Monday, March 29, 2021

189 US ambassadors

I just read that there are 189 US ambassadorships. But there are 193 UN member states. So what are the differences?

US ambassadorships but not UN member states

  • African Union
  • EU
  • Vatican City
  • ICAO (International Civil Aviation Org)
  • Kosovo
  • NATO
  • OAS
  • OECD
  • OPCW (Org for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons)
  • OSCE (Org for Security and Cooperation in Europe)
  • UN
  • UN Conference on Disarmament
  • UN Deputy Representative
  • UN Economic & Social Council
  • UN Geneva
  • UN Human Rights Council
  • UN Management & Reform
  • UN Political Affairs
  • UN Rome
  • UN Vienna

UN member states but no US ambassadors

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bhutan
  • North Korea
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Iran
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

US ambassadors for multiple states

  • Fiji/Kiribati/Nauru/Tonga/Tuvalu
  • France/Monaco
  • Gabon/Sao Tome & Principe
  • Italy/San Marino
  • Madagascar/Comoros
  • Mauritius/Seychelles
  • New Zealand/Samoa
  • Papua New Guinea/Solomon Islands/Vanuatu
  • Senegal/Guinea-Bissau
  • Spain/Andorra
  • Sri Lanka/Maldives
  • Switzerland/Liechtenstein


I went to a Mexican ice cream parlor on Saturday and it had a sign that said they sell Dorilocos on Wednesdays. What is it?

Friday, March 26, 2021

How to take car photos with your iPhone

Our Twitter friend Kevin M. (@kmccauley) has some excellent tips!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Eating the Globe: Barbados

There is a Barbadian-owned restaurant in Oakland but everything on the menu is Jamaican. So I decided to buy some Barbadian cookies online. I accidentally bought too much.

The cookies/biscuits are dry and sweet. 

Countries tried so far:

Africa: Algeria, Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe
Asia: Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen
Europe: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Vatican City
North America: Barbados, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, St Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago, USA
South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela
Oceania: Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga

Monday, March 22, 2021

Kubica around the Nurburgring

Ever since his accident, I've been curious to see what his hand looked like and how it functioned. This video popped up on YouTube. It's amazing.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Live and Let Die movie review

Moore makes his Bond debut!

Dave's review: Live and Let Die, in my opinion, is one of the most unique and refreshing Bond films. Ok, now I know there are going to be lots of charges of racism and stereotyping, but if you put that aside and just enjoy what you see, you'll realize Live and Let Die is a breath of fresh air. First of all, obviously, you have a new 007, Roger Moore, who seems comfortable in his own skin and doesn't try at all to be like his predecessor. The more intimate story, set in Harlem and New Orleans is a nice change of pace from several consecutive globe trotting adventures. Jane Seymour, as Solitaire, is stunning. The way Bond tricks her with her cards to devirginize her is one of the most memorable and of course pretty outrageous scenes in the film. You have a huge henchman named Tiny, another with a hook for an arm, and numerous people who are not what they seem. The only thing that slows things down is an interminable boat chase with the over the top J.W. Pepper. The ending on the Caribbean island where Bond attempts to rescue Solitaire is one of the absolute best. Long live the crocodile! 

TT's review: I can’t tell if I like or dislike this movie. It’s certainly more modern than the Connery films, almost like the transition from black and white film to color. In the opening gun barrel sequence, Moore was not wearing a hat!

Having grown up with Bond in the 80s, I’m not used to seeing a younger Moore. It was nice to see the inside of his home in this film.

Coincidentally, as I watched it last night, news broke of Yaphet Kotto’s passing. His performance was so-so. I really liked him in Homicide: Life on the Street. In Live and Let Die, he wasn’t fooling anyone while disguised as Mr. Big. And his ballooning death was absurd.

The highlight of the movie for me was the beautiful boat chase, featuring JW Pepper. He was quite the clown and a very unflattering caricature of a Southerner. 

Dave's response: It is interesting to see the inside of Bond's place for the first time. And yes I remember when I first watched this film, I figured from the very beginning that Mr. Big and Kananga were the same character. 

TT's response: I agree that the movie was unique. I know the boat chase was very incongruous with the rest of the film, but I liked it!

Dave's grade: A-

TT's grade: B-

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Sabine Schmitz

A shitty day yesterday turned even shittier with the news of Schmitz's death due to cancer. This really hit home. As some of you know, my wife was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer last April. After chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and radiation, this is exactly what my wife looked like:

Thankfully, my wife's prognosis is very, very good. But the chance of a relapse is always a concern.

I'll leave this with a happy memory. Most of us were introduced to her in this Top Gear segment in which she tried to beat the 10:00 mark in the Nurburgring in a Ford Transit. Rest in peace.

Flipped over iceberg


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Banned in the USA video

This music video from 1990 is super dated and yet super topical today with Cancel Culture.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Ice breaking natural gas tanker

With the polar ice cap melted year round, Russia can export natural gas from its far north. Three ice breaking LNG tankers (that are powered by the same LNG it is carrying as cargo) transport the stuff to Norway and Kamchatka, where normal tankers relay the fuel to the European and Asian markets. This article explains it all.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Friday, March 05, 2021

High volume dim sum making

This guy is a good sport.

