Sunday, June 30, 2013

My experience with Canadian cliches

Politeness - Yeah, I guess I'm a polite person, but I don't think any more or less so than another nationality. I've met some pretty uncouth and inconsiderate Canucks too.

Maple Syrup - Our family is crazy about this delectable sweet tree sap byproduct. Darlene especially prefers the real stuff over the fake corn-syrup based fakery sold in stores as pancake syrup.

Snow - I sure experienced snow growing up in the snow belt of Southern Quebec. Since then, I've lived in places with consecutively less and less snow by comparison.

Moose - Yes, I have seen a moose (in the wild) with my own eyes. I don't typically try to get close to them but have had a few cross my path while driving in and around the Rockies here. It's a little un-nerving to see something the size of a small car with legs cross your path, let me tell you. Also, I have a particular fondness of the moose symbology, as I am a volunteer with Loose Moose Improvisation Theatre, whose mascot and logo is a moose. Who doesn't love Bullwinkle either, am I right?

Igloos - Although it's a myth that most Canadians live in igloos, I have built one to live in  for a day as part of military winter warfare training. They're quite cozy actually. Snow is a good insulator.

Rob in Toronto - I actually DO know Rob in Toronto. But he's probably not the one you're thinking of (the one who (supposedly) smokes crack).

Calgary Stampede - Not only have I been to Stampede, I've been involved in support of the event (guarding the floats the night before the parade through downtown).

Hockey - The only sport I watch. I don't play it though. The Habs (Montreal Canadiens) are my team, through my years of living there and my absolute pride in their history and unmatched passion for the sport.

Toques - That's pronounced 'tukes' if you really must ask. I own two of them. One with strings dangling from the sides and a full balaclava.

Back bacon - I prefer regular bacon. With maple flavour. Or doused with maple syrup. The only thing I've ever put back bacon in is home-made baked beans.

Snow all year - Not quite. Having said that, I've seen it snow for a few hours in Calgary in late May. For reals. The rest of the summer we risk hail.

Poutine - We don't all eat it (not very healthy) but we sure do love it. My favourite poutine-related activity is criticizing places that think they serve the stuff. "That's not real poutine...."

Universal health care - Mostly. You can now pay to get faster or better medical service. This is my biggest pet peeve about modern Canada. We need to do away with these extra tiers of service before they get worse.

The perfect glass of water

How to prepare and pour the perfect glass of water.

It's not as easy as you think.

You're a zombie, Charlie Brown

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Things I learned lately 29 June

  • The public didn't buy many Microsoft Surface RT tablet computers, so now Microsoft is trying to pawn them off on teachers and schools. Currently, Microsoft only has a 1.8% share of the tablet market.
  • There is a seven letter word in the English language that contains ten words without rearranging any of its letters, “therein”: the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.
  • The city of Brunete, Spain, tired of owners not picking up after their dogs, mailed the dog poop back to the owners. 20 volunteers patrolled the streets for dog owners who failed to scoop. They approached the guilty owner and struck up a casual conversation to discover the name of the dog. The name of the dog and the breed makes it possible to identify the owner from the registered pet database. The excrement was then packaged in a box branded with town hall insignia, marked 'Lost Property' and delivered by courier to the pet owners home.
  • It has been proven that the cholesterol in your diet doesn't really raise the cholesterol in blood. In fact, eggs primarily raise the "good" cholesterol and are NOT associated with increased risk of heart disease.
  • Google's self-driving cars have logged more than 300,000 miles accident-free.
  • Brooklyn is home to the largest community of ultra-Orthodox Jews outside of Israel, with more than 250,000.
  • Best name for a new business seen this year: Nothing Bundt Cakes in Austin TX.
  • Costco's CEO earns $650,000 per year as salary. By comparison, Walmart's CEO earned $18,100,000 last year. Walmart's sales are down. Costco's are not.
  • There were 15,000 sharks of various species swarming 600 feet from the beaches of Florida during spring break this year as part of an annual migration northward.
  • The internal battery in the new (2013) Macbook Air has been seen to last as long as 13.5 hours on a single charge. That's insane.
  • A TSA worker at LAX airport told a 15 year old girl that she was dressed inappropriately. Not only is this none of his business, the girl was dressed no differently than any other 15 year old girl. Her parents are taking this incident to the top. Power to the people.
  • Citi Bike in New York City has only been operational for 30 days and it has already seen over 529,000 bike trips.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Securing Calgarians since 1994

