Re: Hospice for the Climate

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If you find that the NY Times hates your freedom, here's a link to the building's site and here's the thing about the elevator:

Another signature feature, a glass-enclosed stairwell that Mr. Hayes has named the "irresistible stairway," rewards climbers with panoramic views of downtown and Puget Sound. The behavioral carrot, aimed at promoting both health and energy conservation, has been juxtaposed with the stick of a slow and less conveniently sited elevator that requires key card access.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:06 AM
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I object to calling the composters the "business end" of the toilet. Where I take care of my business is the business end.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:06 AM
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Especially in climates where heating isn't too much of an issue, a lot of new "green" buildings are in fact overall less green than existing housing stock, just by virtue of being new. So, yes, agreed that these kind of things always just underline the need for systematic regulation of carbon.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:09 AM
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Where I take care of my business is the business end.

That's not the business end, that's the user interface.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:11 AM
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Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that the world isn't irrevocably headed for complete environmental disaster. I do wish that people would figure out that it's not that effing hard to use less water along the way though. [/broken record]


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:16 AM
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people are going to use up resources in an inefficient manner for so long as access to resources is tied with access to sex.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:17 AM
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The 'soft used irresistible stairways, and the elevators didn't need keycards. Seattlites will put up with a lot for daylight (cf annoying Koolhaas library).


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:25 AM
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Will there be an inaugural car chase through downtown Seattle to mark the occasion?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:26 AM
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After Lloyd Kahn realized how fucked up domes were, he worked on evolving a theory of buildings such that the less molecular manipulation the materials had to undergo, the better and more environmentally friendly the building would be. When I see these new buildings and everything is anodized aluminium or multi-layer glass with decorative frosting or whatever, I can't help but compare them to the old buildings with stone and steel and wood that have been performing admirably for a century or more. Shit, just doing a minor re-sheetrocking project wipes out a huge amount of energy efficiency gains.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:30 AM
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I'm too culturally illiterate to understand 8. Googling "car chase" "Seattle" doesn't seem to bring up significantly more hits than "car chase" "other mid-sized U.S. city."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:31 AM
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Try a "Seattle Car Chase" in the urban dictionary. If there's nothing there, thing of something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:35 AM
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Or think of something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:35 AM
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Cool, wish I had plans to be in Seattle to see it fiorsthand.

regarding collective action, I just don't see change happening until effective technology is very cheap. I'm pretty optimistic that sufficiently cheap technology will become widespread in the next couple of decades.

Grist had a nice description of solar power in rural India recently.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:38 AM
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10: http://vimeo.com/43766458


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:40 AM
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All west coast cities are basically the same.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:41 AM
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A building that is difficult to get to and which has an inconvenient elevator. I guess that is one way to discriminate against older workers and disabled workers.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 12:23 PM
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What, how's it difficult to get to? It's practically in the middle of the within-lake urban area, near such buslines as the city maintains, and near a lot of the decent subsidized housing.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 1:06 PM
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I think he's talking about the lack of parking spaces.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 1:18 PM
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I guess "in a city" is synonymous with "difficult to get to" by that standard, so yeah.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 1:21 PM
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I think he's talking about the lack of parking spaces.

Huh. Really?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 1:24 PM
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There's literally nothing else in the story that could be read as saying the building was hard to get to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 1:31 PM
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.... Also, there are a bunch of disabilities that make it impossible to drive but don't restrict walking, and this site should be better for those. Hey! Natilo! At the least, don't let the _impossible_ perfect be the enemy of the good!


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 1:31 PM
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Slap me; that was will not Natilo.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 1:32 PM
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Per google maps there are like five bus stops within a two-block radius.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 1:35 PM
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Slap me . . .

Google has a surprising number of autocompletes for "slap me and call me . . ."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 1:40 PM
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I am happy to be in will's company on this issue. It infuriates me that so many well-intentioned projects wind up screwing up one or more major components. I understand that developers have a lot of hoops to jump through, but if we can put a man on the moon, surely we can design energy-efficient buildings that are also fully accessible to people with disabilities. That just doesn't seem like the hardest thing in the world.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 1:50 PM
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I don't think we've been able to put a man on the moon for forty years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 1:52 PM
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I am not infuriated over the green building's imperfections. I think HG's larger point is that even as technology improves, people continue to horde resources. Cheap technology certainly hasn't reduced that impulse thus far.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 1:58 PM
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If we can put a man on the moon it does follow that any given project should be completed to my own satisfaction though.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 1:59 PM
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energy-efficient buildings that are also fully accessible to people with disabilities

Is this just about the elevators? Or is lack of parking also an accessibility issue?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 1:59 PM
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If people continue to horde resources, we'll have to find some Cossacks or something to fight the resources off.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:00 PM
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||
Remember that one post about the pace of change or whatever? If you had told me 10 years ago that one of the oddments of flotsam and jetsam in my desk drawer at work would be a functional 6.1 megapixel digital camera that just appeared out of nowhere one day, and which no one has claimed in over a year, I would have been somewhat surprised.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:03 PM
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five bus stops within a two-block radius.

