INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING: “Utrecht: Planning for People and Bikes, Not for Cars” ☮

Though already a very good city for bicycling, in recent years Utrecht has decided to go a step further and reduce the number of cars in the city’s center. How? Eliminating roadways, reaching nearly 33K bike parking spots downtown, making transition to get to the train easier and safer for people bicycling in their new bike parking facility and hosts of other ways. See it all here. I guarantee you if you live in a city that doesn’t have good bike planning or infrastructure this film will equally inspire and depress you!

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: “Why You Should Stop Posing with Your Hands on Your Hips” ☮

As time ticked tocked, the generations of women changed slowly but surely. From the clothes we wear to the way we act, there is a huge difference since the 1990s. One hidden little thing that I noticed is the way girls and women pose in pictures. You probably never really paid close attention to this, but women nowadays pose with their legs popped up and with their hands on their hips for almost every single picture that they take. If we look back to the pictures from the 1990s, we will not see the enormous amount of women with their hands on their hips. Weird, right?

To be honest, I never really thought much about this “posing with your hands on your hip” thing until one special day that I will never forget. I was at a banquet for my high school drill team, and at the end of dinner everyone was taking pictures because everyone was dressed up #basic. My team and I were outside getting ready to take a group picture, and that was when I saw an old lady walking by, so I decided to ask her if she could take our picture. So as usual, all the girls posed with their hands on their hips, one leg popped up and a big fake smile. When the lady handed my phone back to me she said, “Why are girls nowadays taking pictures with their hands on their hips? It looks absolutely snobby and bi***y.” I was absolutely stunned when she said that to me because damn lady, you are almost 80 and dropped the “b word” on me. Props.

Then, she said something that I would never forget. “Do you want your kids to grow up and look through your pictures and see you looking like a ‘mean girl’ instead of a modest young lady?” I have no idea why but what she said kind of stuck with me. Every time I take a picture now, I try my best not to take a picture with my hands on my hips (no guarantees though). Whenever I do “that” pose, I can hear that old lady in the back of my head.

In fact, I somewhat agree with what she said. After my life-changing moment with this lady, I looked through all my pictures and I did not have one single picture where my arms were down by my side. I never realized how fake I looked when taking pictures.

So ladies, try and pose with your arms down for once. Maybe that lady was drunk and had no idea what she was talking about, but having every single picture with your arms on your hips is not the look. Try something new and be less fake in your pictures, show real happiness instead of pretend happiness, and take a candid picture for once. But good luck, ladies, hope this will change you like the way it’s changed me.

– Ting

CLIMATE CHANGE: “Bolivia Declares State of Emergency With Worst Drought in 25 Years” / truthdig / Jan Rocha ☮

crop-chacaltaya_ski_resort-glaciers-800x400SÃO PAOLO—The government of Bolivia, a landlocked country in the heart of South America, has been forced to declare a state of emergency as it faces its worst drought for at least 25 years.

Much of the water supply to La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, and the neighbouring El Alto, Bolivia’s second largest city, comes from the glaciers in the surrounding Andean mountains.

But the glaciers are now shrinking rapidly, illustrating how climate change is already affecting one of the poorest countries in Latin America.

The three main dams that supply La Paz and El Alto are no longer fed by runoff from glaciers and have almost run dry. Water rationing has been introduced in La Paz, and the poor of El Alto—where many are not yet even connected to the mains water supply—have staged protests.

The armed forces are being brought in to distribute water to the cities, emergency wells are being drilled, and schools will have to close two weeks ahead of the summer break

President Evo Morales sacked the head of the water company for not warning him earlier of the dangerous situation, but the changes produced by global warming have been evident for some time.

Continue reading . . .

WHITE-WING REPUBLICAN CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANITY: “2016 GOP Platform Supports ‘God-Given’ Law from the Bible” / Secular Talk / Kyle Kulinski ☮

Republicans moved on Tuesday toward adopting a staunchly conservative platform that takes a strict, traditionalist view of the family and child rearing, bars military women from combat, describes coal as a “clean” energy source and declares pornography a “public health crisis.”