The Moscow Rules

From Wikipedia:

The Moscow Rules is the name for rules of engagement said to have been developed by the CIA during the Cold War to be used by spies and others working in Moscow. The rules are associated with Moscow because the city developed a reputation as being a particularly harsh locale for clandestine operatives who were exposed. The list may never have existed as written; agent Tony Mendez wrote “Although no one had written them down, they were the precepts we all understood … By the time they got to Moscow, everyone knew these rules. They were dead simple and full of common sense…”

Biking Through Angola

Pictures and a travelogue of a dirt-biking trek through Angola from Adventure Rider Forums. (NSFW due to bare breasted Angolans. Because of that warning, this will be the most popular link today)

We load up and finally throttles get twisted and the trip starts.

First up is the border post. And for the first time (for me), at a Namibian border post, all the engine and chassis numbers are checked. Minutely and in detail. Which then also teaches Nardus that his 950’s chassis number differs from his registration papers with one digit. Almost stops his trip right there. But sanity prevails and we finally mosey on over to the Angolan Customs and Immigration.

Now here’s an interesting bit. You can only visit Angola by invitation. In order to get a 30 day visa you have to have a written invitation from a resident who will be responsible for you while you are there. So they are not really big on tourism.

Also stories abound about the border guards making travellers unpack all they carry down to the last tin, unless you offer a bribe. We had none of that. Although we know no Portuguese and they cannot speak English and all the forms are in Portuguese only, we had no trouble at all and found the customs and immigration people very friendly and helpful.

With high spirits we hit the road for all of about 60m before we get sidetracked for a beer break. Excellent, I like this country already.

Michael Moschen Performs with One Crystal Ball

From Wikipedia:

Contact juggling in its modern popular form originated with a juggling routine developed by Michael Moschen in the 1980s, entitled “Light”.[citation needed] In this performance, Michael Moschen finishes the act by manipulating a single water-clear acrylic sphere without ever closing his hands over it. The sphere appeared to float over his hands and arms as if it were a drop of water or a ball of light. Some of the various single ball manipulations (balancing a ball on one’s head, for example) existed long before Moschen’s time. What made this performance unique was the use of the clear acrylic as the only prop, and the palmspinning, where Moschen manipulated up to eight spheres simultaneously, without ever releasing one into the air, as would a traditional juggling performer.

In the 1986 film Labyrinth, David Bowie’s character is seen to contact juggle throughout the film. These manipulations were actually performed by Moschen who stood behind Bowie during filming, reaching around and performing the tricks ‘blind’.

Here’s a clip from YouTube with Michael contact juggling the eight orbs.