πŸ’­ Some Thoughts, 2024-03-12

Reddit, Tumblr, and WordPress.com are selling user data for AI training. Take the requisite steps to opt-out. Or better yet, wipe your accounts and start a blog.

Spain is banning short-haul flights. Please do private jets next.

MedellΓ­n has drastically reduced city temperatures by building green corridors. Hopefully, American cities will adopt the practice as global temperatures rise.

Conservation efforts in Europe are leading to the reemergence of wild mammals. There is hope for near-extinct species when change is enacted.

Hoboken, New Jersey hasn’t seen a pedestrian death in 7 years. Daylighting and pedestrian-friendly street design should be a priority everywhere.

There are an ungodly number of golf courses in the United States. Thankfully, some organizations are dedicated to rewilding defunct courses.

Botanical gardens can cool city air by an average of 5 degrees Celsius. Botanical gardens are great for cities and a wonder to behold. Support your local botanical garden by becoming a member.

Oklahoma is opting out of a federal summer food program for children. Shockingly, a politician can be openly against feeding children and not have his career ruined.

A bookstore in Fort Collins has a reader-in-residence program that pays a 50-dollar book stipend and a cup of coffee. What a cool idea. Where can I sign up?

Pittsburgh is again expanding its already top-notch bike share program. Good stuff.

πŸ’­ Some Thoughts, 2024-02-22

The White House announced $5.8 billion in funding for water infrastructure. It’s nice to have an administration make real, tangible improvements to our country.

The Biden administration has forgiven more student loans. Student loan forgiveness is not a long-term solution. The system needs to change so predatory student loans do not exist.

West Virginia wants to prosecute librarians for sharing obscene books. This is the kind of thing Bradbury and Orwell were writing about.

It looks as if the Coyote Vs. Acme movie is going to be deleted forever. My heart goes out to the creators who have to watch their hard work be destroyed. I agree with calls to rewrite the tax law loophole.

I wholly support the movement to rewild golf courses. Do cemeteries next, please.

Cars are responsible for 1 in 34 deaths. Trains, buses, and bike lanes fix this.

Cities across the United States are changing zoning rules to build more housing. It’s great to see. We need more mixed-used zoning and fewer parking minimums.

The new Major League Baseball uniforms look like cheap knock-offs. The pants are entirely see-through. Between increased ticket prices, streaming blackouts, ad proliferation, gambling proliferation, and relocation extortion, team owners and their lackey, Rob Manfred, are doing everything they can to bilk every last dollar from the public.

πŸ’­ Some Thoughts, 2024-01-30

  1. Homelessness is a solvable problem, as evidenced by Finland’s recent efforts.
  2. Right-on-red is bad. It endangers pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike.
  3. California Forever’s future is being put to a vote this November. I hope the city lives up to its promises.
  4. Shockingly, there is at least one publication willing to give page space to the opinion that more parking leads to better walkability. What a backwards way of thinking.
  5. Texas jurors disagree with fines levied on an organization for feeding the homeless. Good on these Texas citizens. What a cruel and un-Christian law.
  6. Every city needs open streets. The mainstream is starting to get wise.

πŸ’­ Some Thoughts, 2023-12-13

  1. A Cruise vehicle needs about 1.5 human operators per robot to cross San Francisco. We are a long way away from fully autonomous vehicles, folks.
  2. The CEO of HBO admitted to creating burner social media accounts to harass critics online. Between this and the MAX rebrand, what else does this guy have to do to get fired?
  3. I love the idea of pocket forests, especially if the trade-off is fewer parking lots.
  4. Unsurprisingly, e-bikes cut demand for oil more than electric cars. Now if only we built our city infrastructure to accommodate them.
  5. The Biden Administration announced $8.2 billion in funding for passenger rail. What an exciting time for American infrastructure.
  6. Amsterdam cut speed limits within the city to less than 19 mph. It’s expected to decrease serious accidents by as much as 30%.
  7. The night train between Paris and Berlin is back. More night trains, please.
  8. Greedflation is a real thing.
  9. Public Domain Day is almost upon us.
  10. Home Alone is one of twenty-five films added to the National Film Registry this year. Well deserved.
  11. The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Shohei Ohtani to a whopping $700 million contract. However, after deferrals, the real-day value of the contract is only $437.8 million. The Dodgers stand to make tens of millions of dollars annually in endorsements alone from Ohtani’s addition. It’s a huge win for ownership and a huge win for Dodgers fans.

πŸ’­ Some Thoughts, 2023-11-03

  1. In a surprise to no one, blue checkmark accounts are the leading source of misinformation on X. The enshittification of Twitter continues.
  2. Elon Musk wants X to replace banks. I don’t blame anyone for being wary of big banks, but entrusting your money to Elon Musk is far from the correct answer.
  3. The Beatles’ last song was recently released thanks to the help of AI. Between this and the Herculaneum scrolls, it’s cool to see AI being used for good.
  4. Meta wants to charge a monthly fee for ad-free Facebook and Instagram accounts. People, you do not need to pay for social media. You are the product. They should be paying you instead. Join the fediverse and be done with the tech overlords.
  5. Austin, Texas is the first major city in the United States to drop parking minimums. Well done, Austin. I hope more cities follow.
  6. Streets in Pittsburgh’s Strip District are getting a makeover. It’s a shame there are no car-free streets in the Strip. It would go a long way to alleviating the pedestrian congestion in front of those lovely food markets.
  7. The Dodgers have signed Max Muncy to a two-year extension. Remember folks, batting average is a poor metric for evaluating a hitter’s impact. Despite the opinions of internet trolls, Muncy is good, and this is a great deal for the Dodgers.
  8. Congrats to former Dodger great Corey Seager on winning his second World Series MVP.

