Rollabolla

Rollabolla is one of the simplest training devices for balance I’ve ever tried (except for fences and stones). It’s simply a board and a pipe.

Rollabolla

You simply place the board on the pipe, stand on top of it and try to balance while the pipe tries to roll under the board.

Start with your feet about a shoulder width apart, and make it increasingly difficult by putting your feet closer together on the board. If you’re the adventurous type you can try doing a handstand on it or putting two on top of each other.

Have you tried this or do you have other ideas on how to use it? Please let us know in the comment section below!

Iskiate Recipe

Iskiate

(Picture from leangreensuburbanmachine.com)

What is Iskiate you ask? Have I gone completely insane? Not yet! Iskiate is the name of the wonderfully tasteful and nutritious drink made famous by Christopher McDougall’s book: Born to run.

The drink is claimed to give a proper energyboost, and it is really tasty!

To make Iskiate you’ll need:

  • a tablespoon of Chia seeds
  • a tablespoon of lime juice (lemon is ok too)
  • a teaspoon of honey (or other sweetener if you don’t like honey)
  • 300ml of water

Start by mixing the lime juice with the water, then dissolve the honey. Add the Chia seeds and stir well before leaving it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so. Stir occasionally and enjoy chilled!

Have you tried this recipe or have another? Let us know in the commentsection below!

 

Checking if site is reachable by domain name

I created a new wordpress site for the parkour venue we’re starting in Stavanger, and after I purchased the domain I couldn’t reach the site. I had no clue what the IP was, so my only option was to wait for the site to be reachable by domain name. Instead of waiting and testing every few minutes, I decided to make a short python script to do it for me. I didn’t want to keep looking at my terminal either, so I got the script to give a notification when it was done using freedesktops D-Bus notification system.

Here’s a link to the github repo: https://github.com/TM89/dnslookup

 

How to change oil and oilfilter on car

The normal car should not go much further than 10 000 km before changing the oil, especially if it is mainly driven in low speeds, like rush traffic. My car has passed nearly 20 000 km without me changing the oil, so it was way past due for some simple maintenance!

Neglecting to change oil and oilfilter may result in motor malfunction and/or the motor running badly. I am not a professional and attempting to change the oil and oilfilter on your own car is your own responsibility.

I did this on my Mazda 323F GLX 2001, but the principle should be more or less the same for most cars.

First things first: equipment!

I used the following:

  • canister for spill oil
  • wrench
  • jack
  • jack stands
  • oil
  • oil filter
  • (oil filter wrench)

You should check your cars manual to find out what kind of oil you need and how much. The same goes for the oil filter. You can often ask for the right oilfilter based on your license plate number where you buy the filter. For my car, which run on 95 unleaded gas, I used 5W40 oil, and just about 3,5-4 litres of it. The jack stands are for keeping the car up on both sides at the same time and they are steadier than the jack that came with my car.

jack stand fitted beneath car

The important thing to remember when using the jack stands are to place them on a flat surface and to ease the car down on them. Also, check under the car for markings that indicate good places to place the jack. These are often marked or visible by having thicker metal.

After lifting up both sides we’ll need to locate the plug that sits in the bottom of the oilpan. On most old cars it is a 19mm bolt, but some newer cars use 17mm.

oil plug on bottom of oil pan

Now is a good time to find your spill oil canister. I didn’t have anything suitable, so I went ahead and bought one for this purpose.

spill oil canister

As you can see on the picture it has 3 yellow caps, and one of them (the one in the middle) is made so that oil that hits around it is directed to the opening. I recommend using a funnel anyways as old oil (and oil in general) is very messy and may leave bad marks on everything it touches. The next step is to place the canister beneath the plug and open the plug.

spill oil canister ready spill oil canister ready 2

 

Give it a little time to run of and put the plug back in when it’s done. Clean of any spill with some paper.

The car is now emptied for oil, and it’s time to change the focus to the oil filter. The location of the oil filter varies from car to car, but a quick google search or the cars manual should tell you where it is.