Okay I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but because I look a lot like cop, people scramble to put their seat belts on when they're near me. There's still a few people that don't really believe me until they see it in action. There are others who still maintain that it's just a coincidence. Well I have even more concrete proof that it's because of me. Not only did I see three drivers in a row scramble to put their seat belts on as they were passing me, two of them didn't even actually put their seat belt on - they just held it over their shoulder with their hand as they were going by. You only do that if you're trying to maintain the illusion that you're wearing your seat belt when in reality, you're not.


Clever short about robot workers in a warehouse.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

An egg

You don't have to believe it. It could just be a good story.

"What happened?"
"You died."
"Are you God?"
"Oh. So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?"
"Neither. You'll be reincarnated."
"Ah. So the Hindus were right."
"All religions are right in their own way. Walk with me."
"Where are we going?"
"Nowhere in particular. It's just nice to walk while we talk."
"So what's the point then? When I get reborn, I'll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won't matter."
"Not so. You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don't remember them right now. Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It's like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it's hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you've gained all the experiences it had. You've been a human for the last 42 years, so you haven't stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here long enough, you'd start remembering everything. But there's no point doing that between each life."
"How many times have I been reincarnated then?"
"Oh lots. Into lots of different lives. This time around, you'll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540AD."
"Wait, what? You're sending me back in time?"
"Well, I guess technically, yes. Time as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from."
"Where you come from?"
"I came from somewhere else. There are others like me. I know you want to know what it's like there, but you wouldn't understand."
"Oh. Wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at one point."
"Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don't even know it's happening."
"So what's the point of it all?"
"Seriously? You're asking me the meaning of life?"
"It's a reasonable question."
"The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature."
"You mean mankind? You want us to mature?"
"No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater soul."
"Just me? What about everybody else?"
"There is no one else. In this universe, there's just you and me."
"But all the people...."
"All you. Different incarnations of you."
"Wait. I'm everyone!?"
"Now you're getting it."
"I'm Lincoln? I'm Hitler?"
"And everyone he killed."
"I'm Jesus?"
"And all of his followers. Every time you victimize someone, you're victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness, you've done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by anyone was, or will be, experienced by you."
"Why? Why do all of this?"
"Because someday, you will become like me. You're one of my kind. You're my child."
"You mean, I'm a God?"
"Not yet. You're a fetus. You're still growing. Once you've lived every life, you'll have grown enough to be born."
"So the whole universe is...."
"An egg. Now it's time for you to move on to your next life."

"Now a waiting room.... is just a room"

GE ad starring agent Smith from The Matrix.

Venture capitalism explained

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mr Muffin

The funniest songs that don't exist based on the the TV show Arrested Development.
  • Song for Bob Loblaw
  • I'm white, it'll be OK (the shoplifting song)
  • Hot ham water
  • Buy-curious
  • The legend of frightened inmate #2
  • Gene Parmesan
  • The conjugal trailer
  • Mr Muffin
  • Cornballing in Mexico
  • Light treason
(the album covers alone are coffee-snortingly funny, like Tobias - I'm afraid I just blue myself)

Eye test with a surprise

Try out this simple eye test and see how you do.

Uh, chicken? I have a question......

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Internal alarm

If you ever wake up mere minutes before your alarm, you can thank a hormone named adrenocorticotropin. It functions as your internal alarm, being released several hours prior to expected wake-up time. Scientists believe that the hormone is released to deal with the “stress” of waking up. We have conscious control over this hormone too. People who were told they would be woken at an early time had higher levels of the hormone. So telling yourself you need to wake up early might be enough to prime your internal alarm.

CEO versus pawns

Chart showing the CEO salary versus the average wage of their employees.