I do not live in a big city, so my standard expectation is being able to park at the buildings location. I understand that is not the case in many big cities.

My quick read of the article was that they intentionally made it difficult to get to the building except through your physical effort and that, once inside the building, they intentionally made it difficult to take the elevator.

Encouraging people to take the stairs is great. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lXh2n0aPyw)

Making it more difficult for people who need to use an elevator is not great.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:05 PM
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...but if we can put a man on the moon, surely we can design energy-efficient buildings that are also fully accessible to people with disabilities.

Yes, if the US spends nearly half a percent of its GDP for 13 years on this problem, a solution will almost certainly be found.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:06 PM
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Perhaps it was not readily apparent that when I use a curmudgeonly phrase like "if we can put a man on the moon, then..." I am trying to intervene in the discourse in a jocular manner.

Be that as it may, if we spent .5% of the GDP (extra) on ensuring that large construction projects were both environmentally sound and otherwise promoted positive social values, that would seem like a pretty reasonable deal to me, assuming that the outcomes were commensurate with the success of the Apollo program.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:10 PM
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Sending people from Ohio as far away as possible is a great idea.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:10 PM
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"Although Mr. Sands admires the decision to forgo a traditional garage, he said the lack of on-site parking, coupled with Seattle's inadequate mass transit, could create commuting headaches for employees who live in the city's eastern suburbs and who may "have to figure out other methods or places to park nearby because they will have to drive.""

So Seattle has inadequate mass transit and you cannot park there? How is this not causing difficulties for an older worker or a disabled worker?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:12 PM
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36: I'm taking that personally, Moby!

Although, I'm not actually from Ohio.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:14 PM
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Old people have to live in the suburbs?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:17 PM
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Also, what is it about Seattle's public transit that you and Mr. Sands find inadequate?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:17 PM
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Awesome beavers:
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Beaver+helps+contain+fuel+spill+beavers+burned+spill+make/8161584/story.html


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:18 PM
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For any elderly people who live at the Skyline First Hill nursing home it's a ten minute bus ride down East Madison. That's super fucking handy! How lucky for those elderly people.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:20 PM
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From Cabrini Senior Housing it's only seven minutes. Dynamite!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:22 PM
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I mean, seriously, if the problem is inadequate public transportation maybe the problem is inadequate public transportation, not insufficient fucking parking at your allegedly green building.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:24 PM
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The anger-powered bus is a might thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:25 PM
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Exactly how fast and conveniently located does the elevator have to be to qualify as accessible?

cf annoying Koolhaas library

Man, that reading room on the top floor is a sweet place to be on an overcast day. There actually is some light out there!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:28 PM
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46: ideally there would be an individual car elevator for each employee.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:29 PM
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That building is pretty fucking easy to reach by public transportation. If you live in the eastern suburbs and are somehow commuting to Capitol Hill, then they have this exciting invention called the "Park and Ride Lot". You can drive the mile to the nearest park and ride lot, and take a bus from there.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:30 PM
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I think the new SPL is a fine public square, but only a usable library in despite of Koolhaas & his designers.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:47 PM
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ideally there would be an individual car elevator

I was genuinely kind of surprised to learn that fancy high rises outside of Los Angeles (or, even, my particular part of Los Angeles) don't have in-building car washes, mechanics, and auto detailing services. How else does your car get clean for Friday night when you're working all the time?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:51 PM
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Cars in other cities don't have to be cleaned as often because there's not as much particulate pollution in the air.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:53 PM
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(Well, and it rains more often. And actually there certainly are fancy high rises that have detailing services, at least, here.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:54 PM
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I was 25 before I realized that detailing was just a fancy was of saying washing. I thought it involved adding racing stripes or other detailed decorations.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 3:05 PM
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Last time someone brought their recentborn to the office I was informed I should wash my hands before touching him. Now someone else is bringing another. Is this a common proviso? And just for curiosity's sake, does it actually make medical sense and/or have evidence backing it up?

