From Michael Alexander:
As reported by Global News spelling is very important for students and also to municipalities too. And it must have been a bit of a trying day in the City of Revelstoke B.C. when social media splashed the following image everywhere of the new word “school” freshly painted outside one of Revelstoke’s places of education.
So how does this happen? The stencils come in two sets and the painters held them upside down and backwards to paint the word SCOHOL. Revelstoke has put a positive spin on he error, saying that not only will the error be immediately corrected, but also suggesting that vehicles may slow down when they see the spelling.
You just can’t buy that kind of advertising.
“While the city’s supervisor is a little ticked by the mistake as well as a little surprised at the attention it’s getting, the operations manager says they’re all managing to have a little chuckle about it.”
Thanks to the Globe and Mail for this look at postmodern crime, when ransoms and hacking and phishing (oh my) are no longer satisfying to the bot-mind.
Now that hot yoga has cooled off as the fad de jour, here comes the next big furry one.
Yes. Cute little baby goats frisking around while you do the dog.
From the Bangor Daily News: It’s catching on, and the farm owners are now scrambling to keep up with the viral sensation.
Farm owner Peter Corriveau says they just started classes a week ago, and are already booked through June.
“Who doesn’t love baby goats? There’s nothing cuter than a baby goat”, Corriveau told WGME. “There’s just something about them, their nature.”
The street can be used for many things, and disrupting the travelled portion of the road for some of the best show tunes out of an epic Broadway musical fits right in. Just as long as the performances mesh with the length of the crosswalk walk signal.
As reported in the Rolling Stone, James Corden enlisted Dan Stevens, Josh Gad and Luke Evans to join his ragtag Crosswalk theater company’s production of Beauty and the Beast on the street outside CBS on The Late Late Show Wednesday.
Despite the celebrity of the actors and the obvious quality of the costumes and the performance, the video shows that drivers were not too amused. But the impact of this crosswalk performance is priceless.
“After a frantic parking lot rehearsal, the show got underway with Corden leading a spirited performance of “Belle” – the opener from the 1991 animated musical – on the crosswalk before the lights changed. The company tore through similarly dangerous performances of “Gaston” and “Be Our Guest,” with car horns serving as applause. “
A shortened version of the performance is linked below.
Someone better review that marketing rationale.
And yes, Hellman’s makes genuine vegan mayo. Who knew.
For the Friday File the New York Times reports that there are ten White Houses, four Arcs de Triomphe, a few Great Sphinxes and one Eiffel Tower in China. In 2012 London’s Tower Bridge was duplicated in Suzhou, and was claimed by media to be “Even More Magnificent than the Real One”.
So what is with the popularity of copying these icons as your own? “According to Cheng Taining, an architect at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, many officials see foreign designs as shortcuts to achieving a look of modernity and worldliness.“Chinese officials like foreign things they’ve seen. They will tell you ‘Please design a building that looks like that building overseas.’ That’s obvious in the numerous cloned buildings in China. Officials believe building a ‘White House’ or a ‘European-style’ street confers status.’’
In 2014 Chinese President Xi Jinping called for the preservation of China’s cultural legacy an appealed for the stop of “weird buildings” that were “oversize, eccentric, weird” in favour of buildings that are “appropriate, economical, green and pleasing to the eye.” Besides London Tower Bridge there are over 56 copycat bridges in Suzhou including the Sydney Harbour bridge and the Alexandre III Bridge from Paris. These bridges are used for wedding photo shoots and the popularity of the bridges can be reflected in the number of accidents caused by the wedding shoots. When asked why she wanted to be photographed in her wedding dress on the Suzhou London Tower Bridge, a bride answered “The effects in the bridge shoot will be quite good, and you don’t even need to go abroad!”
In one of those stories that just has to come from the Maritimes someone thought it might be a good idea to tow a couch behind an ATV and go through the drive in line at McDonald’s in Miramichi New Brunswick at 3:30 a.m. last Thursday.
“Miramichi police say an officer spotted the couch, being towed behind an ATV, at 3:19 a.m. Thursday in the drive-thru. Cpl. Lorri McEachern says the driver of the four wheeler took off after the officer turned on the lights atop his cruiser, stranding the two “intoxicated” men outside the restaurant.
