Have I already bought my last ever combustion engined car?

By Jeffrey the Barak. I have been writing about electric cars and electric scooters in the-vu for eighteen years. Most of my articles have been purged via my role as sole editor, because they were so laughably out of date. Gone are the days when I would have to search for anything electric in a…

The Female artist who conquered the world

By Judy Nelson. Have you ever thought about the fact that female artists almost never reach the level of fame of their male counterparts?  If you are asked to name a few famous artists, you may be likely to only be able to recall only men: such as Raphael, Gogh, Dali and so on. Nevertheless,…

A Passion for Time

By Jeffrey the Barak. Time is a cruel bedfellow. It never goes backwards and we can only lose it. As it goes on, we get older and older, and eventually die. And yet how we love it so. We have defined it, reinvented it, measured it and subdivided it. I myself feel a great warmth…

The Pali Notches formed naturally.

By Jeffrey the Barak. Look Ma’uka from Kailua and you will see upon the shoulder of Konahuinui, two very square looking notches in the ridge line. Approaching Kailua on the highest part of Pali Highway from Honolulu they appear huge and close up on the right, just before you dive down through the tunnels. It…

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Switching from mechanical analog, to quartz digital watches

By Jeffrey the Barak. I have been a quite an avid watch collector and flipper for some time, buying and selling my way through dozens of wildly different styles, (mostly Seiko), albeit with three periods of minimalist one-watch heaven. I have always preferred dive watches and big watches, and been a heavy user of the…

2017 Honda CR-V, one year impressions

By Jeffrey the Barak. Usually when you read a car review it talks about specifications, quality, practicality and reliability. It helps you decide whether you should buy the same car. This is not one of those reviews. It uses my one year old car as an example to discuss how car design might have strayed…

Ten Album Covers

By Jeffrey the Barak.   In recent weeks, people have been posting ten album cover images on their Facebook feeds, with a varying comment that usually says something like “no explanation, just the cover”, and then they have to meet a challenge by nominating someone else. I was dreading being asked to be the next…

The Various Types Of Non-Believers

By Jeffrey the Barak. The Anti-Theist Anti-Theists don’t just look away from religion and beliefs, they stand up and speak out about how such beliefs are false and wrong. They feel strongly enough about it to be impolite or confrontational, not out of hatred or intolerance, but out of the desire for truth and logic…

Unimportant Subject Matter?

By Jeffrey the Barak. All writing is important, as are all subjects. One magazine or blog cannot solve the problems of the world. This is why the-vu expounds on subjects as diverse as drums, cars, scooters, abandoned highways and many other topics of specialized interest. Obviously, while we do this, there are criminals in charge…

Stop Damping Your Drums

By Jeffrey the Barak. Damping, otherwise known as muting or muffling. When finally realizing that each part of the drum kit is a musical instrument, the common practice of damping becomes unadvisable. How many drummers take thousands of dollars worth of craftsman made drums and detune them, put on double-ply heads, slap yards of duct…

The great 2018 decluttering

By Jeffrey the Barak. Painful as it may be to take a writer’s hard work and unpublish it, after 18 years it was time to look at this ancient online magazine with eyes of steel. Many old articles have been unpublished, including many of my own. Most articles on the subject of health have gone,…

Ojo Commuter Scooter Review

By Jeffrey the Barak. If Dr. Seuss were to illustrate a motor scooter, it might get skinnier and taller, and the wheels might get smaller, and it would probably look a lot like this OJO. For some strange reason, for a few days in January 2018, on the Best Buy website, the Ojo Commuter Scooter,…

The Wheat-Free Vegan

By Jeffrey the Barak. Where’s the steak? I am currently able to announce that I am a “wheat-free vegan”. Does this mean that I am being trendy, or latching onto the latest health fad? Well yes, but that is not why I am a wheat-free vegan. I have selfish reasons for eating this way, and…

Lorna Brown, Skate of the Art

By Jeffrey the Barak. An artist is an artist, so it is not unusual to find someone who is known for one type of art, to be prolific in another, or another two or three. In this case, the same mind that creates art through movement of a human on ice, has also produced paintings, jewelry…

Falling out of love with electronic drums

By Jeffrey the Barak. They were so good for while. What could be better? You make a tiny little sound in your apartment, and your headphones deliver a drum sound, as big as you like. any size drum, any amount of reverb, any tuning. A dream, yes? Well yes, but I have decided that they…

Mad about M.A.D.

