Open Hostilities

27 06 2011

I like the way this NY Times article starts:

While American cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments openly hostile to cars. The methods vary, but the mission is clear — to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

While I don’t hold out too much hope for car culture in the states to change anytime soon, there is always time for hostility toward cars. This seems like an excellent opportunity for some google image search car destruction porn. Unfortunately, while “hostility toward cars” sounds great, prepared to be underwhelmed. In the eloquent parlance of our former President Bush I “misunderestimated” the power of google images to deliver captivating scenes of twisted metal wreckage. I was expecting images of  cars on fire, flipped, turned upside down, and I’d like to take a minute just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-air. Or something like the bonus stage in Street Fighter 2 wherein you get the chance privilege  GOD GIVEN RIGHT to engage in open hostilities towards an automobile and rip it apart with your bare hands in wanton abandon.

"perfect" is an understatement.

But no, all that was there was this:

Disgustingly cute is the new hostile.

While most motorists have about as much skill at operating their vehicles as this dog does, I have to fault whatever algorithm google is using to compile search results. I DEMAND BLOOD at least a drippy oil pan,maybe a coolant leak, something! Come on, give me a little to work with here google.

Maybe theres an app for that. If theres an app to help drivers find parking, there is most likely one to help them injure and maim pedestrians, cyclists, and other unarmored street combatants. Oh, wait, that would be all the apps and cell phones drivers wield while mercilessly patrolling the streets.

Adding to the European arsenal in the fight against cars and their ruthless totalitarian dictators, Michael Kodransky, global research manager at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy in New York said:

“Sihl City, a new Zurich mall, is three times the size of Brooklyn’s Atlantic Mall but has only half the number of parking spaces, and as a result, 70 percent of visitors get there by public transport”

Now, I don’t know what types of shops are at the Sihl City mall, but I do know that here in Brooklyn there is nothing that makes me want to go to the Atlantic Terminal whatsoever, regardless of how many parking spots they have. I’m not alone. A couple years ago Blogger fuckedinparkslope did a 4 part undercover mission to expose the conditions in which the war torn target store was enduring. Having made the mistake of willfully entering the failed state that is the Atlantic Terminal Target, I can vouch for FIPS documentary. NATO needs to head there next.

In what could be an unintended choice of wording, (that I will take creative liberties with and mischaracterize) Peder Jensen,  of the Energy and Transport Group at the European Environment Agency said:

“In the United States, there has been much more of a tendency to adapt cities to accommodate driving,…Here there has been more movement to make cities more livable for people, to get cities relatively free of cars.”

I don’t know if he means “livable”, or “living”, as in “In Europe we like to have living people, as opposed to America”. Yes, in America we are openly hostile but we don’t like to actually declare it. We use words like “military campaign” instead of “war” and somehow, magically, that legitimizes it and turns the horrors and atrocities of war into a small dog in the seat of a car. What does it take to actually be “openly hostile”? Maybe the dog urinating on the upholstery in the police car? Whatever it is, its not what we think. As Washington Post opinion writer Eugene Robinson finds:

“Obama, with uncommon disregard for both language and logic, takes the position that what we are doing in Libya does not reach the “hostilities” threshold for triggering the War Powers Act, under which presidents must seek congressional approval for any military campaign lasting more than 90 days.”

There we have it, aircraft strikes, missiles, shootings, and countless other forms of violence that we have at our disposal are not “hostile”. I should have no trouble physically assaulting  automobiles then, Street Fighter 2 style.

Luckily there is an app for that. The Obama 2012 application has apparently been bugged from the start. Maybe we got the alpha version. In any case, it is apparent that it has been loaded with malicious software. Read the first review:

“Obama 2012 just doesn’t work! When I click “close gitmo” it starts a war in Libya. When I click “Nobel Peace Prize” it errors out and increases unmanned drone attacks in Pakistan!”

Pio Marzolini, a Zurich City official, who is confusingly is under the insane notion that he, and other 2 legged human beings, are more important than our 4 wheeled motorized counterparts. Having mentioned “twisted metal” earlier in the post I feel obligated to use a photo from the real life documentary “twisted metal 2” which portrays “one mans daily commute to the office”

Yeah.

“We would never synchronize green lights for cars with our philosophy, when I’m in other cities, I feel like I’m always waiting to cross a street. I can’t get used to the idea that I am worth less than a car.”

This guy. Pfft. Crazy talk.

Advertisements




Bear Breaks In. Steals Fruit, Stuffed bear, and Harasses Goldfish.

29 07 2010

http://www.wmur.com/news/24424525/detail.html

//

A New Hampshire mother said her two young sons learned an important lesson about leaving the outside door open after a black bear walked into their kitchen and ate two pears and a bunch of grapes and took a drink from the family fishbowl.

On its way out of the Laconia house, the real bear grabbed a stuffed bear, said resident Mary Beth Parkinson. The stuffed animal was found in the family’s back yard, next to a box of Goldfish crackers. 

Theres a video on the page, but sadly no live action bear theviery and other degenerate mischevious bevhavior. Maybe it was a fully vegetarian bear since it took the goldfish crackers instead of the actual goldfishes…

GIMMAH GOLDFISH CRACKERS NOMNOMAGHGHGHAHG





The Fear of Cycling

2 11 2009

http://www.copenhagenize.com/2009/09/fear-of-cycling-01-essay-in-five-parts.html

Written by Dave Horton of Lancaster, England. A sociologist by training, and currently working at Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, on an interdisciplinary project concerning walking and cycling, and the capacity of these most sustainable modes of mobility to re-make cities and towns fit for the twenty-first century.

