The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

February 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm | In links | Comments Off on The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)
  • Sadly, EveryBlock was shut down. Its founder, Adrian Holovaty, comments.
    More than six years ago, I wrote a blog post that got some attention about how newspaper (and, really, journalism) sites needed to change. EveryBlock was an attempt at that kind of change — in my eyes, a successful attempt. EveryBlock was among the more innovative and ambitious journalism projects at a time when journalism desperately needed innovation and ambition. RIP.

    tags: everyblock adrian_holovaty citizen_journalism local_news localnews

  • And now, a contrarian view of density – it’s not magic after all? (But what about walkability in those sprawling places in TX or AB?)
    Cheaper condos may not be enough to save Toronto or San Francisco. More importantly, sprawling Texas metropolitan regions are becoming more productive. What’s all this fuss about the magic of density?

    Alberta and Texas are attracting a lot of migrants. Birthplace diversity is increasing, rapidly. Up goes productivity and innovation. The magic is migration, not density.

    We needn’t worry about cramming more people into Toronto or San Francisco. The spiraling cost of real estate is forcing relocation, across all incomes. People of modest means are fleeing Los Angeles and putting down roots in San Antonio. Yet the urban core is hollowing out in that Texas metro. San Antonio isn’t booming, converging in terms of productivity, because of density. Talent is pouring in from elsewhere. People develop, not places.

    tags: walkability urbanism density demographics population migration sustainable_cities jim_russell

  • Walkability as a public health issue; lack of walkability as contributor to the obesity epidemic.
    Key Findings:
    *The odds of a student being overweight or obese decreased if they lived in communities with higher walkability index scores.
    *The average prevalence of adolescent overweight and obesity was 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
    *The mean walkability index across communities was 6.38.
    *Key street features associated with reduced prevalence of obesity included increased presence of sidewalks and public transit.

    tags: walkability urbanism communities public_health obesity

  • More walkability.
    [Julie] Campoli acknowledges that having destinations nearby is essential for getting more people walking, but she adds to this several other key qualities of walkable urban neighbourhoods:

    * Connections – a fine-grained network of sidewalks and footpaths with plenty of intersections;
    *Tissue – Great architecture with small human-sized buildings, not big boxes!
    * Density – of housing and population;
    * Streetscape – well designed streets with wide sidewalks and crossings, that are easy and safe to walk in;
    * Green networks – plenty of street trees and green spaces.

    tags: walkability thisbigcity urbanism

  • Walkability. All over the web lately.
    As a follow-up to my review about Jeff Speck’s Walkable City, I invited Brendan Crain, communications manager for the Project for Public Spaces, to have an online chat about the new book. Crain has broad experience working to expand civic involvement in planning urban spaces and had his own review of Walkable City published today.

    tags: next_city walkability brendan_crain urbanism

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

I dreamed about my superpower

February 21, 2013 at 10:23 am | In writing | Comments Off on I dreamed about my superpower

Some pieces

Before going to bed last night, I posted a status update to Facebook that read, “Spent an hour or more reading about maternal haplogroup T2b, from the sublime (well, not really) to the ridiculous (yes, really).”

Then, I foolishly dug around a bit on a new online publishing platform — foolish, because it made me feel like I was missing something.

And this morning, glancing over my email while the coffee brewed, I noticed a link to a yet another new book that teaches you common household and “life” hacks, including something to do with threading needles.


With that word “needles,” bam!, a dream I’d had during the night came into focus, except it came back in that annoying way dreams will: partial, half-remembered, missing key pieces.

The Dream

I was somewhere, doing something (with my hands?). I was somewhere doing something with my hands and it involved trying to repair something.

I was somewhere doing something about stitching something that had torn.

I was somewhere — oh no, it can’t have been there, surely? — trying to put something right.

I was somewhere where I had been …disturbed, hurt.

I was somewhere, on the ground, the earth, the dirt, the field, the patch, the clearing, held down in the place where I was trying to fix something that I didn’t know how to fix, and I gave up hope.

I lost the needle. (I felt, in my dream, how I lost the needle I needed to repair the fabric, but I had no words. I was little.) Someone entered the frame, but because this is a dream half-remembered, I can’t say whether it’s one or two people, nor who it is. Someone — or something — prompts me to look for the needle in the grubby leaf-littered dirt I’m sitting on.

That’s when it happens — the part of the dream I remember most vividly: I find another needle. It’s not the one I lost — it’s a different size — but it’s a needle, a tool. Then I find another one, (again a different size) and another (yet another size). I have three now, all different sizes: my found treasures are turning into a tool kit.

Then I make an amazing find: a tool for threading needles! It’s super-elegant and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. After that, nearby, a fourth needle, and a fifth. At some point in the dream I’m clutching a whole handful of needles, as well as this beautifully designed tool that looks like no other. They’re all available for me to use. It’s amazing.

I’m still trying to sort out what it means, beyond the obvious: finding not just a needle in “a haystack” (or dirt and leaf-litter covered ground), but many needles of varying size, plus a nearly magical new tool for threading them all.


In the dream I don’t have any thread, but it “felt” as though I could probably get some. I also don’t have any clear purpose in the dream: no reason for needing these needles except that I had been trying to fix something at the outset, and lost the tool for it. But I can’t remember what I was trying to fix, nor whether I should still try to fix it, or whether this bounty of needles (and that marvelous threading tool) meant that I could finally move on, like an apprentice who’s graduated from his apprentice piece and now sets out on his trade sojourn, looking for work.

Looking for work, looking for purpose, looking for a way to ply my trade: dream it six ways to Sunday and back, it remains hardened, difficult stuff.

But: I can thread any needle, any needle at all. The needles were always in me, they had fallen out of my pockets — out of my body — and into the dirt. I just have to find them again and pick them up. The threading tool, however? That was newly forged in me, it’s my super-power.

I can thread any needle, any needle at all.

Trying to write,…

February 20, 2013 at 4:08 pm | In yulelogStories | Comments Off on Trying to write,…

…but. I’m trying, halfheartedly only since I’m feeling quite half-dead. But I just can’t seem to make it happen.

Not a happy place to be.

Maybe I can get started by defacing this blog.

The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

February 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm | In links | Comments Off on The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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