Tracking down the Ekranoplan in the Caspian

My Daily Driver: DF's 1994 Cadillac Sedan Deville

1. How did you come to the decision of buying this car?

It was a little bit out of frustration actually. I had recently had to junk my 2002 Kia Rio because the ball joint failed, it was a rusty heap that was no longer viable. I had started looking at various cars but with COVID-19, the car market has been a little bit weird to say the least where a lot of the cars I had looked at were kind of junk and a lot of the good ones were selling at a pretty rapid pace. 

Out of frustration with the two Nissans that I was going to look at selling underneath me, I had decided to start looking at rear wheel drive American cars, like the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Buick Roadmaster. It just so happened that this car was the third vehicle I had looked at on that particular day with my dad, who is a retired mechanic and was able to help me look at cars. My dad gave it his seal of approval. 

I took it out for a drive and I gave the owner his asking price and the rest is history. I also have a bit of affinity for these older General Motors cars because my grandma had a 1994 Buick Roadmaster that I have some fond memories with, and I also grew up in a General Motors household where I have family members that had Buicks and Chevys. But this is the first Cadillac in my immediate family.

2. What has your ownership experience been like?

Pretty good for the most part. This vehicle has the 4.9 L V8 engine which is the latter of the GM high technology V8s from the 80s/90s. It’s a front wheel drive platform and given that I live in the Chicago area, it’s been pretty good with winter weather. I’ve had to replace the tires and the distributor coil and the ignition system but other than that I’ve been pretty happy with my ownership experience. Driving this car on the highway is really a treat.

3. What is your fondest memory with this car?

It was actually ironically enough the day that I decided to quit a job. Because I had gone for a nice fun drive to clear my head and that is one of the great things that I love about this car is that I can have the crummiest day ever and just get in my beautiful old Cadillac and forget all about it. Because I’m just driving a nice comfortable car that can help me relax.

4. Why do you love cars?

I’ve been obsessed with cars my entire life.

My dad is a retired heavy equipment and truck mechanic and so was his dad before him. So I grew up around all manner of cars and would always love going to the Chicago auto show every year and just getting to sit in and enjoy all the cars and I would get all the literature. I actually learned to drive later in life because I thought that a visual impairment would keep me from driving but I was able to overcome that. If it has to do with cars I absolutely love it, I’ve been learning a lot more about working on my own car, doing automotive videography as a hobby, going to car shows every chance I get.


If you would like to participate, just answer the above four questions and submit one to three photos of your daily driver to milhousevanh at geemail. Thanks and have fun! 

My Daily Driver: @Brouxir's Cadillac Cimarron

1. How did you come to the decision of buying this car?

I was raised in the back seat of a 1987 Chevy Cavalier. My parents loved to travel and we did so very often in that car. I remember many long trips in that back seat. This was before belts mattered and were required (the 1980's were a wild time!) so I just had the whole back seat to myself to be a kid in.

I've been collecting old GM cars since the dawn of the new millennium. I remember when cars like this were ubiquitous and all over the road. Every form of these cars I recall seeing at one point or another. Then one day *POOF* they vanished in a sea of modern bubble cars that all  look the same.

They said this about these though, in their time, that they all "looked alike"

I've been on a personal search for a nice Cavalier or Cimarron for over 20 years now, and this one basically fell in my lap from a collector friend. He purchased it, had it hauled to his home and found it was not in the shape he was told it was in, so some back and forth, I decided to buy the car regardless of condition.

This was a goal car and I didn't care what it looked like.

2. What has your ownership experience been like?

Excellent! Despite the advanced age of this car now in 2021, it's been extremely dependable for me since I purchased it at the end of 2020. It features a 2.8L 60 Degree V6 engine and a TH125c Three Speed transmission.

More or less, it's a Chevy! As such, it's very reliable, and fun to drive. It handles very well; It's very nimble. The V6 engine in such a small body is a wonder in itself to drive, it feels like it has way more power then you would think a car of this age would have.

3. What is your fondest memory with this car?

The day I went to look at it. After a couple weeks of back and forth conversation and a few cruddy night shot pictures, I went to look at the car at my buddies car dealer, where he works. It was sunday so the dealer was closed but he said the car was around back waiting for me to come look, to see if I wanted it.

I fell in love with it the moment I saw it, looked it over, and I was hooked from the very second I sat in the drivers seat.

4. Why do you love cars?

While normally just a means to an end, point A to point B for most; To me, cars represent the ultimate in freedom. I can get in my little antique metal machine and take it anywhere I want to go, anytime I want. Just me, my tiny Cadillac and the open road ahead of me.


If you would like to participate, just answer the above four questions and submit one to three photos of your daily driver to milhousevanh at geemail. Thanks and have fun! 

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Map of 50 states with equal populations


Pontiac 2000 spot

Check out what I saw today!

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

A day in the life of a pachinko worker

This guy's series about regular people in Japan is pretty cool.