Review of Liars and Outliers

Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to ThriveLiars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive by Bruce Schneier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really informative look at the what helps members of society act rationally and allows society to function. Schneier explains many of the commons models of trust that exist at different layers of society and provides examples of each. I would have preferred to have the examples be a little more in depth and most of them were covered at a very high level. I guess that would make this a good jumping off point to other books which go in depth on any of the failures mentioned in the book. Overall I really enjoyed the book it was a very easy read and I recommend it.

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What happened at Fishing Cove?

On Saturday June 26th in the early afternoon Jess and I left Leicester MA bound for Chéticamp, Nova Scotia. By 10pm that evening we were in Fredericton New Brunswick about half way to our destination. The most memorable part of that drive is really realizing that Maine isn’t a small New England state.

Early on Sunday we got up and ventured on into Nova Scotia. After stopping at the visiting center
Welcome Center
We made it to the Chéticamp campground in Cape Breton and the Highlands National Park.
Cheticamp Campground

On Monday morning we showed up at the information center bright and early and got a reservation for the Fishing Cove wilderness campsite. We then attempted to hike the Skyline trail but it was closed. We decided to hike L’Acadien which ended up being a very nice trail. It has a really good vista of Chéticamp. L'Acadien By 1pm we had started the hike into Fishing Cove. This is a view from the road. The hike was 7km and we got in around 4pm. Fishing Cove Just in time to eat some warm rice noodles and view a pod of whales frolicking in the cove. Whales After looking at the nice view from the beach we decided it didn’t make much sense to hang out in the rain so we took a brief nap. Fishing Cove After a little bit the rain stopped but the wind picked up and was funneled right down the valley into our tent. We didn’t choose the best tent location but after visiting the other pads we decided we would make the best out of what we had. Fishing Cove Luckily we woke up in time to view an absolutely amazing sunset. During which Jess gave me a perfect opening so I ask her to marry me. She said yes! Joyful happy times were had by all(including the whales) while the sun went down. Sunset

On Tuesday we hiked out for a total hike of 15.7km. After the hike we went to the nearby bog and saw a frog, Frog, and insect eating plants. After that we drove to the other side of the peninsula and arrived at the Broad Cove campground. We took a shower and then went into town and had a hot dinner. On Wednesday we hiked Franey, Hiking Franey saw a few plants including a Lady Slipper, Lady Slipper . After hiking Franey we walked out on Middle Head and got some good views of the ocean even though it was cool, foggy, and cloudy. Middle Head

On Thursday we headed back towards home. First we stopped at Cape d’Or on the Bay of Fundy. Cape d'Or. On Friday we arrived in Acadia for the 4th of July weekend. The rest of the weekend contained hiking, Dorr Mtn, good eating, good company, and fireworks Firework

Overall it was an amazing trip. Both of us can’t wait to get back to Nova Scotia. Oh what happened at Fishing Cove? We saw whales!

All of my photos are available on Flickr.

*hat tip to Jess for the post title and ending.*

Zero 8 is awesome

On New Years Eve Jess and I went and visited Montreal. While there for dinner we went to a restaurant called Zero 8. This is the first restaurant that I have been to that is 100% gluten free. Zero 8 is also free of 7 other common allergens(Fish and seafood, Peanuts, Nuts, Sesame seeds, Milk, Soya, Eggs).

Jess and I both ate from the set menu that they had for the night. It included four courses. First we had shooters of a carrot ginger soup and a potato leek soup. Both were delicious, I haven’t had a really fresh good carrot ginger soup before so that was a fun experience. The next course was ratatouille covered in greens topped with cuts of steak. I had never had ratatouille before. I definitely like the combination of all of the vegetables and will have to make it for myself sometime soon. For a main course I had a lamb shank with quinoa. The lamb was great and I also got to eat quinoa for the first time. I am not exactly sure how I will make quinoa if I ever do myself but they just cooked it along with some pineapple and it was delicious. Jess had diced duck on skewers along with vegetables. For desert we both had a slices of a cake like baked good covered in chocolate and pears. It isn’t that often that one finds a gluten baked good so even though the server tried to get us to get the chocolate mousse we resisted and both had the cake.

