orders of magnitude

I had a conversation with a prof today, who was wondering which app to use for hosting the activities and discussions for her online course. We were discussing the pros and cons of various options, including WordPress (via UCalgaryBlogs) and Drupal (via campus IT) and others. I wound up saying something along these lines:

Once you switch from Blackboard, everything else is so many orders of magnitude better that it really doesn’t matter what you choose.

The biggest shift is to get out of Blackboard. Everything else will flow from that.

boom & bust

downtown calgary is the product of decades of boom-and-bust cycles. we’re in the middle of another construction boom cycle, with dozens of cranes working the downtown area. the calgary tower is about to be dwarfed by the new Bow tower – which nearly stalled due to financing difficulties. too big to fail, too fast to stop. and we’ll be seeing vacancy rates that will make much of the downtown commercial real estate listed cheaply.

the current tallest building – petro canada tower (53 stories) – is now owned by suncor, who bought petro canada, and is now laying off thousands of workers. the new champion will be the Bow complex, 58 floors and 1.7 million square feet of space for EnCana.

2010/01/28: The economy is in the news all the time. Make a photo that illustrates the economy or its impact on you in some way. #ds74

cyclists cause less than 10% of accidents involving cyclists

1300kmThat’s pretty scary. And the article sounds pretty accurate.

While there is a public perception that cyclists are usually the cause of accidents between cars and bikes, an analysis of Toronto police collision reports shows otherwise: The most common type of crash in this study involved a motorist entering an intersection and either failing to stop properly or proceeding before it was safe to do so. The second most common crash type involved a motorist overtaking unsafely. The third involved a motorist opening a door onto an oncoming cyclist. The study concluded that cyclists are the cause of less than 10 per cent of bike-car accidents in this study. The available evidence suggests that collisions have far more to do with aggressive driving than aggressive cycling.

Also, the U of T has an article with an interview with Dr. Chris Cavacuiti, who is looking into cycling safety.