  By Jeffrey the Barak. M.A.D. mandible advancement device. I have to admit that I was, and possibly still am, a bit of a snorer. When you get older, or fatter, the tendency to snore increases. It is not only inconsiderate to the person who sleeps next to you, and possibly also your neighbors, but…

The Nimble Urban Cargo Scooter

By Jeffrey the Barak. I wrote briefly about the Nimble Cargo Scooter after trying one out at the Dwell on Design Show back in June 2014. It was a great concept that placed a heavy cargo in front of the handlebars of a scooter and employed a steering linkage to turn the distant front wheel. But…

The Bialetti Moka Pot and Cafe Bustelo

By Jeffrey the Barak. The Bialetti Moka Pot and Cafe Bustelo, an Italian and Cuban-American collaboration resulting in beautiful coffee. There are many ways to buy a cup of coffee, and also many ways to make a cup of coffee at home. One device that you will probably find in any Italian kitchen is an old,…

NAMM 2016 – A quest for a compact multipad drum kit

By Jeffrey the Barak. Having the opportunity this year to attend NAMM, that is the National Association of Music Merchants Incorporated, show, in Anaheim, California, I decided to take a very selective approach and set off on a quest for a professional-quality, tiny, electronic drum set, that can be played with sticks. The Show Briefly,…

Sweetened Condensed Milk, Goodbye Old Friend

By Jeffrey the Barak. For the last thirty years or so, I have been slightly unwell. A constant pressure, bloating, inflammation. The ever present acid inside. I have taken pills and put up with it, and even become used to it except when it really flared up. I gave up wheat ten years ago and…

Flykly Smart Ped Folding Kick-Assist Scooter

By Jeffrey the Barak. Scooters. I am obsessed with them. I have so far owned at least sixteen human-powered scooters and three electrics. The Flykly scooter is something altogether quite new. It seems to have checked many boxes from the wish lists of the scooter fanatic community, and in doing so will have an appeal…

The Four Acceptable Man Bags

By Jeffrey the Barak. In today’s world, men carry as much stuff around as women. This is primarily due to electronics that did not previously exist, but modern men need more personal items as well. The days of stuffing money, identification and keys into trouser pockets and going out the door for a full day,…

Why does my Cappuccino keep changing?

By Jeffrey the Barak. The Cappuccino, the favorite morning pick me up for Italians that evolved into any any time of day drink for the rest of the world, was originally a single shot of espresso, with about the same volume of steamed milk, and about the same volume of milk foam on top. It…

Personal Transportation Devices for the 21st Century

By Jeffrey the Barak. A personal transportation device can be anything that gets a person around town, without a car. It could be the common, world-changing, bicycle, but we all know about those machines. This article introduces a passion of mine, personal transportation devices that are not bicycles. In many of my scooter reviews and…

The Four Pillars Method for Speaking More Clearly

By Sigmund Shonholtz. FOUR PILLARS METHOD© OF ACCENT MANAGEMENT. Learning another language as an adult is not easy. One of the most difficult aspects is learning how to pronounce words with sounds that you have never used in your native tongue. The FOUR PILLARS METHOD is intended to help with this daunting task by deconstructing…

The new all-terrain commuter scooter

By Felix Dorling. “Scooters are for kids aren’t they?” I’ve received mixed responses since bringing my new scooter into the office but it doesn’t bother me one bit. My commute to work used to be a minefield of car dodging, maneuvering between buses and avoiding those pesky white vans but since I swapped my bike…

Skujou, Electric Scooter startup in Hamburg

By Jeffrey the Barak. Recently in the-vu we reviewed the Zumaround Zum electric scooter and consequently we recently received a press release for a new German design, still in it’s capital crowdsourcing stage. The prototype Skujou Cruise looks great and the specs are excellent, so we introduce it here, although you cannot buy one just…

Zumaround Zum Electric Scooter Review

By Jeffrey the Barak. Fifteen years ago in this same magazine, in July 2000 to be exact, I wrote an article about electric scooters, as I had just acquired my second and was enjoying it quite a bit. Now, in 2015, things have changed, especially batteries and motor systems, so it is time to revisit…

