Thursday, February 15, 2007

Gonna manifest my destiny

I don't have much new to report. I'm trying to wrap up the cycling petition but it's probably going to go slowly.

I thought I would report on a bunch of books and articles I've read recently. I read voraciously and sometimes think I should turn the old book club blog (which is never updated anymore) into my own reading list blog, but since I'm finding it hard to update "Tuco Rides" I doubt I'll get around to it.

The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter by Peter Singer and Jim Mason has been good so far. Basically they follow the food choices of three different American families and show how "ethically" that food got to their tables. Even the preface was interesting, when they discuss how impossible it is for reporters to get into hog/chicken/cattle farms because the meat farming industry knows that nothing good can come from Americans actually seeing how meat gets to their table.

WorldChanging is really pretty cool. Basically it's an encyclopedia covering a wide range of topics - from solar panels to democracy - and saying how these things will have to operate in order for us to survive in the 21st century.

Maclean's Magazine has an article right now called Life's Second Act. If you scroll down that page to the section called "Rider in the Storms" you can read about Lindsay Gauld. Lindsay is a 58 year old Winnipeger who sold his company (Olympia Cycle & Ski) and now works (kind of as a retirement gift to himself) as a bike courier. 135km a day - most months on a mountain bike. Holy crap. I feel like a wuss (sp?) taking February off from biking in Durham.

And the Toronto Star has an article today about an eco-friendly community being built in the Durham region just outside Toronto (where I work actually). It's referred to as the "Seaton development" and it has a long complicated history, but here are the interesting bits:
The Seaton development plan requires:

  • Every home to be within a five-minute walk of a transit stop

  • Extensive bicycle paths

  • Front porches and gardens, not garages, facing main streets

  • Houses powered by solar panels and geothermal energy, with metered appliances to encourage off-peak-hours energy use

I might have to stop referring to Durham as "Mordor" if this development really happens and becomes influential.

And lastly, I stumbled across Bicycles in Amsterdam - which is a photo web page put together by an American gentleman named Brian. According to the page, he just sat down at a corner cafe in Amsterdam and snapped pictures of cyclists for just over an hour - 82 bike pics in 73 minutes.

My God I wish we had a culture here in Canada where a woman with her kids on a bike like this was just a ho-hum every day occurence!!!!!

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