The Crisis in American Walking: How we got off the pedestrian path -- Tom Vanderbilt / Slate
A few years ago, at a highway safety conference in Savannah, Ga., I drifted into a conference room where a sign told me a “Pedestrian Safety” panel was being held.
The speaker was Michael Ronkin, a French-born, Swiss-raised, Oregon-based transportation planner whose firm, as his website notes, “specializes in creating walkable and bikeable streets.” Ronkin began with a simple observation that has stayed with me since. Taking stock of the event—one of the few focused on walking, which gets scant attention at traffic safety conferences—he wondered about that inescapable word: pedestrian. If we were to find ourselves out hiking on a forest trail and spied someone approaching at a distance, he wanted to know, would we think to ourselves, “Here comes a pedestrian”?
... The United States walks the least of any industrialized nation. Studies employing pedometers have found that where the average Australian takes 9,695 steps per day (just a few shy of the supposedly ideal “10,000 steps” plateau, itself the product, ironically, of a Japanese pedometer company’s campaign in the 1960s), the average Japanese 7,168, and the average Swiss 9,650, the average American manages only 5,117 steps. Where a child in Britain, according to one study, takes 12,000 to 16,000 steps per day, a similar U.S. study found a range between 11,000 and 13,000.
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The City by John Backderf -- 28 December 2011
Matt Bors -- 14 December 2011
The Flying McCoys by Gary and Glenn McCoy - 09 October 2011
Nick Anderson -- 10 July 2011
Stuart Carlson -- 02 June 2011
Sarah definitely has the "mainstream media" eating out of her hand
Do you value your Facebook profile? Do you value it enough that you'd give up one of your senses to secure access to the site? A new study reveals that 53 percent of young people (ages 16-22) would rather sacrifice their sense of smell than give up their social networks.
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How Raising The Retirement Age Screws the Poor -- Kevin Drum / Mother Jones
I've never been a fan of raising the Social Security retirement age. It's a blunt instrument mainly favored by journalists and policymakers who don't plan to retire at age 65 anyway and figure that asking people to work a little bit longer than they used to is no big deal. But people who don't have white collar jobs quite plainly don't feel the same way about it, as the skyrocketing number of people who retire early at age 62 demonstrates. We've already raised the full retirement age to 67 (this was part of the 1983 Social Security deal put in place by the Greenspan Commission), and I think there are plenty of better ways of bringing Social Security into balance than by raising it yet again.
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