If you are ever in Montreal and need a meal free of the eight common allergens I highly recommend you check out Zero 8. I throughly enjoyed the menu and when we next make it back up to Montreal we will definitely stop in again.

Ice Cream + Trees + Cookies

One year ago today I met up with a girl for ice cream in Harvard Square.

Then two days later we shot trees:

And two days after that we made cookies.

So far the past year has been amazing and hopefully things only get better.

Time flies when having fun!

Turkey Final Days

Saturday August 9th Near Gole Turkey

1:45:54 22.62/124.62 Av 12.8 Mx 22.4 Odo 1564.2
My cycle computer got reset again today. I am pretty sure it happened when I stopped in a town to buy ice cream. Unfortunately I had left my money in my pants in my day bag. As I explained that to the shop owner my bike was surrounded by locals. They were looking at my bike and either I reset my computer of one of them did. Today I also got hit in the back with a rock by a local kid. The group was asking for money and since the road was under construction there were all kinds of rocks. I guess they decided it would be fun to throw them since I wasn’t giving them any money. Earlier some kids had thrown rocks but none of them hit me. The road was really rough today. There was a ton of construction so the road was really bumpy gravel at times. There were also times where it was almost washed out and the Turks were demolishing rock. Wagon We passed by some very poor houses. Houses There was even a group of houses. We are bush camping again. The place is actually okay. It will be interesting if we actually get into Georgia. The Georgians and Russians are starting to fight over South Ossetia. We might have to detour around Georgia and if that happens I will be heading to Amsterdam early. So it looks like the situation in Georgia is rapidly detoriating. Tomorrow we are biking to Kars where we will stay for two nights before taking a bus to Ankara. Nobody would be allowed into Georgia even if they tried. Tomorrow we will be able to find out exactly what the situation in Georgia is. It sounds like the van would not be allowed in Georgia if they tried to enter. Most likely I will get a flight from Ankara to Amsterdam. Definitely interesting times. I am really glad we were not in Georgia when all of this happened.

Sunday August 10th Kars Turkey

4:41:42 83.2km Av 17.7 Mx 53.6 Odo 1647.4
Today we changed our route and biked from our bushcamp to Kars. The first 40km was over rolling hills with a stiff headwind. Hovel We stopped for pictures of these hovels. Max After fighting the headwind I had time to take pictures of the others. Then we got to the top of the hill and had 20km down which was very nice. After lunch we had a few hills but nothing like the morning. KarsIt was a fairly easy ride into Kars. We passed some very primitive stone houses in the morning. They were clustered right around the road but didn’t have anyone in them when we passed by. Now I have to contact my insurance company and NWA to see what I can do about my ticket.

Monday/Tuesday August 11th and 12th. Kars Turkey/On a bus

We spend monday in Kars. During the morning I tired to find out more information about Tbilisi. The civilian airport had been bombed. I thought maybe that would have made it easier to change my ticket but I had no luck when calling NWA later in the day. I was left with having to contact Georgian Airways to arrange a different flight. I had no luck contacting them. I plan on talking to Turkish or American Airlines to arrange a one way ticket home. Lion Gate In the afternoon yesterday we went to the city of Ani on the Turkish-Armenian border. The ruins are very cool. They city used to have 100,000 citizens at its height back before any other city in Europe was even close to that number. Some of the churches had outlines of the frescos in them. It was interesting to see the difference in how different frescos have weathered.Our bus Today we are taking a minibus charter from Kars to Ankara. The ride will take about 17 hours. It is going to be a long day.
Look! Looking towards Armenia.
Border The border between Turkey and Armenia
Out the window Inside a church ruins looking out.
Store! We even found a “store” and were able to buy soda.