The Hardwood Flooring Fake Warranty

By Jeffrey the Barak. When you buy a hardwood flooring, or engineered hardwood flooring system for your home, the flooring retailer will tell you with the tone of a stern and dire warning that in order for the warranty to be valid and effective on your floor, you have to glue it to the concrete…

Finding My Roots Through DNA

By Jeffrey the Barak. How my knowledge of my ancestry suddenly jumped from the 19th Century to tens of thousands of years ago. A couple of months ago a friend told me she had used an online DNA testing service, 23andMe, to research her ancestry. The ancestral history of her DNA revealed some unknown ancient…

Genes, Gender, Generation and Geography

  By Sigmund Shonholtz. GENES, GENDER, GENERATION, AND GEOGRAPHY… A coincidentalist’s perspective on Earthlinging. Every now and again, I have a conversation with someone that catches my attention and gets me wondering. As I see it, if a conversation is worth starting, it is worth investing in, because I never know where it will take me….

Freestyle Pro-Scooters without the tricks?

By Jeffrey the Barak. Just lately I have been finding that riding a scooter for a few miles is too tiring to be all the fun it should be, so I have taken to using a bicycle for these intermediate to long distances. Now with a bicycle being a machine, it will give you about…

Half a century of scooting

By Jeffrey the Barak. I may have a few decades of life left, but with my 58th birthday coming this week I thought it would be fun to direct via the keyboard some reflections of riding scooters. This a hardcore scooter fanatic ramble that will only appeal to our splendid scooterholic minority, but here goes…

From a one foot hop to E-Bikes

By Jeffrey the Barak. How much do we want to exercise, and how much help do we want from machines and electricity? With electric bicycles, or  e-bikes, becoming more common, we can begin to wonder whether we are still pedaling bikes or if we are just gradually switching to quieter and slower motorcycles. Not that…

Irony is Destiny

By Sigmund Shonholtz. or How to be a Self-Entertaining Entity, S.E.E. Be the cause in your coincidence. There are billions of people, animals, and things on this planet, and between them, there are trillions of possible intersections.  Combine them with trillions of moments each day, and you have a sauce that will result in thousands…

The Selfie, a decade before the Selfie

By Jeffrey the Barak. The world is obsessed with “The Selfie”. So many people have smartphones, and a desire to share themselves, that wherever you look you see a picture of someone taking their own picture, either alone or with a group. But here at the-vu, this started about ten years ago, thanks to a…

Sebago and Sperry, Breaking-In, Boating and Loafing

By Jeffrey the Barak. An American classic, the boat shoe is a fashion staple around the world. It is a shoe that a man or woman can wear in hot climates and is an alternative to the flip fop, and yet it is still very functional in it’s intended use, which is walking sure-footedly around…

The Nimble Cargo Scooter

By Jeffrey the Barak. The Dwell On Design Show is not about scooters, but among the pre-fab homes, bathroom fixtures and forward-thinking designs for the homes of tomorrow, you do occasionally see certain bicycles, and in this case a variation of a warehouse cargo scooter called the Nimble. The Nimble scooter is low to the…

My Afternoon with Andy

By Sigmund Shonholtz. Andy Warhol once suggested that we all get 15 minutes of fame. What happens if you have your 15 minutes with Andy Warhol himself? Well, that is exactly what happened to me in 1984. I was an advertiser in his Interview magazine. One day, I received a call from Page Powell, Andy’s…

Man Bags

By Jeffrey the Barak. Most men need a man bag despite some negative reactions from others. Until recently, it was difficult for men to be able to comfortably walk around in public with a nice bag for all of their stuff. But just like women, who need purses and handbags of various sizes to bring along…

Yes, cats do smell terrible.

By Jeffrey the Barak. Despite what you think, your cat stinks and so does your home. Any cat owner reading this will immediately dive into a state of denial. They will say, cats do not smell, they are very clean animals. but they are basing such assumptions on their own senses, and these are not…

Are we building the wrong way?

By Jeffrey the Barak. Most Westerners live in one of two types of house. Either it is masonry, solid, strong, but not much good in an earthquake, or they are in a wood-frame cage with the gaps filled in with drywall and stucco. High rise dwellers may instead be in a steel cage with concrete…