2011: Year of the flood

On August 1, 2011 by Colin

I heard Bill McKibben describe this first…this article on 2011’s extreme weather ends with sobering statistics on how our human-warmed atmosphere is leading directly to heavy flooding and snowfall. Those of us who dealt with high water this year had better get used to it!

The year 2011 has begun with a remarkable number of high-impact floods world-wide, and much of the blame for this can be placed on the current La Niña event occurring in the Eastern Pacific… When one combines the impact of La Niña with the increase of global ocean temperatures of 0.5°C (0.9°F) over the past 50 years, which has put 4% more water vapor into the atmosphere since 1970, the result is a much increased chance of unprecedented floods. A 4% increase in atmospheric moisture may not sound like much, but it turns out that precipitation will increase by about 8% with that 4% moisture increase. Critically, it is the extreme rainfall events that tend to supply the increased rainfall. For example, (Groisman et al., 2004) found a 20% increase in very heavy (top 1%) precipitation events over the U.S. in the past century, and a 36% rise in cold season (October – April) “extreme” precipitation events (those in the 99.9% percentile–1 in 1000 events. These extreme rainfall events are the ones most likely to cause floods.

‪D*Face Ridiculous Pool Paint attack.‬‏

On July 6, 2011 by Colin

Empty pools, spray paint and Dave Reul come together here (Salba too.) Check it out.

Pomeroy Daily Sentinel – Bowl Bash tradition continues ‘88 Bands of Anarchy’ promised

On July 5, 2011 by Colin

The unofficial local chronicler of all things Skatopia… Beth Sergent taps in to how Skatopia and Walmart have more in common than you might think.

Bowl Bash tradition continues: ‘88 Bands of Anarchy’ promised
by By Beth Sergent


RUTLAND — Starting Friday, skateboarding pilgrims will flock to the hills of Rutland Township for the 16th Annual Bowl Bash at Skatopia which promises “88 Bands of Anarchy.”

Bowl Bash is an unofficial and offbeat tourist destination that “dare not speak its name” in the hallowed halls of officially sanctioned Meigs County events though it still brings in visitors who spend money here.

This year’s event begins Friday well into Sunday morning with those 88 bands playing on three stages – bands like Nassau Chainsaw, Green Jelly The Snotty Kids, The Stink and The Cooties. It’s an annual weekend of music, skating and tired eyes watching the sun come up over a Rutland hollow. As usual, no tickets are sold for the event though a donation is greatly appreciated for admission, according to Brewce Martin, owner of Skatopia.

Yesterday, Martin and crew were busy preparing Skatopia for the bash and its pilgrims; pilgrims who have likely read the Rolling Stone spread or seen the documentary “88 Acres of Anarchy” and/or the MTV Skatopia True Life episode – and they want to know more. The True Life episode which was broadcast this past April, featured footage shot at last year’s Bowl Bash – the episode was aired across the nation on the Emmy-award winning series, casting a light on a small but notorious corner of Meigs County.

Myths, rumors and truths about the place aside, Martin has claimed his place “isn’t just a place to party” and that “99 percent of the time out here it’s just normal life going on.” Martin has also poked fun at the Skatopia stereotypes, saying it “isn’t full of poverty-ridden dirt bags” though he’s admitted it attracts a diverse population when it comes to those pilgrims who arrive at the gates.

“This is the funny thing, there are all kinds of people here just like when you go to Wal-Mart…you don’t know who you’re going to see,” Martin has said in the past.

A complete list of bands can be found on Skatopia’s official website.

Black Flag – TV Party

On June 21, 2011 by Colin

Everyone should have TV party every couple weeks! Check out Skatopia’s party – The Bowl Bash – this coming weekend! We’ll be down with Collector’s Edition DVDs, T-shirts & more. See you there.

