Get Yer Torches! It’s a Bike Helmet Witchhunt! – Get Yer Torches! It’s a Bike Helmet Witchhunt!
In a perfect world, an individual who chooses to promote everyday cycling, and who has dedicated a great deal of time, energy and personal resources to do so, would be set high atop a pedestral to be respected by the local and global community.

Instead, Matthew Modine, actor and founder of Bicycle for a Day, is subject to a cyber witchhunt these days.

Instead of focusing on the good this guy is doing, all the focus is on his personal choice of whether he wishes to wear a helmet or not. Which he doesn’t.

Ironically, the man is more well-informed about helmets than the pundits who seek to hunt him down.

Continue reading.
And these guys wore helmets

Thursday in Ridgefield

Great concert at the Birchmere in Alexandria last night. Everything came together and we were able to reach new heights. Everyone in the band played really well. I am hoping that it can become the new plateau from which we can reach for something higher yet… the endless spiral.

We are in Ridgefield today. The sun broke through the clouds this morning and illuminated a rich spectrum of greens in the vegetation. Nearby a tree was unceremoniously destroyed with a backhoe that broke the tree apart like one would break a match. Enlarging a parking lot? It seemed so brutal, compared to using a saw. We should learn to have a little more respect for all life. Rusty told that quite a ceremony, with singing and drumming, precedes the cutting down of a tree destined to become a djembe in West Africa.

Here is a bunch of stuff that has accumulated:

Alone in Tokyo By Philip Bloom On ExposureRoom

Beautiful video of Tokyo.

Monet’s Love Affair with Japanese Art – TIME
Perhaps the greatest gift Japan gave Monet, and Impressionism, was an incandescent obsession with getting the play of light and shadow, the balance of colors and the curve of a line, just right — not the way it is in reality, but the way it looks in the artist’s imagination. “I have slowly learned about the pattern of the grass, the trees, the structure of birds and other animals like insects and fish, so that when I am 80, I hope to be better,” Hokusai wrote 16 years before his death at age 89. “At 90, I hope to have caught the very essence of things, so that at 100 I will have reached heavenly mysteries. At 110, every point and line will be living.” Monet spent the last decades of his life painting his water lilies, and then painting them again, until he lost his sight in quest of an elusive, transcendent perfection that might best be called Japanese.

Y. sent me this apropos the Van Gogh-Hiroshige connection. – The Copenhagen Bike Culture Blog: Copenhagenize Injury Alert!
It turns out the that the American Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report [try putting THAT publication under ’employer’ on your dating website profile and see how many emails you DON’T get…] has analyzed a report that shows pet cats and dogs are to blame for a whoppingly shocking 87,000 fall injuries each year in America alone.

87,000 people have shown up at emergency rooms in the course of one year around the country because they tripped over their cat or dog or the dog pulled them on the leash.

87,000. Eighty-seven thousand. And another 87,000 next year. And the year after. And on and on unless we do something.

Where, in the name of Odin, are the safety freaks on this important issue?! Where are the helmet and safety gear manufacturers?! There are people out there to be bullied! There is safety gear to be sold! Millions to be made!

Very funny post with a nice dig at Treehugger!

Why text messages are limited to 160 characters | Technology | Los Angeles Times
Alone in a room in his home in Bonn, Germany, Friedhelm Hillebrand sat at his typewriter, tapping out random sentences and questions on a sheet of paper.

As he went along, Hillebrand counted the number of letters, numbers, punctuation marks and spaces on the page. Each blurb ran on for a line or two and nearly always clocked in under 160 characters.

That became Hillebrand’s magic number — and set the standard for one of today’s most popular forms of digital communication: text messaging.
(Via Pop Wuping)

A little bit of SMS and Twitter history.

TV Documentary on Stephen Batchelor
This thirty minute documentary on Stephen’s work was broadcast on national television in Holland on 20 April, 2008 as “Boeddhisme Zonder Geloof” (“Buddhism Without Beliefs”). It is in English with Dutch subtitles.

Very nice documentary. Thanks for the tip Dave.

Bike rental and helmet law

However, countries with helmet laws could lose out on the benefits from the City Bike revolution. None of the present schemes requires cyclists to use a helmet and none are provided. As well as the practical difficulties of offering helmets to users at each bike station in a sufficient range of sizes, there are health and hygiene issues that make sharing helmets unacceptable.

Head lice can live two days away from a host and are endemic in the western world, especially among children. Fungal scalp infections (“tinea capitis”) spread by contact. They are usually caused by fungi of the genera Microsporum and Trichophyton. They may be serious (“kerion”) and can result in hair loss (alopecia) or even major skin loss. Then there are the less tangible but real fears people have about not wanting to wear an item of second hand clothing, especially one that has not been washed. Helmets left for days exposed to the elements could grow mould, especially in humid climates.

Just as important, City Bike schemes are the most successful if they are able to capture impromptu journeys on demand, with no pre-planning and the minimum of fuss for the client. The need to carry a helmet around just in case you will want to hire a bike, or to have to mess about adjusting a hired helmet to fit, would kill off a large part of the market.
(Via Copenhagenize)

Read on.