Tag Archives: city

push and pull.

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my favorite indignant complaint of the month

 straight from our local ‘next door’ site. 

“So half of ann arbor doors are PUSH. But the other half are all PULL. Can’t the CITY make up their minds about anything??? I’m drafting a letter to Governor Whitmer if you want to sign. We can not be expected to remember which is push or which is pull! I am just tired of this. Life is stressful and having to constantly push or, wait, PULL is nonsense at this point.”

“a man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards;

as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.”

ludwig wittgenstein

art credit: gary larson, the far side

something to crow about.

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Crows help rid city streets of cigarette butts

A startup in the Swedish city of Södertälje, has recruited local crows to pick up discarded cigarette butts from the city’s streets and public spaces. In fact, there’s a movement afoot in places as varied as California and the Netherlands to ban the sale of filtered cigarettes to help tamp down on their prevalence in our environment.

According to the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation, more than one billion cigarette butts are left on Sweden’s streets each year, which represents 62 percent of all litter. To clear the streets, Södertälje spends around 20m Swedish kronor (over $2,200,000), so the hope is that the birds can help cut these costs.

“They are wild birds taking part on a voluntary basis,” the founder of the Corvid Cleaning startup Christian Günther-Hanssen reveals. Each time the wild birds deposit a cigarette butt into a bespoke machine specially designed by Corvid Cleaning, they receive a little snack.

Günther-Hanssen estimates that, with the crows’ help, the city could save at least 75 percent of the costs associated with picking up cigarette butts in the city. For now, Södertälje is trialing the project before setting the operation in motion across the city, paying close attention to the health of the birds, considering the kind of waste they’re being rewarded to pick up.

Research suggests that New Caledonian crows, a member of the corvid family of birds, have the reasoning ability of a human seven-year-old, making them the best bird for the job. “They are easier to teach and there is also a higher chance of them learning from each other,” says Günther-Hanssen. “At the same time, there’s a lower risk of them mistakenly eating any rubbish.” Unfortunately, they have not yet been able to train humans not to throw their butts on the ground. 

“if men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.”

-henry ward beecher

middle of the road.

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road plan haiku

this plan gives me pause

some things better on paper

may not go as planned.

 

 

“the middle of the road is where the white line is – and that’s the worst place to drive.”

-robert frost

detroit’s made another trip around the sun.

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detroit looks pretty good for being 320 years old

happy birthday.

 

“there are cities that get by on their good looks, offer climate and scenery, views of mountains or oceans, rockbound or with palm trees. and there are cities like detroit that have to work for a living.”

-*elmore leonard

 

*note – (elmore was a prolific american author/screenwriter who lived in the detroit area, where i grew up.

my father resembled elmore in his later years, was frequently mistaken for him,

and signed autographs upon request)

 

 

photo image: detroit river conservancy, detroit riverfront, michigan, usa

open society.

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 powerful messages found everywhere

 

“in an open society, no idea can be above scrutiny, just as no people should be beneath dignity.”

-maajid nawaz

 

grand trunk pub, detroit, michigan, usa -2020

coconut.

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 when walking downtown

this just sitting on a corner

no palm trees to be found

i wonder

if you are missing your coconut

did you leave it behind

 did you lose it

and not notice?

“in the garden of gentle sanity, may you be bombarded by coconuts of wakefulness.”

-chogyam trungpa

intersection.

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as the city begins to reopen

i find so many things at an intersection

guys on scooters, cars, pedestrians, orange construction cones,

lights, signs, trees, a clock, flyers

and of course

a robot delivering food across town

who gets the right of way?

man or machine?

“we’re fascinated with robots because they are reflections of ourselves.”

-ken goldberg