T-Rex Doesn’t Taste Like Bacon

I couldn’t keep a straight face over this one. The T-Rex Burger is offensive, but the Baconator isn’t?

“She said the fast-food restaurant “strives to deliver a positive dining experience for our customers. Our goal is to provide options to our customers so they can make options that meet their needs.”

Reddit ruins the fun, unintentionally.

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Meanwhile, what could go wrong with having passengers’ phones designed to communicate via radio signals to a bag with radio communication emanating from it. That won’t freak airlines right out. (Kaboom) They shouldn’t be losing bags in the first place, since there’s a policy that bags do not go onto planes if the passenger hasn’t joined the flight their bag is on.

(dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2341600/The-luggage-GPS-tracking-device-makes-impossible-lost.html)

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I for one welcome our Flying Cyclist Overlords, and look forward to serving in their bicycle mines.

Bike Derangement Syndrome at Wall Street Journal

If you’re suffering from low blood pressure, I have the treatment:
WSJ hack interviews an editorial board nutcase Dorothy who says among other things:
“Look, I represent the majority of citizens.”

She’s “appalled” that bike sharing has happened in NYC.

“Best neighbourhoods are begrimed by these blazing blue CitiBank bikes.”

“It is shocking to walk around the city, to see how much of this they have sneaked under the radar, in the interest of the environment.”

“The most important danger in the city is not the yellow cabs, it is the bicyclists…”, opined Dorothy.
Nicole Gelinas wrote that for 4 years, said the WSJ hack, “no pedestrians have died underneath a bike in New York, but 597 have been hit [sic; "killed" said Gelinas] by cars and trucks.”

“The bike lobby is an all powerful enterprise,” without a hint of satire.

“New York is not London, or Paris,” says the interviewer hack. “Or Amsterdam!” pipes up Dorothy. Well actually…

bike distance

I hope I don’t ever get as crazy as poor Dorothy when I turn a million years old and become an orange dinosaur too.

Bikes, along with closing Times Square to cars, have “ungridlocked” New York. Dorothy sees bikes everywhere as the sign of a “totalitarian” regime. It’s unfortunate that she’s an editor of one of America’s largest newspapers, but helps explain why America has to struggle to pull itself out of the 20th century.


Hat tip to Sean Shaw

Cycling In Regina Isn’t Always Easy

What’s it like for a Regina cyclist to go see a movie?

Besides homicidal/comical drivers (from Alberta),
kills

there are flooded Multi Use Pathways,
Biking from the SW to the NE poses a few problems

and underpasses that are creeks.
Biking from the SW to the NE poses a few problems

Persist past those hazards, and there are gravelly “Shared” bike lanes with parked cars ready to give you the “door-prize”.
Biking from the SW to the NE poses a few problems

Can you see drivers being as patient and persistent as Regina’s cyclists? Despite the flooded dead-ends without detour signs, I made the 11km bike ride from the south west, to the north east in under an hour, so I could catch the latest “Star Trek Into Darkness” [10/10]. I’d highly recommend trying it. The film was great fun too. *rim shot*

Transportation: Where to go, and how to get there in #YQR


Most of my speech as heard in the video above, and posted to my Regina politics blog:

I’m very pleased to have been asked to speak at Campion College about transportation issues. I got my Computer Science – co-op degree from here a decade ago, and I never imagined at the time that I’d wind up the President of a different sort of “co-op”, the Regina Car Share Co-operative. At the time, I had no idea that “car sharing” was even a thing. I’d heard of car pooling of course, but they are different. It wasn’t until I returned to work at the UofR, that I got an email about a group of people holding a pot luck supper in Regina to discuss forming a “car share”, and I thought that sounded like maybe a good way to use a car without the unpleasantries of maintaining one. A few years later, I was chosen to help guide a remarkable group of volunteers who make organized car sharing possible in our city, as it is in almost every other major Canadian and American city today.

Why am I interested in transportation? Well, I’m interested in nearly everything, but where curiosity meets reality is on the streets. Nearly everyone in the world has a daily need to move about the farm, town, or city they live at, and so modes of transportation are essential to how and where we live. If transportation isn’t timely or fun, people don’t enjoy where they live as much as they should. I don’t think car repair is fun, and feel dealing with SGI is about the worst thing that could administratively happen to someone (short of being charged with a crime). So I’ve set out to make transportation both timely and fun for myself, and it just so happens that I need to make it that way for the people around me too, in order to be successful.

