The compelling case for forcing Toronto's drivers to slow down
“In the last two years, there have been 71 pedestrian deaths in Toronto and 49 fatal shootings. Ask yourself: which do we hear more about?”
Millennials to Snake People – Chrome Web Store
Some People Do More Than Text While Driving
Distracted driving is actually going up.
Get an Upright Bike
About two years ago I started having back problems that turned out to be a dreaded old man disease: sciatica. At one point I couldn’t sit or stand without great pain – I spent a week lying on the floor. Fun!
It gradually got better, and once recovered, I was never happier to just walk around. But chronic aftereffects remain, and I have had to adjust a lot of things in my life, from work to posture to one of the best things in life: cycling.
My physiotherapist simply said, get an upright bike. I had never thought about relative uprightness of different bike frames before. There was a lot going on there.
Here are four different bike types:
This is what I always used to buy. I would spend very little money on them and I would brag about it. My logic was that with Toronto streets not being shy with the potholes, having some tread on your tires is probably a good thing. But really it’s designed for offroading. It’s missing a lot of things that might be handy for what I do 99% of the time, which is ride around the city. I used to just not ride if it was raining, for example, as the lack of fenders meant I’d get extra soaked by water flying off the tires. It’s also not great for troubled backs.
I never rode these, as I once saw someone riding one hit a pebble and wipe out. Now I know that many other factors may have been at play, including tire thickness. And when I look up bike taxonomy things get confusing: what is the exact definition of a road bike? I most associate road bikes with the drop handlebars, I suppose. And I think of these models as the fastest. They are also the bikes that require the most hunched-over riding position, which makes them a no-go for Old Man Back.
OK, no one rides this anymore, but isn’t it awesome?
When I was looking at possible new back-friendly bikes, I talked to my sister, who had just spent a year with her family in the Netherlands. She told me all about Dutch bike infrastructure, culture, and the actual bikes themselves. They are very different from mountain and road bikes. They ride upright, and the emphasis is on utility, durability and style over speed or sportiness. You can make out in this pic a few features lacking in the other bikes:
- internal gearing – more reliable and durable than external derailleurs
- built-in dynamo lights, powered by the motion of the bike
- chain guard – to avoid fouling your pantleg on the chain
- rack – the bike equivalent of a car’s trunk.
- fenders – makes it a lot easier to ride in the rain
Clearly, the Dutch had spent a lot more time thinking about biking than I had. More in the next post.
Elon Musk: The World's Raddest Man
Musk makes almost everyone else on the face of the earth look like a lazy, stupid sack of shit.
12 Bicycle Observations in Amsterdam
from a Torontonian. Amazing contrasts.
It’s bike month! It starts on May 25th… Or maybe it starts June 1? So maybe it’s not bike month? Whatever. Any month you can bike is bike month.
In honour of this sacred time, I’m going to publish a series of posts about my experience with bikes. Okay, most of it is really from one super long draft that got completely out of hand and makes more sense as a series of posts.
If you hate bikes, or are simply indifferent, I would understand if you looked away, but I’ll try to keep things accessible. Part of the point I’m going to make is that bikes shouldn’t be some niche thing, it should be an option for everyone, and if the infrastructure in your area precludes this (I’m looking at you, most of North America), it is something we should be working on.
Anyway. You have been warned.
'Adventure Time' creator is illustrating a strange game on Twitter
35 years after Friday The 13th, slasher movies may have a future again
Police in Florida Grapple With a Cheap and Dangerous New Drug
“flakka”. $5, 3-day high, causes “exaggerated strength and dangerous paranoid hallucinations”. Good times.
How Kendrick Lamar Transformed Into 'The John Coltrane of Hip-Hop' on 'To Pimp a Butterfly'
Interviews with members of Lamar’s band on the latest album – they are all young men from South Central who play jazz. One of them, Kamasi Washington, just dropped an immense triple album called The Epic, and it’s really something (two bassists, two drummers, orchestra, choir…)
What If Everybody Didn't Have to Work to Get Paid?
Good article about basic income, tied to some news about people crowdsourcing it. Nice quote: “If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for life… If you build a robot to fish, do all men starve, or do all men eat?”
Bin Ladin's Bookshelf
He has a thing for conspiracy theory.
The Second Battle for Kobane
The vulgar heckling incident: Let me spell it out for you
Putin’s Action Hero: How Steven Seagal Became the Kremlin’s Unlikeliest Envoy
No Man's Sky – Game Informer January 2015
Speaking of No Man’s Sky, if you’re into (the prospect of) the game there’s a gold mine of content here, including over an hour of interviews. The discussion of the soundtrack with members of 65daysofstatic was particularly interesting.
New EKOS poll numbers suggest three-way tie
NDP actually #1 in the polls federally (but within the margin of error). I’m sure the Alberta election had something to do with this (here’s a good profile of Notley BTW), but I would also mention the Liberals’ support of C-51.
The Galaxy-Sized Video Game
A New Yorker feature on No Man’s Sky. Starting to think this won’t come out this year.
Notes on the Surrender at Menlo Park
re: Facebook Instant Articles, aka Facebook saves journalism by eating it
Networks Fret as Ad Dollars Flow to Digital Media
Scary upfronts this year. “Television viewing has plummeted 9 percent so far this season compared with the previous season.”