February 13, 2017

Fat bikes: the first ten years

Via Singletracks.com, watch 10 years of fat: the past present and future of fat bikes.

February 12, 2017

La traversée du lac Memphrémagog à vélo

La traversée du lac Memphrémagog à vélo
Magog, QC, Sat Feb 11, 2017

February 11, 2017


The term "alt-right" and the people claiming its mantle had already been gaining visibility in the media before Clinton's speech. They were primarily seen as an amorphous community with an inclination for vicious online trolling, with some roots in fringe-right ideologies. But when Clinton thrust the alt-right into the national spotlight, she did no favors for the media, which has struggled to cover the ragtag coalition that has claimed the term.

In March 2016, Breitbart's Milo Yiannopoulos and Allum Bokhari posted a 5,000-word explainer/defense of the alt-right, ascribing to it intellectual roots in the neo-reactionary, human biodiversity and ethno-nationalist movements. Several other outlets like Vice, Vox, and National Review posted their own explainers.

In alt-right speak, the term "spicy boi" is meant to lampoon political correctness. It refers to a Change.org petition to rename fire ants to "spicy boys" because, as the petition helpfully explains, "It's 2016, we have 36 genders...why aren't we calling fire ants spicey boys?" As for the spelling of boi, that's just internet for boy. The petition currently has more than 60,000 signatures.

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Park-poor, low-income communities of color, forgotten in the shadows ?

As American downtowns repopulate and densify, green space is at more and more of a premium. Very few open lots that could be turned into parks remain around urban cores; often, land that becomes available holds remnants of the industrial past. That's why so many of these "adaptive reuse" projects--with sleek aesthetics that often highlight, rather than hide, the old highway/flood channel/railway--are getting built.

Meanwhile, city governments rarely have room in their budgets, or even imaginations, to redevelop those tracts on their own. It's largely up to private funders to bankroll these projects--and it's mostly private individuals who dream them up. From an investor standpoint, the High Line's stunning successes make these projects no-brainers to back: Green space draws new businesses and dwellings. There's big redevelopment money to be made. So they partner with city governments, hungry for a heftier tax base, to do it.

But these obsolete bits of infrastructure generally have people living near them, and often, they are park-poor, low-income communities of color, forgotten in the shadows of that very strip of concrete or steel. This is true for many of the 17 projects involved in the High Line Network. Planners and designers--who are usually white--may try to engage residents in dialogue; often, they fail.

February 10, 2017

MTBR fat bikes forum

MTBR fat bikes forum.

February 9, 2017

Lauf Carbonara (Fatbike Fork)

Leaf spring front fork from Iceland: Lauf Carbonara


February 7, 2017

You are very free to say Milo Yiannopoulos if you like. Arianna Stassinopoulus, Act II

The real joke being that Yiannopoulos isn't even a genuine creature of the Right... he's no more ideologically committed to the Right Wing than any of the vast majority of (successful) American politicians are ideologically committed to Israel... they just do what they "gotta" do.

That is to say, Yiannopoulos is a run of the mill, power-hungry, self-interested airhead-Capitalist at heart and if this were twenty years ago, he'd be Ariana Huffington (née Arianna Stassinopoulus), realizing that there was more influence/money to be had in wrapping a conservative core with a smiley facade and fleecing softer soccer mom sheep (aka The Clinton Maneuver).

All these years later, though, the "Liberals" are no longer sexy (have you seen what's happening to the Clinton Foundation? Yipes!)... so Yiannopoulos is milking the "Alt Right" for what it's worth. But what is he milking? (npi)

He makes comments and speeches we disagree with.... and? What kind of shelf-life do you think a Gay British Pretty Boy Nazi-Lite Shock-Jock Nitwit will actually have as a meme in America? Simply printing his name won't give him any extra "power", but treating him like 10x the threat he actually is is precisely what grants him visibility.

February 5, 2017

New York City bike lanes, circa 2002

New York City bike lanes rated Rate a C for experienced cyclists, but a F for new people on bicycles -- Clarence Eckerson of BikeTV

February 3, 2017

Wasteful and profuse luxury

The wasteful and profuse luxury depicted in the photographs above reflect the insatiable need for constant growth -- the boundless, directionless quality of the drive to accumulate, possess, and consume. The current system encourages and facilitates this disposition in an increasingly narrow section of society.

These decadent lifestyles stand in stark contrast to the principles of austerity being forced on the vast majority in the West's recession-plagued economies. Amid deepening inequality, images like these can justifiably provoke anger: Lord Aleem, a nineteen-year-old, self-styled Rich Kid of Instagram from Birmingham, regularly posted photographs of his collection of luxury cars outside his home until four of his £500,000 fleet were torched by arsonists last year.

Continue reading "Wasteful and profuse luxury" »

February 1, 2017

Flatiron Institute

Computers have been a fixture for decades in astrophysics and many other fields of science. But typically, the computer programs are written by graduate students, often abandoned after they finish their programs. "Those people aren't great coders, for the most part," Mr. Simons said.