Another big reason I’m interested in transportation improvement, is that it’s a major contributor to air pollution and climate change. These are not small, or easy problems to solve, but our little daily actions collectively point our society in either the right or wrong direction. Right now, Regina is unquestionably pointed in the wrong direction, and among our collective actions pointing us there is how we get around every day. Since public talks are always more fun with interaction (I think so anyway, because otherwise I tend to get sleepy especially if the speaker has a mono-tone voice like mine,): How many people got to University today by themselves in a motor vehicle? How many car pooled? How many took the bus? How many biked or walked?
Continue reading

Not A Lot

Not much to say tonight, except it was a busy and fulfilling weekend, with lots of community gathering, and plenty of optimism for the Spring, gardens, cycling, busing, and all sorts of improvements ahead.

How very much I look forward to being able to catch buses more easily on Sundays, or just skip them by being able to comfortably cycle to my destinations instead. Spring can’t come soon enough, but I’ll wait; The downside to wishing for time to fly by, is lamenting later on that the years passed by too quickly.

Thinking Is Not Hard

Thinking is not hard to do, but some people treat it like others should do it for them. Clicking that link may be painful, as it has details of a state representative saying cyclists pollute worse than car drivers because they are exercising and breathing out more CO(2) in doing so. I guess the worst thing you could do is get in a car, go to the gym, and get on a stationary bike, eh?

Idiots are all around us, and sometimes they are elected as government representatives. Because this story casts cyclists in a negative light, I suppose you’ll be hearing about it on Gormley’s radio show later on. You can then expect the usual cast of zombie callers recounting the last time they were irritated by a cyclist on a street they owned.

There’s nothing more polluting, in every sense of the word, than a Republican on a high horse.

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Yesterday I noted on Twitter that there are many easy changes someone can make in their weekly routine, to make a dent in how much climate change (air pollution) they directly and indirectly create. For instance, someone can cut meat out of one of their days in the week, to have at least a 1/7th impact immediately on their demand for meat. If the demand falls enough, fewer animals will need to be raised to make farmers the same amount of money. More importantly, meat requires much more water and energy input for the same amount of food energy plants can directly provide to humans.

Some (intentionally) hard of understanding trolls came by to mock the information. It’s hard not to laugh at someone who thinks its hard to point out a time when Saskatchewan has faced a water crisis. Although the title is worded in a clumsy way, Forbes helps explain why basing so much of the world’s food supply on meat, is a folly.

This information didn’t slow down the trolls though, who went on to suggest that I’m a damned dirty easterner, never grew up on a farm, and couldn’t have the faintest idea of what it takes to understand the food system. Besides all that, I apparently want all people to stop eating all meat, and starve. It’s hard to argue with iron-clad logic like that, eh?

Some of these comments come from people who earlier chided me for thinking of solutions to our oil dependence. When did conservatives start subscribing to pre-Copernicus thinking? There are centuries of tradition after that sort of anti-science, anti-discovery thinking to “conserve” with their defence of the status quo. There’s no need to be so anti-intellectual and anti-solution.

SGI Bike Uprising

Doesn’t SGI know it’s not cool to cause an uprising amongst those most likely to ride motorcycles up and down the streets of SGI brass?

The increase in motorcycle insurance rates cannot be to just break even, since the value of the insurance is past the value of the object it is insuring in some cases! A car’s insurance starts out being 1/25th of the total vehicle at times in its life. Toward the end of the vehicles’ mechanical life, it’s still less than 1/2 (annually) in most cases.

SGI should be fair, and any case where the insurance is more than 50% of the bike, knock it down to that if it’s not lower than the rate being charged already. Even then, after two years, they could afford to buy the motorcyclist a new bike of the same age/quality, and still make money! Could you envision paying $4000/year to insure your $8000 car? It’s absurd.

Some rates will go up and others will go down, but the most dramatic change will be sport bikes and bikes with engines over 400 cubic centimetres.

Saskatoon’s Colby Guldie just bought a new motorcycle and found out his rate could go from $180 a month to $368 month. He says that’s not fair.

