s no way I would have noticed this with the normal daily pull-on, pull-off of the mask. It was only because I was trying to soak the build up of sweat and floor-grime out of it that it was discovered.

I don’t even know how long it’s been like that — I can’t remember the last time it has been given a thorough safety inspection. Such inspections don’t happen in the UK, and world cups are more concerned about the conductivity of the bib than the safety of the mask.

Until one fails catastrophically, of course.

And I can’t help but wonder why there’s a seam in that particular place. I realise that seams must exist somewhere, but they are necessarily weak points in a fencing outfit’s protection. They should be better placed.

Check your kit regularly, kids. Yours could be next.

The morning coffee uncovers your secrets

This New York Times article outlines how the store Target learns about (and tracks) your shopping habits, and uses this information to try to change them (encouraging you, naturally, to shop at Target more often).

The link I found to this article clearly indicated that I ought to find it all a bit creepy. And I wanted to. I wanted to believe that this showed how evil and manipulative corporations are. Instead, it’s all a bit fascinating.

It’s about statistics, trends, human behaviour and careful observation. Rather than thinking that Target is doing something awful, I just feel … fascinated.

I’m going to hell, aren’t I?

Photo by Theo Gosselin. Found at Illusion 360.
Webcomic is Sleep draw, by Anne.

This weekend coffee has lots of Fett and some food

A strange process involving The Daily Mail creates brain eating vaccines.
Scientists love little more than destroying childhood memories.

Triceratops — ex-communicated from the legion of dinosaurs.

Note to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies: When sending legal threats, it is best to get the law right.
Somewhere in Indiana, there is a doctor who ought to be stripped of his license.
The Internet … where strange affairs and second marriages are discovered and/or researched through Facebook.
I still remember running.
An important note — it is unwise to receive a blowjob while cooking pancakes.
If you do not wish to know how large the frightening holes in Internet privacy are, I suggest that you do not click on this link.