Alternate History Thursday – Food

conflict

One of the rare actual Thursday additions of Alternate History.  Oh well.

Anyway, the above is the storefront of an actual restaurant in current day America.  That’s right, this restaurant, which goes by the name of “Conflict Kitchen,” only serves the food of enemies of America.  Every couple of months they change the menu to a new enemy.  It’s interesting at the least.  If you want to visit it, you’ll have to travel to Pittsburgh PA.

What does this restaurant look like in the Alternate History version of America?  Well it doesn’t.  Because Freedom of Expression is not a concept that the Communist Americans except.  So this restaurant actually exists somewhere over in Europe, except they only have Communist American food, and it’s just corn.

And, to keep with the Olympic themed month, here’s the Closing Ceremonies of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow USSR.  I only watched alittle of it, the long boring stretches of nothing really got to me.  And it looks like someone flagged it as containing copyrighted material, and it’s not available in (this version of) the U.S. anymore.  Oh well, I’m still gonna include it here, because not all you readers are in the great country of America.

{Roadtrippers|reddit}

Milestones 2.01K

milestone

In all the hubhub of the Olympics these past few weeks, we seem to have overlooked a major milestone of this site.

That’s right, last week we passed 2,000 total posts overall.  Now, that’s no huge number by any means, some sites have 2,000 posts in a year.  But those tend to be sites with paid staff, and millions of daily visitors.  This site is not that.  It’s one (occasionally two) guys with full time jobs stumbling around the internet (or in recent cases reddit), and posting what we (I) think is interesting.  I try to spin it alittle though.  Oh well.

Let’s see how long it takes to get to 3,000.  Hopefully not 7 years, but hopefully not the end of this year either.

{Wikipedia}

How we Ice Skate

Yes, the Olympics might be over (don’t worry, I’ll get you the over view and report in a day or so), but that doesn’t mean we can’t sit back and learn a thing or two about the science behind the sports.  It’s surprising, but I’ve never seen something like this before.  I knew most of the theory behind it, but never actually saw it in high speed like that.

The Skeleton

This Olympics I’m all about the sliding sports – Bobsleigh, Luge, Skeleton.  One thing that I didn’t know about Skeleton is that the athletes can choose to decorate their helmets with awesome designs.

Here’s my favorite:

Katie Uhlaender

Katie Uhlaender’s Eagle and Stripes helmet.

The Brain helmet is pretty cool too:

John Fairbairn

John Fairbairn is from Canada though, and as of today, I don’t like them that much.  It will pass, but today they and us are not friends.

 

Another Canadian, Mellisa Hollingsworth, has what looks like a T-Rex on her helmet:

Mellisa Hollingsworth

 

Here’s an album containing a bunch more helmet art.

Noelle Pikus-Pace

 

Finally, here’s the Silver Medal winner from the USA, Noelle Pikus-Pace.

{jugglu}

Curlers in their Natural Habitat

Sir David Attenborough, the younger brother of eccentric billionaire John Hammond, has worked his magic on the sport of Curling.  You know David Attenborough’s voice, you’ve heard it many times over the years narrating all sorts of things.  His voice is one of those that you could listen to forever.

His overview of Curling is not exactly 100% accurate, but it’s well worth the watch.

{reddit}

Meteorite Medals

One year ago today a meteorite entered the atmosphere over Russia traveling at about 42,000 MPH.  It was labeled the Chelyabinsk meteor, and in honor of the anniversary, all Olympians who win a Gold medal in today’s events will be given a special commemorative medal containing a piece of that meteorite.

Gold medal events today include:

  • Men’s 1,500m speedskating
  • Men’s (1,300m)’s & Women’s (1,000m) short-track speed skating
  • Women’s relay cross-country skiing
  • Men’s ski jumping (K-125)
  • Women’s giant slalom
  • Men’s skeleton

Here’s them making the special meteorite medal:

Meteorite Medal

Here’s the regular Gold medal that athletes have the opportunity to win:

Gold Medal

I gotta say, that’s a pretty nice looking medal.  I like the cutout in the middle with the prism.  Apparently making these medals takes upwards of 18 hours.  On the front is the Olympic Rings, while on the reverse is the English name of the event, and along the edge is the official name of the Games in English, French, and Russian.

