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Adam West voices the Dark Knight
Apple's Calendar Inconsistency
Is Pono Dead?
Inbox Zero is Old News: Welcome to Inbox Negative One
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Effects Reel
Evolution of Stop Motion Photography
7 Story Cycling Centric Apartments

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Greatest Text Conversation Ever
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Careless Reckless Love
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Daniel Lanois and his AC30
How Can You Just Leave Me Standing Alone in a World So Cold
Today Was a Tough Day
The Resonant Frequency of Love - Rocco DeLuca with Daniel Lanois
Dan Mangan - Forgetery
Birch Tree: Toronto, 2016
Japan's Disposable Workers
Jeff Tweedy Plays Charades with Ewan McGregor
Steph Cameron at the Railway Club (February 1, 2016)
Wilco at the CityFolk Festival, Ottawa (September 20, 2015)
Rice Lake, North Vancouver
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Running Away
Stanley Rohatinski: 1925 - 2015
Chewie...we're home!

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your blue hood
Thin Systems
Listen to the Bell, Mr. Premier...It Tolls for Thee
Gordon Campbell Won't Run Again?
Bike Maintenance Lessons: Disc Brake Pads
Cycling is Mainstream Transportation
Brave New World: The Musical
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Daniel Lanois and his AC30
Dan Mangan - Forgetery

I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
I crossed many states just to stand here now, my face all hot with tears / I crossed city, and valley, desert, and stream, to bring my body here
— Woody Guthrie, Remember the Mountain Bed
January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger: 1919 - 2014

Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger is one of the legends of American music. He passed away today at the age of 94. Calling it a loss seems insufficient at best, and it’s certainly a disingenuous statement.

Seeger wrote and sang songs that championed a vision of equality for all working men and women. There is probably not a single person who did more for the sake of folk music than Seeger has through the years: he worked and was friends with Woody Guthrie, whose death cut his voice short in its prime. Seeger was an early advocate of Bob Dylan’s work, and was instrumental in getting his first record deal cut. The legend of Seeger threatening to cut the power to the stage when Dylan ‘went electric’ at Newport will go down in history as one of the great tales in the history of American music.

It’s a safe bet that a lot of banjos will be played tomorrow in honour of the man. Mine will be one of them, to be sure.

Rest in Peach, Pete. You gave so much to the world in your life and it will not soon be forgotten.

Posted by skooter at 12:21 AM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Banjo, Music, Obituaries, Pete Seeger

January 22, 2014

Bixi’s Bankruptcy & Vancouver Bike Sharing

There’s been much in the news lately about Bixi filing for bankruptcy. The New York Times covers it well and has a vested interest, given that Bixi operates that city’s Citibike program.

Bankruptcy, of course, is not necessarily the end of anything. Bixi may come back as strong as they ever were. It’s not a good thing though, by any stretch of the imagination.

The fundamental question facing cities that have bike sharing in place is this: is bike sharing part of the public transit infrastructure of a modern urban environment or is it a business offering a service like any other?

I’d argue for the former: cycling is on the rise again and has become an essential part of the transportation matrix of any urban environment. Yes, it’s much more predominant in the summertime but even in the snowy winter you can see plenty of cyclist in Toronto or New York.

As part of public transit, bike sharing should receive public funds. I’m not suggesting that the service should be free but, like a subway or bus route, it shouldn’t be run on a 100% cost recovery basis either. Bixi’s bankruptcy, in this situation, could be a sign that we just haven’t gotten the balance right yet: it might be that memberships and hourly rates should cost more, or that government needs to commit more funds.

Either way, it won’t make a different in Vancouver. Vancouver’s very late to the bike sharing game and has had numerous false starts along the way. None of it will matter: Vancouver’s bike sharing program will fail because of the helmet law. I’m not particularly judgemental about that, I’m just saying that it will happen. It seems likely that the program will have to fail in order to effect any change with respect to the helmet law.

There’s still hope for Toronto, Montreal, New York and other similar locations. Keep your fingers crossed for Bixi, because it will be much harder to get going a second time. Vancouver seems likely to learn that lesson the hard way.

Posted by skooter at 6:10 PM This entry is filed under Cycling.
Tags: Bixi, Cycling, Politics, Vancouver