She says the driver raced through the parking lot, across the highway and onto the frozen Miramichi River, still towing the couch through much of his escape.”
Two couch surfers were caught. The crime? It is illegal to tow a couch through a drive through. However it should be noted that both men were wearing helmets.Two local men, aged 28 and 39, will face yet-to-be-determined charges.
As reported by the Daily Hive, the McKenzie family were in Palm Springs last week vacationing-in the torrential rain.
Thankfully, there was a large rubber duck pool toy in the back yard of the rental house. Mr. McKenzie showed great skill in the slalom run of the duck down sheets of water on the road, even being passed by a nonplussed vehicle.
“McKenzie, who is originally from Vancouver, says the rainy Palm Springs weather did not bother him at all. “Being from Vancouver, I am still going to go out and play in the rain.”
The video has gone viral. Video is below.
For those folks that like to park but don’t pay their parking fines, there is a new device to replace “The Boot” that is attached to your car tire and means you can’t move your car. “The Boot” was effective in that it immobilized the car. The challenge for parking enforcement staff was installing “The Boot”. You can imagine that kneeling on a street and being bent over the tire of a car installing “The Boot” might be upsetting to the offending motorist or bystanders.
Enter the Barnacle. As reported in City Lab, “The concept behind the apparatus, made by New York’s Ideas That Stick, is simple: It’s a rugged plastic rectangle that attaches with incredible force to the windshield, and can’t be removed until motorists pay a fine over the phone and get a release code. Adding insult to injury, drivers are then expected to return it to a drop-off location within 24 hours”.
“If they try to move the car or pry the “Barnacle” off, a la Homer Simpson jackhammering a boot, an alarm goes off. And if they huck it into a dumpster after paying the penalty, a GPS tracker will keep it on parking enforcement’s radar.”
So far two cities, Fort Lauderdale Florida and Allentown Pennsylvania are trialing this device. No word yet on the effectiveness of the Barnacle, but it is quick and relatively effortless to install and several can be carried around in one vehicle. Somehow it just seems easier to use active transportation and transit. And pay your parking fines.
The old order falls, and gives way to the new. And dread-laden bemusement may be the only response that preserves one’s ability to function.
Here’s an opinion piece from Thomas Homer-Dixon via the Globe and Mail:
In Mr. Trump’s alternative universe, chaos will become the new normal.
News media sources including the BBC report that a Canadian houseboat has shown up on the beaches of County Mayo in Ireland, navigating the north Atlantic by itself.
It is a boat cobbled together with foraged wood and tar, with a solar paneled roof. The houseboat had been abandoned on a Newfoundland beach by continental cyclist Rick Small. Mr. Small had previously cycled across Canada on a solar bike with a 500 watt motor. Surprisingly the solar bike and the houseboat do appear to have similar construction.
For his 7,000 kilometer bicycle ride across Canada, Mr. Small’s average speed was 27 kilometers per hour. The distance between Newfoundland and Ireland is approximately 3,217 kilometers. There is no report on how many knots the boat achieved on its journey to the Irish coast.
BBC News reports that the fundamental public art necessary to a new civic campaign to pick up after your dog has gone missing from Torrelodones, a city just outside of Madrid.
Someone has taken the…fiberglassed dog pile. As BBC reports “staff was shocked and perplexed by the theft, and a replacement excrement was already on order because we know the campaign has been a great success”.
The Atlas Obscura also features this story, noting that until a replacement inflatable excrement is found, selfies will have to be taken with another object.
OMG traffic cones are all the rage. The revolution has begun and it has bounced off Twitter onto our streets.
First, I recommend following AwarenessCone on Twitter. A silly Philadelphia-based account, it mocks the traffic cone’s responsibility to protect us from danger with overqualified cones placed in menial, dead end positions. Their bio sums it up well:
AwarenessCone: a cone placed at the site of damaged infrastructure; a cone marking construction; a cone forgotten. Be aware.
Two examples are better than one.
The Man systemic car culture wants everyone outside who’s not in a car to be dressed in clothing with high visibility (hi-viz). We all know black is the most slimming colour. Drivers are jealous of our active lifestyles. They want us to look chubbier than those in vehicles. They also want to take no responsibility for hitting and killing us with their cars. Activist people on foot and on bike and on board refuse to wear reflectors or bright clothing day or night in protest. Active transportation moderates get mocked as sell outs for having reflective trim on any clothing.
