Adequate transit is just a fantasy, can you live this fantasy adequate transit?

Interesting Smart Economist article on the economic effects of an aging population. Among the more interesting statistics:

  • In 1950, the median age in developed countries was 29; by 2000, the median age had risen to 37, and by 2050 this figure is projected to rise to 45.
  • In Japan, in 1950, there were 9.3 people under 20 for every person aged 65 and older; by 2030, this ratio is predicted to fall to 0.59.
  • Between 2003 and 2030, the fraction of elderly voters in the United States will rise from 19.8% to 30.5%.
  • In 2005, the US government spent nearly 6.5% of GDP on transfers to the elderly; a shift of 10% of the population into retirement would cause federal transfers to increase by 4.7% of GDP — or over $500 billion.

That Japan statistic stunned me.

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Spacing points to this fantasy TTC map. Now that’d be pretty sweet…the airport connection, the line that runs up to where I go “away” on course, the Beach, Skydome (love the anti-Rogers station name!), and so on. Sigh…instead we’re stuck with a service prone to underfunding operated by a union prone to tantrums.

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Umm…that’s some Aldo Nova in the title. In case you were wondering.

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Three-armed babies freak me out.

[tags]economics, aging population, fantasy ttc, aldo nova, three armed baby[/tags]

Bland & blander

This video, found via Antonia Zerbisias, shows you what war really looks like in Iraq, and it’s not what we see on the 11:00 news. Warning: not for the particularly squeamish.

In related news, Mohamed ElBaradei is warning the world not to jump the gun with Iran:

“Iran does not pose an immediate nuclear threat and the world must act cautiously to avoid repeating mistakes made with Iraq and North Korea.”

‘Course, he’s just the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a Nobel peace prize winner, so what does he know?

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The new Snow Patrol and Pilate discs are not very good, unfortunately. Very bland. Like hearing the same Coldplay song again and again.

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Speaking of bland…I finished watching a documentary called Going Upriver: The Long War Of John Kerry (imdb | rotten tomatoes). It was released in 2004, before the presidential election, in part to counter the “Swiftboat” attack ads targeting Kerry’s military service. As skewed as it was, it was interesting to see the context around why we saw that shot of Kerry testifying before Congress in his ODs. It was also maddening to know that the young, courageous, eloquent John Kerry had his idealism ground out of him through years of politics and image scrubbing, leaving nothing but a bland, wishy-washy mouthpiece.

[tags]iran, nuclear, mohamed elbaradei, snow patrol, pilate, coldplay, john kerry, swiftboat, going upriver[/tags]

50 Ft Clerkie

As miserable a day as it was to be outside here in Toronto (especially if the TTC strike forced you to walk to/from work through the smog), it could be worse: you could be in Indonesia. Earthquakes, bird flu, angry volcanoes…even breakway country East Timor’s suffering through some bloodshed right now. Makes some 42 degree heat and a transit strike seem pretty tame, no?

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Angels Twenty has posted Tracy Bonham‘s cover of the PJ Harvey song “50 Ft Queenie”. If you know the PJ song go have a listen; I heard Tracy play it live a few years back and I nearly wet myself. I think I was the only person in the crowd who knew what song it was, so it was a private euphoria.

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Today at The Movie Blog I find a phrase that I never expected to read: “Clerks 2 Gets 8 Minute Standing Ovation At Cannes.” Did not see that comin’.

Still on Cannes, I can’t wait to see The Wind That Shakes The Barley, the Ken Loach film that won the Palme D’or.

[tags]ttc strike, smog, tracy bonham, pj harvey, cannes, clerks 2, wind that shakes the barley, ken loach[/tags]

Realization

I’ve listened to the song “Criticism As Insipration” by Pedro The Lion probably a hundred times, because I love it. But I’ve never really absorbed the lyrics until today. What Dave Bazan’s singing about, that could be me.

I know I do this to people. I feel bad, because I know some people don’t like it, but criticism (or the expectation of it) is one of the only ways I can get motivated, so I guess I externalize that.

Anyway. Little self-analysis there. Back to work now.

[tags]pedro the lion, criticism, self-analysis[/tags]

Steeeeeeee-rike!

The sudden TTC strike this morning is really throwing the city into traffic chaos. My office is half empty, partially because regular TTC riders can’t get to work, and partially because the resulting car traffic has overloaded Toronto’s streets and highways — which are stretched paper thin on a good day — causing substantial delays in getting anywhere by car. It’s going to be a weird day.

[tags]ttc, strike, toronto transit commission[/tags]

In which I reach my meat limit

That sounds dirty, but it isn’t.

CBGB had us over to their place for a barbecue; even though it was his birthday GB made us all a substantial feast: red pepper soup with jalapeno cream, a flatbread thingy with herbs and goat cheese and pine nuts, corn on the cob, vegetable & pasta salad, mustard/lemon shrimp and, of course, the giant beef ribs from Cumbrae’s. There was also dessert: creamsicle cake. They weren’t kidding about the name either; it actually tasted like a giant creamsicle. I liked that even more than I thought I would’ve.

GB’s food seemed to have a healing effect on Nellie too, since she felt 100% better after eating, leading us to think that he’s the Benny Hinn of the barbecue.

[tags]barbecue, cumbrae’s, benny hinn[/tags]

Sex, gambling and bullshit

Kinsey (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was yet another “biopic”, that semi-dreaded genre which has been getting a lot of critical acclaim the past few years, but this one was a little better than most in that they focused on Kinsey’s passion — the questioning of convention and preconception through science — rather than on the intricate details of his life. Instead of swelling on childhood torment and drawing ham-handed parallels to later triumphs over adversity, the movie touched only briefly on Kinsey’s childhood sickness; his troubled relationship with his father actually became an important plot point as opposed to a clumsy emotional suckerpunch.

Given that slightly differentiated approach, the interesting subject matter (you’re tempted to think that we’ve come a long way in how we deal with human sexuality, but a quick glance through the news shows otherwise) and how well Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and Peter Saarsgard performed, I enjoyed it. Recommended.

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Last night T-Bone had us (and half a dozen other folks) over for a barbecue and some poker. Since neither Nellie or I had played before we got our asses handed to us, but it was all good fun. Perfect weather for a barbecue too…finally. In fact…we’re heading over to CBGB’s in a little while for some more! GB’s celebrating his birthday by, uh…cooking. Annd I say, all the power to him.

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The marketing textbook is dead. Long live the marketing textbook. Granted, I still have some additional readings to do, but I’m glad to be rid of that monstrosity. If I had to read one more time about what a “hip website” some company had created, I was gonna heave it into the construction site across the street.

[tags]kinsey, barbecue, poker, marketing[/tags]

Out of the frying pan, into the movie theatre

Another week down. And very productive work-wise, I might add. I got so much stuff done that I didn’t feel bad leaving at 3:45 to go see a movie. X-Men 3 (imdb | rotten tomatoes) wasn’t bad; nothing special, and worse dialog than the first two, but good end-of-the-week entertainment.

The weekend’s shaping up to be an entertaining one; movie tonight, bbq and poker w/ T-Bone et al tomorrow and dinner with CBGB Sunday. Somewhere in there I have to shoehorn in a bunch of marketing.

Giddyup.

[tags]x-men 3, poker, bbq, weekend shenanigans[/tags]