Here it is, just in time….
May’s Band of the Month!
O’Hara is a Montreal band that is gentle yet poignant with delicately sparse melodies, and memorable vocal hooks delivered with a wistful strength. Placed over slowly blooming, hypnotic progressions of effected guitar and violin, their songs aren’t short but draw attention with a soft and catchy authority.
O’Hara has released their first three song EP, called ‘Hallways’ earlier this month. Check them out below!
Band of the Month by Greg O’Toole
People who aren’t slaves to the 9-5 world (or worse the 8-8 crowd) may not understand the tyranny of the week. Those poor folks who are forced by their managers and bosses to slave away at set hours and times. Sometimes the best time to do something may not be during the working window.
There are many benefits to having varying work schedules. For one, rush hour wouldn’t be so bad for those suffering from commuterism. There are plenty of other reasons too, which are addressed in a recent article from Slate:
But there’s nothing inevitable about the ceaseless repetition of six days of work, one day of rest. As labor has become both more productive and more organized, the week has evolved. The writer Witold Rybczynski traces the emergence of the weekend to 19th century England, when the British agricultural revolution made land and labor more productive. At first, Rybczynski relates, this allowed workers extra leisure, which they enjoyed spontaneously—not according to any ironclad schedule. As the Industrial Revolution became a driving force in trans-Atlantic civilization, the push for greater efficiency demanded standardization of this extra leisure. In 1926, Henry Ford began shutting his factories on Saturdays in a bid to crystallize an American convention of a two-day weekend full of recreation (that he hoped would involve driving). It worked.
Read more here.
Doctor Robert Zarr prescribes walking in parks to his patients. Regular readers already know that the exposure to nature is beneficial in multiple ways for our physical and mental health. Doctors have also taken note of this and realize that prescribing walks and exposure to nature can reduce obesity rates while also being proactive in stemming other health problems.
Zarr doesn’t think prescribing parks is a radical step, though it may require a little getting used to. “Once you get over the conceptual hurdle of prescribing park, and you believe the scientific literature that clearly says being outside is good for health, then all it takes is to push a button on a computer. They have to do that anyway,” he says.
Zarr now hopes to develop a mobile app, and perhaps get the “have you been outside recently?” question included in patients’ pre-interviews alongside other vital signs queries.
Read more here.
There are six days left for the Indiegog campaign for Solar Roadways and they have already met their goal! The $1,000,000 goal has been reached and passed – which is quite impressive! The idea behind the successful campaign is to turn roads from heat-producing to energy-producing. A network of roads equipped with solar panels can revolutionize energy networks.
Solar Roadways is a modular paving system of solar panels that can withstand the heaviest of trucks (250,000 pounds). These Solar Road Panels can be installed on roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths, playgrounds… literally any surface under the sun. They pay for themselves primarily through the generation of electricity, which can power homes and businesses connected via driveways and parking lots. A nationwide system could produce more clean renewable energy than a country uses as a whole.
Thanks to Stu!
This week Wired published an article about the 20 deadliest US cities for pedestrians and they write:
There, low-density neighborhoods “rely on wider streets with higher speeds to connect homes, shops, and schools—roads that tend to be more dangerous for people walking,” the report says. More than half of all pedestrian deaths recorded from 2003-2012 occurred on wide arterial roads designed to move cars quickly.
Paris, is known for its boulevards that accommodate fast moving traffic (in theory) and good pedestrian walking. Over the past few years Paris has had some of the worst traffic problems in the world. They have experienced seemingly never-ending smog and congestion. Their most recent way to curb these problems is to reduce the speed limit.
As traffic speeds are significantly brought down across the city, a number of very important things occur as a direct result: substantially fewer accidents, significant reduction in serious injuries and deaths, energy savings, reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels, local air pollution reduction, quality-of-life improvements all those who live and work, and play and study there, improved conditions and local accessibility for local business, significantly reduced carbon stress on climate, and the long list goes on.
Read more about Paris’ plan here.
It’s worth noting that Toronto’s crack-mayor with crack-supporters stopped a similar speeding policy in Toronto.