Le Mans Crash 55

This web reprint of a 1955 Life Magazine article details the death-filled results of the horrific ’55 LeMans Crash. This is the reason they now have barriers between the race cars and the crowd. J.G. Ballard might be interested in the description below.

As the race entered its third hour the cars were breaking records at every lap when Jaguar Driver Mike Hawthorn received a signal from his pit crew to stop for gas. As he braked, an Austin-Healey swerved to avoid him. A few lengths behind, Levegh raised his hand, signaling another Mercedes to slow up. At 150 mph he had no chance to do so himself.

Photo from Wilko’s Healy Page
Hitting the Healey, the Mercedes took off like a rocket, struck the embankment beside the track, hurtled end over end and then disintegrated over the crowd. The hood decapitated tightly jammed spectators like a guillotine. The engine and front axle cut a swath like an artillery barrage. And the car’s magnesium body burst into flames like a torch, burning others to death. In a few searing seconds 82 people were dead and 76 were maimed. Hawthorn, though unnerved, went on to win and set a new record. But few spectators had the enthusiasm to cheer.

Linked from Meme Pool

Wheat Grass

Since last Saturday, we’ve been watching our wheat grass grow. We bought some seeds at Farmer’s Market and damn if these suckers don’t grow nearly 2cm per day. We don’t plan to make wheat grass juice out of it, but if this continues to grow apace, we may have to.

Here’s a distressing report about

Here’s a distressing report about The End of Bananas as We Know Them

LONDON (Reuters) – It is one of the world’s favorite fruits, but the banana hasn’t had sex in years and its days may be are numbered.
Without scientific help the sterile, seedless fruit could disappear with 10 years, according to a Belgian plant pathologist.
Emile Frison, the head of the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain in Monpellier, France, said the fruit lacks the genetic diversity to fight off diseases and pests that are plaguing banana plantations and only biotechnology and genetic manipulation may be able to save it.

Photo from World Food Habits Bibliography
Future inventions: Banana Viagra, Banana Hookers, Banana Sex Therapist

I got me an IKEA Poang chair

The IKEA Poang chair is one of the comfiest chairs I’ve ever sat in. So comfy, that I often feel quite decadent relaxing in one. And ever since my friend Jon got one, I’ve been waiting to get my own.
And so today was the day!

It’s their most popular chair for good reason, and every couple of months they lower the price. I got mine for $79 (plus $40 stool, essential for really zonking out). I think it originally came out priced near $175. And as with most Ikea product, it was easy to put together for Jessica and I, though I don’t know how long it would have taken me alone.
Not everybody likes Ikea. Take this Salon.com article for instance, which mentions lots of reasons to distrust the brand, the store, the concept. I bet the author never sat in a Poang…
Finally, I did a Google image search on “Poang” and got this:

Photo from Swedish Skating Association
It’s the Swedish female skating team! More difficult to assemble, but very comfortable to sit on.