Our flood situation

To give you a sense of how close to the action we are, here is a map of the evacuation zone in Montgomery. We are upstream from downtown. The evacuation zone is represented by the diagonal hash marks. That red square is our house, about 150m away. It looks closer than it really is, but you can see just why we we've been nervous. So far, we're good.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Reserved for James

This pic went viral last night after word of James Gandolfini's death. This is the booth from the last scene in The Sopranos. It was filmed at Holsten's Ice Cream Shop in Bloomfield NJ.

The shop was packed but the booth was reserved by the owner.

100 most used passwords

The 100 most frequently used passwords from the 'Rock You' list. If you're using any of these or have a password similar to these, you're really asking for trouble. In fact, whatever you're protecting with that password is probably compromised.

Karl tip: Passwords of less than 9 characters are not adequate. 11 or more please. Long pass-phrases are best.

Example: |tsjustafleshw0und = good passphrase (and quite easy to remember if you're a Monty Python fan)

To do list

✔ 1) Make a to do list

✔ 2) Check off the first thing on the list

✔ 3) Realize you've already accomplished 2 things on the list

   4) Reward yourself with chocolate.

Doctor Pooh

Monday, June 17, 2013

Banksy on advertising

"The thing I hate the most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us mainly with the slow and self-obsessed to become our artists. Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used by so many to say so little." ~Banksy

Nocte Lumen

A beautifully photographed night-lit time lapse of Quebec City in winter.


This hangs in Alberta King of Subs in northeast Calgary. My mom also has this on the wall at home in Deux Montagnes QC. In case you're too young to recognize it (or not Canadian), it's a picture of Expo (Man and His World) in Montreal.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Things I learned lately 15 June

  • The word “set” has more definitions than any other word in the English language.
  • "Underground" is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters 'und'.
  • In 1800, 3 days of travel from New York City got you to Providence RI. By 1830, 3 days got you to Burlington VT. By 1857, you'd get as far as Jacksonville FL. In 1930, you'd make it to Los Angeles (by railroad).
  • High heel shoes were once in fashion for men. Louis XIV of France had quite the collection of 4" heel shoes. They were impractical, but for the aristocracy, that was the point.
  • You can make an emergency candle that will burn for 4 hours out of a half pound block of butter and a rolled up toilet paper wick stuffed inside.
  • In the Tesla Model S sedan, you can tell (using your voice) the car to play any song and it does, via the internet, using Slacker.
  • You can rent the Hearst Mansion in California for $600,000 per month.
  • Imagine a city forbidding un-related people from sharing a home in a residential neighborhood. That's what happened in Watertown, New York. 
  • Every time your heart beats, it creates almost imperceptible (to our eyes) changes in your skin tone as blood moves through your body. As a result, it is possible to get a pulse rate by using the camera and flash of your smart phone on your wrist, and there are apps that do just that.
  • There is a chocolate company in the UK that makes chocolates in the shape of a butt-hole. 
  • If you want to use the song "Happy Birthday" in your film, TV show or musical act, you have to pay a $1500 license fee to the rights holders (Warner/Chappell Music). A class action lawsuit is being filed to challenge the ownership of the song. The current owner's rights to the song don't expire until at least 2030, assuming the US government doesn't extend copyright terms even longer before then.
  • Canadian MPs and Senators are allowed to claim up to $89.95 per day for their meals. That's a tax-free benefit. They get this any time they're in the Ottawa region and while travelling.

Why self-driving cars (SDC) will be better

  • It will take a lot of the stress out of driving in traffic.
  • A computer can drive with more precision and react faster, preventing many accidents.
  • An SDC will constantly be aware of the full 360 degree area around it.
  • An SDC will be able to recognize when they're in someone's blind spot and adjust accordingly.
  • SDCs can follow each other more closely, increasing the capacity of roads and freeways.
  • SDCs will learn to recognize and avoid hitting pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Accident rates and fatalities should plummet.
  • The perils of drunk driving and distracted driving will become a thing of the past.
  • Seniors will regain their personal mobility.
  • A blind person would be able to own a car.
  • Young people won't have to pay outrageous insurance rates anymore.
  • Health and insurance costs should go down dramatically.
  • SDCs should save fuel. SDC trains would create a slip-stream effect. Less drastic acceleration and braking uses less fuel. 
  • Fewer stops and starts means less fuel.
  • SDCs could communicate with each other and relay traffic conditions to oncoming cars to allow for dynamic re-routing.
  • People who commute by car will gain hours each day to work, rest or enjoy multimedia.
  • Car data could be used to efficiently manage traffic signals to synchronize the flow of traffic.

