If there’s one thing humans like to do, it’s categorize people. Everything from race to religion, height, weight, age, gender, ethnicity, ability, talent and achievement — to name a few — are considered.
Once everyone is classified into at least one group, but more likely into multiple groups, the comparisons begin. Individuals who like to classify everyone in this manner are constantly looking for similarities and differences in those around them.
If two people are alike in any way, they are lumped into the same group, irrespective of whatever differences they may have. This creates a neat little world where every individual has lost their individuality to a group, making only one thing about them apparent. Continue reading ….
As a photographer, I tend to see the world as an interesting and ever-changing collection of “interesting shots.” These shots do not include selfies. For while selfies can loosely be defined as photos, they do not reflect the photographer’s eye or how the photographer views something which is not presently seeing itself.
A good photographer can capture the world through a lens. But it’s important to remember that this lens is not on the camera, it is in the photographer’s brain. It is a way of seeing, not an impression recorded by a mechanical device.
So it was when I was walking in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area not too long ago. I spotted a young man seated on a wall, intently studying whatever was currently displayed on his phone, with his bicycle in front of him.
Continue reading ….
Most discussions about bicycles on the roads revolve around their interactions with cars. Cars are the dominant and most abundant vehicles on the roads, and bicycles are the most vulnerable and least prevalent vehicles on the roads. So, naturally, given that the two are diametrically opposed, and must share the roads, the conversation revolves around this “David versus Goliath” battle.
Actually, it should never have been a battle. In modern times, most first world countries have come to value cooperation and peace over conflict and war. This is not to say that we have eradicated war. Far from it. War is as much a part of everyday life as it was several thousand years ago. The main difference is that first world countries don’t fight wars on their on territory. They fight in foreign lands in the name of some political issue. Continue reading ….
In the U.S., bicycle components are often seen as luxury items. All sorts of fancy, high tech designs have been created in the name of precision and shaving weight off of the bike. None of these components are designed with durability or practicality in mind.
While this might not present a problem in a wealthy nation where the vast majority of bike riders are reasonably well off — at least in terms of having disposable income — it can prevent people from riding altogether in nations where bicycles are the main form of transportation due to poverty. Such individuals are in no position to spend a fortune to replace warn or broken bike components. Continue reading ….
From even a cursory exploration of the subject, it would seem that there are a finite number of uses for a bicycle. Technically speaking, there are. But, just when it seemed as if we had exhausted all options, someone thought of a new use and had to inquire as to whether it was legal.
At first glance, it’s hard to imagine how any bicycle use could be “illegal.” Other than riding a bike on a sidewalk, which isn’t exactly “illegal,” even though it is prohibited, nothing else comes to mind. That is unless you are someone who does not fit the stereotype of a cyclist. Continue reading ….
Bicycles, as lightweight objects which can’t be permanently affixed to anything, are an easy target for thieves. Even when they are locked, a determined thief will manage to break them free.
It’s a combination of determination on the part of the thief and the limitations of the lock. No bicycle lock is foolproof. With enough time and effort a thief can break or cut the lock and make off with the bike. Continue reading ….
There are some really strange stories on the Internet about cyclists’ experiences. And given that they are posted on the Internet, one has to wonder about their veracity.
It isn’t always easy to know who wrote the story, although sometimes the author’s identity, if it can be determined in the real world, lends the story credence. We can assume that if the person wrote about his own experience, there is some truth to it, even if it is only his recollection and interpretation of the events which ensued. Continue reading ….
Yet again, the passage of a 3 foot passing law, designed to protect cyclists as drivers pass them, sparked a debate. This time, the debate ensued in San Diego, California.
The argument was over sharing the road, not surprising given that, with the passage of the law, drivers would now be required to give cyclists more room when passing then they had before. In the eyes of some drivers, this was unfair because they thought that cyclists caused more accidents than drivers and therefore resented having to change their driving habits to increase the safety of other road users. Continue reading ….
Sometimes it seems as if advertising people will do anything to sell us their wares. Many of the things they do are outrageous, and if the rest of us did these things, we would be admonished for being unethical or worse.
In advertising, shocking images are used to draw the viewer’s attention to the ad, with the intent of making him or her want to buy the product. Such methods are meant to make the product memorable. Continue reading ….
What have our societies become when local authorities are forced to apply for grants to build sidewalks for children? While this is a good thing, as it allows the children to engage in healthier options for traveling to school, it speaks volumes about where our priorities are.
For instance, a recent article on a local news site for Ithaca, New York was entitled “Village to Get $300K for Sidewalks.” Apparently, the village of Dryden applied for a grant under New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to provide $70 million in state funding for bicycle and pedestrian sidewalk projects.
Continue reading ….