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 3:26 PM
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2 things:

First of all, implementation of the ADA has, in fact, constituted an enormous investment of GDP over the past 30 years. All those ramps you see? Not free. Those giant bathrooms? Not free. In fact, the ADA requires that 20% of any renovation project go towards ADA improvements until the building is fully compliant. Moving office partitions? Rebuild the bathrooms. It's the third floor of an elevatorless building? Build wheelchair-accessible bathrooms anyway, because someone might build an elevator in the future. Seriously. There is no shortage of investment in accessibility in the US.

Second of all, design is compromise. There's no objective standard of a building that prizes the experiences of the able and less able equally. Carpets are bad for those in wheelchairs, good for those on their feet - you can't make your flooring equally awesome for both groups. Good daylighting is a huge boon for those with normal sight, but blinding for those with photosensitivity. Can't we just make it perfect for everyone?

No. No we can't. Not even with an infinite budget.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 3:35 PM
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53: Me too.

54: It's certainly true that dirty hands are germy, and germs make babies sick. What's less clear is that this represents a significant problem. My feeling was always that, if you're not actively sick, and you're not planning on putting your fingers in the kid's mouth, then handwashing is a culturally-driven decision, not a health-driven one.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 3:37 PM
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I'd still wash my hands if the parent asks. It's not really the time for evidence-based arguments.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 3:40 PM
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It is certainly common for people to ask you to wash your hands before holding the baby, and sometimes people will volunteer.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 3:43 PM
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Threadjack:

For the record, I came over to see if there was discussion about this, and Coates' discussion of it. The relevant quote is

Sometimes people delay marriage because they are searching for the perfect soul mate. But that view has it backward. Your spouse becomes your soul mate after you've made those vows to each other in front of God and the people who matter to you. You don't marry someone because he's your soul mate; he becomes your soul mate because you married him.
Which I have a certain sympathy for, but I also think is kind of stupid. BOGF would have become my soulmate if we'd just tried harder? Really? All those people divorcing the knuckleheads they met and married in their teens should have just taken their vows more seriously? It's a premise that doesn't survive a moment's contact with the real world, like utopian notions of economics or international relations.

For the record, I think I could have had a successful marriage with my HS GF, but I thought she was my soulmate at the time, so that doesn't prove much. I've known other women I could probably have made a decent go with, but I wouldn't put money on longevity (15+ years) with any of them. And AB felt instantly like a soulmate (I was 27, she 30).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 3:45 PM
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57, 58: Absolutely. It's a modern courtesy, and we should all be courteous, but I don't think it goes much beyond that.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 3:46 PM
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There's two different threads where that wouldn't have been a thread jack if they hadn't been thread jacked already.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 3:48 PM
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Anyway, I'm assuming Coates means that even if someone has soul-mate potential, you still have to work to become an actual soul mate. I don't think he's trying to say that just any two people can make themselves into each other's soul mates.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 3:52 PM
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But I'm not going to read it to check.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 3:55 PM
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62: That quote's from the original piece in Slate, by Julia Shaw. And, reading her piece, I'm not sure what else she means by those words. She's pretty emphatic on "marry first, let God sort 'em out."

61: I didn't see any obviously suitable OPs, so hell with it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 3:58 PM
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Despite the obvious evidence that I'm avoiding work, I'm not going to avoid work in that way. Maybe I'll go wash my hands in case somebody brings in a baby.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 3:59 PM
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64.1: Oops. I won't assume she makes sense.
64.2: Technically, they apply only if you want to marry somebody from Princeton or of the same sex.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 4:00 PM
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59: Yes, I saw that. I basically think TNC's post was good, the commenters were for the most part good, and the Slate woman is nuts. Perfectly true as far as it goes (=sometimes marrying young can work out), perfectly nuts when applied as a general rule.

There should be a word for the peculiar kind of blind spot created when a person has every opportunity to revise their beliefs based on reality, and yet does not. Impervious?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 4:06 PM
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Frankly the whole concept of a "soul mate" is outrageously pagan. That's not how the soul works!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 4:23 PM
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Those pagans were romantic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 4:38 PM
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Scary child-raising moment of the day: A detailed series of well-rehearsed, ernest questions as to what would happen if various things were stuck into electric outlets.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 4:41 PM
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70: Science!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 4:44 PM
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Those pagans were romantic.

