Friday, July 30, 2010

Red Bull Alpenbrevet!?

 Yes, there have been a lot of moped posts lately, but I can't not post this: The Red Bull Alpenbrevet, a race through the Swiss Alps on mopeds... No, this is not a joke. The Team America Blog.

MLM Performance Exhaust

I made a post earlier about MLM performance expansion chamber exhausts, and another about how they work. I just got mine back from the welder last night (our welder apparently does pretty good work even after 12 beers) and bolted it up. My variator is opening way too soon for the bike to hit the pipe's power band and it feels like I am running a bit rich. I will either drill out the variator weights I have, or get some lighter ones so that the variator will open at more like thirty or thirty-five miles an hour and not fifteen or twenty like it is now. Nonetheless, I can feel the pipe wanting to hit the power band; it just doesn't have the rpm's. I have more pictures of the details such as the header flange I fabricated and the rear hanger, but in the meantime, here are some pictures of the basic process:
Pieces of laser-cut 18 gauge steel ready to be rolled into the cones of the "Cali" and "RevRun" pipes.

Devin can usually get about fifty cones out of a single sheet of steel. When we get the stacks of oddly shaped steel back we take them to various conical jigs made of either maple or steel, depending on the curvature and tightness of the cone, and basically beat them into shape with rubber mallets. It took me about a week to finally begin to understand how the metal would react to the impact and where exactly to direct the force of the blow.

The rolled cones ready for welding.

 After the cones are rolled we send them off to the welder who welds the ends together. Then we take them back to the jigs and true them up to fit together perfectly and then tack-weld them together creating the basic form of the exhaust. At this point they are nothing more than five variously shaped cones tacked together.

What happens if your hit your hand and not the sheet metal when rolling the cones...

 Then it is back off to the welder for the whole pipe to be welded up. When we get it back we then mock it up to a bike (in this case a Honda Hobbit) making sure that the header clears the center-stand and provides a clear flow of gases from the cylinder through the chamber. We also tack the hanger and perforated tube in the appropriate position. Then it goes back to the welder again.

 Here is the pipe getting the rear hanger, header flange, and silencer  welded in place.

 Jim, the welder TIG welding my pipe while smoking a cigar after a twelve pack of Mich Lite. 

He warned me that his welding might not be up to par, but I told him I had complete faith in his abilities (which I do) and he didn't let me down.

Here is my old stock exhaust. It is the little box down there under the magneto.

 And here is the bike with the new pipe...
I have yet to see how and where the pipe hits the power band, but the sound of the pipe is amazing. It is surprisingly quiet; barely louder at idle than the super-silent stock exhaust, but when you open it up it really sounds good, with a wonderful purr when you let off the gas. The bike is already going a bit faster than stock, even without hitting the power band. The pipe should clear the side cover once I work with it a bit. More updates to follow...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

To The Faculty of the Erasmus Institute of Liberal Arts

Dear faculty of the Erasmus Institute,

The United States cannot afford to lose the education that I was fortunate enough to experience at Thomas More College. That you all believe this is affirmed in the recent founding of The Erasmus Institute. There is no shortage of Catholic liberal arts colleges in this country, yet amongst all these bastions of revivalism what is lacking is a subtle continuity with the past--something for which these institutions seem to yearn so much. Instead, these colleges reject or combat the world of here and now; the world that allows us even to begin to wonder. The Cowan program, however, reaches toward the truth of necessity through that of contingent reality. It participates in and builds on the living tradition of American and Classical thought in a communal joy in proximity to truth.
 The fact that we studied William Faulkner in Literature, or Heidegger in Philosophy, or Voegelin in Political Science helped to define our school, but what was more essential and far more potent was the way students and faculty engaged their studies; the daily encounter on the part of everyone with poetry, tragedy and comedy, and most importantly, the idea of communitas. Communitas lay at the heart of the education and tied it in a unique way with the great community of philosophers throughout the ages. When I am asked what was so wonderful about my education I can only describe the liberating joy of understanding a part of a poem for the first or fifth time, of reveling in a philosophical debate, or of reading one of the greatest thinkers of all time, but most importantly, of knowing that we were all pursuing truth together in a community as free human beings. It was this shared joy in a community of such wildly different people that opened up the world of truth to me and to my classmates and changed all of us forever. 
That the Erasmus Institute of Liberal Arts may continue this tradition is essential to all education today. Thank you for everything that you have given to all of us--your students--over the years, and know that it is with the deepest gratitude that we think of the hardships you have endured to continue the best education in America. With this vision and attitude toward truth there exists so much promise, possibility and happiness, that for it to disappear would be a an unthinkable loss to the world.

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Maps from Books Link

Just click the Map of Utopia on the sidebar to see all the Maps from Books posts...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Video of Arion Press Printing Bible

An amazing and beautiful process, although I must say I agree with the type founder about the KJV. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mullets Illegal in Iran

Ponytails are out but side-partings and Elvis quiffs are in. Not the latest fashion advice from a celebrity magazine, but a list of acceptable male hairstyles issued by the Iranian government.
Iran government issues style guide for men's hair: An official 
describes appropriate hairstyles for men at an official hairstyle show 
in Tehran

Iran government issues style guide for men's hair: An official describes appropriate hairstyles for men at an official hairstyle show in Tehran.

In an attempt to rid the country of "decadent Western cuts", Iran's culture ministry has produced a catalogue of haircuts that meet government approval.

The list of banned styles includes ponytails, mullets and elaborate spikes. However,quiffs appear to be acceptable, as are fashioning one's hair in the style of Simon Cowell or cultivating a 1980s-style floppy fringe.

Most of the models are clean-shaven although one picture features a man with a goatee beard, previously frowned upon by Iran's conservative clerics. Using hair gel is also within the law, albeit in modest quantities.

The "journal of Iranian hairstyles approved by the ministry of [culture and Islamic] guidance" was previewed at a government-approved hairdressing show in Tehran.

The pictures were reminiscent of those gracing barber shop windows across Britain.

"The proposed styles are inspired by Iranians' complexion, culture and religion, and Islamic law," said Jaleh Khodayar, who is in charge of a Modesty and Veil Festival later this month at which the guide will be promoted.

"We are happy that the Islamic republic of Iran's government has backed us in designing these hairstyles."

Several barber shops have reportedly been shut down and penalised in recent years for offering Western-style haircuts.

Iranian police carry out regular morality checks, arresting women in short coats and flimsy headscarves as well as men sporting spiky hair and tight, low-slung jeans. Ties are also viewed with suspicion as a symbol of Western decadence.

Conservative clerics have called for firmer action against un-Islamic dressers and criticised President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last month for expressing opposition to a tough police crackdown on immodest attire.

Earlier this year, an Iranian cleric claimed women who wear revealing clothes cause natural disasters. Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi, a prayer leader in Tehran, said: "Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes."

From The Telegraph

Hobbit Performance Exhaust

Just got finished mocking up one of the MLM "Cali" pipes I built with Devin to my Honda Hobbit yesterday. I fashioned my own header flange (who needs machinists anyway?) and figured out a rather ingenious rear hanger supported of the bottom of the sub-frame. Pictures to follow. 

In the meantime here she is:

Since this photograph was taken I have mounted the old headlight off my Puchavus to the front forks, installed a different carb and purchased the 21mm intake for the bigger 21mm PHBG I will be getting to go along with the new pipe.  Lets just hope the Chinese clone bottom end I'm running holds out...

Monday, July 5, 2010