What a party, and the Feed

Actually that should be “what parties”, because there were two of them this weekend. OK so “party” is less accurate than “extremely exuberant religious service”, but what is the difference between “strictly enforced theme party” and “religious service”? And the Sumerians know how to party with their deities, masculine and feminine. They have a service that celebrates the divine gift of making beer by consuming lots of beer in service, fer cryin’ out loud. The White Elephant exchange was a bit of a madhouse, and the present I thought was going to be fought over didn’t go until the last round and hardly anyone got to see it. The gift I got was a deck of meditations to shuffle through for relaxation purposes, and the other person that went with me from the house got a trio of wrought iron candlestands.

The next service/party was the Veritan service with good food and no booze, but still lots of fun. And yes, we have two groups that do services at SJF for us. The “bread” for the Veritan Yule service was made with cranberries and nuts, and there was mulled cider for the cup. Add in a bunch of seasonal songs sung by the congregation and you have another religious service that feels like a party. And it was a party in a manner of speaking, we were celebrating the return of the sun from its descent into darkness. We moderns understand that the change in the seasons is caused by the 23½° tilt of the Earth’s axis and the sun will return regardless of what we humans do or don’t do. But our ancestors thought the seasons were caused by the interference of gods with the travels of the sun since they made the sun move across the skies anyway, why not make the sun go higher or lower at a whim? So those whims must be appeased to bring the sun back from wherever the gods took it. That’s what makes Winter Solstice services so vital to most European peoples, from their perspective lives were on the line if they didn’t get it right. Nowadays we just see it as a reason to party because, “Hey Party!” but back then they were celebrating continued survival of the planet, so more like “Thank the Gods, Let’s Party!”

Up first is a story I got through several links. Remember that Volvo story I had yesterday about the phone app? There is more to the story. Volvo To Introduce A Cyclist Anti-Collision Warning System and ‘World’s first’ smart bike helmet alerts drivers and cyclists, aims to reduce accidents And again I’ll say, what if you don’t have a compatible mobile phone? You’re basically screwed.

Second big story is from Oz. From mosque to memorial: Sydney cyclists’ tribute ride and Sydney cyclists hold commemorative bike ride for Martin Place siege victims Yes, cyclists can have human sympathy with people that are not cyclists. But you guys knew that already.

Trying to make a difference in the infrastructure in Houston. Pedal forward Seriously they need to get the laws and the attitudes changed to make cycling in TX safe without spending about a billion dollars on infrastructure. And then they need to go ahead and spend that billion dollars because even those laws and attitudes are not going to make people feel safe riding a bike on the roads with multi-ton killing machines inches away from fragile bodies. You can ask Dave Hembrow about “subjective safety” .

NYC still refuses to see the elephant in the room. NYPD: 1,295 Pedestrians and Cyclists Injured, 14 Killed in Traffic in November How many of those were killed or injured by bicycles? Zero killed and an unknown (but low) number injured that are not included in this report. But in spite of this information they are still dedicating way too much time and manpower to writing tickets to cyclists. And they still don’t investigate all the wrecks. NYPD Still Doesn’t Investigate All Fatal Traffic Crashes

And not far from NYC (just across the river) car people take away the only safe bike infrastructure in the entire city of Newark. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka to Rip Out City’s First Protected Bike Lane Right, they tore out the bike lane because people couldn’t park illegally. Who does a guy have to kill to get and keep bicycle infrastructure?

The SF cyclist killed by a truck turning right across her lane had earbuds in her possession at the time of the wreck. Cyclist Killed In 2013 SoMa Collision With Truck Being Blamed For Wearing Earbuds No evidence she was wearing the earbuds when the truck turned across her lane and into her, but there was a lot of video evidence the truck turned and ran the vehicle in the next lane over killing the operator.

Still in the SF area of CA, it is hard to ride a bike you no longer have. BART + Bike East Bay Theft Prevention Program This is a lesson I have learned first hand.

Still in CA, the woman who deliberately rammed a LEO on duty as a bicycle cop was out of jail less than 4 hours after she was sentenced. Woman who rammed sheriff’s officer released after serving half of jail sentence She somehow managed to get credit for time served after she violated her probation and was put back in jail. As I pointed out in the BikingInLA post that mentioned this story assaulting an officer goes right out the window when the officer is riding a bicycle.

Speaking of BikingInLA, here’s today’s Daily Ted. Morning Links: CicLAvia sued over Wilshire hit-and-run; LaBonge keeps Glendale-Hyperion Bridge dangerous

Infrastructure! news from America’s Amsterdam. The Life and Times of Clinton Street’s Guerrilla Diverters Nothing like a little DIY documentation of DIY infrastructure.

Still in Portland, the only city with a full-time unicycling bagpiper with flaming bagpipes. Unicyling Darth Vader Santa Claus Plays Flaming Bagpipes at Night There should be a program that pays people to ride unicycles playing flaming bagpipes in every major city…

And my daughter’s new home town alerts cyclists that it’s dark out and drivers can’t be expected to actively watch out for them. Five things you need to know today Edinburgh!

And those were all the links I could find that didn’t give me flashbacks to wrecks.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

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