“Most obviously this fear relates to anxieties about being in close and unprotected proximity to speeding cars, it’s to do with a fear of crashes, injury and death. But fear of cycling is also more complex than this. People on bikes move through public space in a much more open, less mediated way than people in cars. That’s one of the pleasures of cycling, but it also potentially heightens feelings of existential vulnerability. Some people also undoubtedly fear looking inept on a bike, fear working their bodies in public, fear harassment or violence from strangers. Cities are full of fear, which is partly why and partly because people move in cars. ”

Read the rest of the article!

 





Bicycle Wins Race vs. Car, Motorcycle, even Helicopter!

30 09 2009

http://www.psfk.com/2009/09/bicycle-beats-helicopter.html

_____________________________________________________

Being the business hub of South America and one of the largest cities in the world has its bitter side: São Paulo has been drowning in a sea of automobiles (6 million and counting) for quite some time, and the future doesn’t show any signs of improvement. Insufficient buses and subway lines, together with private vehicles mostly with single occupants, compose a scenario of daily chaos, with frequently over 80kms (50mi) of traffic jams in the main avenues.

This car-centric urban transport model is showing signs of exhaustion. The average São Paulo inhabitant spends almost three hours a day stuck in traffic jams. That’s about 15 hours a week – or almost 2 working days. Apart from the economic and psychological damages, let alone the carbon footprint, this situation is a true hindrance for the city’s development and for the well-being of the people who live in it.

It was in this scenario that the São Paulo Intermodal Challenge was held. The challenge was simple: to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible – during rush hour – using the mode of transportation of your choice. The goal was to raise awareness regarding a number of alternatives to cars, and to promote the World Carless Day, by proving that avoiding traffic – and its consequences – might just be a matter of choice.

The means of transportation chosen ranged from cars, bikes, motorbikes, and a helicopter to buses, metro, their own feet and even a wheelchair. Contrary to all forecasts, a biker won the challenge, with a total time of 22 minutes – more than 10 minutes faster than the person on the helicopter, who spent a total of 33 minutes and 30 seconds between going to the heliport, waiting for takeoff clearance, flying and landing.
The car came way behind, with a total time of 1:22– slower than the runner, who took 1:06, the bus (1:11) and just 10 minutes faster than the person who chose to walk the whole path (1:32).

To move beyond the car paradigm is a necessity, one that gains an even greater importance due to São Paulo’s size and economic relevance. The Intermodal Challenge may not present any real solution to the problem, but at least it brings some attention towards a fundamental question that is urban mobility and how it impacts the ecosystem we live in every way.

Contributed by Mauricio Soares





Electric Mountain Bike Gets the Equivalent of 2,287 MPG

24 09 2009

Heres an electric bike i actually like, they need to mainstream the production of this ASAP.

The Optibike OB1 electric bike gets an equivalent of 2,287 MPG.* Could bikes like these be the future of transportation?

Ever wonder what happens when you cross the finest mountain bike components money can buy, an 850w brushless DC motor and a 20ah lithium-ion battery with motocross styling and sensibilities? You get the Optibike OB1, an electric bike that can get up to 45 miles on a nine-cent charge, and what is arguably the finest electric bicycle in the world.

Read the rest of the story HERE.





Pavement art as speed control…Or just shove cyclists to the ground.

18 06 2009

Things like this have been going on for quite awhile, and my jury is out on if its a good idea or not. I just wish the artwork itself was of higher quality, I dont know that its enough to fool anyone, though possibly from a distance. In addition, the article says:
“The majority of cyclists share the space amicably. However, there are a handful who refuse to slow down. That’s why we commissioned this art – we hope it will shock.”

shocking!

shocking!

If there are only a few cyclists who are riding dangerously, and either see this article or ride over this once its purpose is all but lost.

Although im certain it will terrify people that have sight issues for years to come.

I think that alligators or a lion would be much more effective, or tried and true traffic calming devices such as this policeman:

Yes, shoving cyclists to the ground certainly does slow them down considerably.





Columbus Named to League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Community.

28 05 2009

http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/
This is entertaining at least, im not sure where they are getting the information from but…Columbus is the only city in Ohio named, and it got one star for “encouragement”.

I suppose if horrible road conditions and some of the most uptight yuppie drivers of any city I’ve lived in are “encouraging” then sure it is. At least campus is a nice place for hipsters to do track stands…

It’s not all bad, but it has a long way to go to be a viable biking community, but i’d be willing to wager that its just another trend like everythng else in this city. The upside is that there is barely any traffic which makes riding on most roads really nice, if the roads are rideable anyway, the city is perpetually under construction so there is that to deal with and many of the roads arent terribly well cared for, but thats probably too much to ask. Once you get out of the city and sprawling suburbs its even nicer with less traffic but not much to see or do.

The mayor is sympathetic to bicyclists but depending on voters and the economy he may have a tough road ahead of him for furthering the cause.Columbus has a great potential if people are willing to invest the time that it will take to get it where it can go.  Hopefully that is the case but I’ll believe it when I see it.