neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
Let's see if this works.


Looks like it does.

Calculated Risk has an interactive version of the above graph in Update on Gasoline Prices, where you can input the nearest major city in the U.S. to you and contract the time range down to one month and up to five years.

The above will be part of a post on Crazy Eddie's Motie News about oil and gas prices. Watch for it.

neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)



Time for another driving update.

This evening, Yuki the Kia* reached a major milestone when her odometer turned over 210,000 miles.** That means it's time for another driving update to see if I'm still doing my part in driving less.

The last time Yuki's odometer turned over was on June 20, 2011, when she passed 209,000 miles. That was exactly 100 days ago, which means I've driven an average of exactly 10 miles per day. Expressed in months using 30.5 days/month, that's 305 miles/month. That's not as low as the 300 miles/month I averaged at the last update, but it's still less than the 308 miles/month I averaged between December and March. I'm still doing my part to keep the number of miles driven by Americans down, as shown by the following graph from Calculated Risk, which came out late last week.



I don't expect to keep my miles driven this low between now and December, as I have at least two meetings each month that I have make special drives for and the weather will be getting colder, which means I'm more likely to drive the three-quarters of a mile to the nearest grocery store instead of walking there, something I've insisted on doing whenever I have the opportunity, much to my wife's amazement.

I told you I was in a mood to blog about driving tonight. Now you know why.

*I still have to explain that name. At least the Return theme presents me an opening to do so.

**It's important because the last car I owned, Molly the Nissan, died from blowing all nearly all her seals just after she passed 210,000 miles. I hope this car lasts longer.

Originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
A couple of hours ago, I posted Sustainability news from midwestern research universities for the week ending June 25, 2011 on Crazy Eddie's Motie News. One of the themes that emerged as I wrote this post was "how I have to add information I've learned in these posts to my teaching." This is one of the reasons I justify my blogging to my colleagues and superiors at work. They agreed, and list my science blogging as professional development. Seriously.

Following are three examples of why I use that justification and my co-workers agree.

Indiana University: IU Public Policy Institute releases report on private, public value of higher education
June 23, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS -- With recent headlines asking "Is college worth it?" and reports of a burgeoning student loan crisis, there has been considerable public discussion about the costs and benefits of higher education.

Often, those discussions are limited to how much individuals pay for school and how much they earn upon graduation. But from a policy-making perspective, evaluating higher education requires broader measures of economic and social benefits.

This is the purpose of a research review released by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute as part of its Policy Choices for Indiana's Future project. The Policy Choices initiative is designed to provide objective recommendations on key issues for future Indiana legislative and gubernatorial candidates.

"From lower incarceration and obesity rates to higher levels of civic engagement and volunteerism, education is associated with a broad array of benefits to both individuals and society," according to the report. "While the costs incurred educating our society are enormous, and growing, we must be aware that the costs of failing to do so might be even greater."
One of the mistakes people make about higher education is to consider it to be primarily an economic activity that improves the student's future earning power and decreases the student's risk of unemployment. I'm guilty of this myself, as I use Calculated Risk's graphs of unemployment over time for Americans of different education levels, such as this one.



I make the point that the students are engaging in an activity to increase their human capital, and they are. However, human capital doesn't just consist of the skills and knowledge they can apply to economic activity. It also includes one's ability to contribute to society. Just look at the list of social benefits--"lower incarceration and obesity rates to higher levels of civic engagement and volunteerism"--for examples.

Two more articles about the detritmental health effects of overpopulation combined with urbanization and climate change behind the cut. )

See what you're missing if 1) you're not reading Crazy Eddie's Motie News and/or 2) I'm not crossposting articles to Dreamwidth and LiveJournal?

Speaking of which, I ran a poll on my LJ for which posts from the past week on Crazy Eddie's Motie News I should repost on my personal journals. Right now, it's a three-way tie among Transformation Detroit, when Business as Usual attempts sustainability, Gas prices drop for a second week in Metro Detroit, and Kroger in Royal Oak, the videos. I'll be posting them after midnight as "fan" posts. If you want me to post more, go over to the poll and vote.  I'll comply.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)
June2011NaBloPoMoSmallBadge


As I wrote a week ago on Crazy Eddie's Motie News:
I'm all in favor of living closer together. I've had enough of car-culture suburban life and more than my fill of living out in the country. I'm also in favor of making cities more energy and resource efficient. I've already seen the light of how urban living can be a good thing, so I am one of those people who already lives close to a downtown and walks to the store. Six years ago, I drove 48,000 miles a year. Now I drive less than 10,000. I'm much happier driving much less.
This morning, which was technically yesterday, Yuki the Kia* passed another milestone, when her odometer flashed 209,000 miles, which means it's time for another driving update to see if I'm doing my part in driving less.

The last time I posted a mileage check was 1000 miles and three months and 10 days ago on March 10, 2011. At that time, it took me 3.25 months to drive 1000 miles, which mean I drove an average of 308 miles/month during that time. This time, it took me 3.33 months to drive that same distance, which means I drove exactly 300 miles a month. I'm still doing my part to keep the number of miles driven by Americans down, as shown on the following graph from Calculated Risk, which came out yesterday. Perfect timing!



So, what made me drive 8 miles less a month, even though I had nearly three weeks of not driving to work during late December and early January? Probably good weather. I've been walking to Friday meetings at the nearest worksite, which is a mile and a half away, as well as walking to the grocery store, which is half that distance. Since I there are three to four more months of good weather left, and only one meeting remaining this academic year that I'll have to make a special drive for, with none until mid September, I might just decrease my miles driven even more. After that I expect my miles driven to increase slightly again and remain elevated until next spring. Then I plan on buying a bike. I haven't had one of those since I got divorced in 1999 and moved out of Ann Arbor. I'm looking forward to having one.

*I still have to explain the geeky pun in her name. I'll save that for another fan post.

Above crossposted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: For posts about food and cooking (All your bouillabaisse are belong to us)

April2011Badge

April 1st and it's business as usual

Expect foolishness.


neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

march11

Today, my car Yuki the Kia* turned over 208,000 miles. In the previous driving post here, I noted that it had turned over 207,000 miles on December 3, 2010. Since that was 3.25 months ago, that means I drove an average of 308 miles a month. That's half what I drove during the time between 206,000 miles and 207,000 miles. I'm still contributing to the overall decrease in miles driven since the peak in January 2007.



For more, see this post on Calculated Risk.

*There is a very geeky joke behind this name, which one of my daughters is responsible for. That's a story for another post.

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