Parking as Cancerous Blight

From the L.A. Times comes an excellent summary on why parking is an awful, no-good, cancerous blight on our landscapes.

In Manhattan a small portion of the population owns cars—it’s too expensive to park them. L.A. has the highest density of parking spaces in the world. “You can’t have the number of cars we have in L.A. without our parking lots,” says Shoup. “And you can never create urban density with the parking lots we’ve built.” They make driving too easy.

The articles goes on to also discuss the manners in which parking spaces are literal dead-spaces in an urban landscape. They do nothing except allow you to abandon your car momentarily and contribute nothing more to the surrounding area.

The good news is that free parking might be losing its appeal among the younger generations.


On Fungus

I love interesting articles that come out of left field. This particular one is about the discovery and etymology of a misunderstood and misidentified strain of fungus:

Making growth media for fungi is really just feeding them a dish they like to eat. So, on a hunch, Scott bought a bottle of Canadian Club. “I put maybe a shot of whiskey in a liter of agar and filled the petri plates with it,” Scott says. “That made it grow a hell of a lot faster.”

It also features an excellent history of our tools of inebriation.

Some Good News on Police Accountability

A federal jury has recently awarded damages to an activist whose camera was seized when he started filming a police officer.

Be sure to watch’s excellent segment on the war on cameras:

And I’ll also include this badass and relevant music video (the beards alone are worth it, let alone the message):

A New Way to Evaluate Transit

Currently, DDOT evaluates mass transit projects based on how much time they reduce a given commute. The problem with such a narrow statistic is that it overlooks certain quality of life aspects that may be more valuable such as walkability. The new proposed regulation will seek to compare the overall cost of the project against how many people actually use the thing:

Local subway trains through Manhattan are not a particularly fast way to move, but we know they’re valuable because they’re full of people. Judging benefits primarily in terms of ridership aligns the incentives with the most important goals of a transit system: creating dense, high-value neighborhoods near the stations that facilitate the benefits of urban living and reduce the need for suburbs to sprawl endlessly away from the city center.

Corporate Political Speech We All Love

Via a fellow named Dan Bier comes a very clever piece of insight: The organized blackout and protest perpetuated primarily by Google and Wikipedia on January 16th was an explicit form of corporate political speech in which corporate giants urged direct political action. The move was largely seen as tremendously beneficial and welcome for all those against SOPA/PIPA and nary a point was made about its corporate roots even in the wake of the Citizens United case. Corporate political speech is a cancer, unless I happen to agree with the message promoted, right?

The Human Speed Camera

Holy hell this is funny:


Contemporary Archivists

Where would we be without these fine folks?

Buie, the high-school senior, argues that keeping old data serves a purpose whether or not anyone is using it now. “Take the Friendster stuff,” he says. “Maybe no one will look at it until 2250. That doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that the knowledge is there.”

What would 2250 think about our Friendster phase?