Distributed solar

Petra Solar is using existing utility and light poles to mount small solar panels to build a distributed, smart grid of solar generation. Why wasted large tracts of land to install solar panels?

New Facebook privacy options...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Top 10 little-known facts about Superman

[stolen directly from The Late Show with David Letterman]

10. "S" on his suit stands for "suit"
9. His father: Jor-el -- his brother: Pur-el
8. Works at the Daily Planet for the health insurance
7. Can't fly anywhere without connecting in Atlanta
6. Secretly enjoys dressing as Wonder Woman
5. Owes super strength to anti-aging clinic in Miami
4. On average day, three collisions with geese
3. Once sneezed and froze his dog
2. With phone booths disappearing, now changes in Starbucks
1. Once had to call doctor because "man of steel" lasted for four hours

Screen grab

Simon's cat is at it again.

Anyone with an expensive TV should be able to relate.

Diamonds are the world's best scam

As soon as you leave the jewellery store with a diamond, it loses over 50% of its value. North Americans exchange diamond rings as part of the engagement process, because of a stunningly successful 1938 marketing campaign by De Beers. Prior to this, people occasionally exchanged engagement rings, but it wasn’t a pervasive occurrence. Not only is the demand for diamonds a marketing invention, but diamonds aren’t actually that rare. Only by carefully restricting the supply has De Beers kept the price of a diamond high. The obligation to offer a diamond ring to your fiance only exists because the company that stands to profit from it willed it into existence.

Disclaimer: I did not give Darlene a diamond. She didn't want one at the time and also believed it was ludicrous to spend that kind of money on a token piece of jewellery. She did eventually buy one for herself, but sold it within a couple of years because she didn't like worrying about losing it.

I'd like to order 1000 of these please....

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Things my new car has that I've never experienced before

I'm not just boasting. I'm thrilled to finally be enjoying these modern features.
  • Cruise control managed by a wand on the steering wheel cluster versus buttons.
  • A hold function that lets you take your foot off the brake pedal at a stop.
  • Rain sensing wipers.
  • Heated windshield washer nozzles.
  • Headlamp washers.
  • 10 way power adjustable seats with memory. [Darlene's favourite feature]
  • Auto dimming side mirrors.
  • Power folding side mirrors.
  • A rest function that helps keep the car warm for up to 20 minutes even after you turn the car off, exit and lock the door.
  • Paddle shifters.
  • LED fog lights.
  • LED running lights.
  • Auto headlamps.
  • Panoramic (dual) sun roof.
  • Sophisticated trip computer.
  • A huge LCD screen.
  • Transmission selector as a wand on the steering wheel cluster.
  • Double-clutch 7 speed transmission.
  • Selectable transmission behaviour. [ECO / Sport / Manual]
  • Electronic parking brake.
  • Bi-turbo engine.
  • Run-flat tires. [These actually suck - they will not go on again]
  • Blind spot assist. [I love this - if there's a car in your bind spot and you indicate, it hollers like crazy]
  • Lane keeping assist. [Steering wheel vibrates if you drift too close to a lane edge]
  • Attention assist. [recognizes when you're getting sleepy]
  • Self parking. [Fun]
  • Distance sensors in the bumpers.
  • Rear view camera.
  • Radar collision prevention. [Primes the brakes if a collision is imminent]
  • Bluetooth.
  • First aid kit. [Came with the car]
[Update 22 Nov 2013]
  • A max defrost feature that instantly (60 seconds) defrosts the front windshield, even of ice.

A warning from history

Remember when the internet almost destroyed civilization?

No? You better watch this then.

