Month: June 2010

It’s Gay Pride Season 2010

Ooops – the date I had for NY (6/19/10) was the startup rally. The actual is on the 27th.

So Boston is the 12th. I’ve never been to Boston Pride.

Providence is on the 19th.

I suppose it’s too much to ask that the Providence Illuminated Parade actually be illuminated. What happened to gay people, we used to know how to put together a float with nothing but some 2×4’s, some chicken wire, tissue and spray paint. Now they think loading a flatbed with skinny dancing twinks and shining a couple little 13.8V lights on them is enough. It isn’t.

What happened to wanting to be in the spotlight? Hello out there – shine it brightly!

Damn it I’m doing it again. I’m sounding like a cantankerous bastard. But come on, you have to agree, do it with a little pizazz, a little flair, a little style. Don’t make it lowest common denominator or just plain common.

You know its bad when…

You see a Frozen Desserts truck. And emblazoned on the side is dairy free soft serve and Vegan treats.

I’m all for it if you choose that lifestyle. But it just struck me as funny to see that on a dessert truck.

Good for Gainesville!

Seems Gainesville, FL is doing a new operation with decoys in crosswalks.

And it’s a $154 fine for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Imagine that, some drivers are beside themselves about this. Too bad. Pedestrians have the right of way too.

I wish we’d do the same in Providence. I’ve seen a lot of aggressive behavior regarding crosswalks, particularly the free standing crosswalks as opposed to those with signals.

But even at those with signals you get the attitude. For example at the intersection of Atwells Ave with Eagle St. and Harris Ave, if you’re walking up on the eastbound sidewalk, good luck crossing because the right turn lane on eastbound Atwells just keeps flowing. So you have to get a little aggressive yourself. Look the driver right in the eye, that usually stops them.

I’m talking about the area in the lower left. The other side is fine and controlled by the signals. But here is something that most RI drivers probably forget. It’s right turn on red AFTER stop.

Looking at that cluster fuck of an intersection I see they could have put one of those mini-roundabouts in there. In fact they already have most of the elements in place with the islands they’ve now built up.

It would accomplish several things. It would calm the traffic down considerably. It would also accommodate pedestrians better than we do now. Not to mention they wouldn’t have to shell out all that money for signals.

A traffic light isn’t cheap. Average traffic signal now costs $57,354 to install.

The Future is Electric

I’m a Digg user and I subscribe to their RSS feeds. Today seems to be big on the car and energy front.

The LA Times is doing a whole series of articles on green technologies like the fact that the state of California helped the Modesto & Empire Traction Co. to upgrade their locomotives.

The best part is buried at the end of the article:

Compared with the old locomotives the M&ET had used through last fall, the new ones reduce particulate matter emissions 90% and oxide of nitrogen emissions 80%, she said. Those two elements cause air pollution, which is linked to health problems, including asthma and cancer.

But then I read about the MIT researcher who discovered a high density battery system but couldn’t get any capital financing to build those batteries here in the U.S.

That part really irks me. But Chiang is having his way through government sponsorship. That’s right, and it’s money well spent because our future is going to be very much more electric than internal combustion very soon.

I’ve done some reading on the topic and I concur with the last article I linked. We’re less than a decade out to a majority of electric vehicles in the United States. If we really wanted we could pare that down to 5 years. Maybe that’s what the government needs to put it’s money into, a new project like the Manhattan Project, or like Apollo. A project that really benefits We the People.

And if you want to read about the electric vehicles that ran the streets of NYC in the early 20th century I recommend Edwin Black’s “Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives”

More mileage

So we did a 7 mile walk today. This is good, I’m getting back into the swing.

And I do have a 2nd interview for a job coming up this week. The job site is exactly 3 miles door to door. Easy enough to ride a bike as it’s downhill all the way there with a slight uphill coming home. I figure I can log 30 to 35 miles a week on the bike. That works out to 410 calories a day, 2050 per week. In other words it burns as much as not eating for a full day.

It would be very good and the biking season here can go 9 to 10 months depending on your gear and the weather conditions. For example, we really don’t get a lot of snow until December or thereabouts and what we do get is cleared and gone in a day or so. Probably just keep a few bucks on me for a bus on the bad days.

I like walking and biking. You see things you’d miss while driving a car. Today for example, saw the most gorgeous sunset. The sun was a bright orange globe just a few degrees off the horizontal plane. Of course Keyron dissuaded me from bringing the camera.

When will I learn, just bring the camera with me. Or wait until the iPod Touch finally gets a camera.

Medical: A possible cure for breast cancer

While watching the CBS evening newscast I saw this story on a new breast cancer vaccine.

The article mentions that this technique, from an immunological perspective could cure a lot of different cancers. Wouldn’t that be something.

My mother died as a result of metastatic breast cancer 31 years, 7 months and 20 days ago.

But this news us encouraging since it will spare other women from suffering the agony of breast cancer.

All of this is is the result of sequencing and decoding the human genome and gaining a better understand of the human body and it’s underlying processes.

Sadly not soon enough for my mother.

They now have vaccines for human papillomavirus (HPV) and the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Not to mention the trials with a modified Herpes Simplex virus (HSV) that knocks out Stage IV melanoma. Stage IV is defined as cancers that have often metastasized, or spread to other organs or throughout the body. Very bad.

The Melanoma treatment involves injecting this HSV modification into the melanoma tumors on the skin. It also shrinks the metastasized tumors and cause them to undergo tissue necrosis.

We are entering a new epoch in the medical sciences. Hopefully it means a longer lifespan, one in which the common plagues of humanity won’t affect us.