Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Christof Spieler moved to downtown Houston about nine years ago and began a reverse commute to a suburban office park. He took the No. 9 Gulfton Metro bus because he liked to get things done during the ride and hated sitting in traffic, but the service left much to be desired. The bus didn’t run very often (every 20 minutes or more, even at rush-hour); transfers were hard to coordinate; and the pedestrian infrastructure near the stops was terrifying (to reach the office, he braved five lanes of car traffic without a signal or a crosswalk).
“It really gave me a good feel of what the system’s like,” he says.
Fast-forward to today and Spieler now sits on Metro’s board of directors. An engineer at Morris who also lectures at Rice, Spielerplayed an instrumental role in developing Metro’s Reimagining plan—a dazzling redesign of the entire bus system that stresses all-day frequency and smart connections. But he couldn’t have done it without his experience on Metro as a guide, which makes him Exhibit A for why the people planning America’s transit systems, from board members to senior management to project designers, should be riders themselves.
“There are way too many people working on transit who don’t actually ride transit,” he says. “If you’re going to be making decisions about transit, you really need to know what it’s actually like. Not what it’s like in theory, but what it’s actually like. “
The problem is familiar to transit leadership across the country. In August, aSan Francisco Examiner op-ed challenged the people who run Muni to “actually ride Muni.” Last year, an analysis of Chicago’s CTA found that the board chair rode the system only 18 times in 2012, and a Washington Post survey found many D.C. Metro board members either couldn’t or wouldn’t “name the exact bus lines or rail stops they used regularly.” In 2008, the vice chair of New York’s MTA board famously asked: “Why should I ride and inconvenience myself when I can ride in a car?”
I wonder how many directors and senior staff of Auckland Transport regularly use public transport?Tags: public transport
Rarotongan Dream, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
A while ago I decided to start taking more vertical panoramic’s as there have been some requests for certain wall spaces etc. So with that in the back of my mind I was thrilled to stumble on this lone palm tree with the pristine clear water while in Rarotonga.
Still uploading to the site so no larger view of it this week.
Tags: Landscape Photography, Photography by Richard Hume
A South African judge has found Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and declared him not guilty of murder.
Prosecutors said they were disappointed by the ruling but would decide on whether to appeal only after sentencing.
Judge Thokozile Masipa said there was not enough evidence to support the contention that Pistorius knew Steenkamp was behind a locked toilet door in his home when he shot through the door in the predawn hours of Valentine’s Day last year. Masipa said prosecutors had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Pistorius intended to kill Steenkamp.
I’m glad he hasn’t got off entirely. Personally I didn’t see any reasonable doubt.
The conviction of culpable homicide, or negligent killing, can bring a maximum prison sentence of 15 years, although legal experts pointed to five years as a guideline.
Hopefully it is more than five.Tags: Oscar Pistorius
I got a huge amount of feedback to my blog post last week saying not even Len Brown deserves a Skoda. Many people I respect told me they have a Skoda and love it. I freely admit I based my post on the 1980s caricature of Social credit supporters by Bob Jones as Skoda drivers.
A Skoda dealer e-mailed me this, which I’m happy to reproduce:
Saw your blog in response to Len Brown purchasing a Holden.
After thirteen years selling predominantly mainstream cars, an opportunity arose with the growing yet unique European brand – ŠKODA, and I embraced it…
Yes, ŠKODA is a stylish European marque, from the makers of Audi and VW. But it has a unique value proposition, offering extraordinary bang for the buck – something that a lot of people overlook. These vehicles are, as they say, Simply Clever.
A few facts about ŠKODA you may not know:
- ŠKODA is one of the five oldest automobile companies, producing cars since the early 1900s and now selling close to 1 million cars worldwide each year.
- ŠKODA has become the most successful brand in the history of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC). ŠKODA won its third consecutive titles in both the Drivers and Manufacturers categories in 2012, and set a new championship record by winning 27 IRC events in total.
- ŠKODA has just finished sponsoring for the 11th time the Tour De France and the 250 cars clocked up close to 2.8 million km. In fact since 2004, the ŠKODA shuttle fleet has covered almost 28 million kilometres – without breaking down once.