File under: I can't believe people bought these

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Things I learned lately 9 June

  • Steve Jobs was motivated to build the iPad as a result of a Microsoft engineer's constant bragging about how they (Microsoft) were going to make a tablet to eliminate all notebooks. Steve then asked Apple engineers to build a multi-touch tablet with no stylus or keyboard and then shrunk it down to become the iPhone. The iPad came soon after.
  • The CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch only wants attractive people wearing his clothes. Hope he's not wearing any of his own clothes.
  • Someone researched craigslist ads across the US looking for the places people experienced 'missed connections'. The vast majority happened in..... WalMart. There were exceptions: Utah (College campus); California (24 hour fitness) and Washington or Oregon (bus).
  • In 1980, a typical container ship was 250m long and held about 3000 containers. A new ship, the Triple E, is 400m long and holds 18,000 containers. To put all of those containers on trains, you'd need more than 30 x one mile-long trains with the containers stacked two high. Enough to hold 36,000 new vehicles or 863,000,000 cans of food.
  • When asked "How can we stop people like you?" of 'Popeye', druglord Pablo Escobar's security chief, he said, "People like me can't be stopped. It's a war. They lose men, and we lose men. They lose their scruples, and we never had any. In the end, (we'll) even blow up an aircraft because (we) believe the Colombian president is on board. I don't know what you have to do. Maybe sell cocaine in pharmacies. I've been in prison for 20 years, but you will never win this war when there is so much money to me made. Never."
  • The NYPD is considering a program that exchanges guns for Beyonce concert tickets. No, that doesn't mean you trade in tickets for a gun...
  • In Ohio, the Brimfield Police Department's officers will be looking for children under the age of 12 wearing a helmet while biking. If caught, that child will be stopped and issued a ticket good for a free ice cream cone at Franks Drive-In. The officers will have a quota for least one per shift.
  • Tiger Woods earns $65 million per year in endorsements. That is expected to rise significantly, as he will soon be signing a huge deal with Nike.

Greedy bastards

Fox TV be greedy, selfish emeffers. There, I said it.

If you can't be bothered to be makin' a show the fans want, you don't gots no right to impinge upon fan art that you're not even making yourself.

Greedy ruttin' purple-bellies.

Mass transit systems of North America

Friday, June 07, 2013

The difference between old school sales and the new paradigm

Sears online order: No ability to see the product before ordering. No time line of expected ETA of item at store. Notification by phone call. Continued notifications even after item delivered. Sent to department counter to arrange delivery, but they want you to go to catalogue order counter. Catalogue order counter personnel consist of people who can't process a delivery without hand-holding from other staff. Counter terminals not working properly. Delivery window of 6 hours. Actual delivery on different day.

Apple store purchase: Walk in. Immediately approached by staff to offer assistance. Ask about product. Given live demo. Agree to purchase. Mobile point of sale allows purchase right at the demo location. Receipt sent to email. Free training offered in-store at a future time. Leave store with product.

Revenge of the Adjectives

Another amazing mash-up with Star Wars and Schoolhouse Rock.


Wednesday, June 05, 2013

If one wolf howled would the rest howl too?

Wolves howling together. These particular wolves are rescue wolves in a sanctuary.

Wolves are cool.

New cell phone rules to benefit the consumer.....

CRTC: Consumers can cancel their wireless contract after two years without paying a cancellation fee, even if their contract is for a longer term.

Public: Yay!

Wireless companies: We'll just raise the subsidized cost of the handsets to off-set this. Or they'll have to pay off the subsidized phone.

CRTC: There will now be a Cap on extra data charges at $50 per month and international data roaming charges at $100 per month within one billing cycle to prevent “bill shock.”

Public: Yay!

Wireless companies: Your service will be cut off when you reach the cap, and you wont be able to use your phone at all until the next billing cycle.

CRTC: Consumers can have their cellphones unlocked after 90 days, or immediately if the device is paid for in full.

Public: Hurray!

Wireless companies: We will still charge you $50-$75 to unlock your phone.

CRTC: We are here for the consumer.

Public: FML.

I don't always eat cookies....

Monday, June 03, 2013

Ways to annoy your co-workers

1. Chewing Loudly
2. Popping Gum
3. Bringing in Smelly Food
4. Loitering
5. Close Talker
6. Too Much Email
7. Loud Talker
8. Slob in Shared Spaces
9. Being a Debbie Downer
10. Smelly Perfume

Searching for Sugar Man

I watched one of the most memorable documentaries I've seen this year. Searching for Sugar Man tells the story of an artist you probably never heard of - Rodriguez. He made a couple albums in the US in the early 1970s. He was critically acclaimed - some even called him the next Bob Dylan. But his albums didn't sell at all.

