What I learned this week, April 11, 2014

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A THOUSAND WORDS: WRITING FROM PHOTOGRAPHS

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The murals from  Trinity Groves.

The murals from
Trinity Groves.

West Dallas, Once A Ramshackle Place, Is Now A Hot Spot, Thanks To Food

Heavy Hitter beer flight at Luck, in Trinity Groves, Dallas, Texas

Heavy Hitter beer flight at Luck, in Trinity Groves, Dallas, Texas


bad_day3

The 345 Tearout Plan Demands Reasoned Debate, Not Divisive Misdirection

What Does South Dallas Think About Highways? Let’s Ask a ‘Militant’ Black Leader.


My Technium on Winfrey Point, White Rock Lake. Dallas, Texas. Look carefully and you can see a guy on a unicycle. (click to enlarge)

My Technium on Winfrey Point, White Rock Lake. Dallas, Texas. Look carefully and you can see a guy on a unicycle.
(click to enlarge)

The Bureaucrats Are Trying to Ruin White Rock Lake Again, but the Lake Will Not Abide

racing_wind


View from the high point of the Jefferson Viaduct Cycletrack, Trinity River, Dallas, Texas

View from the high point of the Jefferson Viaduct Cycletrack, Trinity River, Dallas, Texas

Is I-345 teardown idea a chance to finance the Trinity River toll road?

Trinity River Bottoms (click to enlarge)

Trinity River Bottoms
(click to enlarge)


The morning Dallashenge from the Triple Underpass in Dealy Plaza. Maybe a couple days early.

The morning Dallashenge from the Triple Underpass in Dealy Plaza. Maybe a couple days early.

The Tunnels Didn’t Kill Downtown Dallas; Dallas Killed Downtown Dallas

I agree with this article. I worked downtown in the 80’s and the tunnel system was a vibrant addition – to a great extent it was the best thing downtown. It was full of restaurants and little shops and gave office drones access to parks such as Thanksgiving Square. Lately, I had a Writing Marathon downtown in some cold weather and I wished the tunnel system was still intact. With the cold in winter (the freezing wind whips around those big buildings in a wind tunnel effect strong enough to lift you off our feet) and especially the killer heat in summer the tunnels give a welcome respite. The underground can be viewed as an addition or an extension of a vibrant street life, not as a detriment.


Writing Surface Dropped Down

The hinged writing surface dropped down on the secretary.

William Faulkner’s Hollywood Odyssey


Finally, a map to show why you don’t go to Corpus every weekend.


Here are the 13 films SNL parodied, that won Razzies, and that everyone completely overlooked as critical gems…except for the fact that, not only are they not bad, but some of them are downright good. Give ’em another go. They deserve it.

13 Films That Need To Be Cult Classics

What I learned this week, April 4, 2014

Stock Xootr Swift - I only added the seat bag and bottle cage (click to enlarge)

Stock Xootr Swift – I only added the seat bag and bottle cage
(click to enlarge)

Cycling’s Catching On In Texas, For A Very Texas Reason

Technium

Technium


parking

American cities are haunted by too many parking spaces


Car fire just north of downtown, Dallas.

Car fire just north of downtown, Dallas.

Transportation Planners Hesitant to Tear Down I-345, Because Poor People


Travelling Man - sculpture east of Downtown Dallas

Travelling Man – sculpture east of Downtown Dallas

11 tips for out-of-towners visiting Dallas on Final Four weekend


Dallas Skyline from the Soda Bar on the roof of the NYLO Southside hotel.

Dallas Skyline from the Soda Bar on the roof of the NYLO Southside hotel.

Final Four guide: Celebrities tell us their Dallas favorites


Painting at the entrance to the Urban Gardens, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Painting at the entrance to the Urban Gardens, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

The 10 Best Murals in Dallas

cathedonia4


Writing in my Moleskine Journal outside the Mojo Lounge, Decatur Street, French Quarter, New Orleans

Writing in my Moleskine Journal outside the Mojo Lounge, Decatur Street, French Quarter, New Orleans

Reasons to Love Writing by Hand


Dallashenge from the triple underpass in Dealey Plaza. This is an HDR image - three shots taken at different exposures and combined with software.

