January 9th, 2021


Community Building Tip: Park and Pedal

For my current set of tips, I'm using the list "101 Small Ways You Can Improve Your City.

55. Organize a park-and-pedal. David Montague, the owner of a Boston company that makes foldable bicycles, wanted to encourage cycling in an area where many faced long commutes, and hit upon an ingenious hybrid solution: Organize a cycling-based version of the park and ride systems utilized by city commuters. His Park&Pedal system, which utilizes existing parking lots and trails to encourages people to split their commute between biking and driving, now includes 19 lots around the Boston area.

Hybrid transit in general is a powerful tool for expanding access and reducing pollution.  Use extant resources as a starting point for upgrades.  Remember, 1 car parking space = 10 bike parking spaces.

To make this kind of option accessible for more people, I suggest adding a pedicab service, shuttles, or other resources for people with disabilities.  Also check the places they go, which are sometimes different than where abled people go, and see whether those connect with the park and pedal setup.


Today is chilly and gray.

I fed the birds.  I saw a squirrel earlier, and a downy woodpecker.  There were several cardinals around when I went out.

I found a stick to hang my remaining window crystals!  :D  Most of what I've found on the ground has been flimsy, so I thought I'd have to cut one, but this is a thick old piece weathered much like driftwood.  \o/ 

Exoplanet Biosignatures

Exoplanet Biosignatures: Observational Prospects talks about opportunities and methods for discovering hints of life in far-flung places, though it seems largely limited to "life as we know it."

Eh, give 'em time, they'll branch out. Right now the Universe seems to be amusing itself by watching for astrophysicists to develop a new theory explaining exoplanets, and then throwing nerf bricks at their heads in the form of new exoplanets that don't fit the pattern. Exoplanets will continue to be thrown until all the LULZ have been had.

Science is like playing Mastermind with a super-intelligent opponent who has set up the opposite end of the board but refuses to say whether your guesses are right or wrong.