Archive for January, 2009

29
Jan
09

is he familiar with how a bike operates?

Rep McHenry (r) award recipient of the Total Douche Award. Your words are the least inspiring and utter your complete ignorance…My pity rest with the constituents you represent..worst wishes.

28
Jan
09

untouched east german flat discovered

A flat apparently untouched since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 has been uncovered in the German town of Leipzig. An architect apparently renovating flats stumbled upon the East German time-warp, with the calender reading “August 1988.” Previous residents seemed to have left the flat in a rush. Leaving rolls, Vita Cola, Marella margarine, Juwel cigarettes and a bottle of Kristall vodka strewn about the kitchen.

It appears the inhabitant of the humble flat fled in a hurry and shrivelled bread rolls still lay in a string bag. The only foreign product to be found was a West German bottle of deodorant.

Read on here, via BBC.

27
Jan
09

Valet Bike Parking, compliments to SF Giants

Vodpod videos no longer available.

26
Jan
09

the writing on the wall

In 2006 only 15% of students wrote their SAT essays in cursive script, while all others responded in block lettering. Will there be a day when ordinary people can no longer decipher longhand writing?

Typing and texting have caused cursive skills to atrophy, and schools regard standards of style and legibility the same way they regard standards of dress.

25
Jan
09

recent photos of Hawthorne St

SubHead

22
Jan
09

things worth pondering

British passengers on the Titanic died in disproportionate numbers because they queued politely for lifeboats while Americans elbowed their way on, an Australian researcher believes.

Behavioral economist, David Savage, takes an in-depth look at the 20th century maritime disaster.

19
Jan
09

caption this

martini

16
Jan
09

the wine cellar of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave

Will Obama’s Change We Can Believe In go as far as expanding the ignominious wine service of the Bushie administration? Of course having a President that actually drinks wine will help.

According to Shanks (current White House Wine Steward), the White House currently stocks around 500-600 bottles. That is pathetic and another example of how America’s infrastructure has been allowed to deteriorate. During his eight years in office, Thomas Jefferson amassed a 20,000-bottle collection, which he kept in a cellar that he had built under what is now the West Wing. Two centuries later, that space is being used for other purposes, and the president of the United States has less wine in his basement than I have in mine.

12
Jan
09

things worth pondering

november-4-2008More illustrations from Patrick Moberg’s blog.

12
Jan
09

news from the front lines

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A statue of Rigas Feraios, a Greek writer and revolutionary who died in 1798, stands vandalized with an anarchy symbol outside the Athens University.

Photos from the riots in Greece.

10
Jan
09

Migration controls are the new apartheid

As technologies advance and more efficient transportation methods develop, we can only assume migration controls would only begin to weaken. The idea of abolishing national boarders isn’t as far-fetched as one may believe. Europe’s Schengen Agreement, which allows residents of participating countries to travel more easily through their borders, is just one example of how free-market forces have begun to dissolve national boundaries.

It has always struck me as odd that we are so keen to allow the flow of cash and goods across borders without let or hindrance, but try so hard to deny the same rights to people. That is both unfair and a denial of the free-market theories on which much of the world’s economy is built. Surely if free trade and the free movement of capital is so good for an efficient global economy, then the same should apply to the free movement of labour?

Continue reading Fred Pearce’s article Migration controls are the new apartheid, via New Scientist.

09
Jan
09

Nouveau Poor

Times are tough and analyst only predict tougher times ahead for 2009: Chronically Indigent Resent Influx of Nouveau Poor

Closely connected to the political landscape, the recently struggling pornography industry is asking for a $5 billion federal bailout. Video producers, directors, technical crew, and onscreen talent warn that the Government’s failure to invest could force many professionals onto the streets.

08
Jan
09

Filmed by Bike 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

08
Jan
09

demographic inversion

This is the generation that grew up watching “Seinfeld,” “Friends,” and “Sex and the City,” mostly from the comfort of suburban sofas. We have gone from a sitcom world defined by “Leave It to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” to one that offers a whole range of urban experiences and enticements.

They are drawn to the densely packed urban life that they saw on television and found vastly more interesting than the cul-de-sac world they grew up in. And, by and large, I believe central cities will give it to them.

We will never return–nor would most of us want to return–to the close-knit but frequently constricting form of community life that prevailed 50 years ago. But, as we rearrange ourselves in and around many of our big cities, we are groping toward the new communities of the twenty-first century.

Deindustrialization, lower crime rates, higher gas prices, and a young population adopting different lifestyles than their parents have contributed to the general flight from today’s car-dependent surbia and into urban environments. Very similar comparisons can be made today that parallel the demographic inversion of European cities of the mid-19th century. Continue reading Alan Ehrenhalt’s piece on Urban Inversion.

Alan Ehrenhalt is executive editor of Governing Magazine and author of The United States of Ambition and The Lost City.