At the Flatiron Institute, a good fraction of the staff will be professional computer programmers, producing software not only for the in-house scientists but also available for anyone else who needs it.

"These are really interesting questions, and we can think longer than the three-year grant cycle. They can tackle tough questions and put the time in that's necessary."

-- Marilyn Simons.

January 31, 2017

New York City Has Been Zoned to Segregate

New York City Has Been Zoned to Segregate
A new book argues that poor communities of color are hurt by the city's zoning and housing policies.

Today, historical color lines are being redrawn through a concentration of wealth and the displacement of communities of color. In New York, that phenomenon may be spurred in part by the city's well-intentioned land-use policies. Various types of rezoning--upzoning and mixed-use zoning, for example--have inadvertently but disproportionately harmed poor neighborhoods. That's the central argument of Zoned Out!, a new book edited by Tom Angotti, an urban planning professor at the City University of New York, and housing advocate Sylvia Morse.

we talk about in the book is the watering down of the word "affordable." Affordable housing used to imply that it was housing for people who had less money, who needed help affording housing. Now, it basically means anything that meets the federal guidelines for rent not costing more than 30 percent of household income, and really there's a lot of room to obscure which groups you're serving through affordable housing. I think that's a very New York City-specific context. Of course, we still have the old school, low-density NIMBYism, which we talk about [in the book].

Continue reading "New York City Has Been Zoned to Segregate" »

January 30, 2017

Propublica: breaking the black box what Facebook knows about you

Propublica's breaking the black box what Facebook knows about you.

January 29, 2017

Minimum SAT score for college admission: varies by race ?

A 2009 Princeton study showed Asian-Americans had to score 140 points higher on their SATs than whites, 270 points higher than Hispanics and 450 points higher than blacks to have the same chance of admission to leading universities.

A lawsuit filed in 2014 accused Harvard of having a cap on the number of Asian students -- the percentage of Asians in Harvard's student body had remained about 16 percent to 19 percent for two decades even though the Asian-American percentage of the population had more than doubled. In 2016, the Asian American Coalition for Education filed a complaint with the Department of Education against Yale, where the Asian percentage had remained 13 percent to 16 percent for 20 years, as well as Brown and Dartmouth, urging investigation of their admissions practices for similar reasons.

Continue reading "Minimum SAT score for college admission: varies by race ?" »

January 27, 2017

Pussifictation of hats, Reminiscence


Are you on the side that don't like life
Are you on the side of racial strife
Are you on the side that beats your wife
Which side are you on?

Are you on the side who loves to hunt?
Are you on the side of the National Front?
Are you on the side who calls me cunt?
Which side are you on?

-- Zeynep Tufekci, an associate professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, is the author of the forthcoming "Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest."

Continue reading "Pussifictation of hats, Reminiscence" »

January 26, 2017

Cambridge Analytica's psychographic profiling for behavioral microtargeting for election processes

Understand personality, not just demographics. OCEAN model: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism.

In a 10 minute presentation at the 2016 Concordia Summit, Mr. Alexander Nix discusses the power of big data in global elections. Cambridge Analytica's revolutionary approach to audience targeting, data modeling, and psychographic profiling has made them a leader in behavioral micro-targeting for election processes around the world.

Cambridge's voter data innovations are built from a traditional five-factor model for gauging personality traits. The company uses ongoing nationwide survey data to evaluate voters in specific regions according to the OCEAN or CANOE factors of openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. The ultimate political application of the modeling system is to craft specific ad messages tailored to voter segments based on how they fall on the five-factor spectrum.

The number-crunching and analytics for Mr. Trump felt more like a "data experiment," said Matthew Oczkowski, head of product at Cambridge Analytica, who led the team for nearly six months.

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January 24, 2017

Soo Kyung Bae's thigh gap

Definition: "thigh gap" is ideal, a desired defined gap between the upper thighs when standing with your feet together.

National University of Singapore design student Soo Kyung Bae Thigh Gap Jewellery probes and mocks this trend.thigh-gap-jewellery-soo-kyung-bae_dezeen_936_1.jpg

January 23, 2017

Seatpost suspension: suspend the person, not the vehicle

Ride Body Float and Cane Creek Thudbuster.

Cane Creek review.

January 22, 2017

Explanations of Donald Trump know few bounds

The Baffler (Sam Kriss) steps up to the plate and explains,

Donald Trump is, to put it crudely, a soppy old bitch. Everything he dislikes is "nasty," every time he doesn't get what he wants it's because of people who "aren't very nice." These are the politics of civility and decorum, petit-bourgeois manners refracted through his own particular neurosis.

In his mannerisms, his gesticulating hands, his New York whine, Trump looks nothing like the conquering strongman of alt-right fantasy and liberal fears. He's turned himself into a living caricature of a garrulous Jew, the mother from a Philip Roth novel. (His own mother, Mary Trump, ran away from the prim and chilly Scottish islands to marry a rich American; she wore, in her later years, an enormous curl of golden hair that looks exactly like Donald Trump's own.)

Continue reading "Explanations of Donald Trump know few bounds" »