Morning Dallashenge – dawn from the triple underpass in Dealey Plaza.

People exposed to earlier sunlight are leaner than those who get afternoon light


List of tracks that sample the Amen break

I knew it sounded familiar – this, for example, is from one of my favorite albums.

What I learned this week, February 28, 2014

I have written below about a presentation I attended concerning a small piece of freeway near Dallas’ Downtown. It was an important and interesting meeting, but what I wrote about it goes on a little long, and I wanted to write a little about what I think is the real crux of the matter.

I’ll write more at length about it later, I need to do some thinking and some research and some more thinking first.

This is the speaker, traffic planner Ian Lockwood’s presentation. Watch the whole thing. His talk should be available on youtube soon.

What jumped at me in particular were two slides (13 and 14 in the presentation). The first, printed from a book, was this statement:

In his 1911 book The Prinicples of Scientific Management, Frederick Winslow Taylor, a pioneer in the efficiency movement, wrote: “The goal of human labor and thought is efficiency. Technical calculation is in all respects superior to human judgement, in fact human judgement cannot be trusted because it is pagued by laxity, ambiguity and unnecessary complexity. Subjectivity is an obstacle to clear thinking…. That which cannot be measured either does not exist or is of no value….The affairs of citizens are best guided and conducted by experts.”

The bolded part of the quote was underlined, with a handwritten note and arrow that said, “THE BEGINNING OF THE END.”

The bullet at the bottom of the slide emphasized the point, “That which cannot be measured either does not exist or is of no value….The affairs of citizens are best guided and conducted by experts.

This is contrasted to the next slide, which is a quote by Thomas Jefferson:

“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves. And if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.”

Thomas Jefferson September 28, 1820

The contrast, the frisson between the two ways of looking at the world illuminated by these quotes is an amazing concept. If I learned nothing else, this was worth taking the train downtown after work.


I-345 near downtown Dallas

I-345 near downtown Dallas

Dallas has this nasty, falling down 1.4 miles of freeway on the east side of downtown. It’s name is I-345, though nobody knows that. It is an elevated monstrosity that is an ugly barrier between the city center and Deep Ellum.

It also needs replacing. A movement is growing to remove the freeway instead of rebuilding it.

How Dallas is Throwing Away $4 Billion

The more I thought about that idea – the more sense it made.

Of course, the government has no imagination and soon, this headline came out.

TxDOT to Repair, Not Tear Down I-345: Lipstick on a Traffic-Fed Pig?
TxDOT tells Dallas it will repair and not remove the highway separating Deep Ellum and downtown
TxDOT has decided to keep the highway separating Deep Ellum and downtown, but Mayor Rawlings hasn’t

This pissed a lot of people in Dallas off, including me.

So I found out about a meeting at D Magazine (Great write-up about it here) with a presentation on how the modern American Urban High Speed traffic system is killing the city. I sent off for a ticket and rode the train downtown after work. I was more than a little ragged after a tough day at work and felt out of place – but the talk by Ian Lockwood was more than interesting.

They were taping the talk and I think I heard someone say it would be going onto Youtube. I’ll put it on here if I find it, but in the meantime, this one covers most of what he said. I know it’s long, but take the time to watch it if you can, it’s a revelation.

Here’s another photo I took of a typical day on I-345

Car fire just north of downtown, Dallas.

Car fire just north of downtown, Dallas.


Hall & Oates “Rich Girl” wasn’t about a girl after all.

I feel as if I have been living a lie all my life.

“Daryl wrote it,” John confessed, talking about his other musical half. “It was about a guy who was the heir to a fast food fortune.” We can’t help but feel like everything we know in life is a lie now. “He realized ‘Rich Girl’ sounded a lot better than ‘Rich Guy.’”


11 Books That Will Definitely Disturb You


This is an interesting list – there are some amazingly strange films on this. And they all can be piped directly into your living room.

The 50 Best Movies on Netflix Instant (My Version)


10 Awesome Bottle Openers