Meanwhile, in South Africa, generations of (mostly white) people rebelling against apartheid worshipped him more than Elvis or The Stones. They found out about his music courtesy of some bootleg tapes brought over from the US. He was the mysterious voice of change and rebellion they used as motivation against an oppressive regime. He was so big, he had tribute artists! But his South African fans never saw the man perform. In fact, they thought he was dead. They were in for a big surprise, as was he. Brought a tear to my eye.

If you see one documentary this year, make it 'Searching for Sugar Man'.

Paper scissors ROCK!

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Things I learned lately 2 June

  • Some McDonald's have a secret menu item called the McGangBang. It's a McChicken wedged into a double cheeseburger and it's not available at all restaurants.
  • Burger King has a few secret menu items, including the Suicide Burger (4 beef patties; 4 cheese slices; a pile of bacon); BK Club; BK BLT; and frings (fries and rings).
  • McDonalds has a Neapolitan shake on their secret menu.
  • Even before the 2010 earthquake, 80% of the population in Haiti lived under the poverty line, with 54% living in abject poverty.
  • Helium-3 is created by the sun and blasts through space. Some of it lands on the moon. Mining 9 feet deep in an area 0.75mi squared would produce 220lbs of Helium-3, enough to power Detroit for a year using fusion.
  • A single 500m wide platinum-rich asteroid could yield 1.5 times the known world reserves of platinum.
  • The most practical plan to solve the worker-to-retiree ratio is to allow lots of young immigrants into the country. Either that, or convince people to have a lot more kids. Now.
  • The US government spent $1.7 billion maintaining 77,700 unused buildings.
  • The IRS stores unused furniture at a warehouse at a cost of $862,000 annually.
  • The US has more than 45,000 wind turbines. That's one turbine for every 7000 people. Germany has 22,297. That's one for every 3700 people.
  • In Belgium, all of the highways are lit.
  • The old form of the word 'pea' was 'pease'. Yes, that's singular.
  • The word 'apron' used to be spelled 'napron'. But people too often misheard it as 'an apron' and the n was dropped. 'Newt' suffered the opposite. It started out as 'ewt' and because people most often said 'an ewt' in a sentence, it transformed into 'newt'.
  • The F-35 costs about $35,000 per hour to fly.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Protected bike lane in NYC boosting retail business

Streets are places where locals discover new stores and restaurants, where window shoppers duck into shops to peruse, and where children convince their parents to stop — just for ONE second — to buy a cup of hot chocolate. In other words, streets can also grow local economies. A new study shows that streets that safely accommodate bicycle and pedestrian travel are especially good at boosting small businesses, even in a recession.

NYC DOT found that protected bikeways had a significant positive impact on local business. After the construction of a protected bicycle lane on 9th Ave, local businesses saw a 49% increase in retail sales. In comparison, local businesses throughout the rest of Manhattan only saw a 3% increase in retail sales. In many ways, this comes as no surprise. When towns invest in bike infrastructure, people ride more. People who travel by bicycle have fewer barriers to stopping at a local business than those who travel by car. A recent study suggests that bike riders tend to spend more at local businesses over the course of a month.

The protected bike lane is right next to one sidewalk. Then there's a wide, low median as a barrier lane, which in some spots has a few parking spots, or at the end of the block, a turn lane. Then you have 2 or 3 lanes of traffic (in one direction) and finally an optional full parking lane next to the other sidewalk. Cyclists are fully isolated from vehicle traffic and feel safe and almost at one with the pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk.

Better walking infrastructure encourages retail too. In another example from the study, retails sales increased a whopping 179% after the city converted an underused parking area in Brooklyn into a pedestrian plaza. Retail sales at businesses in the rest of Brooklyn only increased by 18%.

They ruled the streets in the 1970s

Remember these? The Schwinn Sting-Ray.

The creator of this bike, Al Fritz, died 30 May 2013.

Big cat box