For my car it is placed behind the motor, close to the torpedo wall.

engine 20150828_122840 old oil filter

I was told by the guy where I bought the filter that I would need a plier for oil-filters. It would have made it easier, but I couldn’t get a proper grip on the filter with it because there was so little space. I ended up using raw force and grip power instead.

oil filter

The old oilfilter was filthy and ready for a change.

Before I replaced the filter with a new one, I smeared some new motor oil on the rubber seal that makes the connection between the filter and the engine sealed.

fresh oillubing oil filter

This is a tip I got from my grandfather to make the rubber less likely to crack and the seal tighter.

After putting the filter back in place and making sure the plug in the oil tank was secured, I used a funnel to refill the tank with fresh oil. As stated earlier, I use 5W40 on my car, but check with your dealer or workshop to find one suitable for yours.

20150828_125712

The yellow thing down to the right of the center of this image is a measurement stick for the oil level in the engine. I used this to check that the oil level was in between the recommended levels after removing the jacks and putting the car safely on the ground again. Then I gave it a proper test drive for a little while, and stopping to see if there was any oil leakage.

I hope this was somewhat helpful. The exact execution of this operation might differ a little on some cars, but the general idea is the same. Let me know what you think in the comment section or on twitter!

 

Booting linux from USB

If you want to try out linux on your own computer (without trying it in a VM), you can easily boot linux from a USB-stick. This also comes in handy if you want to retrieve info from a harddisk on a computer that you don’t have credentials for (if the disk is not encrypted), want to run boot-recovery (in case bootmanager stops working) etc.

Anyways, what you need to accomplish this is a USB-stick, internet and a computer.

We need some software that can write an iso (diskimage file) to a USB-stick, and for this we’re going to use unetbootin. Get unetbootin from https://unetbootin.github.io/ or use a package manager to install it from your repository of you’re on linux. Install unetbootin following the directions in the installer.

When unetbootin is installed you should find and download a distribusjon of linux. I would recommend starting with Linux MintUbuntu or Fedora. The easiest one to start with and the one most simular to Windows GUI-wise is probably Linux Mint, but all three distros can be downloaded with another desktopmanager than the default one.

When you have downloaded your distro of choice, insert your USB-stick and open unetbootin. It should look something like this:

unetbootin main windos

From this window, select diskimage (which is what you just downloaded) and click the three dots to the far right to browse for your diskimage. When you have found and selected your diskimage, make sure that Type is set as USB Drive, and not harddisk. Select your drive and click OK.

It probably takes a minute or two until this process is completed, and when it is done you can reboot your computer.

When your computer is booting up it has a list of devices it looks in to find a operating system. Normally for most computers it starts looking at the harddrive, and it usually finds an OS there, so no other devices are checked. What we want to do now is to make it look at the USB-stick before it looks at the harddrive. To do this you have to access the BIOS or UEFI, depending on your motherboard and how old your computer is. The steps are quite similar, but you might not be able to get to the UEFI config menu by pressing a key or key combo during startup. If this is true for you, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start menu and select Settings.
  2. Select Update and Security.
  3. Click Recovery.
  4. Under Advanced startup, click Restart now. …
  5. Select Troubleshoot.
  6. Choose Advanced options.
  7. Select UEFI Firmware Settings.
  8. Click Restart to restart the system and enter UEFI (BIOS).
If you have BIOS, try pressing F2, F8, F12 or Ctrl+Alt+Delete during startup before the operating system logo shows. If your computer is showing a splash screen with the motherboard or manufacturer-logo, you can usually see a key combination somewhere on the screen as well.
When you have successfully entered BIOS/UEFI, look for a tab labeled BOOT. Your BIOS/UEFI should look somewhat similar to this:
bios
From the BIOS boot tab, change the order of the bootable devices so that the USB-stick is the first one to be looked for.
bios boot
Then Save and Exit, and your computer will restart. If your USB-stick is inserted while rebooting it will prompt you with a screen where you can select to try Linux without installing. Choose that option and press Enter, and your computer will boot Linux.