Morton on Humanity: The Anthropocene

A dried-up reservoir bed in South Korea.It’s a long read on The Guardian, but definitely worth it.

Timothy Morton wants humanity to give up some of its core beliefs, from the fantasy that we can control the planet to the notion that we are ‘above’ other beings. His ideas might sound weird, but they’re catching on.

‘A reckoning for our species’: the philosopher prophet of the Anthropocene

 

 

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Jaywalking 101

A hundred years ago, if you were a pedestrian, crossing the street was simple: You walked across it.

Today, if there’s traffic in the area and you want to follow the law, you need to find a crosswalk. And if there’s a traffic light, you need to wait for it to change to green.

Fail to do so, and you’re committing a crime: jaywalking.

The forgotten history of how automakers invented the crime of “jaywalking”

 

Paris invests in cycling and curbs cars

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Paris has a rather ambitious plan. Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the first female Mayor of Paris, is is to ban all diesel engines by 2020, eliminate 55,000 parking spaces every year, and spend 150-million Euros to double the size of the city’s bicycle network.

‘Vélib’ is the trailblazing public bike share scheme, which – in the past nine years – has blossomed into the single largest system outside China. Three hundred thousand members take a fleet of 18,500 bicycles for an average of 108,000 trips per day, for a staggering total of over 292 million trips since launching in 2007.

Giving Parisians back the space that cars have taken from them

Image: Modacity

Image: Modacity

A Cycle-friendly Minneapolis?

Cyclists and walkers cross the pedestrian-only stone arch bridge that crosses the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.Minneapolis as a bike-friendly city? It could happen as “…the overall share of bike trips in Minneapolis is just over 4.5%. This is pretty good by US standards, but some way from Portland’s 7%, a figure cycle activists in Portland say rises to about 20% for commutes in some neighbourhoods. Copenhagen, meanwhile, sees about about 35% of all trips made on a bike, and has a 50% target for all commutes.”

Minneapolis tries to topple Portland as America’s most cycle-friendly city

Bike Share system to launch in Vancouver … soon.

 

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“This summer, Vancouver will join the ranks of over 800 cities around the world that have provided the gateway to utility cycling; and with that, an inevitable shift in our emerging bike culture, to one that is slower, simpler, and more civilized. But we are not alone in our unbridled enthusiasm.”

A public bike share system build specifically for Vancouver

 

For those less enthused by that galaxy far, far away…

Station-ElevenNo, I haven’t seen it yet. Yes, I’m going to, so no spoilers please. I found this article in The Tyee about the franchise-ation of Star Wars that has become a marketing tidal wave bigger than anyone could have ever imagined. The article makes for interesting reading relating to the author’s love of science fiction and some fascinating novels, such as those by Finnish writers Leena Krohn and Emmi Itäranta. In Canada there is Emily St. John Mandel’s environmentally-themed climate change novel Station Eleven, which are promising places to start.

“…More literate critics … picked up on George Lucas’s use of Thomas Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which deals with the basic structures and images of mythmaking and storytelling. You could build a whole dissertation out of parsing the Star Wars franchise, and I’m sure many have If it had been a one-off, or even just a trilogy, it might have been a classic. Instead, it became both an industry and a culture of its own, now thriving well into its first half-century….”

A Better Force Awakens: The Tyee

10 ways vegetarianism can help save the planet

 

Here’s a good article that explains 10 reasons why vegetarianism is a good thing for planet Earth, with the stats and research to boot. That being said, it is a difficult choice to make if you’re living in such a meat-based, carnivore culture. Or if you enjoy eating meat, it’s good to know where it comes from. More *ahem* food for thought.

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10 Ways vegetarianism can save the planet