A new paper by John Pucher, Ralph Buehler and Mark Seinen (pdf)
Bicycling renaissance in North America? An update and
re-appraisal of cycling trends and policies
John Pucher a,⇑, Ralph Buehler b,1, Mark Seinen a
a Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, 33 Livingston Avenue, Room 363, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
b School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech, Alexandria Center, 1021 Prince Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
a b s t r a c t
This paper reviews trends in cycling levels, safety, and policies in Canada and the USA over the past two decades. We analyze aggregate data for the two countries as well as cityspecific case study data for nine large cities (Chicago, Minneapolis, Montréal, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington). Cycling levels have increased in both the USA and Canada, while cyclist fatalities have fallen. There is much spatial variation and socioeconomic inequality in cycling rates. The bike share of work commuters is more than twice as high in Canada as in the USA, and is higher in the western parts of both countries. Cycling is concentrated in central cities, especially near universities and in gentrified neighborhoods near the city center. Almost all the growth in cycling in the USA has been among men between 25–64 years old, while cycling rates have remained steady among women and fallen sharply for children. Cycling rates have risen much faster in the nine case study cities than in their countries as a whole, at least doubling in all the cities since 1990. They have implemented a wide range of infrastructure and programs to promote cycling and increase cycling safety: expanded and improved bike lanes and paths, traffic calming, parking, bike-transit integration, bike sharing, training programs, and promotional events. We describe the specific accomplishments of the nine case study cities, focusing on each city’s innovations and lessons for other cities trying to increase cycling. Portland’s comprehensive package of cycling policies has succeeded in raising cycling levels 6-fold and provides an example that other North American cities can follow.
Preston Foerder1, Marie Galloway2, Tony Barthel2, Donald E. Moore III2, Diana Reiss1,3*
1 Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Program, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, New York, New York, United States of America, 2Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C., United States of America,3 Department of Psychology, Hunter College, The City University of New York, New York, New York, United States of America
The “aha” moment or the sudden arrival of the solution to a problem is a common human experience. Spontaneous problem solving without evident trial and error behavior in humans and other animals has been referred to as insight. Surprisingly, elephants, thought to be highly intelligent, have failed to exhibit insightful problem solving in previous cognitive studies. We tested whether three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) would use sticks or other objects to obtain food items placed out-of-reach and overhead. Without prior trial and error behavior, a 7-year-old male Asian elephant showed spontaneous problem solving by moving a large plastic cube, on which he then stood, to acquire the food. In further testing he showed behavioral flexibility, using this technique to reach other items and retrieving the cube from various locations to use as a tool to acquire food. In the cube's absence, he generalized this tool utilization technique to other objects and, when given smaller objects, stacked them in an attempt to reach the food. The elephant's overall behavior was consistent with the definition of insightful problem solving. Previous failures to demonstrate this ability in elephants may have resulted not from a lack of cognitive ability but from the presentation of tasks requiring trunk-held sticks as potential tools, thereby interfering with the trunk's use as a sensory organ to locate the targeted food.
I'm a fan of Sky Safari from Southern Stars for iOS. There are a number of astronomy applications, but this one works best for me. I've also been using Voyager from Carina Software on Macs for a long time. Carina and Southern Stars are connected and now there is Sky Safari for OS X. It has the feature of being very inexpensive with one version starting at $2.99 until September 15 through the Mac App Store. A nice introduction to star maps.