The 12-step method for combating addiction is demonstrably inferior to other treatment strategies, according to this article in Atlantic Monthly.
I don’t always like the Economist, but this tirade against sprawl-generating, wealth-concentrating, fossil-fuel-wasting restrictions on urbanism is spot on, from its diagnosis of the causes of the housing affordability crunch to its call for land-value taxation.
Our friends at Common Acre are putting on an event at town hall on May 4th with none other than the Northwest mycologist superstar: Paul Stamets! Come join this “fungi” and learn how mushrooms can help the health of people and the planet. You’ll have new respect for this organism that exists under every step you take. Find out more about the event here.
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Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club launched a new program on Tuesday that aims to get more women on the road. She Bikes features a series of rides, classes, and clinics for women who bike, want to bike more, or simply want to give it a try. I particularly enjoyed reading the women bike advice column, which aims to answer those potentially awkward women-specific biking questions. This program has inspired me to start biking to work this month! Let’s hope it lasts!
There’s plenty of good oil train reading this week.
- Foremost among them is the Oregonian’s Rob Davis on why oil trains don’t have to explode.
- When they do explode, they can lead to lawsuits. For example, the BNSF engineer involved in the Casselton, North Dakota inferno is suing the railroad for PTSD and other trauma. BNSF is challenging the lawsuit.
- Meanwhile, the Swinomish Tribe in north Puget Sound is fed up with BNSF too. They’re suing the railroad for failing to abide by the terms of a decades-old legal agreement that BNSF has with the Tribe in order to obtain a railway easement across their lands.
- The National Transportation Safety Board issued yet another plea for urgent action to upgrade oil-laden rail cars. No official word yet on when that long overdue slowly phased-in upgrade might happen.
- For no real good reason (and with a hat tip to Migee Han), let’s all take a moment to enjoy this Dolly Parton classic, “I’ll Oilwells Love You.”
In non-oil train news, if there is such a thing, I very much enjoyed Brock Winstead’s detailed historical look at the way gentrification—the tectonic shifting of peoples and political influences—has played out on his parcel of land in Oakland, California since the Spanish first arrived.
The Washington Post had a couple of intriguing pieces recently on why kids are getting more aggressive on the playground and why so many kids can’t sit still in school today. The answer may be that kids are increasingly under-developed physically. Author Valerie Strauss argues that lacking sufficient exercise and opportunities for robust play, they have poorly developed body awareness and muscle control. I suspect anyone who hangs around young kids will recognize some of the symptoms that Strauss describes.
Finally, a rant aimed at Seattle’s Metropolitan Improvement District: what in the name of all that is holy is up with those new sidewalk cleaning machines? I’m all for cleaner sidewalks downtown, but is it really necessary that they emit a constant stream of digital warnings and electronic beeps at a deafening volume? I mean, I work five stories up and it sounds like the thing is at the next desk over. Are those sonic batterings in the name of public safety? And if so, is there really anyone on the sidewalk who is not already aware of the enormous bright-green machine making a loud mechanical roar? You know, the one that’s being carefully piloted by the poor guy who I desperately hope is wearing ear protection and has generous therapy benefits as part of his job?