- ŠKODA Yeti triumphed in a survey “Auto Express Driver Power 2013″ and is again the “most satisfying car to own in the UK”. Three ŠKODA cars were in the top six: in addition to the Yeti, also the Superb and Octavia were Driver favourites. 46,000 readers of “Auto Express” evaluated 100 models in ten categories.
- ŠKODA Superb was voted ‘2012 Large Car of the Year’ by the AA and NZ Motoring Writers’ Guild.
- Recently a ŠKODA Fabia 1.9 l TDI 74 kW (101 PS), which was built in the year 2000, reached one million kilometers, and it’s still going strong! A testimony to the reliability and endurance of this brand.
It’s no secret that ŠKODA, like many European brands, has risen to the challenge to produce vehicles at a cost very similar to their mainstream and Japanese counterparts without compromising quality.
It is also worth mentioning that ŠKODA New Zealand has an involvement with some inspiring organisations; check them all out at http://www.skoda.co.nz/about-us
Here is what Peter Bromhead had to say recently http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11287139
As I’m sure you are aware by now after reading some of the responses the Skoda has come a long way and we are accustomed to still being the butt of jokes but next time you are in Auckland I would gladly arrange for you to have Skoda to drive for a few days.
I stand corrected.
For those wondering my car is a Honda Civic!Tags: skoda
Patrick Gower writes in the HoS:
Labour’s campaign bus is officially called Big Red.
But this week a more appropriate moniker was surely the David Cunliffe Blunder Bus.
The signs were never really that good for the bus from the campaign’s first week, when it had a prang in Tauranga, escaping with scratched paint.
This week it was Labour’s campaign itself that veered seriously off-course when leader Cunliffe botched and bungled his way through a defence of Labour’s capital gains tax policy.
This put a serious dent in Labour’s campaign. It could turn out to be a tragedy for Labour. …
Instead, it is now a “what might have been” moment for Cunliffe, because Cunliffe somehow made it even worse when he stuffed up explaining the inheritance aspect of the capital gains tax – again, that’s something he should have known.
And we are still in the dark over whole the exemption riddled CGT would work. Cunliffe said you won’t be taxed on your parents home, so long as you sell it within a month of them dying. How he has backtracked and said they’ll fill in that detail after the election. It could be a week, a month or a year.No tag for this post.
The Herald reports:
A Malaysia Airlines promotion targeted at Kiwis and titled “My Ultimate Bucket List” has been labelled atrocious by MH370 widow Danica Weeks.
How did no one in Mayalsia Airlines twig that a campaign around a bucket list was not something the airline should do!Tags: Malaysian Airlines
Stuff has an article from Daily Life which lists 29 words only (or mainly) used about women. They are:
- Airhead, noun
- Ambitious, adj
- Abrasive, noun
- Bossy, adj
- Bitchy, adj
- Bubbly, adj
- Ditsy, adj
- Emotional, adj
- Frigid, adj
- Frumpy, adj
- High-maintenance, adj
- Pushy, adj
- Sassy, adj
- Bombshell, adj
- Bolshy, adj
- Breathless, adj
- Bridezilla, noun
- Curvy, adj
- Ethereal, adj
- Fawn-like, adj
- Headstrong, adj
- Hormonal, adj
- Hysterical, adj
- Illogical, adj and Irrational, adj
- Mother of… , noun
- Shrill, adj
- Voluptuous, adj
- Whinging, verb
- Working mum, noun
It is a good point that most of the words mainly used to describe women are negative ones. Even ones that appear neutral like “working mum” have a suggestion that this is unusual, as you never hear “working dad”.
Even swear words are not equal. Being called a bastard is less damning than being called a bitch. In fact being called a bastard is also a term of admiration for some. And being called a prick is far less damning than being called a c**t.
Can readers think of any words that are mainly used to describe men, and are negative? Thug is one I guess. You don’t hear many women called thugs. I have no doubt that common terms about women are far more negative than common terms about men, but interested to see what there is on the male side.Tags: women