OK, I need three giant wicker men -- shut up, Larry, no one cares what Melissa said about "representation" and "equality"; if she wants to be in charge of this stuff she can start at the bottom and clean up the human sacrifices for a few years like I did -- and a couple of groves' worth of pitch. What? How the hell should I know? I thought you were watching the baby. Look, honey, I'm working right now. Where was I? Did I say pitch? Right, pitch. Chester and Clifford, you're on pitch duty. Because I'm the chief druid and I said so is why! [Sigh] Yes, dear? Yes, I borrowed your golden sickle. I have to cut some mistletoe later. I know. OK, honey. Will do. Yes, dear. You got it. [Sigh.] What? Don't you two have something to do? The next thing on my list is "Drown somebody in peat bog," if you don't have anywhere to be. Like my dad said, Time to lean, time to drown in peat. Anyway. Jennifer! How are we on those menstrual-blood-stained unleavened cakes? A gross, yes. Ha. Ha. Ha. You say that every time, Sol. Hey! Put that down! No! That's Daddy's special go-to-solstice mead. Bad! Not for babies! Thatcher, can you take these jokers through the rest of this list? I gotta see if my wife can watch the kid for a while before we wicker up. The rest of you, pay attention to Thatcher and oh for the love of our non-specifically natural pantheon of deities and godheads what the hell do you want, Mark? No, we're fresh out of mistletoe in these parts. Got plenty of peat. Need some peat?


Posted by: OPINIONATED PAGAN | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 4:59 PM
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Intriguing growing-up moment of the day: Father's answers to my well-rehearsed series of questions about electrical socket insertions were evasive and brusque. What exactly are he and Mother hiding about electrical sockets? Clearly, more research will be required, to be scheduled when both parents are indisposed.


Posted by: Moby Hick's Kid | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:04 PM
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73: "Dad: (laughing) There are actual monsters in the world, but when my kids ask I pretend like there aren't."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:07 PM
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I have this vague feeling normal person germs are probably good for (otherwise healthy, strong) babies to encounter, but this is entirely unfounded in any real science.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:14 PM
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||

Gah, I really thought that part of becoming a Real Scientist would be a lessening of the misery of reading things like NSF grant denials, and the associated reviews from anonymous colleagues. No such luck! Delurking to vent.

|>


Posted by: Counterfly | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:19 PM
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73: "Dad: (laughing) There are actual monsters in the world, but when my kids ask I pretend like there aren't."

One of my favorites of all time.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:21 PM
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Oh, Counterfly, I feel you. I hate reading all peer review comments, always.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:22 PM
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The elevator thing strikes me as overwrought symbolism - good for fighting obesity, but not so critical for sustainability, inasmuch as elevators are one of the most energy-efficient means of conveying people on a joules per passenger kilometer basis.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:31 PM
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Handwashing is supposed to be good to prevent the spread of disease generally, isn't it? Babies' immune systems are less mature. So why would this just be courtesy instead of common sense?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:38 PM
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76: I recently got a grant (well, fellowship) review that sniffed that I should have had plenty of time to publish on my project already, even if I didn't have any data.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:41 PM
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The discussion needs to support the hatred with reference to some of the results.


Posted by: Opinionated Peer Reviewer | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:42 PM
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Oh, hey, speaking of threadjacking--although I guess not entirely?--do you have an email address I can reach you at, Sifu? I seem to recall you dissing Public bikes awhile back. If one wanted to spend $400-1000 on an upright-posture city bike, what's the right thing to get, then? Is Civia good? I did a test-ride of a Civia Twin Cities, and it was wonderful, but that's partly just a reflection of how everything about my current bike is slightly bad. Sorry if you already answered this earlier...


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:48 PM
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I just hear that public bikes are cheap and get creaky and fall apart-y quickly. Blume probably knows more about city bikes than I do at this point; I will hail her telepathically. For a grand you should be able to get something totally sweet, I'd think.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:53 PM
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Civia bikes have a great reputation. You could check out the Green line from KHS bicycles, too. I don't know much about the Public bikes, but the Linus ones have the reputation of not wearing very well.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:00 PM
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I have a belief that breast-fed babies are getting so many immunities from their mother that no one needs to worry about washing their hands. So I wonder if the courtesy of hand-washing is more than a courtesy insofar as you may not know if the baby is breastfed or not.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:02 PM
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83: I think you'd be hard-pressed to spend more than a grand on a city bike, unless you're going for a Dutch bike.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:02 PM
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This looks pretty dope. Disc brakes! Pretty nice tubing! 8 speed internal hub! Fenders and chainguard included!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:03 PM
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Yeah, for $750 I could get a Civia 7-speed internal hub model; that's the one I test-rode, assuming it hasn't been taken yet. But after I mentioned this to my father, he bombarded me with links about SRAM i9 vs Shimano Alfine hubs, and belt-driven vs chains, and various slightly different geometries and gaaahh choices I can't deal with choices.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:04 PM
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The other thing is that the whole point of a nice city bike would be to no longer have to worry about things going wrong--but if it's nice, I suddenly would have to start worrying about it being stolen.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:06 PM
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The KHS seems like it might be a bit lighter, but that's not the biggest deal with a city bike (although y'all do have those hills). Shimano Alfine works fine. I'm sure the SRAM works fine, too. Geometry... well, did you like how it rode? Then that geometry seems fine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:08 PM
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I might not be the best person to ask about this, since my commuter bike is from 1972.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:09 PM
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But that said, that KHS looks nifty to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:10 PM
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Thanks!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:14 PM
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Belt drives seem like a PITA to me. Also, if I were going for the KHS I'd probably go for the one a step down from the one Tweety linked, unless you're just really into disc brakes.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:15 PM
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I guess it does rain a decent amount in SF, and there are big hills. Maybe you do want disc brakes.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:16 PM
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Jammies is part of a daddy band. At rehearsal, people try to be helpful and help him set up his drums. This drives him nuts because they don't do it precisely right but he's too polite to say anything.

