Hey, let’s make quiet cars louder!

No, no, no. This is just mad: Hybrid Cars Too Quiet For Pedestrian Safety? Add Engine Noise, Say Researchers Important pedestrian safety issues have emerged with the advent of hybrid and electric vehicles. These vehicles are relatively quiet—they do not emit the sounds pedestrians and bicyclists are accustomed to hearing as a vehicle approaches them […]

Places not worth caring about

I really enjoyed this very plainspoken TED talk by James Howard Kunstler. The official blurb is this: In James Howard Kunstler’s view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring […]

Why I wear a poppy

I’ve been rather depressed this week overhearing (in my office and elsewhere) a lot of “well, maybe when the old guys die off we can quit this Remembrance Day nonsense. I don’t support war, so I don’t wear a poppy.” User Friendly nails it for me in this series of strips from this past week: […]


I just happened across an ad in a kids’ paper while I was eating lunch: The Shining Path: Your Newest Option in Childbirth After recovering from the spit-take I had to wonder what on earth they were thinking. Do they in fact approach the birth-support process from a Communist terrorist perspective? I suppose there are […]


In sorting through various papers last night I encountered my Master’s thesis. I re-read big chunks of it and you know? It’s pretty good. Huh. Still, I am glad I didn’t re-encounter it previously; 12 years’ distance seems about right. In other news, M’s school has not revised their class-allocation process, which I can summarize […]

Cool wand!

(via the lovely Melle) A GenX call to arms against Millenials. One need look no further than the local newsstand to see the favoritism the Millennials have received. Whereas Generation X was routinely denigrated by the press, the Millennials have been compared to World War II’s Greatest Generation. In Robert Strauss and Neil Howe’s Millennials […]

Book a Month Challenge #4: Beauty

(http://bamchallenge.wordpress.com/2008/04/01/challenge-4-beauty/) Beauty Junkies: Inside Our $15 Billion Obsession with Cosmetic Surgery by Alex Kuczynski The initial tone of this book is wildly uncritical — she skims quickly past the notions that half the American population isn’t comfortable with their looks and are subjected to a constant barrage of images of surgically-sculpted perfection and gets right […]

Earth Hour

I’m not doing Earth Hour. Yes, obviously I’m against climate change. But I think the whole Earth Hour notion is pointless and misguided for a number of reasons. First, it’s yet more preaching to the converted. What’s the point of an event which caters only to those already sympathetic and in the know? Second, it’s […]

Ah, spring

…or not. That’s a picture of my front garden as it appeared yesterday afternoon. The other day I was going through my photos looking for something else entirely and I happened across this picture (below) from March 13 2007: Note the lack of snow covering the garden. Note the beginnings of crocuses. Today is March […]

They can. They just won’t.

Here are the tracks left by one of the sidewalk snow plows by a park in my neighbourhood. You know, the plows that “won’t fit” on the sidewalks in front of people’s houses, but somehow manage to fit on the bits of identical sidewalks adjacent to city property — parks, schools, bus stops…. As Spacing […]