Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bike 3%, Solve Major Commuting Issues

Naheed Nenshi was in Ward 13 tonight. The SW section of the ring road was a hot issue. Mayor Nenshi was pushing for rapid transit as a necessary component to solving congesting in the SW. He pointed out that a 3% reduction in traffic on 14th Street is all it would take to get 14th Street flowing again. Small changes can have a big impact on all of us.

I'm on the record as a fan of How Mayor Nenshi ran his campaign. There was one thing that bugged me. While in favor of more people cycling, he said he wouldn't do it " cause well, look at me, I'm clearly not a cyclist." - I hope I got that right.

Anyone who knows me in person, or has seen me from a block away, knows I don't look like a cyclist. Still I did 2500 km last year, and that was down from the goal of 4500 km due to still recovering from an ankle injury, Star Craft II being released and a broken hub in Sept. (a custom part that took weeks to replace, sigh)

The "I won't ride, I don't look like a cyclist" bothered me.

That %3 stat got me thinking. 22 work days a month * 12 = 264. Let's say the Mayor get's 4 weeks vacation. So that's 20 days off. 244. 3% of 244 is 7.32. By biking 7 to 8 working days a year we could have a major impact on congestion in this city. It would be great to have a Mayor who has first hand experience with the challenges and the joys of bike commuting. It would set a great example for all of us, who don't look like cyclists.

- Peace

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dueling Beatitutdes

Dueling Beatitudes video via Empire Remixed.

- Peace

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Drugs and Faith

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — At 12 tables, in front of 12 mirrors, a dozen people are fussing intently in raptures of self-absorption, like chorus line members applying makeup in a dressing room.

UNDER WATCHFUL EYES Lawrence Golden-Brooks, 43, at Insite. The injection center offers clean needles as well as tests and treatment for H.I.V.
But these people are drug addicts, injecting themselves with whatever they just bought on the street — under the eyes of a nurse here at Insite, the only “safe injection site” in North America.


Downtown Eastside is a shock even to someone familiar with the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1980s or the Tenderloin in San Francisco. Even on a balmy fall afternoon, having 5,000 addicts concentrated in a small neighborhood can make a walk feel like a visit to the set of a zombie movie. On its core blocks, dozens of people are shuffling or staggering, flinching with cocaine tics, scratching scabs. Except for the young women dressed to lure customers for sex, many are in dirt-streaked clothing that hangs from their emaciated frames. Drugs and cash are openly exchanged.

Insite [is] a safe haven supervised by nurses. ... About 800 injections take place there daily. However, officials think that is only 5 percent of the injections in the city and want permission from the national government to open more sites.
From the NYT: An H.I.V. Strategy Invites Addicts In

Saw the article in Meera Bai's twitter stream. Meera Will be speaking tomorrow night at Ambrose University College:

On Wednesday, February 9, 2011, at 7:30pm, we have invited Meera Bai to talk about her work with InSite, North America’s only clinic for supervised injection drug use.
InSite has aroused controversy over its practice of handing out clean needles and supervising drug use. Meera will thoughtfully address these concerns. She is in a unique position to provide a moral perspective on harm reduction, having worked as a registered nurse at InSite and other clinics in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, the poorest postal code in North America. (You can preview Meera’s experience at InSite at ).

I'll be there.

- Peace

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Usage-based Billing: Pay for a Month, Get a Day.

The caps from Canadian ISPs are much lower than those in the US. Canadian Telecom want you to pay for a month of net access as long as you only use it for a day or so, otherwise you'll need to pay more. You can sign at the main site or right here on IdeaJoy:

D'Arcy Norman has a great write up on why usage based billing will hurt online education (and other interesting things)

Under the other things list for me: working from home with video conferencing. It's something I didn't do six months ago, but do much more now.

- Peace