So he has taken 6 photos of the drums, set up correctly. Now he's laminating the photos. Next he's going to punch a hole in them, and attach them to a key ring to stay right in some drum-specific spot.

He's awesome, but seriously WTF.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:16 PM
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Sifu:
I don't know anything about Seattle. I was just going by the article and that one of the goals of the building design was to demand physical exertion. Not every building in a city is going to be able to meet every need. But this one seems to go out of the way to make people walk more.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:17 PM
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Oh, I didn't realize that the next step down KHS also had the nice steel. Yeah, that one is fine unless you're fired up about disc brakes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:17 PM
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Yes, I didn't have any intention of caviling at hand-washing whatever the medical opinion might be.

80 makes sense too.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:27 PM
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Get the Worksman Urban Commuter Cruiser in safety orange. Comfortable riding posture, heavy duty frame, high visibility for safety. No rack, and it's only three speed, but you can retrofit a rack and more gears if needed. It's what I'd get if I was in the market for a bike and wasn't buying a recumbent.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:28 PM
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I'd be okay with a social norm that we wash our hands before touching *anyone*. I am a nurses' kid, though, so would be OK with gloves and light veils for all.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:37 PM
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I love my Townie many-speed, which is so upright it's actually a crypto-recumbent. (And therefore not super going up hills, although I've made it to MSRI above Berkeley.) Bike people do mock, though. Justly, I'm sure.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:38 PM
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I am curious how much that bike in 101 weighs. I'm not obsessed with bike weight, but pretty much everything they mention in its description is something about how heavy it is.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:39 PM
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Not every building in a city is going to be able to meet every need. But this one seems to go out of the way to make people walk more.

Yes. Unlike everything else built since about 1960, including gyms, which are designed to make us walk less. Do you believe that mean USian health and happiness wouldn't be improved by the occasional alternative?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:40 PM
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But this one seems to go out of the way to make people walk more.

Well... yeah. Lots of things would be better if everybody (yes, okay, almost everybody) walked more.

Pwned, but I wanted to reiterate.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:44 PM
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18

I think he's talking about the lack of parking spaces.

Hope you are feeling better.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:44 PM
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105:
Do you think a building should be designed to make it more difficult for those who cannot walk as far and as easily?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:44 PM
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106:

Sure. We can agree that the vast majority of people should walk more. Absolutely. Including taking the stairs.

We should spend money to make bike lanes everywhere. I agree with that as well. Biking to work should be encouraged.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:47 PM
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79

The elevator thing strikes me as overwrought symbolism - ...

Like the theory that medicine is more effective if it tastes bad?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:48 PM
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Turn the question around: do you think a building should be designed to make walking the default option? To that, I would say yes. Can that be done without making alternative options at least somewhat more difficult?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:49 PM
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109: right! And, if the cost of making a building that encourages that is that people who can't take the stairs have to go twenty or so feet out of their way or whatever and use a keycard... what's the problem here?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:50 PM
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I don't think that's what it was *designed for*. (One could do a much better job of that.) I think the building was designed *for* lower energy use and better employee health and happiness, that (As JRoth pointed out) that will involve compromises, and that they have adequate facilities for almost everyone who could possibly work there and can adapt for the rest.

