mangochutney

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

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.

Excitement Level: RED ALERT

San Diego Comic Con has happened and there was so much Star Trek news, I'm still giddy and grinning. To me, the most exciting thing was the new trailer for Star Trek: Picard.

Star Trek: The Next Generation was the series I grew up with. One of my English teachers introduced our class to it as a listening comprehension exercise and I fell for the series and the universe fast and hard. Even now TNG holds a special place in my heart and the old lady NCC-1701-D is still my favourite ship — closely followed by the Defiant, the Prometheus, and the Timeship Relativity, thank you for asking.

There's also a very, very selfish reason why I'm looking forward to the series:
It might give me a chance to meet Patrick Stewart in person at a future Star Trek convention, something I've wanted for more than two decades. There are only a handful of actors I admire as much as him and even fewer that I feel the irrational desire to meet.

The few hints dropped about Star Trek: Discovery are few and far and I'm really hoping they continue with the ambitious way of storytelling they begun in the first two seasons. I wasn't sceptical at all going into Discovery but I also had no expectations and I came out of both seasons positively surprised, which is always a good thing. Then there's going to be the Short Treks focusing on the crew of the Enterprise led by Captain Pike and to this I can only say: Stop screwing with my emotions and give me a series with this crew, already!

Last but definitely not least is the announcement of Star Trek: Lower Decks. The Lower Decks episode in TNG was great and having an animated series about the lower ranked crew members of a Federation starship, maybe with some zaniness reminiscent of John Scalzi's Redshirts thrown in, can only be a good thing.

I can't wait for all of this to arrive on my TV.

Kommentierter Thread einer Diskussion mit einem Nahrungsergänzungsmittel-Quacksalber

Diese Episode ist schon einige Zeit her aber unbedingt umpfehlenswert. Die Autorin Mela Eckenfels ist in eine Diskussion mit einem Arzt und Produzenten/Profiteur von Nahrungsergänzungsmitteln geraten und hat alles zusammengefasst und kommentiert.
Ich finde diese Unterhaltung gibt einen guten Einblick in die Diskussionstaktiken und die, aus meiner Sicht, fast kriminelle Bereitschaft Menschen in gesundheitlicher Not über den Tisch zu ziehen, und immer mit Hilfe von Angst und Versprechungen von einfachen Lösungen für komplexe Probleme.

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1124076281123962887.html

Tips for climbing on gravel

A few days ago I posted a video by Gravel Cyclist and my own little tip for descending on gravel. Well today GCN published a video about climbing on gravel with the absolute cyclecross legend Jeremy Powers.

Personally, I think the tip regarding proper gearing choice is the most helpful. I wouldn't be able to climb a lot of the local paths with gearing as high as Powers's in the video.
Too high a lowest gear equals too much torque on the tyre equals a bigger chance of the back wheel losing traction and spinning out under the rider. The more loose/wet the ground, the more crucial it is not to lose traction in order to maintain a consistent cadence and conserve momentum while going uphill.

My local forests feature many a nice climb with gradients between 9%–20%. I run a 2× setup with 36/46 chainrings up front and an 11-speed 11–40 cassette in the back. This gives me a nice easy smallest gear with a gear ratio of 0.9 which has helped me get up all but the steepest inclinces on loose forest ground with my 700×40c tyres.