Tuesday, March 21, 2006

LINKS: Pete's Holiday, Buses and Nuclear Death

Editor’s Note: I’ve gotten some positive response to the way I constructed the previous post of general links. I think I’ll continue this format, or at least experiment with it for a while. If you have thoughts on that, let me know.

WELCOME WONKETTE, FISHBOWL AND DCIST readers. I’ve gotten links from D.C.’s top blogs the past two days. If you like what you see, please, by all means, stick around.
>> "Metro Section: Good Luck With That" [Wonkette]
>> "Too Close for Comfort" [Fishbowl DC]
>> "Fishbowl Has Our Back" [DCist]

I FOUND THIS QUOTE from London’s Mirror unintentionally funny:
Kate [Moss] thinks Pete [Doherty] needs to be rescued. They have been secretly in touch for a couple of months, but the holiday was still a total surprise for him. She's really worried that he's going off the rails and feels a quiet, romantic break away from prying eyes is exactly what he needs.
Wait, Kate Moss thinks Pete Doherty isn't doing rails any more? (Cocaine, right?) I think a number of magistrate judges in England would beg to differ.
>>Kate and Pete Head for France” [The Bosh via City Rag]
Earlier:The Ebb and Flow of Doherty's Death Cycle” [The Washington Oculus]

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA'S government website is full of wonderful things if you ever have the time to go exploring. Rock Creek Rambler writes a post about how the Department of Public Works' winter street sweeping hiatus has come to an end, which drew a comment from a reader name Matt who wished he would have known about the suspension of sweeping-related parking restrictions. RCR responds:
what, you don't read the DC Public Works web site religiously?
I've always found a gold mine of good information at dpw.dc.gov: What about D.C.'s graffiti blaster? Got hazardous waste? How do you report illegal dumping? (This is quite important. My great aunt's neighbor witnessed work crews dump paint and chemicals in the alleyway behind her house -- chemicals which I had actually walked through to get to Auntie L's house thinking it was just typical alley runoff. That's not good for my shoes, nor is is safe for the Chesapeake.)
>> "Street Cleaning Resumes" [Rock Creek Rambler]

I THINK I’LL NEED to re-read Felix Salmon’s recent analysis of a March 16 Slate article about buses. In it, Salmon picks apart the way Dr. Austan Goolsbee of the University of Chicago analyzed the idea of incentive pay for bus drivers to be more efficient at what they do, like take these Purdue University students to class (above). Goolsbee takes a look at some program in Santiago, Chile, and other stuff. Like I said, I need to re-read Salmon's analysis and Goolsbee's article. But in the Slate article, Goolsbee takes Chicago bus drivers to task for not taking shortcuts to get around traffic jams:
So, if you drive the route every day, you learn the shortcuts. You know that if it backs up from the Buckingham Fountain all the way to McCormick Place, you're better off taking the surface streets and getting back onto Lake Shore Drive a few miles north.

A lot of buses, however, wait in the traffic jams. I have always wondered about that: Why don't the bus drivers use the shortcuts? Surely they know about them -- they drive the same route every day, and they probably avoid the traffic when they drive their own cars.
Now, as a regular bus rider, I want to shift the scenario to Washington. Suppose you're a driver of a No. 30/32/34/35/36 bus, the crosstown line that is notoriously off schedule where buses have a tendency to bunch. There's a huge traffic jam in Georgetown on your way into Downtown Washington, so you jump over to 28th Street (which community activists probably wouldn't like) to bypass the mess in front of Smith Point and Third Edition. What happens to the passengers who are waiting at M Street NW and Wisconsin Avenue to board the bus? I guess to Dr. Goolsbee, they don't matter.
>> "Report Report Report 1: Buses" [Felix Salmon]
>>Where the Buses Run on Time” [Slate]

IN OUR POST-9/11 REALITY, us folk living in the East Coast's more prominent cities, like New York and Washington, have to think about the possibility of imminent death by nuclear annihilation. It's the risk we take to enjoy gawking at Butterstick at the National Zoo, gobble Bourbon Chicken samples in the Union Station food court ("Yummy, yummy!") or in the case of New Yorkers, spotting Kate Hudson chowing down on a muffin on E. 54th Street looking like a "total rock-sleaze ho-bag" (Andrew Krucoff, you trickster!).

So looking at The New York Times article published Tuesday about the discovery of an untouched Cold War fallout shelter in the Manhattan approach to the Brooklyn Bridge, you have to be certainly happy that our nation was never forced to use such shelters -- or for Manhattanites, forced to consume the estimated 352,000 crackers stored in the bridge's shelter. But The Gutter draws attention to an article on Archinect, about what would actually happen if someone exploded a nuclear device in a large city. Read at your own peril. I think I'd rather be surprised by the flash of light and the elevated temperatures. At least I have thick walls in my apartment in the case I sleep through such an attack.
>> "Inside the Brooklyn Bridge, a Whiff of the Cold War" [NYT]
>>Archinect to City: Drop Dead” [The Gutter]
>>Manhattan Nuclear Nightmare” [Archinect]

2 Comments:

At 2:48 AM, Blogger Rock Creek Rambler said...

I think it would take a near army of bloggers to pay attention to all DC gov't announcements. The problem is 80% of them are irrelevant.

RCR

 
At 10:10 AM, Blogger Kathryn Is So Over said...

Veddy, veddy nice. Crazy that someone who reads 300+ blogs a day would have a knack for finding the gems in the rough...

 

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