"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


Thursday Hate

Fly-by-night Halloween costume superstores.

I hate these places that are filled to the ceiling with Chinese plastic stuffed inside Chinese plastic bags. But, do you ever see anyone at Halloween parties wearing this stuff? No, because they’d look like the unoriginal tools the models are, on the packaging of these costumes. Dracula? Are you kidding me? Bride of Frankenstein? Ooo-o-o-o-o-o! Nobody – and I mean nobody – wears a costume straight out of the bag except for den mothers, Junior High principals, and these people.

So why are there 10,000 of them in these stores every October and where the fuck do they go?


The people at Cracked must’ve taken a header before writing this one. I was alerted to this article by Chris of I Go With Fergus, and it is actually spot-on until #3, specifically, with this gem:
“…there are multiple studies showing that bicycle helmets, in the long run, don't actually reduce the number of injuries.”
No shit…you mean a full-body energy field doesn’t emanate from the helmet, letting me bounce of the pavement and car bumpers, right back onto my bike?

A helmet is a crash-mediator, not a crash-preventer. Statistics such as cited in this article do not distinguish between head injuries and non-head injuries. A more accurate picture would be told by correlating head injuries to crashes with regards to helmet-use. I've had three crashes that did not involve vehicles which cracked my helmet instead of my skull; once I was probably going only 13 mph.

However, the article cites an interesting study that found drivers drive less safely around cyclists when they are wearing helmets. I’d buy that. Further, there is no helmet-law in Illinois due to large efforts by Active Trans and other advocacy groups. Studies show that helmet laws discourage cycling, and fewer cyclists make for a less safe and bike-friendly environment.


Finally, I want to say something about the Tennessee firefighters who let a house burn to the ground over $75. I had a discussion over Google Buzz on this yesterday, and the opinions expressed ranged from cold analysis of economics and civic policy to much deeper philosophical outrage. My own take on it was summed up as follows:

I wonder if it was less "grasping the golden rule" and more lazy and mean-spirited enough when presented with choices A and B to let somebody's house burn to the ground because they owed $75.

Again this all goes back to the issue of taxes that pay for essential services. Since when is it the Fire Department's job to collect and enforce a fucking service fee? Apparently, when the entire town has become so self-interested that local politicians are afraid to raise taxes to pay for the fucking service.

Maybe that has something to do with people living in homes they can't afford in suburban sprawl where they need cars they can't afford to drive to places to buy shit they need that they can't afford.

Choices and free will. All of it. Fuck 'em. I'm with Jeff. Let it burn.


Steven Vance said...

About that video: Do all these adults live together in the same house? haha

Steven Vance said...

Re: helmets and head injuries. If you weren't wearing your helmet in those three crashes you don't know if your skull would have cracked. The skull is quite resilient.

The helmet is not about protecting the skull, it's about preventing the brain from sloshing around so hard and slamming into the skull wall.

brianfmorrissey said...

Thanks for clarifying...but yeah, that's of course what I meant. During a 5-hour stint at the NMH ER, the resident repeatedly examined my helmet and asked about dizziness, blurry vision, and nausea, symptoms to brain trauma.

Bill said...

An interesting take on the house burning...