Is Bearded Colnago Fred flashing the sun-addled Trump flag-waver the victory sign, which is what I assumed? Or is he, as one Twitter user suggested, merely attempting to subvert her with a peace sign?
Not that it matters really, but next year when our President launches a dusty Cold War-era nuke at ISIS that misfires and destroys Cleveland (sorry, Cleveland), it would suck to have such an image coming back to haunt you. (Assuming our infrastructure ever comes back and we're not too busy running from the Morlocks.)
And if it was an anti-Trump gesture there are certainly less ambiguous hand signals to choose from:
Of course, we don't need to wait around for Trump and Giuliani (who in any sane reality would be doing Pizza Hut commercials together and not running the country) to kick off the nuclear holocaust because we're doing a fine job of killing each-other with our cars:
The messaging app Snapchat allows motorists to post photos that record the speed of the vehicle. The navigation app Waze rewards drivers with points when they report traffic jams and accidents. Even the game Pokémon Go has drivers searching for virtual creatures on the nation’s highways.
When distracted driving entered the national consciousness a decade ago, the problem was mainly people who made calls or sent texts from their cellphones. The solution then was to introduce new technologies to keep drivers’ hands on the wheel. Innovations since then — car Wi-Fi and a host of new apps — have led to a boom in internet use in vehicles that safety experts say is contributing to a surge in highway deaths.
In other words, as this election has already proved, people are at their absolute worst when using the internet:
After steady declines over the last four decades, highway fatalities last year recorded the largest annual percentage increase in 50 years. And the numbers so far this year are even worse. In the first six months of 2016, highway deaths jumped 10.4 percent, to 17,775, from the comparable period of 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
And it's not going to get better anytime soon. Sure, some people think self-driving cars will save us, but in the meantime cars are only going to get even more distracting thanks to our culture's inability to separate movies from real life:
After Marvel’s superhero flick “Captain America: The Winter Solider” came out in 2014, designers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV wanted to try putting the movie’s futuristic computer displays in real-world cars. So they hired the special-effects artists behind the superhero gadgetry to make it happen.
Perception, a New York visual-effects firm that created the look of digital devices in the Marvel universe, worked with the auto maker’s team to reimagine the way information flows between car and driver. The resulting Jeep cockpit concept, which includes three displays and an augmented-reality windshield, was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.
That's just great. As a cyclist there are few situations more dangerous than finding yourself between some asshole and a parking space. So just wait until their windshield alerts them when one's just opened up and they're able to descend upon it from the opposite lane.
Maybe it doesn't matter who's president since our demise will probably come not from incompetent leadership but from our tech bro-infused "Dude, wouldn't it be cool if...?" approach to technological innovation:
“Most of the tech they do in the movies is complete fantasy, but it’s done so well and so convincingly that it helps you imagine the future so vividly,” Mr. Giles said. “With the realism [in movies] so seamless, you almost forget that it’s a movie after awhile and you’re like, ‘Why can’t we do that today?’ They kind of force-accelerate the future.”
Though he's certainly right in that movies do inform if not actually determine the future, which is we're pretty much on the cusp of living in "The Running Man:"
(Pedestrian wearing mandatory helmet, visibility suit, and suppository beacon to facilitate Uber pickups.)
In other news which is either dismal or uplifting depending on how you choose to look at it, the NYPD have finally arrested and charged the driver who killed Matthew Von Ohlen:
A police source told Gothamist that the arrest was made this morning at 8:30. The suspect, 56-year-old Juan Maldonado, resides in South Williamsburg. He was indicted this afternoon in Brooklyn Supreme Court on eight counts including second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and leaving the scene of an accident. Bail was set at $100,000.
This has been a source of considerable outrage here in New York because police found the vehicle shortly after the incident but since then nobody's heard a peep from them about it. This led to speculation that the driver might be a cop or similarly-connected individual. Now, finally, police have both arrested the driver and hit him with a pretty hefty charge (which almost never happens), and while some still look askance at the time it took them to do so I'll choose to give them the benefit of the doubt and attribute it to the considerable amount of time it probably takes to build a solid case in situations like these.
As for cycling in New York City, it remains a blend of the sublime and the infuriating (with an undercurrent of deadly), which is why I was glad to be on the Brompton yesterday:
But I didn't feel like dealing with all that Midtown traffic and mayhem and so I simply edited it out, hopped a train uptown, and then resumed my clownish journey from there:
(That's the bridge on this hat, by the way.)
And yes, of course I was wearing my Inspector Gadget jacket:
(Best thing about it is that the bird droppings wash right off.)
You'd almost think I was some sort of urban sophisticate and not a washed-up bike blogger.
But enough about cities foppish stuff from England, because here's cycling American style:
Someone should really make a dedicated hunting bike.
Oh wait, they have:
Clearly we need some kind of rural woodland bike share system.