πŸ’­ Some Thoughts, 2023-10-24

  1. There is an initiative to turn a stretch of ocean along California’s Central Coast into a National Marine Sanctuary, and it needs your support. It’s a beautiful stretch of nature that deserves protection.
  2. U.S. scientists have laid out a plan to transition the country away from fossil fuels. Unfortunately, it will not happen with the current generation of political leaders. #urbanism
  3. X will start charging some newcomers a small fee. Charging for social media usage is a surefire way to get people to stop using said service. Please do it so everyone can finally move to Mastodon. #web and tech
  4. How can anyone trust a man who is anti-Wikipedia? #web and tech
  5. POSSE via Activitypub is the future I want for the internet, and it’s gaining more traction. #web and tech
  6. I’ve installed the Friends plugin on my blog. It’s one step closer to turning this site into its own fully functioning Mastodon instance, but it’s not yet there. #web and tech
  7. The Dodgers were eliminated from the playoffs immediately. Considering the roster, I think it’s fair to say the team overachieved during the regular season. Given that fact and the reported clubhouse troubles of rival teams (i.e. Giants and Padres), I think it’s time for Dodgers fans to show a little more respect towards Dave Roberts. #sports
  8. The Dodgers have about $100 million to spend for next season before they hit the luxury tax. Not acquiring at least one of Ohtani or Yamamoto would be a disappointment. #sports
  9. I’m glad to see the Rangers eliminate the Astros from championship contention. Congrats to Corey Seager on making it to another World Series. I’m rooting for the Phillies over the Diamondbacks tonight. #sports

πŸ’­ Some Thoughts, 2023-09-05

  1. Mookie Betts is killing it this season. To my recollection, it’s the first time “best shape of his life” claims have translated to greater on-field results. #sports
  2. The road tolls from driving between Pennsylvania and Minnesota are brutal.
  3. I think autonomous vehicles will almost entirely eliminate road fatalities in the future, but so can trains and bicycles, and we already have the technology for those. #urbanism
  4. Autonomous and electric vehicles are progressive evolutions away from human-operated, petrol vehicles. The issue I take is with corporations and their executives who advocate against public transit and urbanist policies to enlarge their markets. Elon Musk even admitted his Southern California Hyperloop tunnel was merely a stunt to get legislators to cancel plans for a high-speed rail. #urbanism
  5. If you want to get a sense of a place’s culture, go to a local fair/festival. #unsolicited advice
  6. One of the best indicators of a good museum is the quality of its gift shop.
  7. Private beaches should not be a thing. Shoreline highways should not be a thing. Design cities so rivers and lakes can be enjoyed by everyone. #urbanism

πŸ’­ Some Thoughts, 2023-08-15

  1. People underestimate how dope BRT is when done right. #urbanism
  2. The Halloween season shouldn’t start until October. Likewise, Christmas shouldn’t start until after Thanksgiving. People begin decorating earlier and earlier every year, and I will not stand for it.
  3. I thought it was bad when I put a hold on the ebook for Crook Manifesto and found myself 58th in line. Yesterday I put a hold on The Wager, and I’m currently 121st in line. #books and media
  4. I’m reading Magpie Murders and decided to look up the author’s bio. Not only is Horowitz far more prolific than I realized, but he also wrote a few episodes of Poirot, one of my all-time favorite shows. #books and media
  5. I find the background sounds feature on iPhone immensely useful and something I wish I had known about sooner. #web and tech
  6. The number one amateur Korean prospect Hyun-Seok Jang decided to forgo the KBO draft to sign with the Dodgers. What a coup. Hopefully, the fireballer bypasses the complex league and begins his career in A-ball next season. #sports

πŸ’­ Some Thoughts, 2023-07-28

  1. Things I want from my electronics: 1) Sustainably sourced materials. 2) Fairly compensated company employees. 3) Tracker-free, privacy-respecting software. 4) Replaceable components.
  2. Las Vegas has a real opportunity to improve its city by building a subway system but instead decided to drink the Kool-Aid of a billionaire egotist. #urbanism
  3. I read the first Peter Wimsey book and the guy is basically Batman. He is a rich playboy with a passion for stopping crime. He has all sorts of custom-made gizmos he carries around with him. He has a British manservant to aid his investigations and remind him of his high society obligations and manners. #books and media
  4. On the sports front, it’s one of my favorite times of the year: the baseball trade deadline. It’s a seller’s market. With three wild card spots in each league, more teams will try to stay competitive for a shot at the playoffs. There is also the factor of minor league roster size decreasing next season, which might encourage teams to move lesser prospects they won’t have room for in the future. #sports
  5. The July heat brings an annual reminder of the impact trees have on temperature control in neighborhoods. #urbanism
  6. Two books I’ve anticipated for some time are out now: Light Bringer by Pierce Brown and Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead. I put holds on both books at my local library. #books and media

πŸ’­ Some Thoughts, 2023-07-21

  1. Chattanooga gets incredible thunderstorms.
  2. A good aquarium has both creatures from all over the world and hyper-local exhibits.
  3. Bicycles are hands down the most fun mode of transportation. Trains are second. #urbanism
  4. I hope Threads keeps to its promise of federation. I want Mastodon to succeed and the more Twitter clones joining the Fediverse, the better. #web and tech
  5. Summer is wildfire season in California. Smoke is the norm. If this summer is any indication of the future, that norm won’t apply only to California but to the entire United States.
  6. Driving through Kentucky recently I saw a search party at one end of the state and a coroner’s van at the other. Makes me wonder what in the world is going on in Kentucky.
  7. Mascots of the Pittsburgh Pirates include a parrot and five pierogies. That’s hard to beat. #sports