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Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Road rage in London

Taxi driver goes mental because there are cyclists blocking the way in front of him.  The cyclists tried to explain calmly that there was no room for him to move forward safely due to the procession of cyclists in the road, and asked him to be patient a couple of minutes. He lost it, and a few members of the public saw fit to try and intervene with him.

Because Critical Mass takes place without an official route or sanction, participants in some cities have sometimes practiced a tactic known as “corking” in order to maintain the cohesion of the group. This tactic consists of a few riders blocking traffic from side roads so that the mass can freely proceed through red lights without interruption….

The practice of corking roads in order to pass through red lights as a group is in contravention of traffic laws in some jurisdictions and is sometimes criticized to be contrary to Critical Mass’ claim that “we are traffic”, since ordinary traffic does not have the right to go through intersections once the traffic signal has changed to red.  However, groups of cyclists are allowed to pass signals as a group at least in Germany and Austria.  Corking has sometimes led to hostility between motorists and riders, even erupting into violence and arrests of motorists and cyclists alike during Critical Mass rides.

~ see Critical Mass on Wikipedia.

Posted by bigblue on 30/07/2014 at 07:57 AM
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Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Man and dog - the video

This man was skate-boarding with his dog in London on Friday night. I suggested to him that he was “cheating” by using his dog as an “engine” for his skateboard. He joked that he didn’t know that Critical Mass had such a rule…  Of course I hadn’t been referring to the rules of Critical Mass (there aren’t any that I know of), but to the Rules of Skateboarding in a general sense.

Posted by bigblue on 29/07/2014 at 12:40 PM
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Monday, 28 July 2014
Man and dog

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This man was skate-boarding with his dog in London on Friday night.  The lead is actually harnessed around the dog’s chest so that she provides some of the energy for his ride.

Posted by bigblue on 28/07/2014 at 09:09 PM
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Saturday, 26 July 2014
Solidarity with Gaza

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It’s kicking off in Kensington High Street.

Posted by bigblue on 26/07/2014 at 12:47 PM
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Friday, 18 July 2014
Earth Mother

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The plaque near this sculpted tree stump reads:

Earth Mother

As a young camphor tree sapling, the tree was toed with barbed wire forming a boundary fence - there are still vestiges of the barbed wire sticking out of from the body.

The sculpture thus symbolically represents the abuse suffered by women and our beautiful earth.

Created by Dina Cormick in 1991.

I think that by “toed” the author of plaque means “tied”, and that “sticking out of from” is a second typo. 

Posted by bigblue on 18/07/2014 at 09:27 PM
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Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Phoenix

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Yesterday we went to see the Gandhi homestead at Inanda (now a museum and educational centre). This is where Gandhi lived for 21 years, where he developed the concept of Satyagraha, where he became politicised, and where he launched a global anti-colonial struggle that shook the British empire.

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According to our tour guide Gandhi’s original house was torn down at the instigation of agents of the apartheid government in 1985 but was rebuilt after 1994. The steps down to the garden are the original steps.

The building that housed Gandhi’s printing press is now a base for a mobile clinic that serves HIV-positive orphans.

It was an interesting visit. The displays and materials were informative. They explained his influences and also the influence of Gandhi globally. Tribute was also given to two other “sons of Inanda”: John Dube, (founder president of the ANC) and Isaiah Shembe (founder of a religious sect). 

Despite this the museum had an air of neglect. It also felt too parochial and constrained for a person of Gandhi’s stature. Sadly, twenty years after the fall of apartheid this museum doesn’t seem have the attention and resources of those addressing “white” concerns.

Posted by bigblue on 16/07/2014 at 07:21 AM
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Tuesday, 15 July 2014
Monkey

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Now there’s a monkey crossing my path. This is the alpha male; the rest of the troop are somewhat behind.

Posted by bigblue on 15/07/2014 at 07:12 AM
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Monday, 14 July 2014
Lovebirds

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Two of the charming people that I met this past weekend. 

Posted by bigblue on 14/07/2014 at 06:18 PM
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