Wednesday August 14th Istanbul Turkey

I did not expect to be back in Istanbul even if it is just a quick stop in my way back to the states. Yesterday morning I went to downtown Ankara to find a ticket office so I could buy a ticket back home. I walked into what I thought might be a THY office but it also had a sign for Delta who I was really looking for. Either way they got me a ticket to JFK for about $1800 US. She was going to add a Boston leg but I didn’t have her do it because it was 200 euro. In hindsight since I am travelling with my bike I won’t save that much money. I then went and got a Jetblue flight from JKF to Boston. So either way I should be getting home baring any other suprises. Jess will be at the airport to meat me whilch will be really cool. I can’t wait to see her. It has been a busy three weeks but I will be glad to get home. Now I am going to my gate. AnkaraAnkara Also yesterday I walked from our hotel into the old town of Ankara and saw the citidel and some statues. I didn’t feel like going to a museum though in hindsight I should have went to the Ataturk moseleum. It looked like it would have some good views from it. Also last night I had a good sendoff from everyone else who was continuing the tour. It was a great time riding with them.

P.S. I ended up getting back to Boston on Friday at 11:30am after spending the night in JFK because of thunderstorms.

Biked for 14 days
Rested on 2 days
Traveled 1647.4 km(1023.64 mi)
Maximum speed of 67.7 km/hr(42 mph)
Longest day 158.75km(98.64mi)

Turkey Second Week

Saturday August 2nd Amaysa Turkey

Today was a rest day and it was very good. We had breakfast provided by the hotel. Then I went with Mike and Clive to visit the ruins that are in the hills surrounding Amaysa.Fort The tombsAmaysa has been settled since 3500BC the caves where at times tombs and prisions. Then we walked into town and ran into Stuart on a corner so we went and had lunch. We walked into a place and the guy served us a mixed plate of food.Baklava Then we popped next door for some baklava. It was very tasty. I showed Mike and Clive the Internet cafe. I tried to call Jess but she wasn’t up. So I went back to the hotel and read and slept for 45 minutes. I made it to the cafe just about 3pm so I called Jess and we talked for 30 minutes. Sounds like she is having a good time. I am looking forward to seeing her in two weeks. After that I read the news for another hour. Then I cam back to the hotel and read until supper. I went out for dinner with the crew and had a minced meat convered in a pasta in a yogurt sauce. It was really good. BrilliantI took a nice night shot of the river in Amaysa. Tomorrow we will have a long day of biking. I am curious how I will feel after having my rest day. 8:29

Sunday August 3rd Resadiye Turkey

7:02:02 158.75km Av 22.5 Max 53.2 Odo 950.1
Today when started out from the hotel in Amaysa we know it was going to be a long day. Luckily the day was mostly downhill. There were a few kilometer long hills but the grade never got that steep. My regular group stayed together to the 40km mark when we stopped by a petrol station and got a coke. It was Sunday so the owner opened the store just for us. BrokenThen we rode at our own pace. I made it into lunch without a hassel. We also had a water/peach break at 120km. I got into camp at 3:30 because I didn’t take many breaks. We are camping next to the Termal Otel so called because of the the thermal springs in the area. There was a good portion today when I was biking alone so I thought of and through many things. I can’t believe I have known Jess for almost 6 months. It will be fun to get back to her in two weeks. Now sleep. 8:38

Monday August 4th Sebinkarahisar Turkey

6:22:39 116.79km Av 18.3 Mx 62.1 Odo 1066.9
I broke 1000km today. The day started out easy. ClimbI was late getting out of camp because Al and I took photos. Then I had to stop and use the bathroom at the hotel. There was light rain as I left the hotel. I was able to catch most people before lunch. Lunch was along the river. A gypsie family took Tereasa’s bag which contained her passport, visa, credit cards, and money. Also a team of “police” men showed up and started asking for our passports. I never saw any badge so I don’t know where they were from or if I could have made sense of it if I did. While they were taking our names and countries of origin, was when we noticed that Tereasa’s bag was missing. So that distracted the officials and I never ended up showing them my passport. Unfortunately none of the bikers had photos of the gypsie family’s car so it wasn’t likely that they would find anything. The gypsie family most likely threw everything out of the car farther down the road. After lunch was a killer. The hills were pretty insane. I wasn’t thinking I would be able to make it. Eventually after going up and down a ton of hills I finally made it into town. I even stopped at a good handful of the water troughs along the way to wet down my handkerchief and attempt to cool off. Tractors Even the tractors needed a break. It was cool to finally get a photo of a tractor with a rug on it.A welcome sight I finally made it into town and rewarded myself with an ice cream bar. It was a tough day probably the hardest one yet. The heat was a killer it was at least 45C. Quite a change from the morning. I guess a few people also had problems with local kids throwing things and actually hitting us while we were biking past. I guess we are getting to a part of Turkey where that could be more common. Today I was the happiest I have ever been to see the sign marking the edge of town. Brilliant countryside A brilliant sunset from the hotel. Loaded truck This truck just happened to not have it’s covering on so we could see it’s load. Castle + Mosque A nice sunset in Sebinkarahisar. 8:15

