Links for the week of August 28th, 2009

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.

  • Suggest a feature for Google Maps – Google has a list of features they're thinking about putting into their Maps applications. Bike routing and the inclusion of bicycle paths and trails are up there. Vote and help make Google maps more bike friendly!
  • Oil: The Long Goodbye – Foreign Policy special report on the future (and present) of oil, from (duh) oil's point of view. Good to know what the propaganda is saying anyway.
  • The fallacy of climate activism – An apocalyptic rant. Not that I don't think we're facing something of apocalyptic proportions, but while technology has gotten us into this situation and is not going to get us out of it all by itself, I have very little sympathy for the dark green primitivism. We're only going to go to that place by force, kicking and screaming all the way, not by choice. There are other options which are maybe just as different from the way we live today as that backward looking path, but also very different from anywhere we've ever been as a civilization.
  • Bicycle Commuter Superhighways in Copenhagen – Copenhagen building bicycle "superhighways" from outskirts to city center. Some are worried that this will lead to urban sprawl, and a hollowing out of the core… wait, what? Bicycle based urban sprawl? If only we could be so lucky as to have that problem here…
  • Riding Bikes with the Dutch – I need to go have this particular religious experience and some visceral positive affirmation.
  • Fresh Produce Biked to You | Freewheelin' Farm – A small (8 acre) CSA farm 5 miles north of Santa Cruz, that delivers all their produce by bicycle. I would love for this to be a viable business!
  • Reverend Billy & The Church of Life After Shopping – The Reverend Billy and his Gospel Choir, the subject of the movie "What would Jesus buy?", which is totally worth watching. They stage retail interventions at malls and chain stores across the country, trying to get people to focus on living a real life, with real people, instead of buying mountains of useless crap they don't actually need, at the insistence of the ubiquitous idiot boxes and billboards which rule our modern consciousness….
  • Competition dreams up new ways to harass suburbanites – Climate change, Design competition, Energy, Reburbia | TerraPass: Fight global warming, reduce your carbon footprint – Well, I'm glad I'm not the only advocate of sustainability that's horrified to see the kind of crap the "green press" can churn out. Physics be-damned, we're gonna power our 1000m tall suburban robot tower hives with a perpetual motion machine! WTF? Why didn't anyone apply a reality filter to the design contest submissions? They're not all crazy, but man, with company like that, it's hard to take the process seriously at all.
  • The vegetable gardeners of Havana – Short blurb from the BBC on agriculture in Cuba, which has had to live through its own peak-oil experience since the Soviet Union collapsed. Tilling with oxen sounds like a serious labor, but the rest of the agricultural system they've got doesn't sound so bad.
  • Why AT&T Killed Google Voice – AT&T could not go bankrupt fast enough if you ask me. I will do a little victory dance when they file. US data connectivity is a pitiful joke, and it's the monopolistic telcos (and the archaic rules they operate under) that are to blame.
  • The Women’s Crusade – An excerpt from Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's new book "Half the Sky", about the global plight of women. Sobering notes: only 1% of the world's landowners are women. The poorest people on earth spend ten times as much on alcohol and prostitutes as they do on educating their own children. But when girls are educated, and financial tools are available to women, they do just as well as anyone. I'll definitely give to the Central Asia Institute again this year.
  • The effects of paleolithic humans on marine ecosystems – Another paper detailing the effects that humans were having on marine ecosystems, even tens of thousands of years ago, as revealed through archaeology and marine biology.

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Zane Selvans

A former space explorer, now marooned on a beautiful, dying world.

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