“Les Allemands étaient chez moi
On m’a dit résigne toi
Mais je n’ai pas pu
Et j’ai repris mon arme.”—Probably my fave Leonard Cohen song. This song is actually an adaptation from “La complainte du partisan”, written in London during 1943, by Emmanuel D’Astier de la Vigerie (called “Bernard” in the French Resistance) and Anna Marly. (via jukevox)
“I was in a break once in a little race here in Pennsylvania with two riders from one team and two from another, and I was friendly with all four - and knew they were all better than me. I said, ‘I know I can’t win and I’m not going to work with any of you, so I’m just going to attack over and over until I blow up.’ And, you know, that was pretty fun. It made the last laps exciting. I don’t think those sorts of textured experiences exist in zero-sum sports.”—
“In the simplest combination, when you break away with one opponent you become conspirators against the rest of the pack. You desperately need each other - right up until the point when you will turn on each other in the most vicious way.”—Interview: Bill Strickland - Podium Cafe Why I love bike racing
#ottvote my answers to Jim Watson’s questions on cycling. Peter Raaymakers has been interviewing the mayoral candidates on Public Transit in Ottawa, and Jim Watson asks questions, mainly rhetorically I think, but I have some answers:
Question 1 is in relation to the segregated lane pilot project on Somerset.
f it means, for instance, they’re going to lose a good portion of their parking, and they rely on their parking for customers, are there ways that we can accommodate both the parking and the cycling
Simple: move the parking area out past the bike lane. Other than the obvious benefit of not taking away parking from merchants, this allows an additional layer of protection to cyclists, to have parked cars between the bike lane and the cars whizzing past, this is done in Portland, Seattle, NYC and others. Here’s a picture in Seattle: http://www.publicola.net/2010/07/21/the-citys-bike-master-plan-needs-an-update/
Question 2, on the same subject:
Is there a street better than Somerset that would be less disruptive to the business community?
Short Answer: No.
Long Answer: There are many reasons why the answer is no.
1. Somerset is the only street that traverses the entire core of Ottawa, from Hintonburg to Sandy Hill (with the new corkstown bridge) Any other street would not actually provide a way to get through downtown without many turns, some of which would be particularly daunting. If you’re doing this to make cycling more attractive, this is the only street in Ottawa.
2. Side streets don’t need a bike lane. Nobody’s scared of cycling on the little side streets downtown, the problem is when they have to get on Somerset, to get to an actual destination, which leads us to three
3. No destinations. If you were to put a bike lane on say, McLaren, or Lisgar, people would still need to get off the bike lane to get groceries, or Beer, or Pho. Again, if you’re trying to encourage cycling, you need to put a bike lane on a street where shops are actually located, so that people can use their bikes to get to destinations that matter.
4. The last point is: publicity. Nobody will use a bike lane if they don’t know it exists. You can have all the ribbon-cutting ceremonies in the world, but it won’t reach most potential users of a bike lane. On the other hand, everyone downtown goes to Somerset, it’s one of the main shopping streets, so if they see a bike lane, either when driving to the beer store, bussing to pick up some milk at the Hartman’s or walking out to dinner in Chinatown, they will see the bike lane and it could cause them to think about taking their bike next time they have to run errands.
This took so much effort I even went to the bother of mailing Mr. Watson himself on it.
On the the WeLL, there’s pretty much a neverending debate about reincarnation, mainly in a Buddhist context. With as little patience as I have for “The Supernatural”, I find it surprisingly engaging. However, on the actual topic, I pretty much agree with Roger Ebert. This is actually surprisingly conformant to certain schools of Buddhism.
I’m drawn to this thinking by Clint Eastwood’s new film, “Hereafter.” You may have absorbed the idea that it’s about the afterlife. It would be fairer to say it’s about the common human need for there to be an afterlife.
When I write that I expect to experience no more after death than I experienced before birth, I receive comments from people who pity me. They wonder how I can possibly live with such a bleak prospect.
I find it more cheerful than most of the other possibilities that have been floated. I don’t want to come back as an insect, haunt unquiet places as a ghost, or gaze down benevolently on my loved ones below as they, and all their generations to the end of time, die from mayhem or disease. I am also offered the possibility that I will be absorbed in God’s love for all eternity, which is a better offer, but lacking in definition. If that means what it seems to mean, and if God is infinite (as he must be), then the role played by “me” can hardly be aware or conscious in any meaningful way. But I will become part of the universal, you say? I already am. You, too.
There is, however, one form of immortality that is guaranteed, if unrewarding. We certainly live on indefinitely in our constituent atoms, which will be recombined in dust, flowers, trees, the wind, other living beings, and eventually in cosmic stardust.
Let’s say you’re on probation, and officers have previously found marijuana at your residence. Let’s further say that you’re thinking about having a friend send you a huge package of weed from California in the mail.
Let me give you a piece of advice in such settings. Do not — I repeat, do not — go to your local post office shortly before this shipment and ask the postmaster whether your local post office conducts dog searches to look for drugs in the mail. Because you know what? Once you ask, they will. At least with respect to your post office box.
And entirely rightly so. Your question alone generates reasonable suspicion up the ying yang. So when your post office box gets a handwritten package addressed to a strange dude who’s not you, guess what? They’re going to search it. And no one — not the district court, the Ninth Circuit, or your local law professor — will have the slightest problem with that.
Checking my email this morning, I thought; “Why am I getting a press release from Chevron" Curious, I continued to read it, and realized what was going on…
I don’t know how I got on the Yes Men’s mailing list, I think it has to do with my online involvement with a bunch of Slovenian artists/anarchists, but it’s provided me with advance warning of hoaxes for years now. My most recent fave was when I got a press release from Environment Canada saying that Canada would pay up to 5% of it’s GDP to countries affected by it’s past environmental policy
What constantly amazes me is how many legitimate media organizations get taken in by what is obviously satire, and even more amazingly print it