Friday, April 18, 2014

The Protection Racket

Some bicyclist today want their own protected roads. Sharing the roads, a social custom dating back thousands of years, is broken they say due to the rise of the machine. Currently the move is towards protected bike lanes.
It's kind of amusing since it was motorists who wanted bikes out of their way who promoted the same idea 40 years ago. Back then, however the cyclists fought back. They refused to cede the thousands of years to the machine.
This 1974 study noted that the 'protected bike path' only really protected the cyclist grom being rear ended by an automobile. That particular collision is actually rare & the least likely collision to happen between a car & a bike accounting for only about 4% of car bike collisions. A cyclist is about 3 times more likely to hit a car making an improper turn in front of the cyclist or a cyclist making an improper turn in front of a car. The most common collision comes from cyclists riding on the wrong side of the road. This problem will likely become a bike on bike issue with the 'protected bike path'. The turning issue might only be exacerbated with the paths & the decreased lines of visibility.
But what's changed in 40 years when the cyclists defied their adversaries and now when the cyclists worst enemy is himself?
Fatal car crashes have been slowly declining over the last 30 years. Cycling whether it be serious/utility cycling or recreational/sport riding certainly seems up over at least the last ten years. Removing the cyclist from the roadway here & there will not help the motorist learn to deal with the cyclist who needs an 'unprotected path'.
I'm reminded of what Ben Franklin once said"
They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Let this be my warning to all of you who want your special 'protected paths' - the route you are taking will lead to your banishment from the common roadways.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jobs & Housing

With the announcement that General Electric will be moving over a thousand jobs to the Cincinnati area, a question looms, where will the employees live? Mason, Oakley & The Banks are supposed to be the short list for the office with a temporary office planned for downtown in the short term. People are pretty comfy commuting for miles, so no matter where the final office is located, anywhere in the region is a viable place for these new workers to call home. If The Banks is the final decision, the new housing coming online in the downtown area will be very attractive for people who don't want to commute long distances. It is also the destination of area highways. Mason & Oakley would probably find most employees living on the east side.
The question is - where will realty agents direct these new residents?
I had a relative who was relocated. The business provided realty services but the agents only knew the sprawly suburban areas so when said relative asked to look at old farmhouses the agent drew a blank.
I don't know how this could be done but I would say neighborhoods need to promote themselves to either GE or to the agency they choose to provide real estate services.
Whatever, the city government will not be the answer.

PS - the relative did find a nice little 1790-1800 farm house with a barn.

'Warp article here

And another perspective from Victorian Antiquities & Design

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


On April 16, 1943, Al Hoffman took the first LSD trip - on a bicycle!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Revival of Evil

This movie is great. Anton LeVey sounds like a serious neocon.

Friday, April 11, 2014


The Willful Surrender of the Road

Road Sharing (& drafting - not recommended)
It seems really clear to me that every time you cede the roadway to the auto, the bicycle loses twice what it actually gives up. It seems like the cyclists who love the 'take the lane' (be a road hog) strategy are the same ones wanting special bike infrastructure that separates them from the road.
I have considered why people have a fear of sharing the road with autos. Living in Cincinnati, it's kind of hard to get out into the country. I grew up in a smaller community where getting onto a rural highway was pretty easy. Before I could drive, I was riding up & down RT68 to Urbana & Yellow Springs. There was about a foot of pavement to the right of the white edge line. Cars, pickups & semis gliding by at 60MPH…
The notion of sharing the road was also reinforced as motorists had to contend with slow moving farm machinery on the rural roads.
Are the Cincinnatians afraid of the road just 'city slickers'?
People who just ride for recreation, sure bike paths are fine, but if you want to get somewhere, Chillicothe maybe, you are going to have to ride with traffic & the motorists are going to have to know how to deal with the cyclists.
When cyclists continually cede their rightful place on the road, it just empowers the motorists to monopolize the road. heck, look at what they've done to thousands of years of tradition in 100 years.
The argument of 'safety' is just a common tool used to achieve other agendas and you will see both cyclists and motorists use that 'argument'.
CYCLISTS - to keep your rightful place on the road - USE IT!. Hiding and being obnoxious won't help at all.
The clip above is from the movie, Breaking Away.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Occult Detective

One of the ideas I had for a comic book character was an average private detective who got a case involving some cultists that had nothing to do with occultism, but it got him the reputation for actually knowing something about the stuff so he got case after case & found himself learning more & more as he went along.
His character would have developed similarly to the way the W
Willow character evolved in Buffy the Vampire Slayer many years later.
Constantine (the movie) and Supernatural (the TV show) would also be kinda comparable but I had no idea to engage heaven & hell, angels & stuff. I certainly would today. Actually, one of my issues (besides lack of ambition) was that I didn't really know anything about the occult ot the supernatural other than movies & comic books.
If only I had persevered in my dream to be an underpaid comic book creator getting ripped off by publishers, I could have traveled around to comic book conventions & sat at tables signing crap for people I would never in a 1,000 years associate with otherwise.
ah, dreams...

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Of Bikes and Cars

There's a young contingent that wants to undo 150 years of organization for no good reason other than they think their unseasoned and convoluted ideas will save the world.
Some small bit of bike infrastructure is ok in our transportation system but completely undoing generations of structure just because it sounds cool is ridiculous.
Bikes and cars are supposed to share the road.
The problem will never be solved with dumb gimmicks and there is no reason to antagonize motorists. Their fragile eggshell minds can barely deal with driving already. No, more crap in the road is not the solution.
The more special stuff that segregates bikes from cars, the more likely bikes will wind up banished from the roads and serving as transportation & just becoming recreational toys.
What we need to do is double the hours of training one needs to procure a drivers license. Furthermore, people learning to drive should be required to learn to ride a bike.
Students in drivers ed classes should take turns driving, biking and walking together to learn how to share the road. As the class bonds and the driver, biker & ped get to know each other as they trade roles, it will become much less of an us v. them issue.
The cost of drivers ed will have to increase but that will get some poor people off the road which I am sure the GOP dominated Ohio legislature would love.
There is currently a plot to reduce Central Parkway to a two lane road. The OTR Community Council and the Northside Community council support this. Why? How many of them have ridden the route for 3 decades? I have. Do people drive like idiots? Absolutely. The solution is not to manage the lousiest driver - it's to raise the standard of driving proficiency.
Contact city hal, the mayor, Mel McVey & Amy Murray and tell them not to head down this self defeating path. Tell your state legislators to improve drivers education.
It's like the fish parable thing, ya know?

Cincinnati Makes the Not So Long List

The RNC has narrowed their 2016 convention site selection to Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City & Las Vegas.
Denver has legal pot & we all know how the GOP hates drug regulations.
Dallas has rednecks, lousy health codes, lots of low wage jobs & poverty and lousy schools - all GOP benchmarks of success.
Las Vegas has gambling, strippers, prostitution and lots and lots of booze.
Kansas City has a nice song named after it.
Clevo has Dennis Kucinich.
So where's that leave Cincinnati?
A lame casino, lotta crack whores, a coliseum that will likely be empty, a lot of left wing anarchist types, Charlie Winburn, CO   , CCV…
I honestly think one of the best things Cincinnati has to offer is potential protests & street violence that would give the convention more national & international media attention. For that matter, Cleveland would probably do fine, too.
Still, I'm going to put my bitcoins on Dallas or Las Vegas. The GOP is strong in the south & there will be more opportunities to hoodwink hispanics there.

The Fishwarp's take here

You can vote for the site here.
And you know the GOP really cares about what you think.

Palin/Bachmann '16 !