{space.com|National Geographic|sochi 2014}

Winter Olympics of Yesteryear

1924 was the first dedicated Winter Olympics.  In previous games, some of the events were held in the summer games if the weather permitted it.

The games were held in Charmonix France, at the base of Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in the Alps.  You can see the peaks in the background of some of the figure skating.  Impressive.  I wish they had some outdoor events at the current Olympics.

Fast forwarding 8 years, not much has changed.  Here is a video of The III Winter Olympic games (1932 Winter Olympics) from across the pond over in Lake Placid NY USA:

http://youtu.be/kKcycSJzXHI

That bobsleigh looks damn right deadly.  It’s not covered, it’s just a sled.  However it doesn’t look nearly as fast as the current ones, or Luge for that matter.

Ski jumping also looks dated.  Bare snow to go down instead of a nice track to keep you straight.  Still looks easy, toobad it’s probably one of the more scary events, at least if you’re afraid of heights that is.

WTF is that stilts figure skating thing though.  That looks dangerous, but also impressive in it’s own right.

One thing that you’ll notice about these games, (and that I pointed out above) is the outdoor events.  It just makes everything look more fun, and more spur of the moment.  I’m not talking about the bobsleigh, more of hockey, or figure skating, or speed skating.

Now figure skating probably shouldn’t be contested outdoors, it would be dangerous, and unfair because of the sun glare.  But I think that speed skating could benefit from one event outdoors.  Take like the 1,000m, or 5,000m event, and double it but make it an out door race.  That would be so cool.  I’d watch that.  Especially if it were snowing out.  Yea, that’d be sick.

{1924 reddit|1932 reddit}

Luge POV

The Luge is my  favorite sport of the 2014 games.  In 2010 it was Curling, but in that defense it was because a a stellar looking Russian team.  Anyway, I’ve been watching all of the Luge events.  Doubles is pretty crazy, 2 people laying on top of one another hurtling themselves down an ice track at 80+ MPH.  Where can I sign up?

I’ve always wanted to try Bobsleigh, because well, The Jamaican’s , but luckily, the same course is used for Skeleton, and Luge.  Honestly, I want to try all three of those events.  Yes, even after watching the above video which is a First Person point of view of going down the actual Luge track at Sochi.  Top speed so far has been 140 KPH which is just under 87 Miles Per Hour, which is almost fast enough to travel back in time.

In case you were wondering how they resurface the ice of these tracks.  This is how:

They showed this in between Women’s runs of the Luge last night.

{reddit}

Welcome to Sochi

Olympic Flag

 

Officially, the XXII Olympic Winter Games start now.  The Opening Ceremony is now.  But US Americans will  have to wait ~8 hours due to NBC though, apparently they didn’t learn anything from the bad press of the unnecessary delays of the London Games.  Whatever.

I don’t plan on watching much of it on Television anyway.  I’ll be streaming it.  After all, I have to beat my records from the 2010 games.  I think that’s do able.  If only because more things will be in HD.  However, I do have the benefit of a full time job now.  So I’ll need to be staying up late watching these games in order to catch up.

It’s still a shame that I won’t get to be there, despite all the controversy that’s going on right now.

Ski Ballet

The Olympics are starting this week.  The Winter Olympics at that.  You may or may not remember my love of The Olympics. Don’t worry if you don’t remember, I’ll be sure to remind you as often as I can with Olympic themed posts.

While we wait for The Olympics to actually start, watch the above video, and be impressed.  Super Impressed, and then wonder why it’s not an Olympic Sport?  According to Wikipedia, it was an exhibition event in the 1988, and 1992 Olympics, but the IOC decided it wasn’t worth it.  That’s a bummer too because it looks damn impressive if you ask me.

{reddit}