This Sunday brings the 2013 edition of the cycling spring classic Paris – Roubaix. I can remember being drawn into the Tour De France on World of Sport in the late seventies, where it quickly became apparent that it was a technical, complex and interesting sport to understand (the sort of challenge I seemed to love as a child. I can remember trying to understand how the scoring in darts worked before I learnt subtraction at school, and spent an afternoon mystified at how they scored points, but their score went down not up!). After a year or two of getting to grips with some of the initial mysteries and wonder of Le Tour, the next thing introduced by World of Sport was Paris Roubaix.
Take the wonders of simple road racing, and then add in several lengthy sections of cobbled farm and forest tracks in rural France. All the pain and hard work of normal cycle racing meets The Hell of The North, these ancient broken paths that sought to destroy bikes and riders proceeding at any sort of pace along them. Dust clouds choking and blinding the riders in good weather, slick cobbles becoming ice-like and dangerous in bad. And then in a final ironic twist, a finish on the ultra-smooth wood panels of Roubaix’s velodrome, a return to the track roots of many of the riders, often for a mere victory lap, sometimes for a proper track race. These are the ingredients that make Paris Roubaix a true classic I think I was sold the moment one of the camera bikes crashed during the race, the biker caught out by the cobbles too.
This year’s race can be caught live on Eurosport this Sunday, but to get a real feel for it, enjoy this coverage from 1988 by CBS, a beautiful package that really sells the uniqueness of the race.
It takes a bit to impress an old cynical fan of wrestling. Mascara Dorada does. These are amazing moves, possibly the best high-flyer in the world at the moment. The video is quite long, but do enjoy at least the first few minutes, well worth it.
Saw this for the first time on 120 minutes on MTV2 at the weekend. Great place to discover good music you’ve missed and should know about in general.
Great band I’m glad to have heard, love the lo-fi sound. Worth looking through their other videos, they’ve done some interesting stuff. The Smiling Assassin should particularly have a look for Heartbreaker, as it’s possibly the first music video ever made on Paignton pier.
I’m just reblogging this, found on Graham Linehan’s wonderful site. It is a commercial for Microsoft’s Songsmith, their new music making software. I’ve not tried it myself. I’m in no position to judge how well-made and effective it is as a piece of software. However the likelihood of me ever trying it is vastly reduced in a mere four minutes.
Now in the title I referred to Garageband, but I think there is also an element of Wii Music in it. That is a simple music game/program for all the family to use. It was promoted beautifully in American by the Reverend Run. Now watch this, to see how to market your product to the insane.
Graham points out that this might be intended to be White People do Trapped in the Closet. In which case, it shouldn’t have been a full application, it should just be a small embeddable add-on to a website. Widget, Widget, Widget.
This clip of Super Mario was brought to my attention by gaming blog Kotaku.
The style may be familiar, especially if you remember the clip from a few years ago of a table-tennis game as if it was filmed in the style of The Matrix. Both came from a Japanese TV show called Kinchan no Kasoh Taisho, which I believe is an annual event celebrating this form of performance. It’s well worth looking at the related videos on youtube, as there are many more to watch, performed by seasoned teams and talented kids alike, and they can be a joy to watch.