Moschino, always known for its tongue-in-cheek, society mocking designs, has a new line out for Spring/Summer 2016 called Dangerous Couture featuring ridiculous, high fashion, hi-viz clothing and their version of street signs (including little Do Not Enter signs as earrings).
Which all leads me to the third trend for cones. People are using them to control their streets. Call them safety heroes or vigilantes, drivers don’t know if they are City-issued or not and are slowing down. These movements are cropping up in various cities. PDXTransformations in Portland, OR was separating cars from bike lanes with traffic cones recently. Now its members have put up (illegal) 20mph speed limit signs and are getting local media coverage for their antics. (The Portland Bureau of Transportation has said publicly removing the signs is not a high priority with limited resources.)
We are not a “bike advocacy group.” We are a Transformation Action Group. We want our streets to serve everybody.
Our dream is that the people of Portland stand up to unsafe drivers and say ENOUGH. You can’t do that here anymore.
They are inspiring others.
If these rogue antics were organized in your town, would you be tempted to make a request? Is there a dangerous spot near you? Have you reported it to the City?
Clearly cones are trending and improved safety for all on our streets can’t be far behind.
Janette Sadik-Khan, former NYCDOT Commissioner and new author of Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution, best known for making New York City’s Broadway car-free, will give a talk in Vancouver this evening at the Vancouver Playhouse.
For urbanist geeks this is the event of the year. Like a Blondie concert for Blondie fans or a Back Street Boys concert for BSB fans. You get the idea.
Some City of Vancouver staff will get a chance to have a private Q&A with her today. What will they ask without the eyes of the public on them? Chances are they’ll be inspired to take action.
Tickets are sold out. The last time she was here a venue of 350 free tickets sold out. This time, with tickets at $5 each and a venue of 668 seats, it’s still a sold out show. If you’re lucky enough to be going tonight, here’s how to seem cool about it.
- Read a local review of her book by Yuri Artibise
- Read the 6 strategic takeaways from her book by Melissa & Chris Bruntlett
- Call her JSK when referring to her, assuming everyone knows who that is, like a true urbanist.
- Dress urbane but without cultural appropriation. Wear a maximum of 1 scarf if you have a short neck.
- Buy 2 tickets and arrive alone. Pick someone hovering hopefully at the event, ask them what mode they took to get there, and invite them to go with you regardless of their answer. It’s an easy way to seem super generous.
- Be seen. Arrive early, grab a good seat, then stand to schmooze with others as they arrive. Totally ignore the SCARP student you gave a free ticket to. You’re from the Lost Generation and they don’t know how good they have it.
- Use the following phrases and matching gestures: “This is not Amsterdam.” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge); “If you can remake it here, you can remake it anywhere.” (pistol wink nod); and “In G-d we trust, everyone else bring data.” (look serious but patient-with-others, adjust prescription glasses with one hand).
- Know that the last phrase above was said by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Or everyone at the Mayor’s Office. Call him Mike Bloomberg.
- Bring a list of 10 new projects, find any decision-maker or even minor influencer at the City and demand that all 10 be built before the end of 2018. Make sure Kingsway and Commercial Drive are on your list.
- Go to the mic to ask a question but instead announce your Bike Rave. Explain it’s not the official Bike Rave and not the alternate bike rave but your own bike rave.
- Bring your copy of JSK’s book. Wait for an hour after the talk to get it signed, while preparing an intelligent question. Get dragged out by security when they announce Ms. Sadik-Khan can’t sign any more books because her hand has cramped.
- Have a drink with friends, comparing her last talk to this one. Say “last time her focus was on making it seem simple and doable – a lot of paint and planters. This time seemed more strategic”. Confess you’re jealous of her lack of public consultation.
- Drunk on ideas and inspired with a vision of what you’d like your City to look like, send an email to email@example.com to tell them to go ahead, do more. You support it. After all, jesting aside, a misspelled-slightly-incoherent note is better than no note at all.
Australian vlogger Natalie Tran (one of my favourites) takes on passwords. You’ll relate.