The guys’ revealing view of cycling people to know

When you publish a list of people to know in an industry and those people are all male, the list may reveal more about yourself than you intended.

Puncture

Puncture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m assuming there was no editor to ask some important questions. The result makes a person wonder if the writer and publishers:

  1. Really believe the only people worth knowing are male.
  2. Did not know there are females worth knowing in the industry.
  3. Even considered the possibility that some women have an impact.
  4. Were just too lazy or didn’t care enough to do a thorough job.

None of those possible reasons for the males-only list reflects well on the guys at Element.ly. On a positive note, they did show the good judgment to publish this two days later:

Don’t daydream on a bicycle?

…every cyclist must assume that every car driver could kill them. And you should never daydream.

Here at the Smith Compound (SC) we can’t say that Timothy Egan is wrong in this sad NYTimes piece about the death of a 31-year-old Seattle woman.

Indeed, while cycling we assume that every motorist, pedestrian and cyclist in the immediate vicinity is about to do something stupid, as they very often do.

But never daydream? It is surprisingly easy to become lost in thought while pedaling down the road or trail.

To never daydream is to deny one of the greatest pleasures of going about the countryside on two wheels.

Never is asking too much.

The SC prefers a more moderate approach: Be aware of your surroundings, and daydream when there’s no one else in sight.

empty road

Time to think, to dream

On accidents and executions

Accident warning

Accident warning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When is an accident a criminal act? When is an execution really brutal murder?

Two shootings that Meredith Carroll mentions in the Denver Post on Sunday were, indeed, accidental by some definitions.

A police officer accidentally shot his teen daughter in their garage; a woman in Florida accidentally shot her 7-year-old grandson. They were unfortunate events, to put it mildly, that resulted from carelessness. They were also by far the most common type of accident: the ones that can be prevented.

That the shootings were in some sense accidental doesn’t mean those who pulled the triggers are blameless. They pulled the triggers quite intentionally with horrific, unintentional results. There is, or should be, a legal price to pay. We should also find a better word than “accident” to describe such things.

Similarly, the media have almost universally described the beheading of journalist James Foley as an execution.

More precisely, it was murder.

“Cleansing” a term that masks brutal reality

A Denver Post editorial ran under this headline the other day:

The latest religious cleansing in the Mideast

Feel free to click that to read the Post’s opinion. I agree with it, but it prompted this response from The Smith Compound in the form of a letter to the editor:

We should purge the euphemism “cleansing” from our collective vocabulary when what we really mean is persecution, extortion, and murder. There is nothing truly religious or clean about what you described in that editorial. You already know that; just tell it like it is.

Words matter.

 

Petition: Treat the children as refugees

Consider this, if you think of children being detained at our southern border as young refugees rather than criminals: Petition.

Here’s my take, from last week:

Are the children refugees or illegal immigrants?

 

Supermoons right on “schedule”

The sight of a rather large moon over the Flatirons this morning reminded me of a Sunday evening news report about the supermoon on Saturday night.

Two more are “scheduled,” the news reader said, one in August and another in September, leaving me wondering who is in charge of supermoon scheduling.

We should have them more often.

English: A supermoon is a perigee-syzygy, a ne...

English: A supermoon is a perigee-syzygy, a new or full moon (syzygy) which occurs when the Moon is at 90% or greater of its mean closest approach to Earth (perigee). The March 19, 2011 supermoon is just 221,566 miles (356,577 kilometers) away from Earth. The last time the full moon approached so close to Earth was in 1993, according to NASA. it is about 20 percent brighter and 15 percent bigger than a regular full moon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Are the children refugees or illegal immigrants?

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a Republican Gang of Four complained that President Obama wouldn’t visit our porous border with Mexico, they simultaneously accused him of “lawlessness”—get this, for enforcing a 2008 law that had overwhelming bipartisan support.

To these callous conservatives, children in search of safety are “illegal immigrants” when in fact many of them arguably meet this dictionary definition* if not the United Nations definition of “refugee”:

one that flees; especially :  a person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution.

They play politics with words, as usual, while they should be helping find solutions of substance. So much for the idea of lifting a lamp by the golden door.


 

* “Refugee.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 11 July 2014. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refugee.

No more harshing over “words” people use

Impacted Wisdom teeth

Impacted Wisdom teeth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a time when words such as webinar, impacted (except when referring to wisdom teeth), incentivize and irregardless made me cringe.

I’m mostly over that after tiring of online gripe fests rife with harshing the alleged destroyers of modern American English.

This TED talk pretty much cured me of all that, except that impactful still makes me want to puke.

That’s the editor in me.