March 30th, 2018

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Wheelchair Symbol

 This article looks at the evolving imagery of the wheelchair symbol.  An unofficial version is becoming popular, which shows an athletic person propelling their wheelchair forward.  That's great for sporty users.  The problem is, it now explicitly excludes the more-disabled people who typically use electric chairs or who have someone else push their manual chair.  While I like the active design unto itself, I'm really not comfortable with that exclusivity.  I wouldn't want it to become the official symbol -- but I would be content to see it as one among many diverse symbols for accessible services.
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Estimating Travel Times

This article says that people avoid biking or walking to work or school because they have trouble estimating how long it will take them to travel that far in that mode.  I was just boggled.  Who estimates  something important like that?  If I needed to go somewhere important, I scouted the route in advance and timed it so I would know.  At times when I was routinely walking or biking, I knew about how far I could go in a given time, so I could use that to gauge a different destination; not something I did a lot of, but I could do it.  My partner, who handles most of our driving logistics, is quite good at getting us places on time.  If people don't think of scouting a route and timing it, well, no wonder they're afraid to try other travel modes!  That just seems like such a basic skill to me, I'm surprised people have lost it.  0_o
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Genderspace Clubs

This article explores the legality of genderspace clubs.  I hope they rule in favor of genderspace, because women need it.  The alternative is that many women simply don't go to clubs frequented by men, because it's risky and often unpleasant.  And honestly, men need some recreational space away from women.  I'm a gender scholar.  I've seen the phenomenal difference between coed sexual awareness workshops, which don't work; and genderspace ones, which do.  There are some conversations that rarely or never happen in mixed-gender space.  Of course public services need to be open to everyone.  But not everything is public, and clubs often are private.  Women aren't the only ones who need safe spaces among themselves -- so do queerfolk, people of color, and other marginalized groups.  But mostly, it's about control.  Who controls a space.  Who gets to socialize in the way they prefer.  I feel that a wider diversity of venues will suit a wider range of needs than forcing them all to conform to the same style.
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Birdfeeding

When I went out to feed birds today, I walked around the yard and discovered a freshly dug rabbit nest.  At the time it was empty except for some dried grass.  Now there is a rabbit digging it bigger.

Today is mild and partly sunny.  The birds are active.  I've seen lots of sparrows and several cardinals.