You are currently browsing the Breaching The Web blog archives for August, 2008.

Chevy Volt Pictures

August 29th, 2008

I would not ordinarily be monitoring the production of a movie like Transformers 2. Much to my disappointment, I did see the first Transformers movie, and I have no intention of seeing the second.

However, thanks to Chevrolet’s product placement deal with Transformers, I suspected that production of Transformers 2 might result in leaked pictures of the Chevrolet Volt, Chevy’s answer to the Toyota Prius.

What makes the Volt different from the Prius is that it will be a plug-in electric car with a gasoline-powered combustion engine that charges the electric batteries. The gas engine never powers the wheels, unlike the Prius, which is sometimes powered by the batteries and sometimes by the gas engine. In theory, the Volt will go 40 miles on a charge and will automatically turn on the gas engine when the charge runs down, recharging the batteries. This could have a drastic impact on gas millage, since most people drive less than 40 miles per day.

The car will be released in 2010, and I’ve been keeping an eye on various leaks associated with it because if it works as planned it’s potentially revolutionary.

All of which brings us back to Transformers 2. I suspected the Volt would make an appearance in the movie, and it looks like I was right. See pictures here. It’s got a much more conventional look than previous photos released by Chevy suggested. A leak unrelated to the movie shows an interesting view of the interior.

The car’s looks don’t wow me, which is ok, because I’m not a wow car kinda’ girl. If I could get millage in the range of 100 miles per gallon (or more, the projections depend on one’s average trip length), I’d drive the ugliest car around.

Muslim women and sports

August 22nd, 2008

I’ve been watching the Olympics this past week with one eye while I’ve been working on other things like gardening, knitting and cooking. I really enjoy the track and field events, probably because you don’t have to pay attention for very long to see what happens, especially with the way NBC has edited the events. Which I have to say is better than the way they edited the Athens games, but still bites hard.

I am American, but I am also interested in athletes from other countries. For example, I was really looking forward to seeing the shot put event, especially after NPR’s weekly profiles of Adam Nelson, one of the best men’s shot putters in the world and number 2 in the US. But after Nelson (and Reese Hoffa, the US and World men’s shot put champion) failed to qualify, NBC failed to cover the event adequately. I was disappointed, because NPR’s coverage wasn’t just about Nelson, it was about shot put more generally, and I was very curious to see the event.

One person has caught my attention particularly, Roqaya Al-Gassra of Bahrain, a sprinter who runs wearing hijab. In stifling Beijing heat, her whole body was covered, with the exception of her face and hands. She competed against Western athletes wearing clothes that closely resemble bikinis.

I suppose my notice of Roqaya betrays some level of prejudice in my expectations of Muslim women who wear hijab, because I had no idea that they would participate in sports. In retrospect, this was stupid on my part.

I was curious about Roqaya’s clothing, so I did some googling and found that there are very few companies that sell sportswear designed for women who wear hijab, but that this is expected to be a growing niche in both traditionally Islamic countries and the West. I’m looking forward to seeing more women in hijab in the 2012 Olympics.

Gardening Journal

August 4th, 2008

I had resolved to update Breaching the Web more frequently, but then I was thrown a curve ball by MyFolia.com, a social networking site for gardeners.

The site allows you to track your garden’s progress. You can create several “gardens” (I have one for the back yard, one for the front, one for houseplants, and one for propagation), into which you enter all your plantings. You can track milestone events, like sprouting, flowering, fruiting and harvesting. And you can journal about all aspects of the garden. It’s nifty.

And on top of that, the site has social networking functions, so you can find gardening buddies and learn from them. It’s been a very valuable resource for me.

Since I’m spending so much time updating MyFolia and not updating this blog, I created a widget to display MyFolia journal entries over in the left sidebar. If you are interested, you can click on any post title and read the whole thing at the MyFolia site.

Eyes

August 1st, 2008

I am obsessed with eye make-up, especially mascara. This tends to surprise people, because I don’t look like someone who is obsessed with eye make-up. I am blond, and I have fair skin — my eyes are English blue-bordering-on-gray, and my eyelashes and eyebrows are also blond, so all in all my face is an extremely pale canvas. I’m not comfortable leaving my house without at least mascara on, to create some definition around my eyes — otherwise, I look like I have no eyelashes at all, which is creepy.

I’ve been playing with my eye make-up a lot lately, and I just found an eye shadow tutorial that I wanted to share: Idiot-Proof Eyes. It’s a hands-on explanation of how to apply “natural” looking eye make-up, with pictures, put together by a real person writing about her own experiences. It’s fantastically helpful. I appreciate that it’s not written by some industry product designer or marketer, and that it has realistic, helpful step-by-step photos. I followed about half her directions this morning, and the results are amazing.

This weekend, I’ll be trying out false eyelashes. Look out, world!