The NY Times points out that bicycles and the European penchant for fresh bread are more closely related than you might at first imagine. A writer in Amsterdam talks about how a slightly different conception of daily life enables cities without cars, and how that life is really more free than our slavish commitment to the car.
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Continue reading Links for the week of August 28th, 2009
- USA CO2 emissions from fossil fuel – CO2 emitted, broken down geographically by county, and source of emission, fully zoom-and-panable in Google Earth! (tagged: energy maps visualization environment co2 carbon )
- In Amsterdam, The Bicycle Still Rules – The Netherlands spends about $6 each year per capita on bicycle infrastructure. California spends about about 18 cents. What would our state be like if we upped the ante? (tagged: bicycle transportation policy amsterdam california budget )
- Drones parked in our own backyard, to Bomb our own People – Ah, the People have their own Eye in the Sky now. Google Earth allows Pakistanis to find the CIA's predator drones, parked in an airfield in Pakistan! So much for their government's denial of involvement. (tagged: transparency surveillance google pakistan drone )
- Streams of Travelers – A one hour time lapse of a square filled with flowing pedestrians in Amsterdam. They're pretty dynamic, those walkers. (tagged: amsterdam pedestrian timelapse video flickr )
- Watching the Growth of Walmart Across America – Very cool animation of the spread of WalMart across America. Kind of like watching popcorn pop… (tagged: walmart maps economics visualization )
- Thefts puncture Paris bike scheme – More of Paris' Velib bicycles are being stolen or vandalized than expected. Not sure what their expectations were, but it is pretty annoying for basically every bike in the network to have been either stolen or damaged in only 18 months. The vandalism is probably impossible to stop (since it can be carried out while the bikes are locked in their stands) but the theft should be preventable with secure stands, and aggressive enforcement of responsibility for a bike while you've got it checked out (i.e. if the bike doesn't come back, your credit card is immediately charged for the total value of the bike, or possibly even more). I also can't help but wonder if the same functionality could be implemented with much, much cheaper bikes, especially in a city as flat as Paris. Singlespeeds with fenders and a basket, maybe 100 Euros each? With an RFID tag embedded – and put all the smarts in the racks. (tagged: bicycle bike cycling transportation paris velib )
- Google Power to the People – Google developing tools to allow you to disentangle your own energy use, when the datastreams from smart meters come on line. Making this information easy to comprehend, pricing electricity to displace demand from the peak times, and allowing the largest energy users to schedule their use in an automated way could (without even changing anything physically) have a large impact on the amount of power generating capacity we (don't) need. (tagged: energy google sustainability green open data transparency )
- WattzOn and Wesabe Join Forces – This is the post that made me wish the Elevations Credit Union was more internet savvy. I want to be able to apply all these big-brotherly tools to myself! (tagged: open data transparency energy wesabe wattzon money finance )
- Numbrary – A library for numbers – mass quantities of publicly available data, mostly (entirely?) from the US Government. In a hopefully usable and searchable form. Many automatically generated charts and tables. (tagged: data transparency government statistics open )
- Mayapedal – People building useful human-powered bicimaquinas, in Guatemala, where human labor is still a common prime mover: washing machines, coffee de-pulpers, corn de-grainers, grain mills, blenders, concrete microvibrators, etc. One kind of appropriate technology. There's also some YouTube videos on them, e.g.:
- Humanity In Motion – An incredible montage of what bicycles can be: safe, enjoyable, cheap, convenient, everyday transportation for young people and for old, for families, in a city largely unpolluted by the exhaust and noise of cars. (tagged: bicycle transportation amsterdam netherlands photos )
An incredible montage of what bicycles can be: safe, enjoyable, cheap, convenient, everyday transportation for young people and for old, for families and fashion slaves, in a city largely unpolluted by the exhaust and noise of cars. Courtesy of Amsterdamize. Also, not a bad argument for getting a DSLR!