Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How did the chicken cross the road (safely)?

A driver recently struck and injured members of a family cycling in a mid-block crosswalk marked with flashing lights, increasing attention to the issue of pedestrian crossings in Boulder.

Some blame the driver for not yielding at the crosswalk. Some blame the city for installing what they consider to be confusing signals. Some blame the victims for biking in the crosswalk.


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Monday, August 17, 2009

From Fat, Dumb and Happy to Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

Manufacturers use a tool called Pareto analysis to evaluate quality issues. They rank the problems and attack the biggest ones first.

I don't have to draw a Pareto chart to see where to start with health care costs. More than 75 percent of medical expenditures are for treating people with chronic diseases.

Chronic illnesses include cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease, and diabetes. A large percentage of cases are preventable, or can at least be managed less expensively.


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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Keep on Clunkin'!

The cash for clunkers program may be many things. However, environmentally friendly isn't one of them.

Look at it this way. Suppose you trade in a car that gets 18 MPG for one that gets 28 MPG, and that you driver 12,000 miles per year. Also, assume that you will keep the new car for the typical six years.

For each of those six years, you will be burning 428 gallons of gas instead of 667 gallons. You save 238 gallons per year, or about 35% of the gas you would have burned.

A study by Toyota showed that as much as 28% of the carbon dioxide emissions generated during the life of a car occur during its manufacture and its transport to the dealer. That means that up to 38% more CO2 is generated than the CO2 generated from the burning of fuel during normal operation.

So, you emit 35% less CO2 during operation, but the act of buying a new car results in up to 38% more CO2 just to get you that car.

Ignoring the economic impact, the very best thing you can do is keep driving that car until it doesn't go any more.

The only exception I can think of is if you put lots and lots of miles on your car every year and plan to keep it a long time. Then, it might make more environmental sense to buy a new, more fuel-efficient car, and donate your old car to charity.

But scrapping the old car, as is required by law under this program, is pure waste.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

We can't see the underpass for the trees

When I saw the city preparing to use eminent domain to cut down 14 trees in the urban heart of Boulder to build a pedestrian underpass that didn't connect anything, I was dismayed.

Similar projects on Iris and the Diagonal Highway tied up traffic for months. In the end, things were a bit easier for a few pedestrians, but neither path provides a significant addition to the city's alternative mode infrastructure.

The Boulder Slough underpass is part of a package of improvements to 30th Street to be completed next year. It is one of the costliest components of the plan, and will have a huge impact on traffic and local access during six to eight months of construction. It is also by far the most controversial element.


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