I also know that that particular dense, hospital-rich, bus-served, mixed-economic neighborhood is full of people with impaired faculties of one kind or another who move there *because* pre-automobile cities allow them more independence than the auto-dependent suburbs do. The hundred-year-old pre-car buildings are wearing out (earthquakes, mostly). We need some new ones.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:51 PM
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So like, the building that I work in has three elevators in banks at the front of the lobby, and then two stairwells, one accessible from the lobby, and one accessible from an outside door around back. I often take the stairs, but if I'm in a hurry I will generally default to just hitting the elevator button, because it's right there in front of me. If you were to reverse this pattern -- so the stairs were right there in front of you upon entry, and the elevator was down a short hallway off to the side, far more people would take the stairs (I would take them more often, I'm sure) and people who were unable to take the stairs would, in fact, be mildly inconvenienced. Would that be worth the cost?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:53 PM
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The fact that were even allowed to build an office building without any onsite parking at all strongly suggests that the city considers the location an appropriate place to discourage automobile use. There are very few places in the US where you could get away with this.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:53 PM
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111:

It is obviously a question of degree. How much more difficult are you willing to make it on those who cannot walk as well or as far? (I was going to point out pregnant women, but then I remembered a 8 month pregnant woman who ran past be in a 10k.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:53 PM
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I have an electric bicycle now. It makes biking much less of a chore, while still giving you some exercise (it doesn't boost unless you're pedaling) - so far thanks to it I've been biking to work every day possible, including in the rain. Especially recommended for SF living.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:53 PM
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115: yep. Somebody tried to built an apartment building without on-site parking in our city (which is way over on the side of the curve where that might be possible) by offering to make lack of a car ownership a condition of sale of units, but they still couldn't get approval without adding an underground parking garage.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:55 PM
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112, 114:

I agree completely with those examples.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:55 PM
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Anyway, this building seems cool overall. To heebie's concern, obviously this one building isn't going to make much of a difference to global climate change or any other large-scale issues, but they seem to be explicitly trying to make it a model for other development, and if it catches on that could very well make a big difference. Building energy use is a huge portion of overall energy use, and raising standards for efficiency and conservation has a lot of potential as a way to reduce the energy intensity of modern industrial societies.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:58 PM
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but then I remembered a 8 month pregnant woman who ran past be in a 10k

I passed a guy on the sidewalk tonight as I was on my way home from yoga, and he was not pleased! Dude was already muttering to himself before I passed him, but he got louder and somewhat indignant when he noticed he'd been passed by a pregnant lady.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:58 PM
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Well I mean where do you think the elevator is? Across a spiked pit filled with pythons? It's just going to be around a corner or something.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 6:58 PM
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I do wonder about heating, though, which wasn't mentioned in the article at all. Seattle's climate is pretty mild, but surely a building like this would need some sort of heating system, right?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:01 PM
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123: maybe electric heat? On the website they mention that all the windows will open, which is rad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:03 PM
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I also wonder if those solar panels are actually going to produce enough electricity to offset what it pulls from the grid. On the other hand, the grid electricity is going to be pretty much all hydro-generated anyway, so in climate terms it doesn't really matter.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:03 PM
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124: Maybe, but that only intensifies the concerns in 125.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:04 PM
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The building photos say something about a geowell; seattle is a mild enough climate that they could potentially have geothermal that was sufficient, in which case they'd only need electricity to run the pumps.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:07 PM
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They might get waste heat off the composting, for that matter, that they could redirect through the building when it's cold.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:08 PM
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They will indeed have geothermal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:09 PM
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To open the front door you have to do 10 minutes on a bicycle powered generator.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:09 PM
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Geothermal will be the building's only heat source.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:10 PM
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129: Ah, okay, heat pumps make sense, and had crossed my mind as a possibility (as had heat from the composting).


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:10 PM
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It is apparently designed to a be a 250 year building. Neat!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:11 PM
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More on the geothermal; sounds like they actually can warm it up a bit more with electricity, if need be.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:19 PM
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The concrete is locally sourced and the rebar is recycled (and, since it's from Portland, presumably artisanal). That building's kinda rad!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:22 PM
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134: And they're using radiant floor heating to distribute the heat, too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:23 PM
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Check out the radiant floor heating loops!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:23 PM
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Hah! Pwned!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:24 PM
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Wow, that's a shitload of photovoltaic.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:26 PM
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It seems like they're doing that thing where you can dramatically reduce heating/cooling cost with an ultra-tight building envelope.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:28 PM
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They aren't even hooking up to city water!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:31 PM
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5% of the generated energy will go to heating.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:36 PM
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Guyyssss that building is rad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:39 PM
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Yeah, it's pretty amazing how much thought they've put into every aspect of it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:40 PM
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Did you read the thing about the building envelope? In order to keep to their local sourcing mandate they convinced the german manufacturer to license their technology to a US partner so now the US partner can supple the hyper-efficient envelope technology to other buildings in the US. Clever!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:41 PM
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Did you read the thing about the building envelope? In order to keep to their local sourcing mandate they convinced the german manufacturer to license their technology to a US partner so now the US partner can supple the hyper-efficient envelope technology to other buildings in the US. Clever!