08
Jan
09

Ride the real estate roller coster

Vodpod videos no longer available.

07
Jan
09

A refreshing study..

Central Portland’s Transportation Plan recently conducted a transportation analysis on which travel modes people most often use.
centralcitytravelmodebig

07
Jan
09

things worth pondering

Stories have also appeared in the local papers highlighting passengers’ fears that the helmets could be used by motorcyclists to cast spells on their clients, making it easy for them to be robbed.

“Some people can put juju inside the helmets and when they are worn the victim can either lose consciousness or be struck dumb,” passenger Kolawole Aremu told the Daily Trust newspaper.

Nigerian offials have cracked down on improvised helmets used by motorcycle taxis, most namely the calabash variety. Read the the story via BBC Africa.

07
Jan
09

Epic craigslist humor

Vodpod videos no longer available.

06
Jan
09

You’ve got to love Bart

che

More prints from Matthew Diffe, via  New Yorker’s Cartoon Bank.

05
Jan
09

metropolitanism and the elevator

Elevators good and bad, including Nicholas White’s 41 hour ordeal aboard car No. 30 of the McGraw-Hill Building, NYC.

04
Jan
09

Tullock, Blagojevich, and rent-seeking public officials

Eminent economist, Gordon Tullock, takes on the topic of Gov. Blagojevich and the rent-seeking behavior of elected officials. Tullock has a deep understanding of the systematic actions politicians harbor and how they ultimately effect us in a negative fashion.

The income derived from possessing a special privilege is called “rent” (which, by the way, has nothing to do with the monthly payments that tenants make to landlords). Rents themselves are just a transfer of value from some people to others.

Such lobbying can reap advantages worth millions. So it’s understandable that companies spend considerable effort courting politicians who can bestow such privileges. That’s wasteful. Time, energy, and other materials that could be used to expand the output or improve the quality of goods and services are instead used to lobby government for narrow benefits that may harm society at large. And the larger the potential gain from being granted such a privilege – that is, the larger the rents – the more intense will be rent-seekers’ incentives to chase after them. That puts tremendous pressure on – and gives tremendous leverage to – politicians.

Read Donald Boudreaux’s Op-Ed here.

Donald J. Boudreaux, a professor of economics at George Mason University, is the author of “Globalization.”

04
Jan
09

in tough times..

img_123211

03
Jan
09

What’s up with Henry Earl?

Henry Earl, a homeless man from Lexington, KY, was made famous throughout the world of the interwebs for his extensive arrest record, numbering over 1300, most of which are alcohol related incidences. Various records, mugshots, citations, and other mishaps can be found via The Smoking Gun.

mugshot__earl-henry

Henry Earl’s Arrest History on alcohol related offenses as of Mon Sep 22 15:25:43 2008 CST:

Number of Lifetime Offenses 1333
Number of Lifetime Days Spent in Jail since 1992 4123
2008 Year to date offenses 35
2008 Days spent in jail 189
Average Days per year spent in jail since 1992 242.47
Average duration of incarceration since 1992 4.13 days
Average duration of freedom since 1992 1.95 days
03
Jan
09

A humble petition

Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle waterThe women’s petition against coffee (1674)

The Humble Petition and Address of
several Thousands of Buxome Good-Women,
Languishing in Extremity of Want
here.

Here is a list of local entrepreneurs throughout my neighborhood..From Mai Thai to Movie Madness (voted Portland’s no 1 movie store), there is always something new to experience.

01
Jan
09

Feel like partying?

Check out the bloke on the very left unloading is wallet.

midgetparty

01
Jan
09

Vergangenheitsbewältigung

A composite German word describing the process of coming to terms with ones past, vergangenheitsbewältigung, has become part of the core political culture of contemporary Germany. The new German Film, Der Baader-Meinhof Komplex, has attracted much attention throughout Europe, as it follows the vergangenheitsbewältigung theme.

this film looks at another chapter in German history: the rise, during the 1970s, of a radical left-wing group called the Red Army Faction (or the Baader-Meinhof Gang, after its leaders, Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof). Obviously, the group’s crimes were in no way analogous to those of the Nazis; the RAF ultimately murdered 34 people, while the Nazis murdered millions. Still, an honest reckoning with the past is exactly what the movie attempts. And, in providing a frank and unsentimental depiction of the brutal excesses associated with 1960s radicalism, it sets an example that Hollywood would do well to follow.

Hollywood could take a few pointers from German film producers. No major American film has dealt with topics regarding similiar domestic radicalism of Weatherman, or even the Black Panthers, with as equal honesty as German producers.

Read the entire review, via The New Republic.

01
Jan
09

Things worth pondering

An excerpt from the BBC news wire.

Israel is refusing entry to Gaza for international journalists and has declared the area around it a “closed military zone”, leading to speculation a ground offensive into the tiny coastal strip could be imminent.

And we support these actions?




January 2009
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