Signs of the Times #162


[Door. Tokyo, Japan.]

Hey, cigarettes
coffee, man,
that's a 

[Wall. Tokyo, Japan.] 

 Please, take good care
of the stairs.

[Coffee shop steps. Kinosaki Onsen, Japan.]

 Don't Park Bike

[Fence. Kyoto, Japan.]

 Do not call cats, as they
will enter sanctuary.

[Fence. Kyoto, Japan.]

 [Do not throw cans into angry boats.]

[Bridge. Seto Inland Sea, Japan.]

 [No cats riding bikes.]

[Park. Osaka, Japan.]

Do no absolutely smoke
on the street.
Smoking is prohibited 
on the street.
Please smoke just on the
stairs and use ashtray

New to Tokyo? Just visiting?
ARAKU Bar welcomes tourists and visitors
to Tokyo. Introduce yourself to our friendly
staff and we will happily waive the cover
charge. Come in and enjoy a unique
experience of the Tokyo night life scene.

[Doorway. Tokyo, Japan.]


Yes, Tay Zonday Was a Car Helmet Pioneer

[Image from here.]

This is a post I've had on my to-do list for a while now, because every time the topic of bike helmets returns to haunt bike planning discussions like a zombie, I remember a fun rumor.

I went to graduate school at the University of Minnesota at the same time that internet celebrity Tay Zonday was there. You might remember Zonday from his super-viral youtube hit, Chocolate Rain, which netted him 15 minutes of fame. At the time, Zonday was studying something in the humanities, and the topic of Chocolate Rain came up at a grad student party I attended.

At the time, someone mentioned that Tay Zonday always wore a helmet while he was driving a car, and I remember thinking "Well, that really makes sense."

And it does. I've long thought that every argument about why bicyclists should wear helmets should also apply equally to car drivers, as car crashes are the cause of half of reported head injuries. I've wondered how our driving culture would change if, for example, everyone wore a helmet in the car.

Of course, nobody actually does this. Except Tay Zonday, that is...

And the other day on Twitter, Mr. Zonday, who is alive and well and doing voice and acting work in California, replied to me and explained his perspective on car helmets.
Yes, I did wear a bike helmet in my car for many years, until I got a car with side-impact air bags.  
But side impact air bags only reduce fatalities by about half. People still die of head injuries. Even if the passenger compartment stays in-tact and head impacts are avoided, the kinetic forces absorbed by occupants can be fatal. 
IIHS actually publishes the peak physical force (in Newtons) experienced by various dummy body parts in their tests.
Thanks Tay, for your very reasonable take on helmet use.


Flag and Booklet Pandemic Fundraiser: All Proceeds go to Laid-off Workers

Until the bars and restaurants re-open, I'm giving 100% of my proceeds from booklets and flags to laid-off service workers (taken from this list).

If you want a Saint Paul or Northeast Minneapolis flag, or one of my Guide booklets, now is your chance.

Check it out at my online store today. If you're a service industry worker who has been laid off, sign up and add your name to the spreadsheet.


Twin City Shop Windows #23

 [University Avenue, Saint Paul?]

 [Downtown, Saint Paul.]

 [La Crosse, WI.]

 [La Crosse, WI.]

 [Downtown, Minneapolis.]

 [Highland, Saint Paul.]

 [Rondo, Saint Paul.]

[Tokyo, Japan.]


Twin City Doorways #58

[Downtown, Saint Paul.] 

 [Downtown, Minneapolis.]
 [Downtown, Saint Paul.]

 [Tokyo, Japan.]

 [Tokyo, Japan.]

 [Osaka, Japan.]

  [Osaka, Japan.]

 [Osaka, Japan.]