mangochutney

Tasty bits and pieces from the internet, mixed with opinions and canned.

Simon Richardson races the SBT GRVL and recumbent bikes on GCN

GCN, the Global Cycling Network, along with its sister channels, is one of the youTube channels producing consistently great content week after week. So good in fact, you can easily forget that most of it is sponsored content. Today they published two outstanding videos.

a)  Si Richardson raced the Steamboat gravel race in Colorado and the production quality and the writing for this episode was simply exemplary.

b)  James Lowsley-Williams is introduced to the world of recumbent bikes and recumbent bike racing. This was a really nice look at the various types of recumbent bikes and the advantages of this type of method of transport.

Recognising and preventing right wing radicalization of young white boys on the internet

My friend Nik retweeted this Twitter thread by Joanna Schroeder a couple of days ago and it stuck with me.

A more or less coordinated but definitely intense campaign has been going on online for a number of years now that primes young males to fall for and consider right wing, fascist, hateful ideologies and the groups that propagate them their only safe haven, the only place that understands them. This exploits a pervasive culture of toxic masculinity and preys on young males in their fragile emotional states, driven by their craving for recognition and acceptance.

The thread explores a number of avenues are used by hate groups and right wing radicals and proposes a few ways to combat this. Please read it and if you're inclined follow the various links to similar research and journalistic coverage of this radicalization campaign.

I binged the third season of She-Ra yesterday

… and it was one of the best bits of TV I watched recently. Noelle Stevenson, together with Dreamworks and Netflix, have created something really special.
All of the characters have depth, clear motivations, and agency and you don't see any of the typical tropes you'd expect in popular animated shows or shows that appear to be aimed at kids/teens on the surface.

Promotional poster for the third season of She-Ra by Dreamworks and Netflix

All storylines from season two have an impact on the new season and the themes of friendship and betrayal, duty and perceived destiny, self-esteem and the need to belong, carry over and continue to inform the actions of the characters.
Even with this heavy focus on the characters and their relationships, each episode moves the main storyline forward, towards a clear confrontation with high stakes at the end.

I don't feel like I even need to say much about the animation style and quality; it's that good.

This was an absolute delight and I can't recommend this reimagination of She-Ra highly enough. Without spoiling anything, the last episode opens up the universe of the series and I already look forward to season four.

Steven Colbert interviews Hannah Gadsby

… and it's one of the best interviews he's ever done. Hannah Gadsby is an Australian comedian who rose to fame with her Netflix Special "Nanette" (if you haven't watched it, yet, do so, it's amazing).

She's one of the few people who has managed to leave Stephen speechless and grapsing for words. It's absolutely delightful.

I paid Andy Zaltzman to tell a lie about me

… and after many months he finally delivered.

The Bugle is one of my absolute favourite podcasts and I've been listening to it for about ten years now. A while back the podcast went independent again and they introduced an option to send donations. I opted for the GBP 10.— per month voluntary subscription which includes the perk of Andy telling a lie about you.

It took a while but in episode 4116, it was my turn and it was a good lie. If you want to hear it, you can find the epsiode on the Bugle homepage or you can listen to the bit directly on Overcast.fm.

First impressions: Muc-Off C3 ceramic dry chain lube

Muc-Off C3 ceramic lube dry packaging in front of my bike's drive train, leaning against the wheel

Up until now I've only ever used wet lubes on my bikes in any conditions. Last year in the summer riding season, I had to clean my chain much more often than I liked because the tracks I started riding, having only really gotten into gravel cycling, were very dry and dusty. After the first big gravel ride this year, the chain, even though carefully lubed, was so full of dirt and sand, I decided to try a dry lube to spare myself the time spent on cleaning the chain after every ride and reduce wear and tear on the chain itself.

Having read a lot of reviews, I came to the conclusoin that the difference in performance between the various slightly higher priced dry lubes seem to be negligible and I ended up trying the C3 ceramic lube – Premium DRY Condition Chain Lubricant from Muc-Off for the simple reason that I've had good experiences with some of their other products over the past two years. The lubricant has now been in use on my gravel bike "Battle Cat" for ~ 200 km and I like it so far.

Application

  • The lube can be applied precisely with the nozzle of the bottle after giving the bottle a proper shake.
  • There is vey little spill to the sides of the chain if you have a moderately steady hand, meaning there's very little lube wasted. If something does end up on the outer plates, it's easy to wipe off.
  • A few revolutions of the pedals are enough to get the lube to properly seep in between the rollers, bushings, and inner plates.

In use

  • Compared to the wet lube I've used for the past few years (Rohloff) the drive train is noticeably louder while riding.
  • Shifting and overall chain resistance seems to be a bit less but that might be just me imagining things and I wouldn't bet my bike on this assessment. I still consider myself a n00b in places.
  • It attracts little to no dirt and stays where it should be. Even after riding many kilometres on dusty wine yard paths and sandy roads, I wasn't able to detect a lot of dirt on the chain.

The only thing that I found surprising and mildly alarming was how quickly it washes off. I caught one rain shower towards the end of a ride and the lube was gone from the chain within a few minutes. Luckily I only had a few more kilometres to ride on tarmac before getting home, so I wasn’t worried about the drive train and I re-lubed the chain in the evening once it was dry again.

Podcast recommendation: Darknet Diaries

A few weeks ago my friend and colleague Pilar Garcia posted about a podcast dealing with all things hacking, INFOSEC, OPSEC, etc. in our company chat. I downloaded a few episodes and was hooked almost instantly.

Darknet Diaries presented by Jack Rhysider

I haven't yet caught up to the current episodes but I'm getting there. My favourite episode so far has been EP 6: The Beirut Bank Job where an InfoSec professional who is often tasked with assessing the physical security and processes of institutions accidentally infiltrates the wrong bank in Beirut.