No, I hadn't read that part. That's a pretty creative way to take advantage of how far ahead Germany is with these sorts of techniques.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:44 PM
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The green building I know best is this one, which in all honesty is pretty cool. It survived the most frustrating aspects of Quakerism (eg really slow decisionmaking) and wound up being a pretty widely recognized model. Plus, it's just a generally nice space to have meetings in.*


*And they supported Occupy, so there's that.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:46 PM
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The other thing is that the whole point of a nice city bike would be to no longer have to worry about things going wrong--but if it's nice, I suddenly would have to start worrying about it being stolen.

Obviously the solution is to get a really nice fixie.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:49 PM
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Why is that a solution? Still expensive, still targets for theft, no?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:53 PM
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I think he's funnin'.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:53 PM
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Tangentially related: This Request for Proposals from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation really walks a fine line between wise creativity and a paranoid person's worst nightmare. I admit to being curious about how it winds up being executed.

Relevant excerpt:

[The RWJ Foundation seeks proposals that] apply the principles and frameworks of behavioral economics to persistent and perplexing health and healthcare problems....
Through its Pioneer Portfolio program, RWJF expects to make approximately five awards of up to $200,000 each for two-year projects that test innovative solutions to the challenge of reducing the use of low-value services in health care -- those that provide more harm than benefit or which provide only marginal health benefits.
Projects that could fall under this category include experiments that vary the frame or structure of information or messaging to patients or providers in a way that might reduce the use of clinical services of low or questionable value; experiments that reflect or modify social connections or norms that might reduce the use of these services; or experiments that use choice architecture or financial incentives informed by techniques of behavioral economics to reduce the use of these services.

I actually have no idea what "choice architecture" means.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:56 PM
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I actually have no idea what "choice architecture" means.

It means framing things carefully to influence decisions. (Like, do you require people to opt in or opt out of something, etc.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:03 PM
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Here you go.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:04 PM
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Er, here.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:05 PM
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141: Is that really saving much, what with economies of scale for municipal water?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:05 PM
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Originally 152 read "Let me Cass Sunstein that for you", but I realized that doesn't actually make any sense.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:07 PM
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155: Depends on what sort of treatment they have to do to it, I guess.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:08 PM
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155: well, if the rainwater were being captured downstream it wouldn't be, but the points they make are that it's not -- it just gets polluted and runs into the sound -- and that Seattle has snowpack-fed water, which may be abundant at the moment but likely won't stay that way.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:08 PM
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156: I sort of think of it as being Laibson's thing originally, but I couldn't figure out who coined the term.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:09 PM
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158: Right. I suspect their main concern was with preventing stormwater runoff by keeping the water on-site and using it, and they figured out they would get enough water that way to not have to hook up to city water so they made that a marketing point.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:11 PM
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I guess it does rain a decent amount in SF,

Maybe compared to Boston (the La Jolla of the east coast), but not enough to decisively influence brake choice.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:18 PM
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Oh, right, Laibson. The guy I've actually heard talk about this stuff. Well, Sunstein should at least get credit for marketing, since his name is lodged in my brain in association with this and I had to remind myself who Laibson is.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:19 PM
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152,154: Thanks. I should have been more clear. All I meant was "Please don't ask me to explain this concept or defend it; I don't even know what it is."

But it's interesting to know that it's apparently NOT about physical stuff at all. I thought it might have to do with colors/design elements that cue people to look at information in a certain way, but it sounds like not.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:20 PM
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Sunstein's newest discovery. Heehee.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:21 PM
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151: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the good guys, and this area of research is hugely important. Every insurer and every provider at risk is all agog about "consumer engagement", but know one knows what works, so they try what they think works, and then when that fails, they say "We'll just have to crack the whip harder / make patients bear more financial penalties etc." The idea of this kind of research is to apply real scientific insights into human behavior to build better engagement programs. It is a generally a good thing and not to be feared, especially not when conducted under the aegis of the RWJF.


Posted by: kermit roosevelt, jr. | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:22 PM
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165: Thanks, that's helpful. The only part I know well of RWJ is their Clinical Scholars Program, but all of the people I have met through that have been outstanding (n=6 or so, I think).


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:33 PM
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The foundation of a wood johnson involves a great deal of careful sanding.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:48 PM
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It's a shame the name wasn't Richard Wood Johnson.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:56 PM
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and that Seattle has snowpack-fed water, which may be abundant at the moment but likely won't stay that way.