“You know, if I’m at fault for an incident I think, yeah, I should be paying more, that makes sense to me,” he said. “But I’m five years running now with a clean motorcycle record. I don’t think I should be having my rates doubled, bam, just like that.”

Guldie says it’s unfair that SGI is lumping smaller bikes with much faster ones. He’s already written to politicians and to SGI and says he’ll attend public hearings to fight the proposed increase.

While almost all motorcycle users will pay double-digit increases, some will pay even more.

To look at an extreme case, someone with an old sport bike (1982 and older) with a 1200-cc engine who used to pay $1,001 a year might have to pay $4,309 in future — a 331 per cent increase.

Explaining the proposed hikes, SGI president Andrew Cartmell said motorcycle users have relatively high injury claim costs. The proposed increase is “significant”, but with the rates as they currently are, motorcycle users are essentially being subsidized by all the other drivers, he said.

(emphasis mine)

They need to use the SGI points system to fix this problem. If someone has a perfect driving record, they should get a discount to close to the amount they’ve been paying now. Even so, it feels like a “bait and switch” scam to those who’ve bought bikes thinking they had affordable insurance rates. In Saskatchewan, every motor vehicle must be insured to be driven, yet there is only one insurance provider: SGI. Traditionally they have the best rates in the country, but this motorcycle-boondoggle is an example of why they need competition here.

Stolen Bike Alert

My Giant Boulder SE, men’s frame, silver colour bike was stolen from 15th Ave and McTavish St. (Regina) at 2:45pm Saturday; please watch for it.

Stolen Bike

Bike Regina

It had a yellow round reflector hanging loosely from back of seat, rear black plastic fender (but not front fender), and a black headlight, and silver computer/odometer. Says GIANT in blue on the black seat post too. If you see it, please give a description of rider and heading to Regina Police who have a file open for it. Much thanks.

No idea if CAA will honour the $200 theft reward if it’s recovered by you, but I’d try to make them.
My sticker’s message was not heeded by the thief, nor the earlier thieves who took my seat and front wheel in previous months and years.

How far I’d been with this bike in the last year or so since I installed a new odometer ($35)?
Since I got the computer
At least that far, plus 10km more. It’s a tough $500 lesson to learn — always lock even the back wheel so they can’t just ride it off, if it’s out of your sight for even a few minutes out your window (as you’re distracted by the Riders kicking the BC Lions to the curb). My cavalier, brazen attitude to locking it this afternoon while it sat in front of a picture window where me and my aunt were sitting, was only exceeded by the #$*# thief who was more brazen than I, and now has my bike. C’est la vie; doing my part to stimulate Regina’s local economy (and black market, if the thief goes to sell it instead of uses it to travel to and from gainful employment).

RoboCon: Adversaries and Enemies

The Conservative Party’s latest salvo in response accuses the council of having “an improper motive” to “damage the Conservative brand through unfounded assertions.”

“The applications have been brought solely to provide the Council with a platform to criticize Conservatives, who the Council views as its enemy,” the motion says.

Gee, why would the Council of Canadians get the impression that the Conservative Party is its enemy?

Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has labelled aboriginal groups and environmentalists as “adversaries,”

Also, the PMO calls environmentalists “enemies of the state”.

Oh, that? That’s probably just taken out of context. Unsubstantiated smears… of environmentalists.

“I only wish the Conservatives had put as much time and effort into their investigation of the robocalls scandal as they’ve put into chastising the Council of Canadians,” said Neil.

The Conservatives are sometimes baffling, eh?

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(canadaconservative. blogspot.ca/2012/05/my-official-statement.html)
The man at the center of the investigation into the Guelph robocalls, has broken his blog silence. He started tweeting again several weeks ago. I’m baffled. I can’t imagine why his lawyer would advise him to return to his blog now, so he may be acting out on his own accord. A train wreck to watch, anyway.

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Lost bike? Oh, Daily Mail, at least you’re good for laugh.

Bye Bye Bixi

What a disgrace. Quebec has ordered Bixi to sell off its British bike share spinoff because Montreal didn’t have the authority to send money to a business that created a product and service that is marketable outside of Canada! How strange, and counterproductive. If Bixi had failed, everything would have been fine, according to the Auditor General?

UPDATE: Chris in the comments provides a bit of an update.