Tuesday August 5th Kelkit Turkey

5:59:22 119.1km Av 19.8 Mx 53.9 Odo 1186.0
Today was alot easier then yesterday. Valley We had a few good hills in the morning but I was able to get over them just fine. One of the hills in particular was so steep that even in my granny gear I almost couldn’t keep the pedal going round. I saw a red fox in the ditch today. I also got hit by 5 or 6 bugs today. I haven’t had much contact with insect before today. After lunch we had a period of almost 30km down hill. That was a good break.Making hay
Cattle I also had to stop twice for cattle to cross the road. A farmer offered me the services of the back of his wagon but I declined.

Wednesday August 6th Near Pazaryolu Turkey

5:40:09 116.36km Av 20.5 Mx 55.0 Odo 1302.3
Today was a pretty good ride. In general it was fairly easy. Early
WashingWe had a few hills at the end of the day and we are camped on the top of a hill near a cattle trough/water well. While biking today I saw a boy and his sister carrying a wheelbarrow full of rope down the road. I didn’t stop quick enough to take a picture and I was down the road before I though of it. KidsAbout 15km out of camp there was a small town where I stopped to get an ice cream and a pepsi. We were the sight of the town with the kids. This was the first store I had biked past that day. We are definitely getting out the poorer areas of the country. Bush camp The view from the hill above our camp

Thursday August 7th Yusufeli Turkey

3:10:40 54.04km Av 17 Mx 41.2 Odo 1439.6 137.3km total
Only a part of the day was recorded by my spedometer. I reset it halfway through the day.
Traveling aroundI am writing this on the 8th. Yesterday was a very tough day biking. I think we biked for just about 10 hours total. It wasn’t straight through biking we stopped a good number of times. ChaiOnce we stopped in a village and the whole group of men outside drinking tea drank with us. The roads were pretty horrible later in the day but the scenary was amazing. Go up We were biking down the river valley all afternoon. We started the day right around 7am and biked until shortly after 5pm. Ruins Right outside of Yusufeli was a bunch of ruins. Our campground The campground in Yusufeli was a pretty good ground. At least the showers were warm. After that Al and I went into town to grab a bite to eat and then we sat around and bullshit for a good hour or so.

Friday August 8th Yusufeli Turkey

Today was our second rest day. I spent the morning doing laundry, eating breakfast, and working on my bike. At breakfast I was able to get on the internet for the first time this week and check my email. Jess had sent me a couple of emails which was really cool. She saw Holly Brewer in the grocery store but didn’t say hello. I did the same thing when I saw her a few months ago. Then with Ben’s help we tightened the rear brake cable on my bike. Later today I will clean the chain. Yusufeli I walked into town to find an envelope to mail a letter to Jess. It took me a while but eventually I found a stationary store on a side street. Then after writing Jess a short note I went to the post office and mailed it. The town doesn’t have much tourism so there are not really any postcards available in town. Visne! I also stopped and bought cherry juice and peaches from once store and ice cream from another. The man in the store with ice cream stopped and asked me where I was from. He wanted to know the city and the state when I said America he said “America has 51 states which one are you from?” He then asked what I did and I told him I was a computer engineer for IBM. He seemed pretty impressed. I am back at camp and plan to spend the afternoon relaxing and maybe watching the opening Olympic ceremonies.Fruit Yesterday I stopped on the side of the road where a local family was drying fruit on the side of the road. Drying fruitAfter I took pictures of the fruit the lady came out and offered me some dried mulberries. So I took them and ate them and they were delicious dried fruit!