Actually that's not apparent at all. Last year and this year haven't been good snowpack years in the west but Seattle seems to doing fine.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:40 PM
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Yeah, actually, I found their explanation that they weren't hooking up to city water because climate change might make Seattle run out of water kind of dubious. I mean, it could happen, but it's hardly obvious.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:42 PM
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Which is why I think 160 is more likely their actual reasoning.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:44 PM
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Once you start worrying about "Seattle runs out of water" scenarios you run into the "Seattle will probably be destroyed by an earthquake or volcano" issue.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 10:15 PM
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Right. Can this building withstand an earthquake? I guess everything in Seattle must be required to, these days.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 10:18 PM
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||

I just booked my travel to DC. Arriving Friday morning, leaving midday Monday.

|>


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 10:44 PM
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So he has taken 6 photos of the drums, set up correctly

That's pretty anal, but I've seen worse. We opened for a band whose drummer sets up by first putting down a huge sheet of plywood, into which he has drilled screws that designate exactly where each separate piece goes. And, because the screws protrude by about an inch and a half all over the place on this sheet of plywood, it's basically impossible to move any one piece out of its designated spot (which is really annoying if you're the opening band's drummer and you want to move things around a bit, per the usual custom when sitting down at someone else's drumkit).

He also used roto-toms instead of normal toms, which I thought was...a choice consistent with his other weird-to-me choices.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:17 AM
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I was very disappointed to read that roto-toms aren't a series of drums on a motorized belt that circles the drummer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:31 AM
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174: Like!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:34 AM
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It was decided that National is the best choice to fly to, right?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:37 AM
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I really thought Opinionated Pagan would get more traction. A sad case of overestimating the comedic potential of peat and human sacrifice. Again.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:37 AM
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I liked it, Flip.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:44 AM
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You've failed Opinionated, Flippanter. You have dishonored your family.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:44 AM
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173: they talk about that some on the blog. Short form: sure, they think so, yes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:48 AM
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Seattle can get really big earthquakes. I'm kind of skeptical that they're building to Japan standards instead of California standards


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:52 AM
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Why are you skeptical about that?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:54 AM
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There's nothing to be skeptical about: the people have spoken and they want more peat comedy! It's about time.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:05 AM
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I thought the pagan thing was great. I just got interrupted and before I got back, things had moved on.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:07 AM
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Seattle gets all its rain in winter, so can run out in late summer. Not as in `dry cracking earth', yet, but as in `prices have gone way way up because we need the rest of it for the fish'. Someday we'll get the `five hundred year fire' drought and that will be terrible.

And I expect the building standards are more Californian than Japanese, but earthquake mitigation is required, yes. My favorite story about that is at the University; they were afraid the original, lovely* reading room couldn't be reinforced without digging up other buildings or covering the windows. However, the original builders had planned a ludicrously huge tower addition; they didn't have the money to build it but they had put in the foundation. The library is, IIRC, now tied to this forgotten foundation and passes code again.

*Concrete cod-Gothic but it plays well in the provinces.

Local artisanal disaster o'choice might be Mount Rainier blowing and sending a boiling mud lahar over South Seattle, with earthquakes and a small tsunami to take down all the steep hills.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 8:40 AM
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clew beats me to it on both points, but a) the PNW is really dry in the summer. Like, last summer in Portland we had a quarter inch of rain between the beginning of July and the end of September. And b) pyroclastic flows would be the top disaster scenario up there. They even have a lahar warning system. (Look at that map! Sucks to be you if you live in Tacoma, but if you live in Tacoma, it already sucks to be you.)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 9:45 AM
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Lahars are pretty unlikely to hit Seattle, though Tacoma is screwed. It would take the mother of all eruptions to get to Seattle.

Strangely, it looks like global warming will lead to increased rainfall and is actually good for Seattle's water supply, though maybe not the residents.

The real danger is the earthquake. A subduction zone earthquake (magnitude > 8.5) is nearly guaranteed sometime in the next 2 centuries, but of course, no one can predict when.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 10:29 AM
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178: Yes, National is easiest but BWI isn't too bad. Dulles is a PITA for the most part.

We're coming in Thursday night and leaving Tuesday in order to fit in some other D.C. socializing.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 10:39 AM
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Dulles is a PITA for the most part.

And, of course, I'm flying in and out of Dulles -- but there weren't many options and that was the only flight that was at a decent time of day.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 11:08 AM
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189 et al -- history shows again and again how nature points out the folly of men.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 11:48 AM
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Shut UP, nature.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 11:57 AM
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Fucking ear worm.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 12:13 PM
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191: It's not really that bad; there's a bus to the Metro. Maybe folks who are using BWI and Dulles want to post their approximate arrival times on the board to see if it makes sense to coordinate ground transportation?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 1:37 PM
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Oh damn, I'm flying in and out of Dulles, too.

I get in 11:30ish am, Friday morning, and fly out 8:30 am, Monday morning.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 1:44 PM
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