Paul Strauss on life on MacCumber Rd., Rutland, OH

On June 14, 2011 by Colin

The multi-talented Travis Dove has created a short video about our former neighbor Paul Strauss and his cantankerous determination to stick to the non-material, nature-focused path he’s been on for 40 years. Raise a home brew to the tough minded sonsabitches like Paul who make getting to know your neighbors a great reason for living. 

Skatopia is half mile over the hill. Look for an extended video featuring Paul and many of our great Appalachian neighbors on the Collectors Edition of Skatopia The Movie.

E-junkie is a shortcut to selling online

On May 30, 2011 by Colin

In the last few weeks I’ve found the easiest way to start selling online is this low-cost service called e-junkie. After you set up your product in their website, they give you a link code. You just paste that into your site and you’re ready to sell. Pretty cool. More info if you click this link:

E-junkie Shopping Cart and Digital Delivery

DVD mastering tips learned under duress!

On May 26, 2011 by Colin

It has been a long haul getting the Skatopia DVD completed. As we near the end, I can say I’ve learned stuff about the FCP-Compressor-DVD Studio Pro workflow that I’ve never known. Thanks to frequent visits to Creative Cow and some other forums, we’re about to deliver a really classy product.

First I made some layered menus using a couple tuturials including this video intro and Larry Jordan’s text walk-through. Then I found a free plug-in for photoshop that made nice chroma-based smoothing for my overlay graphics.


Next I learned Compressor’s nasty little secret: the default setting for DVD audio compression uses a Dolby audio preset to create an .ac3 file. Compressor’s preset both adds extra audio compression AND messes with your levels. If you’ve paid for (or slavishly created) a mix with lots of dynamic range and accurate levels… count on Compressor to squash the range and lower the volume.

To fix this little issue, you need to make a copy of the audio preset and modify the copy: go into the “Preprocessing” tab in the Inspector and select “None” for compression (I decided to deselected the low-pass and DC filters, too) and in the “Audio” tab select –31 for dialnorm.

Suddenly your DVD actually sounds like your FCP project.


Lastly, I found two tutorials on building a Director’s Commentary track. What I like is that there are multiple ways to access the track, on-the-fly or continuous.

After you record your track and Compress it (using your new preset), drop the .ac3 track on A2 in Studio Pro (I guess each audio ‘track’ in SP is actually stereo).

Then two steps,( each with a tutorial) to make it easy to listen to:
  1. Simply make a button that links to track one but set the audio stream to A2.
  2. Use this cool script to allow someone to toggle it on & off with a button on their remote

Finally we mastered to Verbatim dual layer DVD+R disks that let us put the 97 minute feature up with the highest quality encode (90 Minute Best 2-pass). DVD Studio Pro’s manual pretty much walked us through our first dual layer workflow. It came out great, though some players add a noticeable “hitch” to the video at the layer break point.



Skatopia need your help on Netflix!

On May 16, 2011 by Colin


In order to get our film into Netflix we need thousands of people to “SAVE” us on their queue! Type Skatopia in the search bar and hit “Save”. If we get enough saves, they’ll buy our movie. Tell all your friends, tell your grandparents, tell the kids on the playground!

Interactive Quiz: Think You Know Our Nation’s Budget Problems?

On May 6, 2011 by Colin

Pretty tricky quiz!

Interactive Quiz: Think You Know Our Nation’s Budget Problems?

Recent polls suggest that Americans are woefully in the dark when it comes to balancing the federal budget. Test your budget IQ by taking the Center for American Progress’s quiz below.

Right: 0, Wrong: 0

Next →

Trek To Recycle Carbon Fiber Bikes

On May 5, 2011 by Colin

With a few exceptions (including my alma mater Burley) most of the bicycle industry has not been on the cutting edge of sustainability. I’m really happy to see one of the world leaders in both sales and innovation taking a strong stance.

But Trek, in conjunction with Materials Innovation Technology (MIT), has implemented a solution to recycle carbon fiber scrap from its US facilities. This will make the material less of an environmental burden, diverting a projected 54,000 lbs of material from landfill to re-purposed use each year.