Category: "From Elsewhere"
May 16th, 2014
Calling itself the worlds first bicycle-friendly multi-purpose space, the Onomichi U2 is now open for business. What makes the space special is not that its a hotel, café, bakery, restaurant and bike shop all in one, but that you can ride your bike through almost all the facilities. You can ride your bike up to the front desk to check-in, and then take your bike up to your hotel room, which is equipped with a bike rack. The café even has a cycle-thru lane so you can get your caffeine fix without ever getting off your bike.
Onomichi U2 is at the end of a 70km cycle path that sounds, logistics aside, marvelous. Maybe I can Gerty to ride there this fall.
May 16th, 2014
This Saturday, go buy a bike that University of Denver took without the owner's permission.
The University of Denver's annual sale of bikes that have been "impounded" from around campus is Saturday. At University of Denver, a bike can be impounded for not being locked or for being locked with a cable lock. DU insists that cyclists use a U-lock, despite having bike racks that make securely locking one's bike difficult. A U-lock only around one's front, quick release wheel is enough to satisfy Denver's moronic policy.
(DU has eschewed the city's standard inverted U for reasons that I have never been able to pry out of anyone. Depending on the day, the head of parking has blamed the University Architect, the former Chancellor, and/or Security.)
November 6th, 2012
Cyclelicious has collected links to bike computer manuals to help you adjust to the time change.
(Richard's secret is that he just doesn't change the time on his computer.)
Velouria at Lovely Bicycle! overheard this conversation:
"Salesperson: "Oh, well you need to ride the bike for several weeks for the gears to wear in. They should feel lower after that than they do now. If not, you can bring the bike back and we'll get you lower gears. But they usually wear in."
Advice that is appallingly wrong but when you think about it, sometimes "works."
Maria Popova at Brain Pickings gives us The Beatles performing "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
As Maria says, "unscripted, decidedly unshakespearean" and, as I would say, awful, awful, awful, and definitely worth watching. (The first sentence of her post has links to all sorts of whacked Beatles stuff.
- Freewheeling Spirit extracts "one sentence of pure truth" about writing from an essay by Barbara Kingsolver.
Glowing, solar-powered highways coming to the Netherlands:
[Special paint] charges up in sunlight, giving it up to 10 hours of glow-in-the-dark time come nightfall. “It’s like the glow in the dark paint you and I had when we were children,” designer Roosegaarde explained, “but we teamed up with a paint manufacturer and pushed the development. Now, it’s almost radioactive”.
Special paint will also be used to paint markers like snowflakes across the road’s surface — when temperatures fall to a certain point, these images will become visible, indicating that the surface will likely be slippery. Roosegaarde says this technology has been around for years, on things like baby food — the studio has just upscaled it.
The images are cool.
"The Ultimate Guide to Traveling When You’re Broke" is not particularly insightful but it is enthusiastic.
One thing Gerty and I have discovered is that "going big" is often more affordable than "going small" -- if your travel budget replaces your regular budget, travel is much more affordable than if the travel budget is added to your regular budget. For example, if you have a house it becomes a source of income rather than a cost.
Dean Baker does a back of the envelope calculation and compares the economic impact of Sandy to a gas tax in the range of 25-40 cents a gallon. He notes that the cost will mostly be paid in the form of higher insurance premiums.
If people realized that climate change is directly costing them money (or if climate change kills Julia Roberts), there would be more support for doing something about it.
Until then, news about the loss of the small natural areas that are left, like this report on dwindling mountain meadows in the Pacific Northwest, torture me. Ever visited a mountain meadow? In the spring?
October 2nd, 2011
From the Denver Public Library. Hand-lettered on back of print: "H.B. Ley, T.S. Waud, Cedar Falls Iowa, Weight 5650#, elec. light, running wat, toilet, refrigerator."
The RV crazies will always be with us - Heaters/generators/pumps that run all night long bother other people who are not encased in a mobile house.
If you are going to run noisy stuff all night, go to a friggin RV park or a Walmart parking lot not a public campground. Sheesh.
- Trip view bowl in Google Earth - The coolest way to show off a souvenir knickknack that I have ever seen.
- Republicans hate chocolate - Climate change will decimate cocoa production. (Of course, Dems may be believers but they don't care.)
It is currently costing the Chinese central bank about $240 billion per year to hold down the value of the Chinese currency relative to other currencies. This cost is growing rapidly.
. . .
To put this cost in perspective, $240 billion is considerably larger than China’s trade surplus of $183 billion last year. It is about 4 percent of China’s GDP in 2010. Moreover, this cost does not include the implicit tax on the banking system associated with China’s reserve holdings, which is passed on to Chinese households in the form of depressed rates of interest on savings deposits.
July 13th, 2011
Apparently a still from And God Created Woman directed by Roger Vadim, 1956.
Though by no means her first film, it is widely recognized as the vehicle that launched Bardot into the public spotlight and immediately created her "sex kitten" persona.
When the film was released in the United States by distributor Kingsley-International Pictures in 1957, it pushed the boundaries of the representation of sexuality in American cinema, making Bardot an overnight sensation.
January 26th, 2011
Image by Gail at Lost in Transition.
To teach the word "Awesome!":
* Boy: I'm stiff. I got something for you.
* Girl: Wow. Awesome!
- Cops are thugs and, like many people, cops view cyclists as powerless folks that can be victimized. LAPD caught on video, again, stomping a cyclist.
Didn't know Rahm Emanuel rode a bike. From the Chicago Reader:
The [Mother Jones story] went on to describe Emanuel indulging for a moment in some recreation--on the bike path in Washington's Rock Creek Park, shirtless and in tight shorts, shouting "left!" as he zipped past "hapless yuppies and their children....Most people find bike rides relaxing, but Emanuel rides as if he's being chased by the headless horseman."
Even when he rides, he's a jerk.
Kent reports on how his "6 Books in a Backpack" idea has worked out so far:
[6 Books in a Backpack is a scheme to] give me reasons to ride, keep in touch with friends & get some ideas flowing in the form of book exchanges. I've now done 4 of these exchanges and I have another one scheduled for next week in Portland.
The principle behind these exchanges is that from zero to 6 books can change hands, but you have to leave with the same number of books you came with.
Sounds good on many of the fronts that are important to me: riding, friends, and ideas.
- The Golden Wrench shows how to service a Nexus 8 speed internal hub. Lots of good photos of the process.
- Amnesty International protests what we are doing to the innocent-until-proven-guilty Bradley Manning. And Jane Hamsher describes how the military effectively took away even the little outside contact Manning has. These people are inhuman. (I know, big surprise.)
- If you are slipping, this short profile of Charles Parrish a daily commuter with a folding bike might help you get some traction.
- One travel company predicts zeppelin-based resorts by 2030. Silly, but I like imagining the return of the zeppelin. (I recall listening to a BBC report about the days when transatlantic zeppelin travel was routine. Interesting interviews with people about the British zeppelin "hub." Can't find the darn thing on-line.
January 25th, 2011
Image by Pleated Jeans.
Being at the top of the list isn't always a good thing. Colorado's claim to shame? Highest cocaine use. Thank you, Aspen.
Glad I don't live in Washington (Bestiality) or Maine (Dumbest.)
January 20th, 2011
The Japanese word for bicycle is "jitensha", but this style, by far the most common in Japan, is known as "Mama Chari" from mama's Chariot. . . .Though ostensibly designed for mothers to carry kids and shopping, the mamachari is used by all ages and genders. This one is on the shore at Tatimigaura, Shimoko, Shimane.