Links for the week of Aug 14th

If you want to follow my shared links in real time instead of as a weekly digest, head over to Delicious. You can search them there easily too.

  • Outdoor Sink Makes Water Recycling Simple – Incredibly simple outdoor sink setup, made with scavenged materials almost for free. Instant graywater recycling. Now if only I had a real back yard.
  • California's New Greywater Code: Common Sense Legalized! – In a crazed fit of (hopefully) sustainable rationality, California has legalized simple, economical graywater systems. Our state is not completely broken. However, cities have been granted the power to overrule this new system, so there is likely to follow a spate of local fights on the subject. Nevertheless, this is a gigantic improvement.
  • Suffer the Children: The iPhone Sex Offender locator – Ubiquity of information is not the same thing as omniscience. The California Sex Offender database (now with a shiny new iPhone app) renders more than 63,000 people axiomatically evil in the eyes of the state and society at large. Never mind that you can get yourself on this list for, say, snapping a nekkid pic of yourself on your cell, and texting it off to your bf… in high school. Not like anyone in high school is horny. Or gets laid. Somehow actually having sex with your (also) underage significant other is a misdemeanor, but a digitally captured and transmitted photo? That'll end any delusions of future employability you might have had. Or what about the family (like my own) that thinks nudity is just fine around the house, until a neighbor calls them in to child protective services for molesting their kids… except actually it was just swimming. We need to get some more granularity in this system.
  • Point Dume possibly slated for closure – Point Dume is one of the SoCal state parks potentially slated for closure. Rumor has it that this is partly because of the political pull of the rich people who own the abutting property, and would like to see all us riff-raff excluded (since it's certainly a popular park, and likely pays for itself…)
  • Legal and illegal have nothing to do with right and wrong – There's what's legal, what's right, and what you can get away with. These properties are not strongly related.
  • Carfree Cities Conference – The World Carfree Network (who knew?) is having a conference in the UK next summer. Sounds like my kind of gig. York (old York) has an awesome and ancient nearly-car-free city center. Heck, you could hardly ride a horse in there, let alone a Mini Cooper.
  • The Secret Life of AAA – The American Automobile Association and its state and local spawn are largely front groups providing a populist veneer for the automotive industry.
  • Timeline of Violence in Swat, Pakistan – A timeline from the mid-1990s through summer of 2009, describing the events in the Swat Valley and Northwest Frontier Provinces of Pakistan, from Greg Mortenson of the Central Asia Institute
  • Report water waste in Pasadena, California – Mandatory water restrictions are in effect in Southern California. You may report illegal water waste to Pasadena Water and Power at this site.
  • Urban Sprawl Repair Kit | ReBurbia – Several canonical architectural elements from our suburban wastelands, converted to denser more urban designs.
  • Best intermountain west city for startups: Boulder, Colorado – Apparently Boulder has a thriving entrepreneurial technology community, with something like 200 startups at any given time, and a very collaborative business community. Just another thing to add to the list.
  • Trade your car for a bike – New Belgium is giving away one commuter bike in each city of its Tour de Fat, to someone who signs over their car title to raise money for bike advocacy groups, and agrees to live car free for the following year, and keep a video log of the experience to share. But that's not the way it looks. It looks like a bicycle faith healing, complete with gospel choir!
  • Traffic signal actuation for bicyclists (California AB 1581) – California has explicitly stated in law the bikes should be detected by traffic signals, but implementation is dragging its feet for a variety of reasons. One meta-reason is that cyclists and pedestrains have no representation on the California Traffic Control Devices Committee (but the auto industry funded auto "clubs" do).
  • Elderly man in Lanzhou vandalizes 30 cars that run red lights with a brick – This old guy waits at the zebra crossing near his home and attacks cars that run the red light with a brick, smashing their taillights, etc. He's garnered a following at this point. Boy do I know that feeling.

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